Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first heard about this book, I thought it sounded interesting. I love reading about different social classes in books, especially when said books have nice covers. However, this wasn't enough to make me want to read this. It wasn't until I heard about Essence, the second book in the Pledge series, that I decided to check it out.

I guess you could say that I’m impressionable when I see a gorgeous covers.

The Good:

A world where Queens rule and social statuses are divided by the languages you speak is a fantastic idea for a story. And for the most part, I felt like Derting did a really great job execution this. That being said, if you’re expecting a lot of details surrounding the social classes, then stop expecting it...because it doesn't happen. The book is mostly about finding the next Queen. The present Queen wants to find the potential heir so she can bring the girl to her side, while the rebels want the potential heir to take over and bring hope to the people.

In terms of the characters, I think my favourite ones would be Brook, Angelina, and the Queen. Brook was smart, but also had some vulnerability to her and I think Derting only touched the surface of what this character could do to the story. I feel kind of the same way with Angelina, only because what we know about her powers. She seems a lot more powerful than Charlie. And smarter too. A lot smarter. So I liked her.

The Queen, however, was my standout favourite. I know, I know, it doesn’t make much sense considering the fact that she was a typical villain without much depth to her. But I liked her. She’s ruthless and petty and doesn’t care who knows it. The fact that she has a rule in place that you’ll be sent to the gallows if you look in the eye of someone of a higher rank while they are speaking their language is messed up. It was also enough for me to want to see more from her. You have to be pretty senile to push that kind of law. And by golly, senile is what she is. I loved it. The way the Queen maintains her power reminded me of the manhwa Witch Hunter, so I enjoyed that aspect of her as well.

The story, for the most part, is told in Charlie’s viewpoint, but sometimes we’ll get snippets here and there of what is happening with other characters like the Queen. I liked this, only because there were times when I’d start to get bored with Charlie and then bam, another character would start to talk about what’s happening with them. I do wish we got to have a chapter or two dedicated to Brook and Aron, but maybe they’ll be showcased more in the next book.

Another thing I liked was how the romance wasn’t as over done as I originally thought it would be. This is a YA novel in a dystopian world, so you know going into it that there will be romance with a hot guy. It’s expected. So I was afraid that the story might shift into lovey dovey territory instead of the main story about the Queen. Instead, the romance was enough to establish a connection between Max and Charlie, but not too much that it overpowered everything else. [The fact that she still refused the Queen’s advancements, despite seeing what happened to Max spoke volumes. She loves the guy, but he wasn’t enough to make her listen to the Queen. I’ve read books where this would have been enough, so I was glad that this wasn’t the case here. (hide spoiler)]

The Okay:

Sydney becoming an ally did make sense, but I wish there was more to this. She went from being a bully to being someone Charlie could trust. Like I said before, it does make sense considering her circumstance, but I kind of wanted to see more dialogue between the two girls.

The friendship of Charlie, Brook, and Aron wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. Aron was pushed to the back-burner, even though it seemed like he was going to be the ‘I love my best friend’ type of character. He promises to always be there for Charlie, only he’s hardly in the book and you kind of forget about him. It’s kind of sad. Poor Aron. I really hope you don’t end up in a love triangle.

With Charlie and Brook, it kind of felt like there was a lot more brewing there and nothing happened with it. There was a scene when Charlie said that she felt sorry for Brook, because Max wasn’t paying attention. It kind of seemed like even though Charlie loves Brook like a sister, she does kind of look down on her. Brook was the hotter friend and one that gets all the attention from the guys, so you’d imagine that Charlie would feel some sort of complex over this, especially since Brook relishes in the attention while Charlie doesn’t. On the other hand, Brook seemed to have a lot of secrets of her own and was dealing with some other issues as well. I mentioned earlier that there is a vulnerability there that kind of goes over Charlie's head.

I dunno, it just felt like there could have been a lot more ‘drama’, for lack of a better word, when it came to their friendship.

The Bad

I liked a lot of things in the book. The writing is good, the romance doesn’t take over the story, and the characters, for the most part, are enjoyable. The only downside is everything is very predictable. As a reader, you’ll easily figure out who Charlie really is and why everyone wants her so badly. You’ll figure out who Max and Xander are and you’ll also realize why Brook does the stuff that she does.

It’s predictable. It’s also cliché in the sense that Charlie is the chosen one. Of course she is. And of course the hero, Max, only has eyes for her even though Brook is the better looking one. Of course. Of course. Of course.

Normally, this would bother me a lot. And I mean a lot. Yet, I didn’t really mind it here. I wanted to go for the ride and not care because I did enjoy the story. Plus, the ending made me want to read Essence, so I didn’t mind it too much. That being said, I have a feeling that Essence will be a lot better than the Pledge. This book seemed like a stepping stone for what’s to come.


I’m glad I read this. Even though it was predictable and did feel like everything that happened was a stepping stone for what’s to come, the writing, the characters, the story was enough to keep me interested. I liked the book. It could be mixture of my desire to read Essence and my love of pretty covers, but even still I liked the book. Now I just have to wait a month to see what happens next.

Please no love triangle, please no love triangle, please no love triangle.

4 stars

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be honest, when I first heard about this book I didn't really know if it was something for me. I also don't really like for the cover all that much. But then I found out that the author is a fellow hijabi, so I got the book and read it.

This is under dystopia, but I don't think you can really call it that. We never really see the outside world, so we really don't get to experience that aspect of the story. If I had to call it something, I guess it would be more of a supernatural, but not really, superhero, kind of at the end, romance, the hot and heavy, kind of book. Yea. That’s it. I’ll go with that.

The Good:

I think the writing will be a hit or miss thing with a lot of readers. I'm not a fan of present tense or overly pretty prose, but somehow how I liked it here. I think Mafi has a talent and I hope she continues to write more books. Hopefully, she calms down a bit with the metaphors, but it was good. I think the only reason why it works is because of the main character. Someone who is always by herself and reads a lot, might read this way.

Warner, I know that there is already a Team Adam and Team Warner thing, wow do I really hate those, but I liked him. As a villain. I already saw some of the spoilers for the next book, so I know there’s going to be a love triangle, but I’m going to hope that Warner continues doing him and doesn’t join in this whole love madness stuff. His love for Juliette isn’t real love, but an obsession to make himself more powerful. He’s stupid, but definitely a lot more interesting than everyone else in the novel.

The Okay:

While I didn’t mind the romance, it did feel kind of shallow. We’re told that Adam and Juliette liked each other as kids and stuff, but now that they’re older all, all that Juliette can think of is how hot Adam is. I kind of wish they had more meaningful conversations about where they are. Sure they kiss a lot, but I would think that couples do more than that. I mean, when they said, “I love you,” to one another, I kind of didn’t buy it. Actually no, with Juliette I bought it. The fact that Adam was a childhood friend and he can touch her would definitely make her love him.

But Adam? I never understood why he felt the way he did. Yes, she did a lot of nice things and was misunderstood as a kid, but how did that feeling of admiration turn into love? Especially over three years of not seeing each other? How did that feeling make Adam join the Reestablishment?

You know, I think it’s actually an interesting point. Why did Adam join the Reestablishment? Because of Juliette? Come on now that doesn’t make sense. Plus the amount of planning and dedication to join the ranks just for a girl that you use to know? I have a heart too, I had crushes back in my heyday, but I wouldn’t join the army just to go find them. Especially an army that is apparently craycray enough to take every book ever written and destroy it. I also would get tattoos either. Perhaps Adam has a different side to him. Perhaps, he’s actually really okay with the Reestablishment and thinks they’re right?

I just wrote that I didn’t like him and now I’m not too sure. In any case, his love for Juliette doesn’t make sense.

When it came to Juliette’s powers, I was confused. I get that it’s like Rogue (who incidentally is my favourite character in X-Men), but she can’t touch people and she has super strength. The only two people who can touch her are Adam and Warner. I’m confused about her powers and I’m also confused if the power of love is the reason why she can be touched.

The plot was different than what I expected. I loved the beginning with Juliette in the asylum. I thought the ending was interesting with the superhero sort of angle, but everything in between didn’t really make much sense. Juliette gets captured and instead of find out more of the Reestablishment, we get a mishmash of dinners, dress choosing, romance, and angst. Perhaps if Juliette saw how the people were being treated by the Reestablishment, she’d be more against it. But it seems like she just doesn’t like Warner, so she’s against him and not the system. In fact, I don’t really understand the Reestablishment’s role here. We’re told that they want to get rid of all the books and start from scratch, but why didn’t we see any of that?

I kind of wish that was explained a bit more. The middle did seem all over the place.

The Bad:

I don’t really like Adam. He’s too perfect and doesn’t have a lot of flaws. Wow..that sounds bad, I didn’t mean it like that. But I do want him to have some sort of depth to him, because there isn’t really much to go on from what I read. He’s hot. That’s the only thing established. Oh and he has a younger brother. Okay.

And that’s it.

I want him to feel real and not the perfect boy for the main character type of character. This seems to be common with a lot of YA novels though, so I suppose this is normal. ** after thinking it over and writing some things above, I’m viewing him differently. Maybe there is some depth to him. Still, this wasn’t really eluded in the book and is just me over thinking things so we’ll just have to wait and see.

I also don’t like that Juliette has a reverse harem in the book. She’s been starving for weeks, doesn’t eat much, and two of the guys love her and one thinks she’s gorgeous. Bleh.

I think the biggest thing I had a problem with is the lack of awareness Juliette had. If someone didn't speak for a long time, they'd have trouble picking it up again. Also, she's been in the asylum for years, during that time many things changed in the world. The only thing we see that changed is the microwave and even then that was in passing. Juliette noticed a lot of things in the asylum, but not when she was outside of it.


I think there is potential for a great series here and Mafi can write well, but there are also a lot of cliches as well. You have the perfect guy, lead character is too beautiful without knowing it, and the dreaded love triangle. (I really hope this doesn't happen in the next book.) *sigh*

I’ll still probably read the next book to see if some of my questions get answered. Hopefully, we get to find out more about the world that Mafi created.

So while I think this book does have problems, I'm still interested in seeing what will happen next.

3 stars

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Sleeping Roses by RaShelle Workman

Sleeping Roses (Dead Roses, #1)Sleeping Roses by RaShelle Workman
My rating: negative 100 of 5 stars

By far one or the worse books I've ever read. Bad pacing, one dimensional characters, stupid main character, an ending that made the rest of the book seem like it was a waste of time, and tons of grammatical and spelling errors that leave you wondering how this got published.

Only good points is the book cover and the synopsis for the next book, which actually sounds interesting.

The Good

I love the cover. It's really pretty.

The Okay

The synopsis for the next book in the series is quite intriguing.

The Bad

Shut the faulty door, I sure have a lot of reasons why this book is positively horrid. But to save time and to refrain from ranting so much, I'll only mention 5.

1. The grammar and the amount of spelling mistakes in this book will make you scream. It's almost like this book didn't have an editor to look through this book before publishing it. I don't think you even needed an editor to catch these mistakes. Just looking over the work would have been enough. There are a lot of adverbs used for no reason too. They don't add to the story or the writing, it just makes everything sound clunky.

2. The characters are so one dimensional it isn't even funny. Sophie is stupid. Rena is the gay best friend who is in love with Sophie, but not really. David is the abusive husband who is so over the top you can't take this book seriously. Phillip is meant to be the complete opposite of him and while he seems nice, his love for Sophie is so shallow that you wonder why he wants to be with her when all she does is yell at him.

3. I feel bad for this point, because it sounds bad if you haven't read the book. Even though Sophie, the main character, goes through a horrible situation with her husband and is clearly scarred from the ordeal. She's way too much of a Mary Sue, which means she's TSTL for me to care.

The book starts off with Sophie leaving her abusive husband. We're told many times he's a psycho and that he's beat her a lot. So at point in the novel Sophie decides enough is enough and files for divorce.

The divorce lawyer asks her if he should send the divorce papers to her husband. Sophie says no and that she has to do it. David, the husband, before this happened has been leaving messages to Sophie telling her that she's dead if he sees her. He's already abused her and put a knife to her neck while they were together, killing her should be easy for him. Still Sophie decides to go to him, alone, when she delivers the papers. When her friend Rina offers to go with her, Sophie says no because she wants to be a strong independent woman and face her problems head on. So she visits David and almost gets raped.

Oh Sophie, you sure are a smart one.

4. Like I mentioned in the beginning, the ending makes you feel like this book was a complete waste of time. This is a spoiler, so visit my good reads review to see why.[At the end it turns out that Sophie has been in a coma for the past 10 years and none of the events in the book really happened. Things happen to her while in a coma which is why it translated to her dream world, but this whole thing was done in such a way that it made you feel cheated as a reader. (hide spoiler)]

5. Phillip and Sophie kind of suck as a couple; unfortunately, I can't mention more without spoiling the novel.[In the dream world they made sense. But then we find out that Phillip is really Sophie's doctor. That automatically makes the relationship inappropriate to me. Sophie, in the real world, has feelings for dream world Phillip and not the real person. She thinks she loves him, but knows nothing about him. Nothing. And for some reason he stops seeing her as a miracle, she did wake up after 10 years, but as a love interest and it doesn't make sense either. It's almost like the author wanted a happy ending for those two and put them together when it makes no sense. At all. (hide spoiler)]


This book had a lot of potential and if this was written better, I think I might have liked this a lot. But the writing isn't good, there are a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, the characters are very one note, and the ending makes you feel cheated.

Don't read this book. It is, by far, one of the worse books I've ever read.

Rating: negative 100 stars out of 5 stars

Review: The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StoryThe Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Once saw this book I knew I wanted to read it for two reasons. One, the story is about a stalker and after reading Zashiki Onna I kind of find stalker books to be interesting. Two, the main character isn’t freaked out about the stalking. She finds it intriguing and actually wants to meet this person. That’s just weird. Most books with stalkers are usually psychological thrillers, but this one was different. So for those two reasons I knew that I need to read this book.

The Good:

The book is about two people. Ellen, a hypnotherapist who has recently became an item with Patrick. And Saskia, the former girlfriend of Patrick who has a funny habit of showing up wherever he is for the past three years. Ellen’s scenes are in third person, while Saskia is in first person.

I actually really loved the two different perspectives between Ellen and Saskia and I really liked that Patrick, who is the person that ties the two women together, doesn’t really play a big part in the story. This is a good thing, because I didn’t like him. But it’s also a bad thing, which I’ll explain later on.

There is romance in the novel, this is a love story after all, but it’s not the main focus of this book. What I took from this story is the journey of two women to find happiness. Ellen has to figure out what she wants in a relationship, as well as figuring out her place in Patrick’s life, while Saskia has to figure out a way to get herself out of his life and be happy. The contrast is nice and I liked that the author went this route instead of something more predictable. Like Saskia being crazy and Ellen being in fear because she finds hair in her bed or something.

Even though Saskia is kind of…extreme, she comes off as sympathetic and relatable, which is weird because I’ve never contemplated stalking someone. Ever. Regardless of this small fact, you do find yourself rooting for her to get better and leave her addition behind her. She’s flawed and very human, which is why I liked her so much.

The Okay:

Ellen, while interesting enough as a character, didn’t pull me into the story as much as Saskia did. Her hypnotherapy is interesting and her fascination with Saskia, while weird, is kind of cool at the same time. But the more she got involved with Patrick, the more her story stopped being interesting to me.

I also felt like this novel had a lot of characters with many of them meshing into one another.

The Bad:

Patrick, the man behind this whole kerfuffle, was someone who needed to be developed but wasn’t. He’s very one note and during the beginning scenes with Ellen he was just creepy.

There is a scene in the novel (around page 50 or so) when Patrick introduces Ellen to his son, Jack. While Jack is watching a DVD, Patrick and Ellen are having a serious discussion about his Saskia problem. He isn’t pleased and doesn’t want to talk to her, so he decides the best course of action is to change the subject. The subject, well he asks her to go upstairs with him for a few minutes.

...He goes to his girlfriend’s house with his son. He gets his son to watch a DVD. He talks with Ellen about Saskia, isn’t pleased, so stops and asks for a quickie while his son is in the other room.

This hasn’t ever happened to me, so this may be normal for couples who have kids. But I always thought that when you introduce your child to someone, you, I don’t know, want to spend the evening getting your son or daughter use to the person you’re dating and not go upstairs for a quickie.

Then again, I’m not too familiar with this kind of scene so I could be wrong.

He’s also shown in an even more annoying light when he starts talking about his dead wife whenever Ellen is around. He reveals why later on and stuff, but I didn't like that about him either.

I think I'm being a bit harsh on him and I know that this story is more about Ellen and Saskia, but I just wish that Patrick was a better character because I honestly don’t understand what was so great about him.


I really enjoyed the plot, Saskia, and the writing, but I do wish that some of the other characters were developed a bit more and that Patrick was written better. Overall this was a fun read, so definitely check it out if you're looking for women's fiction that's different.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ramadan Kareem!

Hello There!

Just wanted to apologize for the lack of content. These past few months have been pretty hectic for me, especially now that Ramadan is here. When Ramadan comes, I usually take a month off from all of my hobbies. So no movies, no tv shows (other than education ones), and more importantly no books.

I try to take this month as a spiritual growth, so I tend to focus only on that.

Once Ramadan ends, I'll come back. I have a few ideas on some features and whatnot, so look forward to that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Lauren Oliver just keeps getting better and better for me. There hasn't been a book that I haven't liked from her, then again this is only the third book that I've read by her. But I think it's safe to say that I've become a fan of her work and writing.

The Good:

The plot was fantastic. Lena does change a bit from Delirium, but her change is expected and very realistic. The chapters went back and forth from "then", which takes place right after Lena escapes to the Wild, and "now", which happens many months after this when Lena is living in New York.

Both show how Lena is adapting to her new world. In the wild, she experiences hunger, death, and survival. In New York, she's experiencing survival in a different form. One that is a lot more dangerous than battling the elements.

At first, I was really into the chapters about the Wild, but after awhile the chapters taking place in New York got really interesting and I wanted to know what was happening.

Since Alex is captured or dead, there is a new love interest and I was ready to hate him. I hate love triangles and knew that the new guy didn't stand a chance. But the more I read about Julian, the more I hoped Alex was dead.

Alex didn't really have much of a presence. His role was to open Lena up to a world she never knew about, because of this he was a great guy without any flaws or hangups. Julian was so different. There was a childish quality, but also someone who was willing to stand up fight. He struggled, like Lena did, but his change was natural and their relationship made sense given their circumstances. He was also flawed and I liked that about him and surprisingly enough liked him with Lena.

The Okay:

I still don't think that the virus and love is explained all too well. There is a mention that passion is close to love, so people stay away from it. But for the most part, it still doesn't make sense to me. Unlike the last book, we don't really see much of the cured world, so this wasn't as big of a problem as before.

I would like a better explanation though.

The Bad:

Sadly, the bad is due to the ending which is predictable, but something I wish didn't happen. It's a bit of a spoiler, so if you'd like to read the spoilery rant, click here to visit my goodreads review of this.

Overall, the book was fantastic. I enjoyed it a lot more than Delirium and loved how the characters were realistic and flawed. I hate the ending, but I'm hoping that the next book won't focus so much on it and instead on the resistance.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lauren Oliver is a great writer, she proved that to me when I read Before I Fall, and with Delirium the same great writing is there. The story isn't as good, but I think it's due to the premise of the story.

Delirium is about a world where love is a sickness and when you reach the age of eighteen, you need to be cured of this horrible virus.

Once you are cured, everything is better. Except, it's not. Parents no longer have feelings towards their kids, couples go through the motion, and people stop loving each other. In this world, it's hunky dory to the people, but to the reader we can clearly see that this is really messed up.

The Good:

At first, I was bored Lena and loved Hana. By the middle of the novel, I still loved Hana, but I liked Lena too. Lena is someone who was really into the system, so her reluctance to do anything, given with what happened to her mother, was realistic and made sense. She does start to change once she falls in love, but even then when she first finds out what Alex really is, she stops all contact with him. In a lot of other novels, she would have continued her relationship and changed completely, but Lena didn't. I really liked that about her.

Did I mention that Hana was awesome? If I didn't, then well...she was awesome.

I really liked the world that Lauren Oliver created. Not the virus, but the fact that the people are so heavily governed and that they think that this is for the good of the people is scary. Hmmm, maybe this is why the government decided to 'cure' everyone of love when they're eighteen. They reach the age to vote, get cured, then stop caring about how heavily oppressed they truly are.

The Okay

Once Lena falls in love, she starts to become a bit stupid. Considering how oppressive her country has become and how scared she was before, she seems to stop caring. Even though she knows of the consequences.

I've never been in love before or in a relationship so I don't know how that affects or changes people, but I do know that if I lived there and was in love with someone, I wouldn't have done some of the things Lena did.

The Bad
Sadly, while I did like many things in the book, the thing that I didn't like was the premise. I think it's because love wasn't really defined properly in this. For example, I do love my family and with that love comes caring, loyalty, and a bunch of other emotions. And we do see that with Aunt Carol and her children, she doesn't have any motherly love for them and treats them in a mechanical kind of manner. She's doing things for them, not because she loves them, but because it's her job and duty as a mother.

At the same time, there are scenes when you could tell that she does care for her children, husband, and Lena. Her trying to remind Lena that after she's cured she won't want to hang out with Hana so much, showed that she did care. She even looked a little sad when saying this. She actively tries to help Lena through her examinations, because she wants what is best for her.

But then, she calls her kid stupid because one of her daughters can't speak. It might just be me, but I kind of wish the virus was explained a bit more, because it did seem inconsistent at some points.

Other than that, I quite liked the book.

Rating: 4 stars

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After being disappointed with Sisters Red, I was hoping that Sweetly would live up to my expectations and for the most part it did. I found Sweetly to be a lot better than Sisters Red. Almost all of the problems I had with the previous book in this series wasn't an issue anymore.

The Good
I liked how Sweetly felt like a modern retelling. When I was reading this, I never thought that this would be better if it was set back in the day.

Another thing that I liked, and is a huge plus in this book, is that Gretchen grew up. In the beginning she's a girl who is trapped in the past, but as the story progresses she changes to a girl who takes action instead of waiting for her brother to do things.

Plus, she was complex and fleshed out quite well. This made her a stronger heroine, because she felt real.

But I think the biggest plus for me in this book was the logic actually made sense.

The Okay
Sophie was a character that was intriguing and mysterious and while I never hated or liked her, I was expecting more from her. In the beginning it seemed like she may be a witch, mainly because Ansel falls for her almost automatically and Gretchen feels safe and not afraid to open up when around her. Also, the men in Live Oak seemed a lot nicer to her than the women.

In the end, she wasn't a witch, but I do wonder if that was some sort of missed opportunity there. [It would have been nice to see her having a sinister motive instead of just working with the Fenris....which is sinister, but not as sinister as a woman working alone and doing evil things. (hide spoiler)]

The book was also kind of predictable, so there was never really any surprise when the secrets were revealed. When it came to Ansel and Gretchen, I understood why they didn't figure things out. But Samuel, he didn't really have an excuse.

Yes, he knew things, but it's not until Gretchen does most of the work that he figures things out. This surprised me because he's a hunter and is Silas', the hunter from Sisters Red, brother. It just didn't make sense to me.

The Bad
I never bought the relationship between Samuel and Gretchen. It seemed like the only reason they got together was because they didn't really talk to anyone else in their age group. Everyone thinks Samuel is crazy and Gretchen...well it kind of seemed like there was no young guys in Live Oak.

Samuel doesn't even seem to like Gretchen at first, so when he gets together with her I was wondering where it came from. I don't know, it kind of seemed like it was thrown in because YA novels always need to have a romance in it.

I did like that it didn't dominate the plot though and there was very little of it, so I suppose I can't complain too much about it.

Sweetly was a vast improvement to Sisters Red, the writing is still crisp and the story made sense for a modern retelling.

I have a feeling that the next novel in the series will be even better. The Little Mermaid is a dark tale, so I wonder what Jackson Pearce will do with it. [I just hope there are no Fenris there, but I kind of think there will be since it was revealed that the girls by the ocean are the dark ones, girls who have lost their twin and are now the lovers of Fenris.........I think I just figured out how then ext book will be. (hide spoiler)]

Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Sisters Red has a lot of things I like in a novel; great writing, intriguing premise, and tons of potential to blow my mind. It's also a fairy tale re-telling, which is one of my favourite genres. I love seeing how authors change up fairy tales into something new. Plus it has a pretty sweet cover. It's simple, but nice at the same time.

When I first read Sisters Red, I was immediately sucked in. The prologue is dark, gritty, and reminded me very much of Little Red Riding Hood. It really helped set the tone that this would be a dark novel and that Pearce wasn't afraid of killing innocent people.

However, once the story shifts to the present, since the prologue takes place seven years ago, the intensity of the prologue gets lost in translation. There are still people who get killed and the Fenris do seem scary, but by the middle of the book it seemed like the story was at a standstill. The novel does pick up again, but the ending becomes a bit clichéd. It is a fairy tale retelling, so it makes sense, but after the prologue I was expecting something different, especially given how dark it was.

I won't go over the plot too much, since there are a lot of reviews that include that, but I'll just mention some quick points of the novel.

The Good:

Like I said before, the writing is crisp and has a nice flow to it. Pearce is a talented writer and she clearly knows what she's doing. There were times when I did get bored, this happened in the middle of the book, but the writing kept me in.

Even though I couldn't relate to Scarlett March all that much, I did like her as a character. I feel like she'd be one of those characters that you'd either love or hate, because she's so polarizing. She's incredibly complex and different. Instead of being a traditional beautiful heroine, she's scarred and only has one eye. Because of this, she feels like the only thing she has in life is hunting. She doesn't believe she can do anything else, especially with the way she looks. She is very focused and has a one track mind, but because of her circumstance it did make sense.

I also liked the contrast between Scarlett and Rosie. Scarlett is very hard, but Rosie is the opposite. She's soft, has moments where she's a bit tstl, but she wants more than hunting in her life. The sisters do love each other, but they depend on each other to live. Scarlett lives through Rosie sometimes and Rosie feels like she can never repay Scarlett for saving her life. The dynamic between the two was interesting to watch.

The story is told in two viewpoints, Scarlett and Rosie. They both have distinctive voices and different things they focus on.

The Okay:

The setting of the novel was in modern times, but there were times when I felt like it wasn't. There are cars, guns, and the Price is Right, but there were times when it felt like that didn't matter and that the world was the world before.

The romance between Rosie and Silas seemed a bit forced and only happened because Rosie doesn't have much interaction with men who are just human. I kind of wished that Silas and Scarlett were a couple, just because I wanted to see her not be full of rage. Plus, it would have helped her see that there is more to life than hunting and that she's just as beautiful as any other girl. Instead, two pretty people hook up and the one who is scarred is left to be the third wheel.

I liked Rosie, but her sections of the novel was mostly about her feelings towards Silas. Plus, after fighting Fenris for so long, it kind of makes me wonder why she keeps forgetting to take her knives with her when she goes out. The age difference didn't bother me, since despite it's modern setting it felt like this world was set back in the day.

I did wish for the characters to grow a bit and while they are developed, they are a bit one note in their actions. Scarlett only cares about hunting, protecting Rosie and Silas, as a best friend and hunting partner. Rosie wants to help Scarlett, but wants to do other make out with Silas. Rosie does grow a bit, which is great. But Scarlett is pretty much the same throughout the book.

The Bad:

I found the logic to finding Potential Fenris to be a bit too much. It's kind of a spoiler so I won't post it here, but if you do want to read it then you can visit my Goodreads' review for it. Just click here.[In order to be a potential Fenris, you have to be the seventh son of a seventh son and the werewolves need to get you on your seventh year.

This is definitely not impossible, but Scarlett and Rosie have killed more than a hundred Fenris from the time they learned about them to the end of the book. Remember, this is set in modern times...modern times where people don't really have kids. Back home in Africa, there are people still popping out babies. I have relatives who have a lot of kids. It's hot there, so there is probably not much to do but have kids, but in America? It's hard finding couples that have more than two kids, let alone finding someone who is the seventh son of a seventh son.

The amount of Fenris killed by Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas would make a huge dent to their population. The fact that the Fenris don't realize that there are people killing their own and it's all situated in one place is mind boggling. The Fenris, despite their lack of soul, are smart. So I don't know how they could overlook this. (hide spoiler)]

The spoiler goes back to the setting, if this was set some 100 years ago it might have made sense, but it just isn't all that plausible, to me, for this to happen in this day and age.

I know, it may seem like such a minor detail, but I couldn't get passed it.


I did like the book, despite the logic of some things. Pearce is incredibly creative to create this world and the characters. I think making Scarlett so scarred and angry was a brave thing to do. But, I was expecting something a bit more so I was slightly disappointed. Still a good novel though. I hope Sweetly is just as good, if not better.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm reading two books:

"Well, that's even more suspicious than the private services," Scarlett says, perking up. "It takes a while for the soul to die - I bet the wolf was starting to take over the body for a few months before the family issued the official obituary."

pg. 145 of Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.

What Donkey saw that night would be revealed much later. But by then, it was far too late...

pg 115 of 20th Century Boys by Urasawa Naoki

If you have a teaser, please leave a link and I'll check it out!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought I would hate this, mainly because it has a lot of things that I don't like. I don't like love triangles...actually, I really hate love triangles. It's one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to Young Adult novels. Why does there have to be two guys? Why? What's wrong with just liking one person and leaving it at that?

I also was wary of the Bachelor like theme. I've sadly seen one episode of the horrid show and I kind of find it incredibly distasteful and gross. Maybe it's because the guy (or girl) is in a massive love triangle.

Anyways, despite my misgivings I decided to read the book and it wasn't that bad. In fact, I liked it for the most part.

America Singer lives in a dystopian like world where people are categorized by numbers. The higher the number you have, the better you life will be. Also, your number determines what kind of carry you have. Fives, like America 's family, are entertainers. While Sixes, are servers.

Which brings us to boy number one in America's love triangle, Aspen, who is a Six. (Aspen, America...I see what you did there). America doesn't care that he's a Six, her family would be against it, and he doesn't like that America would probably provide for him more than he provides for her. Plus there is a law that tries to limit people from doing this.

Boy number two is Prince Maxon. He's holding a Bachelor like game, where girls around the kingdom have a chance to be proposed by him. America signs up, because Aspen told her to, and is chosen. America and Aspen break up, America goes to the castle, and starts to develop feelings for Maxon.

Now the triangle is complete.

America, for the most part, is focused on one guy during the novel and I did like her growing friendship with Maxon. I would have been fine if the novel focused more on this and America's growing feelings for him.

Some of the things that I found odd:

After America lets Maxon know that she's in love with someone else, she makes a deal with him. He keeps her at the palace for as long he needs her to be there for the Selection and in return, she'll give him insider information on the girls. It sounds like a fine deal to me, only America avoids most of the girls and the conversations she has with Maxon is almost never about them.

Sadly, this did bug me a bit because I wanted to see America interact with the girls. But we never really see that. A lot of the girls are interchangeable and for the most part I didn't really care for them.

And then there was..

While reading the novel, I felt like Aspen would show up during America's selection process. This was a given. I did think he would have some ties to the rebels, which would cause America to choose whether she wants to support the kingdom and Maxon, or the support the rebels/freedom and Aspen.

Instead, the book ends in a cliffhanger. Maxon doesn't even pick a girl by the end. This was disappointing, because for the most part I did enjoy this novel but then it ends abruptly. It didn't even feel like a full novel because of that.

I will probably read the next book to see if Aspen and Maxon go head to head...for the kingdom and not America.

Rating: 3 Stars

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Review: By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anee Peters

By the Time You Read This, I'll Be DeadBy the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I was recommended this book. They both deal with suicide and depression, so I got it and read it.

Even though I didn't love Thirteen Reasons Why, I still remember the book and how I felt reading it. On the other hand, after I finished, "By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead." I didn't feel anything. Not anger, not sadness, not joy. Just meh.

No that's not true. After I read the ending, I thought, "That's it?"

The ending was left open-ended, leaving it up to the reader to decide what happens to Daelyn. I don't mind this, I watch a lot of Asian dramas and some of the books and they love their open ended stories. So I'm fine with this kind of ending. In fact, sometimes it can evoke different feelings out of you, depending on your mood and mindset.

But for some reason, I didn't like the open-endedness of this novel. In the book, Daelyn wants to commit suicide, she's had enough of life and can't wait till she kills herself. She's attempted to do this a few times, but each time she fails.

Daelyn doesn't want to fail again, so she joins an online community that promotes suicides. The site provides different ways you can kill yourself as well as tips for the big day. The only condition is that you have to wait for 23 days before you kill yourself.

The site is disgusting and I didn't like hearing about it, because of the seriousness of the matter, but at the same time it was interesting. It does scare me that there are probably sites like this out there.

In any case, Daelyn joins and the 23 days commence. During this time she meets a boy named Santana who doesn't leave her alone. Daelyn can't talk, but he can't stop talking. [Later in the book you find out that Santana is dying, which does add a nice contrast to Daelyn's life. Daelyn wants to die because she's sick of life, but Satana is dying, but wants to live longer. (hide spoiler)] I don't know why he wasted so much time with her (at least at first), but it does make some sense later on in the novel.

The more Daelyn hangs out with Santana, the more she wants to live...except she doesn't. I never felt like she was willing to change her plans because of Santana. Did she like him, yea. But was she going to let that stop her? I don't think so.

Which is why the ending didn't sit well with me. I don't think it was written in a way that provided two options of Daelyn. Not only is her mind set on killing herself, but she doesn't want to change. She doesn't. And I'm not knocking her feelings and characterization. I'm not. But in order for the ending to work, Daelyn needed to have some self reflection and inner turmoil about suicide, especially after meeting Santana.

Instead, she wants to kill herself for 95% of the book, then near the end she struggles a bit, then goes back to how she was before.

I dunno, it just didn't work for me.

Rating: 2 stars

Review: Thumped by Megan McCafferty

Thumped (Bumped, #2)Thumped by Megan McCafferty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not sure how I feel about this one. I liked Bumped, but Thumped disappointed me. Everything happened quickly, it was incredibly predictable, and the ending was a little too perfect.

The Good:

Um...I liked seeing more of this world. And the terminology that the characters use was interesting.

Even though he's a bit too love sick, Jondoe is still somewhat likeable. The fact that he's a major celebrity because he doesn't shoot blanks is funny.

Melody still kept me interested, despite the fact that she was a bit stupid in this novel. She does grow up a bit, but there is only so much growth you can do in a few days.

The Okay:

Zen and Melody's relationship was better developed in Bumped. Since there is an eight and a half month time skip, we don't see what happened once they realized they liked each other. It was almost as if their relationship stood still and that they didn't see each other until this book happened.

So when the two are talking about sex and love, it kind of made me wonder why. I do understand that in this world sex happens, but when it came to these two it seemed like Zen was a bit too desperate for that.

I also didn't like that Zen had a growth spurt. I liked that he was 'vertically challenged.' It made him different and stand out. Now he's getting offers to be the next Johndoe.

The Bad:

It didn't have the same feeling as the first book, so maybe that's why I didn't like it as much as I wanted to. The first book, while not perfect, was incredibly over the top and I'm assuming was meant to be taken as satire. In Thumped, it's not as over the top and instead of seeing more of their world, the story is bogged down by romances and boy trouble.

It was due to this that I got to see the characters a bit more and realized that they're not really that great. They're very one note and not developed properly.

But I think the thing that I didn't like the most was the lack of interaction between Melody and Harmony and I think this ties into the time skip problem as well. In the last book, the two were still trying to figure out a relationship between one another. During the time skip, they apparently talked almost every day and did their best to keep in touch. In Thumped, they only have a few scenes with each other and their interactions seemed different.

I'm still glad I read this, just so I could see the conclusion to the story. I just wish that it still had the same tongue-in-cheek flavour as Bumped.

Rating: 2 stars

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped (Bumped, #1)Bumped by Megan McCafferty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"You're knocked up. Ready to pop. Due to drop. Do the deed. Born to breed. Went forth and multiplied. Fightin' the omnicide. You're the most important person on the plaaaanet....Babiez R U!"

When I read the blurb, I didn't think I'd like this. But after I learned that this was a satirical dystopian YA novel, I decided to give it a chance.

I think the key is to realize that this book isn't taking itself so seriously. Once you let go, this book was enjoyable. The plot moves quite quickly, since it's written in first person present tense (I don't know if it's just me, but I've been noticing that more and more YA novels are written like this) and only takes place within a few days.

After finding out she has a long lost twin sister Harmony leaves her Christian community to find and save Melody. Melody wants to become a surrogate mother, because teens are the only ones who can get pregnant so it's a lucrative business to be in, but it's also a sin. And Harmony is running away from something else and decides that this is the best way to reignite her faith in her community.

They don't hit it off at first and are awkward with each other, but all that changes when Melody is picked to bump with Jondoe, a celebrity sperm donor who is all the rage at the moment. He doesn't shoot blanks, so Melody's status will skyrocket once she has sex with him. But there lies our problem, Harmony sees him and twin switching and predictability happens.

The writing is smooth, so it was fun reading this. This is the first book by Megan McCafferty that I've read and I don't think it will be that last...especially since I want to know what happens next.

Even though this is a very tongue-in-cheek novel, the dystopian world that McCafferty created is an interesting one. A virus makes everyone but teens infertile. Celebrities are those who make babies and don't shoot blanks. It's interesting. Sadly, we don't get to see a lot of the world. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing though. It's bad, because I wanted to know their world more. But it's good, because it kind of makes the world seem like the one we're living in now only it has better technology.

The chapters do go back and forth between Melody and Harmony and while they do have distinct voices, it did throw me off at first because once I was getting into one character, the chapter would stop and I'd go to the other twin. But after awhile you get use to it.

The world and some of the characters are over the top, but the lack of details about this world does make it eerily similar to our own. Overall, this was a fun, quick read. It does end in a bit of a cliffhanger though, so you'll have to wait for Thumped to see what happens next.  

Rating: 4 stars

Friday, April 06, 2012

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was okay. Nothing spectacular. But out of all of the books, Mockingjay confused me at some parts.

When I read Hunger Games, I was able to read it through and not really miss anything. It was straightforward. I also felt that Catching Fire was similar in that sense. Mockingjay...there was parts that confused me and I had to reread in order to understand what was going on. This is even worse, because a character dies and I didn't even get it until a few pages later.

Another thing that I didn't like was the resolution to the love triangle. Technically there was, but let me explain what I mean. I hate love triangles. Everything about it annoys me, especially the Team Boy 1 Team Boy 2 cheer teams. Annoying. But I never really felt like the romance was developed enough to pick a side.

In Hunger Games and Catching Fire, Gale doesn't really have a personality and since Peeta is shown the most, you already know that he loves Katniss. It's one sided, because in Catching Fire Katniss pretty much chooses Gale. It's just that she wants Peeta to be there for her, which is kind of selfish and a tease but oh well. In the end, she chooses Gale.

Then she forgets about that in Mockingjay and the author changes Gale from having no personality, or having a revenge personality and Katniss isn't liking that. I almost feel bad for Gale, because he never really had a chance with her. Gale was made out to be a horrible jerk, but I never really understood why. Katniss didn't see what happened in District 12, he did and so he wants revenge. Plus, she mentions that he was always like this.

I hate love triangles, but at least give both guys a chance. In the end, she does go with one of them but that's due to outside forces and him being there while the other isn't. She doesn't choose a guy. She just lets things happen and stays with the one who is there. 

I also didn't understand how Finnick, who seemed perfectly fine at the end of Catching Fire, is a huge mess in Mockingjay. What happened to him?

The thing that I think disappointed me the most in the novel was the fact that we don't see many of the things happening, due to Katniss being asleep or in the hospital.

I did like Peeta's hijacking. I didn't like Katniss' reaction to the hijacking though.

I did like that Katniss mirrored her mother. She originally thought so badly of her for checking out, but Katniss ends up doing the same thing for much longer. I thought it was interesting to see.

I did like that characters died, because it's a war and it's expected to happen. It's mostly fodder characters though.

All in all, I felt like this was a bit rushed and not as exciting as the first two books in the series. I was ultimately disappointed with this.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the second half of the novel much more than I liked the first. The first was pretty boring. Katniss is back at District 12 and going through life. She wants Peeta to be with her, but feels like she has chosen Gale.

I hate love triangles, especially one as badly done as this so I didn't really care much about Katniss' inner turmoil as she tried to decide which guy is right for her. If we had seen more from Gale, then I think I would have maybe understood this triangle more, but in the Hunger Games, we saw him in the beginning and in the end. Peeta was the main guy in that book and so we saw more of his feelings.

In Catching Fire, Gale is in the beginning and end and once again Peeta is the main guy in this book. I don't really understand how we're suppose to root for Gale when we hardly know him.

The second half of the novel is Katniss going back to the Hunger Games. I'm not going to lie, when I first saw this I was wondering why we had to do this again. But the more I read from it, the more I liked it. The allies were good and I really liked Johanna and Finnick. Both were smart and had a good head on their shoulders.

Katniss, was a tad annoying. And Peeta was either being carried or helped in some way. He was pretty much useless.

There was so much more that could have been done, but nothing happened until the end.

I have a feeling that Mockingjay will be better, so I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: wk4

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm currently reading two books.

And the houses along the snow-filled road display their illuminations. Their promise of warm shelter is nearly animals, insects...and to humans alike.

pg 138 of Mushishi vol 4 by Urushibara Yuki


I kept looking for her the rest of that day, puzzled by her reaction. Like most people, I had no clue of her random connection to Hannah Baker.

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher (not sure the exact page of the book, since I'm reading the ebook version of this)

Leave a link to your teaser tuesdays and I'll be sure to check them out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano


Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

Pages: 352 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Released: February 21, 2012

...not really sure what happened here.

After I finished Wither, I knew the first thing I needed to do was to read Fever...actually, the first thing I wanted to do was go to bed, since it was late at night. But once I woke up, I knew I would have to read Fever.

Fever takes place right after Wither ends and somehow, it just didn't do anything for me. My problems with Rhine were intensified in this novel and while I could forgive and overlook her behaviour before, I just couldn't do it here.

The main reason was, some of the stuff just didn't make sense at all.

Rhine wants to do something, but someone else ends up helping her. No, not really helping her. They actually do everything and Rhine just has to listen to them. This is fine with me though. What bothered me was the lack of sex. Hear me out.

In Wither, she never consummated her marriage with Linden, which I always had a problem with. He has sex with Cecily and Jenna, but not Rhine. Why? He respects her wishes, which was great. He's a good guy, but it still didn't make sense.

In Fever, Rhine is captured and placed in a prostitution ring. You think she's going to have sex, because her job is to have sex or be beaten, but it doesn't happen. Why? With Linden, I get that he's a good guy and wants to respect her. But Madame. She beats little kids, her girls, and drugs them. She doesn't seem like the type to just say, "It's okay Rhine. No sex pour vous."

I know you may be thinking something weird about me, but before I say anything more, let me just mention that I'm not a sex fiend or want to see Rhine get it on.

I don't.

But in both of those scenarios, Rhine having sex is something that is expected to happen, especially with how this world is. Instead, both Linden and Madame let her go. Linden has sex with his other wives, Madame gets the other girls to have sex with the paying customers, and Rhine thinks of ways to escape.

I dunno, it didn't make sense to me.

Anyways, let's talk about romance. Gabriel seems like the main guy, except he really doesn't do much in Fever. I feel bad, because even though I liked Linden more than him in the first novel, I excepted him to have a greater role in Fever. This sadly doesn't happen. Nothing happens to him and at the end of everything, he's not even in the picture anymore.


I think by biggest problem with Fever is that it truly felt like a middle book. Wither was excellent and Fever, nothing happens. They run, get captured, get drugged up, run away, get sick, find a good place, get captured, Seeing the world and realizing that it wasn't as good as she remembered would have added some conflict between Rhine and Gabriel. Seeing how horrible the world is, would add more conflict in this book. Gabriel doing something would have added conflict in this book. Gatherers, who should be on the streets, looking for young girls and see the girls get captured, would add more conflict to this book.

I just wanted something more and sadly, I didn't get it. That being said, I do have high hopes for the next novel in this series. Once it comes out, I'm definitely picking it up and seeing how this trilogy ends. Can't wait!

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

Pages: 368 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Released: March 22, 2011

Can I just start by saying that this book was fantastic? Because it was. It really, really was.

When I opened the book and read the first chapter, I knew that this was going to be a great book. The plot can be summed up in two sentences. *ahem* Rhine is captured and is bought by a Housemaster who marries her, along with two other girls. She wants to go back to her brother, but must play by the rules in order to find the perfect moment to escape.

From this summary, you will probably realize one thing. This book, mostly takes place in a house. A rich house. Despite this being a dystopian novel we don't really get a sense of this, because of the location. There are hints, for example the first chapter when the Gatherers show up, when certain characters die, despite their young age, and when Rhine tells us about how Rowan and her survived out in Manhattan. Other than this, not so much is shown.

So if you are looking for a heavy dystopian novel, this one might get you disappointed. But you should still give it a try.

The characters, for the most part, are fleshed out nicely. I do think Rhine was slightly naive about her situation, but she's young so I forgave her. I did love Rhine's sister wives, Jenna and Cecily, though. Jenna was a fantastic character, who was smart, observant, and knew how to play the game. Cecily, while naive like Rhine, did show that she's observant and can make things happen for her.

I liked the interactions between the sister wives and their husband. Linden, despite some of his problems, made for a better love interest than Gabriel.


I really loved this book. So much so that once I finished, I went out and got Fever. Yay! In terms of dystopian novels, this is different, but it does have a good premise and an interesting story.

I liked it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr


Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."

Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.

Pages: 336 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: William Morrow
Released: May 17, 2011

I haven't read a book in a long time. Somehow, I was busy with school and life to actually have the time to pick up a book and read it.

When I went to the library to pick up some graphic novels/mangas I saw this and somehow I was drawn to it. The cover (with the old house) was creepy and the blurb sounded delicious. For the first time in a long time, I was truly excited to pick up a book.

Then I started to read it. This is the first book of Melissa Marr that I've read, I know her by her Wicked Lovely series and can tell that she's a talented young adult novel. The problem with this book is that it is marketed towards adults, but the writing sounds like something you'd find in teen fiction. Nothing wrong with that if done correctly, but it didn't work here.

The characters. There are actually three issues I had with the characters:

1. Rebekkah is annoying. Byron is whipped. And for the majority of the book (especially the first 2/3rds of it) they talk about nothing except their angst for each other. I felt suffocated just reading about how much Byron loved her but how much Rebekkah couldn't handle commitment, but still wanted him but couldn't. Add on to the fact that they are apparently destined for each other and this little reader couldn't handle it. It was just too much. The entire time they were together, I wished that either one of them died or they broke up.

2. The rest of the characters are very flat, with the exception of Daisha and Elizabeth. Daisha is shown quite a bit, but I wish we saw more of Elizabeth. From the two chapters that she showed up, she was a really interesting character. Her mother is power hungry, but she just goes with the flow afraid of the consequences. She knows her mother is wrong, but she's afraid. Interesting. Except she doesn't show up and after all is said and done, she didn't even need to be in the book.

3. The villain. No spoilers, but the villain was pretty bad. The problem here is that...hmmm, how can I explain this without spoiling? The villain is predictable and one that makes absolute sense. It's just that the villain didn't show up for most of the book and their actions in the latter half didn't make sense.


The plot, by itself, is interesting. It just wasn't executed properly. Was it creative? Yes, I think Melissa Marr had a lot of great ideas in this book. Was the writing great? Sadly no. As an adult novel, it didn't work. Had this been written with teens I think I might have liked it a bit more. Rebekkah and Byron's angst wouldn't have been as annoying, because I could blame the hormones.

The premise of the book makes it exciting and when I picked this up, I felt that. Sadly, the execution and the characters are a different story.

1 star