Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review - Temping Fate

Temping Fate
Esther M. Friesner
3.5/5 Stars

I was in the mood for something light and fluffy and Temping Fate certainly delivered. The writing was fun and quirky and I finished it in an evening.

Due to the fact that the book was fairly short, there were some aspects of it that could have been fleshed out a little bit more. The one-on-one interaction between her sister and her parents, for example.

Despite the shortness of the book (and although there are no sequels), I would honestly watch a TV show based on the ideas in the book. The basis is that the gods and goddesses (especially from the Greek Mythos) need temps to help them with their big work loads. The protagonist, Ilana, and her co-workers all seem to have really interesting personalities that I would enjoy watching on a weekly basis as they deal with their mystical jobs and immortal employers.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light read after reading something a lot heavier and more in depth. Sort of a pallet cleanser, if you will. Especially if you're a fan of the Percy Jackson books, this would make a great follow-up read.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Haul

I needed to get out of the house today - pregnant woman cabin fever! So the hubby and I headed to the local Value Village and I picked up a few books pour moi!

Three of them are YA fiction and the other is a non-fiction book on wee folk, which is going in my ever-growing collection of books on the topic.

The other three are:

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - It's the second book in the Hex Hall series, but I sadly don't have the first one yet, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled. Poor lovely book will have to sit on the shelf for a while until I find it.

Torn by Amanda Hocking - This is also the second book in it's series, the Trylle series, a book about Changelings and such. I guess I'll also have to keep my eye out for the first one in this series as well. I've gotta pick them up when I find them, though - otherwise I won't find them when I need them!

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner - This is a stand-alone book so I can dive right in if I want to - and I think I do! It's also hardcover, so I'm stoked about that, too. They just look so awesome on the shelf...when they eventually find their way there.

Off to read!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie's About Books

Today I felt the urge to watch Fahrenheit 451 again. I've probably seen the movie 3 or more times at this point - it's just got this drawing aspect to it. A world where books are illegal - what would you do in that sort of dystopian future? Would you horde the books or would you cheer for the firefighters as they burn piles and piles of books? 

I have a feeling I would continue to horde books - and be seen as "an anti-social" and retrained for doing so. Books are so important to the world. I fear, though, that anti-social behaviour has already taken hold in our world - and it's not in the form of books. Those of us who read avidly talk about those books with other people, we write reviews, we have book clubs and discussions. 

The real anti-social behaviour is cell phones. We'll have people over to our home to play board games or to hang out - and everyone is always staring at their phones. Waiting for texts, sending texts - constantly. It's appalling. 

Read more books! Learn new words! Travel to other lands and have grand adventures. Always read.

Review - The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
4.5/5 Stars

This book had absolutely everything I love in a book, thematically:

-Dystopian world
-Zombies (rabids)
-A normal person starting out in their normal world and finding themselves in a fantasy-esque landscape (becoming a vampire)

I just couldn't go wrong with this book – and I wasn't disappointed. I absolutely love Kagawa's writing style, and this book was my first introduction to her work. She's written a very strong female lead, which is just amazing. Compared to books like Twilight, which focuses on a female lead who's shy and just completely obsessed with boys – Kagawa's book is a refreshing take on the vampire genre.

The book is fast paced and you never once feel like a bit of the book should have been edited out.

Her vampires are not sexy and sparkly – they are demons with human faces. Severe, monstrous, and predatory. Her future world is not an easy life – it's ridiculously hard to survive in and even if you do, you're certainly not living comfortably.

Despite it being published by Harlequin Teen (which I, at first, had reservations about), there's no grand lovestory that encompasses the entire book. There is, eventually, a love interest – but our protagonist, Allison, is not so infatuated with him that it takes away from the rest of the story.

Kagawa's writing style has impacted me to the point that she's now one of my favourite authors – I look forward to reading her Iron Fey series when I can get my hands on them.

The one complaint I do have – which doesn't impact the book itself at all – is the cover. Our protagonist is Asian (perhaps a Japanese background), and the girl on the cover just does NOT look Asian. It is a lovely cover – but I found it to be another example of an inacurate portrayal of the protagonist it's supposed to depict.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review - The Magnolia League

The Magnolia League
Katie Crouch
2/5 Stars

This is another book that I was very torn about. Due to this, this particular review will contain some minor spoilers about the book.


Crouchs' writing style is marvelous. It's quirky and cute and it's what drove me onwards to finish the book.

Crouch has actually done a little bit of research on hoodoo culture, which is always nice to see when you're reading a book that has basis in real-life, rather than original mythology. As someone who was once a practitioner of Vodou, she hit the nail on the head a lot of the time. Doc Buzzard was a real character in hoodoo history, and is mentioned in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” (a book published in 1994, movie followed in 1997). Although, with the small amount of research done – it did sort of feel like she just “copy and pasted” information she got off of wikipedia.


I absolutely did not like the protagonist. She annoyed the flippin' crap out of me. To begin with, she's a hippie – the type of hippie that constantly has to lecture people about how bad their lifestyle's are. She talks to people about oil in Iraq, blood diamonds – making her the most pretentious protagonist I have ever come across. I was rolling my eyes every time she was with her new friends, because she always had something to say about how wrong their lifestyle was compared to how she was raised. There were times I just wanted to smack her.

The cover of the book panders to the teen audience, showing a tiny girl with long luscious hair cascading down around her. Our protagonist, Alex, does not look like this until a little more than 3/4 of the way through the book. Would it really have been so bad to show Alex in her “true form” of a pudgy, dreadlocked hippie teenager? Maybe I'm the one who's being pretentious now – but I felt the cover was designed to sell a sexy chick, rather than focusing on what Alex actually looks like.

Every time I read a book – my husband tries to guess what rating I will give it – at first he shot out a 3 because he had asked me near the beginning of the book (when I didn't quite hate Alex as much as I do now), but it slowly wound itself down to a 2 because of the plot and other characters.

Crouch likes to throw out high end names, expecting the young readers to know exactly what she's talking about when referring to things they wouldn't be able to afford unless they were part of the Kardashian family.

At the end, the book felt very rushed – as though Crouch just gave up and needed to find a way to leave a cliffhanger without much previous explaination. After reading an article she wrote, I discovered that I hit the nail on the head. She was preggers and sick of writing and handed the book over to a friend to finish. * sigh *

Avoid this one.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review - Illuminate

Aimee Agresti
3.5/5 Stars

As I was reading the book, I was really mixed, but when I finished....I was still a bit mixed. I don't really do “half stars”, but this book is getting one. I just couldn't decide if it was going to get a 3 or a 4.

The book is good....not great or amazing, but good. The first half of the book reads more like The Devil Wears Prada than a paranormal fiction. I was a little bored at first, but I pushed through and got about halfway and the book got more interesting. Within the first half of the book is a whole lot of build up and a whole lot of zip to supernatural things. The author hints at it here and there, and if you've read the inside sleeve, you have an idea of what's to come.

The writing is good – good enough to keep you interested until the end. One of the main things I enjoyed about the book is that it dealt with angels and “devils” (apparently not demons) without being preachy. I never want to read a book and feel that I'm being preached at. I want to enjoy the read, focus on the story and characters and not worry about my own belief system.

At about the halfway point, questions begin to become answered. I've never been a fan of authors constantly leaving their fans up in the air about everything in the book. I tend to think they're trying to be more “mysterious”, when in fact I just don't enjoy the book because of so many unanswered aspects.

Agresti doesn't answer everything (what author worth her salt would?) and leaves just enough that you'll want to seek those answers in the next installment. There's no majorly cliffhanger ending, so I'm not pining at Amazon, wishing I had enough money for “just one more book” this month. I can wait, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

The book is a bit long-winded, with some parts having absolutely no impact on the overall story. It did take me a couple of days to get through, and not because I wasn't reading it. Despite it's length, the writing is actually pretty good. If you're a fan of the angel sub-genre, pick this one up.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why I Didn't Like the Series of Unfortunate Events

Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket

I'll be the first one to admit I'm old. Too old, according to a lot of people to read young adult and childrens books. However, I mostly just stick my fingers in my ears and hum "la la la la" over and over again. I'll be 30 in September - and a Mom in December, so I'm feeling super old right about now.

I've loved children's books since...well, obviously - since I was a child. I still read them on occasion. I happily read through each Harry Potter book in about a day. I love Darren Shan's series Cirque du Freak. I love children's books - I swear I do.

However, I did not love the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler). I know, I know - I'm in the minority here. Hey, there was even a movie! (more on that later).

I've made it through 7 of the books and I just can't bare to read any more of them. I can't. And you can't make me.

I made the disastrous mistake of watching the movie before I started reading any of the books. I thought the movie was awesome. It left a lot of unanswered questions, so I figured I would find them by reading through the series. I was so very, very wrong. There were no answers to be found. The amazing subplot of the parents belonging to some sort of secret spy organization involving spyglasses was completely missing. This was not, however, why I had to stop reading them.

I've already admitted I'm old. Maybe kids get more of a kick out of this than I do....but the adults were DUMB. Every last one of them. There's not a brain in the bunch. Despite overwhelming evidence from kids who are clearly years ahead of others their ages, the adult never believe them.

Let's use common sense when dealing with Count Olaf! Nope. Never once. No common sense to be found. He just keeps getting away - which I suppose is the reason there's 13 of the books all focused on getting the kids away from beloved Count Olaf and the adults never believing them when they say a certain person is clearly him.

I felt dumb reading them. I couldn't suspend my disbelief any further. It was already so suspended, it would never go back to school.

And so, after 7 books I had to tell myself that, no, I wouldn't be finishing the series. The downside...or upside, depending on what type of person you are - is that the books themselves are just lovely. They sit so neatly and primly on my bookshelf I don't think I shall ever part with them. I've got the hardcover copies of all 13.

It's possible the little goblin in my stomach will like them when he or she grows up. That's a waiting game, though. From an adults perspective - reading them is like letting your brain dribble out of your ears.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review - Nightshade

Andrea Cremer

I absolutely adored this book and couldn't put it down. It was a book I actually stayed up until 5 or 6 in the morning reading, I thought it was so good.

Thestory of Calla, Alpha wolf of the Nightshade pack was so well written that Andrea Cremer has now made my list of favourite authors.

While I totally knew what the “twist” was going to be later on in the book, Cremer made it interesting enough, leading me towards this great reveal that I was completely hooked by it. Good versus evil....which is which?

I love that Calla (our heroine) is not just a silly, ditzy high school kid. She's strong and intuitive and she's written very well. Of course, there's always “the boy” (doesn't there have to be?), which is also an interesting addition to the plot. I don't want to give much away on this one – you should really just read it and decide for yourself.

If you're a fan of werewolves or books akin to Blood and Chocolate, give Nightshade a try. There's a whole series, and I'm only about halfway through the second book in the series – Wolfsbane, but I have so much else to read it keeps getting pushed to the back of my “to read” shelf.

Review - Pretty Monsters

Pretty Monsters
Kelly Link
2/5 Stars

I can't bring myself to give this book a one out of five stars – I just can't. Maybe it's because I bought the book based on the absolutely stunning cover. It's so pretty! The pages are even lined in black, which I never see done in the world of fiction. I love looking at it on the shelf – and only a select few know (and now you do, too!) that my copy is both upside down and backwards.

I thought to myself – Neil Gaiman gave the book (or perhaps just Link herself) a positive review – how could I go wrong? A book of odd short stories for the YA audience – sounds great! wasn't great. It wasn't even good. It was sort of okay at points...but not even “okay” enough for me to finish all of them. I read through about half of them and just couldn't bring myself to finish the rest of the stories.

The one story I enjoyed – The Wizards of Perfil – was too short. I wanted to know more, I wanted it to continue. The other stories were just boring and not well thought out. It felt as though Link had a grain of an idea but could only expand it far enough to short story range.

But it's so pretty!

Whoa, whoa – slow down. Unless you're looking for an awesome looking book end, please steer clear of this one. Even my husband couldn't bring himself to finish it – and he finishes EVERYTHING – even if he hates it.

In all honesty, the book should be getting a 1 – simply because I couldn't bring myself to finish it. I can't though. Or I won't. The artist in me would yell too much.

Review - The Bar Code Tattoo

The Bar Code Tattoo
Suzanne Weyn
2/5 Stars

A dystopian future where everybody is pressured to conform to getting a bar code tattoo – a tattoo that let's you access your money and identifiation all digitally within the tattoo.

Growing up, my mother always told me that the “Mark of the Beast” would be a barcode tattoo. She was overly religious and explained that as soon as that happened, the end times were near. Perhaps because of this upbringing, I found the book VERY preachy. My upbringing also impacted the reading of the book in the sense that it was far from an original story. Christian superstition or mythology being put into dystopian young adult fiction. For this reason, I'm also not a fan of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (much to my husbands dismay).

I did, to some extent, enjoy the ideas behind the story put into novel form. As a kid it was something I thought about a lot – the end times and the story of Revelations in the Bible. As an adult and an atheist – I sort of read it tongue in cheek.

It's a quick read – which may be the only reason I did end up finishing it. I'm not going to complain about that too much, though – as I got the book for free with a pile of other books someone was tossing away.

The book is plot driven rather than character driven and flat at times.

The Bar Code Tattoo could be more appealing to Christian young adults who are in youth group, currently talking about similar ideas. Outside of that, if you want a quick dystopian read – maybe give this one a try. Honestly, though – I would just pass right on and find some decent dystopian fiction – there's so much out there!

Review - Incarceron

Catherine Fisher
3/5 Stars

Incarceron is part steampunk, part dystopian future and perhaps part magic. The idea behind the book is that the worlds criminals have been sent into a living prison, leaving their heirs to the same, unending life. Life on the outside is much different than in Incarceron itself.

The story is told from two perspetives – that of Finn (who lives in Incarceron) and that of Claudia (who lives outside of it)

While I did sort of enjoy the book, I'm not particularly looking forward to reading its sequel “Sapphique”. The book did keep me guessing...perhaps a little too much. I kept thinking to myself “What are we dealing with here?” and so many of my questions were left unanswered.

I much prefered reading about Claudia on the outside than of Finn on the outside. I felt like her parts might explain a little more about the world and why it was left the way it was. We get small peaks here and there about it – but not enough to satiate my curiosity. I want to know more! I want to know more about why they seem to be trying to live a more Medieval existance than their clearly advanced scientific existence. I want to know why innocent people, born into Incarceron had to remain there – even though they had commited to crimes in the outside world.

Fisher keeps you guessing throughout the entire book – especially about the basis of Incarceron itself. Where is it? What is it? And if you're quick enough, you'll probably come to the proper conclusion fairly early on in the book.

The world building was strange. I often felt I didn't understand what Fisher was trying to get across. Her explainations of the different places within Incarceron were just weird. I didn't understand enough in the writing to form a great visual.

I did enjoy the book, though. I think the driving power behind it is the fact that it does keep you guessing – though you may be disappointed that not all your questions are answered.

If you're a little wary of reading it – perhaps wait for the movie, for which the book has been optioned. No information yet on whether it will go through or when the release date may be – keep your eyes on IMDB for that one.

Review - Lament

Maggie Stiefvater
2/5 Stars

I was not a fan of this book. The reviews for it are all over the place, but for the most part, people seemed to like it. This was another book I picked up in a thrift shop on a whim. I don't regret reading it (if I had, I wouldn't have finished it).

Stiefvaters' writing style is good – just the story of Lament in general wasn't done well. Having finished this book, I have no desire to read the others in the series – despite them sitting on my bookshelf and beckoning to me. I binge buy books so I can binge read them in case I love them – what can I say?

I haven't read any other books by Stiefvater, and after Lament I'm a little unsure as to whether or not I actually want to try. I won't read any more in this series – but I do hear good things about her Shiver Trilogy.

I honestly just found the book dreadfully boring. I wanted so very much to like it – I did. When I was in high school, I was a tad obsessed with fairies and Irish myths and legends and read some absolutely astounding YA books on the topic. Stiefvater's Lament just didn't live up to that past love for me. The characters were dry and uninteresting. The plot didn't seem to go much of anywhere and I'm honestly surprised I made it to the end. I think it took me about a month to read. It never takes me a month to read anything.

The story was abstract and random and at times just plain confusing. If you're a huge fan of fae literature, you may like the book more than I did, but you'll certainly have to work on your suspension of disbelief.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review - Vampire Academy Series

Vampire Academy
Richelle Mead
5/5 Stars

Instead of reviewing each book on it's own, I'm reviewing Vampire Academy as a series.

I'm going to be entirely honest with you - I binge read these like nobodies business. They were unputdownable. I started with the first book and by the end of the series, I had found my new favourite author. While not my favourite series by Richelle Mead (I've since read others), it comes in as a close second.

The writing...the characters....the story....just everything! I love this woman, I do. Going into the series – I had never heard of it before. I knew it had vampires (obviously) and had bought them in a bundle of used books from a classifieds website. Best accidental discovery ever.

I haven't seen the movie – and am a little iffy on whether or not I should. Movies always ruin things for me. Especially for books I loved as much as this. Time will tell, though. I do keep saying that I'm a glutton for punishment...we shall see how much.

Richelle Mead delivers crack with her books, I swear. I have yet to read her Bloodlines series, and won't until it's finished (because I have to binge read them...I just have to).

I tend to like books that are not entirely focused on the romance between two characters (hence, not a fan of Twilight) – a book that has something else going on, and Vampire Academy delivered. The mythos created within the world of the Academy is just amazing. At first, you're skimming just the edges of this world filled with two different types of mythical vampire creatures, and then you become more entranced in their world. Each character has so much to offer the series. I did find, however – that I didn't like Lissa as much as a lot of people seemed to. Not to say that she wasn't a well written character – but I can't like everything, can I?

One of the aspects I love about this series is that it's not sedimentary. It doesn't stay in one place. We find ourselves not only at this Academy, but also in Russia and other areas, showing the reader how vast of a world Mead has created.

If you're a fan of vampires in YA fiction – read this series. It's got action, romance, drama – everything I wanted in a vampire series.

Review: Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
4/5 Stars

I quite enjoyed this book. I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting myself into, as I hate ruining things for myself by listening to other peoples critiques of things, but I'm really glad I gave this book a chance.

You should be aware that this is a review based on my having not seen the movie yet, just reading the book itself.

I was originally told the book was a mix of a dystopian world with "Battle Royale" mixed in. I've seen Battle Royale (have not read the book), and I have to say this book is a lot more like BR than I anticipated. BR is the epitome of a dystopian world, and Hunger Games follows directly in its tracks. I was rather surprised to find out that Suzanne Collins had neither read, watched nor even heard of BR when she wrote The Hunger Games. I'm not entirely sure if I believe that, seeing the extreme similarity between the two.

Onto the book itself! The further into the book I got, the more I felt the need to read the book. It's honestly like an addiction - the author gives you a little taste of the world for free in the first couple of chapters and once you're hooked, you're up at 3am trying to find out what happens next. Not that know...happened. Or anything.

I loved the little tidbits of introduction to the world of Panem - the history of the world they now live in and how they got to the way they are now. I was grasping for more information on this history, but the author certainly knows what she's doing...slow release - keeps us coming back for more!

The character development is pretty damned good. The sense of adventure, dire need to survive...I don't know that I would actually change anything about the book.

Read it, jump on the bandwagon - it's really just "one of those books".

Review: Divergent

Veronica Roth
5/5 Stars

A book about a world gone terribly awry, a strong female lead and situations beyond her control. Explaining this book to someone whom hasn't read it is harder than it may seem – I don't want to give ANYTHING away.

This very quickly moved its way up to my list of favourite books. To begin with, I've always been a fan of Dystopian movies, so naturally I decided to delve into the world of Dystopian fiction as well, and was certainly not disappointed.

Having said that, I have NOT yet seen the movie, but will when it becomes available on DVD. I'm sure I'll be disappointed, but – hey – I'm a glutton for punishment.

I could not put this book down and finished it in a day. I don't often do that. The world it was set in was absolutely fascinating. The characters and story were gripping and I actually cared about what happened to them – and certainly hated some of them (as I was meant to).

The book is about one long trial our heroine must face while joining a new faction in her futuristic Chicago. The one thing about this I didn't care for was the major change in direction 3/4 of the way through the book. I was far too involved with the trials and everything going on with that one particular situation and I didn't want it to change. Nuh uh. Give me back my trial situation. * pout *

I've only read a handful of Dystopian fiction so far, and Divergent has definitely opened the gate for me to read even MORE of it. There's just something about a future world – a world we've turned it into – that's so completelt bizare and unlike how we currently live that gets me. I just love it.

I actually enjoyed Divergent more than Hunger Games (possibly not a popular opinion). I'm totally in it for the Dystopian world itself. Divergent went way more “in depth” into what this future was like than Hunger Games did.

If you're a fan of Dystopian worlds – read Divergent. I don't think you'll be disappointed

Review: Books I Never Finished (part 1)

Over the years I've bought a lot of books. I've read a lot of books. I've also started a lot of books I never finished for one reason or another. So, instead of writing bad reviews for each of them in a separate post, I'm going to start Part 1 of - Books I've Never Finished and tell you a little bit about why that is.

Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This book series was highly recommended by a friend and has even spawned a movie. I bought the whole series in a box set, eager to delve into the mysterious world that was to be "Beautiful Creatures". I even got three quarters of the way through the first book before I decided, once and for all - that it wasn't for me.

I can't say that it's terrible - because clearly enough people loved it enough to spawn the movie and two follow up books. I just didn't like it. I found it boring and I didn't particularly care for it. I put it aside for a week and kept telling myself I would go back to it - but I never did.

When the movie came out, I watched it (because, again - highly recommended) and I didn't care for it, either. The ideas just didn't do it for me, I'm sorry to say.

Tonya Hurley

I don't think I made it past chapter two of this one. It's just awful. Maybe it's because I'm an adult reading YA Fiction - but, it's my genre. I love this genre. I just don't care about a girl, whom, even after she dies - still just wants to be "popular".

I've never understood this concept. It makes no sense to me. When I was in high school, I didn't care about being popular. I wasn't popular, I had some friends I ate lunch with and hung out with at school and never wanted to be with "the popular crowd". They seemed shallow and uninteresting to me. A story told about a girl who wants this and ONLY this - is just ridiculous.

Also - there's the guy - that popular guy that eeeeveryone wants to be with. I never saw such a guy in school. Everyone had their own little groups and different people they were attracted to. The book was just so unrealistic (and yes, I get that it's paranormal fiction) and my suspension of disbelief just didn't happen.

To be completely honest - I bought the book in a thrift store because of the cover. The style of the cover just looked awesome. It's completely true what they say - you know, that one about not judging a book by its cover.

Alyson Noel

This is just one of those times where you say "I can't even.". I don't know if I made it halfway through the book, give or take - but I just couldn't take any more. The book is shallow and contrived. As I look through reviews on Goodreads, there's a whole slew of one out of five's. The book is so bad, someone even posted an Evermore drinking game.

It felt like the book was trying to be Twilight (another book of which I am not a fan) and the whole idea of the girl not being able to touch/be intimate with the guy - it just made me roll my eyes. The whole book is an eye-roller. You'll get tired of staring at the ceiling.

Was there even a plot? How the heck did the book spawn even MORE books? I sincerely hope they never make a movie out of it. I'll probably watch it if they do, but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.

Just avoid this one altogether.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters

Prophecy of the Sisters
Michelle Zink

Two sisters caught up in an ancient prophecy that pits good against evil and family member against family member.

Despite no markings on the book telling the reader such, this is book one of a trilogy. I didn't realize the book wasn't a standalone until I was nearing the end and the story was nowhere near finished.

This was my introduction to historical paranormal fiction. I've never read a book written in modern times trying to write in the style of the late 1800's before – it took some getting used to. At first the writing felt awkward and contrived, but I did fall into and and felt myself getting used to the style of writing.

The story keeps you guessing from beginning to end, though not enough to keep me enraptured in its reading. The characters were fairly improbable, but I could chalk this up to the historic writing style. The characters seemed to jump from one part to the next, often leaving me guessing at what happened in between. I didn't particularly care for Lia, the main character of the book. There was nothing that endeared me towards her – only that I didn't much like her sister.

Although I didn't particularly love the book, there were parts near the end where I did, in fact cry. It could be because I'm pregnant, or it could be because the writing WAS good enough to actually instill strong emotions in me.

I've worked out from the reading of the book that I'm not a fan of historical paranormal fiction. My modern heart yearns for modern things. If you are, however, already a fan of the genre – you might like this book a lot more than I did.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review: The Hollow People by Brian Keaney

The Hollow People
Brian Keaney
Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

I picked this book up from a local thrift store on a fluke – and boy do I wish I had seen the entire trilogy there!

The book is about two teenagers – Bea and Dante:

Bea is the daughter of two doctors on the island asylum of Tarnagar, in Gehenna. Her coming of age ceremony is approaching, where she will be given Ichor for the first time and her dreams will stop.

Dante is the lowliest kitchen boys – born to an inmate of the asylum and treated more poorly than dirt. He's already had his coming of age ceremony, but his dreams continued.

Keaney slips bits and parts of this dystopian world slowly in as you read. I found myself craving to know more about this strange world and the characters that live in it. A mad Leader (who reminded me of Kim Jong Il), strange drugs and an entire country of hollow people – too empty to make their own decisions.

The world is not what it originally seems in this atmospheric novel. The plot draws you inwards, the writing is lovely and the characters are interesting.

The downside is that it's only 223 pages long, with two sequels. I honestly think that all 3 books could have been told in the same novel, cutting down on the cost for readers. I do wish it had been longer, but look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil
Wendy Higgins
Young Adult Paranormal Fiction

I went into this book very excited. I was given an advanced reading copy of this book and the author was kind enough to mail me a book-plate with her signature on it with her own dime. That being said, Wendy is awesome and I wish more authors were like her. Completely down to earth and awesome.

However - and this is a big however - this was a pretty terrible book. Major spoilers to follow.


ANNA: Ms. Goody-two-shoes-extraordinaire. I get that she's half demon and half angel - but seriously? This kid has never told a lie, never done anything "wrong", never done....anything. Ever. This is one of the most boring characters in literary history. She doesn't talk like a real person, and despite all this "goodness" she is far from endearing. I don't like her - I don't care about her.

PATTI: The adoptive mother who knew all along that her kid was what she is, didn't tell her and let her kid go through it all on her own. What the hell? She's overprotective, overly religious and overly stupid. Who lets their 16 year old daughter go on a cross country trip with a 17 year old half demon of lust?!?!

Sidebar - this book is so overly religious, it's nuts! Yeah, I get the whole Nephilim, good, evil, etc. but please - stop preaching at me!

KAIDAN: (Pronounced "KAI-dan", donchaknow) He's bad...oh he bad. He lays everything he sees. Male prostitute at 17, it seems. He has no character - I don't understand what would draw anyone to him. He just doesn't come across as the "bad boy" that you get the impression the author wants you to think of him as.

Okay, so Anna is daughter to the Duke of Drugs and Drinking. How lame is that? If anything, I would have chosen one of the "major" sins like Lust or Greed or Envy or...something! But drugs? Psh. Come on! So she has to find out how much drinking she can handle, under he dads supervision. Lame! I can't even give you a better word for's just lame!

All in all, the plot is faulty, the characters are not solid, the writing itself was just bad!

What I don't get is why I seem to be in the minority for thinking this book was terrible. Seriously, people? Did we read the same book? I don't think we did.

Needless to say, I will not be purchasing parts 2 and 3 when they reach the shelves. I do not recommend this book - maybe I should have read Fifty Shades of Gray instead.