Friday, August 29, 2014

Prototype by M.D. Waters Review

Title: Prototype
Author: M.D. Waters
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: Archetype, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: The sequel to the bestseller Archetype, Prototype doesn't disappoint--readers who love Emma will love this action-packed, thrilling installment! Wonderful!

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Burke is back. On the heels of the next book--a year and a half--she struggles to find her identity, her family, and a safe place to rest. But when she is drawn back into Tucker's world in an attempt to take down the government, she finds that the demons she was running from are making another appearance.. And if she doesn't figure out what to do soon, getting away from Declan, his company, and her doctors will be the least of her worries..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing--as with the first novel, I was sucked in immediately and couldn't put it down
-I loved Emma even more in the last book in this duology--her devotion to her loved ones, even fiercer than before, drives her to survive and attempt to gain a life of her own--I really enjoyed her character development
-Noah, the young man trying to move on after losing his wife and Emma, but is irresistibly drawn to her regardless
-Adrienne
-The deep, complex, and sexually-charged relationship between Noah and Emma
-Declan, the crazed man who is hiding even more secrets than even Emma knows, who is obsessed with her and will stop at nothing to own her once more
-Foster, Emma's best friend who stands by her through everything--even when secrets abounded that could rock the foundation of his friendship with her
-Leigh and Miles
-The government also took on a deeper, more frightening turn in this novel
-I loved the ending--it did all the characters justice and I was really happy with it

What could've been better:
-I didn't really like Sonya very much in this installment of the series
-At times Emma and Noah's relationship issues took center stage rather than the issue of shutting Burke Enterprises down


Overall, I really enjoyed Prototype--this whole series is one not to be missed. Next on deck: Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Archetype by M.D. Waters Review

Title: Archetype
Author: M.D. Waters
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Series: Archetype, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A fantastic dystopian debut with something for everyone--a hot love triangle, a kickass heroine, a patriarchal society hell-bent on owning women, great pacing--Archetype was a refreshing change! Highly recommended!

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In Emma Burke's world, women are few and far between. Even worse, there are even less women that are fertile. And for the most part, she's happy with her life. Her husband, Declan, powerful, seductive, and charming, has given her everything she's ever wanted. Only problem is, there's a little voice in her head, telling her that it's all wrong. And her nightmares tell her that there is some truth to what that voice is saying. Unwittingly drawn into a frightening web of power, secrets, and lies, Emma must figure out who's telling her the truth, and who she is, because time is running out..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this novel--I was immediately sucked in and I couldn't put it down--twists and turns abounded!
-I loved the way that this novel was narrated--though strange and different, I really enjoyed the style, it made the book really intense
-The chilling new dystopian country in which Emma finds herself--I had chills more than once--fans of The Handmaid's Tale will love this novel
-Emma, the young woman who is trying to uncover the mystery of who she is--docile and passive at first, but who grabs a gun and goes down fighting--I loved her, and I really related to her--her character development was well worth it!
-Declan, the seductive, powerful man who seems to be hiding something sinister under that charming, sexy facade--I really liked him as a character as well
-Tucker, that mysterious figure from Emma's past that initially triggers a rebellion, and a revolution--I really felt for him too
-Dr. Travista, a man who seems to have Emma's best interests in mind, but like Declan, hides something chilling
-Sonya
-Foster--he was actually one of my favorite characters in the whole thing
-The ending--I can't wait to figure out what happens in Prototype!

What could've been better:
-At times it was really hard to follow because the narrative moved so quickly
-I wish more had been explored in the dystopian element of the novel


Overall, Archetype was a great thrill ride--an amazing read! I really liked it. A new favorite. Next on deck: Prototype by M.D. Waters!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel Review

Title: Dust Girl
Author: Sarah Zettel
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Series: The American Fairy, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An enchanting debut about a young half-fairy coming of age, Dust Girl was just a triumph of a little book--I thoroughly enjoyed it! Highly recommended for fans of both genres!


This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Callie LeRoux is a girl who is well-versed in survival. As a half-black, half-white woman in a sleepy, tiny little town in Kansas, all she wants is to just be normal. But when whispers in the dry, dusty air reach Callie's ears, she realizes that she must leave. Drawn into a world of prophecies, dangerous, tempting magic, and worst of all, death, she realizes that she can no longer she is more different than even she ever imagined. And to save herself in a world conspiring to rule her, she must find a way to control the magic in her blood..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this novel--with its enchanting, deep, raw prose, I was completely rapt and couldn't put it down, especially when things began to roll
-Callie, the young woman who evolves from a passive, apathetic main character to a protagonist worth cheering for--I really related to her, and I loved that the character wasn't white
-The dry, dusting setting of the Midwest Dust Bowl--throughout many passages I felt as though I was dying of thirst
-Jack, the boy who inevitably becomes Callie's friend, and is on the run from his own demons--I really liked him as well, even at times I wanted to strangle him
-I also enjoyed the way the author seamlessly wove in the supernatural elements of the story--this book was like a breath of fresh air
-The way the fairies were so like the stories: beautiful but tricky, tempting but with a price that comes far too steep for some of the characters
-Shimmy and Shake
-Callie's grandparents
-Callie's parents, the doomed lovers across worlds that couldn't mingle--I wish more had been said about them in this installment
-The ending--I can't wait until I can get my hands on the next two books!

What could've been better:
-I wish more had been said about Callie's parents and grandparents
-I wish more had also been said about the warring fairy factions

Overall, Dust Girl was a great book, a supernatural adventure of a tale with a lot of heart! Highly recommended. Next on deck: Archetype: A Novel by M.D. Waters!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Color Song by Victoria Strauss Review

Title: Color Song
Author: Victoria Strauss
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Series: Passion Blue, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An enchanting, delightful read about art and magic in Renaissance Italy, I really enjoyed Color Song--I look forward to reading more from this promising author!

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Guiliana, the bastard daughter of a wealthy Italian noble, has had enough of Santa Marta, the convent in which she unwillingly took vows. But when her master dies, and a mysterious, valuable secret is revealed and put into her hands, she runs away. Forced to find herself work, she disguises herself as a boy. For the connection between Guiliana and her passion for art is a nearly unbreakable one.. And she realizes that she may have to sacrifice all she holds dear to finally stay true to herself..

What I enjoyed:
-The pacing was breakneck--once the journey began, I really couldn't put it down!
-I loved the rich, yet sometimes bleak, setting of Renaissance Italy--it felt as though I was really there with the main character, making the journey with her
-I liked the element of magic in this series--I loved the way the main character could hear the colors
-Guilana, the main character, who goes so far to pursue her love for her art--I really enjoyed her character development, as she became a strong protagonist
-Bernardo, the young man that she falls for--their banter was enjoyable throughout the whole novel
-Sofia
-Humilita
-Guiliana's new master
-I loved the ending--it was beautiful and it did justice to all the characters

What could've been better:
-Matteo
-I didn't really understand how the spirits and magic tied into the history of the novel


Overall, I really enjoyed this novel--it was just wonderful! Highly recommended for fans of Italian historical fiction! Next on deck: Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dark Hope by Monica McGurk Review

Title: Dark Hope
Author: Monica McGurk
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Series: Archangel Prophecies, book one
Star Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Though I didn't really didn't far into this book, it just seemed to me like Twilight, with the vampire component replaced with angels. This book was just not for me.

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hope Carmichael just wants to start over. Over ten years after a mysterious abduction that ended with a grotesque tattoo-like brand on her neck, she goes to live with her mother, hoping for a fresh start. Happy to be away from her overly vigilant father, she finds herself mysteriously attracted to Michael, a boy who seems to know more than what he's telling.. And Hope realizes now more than ever that she may just not be normal..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked the premise of this novel--a young woman and an archangel falling in love, as I love anything that uses angels skillfully
-Hope, the young woman who is mysteriously abducted at three, and who seems to be scarred in ways that weren't expanded upon

What could've been better:
-I couldn't really finish this; I wasn't even a hundred pages in, as it seemed like just a Twilight copy with angels substituted for the vampire component
-I really didn't like the fact that Hope and Michael had an immediate attraction
-The pacing needed work--it was good in the beginning, but it was far too slow for my taste


I just didn't like Dark Hope--it didn't even seem to have potential. Next on deck: Color Song by Victoria Strauss!

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond Review

Title: A Song for Ella Grey
Author: David Almond
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy?
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: I liked the idea of this novel--an Orpheus and Eurydice retelling!--but the execution was very sloppy as well as confusing. A good try, but I just wasn't into it.

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ella and Claire are best friends--as close as two people can possibly be. Claire is a lot in love with Ella and always has been, and who wouldn't be? She's a beautiful dreamer who loves everyone she meets. It's always been just the two of them, and always will be. That is, until the mysterious Orpheus comes and sweeps Ella off her feet. Swept away by grief and jealousy, it is nothing compared to how she feels when Ella is gone from her forever, and Claire mourns her friend the only way she knows how: by telling her story..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the premise of this novel--I love retellings, especially those of Greek mythology!
-Claire, the young woman who seemed to be in love with her best friend and who narrates the story
-Ella, the beautiful dreamer who loves Claire too, though it never seems to be stated in the novel
-Orpheus, the grave, mysterious man who seems to be full of secrets, who comes between them

What could've been better:
-I didn't finish this novel, I only got about halfway through because there was no information properly shared
-The pacing needed real work--there seemed to be a lot of buildup with no payoff
-It took me a while to get used to the British style of writing, and it made everything more confusing
-I wish Claire had actually said that she was in love with Ella--there was a lot of contact between the girls that wasn't explored
-Though I liked Orpheus, it felt like I was almost halfway through the book and there was little to no explanation about him
-I liked the way the book hinted at something supernatural, but I was really frustrated when it wasn't expanded on

Overall, I think A Song for Ella Grey was a valiant attempt, but it just really fell short for me. Next on deck: Dark Hope by Monica McGurk!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ghosting by Edith Pattou Review

Title: Ghosting
Author: Edith Pattou
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A rich contemporary mystery told in free verse from multiple points of view, I highly enjoyed Ghosting--a wonderful debut perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins!

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Five teenagers, some illegal substances, romance, and a little fun.. Sounds like a normal night, right? Wrong. When the night goes horribly awry, the group of kids find their lives changed forever, and the secrets they try so hard to hide are exposed.. But with foolish actions, one, or more of them, may not make it out of a such a  reckless night alive..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this novel--it was breakneck and as the suspense ratcheted up, I couldn't put it down--it was perfect for a thriller
-I liked the style in which the story was told, contemporary free-verse, reminiscent of international bestseller Ellen Hopkins
-The multiple points of view added depth to the novel, and added to the high-paced suspense
-I also enjoyed all of the characters, especially Emma, Walter, Maxie, Felix, Brendan, and Anil--I liked the way they all seemed normal on the surface, but their hidden facets were exposed throughout the novel
-I liked the way the mystery kept me frantically turning pages
-I really, really liked the ending, especially, because it did justice to all the characters and was very satisfying

What could've been better:
-At times it was hard to keep up with the novel
-Felix's parents, particularly his father
-Brendan's father
-I would've liked more information divulged in Walter's background

I really, really liked Ghosting--highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and Ellen Hopkins! Next on deck: A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh Review

Title: Whispers in Autumn
Author: Trisha Leigh
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian Fiction
Series: The Last Year, book one
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An attempt at a debut novel involving aliens, first love, secrets, and a new world order, I feel like Whispers in Autumn overshot--though there were some redeeming qualities, this title wasn't spectacular, but it wasn't terrible, either.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Althea knows she isn't normal. In her world, governed by the alien Others, everyone around her is a content, mindless robot. She knows she's different, but she doesn't know why, or how she got that way. But when she meets Lucas, a boy she feels unexpectedly but irresistibly drawn to, she realizes that she may not be the only one who is different from other humans. And if she wants to find her origins and dig deeper, she just might have to try to overthrow the new world order to do it..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked the plot of this novel--I love fiction about aliens!
-Althea, the young woman who knows she's different, and she finds that she just has to dig deeper into her origins
-Lucas, the boy who mirrors Althea and is drawn to her, and his relationship with her--their romance, tentative and shy at first, engaged me greatly
-The mysterious Others, who have subtly taken over the Earth and are much more sinister than they seem to be
-Deshi, the boy who seems like Lucas and Althea, but there is something distinctly wrong with him
-Cadi and Ko, the Others who sacrificed everything to keep Althea and Lucas safe, quite literally
-The ending--I liked the way it kept an opening for another novel

What could've been better:
-The pacing--It was really slow for the first ninety percent of the novel
-Althea, who seemed not just to be special, but extra special--it felt a little tedious
-There was a lot of buildup, but I felt like for most of the book I was asking more questions than receiving answers, and it left me unsatisfied
-I really didn't understand how the Others worked--I would've really liked more information

Overall, Whispers in Autumn wasn't bad, but it wasn't an absolute favorite, either. Next on deck: Ghosting by Edith Pattou!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Glimpse of Darkness by Nicole DelaCroix Review

Title: Glimpse of Darkness
Author: Nicole DelaCroix
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Chronicles of the Cursed, volume one
Star Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A valiant attempt at a debut novel, I tried to enjoy Glimpse of Darkness--with promises of angels, romance, and action--but unfortunately, the book was bogged down by hideous editing, an aesthetically displeasing cover and type, and a lot of errors--I really, really tried, but this book just was not for me.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Did not finish at 57 pages.

Charlotte "Charlie" Bennett is a normal girl living in remote, dark Alaska, trying to make ends meet. But when her father disappears, her life changes forever. With the appearance of a mysterious, handsome young man named Daniel, that she feels an almost instantaneous and intense attraction to, she realizes that her whole world is about to be thrown into chaos. Trying to believe the stranger that came into her life, she sets out on a journey to find out the origins of her past, and in the process, learns that she may be in more danger than she could've ever imagined..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked what little of the plot I could follow, though it wasn't much
-I liked the mystery of Charlie's father--I was really wondering where he was
-The cold, remote setting of Hyder, Alaska

What could've been better:
-The cover was not very pleasing, nor was it eye-catching
-The editing in this novel seriously needed work--there were no margins, the spacing was really off, the type did not looked somewhat elementary, and even the punctuation was incorrect in several spots
-I didn't really like the main character, Charlie--it seemed like she was a stock character and had no depth
 -Daniel, too, seemed to be just the handsome man that Charlie was mysteriously drawn to, and their sudden attraction didn't really make any sense
-It seemed to be supernatural but I couldn't really figure out how it tied into the plot

I really tried to love this book--I really wanted to--but I couldn't get past all the grammatical errors and the general aesthetic faux pas of the novel. Next on deck: Enchantress by Maggie Anton!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen Review

Title: Juliet's Nurse
Author: Lois Leveen
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A different take on the classic Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, Leveen offers us a slightly more humorous take on the tragedy, from the eyes of the woman Juliet was close to--her nurse. A wonderfully researched novel, laced with humor and darkness. Highly recommended to those who love the classic.

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Juliet's nurse is a character who, despite getting a lot of lines in the famous play, readers don't know much about. Leveen breathes life into her and forms her into Angelica: a bawdy, humorous older woman who has seen more than her fair share of suffering in her life. Angelica is happy as she can possibly be in the wealthy Cappeletti house, despite it all. In raising Juliet, she finds delight. But when her girl grows into a young woman and falls in love, she finds that even she may not be able to shield Juliet from the bitterness of life.. And if she isn't careful, it just might take her as well..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked the way that the reader was offered a front-row seat to an age-old classic, from a highly enjoyable narrator
-Angelica herself, the woman who has suffered so much pain--and yet finds joy in raising Juliet from the first--I really enjoyed seeing the play from the point of view from the sidelines, and through her--I deeply felt for her
-Pietro, Angelica's sweet, gentle bear of a husband
-Juliet, the young woman that falls for the wrong man, and ends up paying the price for it in the end
-Tybalt, the hot-headed young man who wants more than anything to please his family, war-mongering and fighting just to please his father
-Paris
-Romeo
-I enjoyed the ending as well, sad and bittersweet, doing justice to the play

What could've been better:
-The pacing could've done with some work--I really felt that most of the book revolved around Juliet's childhood, and it was a little slow
 -Juliet's parents
-Friar Lorenzo

Overall, Juliet's Nurse was an enjoyable read, and I really liked it. Next on deck: Chronicles of the Cursed by Nicole DelaCroix!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Abroad: A Novel by Katie Crouch Review

Title: Abroad: A Novel
Author: Katie Crouch
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A novel that takes the sensational Amanda Knox case and rides with it, Abroad promised much: a grisly murder, sex, lies--all in the lush, seductive country of Italy--but unfortunately, failed to deliver as a thriller--I was really rather hoping for more.

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tabitha Deacon, an Ireland native, just wants to get out on her own in Italy--promising sex, adventure, and self-discovery. Naive, shy, and timid, Taz falls under the spell of three seductive young women: Jenny, Luka, and Anna. Drawn into a world she has been closed off from until now, she relishes her role as friend, hanger-on, sidekick.. Accomplice? She discovers that the girls have secrets, secrets so invisible and deadly that she realizes that by the time she sees the danger, she may not be able to escape it..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked the premise of this novel a lot: Amanda Knox's case has always interested me and I was looking forward to more information, albeit in a fictional format
-Taz, the young woman who, sick of being a wallflower, gets drawn into a web of sex, lies, drugs, and murder--and ends up paying the price--I sympathized a lot with her, because everyone longs for acceptance
-Jenny, the coldhearted villain of most of the novel
-Luka, the young woman who has a skewed moral compass and is trying to come to grips with something she hides even from herself
-Anna, the nicest of the trio, caught up in something she doesn't want to be involved with--I really felt for her
-Colin
-Claire
-The ending--it was creepy
-The sacrifices throughout the novel

What could've been better:
-The pacing needed work--I feel it didn't move fast enough for me
-What I love about thrillers is that they keep the action going, but there was really no foreshadowing
-There was no buildup to the actual murder
-I wish more had been said about Claire and Taz's relationship--I would've liked to have it explored more

This book was okay. It was good but nothing spectacular--I was really expecting more. Next on deck: Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott Review

Title: Shadows on the Moon
Author: Zoe Marriott
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A lush, dark, romantic fantasy retelling of Cinderella, Shadows on the Moon completely seduced me--with deeply nuanced characters, well-thought out worldbuilding, and a fantastic premise! Highly recommended for people looking for a deep fairy-tale retelling.

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Can you imagine your family being taken from you in one fell sweep? Being taken from your home and be groomed as a well-behaved daughter? Suzume's life was destroyed after her family was cut down by the government for treason. When her mother remarries, she finds she is living a luxurious life, but at the hands of her stepfather and mother, she suffers great pain. Fleeing for a second chance at a life with happiness, Suzume transforms into Yue, the most lovely courtesan in the land of the Moon.. And this young woman, cursed and blessed with extraordinary power, must decide what she will sacrifice for revenge.. For her very heart hangs in the balance..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the way this book took place in a seductive fantasy world of medieval Japan
-The gorgeous prose that sounded more in place with an ancient fairy tale than a book
-The pacing of this novel was breakneck--I couldn't put it down, for it completely captured my imagination
-Suzume, the young woman who loses everything, and risks it all to bring about revenge--she was deeply nuanced and I really related to her, especially the darker parts better left hidden, toward the end of the book
-Akira
-Youta
-Otieno, the beautiful boy from a distant land that falls for Suzume, completely and utterly
-I also enjoyed the way the tale mirrored Cinderella: it did justice to a classic while maintaining its own style and flair
-The ending--I was crying, it made me so emotional, and I like how it did justice to all of the characters--it's really important to me that an ending it satisfying

What could've been better:
-At times I was a little impatient with Suzume's self-pity
-Suzume's mother--I was really angry with her for much of the book
-Terayama-san

I really, really enjoyed Shadows on the Moon! Highly recommended to fans of fantasy/relatable heroines! Next on deck: Abroad: A Novel by Katie Crouch!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh Review

Title: Lark Rising
Author: Sandra Waugh
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Guardians of Tarnec, book one
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A lush, gorgeous fantasy with fantastic world-building, swoon-worthy romance, magic and danger around every corner, Lark Rising completely enchanted me--highly recommended!

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

In the gorgeous land of Tarnec, evil is commonplace. But when Lark Carew receives a sign from nature to go and find the Riders to protect her village, she begins to realize that though she longs for the simple life of a Healer, fate has other things in store for her: She is the Guardian of Life, the only person in the whole of Tarnec able to retrieve it from the evil Breeders. Forced to undertake a dangerous quest, she finds that love may not be too far away, and that she must find strength in herself if she is to save those she loves..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the world-building of this novel--it was absolutely fantastic, rich, and real--it was well-thought out and it made the story even better
-The pacing of this novel was breakneck--I really couldn't put it down when I started reading it
-Lark, the young woman who is at first timid, quiet, and overall almost plain, but her character development was worth it--she was a great hero and I really enjoyed her
-Gharain, the boy that Lark falls for, and sees as a threat, almost--the chemistry between him and Lark was electric
-The magical elements that made the novel even more punchy--it was a great magical adventure I really enjoyed
-Evie
-Twig
-Emera
-I especially liked the way the good and evil balance worked in Waugh's unique world
-The ending--it was perfect

What could've been better:
-There was absolutely nothing I didn't love about this gorgeous fantasy tale! Wonderful, I can't wait for more from this promising author!

Overall, Lark Rising was just perfect--a story that I will treasure forever, and a world I love to live in! Next on deck: Secret of Omordion by Nande Orcel!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Amity by Micol Ostow Review

Title: Amity
Author: Micol Ostow
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Horror
Series: Amity, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A deliciously creepy, gory horror story sure to give even the bravest readers chills and thrills, Amity delivers--an amazing, spine-tingling debut worthy of even Stephen King alumni!

This book was given to me by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Amity: A creepy, broken-down house that Connor's and Gwen's family bought cheaply in town. But Amity doesn't seem to be just a house: It seems to be a being. Connor's dreams are haunted by blood, murder, and darkness. And the most disturbing thing is that he kind of likes it. And Gwen, ten years later, can feel the spirit living inside her house. Doors slamming, lights flickering, and worse still, her brother, Luke, is acting strange. As the house fights back, struggling to claim them all, Gwen realizes that she alone is all that stands between the worst kind of vengeful spirit, and her loved ones..

What I enjoyed:
-The pacing of this novel was insane, I couldn't put it down, especially when the creepy stuff started happening
-I loved the creepy, moody setting of the house of Amity, giving me Hollywood worthy chills
-I also enjoyed the alternating times and points of view--it was more than enough to ratchet up the creepy factor of this amazing book
-Connor, the boy who ends up too close for comfort to his own demons, and to Amity herself
-Gwen, the girl who just wants to be normal--for me, what made this book so scary was hers and Connor's inevitable, frightening slide into madness
-Aunt Ro
-Abel
-I loved the way the author used documents to add to the history of the characters and the house itself
-Amity herself, the frightening, creepy house full of restless, vengeful spirits who are out for blood
-I loved the way the author kept ratcheting up the creepy factor--by the time the end came, I couldn't remain still in my seat
-Jules, the girl who inevitably saves Gwen's family from Amity's dark clutches
-The ending--I honestly can't wait until the next book in this series comes out!

What could've been better:
-This book was by no means perfect
-I wish more had been said about Gwen's psychotic break
-I didn't really like either of Connor's parents
-Gwen's parents

Overall, I absolutely loved Amity--a creepy, utterly delightful thrill ride! Next on deck: Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh!

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday Review

Title: Of Monsters and Madness
Author: Jessica Verday
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Horror
Series: Of Monsters and Madness, book one
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: This book intrigued me with its idea, but its plotline seemed like a completely copy of The Madman's Daughter--except The Madman's Daughter was so much better.

This book was given to me by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Annabel Lee is going to live with her father from Siam, after the death of her mother. Desperate to please the father she's never known, she meets her father's two assistants, one dark and mysterious, the other gentle and kind. She hears of a series of murders--all of which her father might be implicated in. And as she digs deeper into her heritage, and her father's work, she finds that darkness may be so much closer than she could've ever imagined..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the lush, wonderful Gothic setting of this novel--it completely captured my imagination
-Annabel, the gentle girl who wants nothing more than to please her father, but at the same time, wanting to know her heritage
-Edgar, the mysterious young man who is so much more than he seems

What could've been better:
-I didn't finish the book--I stopped reading at 70 pages because the pacing was so slow
-As I said before, this book seemed like a complete copy of the previously reviewed Madman's Daughter, but much more poorly executed
-This book was just mediocre, and I didn't really like it

I liked the idea of Of Monsters and Madness, but the execution was subpar. Next on deck: Amity by Micol Ostow!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Unravel by Imogen Howson Review

Title: Unravel
Author: Imogen Howson
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Linked, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Even better than the first book, Unravel completely captivated me! There were some minor errors, but overall this is a book worth reading!

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

After the horrifying aftermath of the previous events in the book, Lin and Lissa return to a planet wracked even more by unrest, rebellion, and danger. As well as having new abilities manifest, the girls struggle to deal with the backlash of their actions: the consequential exposure of Spares, and what a corrupt government struggled so hard to find. But when tragedy strikes and a secret about the Spares is revealed, the girl must decide what they are willing to sacrifice for their cause.. Even if it happens to be each other..


What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this book--it picked up smoothly where it left off, and I couldn't put it down!
-Lissa, the girl struggling hard to get used to being a twin, with psychic connections, in fact, and trying to find her own identity, especially in her relationship with Lin and Cadan
-Lin, the broken young woman who wants nothing more than to do what it takes to get acknowledged as human--even if she has to bend the rules a little to do so
-Cadan, the sweet, loving young woman who comes to find that not only is the world changing, his relationships with those around him as well
-I also really enjoyed the way Lin and Elissa's relationship was intimately explored and exposed
-I loved the other characters that were introduced, particularly Zee and Ady
-I loved the way the book was constantly twisting and turning--I was breathless the entire time I was reading it
-The ending was perfect--it did justice to everyone in the book

What could've been better:
-At times I really felt that Lissa's constant insecurity about her relationship with Cadan was taking up the whole narrative and distracted from the storyline
-Bruce, though I liked him better at the end
-Lissa's parents, particularly her mother

 Overall, I really enjoyed Unravel and Linked as well! A series worth checking out, especially for science fiction fans! Next on deck: Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Linked by Imogen Howson Review

Title: Linked
Author: Imogen Howson
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Linked, book one
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A new novel seemingly with everything: psychic connections, twin sisters, space adventures, romance, and secrets--Linked promised a lot, but unfortunately, there were some errors that kept me from fully enjoying the story.

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Lissa has been having frightening visions. Visions of a young woman who looks exactly like her. And her parents, at the end of their rope, consent to do an operation on her to stop them. But on the night of her procedure, she realizes that these dreams--these visions--are real. And the girl in them happens to be her sister, her twin. Forced to protect her, Lissa leaves everything she knows behind.. And in doing so, realizes that the danger goes far beyond what she can see..

What I enjoyed:
-I liked the premise of this novel, a pair of twins connected by a telepathic link, on the run from a corrupt government
-Lissa, the girl who risks her life and everything she knows to protect the sister she had no idea even existed
-Lin, the strange girl who doesn't know the world like we do, driven by instincts she cannot control
-Cadan
-The pacing of the novel was good
-I liked the ending, and how it left an opening for a sequel

What could've been better:
-I couldn't really imagine the strange, futuristic world that the characters lived in, and it made the book difficult to get through
-Bruce
-Lissa's parents
-Stew

Overall, Linked was a good book--not terrible, but not spectacular, either. Next on deck: Unravel by Imogen Howson!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Feuds by Avery Hastings Review

Title: Feuds
Author: Avery Hastings
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction/Romance
Series: Feuds, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: An explosive debut, Feuds completely delivers--a deceptive utopian society, a strong main character, and a forbidden, knee-melting love story--I was completely captivated! Really looking forward to the sequel!

This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Davis Morrow is a Prior--a perfect specimen of the new generation. There is no sickness, disease, or violence. Her world is perfectly aligned. But when she meets Cole, an "Imp"--or "Imperfect", the opposite of her and Priors themselves, Davis realizes that her world is not as perfect as it likes to pretend. And when her friends are dying of a deadly new disease called Narxis, she realizes that Cole may be her only hope.. And that he just might be the boy she's been waiting for all along..

What I enjoyed:
-I loved the pacing of this novel--it was breakneck from the beginning and I couldn't put it down
-The world that Davis and Cole live in, perfect on the surface but truly chilling when you dig down deep
-Davis, the young woman who seems to singlehandedly discover that her world isn't as safe as she'd like to think it is--watching her grow and develop into a strong young woman was really fun and engaging
-Cole, the bad boy from the other side of the tracks--literally--fighting to save his family and falling for a girl who is light-years away from him in every way--I do believe I fell for him as hard as Davis did
-The sweet, passionate romance between them
-I liked the way the romance countered the thrilling, scary escalation of Narxis--it really created a nice balance of the whole book
-The hints that Davis herself was not all she seemed--I can't wait for the sequel!

What could've been better:
-I didn't like Parson Abel, Davis's father--in fact I really didn't like any of the Priors in the novel except for Davis
-The ending
-I wish more had been said about Davis near the end--now I'm hanging by a thread! I need more!

Overall, I really enjoyed Feuds--a truly stunning first novel! Next on deck: Linked by Imogen Howson!