Tag Archive | 2013

Book Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

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“The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.”

What I see: This ended up not being what I expected which was surprising to say the least. I did feel it didn’t bring anything new to the table amongst the other books that I have read and it was a bit long. I feel I would like enjoyed it more should the pacing been a bit faster. Other than that I liked how selfish Annaliese was, the reactions to the parents over Annaliese’s reappearance were my favourite bits to read. I also liked how the themes of the book were a bit more adult, and also that I didn’t entirely understand what was going on some of the time. There are some instances where the interpretation is left up to me and I liked that imaginary freedom.

It’s not a quick read, so be prepared to fight the pacing. If your looking for a book that as supernatural mystery to it, romance galore and an ending that will make you ponder life, this is a great choice! 

Book Review: Vortex by S. J. Kincaid

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Please note this is the second book in the Insignia series and does contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book, Insignia.

“The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process. 

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.”

What I see: Hmmmmmm, I really enjoyed the first book, but that new feeling has rubbed off and I feel this sequel kind of coasted through. It was enjoyable, there were a few major things that happened, but I didn’t find it as gripping as the first.

In not so many words, it’s kind of a YA Ender’s Game version of Harry Potter. I don’t want to discredit the book at all, I did like it and was surprised by some of the turn of events, but first book kind of hit everything really hard and now there’s not too much more to expand on. I want the focus to be drawn back and I’m hoping that will occur in the third and final book, that’s currently untitled. 

Book Review: A Midsummer’s Night Scream by R. L. Stine

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Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror: Three young actors lost their lives while the cameras rolled. Production stopped, and people proclaimed the movie was cursed.

Now, sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire’s dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor, and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved.

At first, Claire laughs at Jake’s talk of ghosts and curses. He’s been too busy crushing on her best friend, Delia, or making out with that slut, Annalee, to notice that she’s practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know anyway? This is her big chance to be a star!

But then, Claire runs into a creepy little man named Benny Puckerman, and gets her hands on a real love potion! Unfortunately, the course of true love never did run smooth…

Get ready for laughter to turn into screams as the Grandmaster of Horror, R.L. Stine, takes on the Master of Theater in this modern reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

What I see: Le sigggggggghhhhhhh. I know that people have been super negative on Goodreads about this book, and that’s one of the reasons why I got it as soon as it was published. There are a lot of haters on the Internet and I wanted to see what was fact and what was fiction.

I had also just finished some of Stine’s Goosebumps, so his juvenile writing was fresh in my mind. I was really disappointed by this story. I felt it was a good idea, but it lacked the execution. It just didn’t work. I felt that the snuff film references were too adult for the piece, and yet, all the dialogue and characters acted like they were ten.

There was a huge disconnect with everything. Some scenes were too obvious when others were not obvious enough. The sentences were a lot like Goosebumps, to short, with a two page cliff hanger chapter. It just didn’t come together and flow. I wish it did. The blurb and idea are fun, interesting, but the end delivery isn’t there. It makes me sad, because I am a huge fan of Stine’s work. I hope he keeps at it for YA! I want to read what else he can do. 

Book Review: Scarlett by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet

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The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

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

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

What I see: This was fantastic! What a great second in a series! Full of action, full of adventure, low on love and laced with humor. As the mystery surrounding Cinder is expanded, Scarlet delivers her own story in France. There is nothing fru-fru about this series and I think that’s one of the reason why I’m all for it. Scarlet takes on both Scarlet’s story line and follows Cinder’s as well. Two strong girls that will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Girls that kick butt! Finally!

It’s smart, it’s experimental and at time harsh. I don’t like the sugar coated YA’s. Scarlett stands on it’s own, but is also a fantastic addition to the series. When the world is dystopian, it’s fantastic to have a setting that isn’t America, but acknowledges that the rest of the world still exists. I can’t wait for the third book, Cress, being published in 2014!

Book Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

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Dare to You

**Although this is a sequel, this second in the Pushing the Limits series doesn’t continue with the same characters, but gives minor characters their own show. Find my review for the first book, Pushing the Limits.

Beth Risk is just as her surname describes. The only one capable of looking after her junkie mother with the abusive boyfriend, Beth risks it all to keep her out of jail. Now she is swept from her home, from Isaiah and Noah to a town filled with Stepford wives. A ward of her uncle, a now famed retired baseball star, Beth is forced to forget herself for her uncle in order to keep her mother’s secrets.

Ryan Stone is the heart throb of the baseball team. A start pitcher, he’s as cocky on the field as he is off, and winning dares is his speciality. Everything is lined up in Ryan’s life – pro ball – a life of athletic fandom, and his parents have worked endlessly to present him with blue collar opportunities. But there’s more to Ryan than just ball. He writes, and writes well, so well that college could be a choice in his future if he dares to take it.

A golden boy and a girl from the wrong side of the street. The two have nothing in common except wanting to be themselves. As they are forced to get to know each other will either dare to deny the chemistry that blooms between them?

I am a huge fan of the first book, and perhaps because I loved the first so much I was left feeling a bit disappointed with the second. Why? Well, in Pushing the Limits I feel that McGarry kind of went and took every extreme for her characters. It’s fantastic but where does that leave this book? Clichéd rich parent expectations and actions.

Beth and Ryan are standout characters. I have no fault with them, McGarry is very talented with writing both male and female teenage voices. My issue is with everyone else around Beth and Ryan that I found lacking.

However, perhaps this needed to be the case to allow for Beth and Ryan to truly shine. Both characters did things I didn’t expect (more or less). I kept reading because Beth has a lot of secrets and I love major jock Ryan being a closeted writing nerd. The chemistry between the two is also really hot, so another major win for this romance publisher. They are talented in finding writers that can tone down adult romance on a teenage level.

I can’t wait to read the third book and Harlequin Teen is proving to me one of the best YA romance publishers out there! 

Book Review: The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Williams

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Please note this is the second and final book in the Incarnations series and does contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book, The Alchemy of Forever.

Seraphina continues her story as sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan. She was supposed to finish her life, end everything…until she met Kailey’s next door neighbor Noah. Sera is smitten, but her ex Cyrus is still lurking after her. He’ll do anything to return Sera to the fold, even if it means killing Kailey’s classmates in a man hunt to find Sera…

Sera thought she wanted a final rest, but now her priorities have changed, if Cyrus has taken Noah then his demise is the only answer for her safety. No one can be trusted and Sera lies on edge wondering who is truly who around her. She must find Cyrus before he discovers who she is, and everyone’s life depends on it.

I have to say that I love how this is another two book YA series. They’re really starting to grow on me and I am pleasantly surprised that two is enough. There were a couple of other surprises in this book and I praise Williams for not making her characters cliché.

Sera as a character tries to stay strong, but it’s the lovely bit that is her downfall. I felt her reactions to many plot points were weak and I wish her fiercely willed parts were more prominent. Ironically, I found myself wishing the real Kailey Morgan had more of a voice on the book. I’d be interested to read a prequel of her story as she is quite the fascinating girl that should be written about more in YA.

Overall I enjoyed the series. It hits all the targets for modern day YA with a few more diversity boxes checked, which YA is sorely lacking. For a romance series I am a fan and would recommend this range to anyone looking for a different series to be sucked into for a couple of days. 

Book Review: Reached by Ally Condie

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Please note this is the third book in the Matched series and does contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book, Matched.

For my review on the second book, Crossed.

They are all waiting for the Pilot.

The Pilot will be the one to save them.

Xander, Cassia and Ky are tied together, tighter than ever before. When the Rising makes it’s move and the Pilot stands above all else, is this truly what kind of world they are wishing to create?

But when the unsafe need to be saved, the world runs rampant. With no help near and judgement lurking, it’s a race to find a cure.

People start to die and hope dies with them.

When Ky falls ill, will Cassia have the strength to live without him if they don’t find the cure in time? As Xander continues as the bystander, he must make a choice for his future.

Time is running out.

Welcome to the free world.

I’ve been such a fan of this series, but I felt the finale was clichéd and expected. However, the ending didn’t turn out as I expected, which I think is a good thing. I think Condie gave her hardcore fans what they wanted. She stayed true to her characters and the series, but I can’t help but be left wanting more. Not more in the series, but more of an ending. More drama, more explosions, more something. Not a little perfect Tiffany’s wrapped gift.

I’m glad I stuck through until the end. I have seriously loved how paper becomes much more than just an expensive currency. The limited use of words and how the ability to learn how to write being outlawed are bits of the books that people need to be paying attention to now.

They’re the bits that will become our future if we’re not careful. I do love this series, when you stop and think about the small things within the books, there is so much hidden that we need to be aware of for the future. It’s not as far off as we think.