Monday, June 27, 2016

Core by Teshelle Combs


I really liked this book.
It was funny, and sweet, and it was interesting.
I did have a few problems with it, which I will get into in a moment.
I loved how tough Ava was, but it bothered me how much she was unable to open up. And for someone with trust issues, she seemed to trust a little too easily at times.
I adored Cale, he was so cute when he was being protective of her (at the times when it wasn’t warranted). It bugged me that everyone was so quick to assume that sweet, honest Cale had committed the crime he was accused of, his own father disowning him without asking him whether or not it was true.
I did like the Anders, although we didn’t really get to know them all that well. Rory was probably my favorite, aside from Cale. Karma kind of annoyed me that she was so analytical all the time, and yet didn’t seem inclined to offer her opinion very often.
I felt like she could have been a really cool character, but at times it felt like she was just there to provide cold, mechanical observations and information, but the way it was handled was well done, so I didn’t not like her.
Cameron was about the same, he is probably my second favorite (or third, after Cale), as his coldness had a humor about it at times that was lacking in Karma. And I loved when he spoke with Cale, their game.
(And can we just talk about the scene where Cameron and Cale were taking turns making the bouncer at the Cave uncomfortable? I laughed so hard at that. Made me love them even more)

And now onto the things that bugged me:

1. As mentioned above, how come no one gave Cale the benefit of the doubt? Just believing the charges instantly, as his own father did. I know the charges are sort of explained at the end, but it still bothered me.
2.  The pacing felt kind of inconsistent at times, one moment they are just meeting, but in the next scene they act as though they have known each other for ages. Literally the next day Ava goes over to his house and he pulls her onto the bed with him and falls back asleep, and she just lays there and goes with it. At least she mentioned how weird it was, which I felt was the author’s way of excusing the actions at times.
3. The fight scenes. The small skirmishes and the minor battles were detailed enough to be pictured, yet the big fight scenes like the one at the Grand Nest was glossed over, as were a few others.
And that may have been due to whether or not the author was comfortable with writing fight scenes, didn’t like doing them, or just wasn’t confident in them, considering how few fight scenes there actually were.
If so, I can respect that.

There were a few typos throughout, mainly towards the beginning, which didn’t take away from the story at all, I just thought I’d mention them.

Overall, I really liked this book and I look forward to reading more about Cale and Ava in the future, as I am really curious as to where their story will go.

I am just sorry that it has taken me this long to read it. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander

 Yay! Now I can ace my OWLs lol

This was a really fun, easy read.
I loved learning about all the Fantastic Beasts, though I was a little surprised that Boggart wasn't included, and Harry and Ron's entries were funny :D

I recommend this to HP fans who want to become even more immersed in the world.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Water is Wide by Laura Vosika

This is a hard book to review, so I’m not going to go into too much detail.

The writing was good, although there were some error’s, but there are always at least a couple, however some of them did snap me out of the story, for instance there was a line that said “We cannot we allow it!”

And there are some things that I just didn’t understand, for instance, how does one lower their eyebrows? Because near the end of the book, the author became quite fond of that phrase, as well as taking every available opportunity to mention the fact that Amy is pregnant, and yes that’s important, but I feel like it was mentioned a little more than was necessary, and at times, the way it was mentioned just felt like the author couldn’t decide what else to write.

And as for the format, it was a little unusual. The fact that it jumps time periods was fine, even the fact that it jumped perspective was okay, if a little confusing at times. What bothered me, and it didn’t even bother me that much I just thought I should mention it, was that for most of the book, it was in third person, but for the scenes that were from Amy’s perspective, it was in first person, and I didn’t understand why.

I do believe that the biggest problem that I had with this book wasn’t a problem with the book itself, but for the fact that it’s the third book in a series, and I haven’t read the first two, so whenever things were mentioned that had occurred in the previous books, I was left in the dark.

(I hadn’t realized that I needed to read them in order, though. I had thought it was more of a companion book series, than a chronological one, but I was wrong, and that was my fault.)

I didn’t really get close to any of the characters, and those that I did tended to be the side characters, like Allene, Red, as well as Eamonn, who was probably my favorite.

There were a few other problems that I had with it, but those were mainly that I didn't understand what the characters were saying when they began talking about the music stuff lol

Overall, it was an OK book, not horrible, but not my favorite.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

I was finally able to read this book, and unfortunately, I ended up not liking it as much as I had hoped.

Okay, so, this is a tricky one to review, but I am going to do the best that I can.

Overall, it was an OK book.
I didn't love it, but I also didn't hate it
The writing itself was if-y in places, and it got inconsistent and left me confused a lot of the time, and I felt as though I had to try and figure out what was happening, with little success in some areas.
But near the end of the book, the author seemed to have found her rhythm and the confusing moments were less frequent.

The characters were difficult to get close to, and I don't think I was every really invested in them the way I probably should have been.
And the MC, Grace Delarua, seemed sometimes out of place, as a spot of color in a world of gray, seeing as how everyone else kept their emotions in check most of the time, but she always let her emotions come through, either consciously or not.
I did laugh at some moments, mainly things said by the MC, Lian, or at moments involving her and Dllenahkh (How does one pronounce that name, anyway?)

It was obvious from the first chapter, if not the first page that the two MC's, Delarua and Dllenahkh would end up together.
And it came across with more of a "get on with it" feel than the 'will they? won't they?' thing.
Not sure if that was the intention or not.

I did not like the overall plot. The idea that their whole adventure revolved around them finding wives for the surviving men bothered me.

All in all, I felt in the beginning it was a big disjointed and inconsistent in places, while in others there was the glimmer of talent.

I didn't like the plot, but the characters were OK, if a bit bland in places, but no less enjoyable in others.

An index would have been nice, seeing as how the characters would reference something from their world and give no translation as to what it could be the equivalent of in ours.
As well as a pronunciation guide for the trickier names, such as Dllenahkh or Ntshune, just to name a few.

And I will finish this review by stating that I don't think this was my cup of tea, and I wish the author good luck in all future endeavors. :)

I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Review

This is going to be a spoiler free review.

This was probably THE most INTENSE book I have EVER read! It was non-stop action from page 1, and the formatting made sure that it was a quick read. It is next to impossible to put this book down.

I loved the characters, the plot was interesting (I’ve never read a story like this before), and that FORMAT, can we just take a moment to admire that? I have never HEARD of a book that has done a format quite like this one.

And yeah. I’m not sure what else to say except WOW!

Some moments verged on scary (the moments with those infected with the virus were down right spine-chillng), but for the most part, it was just non-stop action, with a few moments in between where things BARELY calmed down.

 I will DEFINITELY be getting book 2, Gemina.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre Review

I really wanted to like this book, I really did. But there were so many things that annoyed me that it was, unfortunately, beyond saving.
The writing was inconsistent and choppy in places and the characters were hard to relate to.

                                                WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Like stated above, the writing was inconsistent: sometimes it was good, other times it needed work.
There were odd phrasings and you could tell where the edits had occurred, and where they were needed.
There was a line in the book that I just can’t get over, I know that it was only once, but there were a few lines like these in other places, though not like this:
“It was a different from the buildings that surrounded it, more beautiful and with rounded points atop the windows. Most of them hung in jagged shards, and it had been marked with white painted that identified it as claimed territory.”

You couldn’t have made them relatable? I know they are in a dystopian world, but really? I couldn’t relate to Deuce, who, only until the middle part of the book realized that her Enclave had been keeping secrets and lying to her.
And then when they got Topside, she finally started to realize just how much she had been lied to.
I think the reason that Deuce bothered me so much is due to the fact that most YA (and especially Dystopian) protagonists are unhappy with their situation, they are always looking for something different, or they are more adventurous and see more for themselves then when they are dealt, unlike Deuce, who was quite content to live out her life in ignorance and blindly following the Enclaves rules.
The opposite of Fade, who is our other protagonist, and I have to say, I did like him better because he didn’t blindly do as he was told, but he annoyed me also because he fell into himself too easily when something happened. Banner was killed, he fell into himself and blamed Deuce for her death, Pearl died, he fell into himself, and at the end there is still an apparent rift between them, because of Stalker, who is a character that I feel was just added to create an unnecessary love triangle.
Fade and Deuce initially clash, but over time bond, and I don’t know if they are supposed to be in love yet or not, I honestly don’t know. It seems like that’s the plan, but Fade never opens up, and Deuce doesn’t know how to interact with a romantic interest, so most of their scenes where I guess they are supposed to be falling in love or something were awkward.
Then it kind of went downhill even farther with the introduction of Stalker, who, as stated above, I felt was an unnecessary character, as he seemed to be there just to be the opposite of Fade, mainly in appearance.
Deuce admires the fighter in him, but other than that, I don't see anything that indicates she has any other feelings for him, in fact, seeing as how he had 'claimed' her when she was taken by his gang to be a 'Breeder', you'd think she'd have more of a problem with him joining them, like Tegan did, and even her protests didn't last long.
And I don't even know what to say about Tegan, you sympathize with her character, but other than that, there isn't any real growth, or anything to really add substance to the friendship between Deuce and Tegan. She's just kind of there.

The plot was kind of slow to get going, nothing actually happened until the middle of the book when Deuce and Fade took the blame for one of Deuce's friends, who had been accused of 'hoarding', which she knew he was innocent of, and was shunned as a result and forced to go Topside, where you'd think things would pick up, but no. Things seemed to drag a bit Topside as well, and then they got attacked by a gang, the Wolves, twice. And I didn't care.
Deuce was taken to be a 'Breeder', and is claimed by the leader of the Wolves, Stalker, and Fade was taken to be hunted for sport.
This is where she meets Tegan, who had also been taken a Breeder some time previously.
And, after escaping, they literally run into Fade and, after taking out a great deal of the Wolves, who, as it turns out, were initiates, basically, they run.
After meeting up with a girl, Pearl, that Fade knew from his past, they locate a library where, not too long later, they are once again attacked by the Wolves, who are then attacked by the intelligent Freaks that had been encountered previously, where Pearl, who had been abducted by the Wolves, is killed.
And, this is where the book lost me, and I realized that there was no hope: they let Stalker join them. SERIOUSLY? It wasn't even a long discussion, it took ONE PAGE! And only Tegan protested.
And then Deuce on the next page, after this had been decided observes of Tegan: "Tegan hunched her shoulders, tension in the lines of her body. She seemed upset with Fade's decision." YA THINK?!?

Okay, I'm going to end this review here because I wrote it out previously, and it got WAY too ranty lol 

The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay by Lisa Shafer Review

First off, I want to say that there will be spoilers in this review, so you have been warned.

The writing was good, it had a nice flow to it.
I thought that the playlists at the beginning of each chapter was a unique thing. I liked it, especially when I recognized some of the songs lol.

And now, unfortunately, for the things that bothered me a bit:

I felt that the characters seemed kind of 2 dimensional. You had the popular clique, and the outcast, and the caring, protective aunt.
But I felt that Nerissa was being portrayed more as a stereotypical 14 year old, than as an actual character.
She was obsessed with getting this one role in her school play, and she had been dressing up in different costumes every day for a year in the hopes that the drama teacher would recognize that she could stand out, later finding out that this backfired and had her assigned as the 'Costume Mistress', later deciding/realizing that the drama teacher would never have put her in the play because she wasn't 'pretty' like her nemesis, Gina, who, beyond the 'perfect, mean girl' personality, she had no real substance either, neither did her followers, who never really got much focus, aside from Cori, who was singled out from the beginning as being a former friend of Nerissa's who turned on her to impress Gina.
And while I did sympathize with Nerissa's problems, I just felt that she focused too much on comparing herself to others, dreaming about the 'hottest' guy in school (Also, whenever she mentioned his name, Braden, she would always add a 'sigh' near his name), and being the lead in the play, which she thought would finally get her noticed.
And while, it seems she does display several characteristics of your average teenager, I just felt that she didn't display anything beyond that, which was disappointing.

This is kind of two-sided, because I thought that having the mystery inter-woven and kind of seeping through Nerissa’s obsessive psyche was interesting and well done, but her motivation for wanting to figure out what’s been happening annoyed me. She only wanted to solve the mystery of who’s ‘haunting’ Gina and her groupies, as well as the other popular girls in her school, simply to expose Gina as the culprit and therefore get the lead in the school play.
However, I found this rationalization irritating, as it fed into her obsession with getting the lead and one-upping Gina.

Overall, it wasn't the best story I've ever read, but also not the worst.
The author has a clear voice, and it's possible that this just wasn't my cup of tea.