Tag Archives: ya

Did Not Finish: The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine

29 Mar

 

The Lost Boys

author : lilian carmine

pages : [paperback] 522

summary :

An intensely addictive romance novel about girls, ghosts, and forbidden love, ideal for fans of Stephenie Meyer
Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart? Having moved to a strange town, 17-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home. But there’s a very good reason why Tristan Halloway is always to be found roaming in the local graveyard. Perfect for fans of Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate, The Lost Boys is a magical, romantic tale of girl meets ghost.

review :

**I was less than a hundred pages into this when I decided The Lost Boys wasn’t worth my time anymore, thus this will end up being less of a proper review and more an explanation of why I couldn’t put up with the rest of this.**

I rarely mark my books as DNF, especially one like this where I was very happy that my request for this on Netgalley was honored. But perhaps the comparisons to Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate should have warned me away. I did enjoy Meyer’s books, more so The Host than anything else, but Lauren Kate wrote Fallen, which was another book I couldn’t get through. Anyway, I usually ignore comparisons to other books and authors because it’s hard to compare these things.

First of all, I was attracted to that gorgeous cover and ended up hoping the title was going to be a Peter Pan reference. No such luck for me but the summary seemed promising, anyway. The problem started with the prose! Every other sentence was an exclamation! I couldn’t tell if Joey was always shouting! Or if she was that enthusiastic! I could get over the quirk of her name, even though everyone in the book needs to comment on it and Joey makes a big deal out of it. But she doesn’t act like a senior in high school. We’re reading this from her perspective and while the exclamation points don’t help, there are also the phrases she uses that seem out of place. Her actions, as well as those of all of the other characters, don’t make any sense.

Simply the way that the story was structured reminds me of how young writers, maybe teenagers, often start out, with simplistic prose and unnatural dialogue and actions. These are the things that are supposed to be improved upon to be made into a publishable book. Not this. I can’t believe that this is an actual book and I can’t believe that it’s supposed to be made into a trilogy. I do not recommend you try out The Lost Boys.

1/5 stars

Books to Movies: City of Bones

14 Feb

City of Bones isn’t one of my favorite books but I think it’s a very interesting series with so many interesting aspects that could easily be made into a big cinematic experience. Clary and Jace are good characters and their relationship is definitely a complicated one. Of course, I was really interested in seeing what they’d do about that cliffhanger ending that could possibly turn away audiences if a second movie was ever in the works. Now that I’ve seen the first movie, I’m not so sure I want to see City of Ashes made in this same way.

From the beginning I had my doubts. Book to movie adaptations have been really hit or miss lately. I’ve come to terms with the fact that a lot of different changes are going to come in these movies and perhaps some things will be added in. But when it comes to City of Bones things got ridiculous pretty fast. Things that couldn’t possibly have happened in the books, that were never in the world-building that came with the creatures, Shadow Hunters, and everything in between, were thrown into this movie. Sometimes I just found myself staring at the screen wondering why someone thought it’d be okay to completely redo the lore like that.

Jamie Campbell Bower wasn’t and never will be my Jace. He’s supposed to be the most attractive guy around and know it; that’s one of the important aspects of his character. Bower doesn’t do that for me. At least he didn’t have to try to perfect an accent for this role; I’m still unsure why they suddenly decided all of the Shadow Hunters had to have accents. It was odd and didn’t do anything for me.

I really liked Simon, Robert Sheehan, partly because I’ve seen him in other things and already knew that he’d be able to take on this role. I wish that more of him had been shown and know that if they ever did make the second book into a movie, they’d definitely be able to capitalize on his abilities.

And Lily Collins as Clary ended up being disappointing as well. I tried so hard before the film as released to be impartial about the decision to cast her and ended up failing. I never felt like I could relate or empathize with her in the movie. Part of it was the writing, I must admit. It seems like the writers of this movie liked forcing the characters to make improbably dumb decisions. (Let’s temporarily freeze a herd of monsters and walk delicately through them instead of killing them!) But Collins wasn’t Clary. She was more like a diluted, distorted version of her.

If you’re a fan and tempted to watch this adaptation like I was, I suggest saving yourself the time and assuming this will be as disappointing as it looks to be. I didn’t even enjoy the score and that’s something I usually don’t even need to think about while watching a movie unless it’s so awesome it demands notice. This one seemed to have misplaced itself at all the wrong moments and favored cheesy pop songs to ruin scenes from the book. Despite a few good action sequences, a few scenes I’d really wanted to see come to life, and Robert Sheehan, I say you should let this movie pass on quietly and hope that eventually they’ll try to redo this.

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

18 Jan

Lost Voices

Lost Voices #1

author : sarah porter

pages : [hardcover] 291

memorable quote: I think at first I wanted to kill all of them. Everyone. Because if there were no people left alive, then I’d never have to love one of them again.

summary

What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?
Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.

review:

I’ve been looking for a really good mermaid book to read for a while and I don’t think that I found it in Lost Voices.

I’ve always been fascinated with mermaids. Whether they’re cute and helpful or deadly and love drowning people, it’s interesting to read about them. Authors can take any approach they want with the mythology and this one was lacking for me. I was interested in Luce and her transformation but there were too many instances where it felt like I was reading about high school drama among mermaids. Sure, I think the oldest of them appears to be sixteen but there are some who have been living decades longer. I don’t think that just because appearances don’t change they wouldn’t have learned anything, like how to settle petty differences, stick together, make sure that no one gets left out where they might die.

There’s a part of me that really wants to continue with these books to see what happens. I want to know where Luce will end up, if she matures, if the mermaids will ever pay attention to the larvae and stop the orcas from eating them. But my library doesn’t have the next book and I don’t really plan on paying to continue this series. Book one was enjoyable to read but ending up dragging at the end. When I stopped to look back on what I read I realized I kept on hoping that things would clear up and something more substantial would happen with the plot.

I guess the thing that bothered me most about this book was that Porter decided to go with mermaids that kill people. That’s fine. What isn’t is that it seems like these girls are only doing it for fun, for no good reason, and they’ll do so even when it endangers themselves and the existence of mermaids everywhere.

If you’re looking for a great mermaid read, I’d say maybe look elsewhere and pick this up if you have nothing else to do and are looking for an easy read.

2/5 stars

If you like this book you might also like Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings or Lies Beneath

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

14 Jan

Of Beast and Beauty

author : stacey jay

pages : [hardcover] 391

memorable quote And what good is a voice when so few will listen?

favorite characters : isra & gem

summary :

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

review :

I love twisted fairy tales and I was really interested in this one because it also had dystopian elements and took place on another planet! The fairy tale qualities of the story actually ended up blending with the sci-fi in an interesting mixture I never would have guessed would hook me in. There were so many things going on with this plot that it became anything but a predictable fairy tale.

First of all, the summary says that Isra’s city treats the Banished as ‘second-class’. That’s an understatement when they’re all rounded up and shoved into a camp at the edge of the dome and treated like animals-and much worse than animals should ever be treated-for the rest of their short lives. If that’s what they do to their so-called citizens then it’s easy to imagine the terrible things they might do to the Monstrous outside the dome who are trying to get in. The Monstrous are starving and desperate, looking for answers that will help them survive. Isra needs to find out what are lies and what is true about these creatures before its too late and both sides destroy each other.

I have to say the creepiest part of this story was that Isra was raised to be a human sacrifice. Knowing what kept their city going to me was a lot worse than much of the bloodshed and fighting that went on throughout the novel. It isn’t the forefront during most of the plot but it affects everything Isra is and everything she does. Another creepy element was Bo. At first I was afraid he’d turn things into a love triangle but no, that guy really had a twisted mind.

There were some plot twists in here that I never really expected and as the novel progressed, I just had to keep reading because I never knew what could happen next. Both of them characters were so well-written and at the end I still had no answer as to who was supposed to be Beauty and who was the Beast. Both had good and bad traits and it wasn’t all about appearances.

I really enjoyed this book and it surprised me in so many ways. It’s a quick and memorable read that I’ll recommend to anybody.

4/5 stars

Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

9 Nov

Indelible

author : dawn metcalf

pages : [paperback] 384

favorite character : ink

summary :

Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT

review :

I really loved the concept of this book! Fantastic creatures, invisible to most people, have always been a favorite of mine. Maybe because it’s fun to dream there are fantastical things out there that only certain people can see so that’s why most people’s lives are normal. Indelible has a nice little twist because there are two creatures Joy has most contact with-Ink and Inq-are unlike any others I’ve read about so I couldn’t stop myself from reading on and finding out more about them.

Unfortunately, as the main character and the reader’s point of view, Joy really disappointed me. She needed to find her own strength, yes, but I feel like half of the book had horrible things happening to her and other people saving her from them. While the ways in which this was happening were incredibly interesting at first, as time went on I started to wonder just how she was still alive . . .

But! I liked almost every other character and with the development I’ve seen in Joy, if I read the sequel I think I’ll like it a lot more. Although I can’t say I didn’t enjoy reading this book and I also can’t say why this would need a sequel. I honestly thought that it was a stand alone until I looked it up on Goodreads.

I know it’ll turn people off from the book because most people need a great main character to get them through, but with the plotline, creatures, great world building, and general intrigue I was able to generally enjoy this. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys interesting plots and well-defined and captivating secondary characters.

3.5/5 stars

If you like this book, you might also like Wicked Lovely or The Iron King.

READ TYGER, TYGER FREE THIS WEEK!

30 Oct

Hello friends! If you’ve been following me long enough you’ll probably know that one of my all-time favorite book series is the Goblin Wars by Kersten Hamilton! These books have everything in them that you could ever want. Seriously. Great characters, an awesome love interest, quests, adventure, amazing settings, Irish legends . . .  Gah, I don’t think I can gush about it enough! But do you want to hear what’s even better about it now?!

TYGER, TYGER the first book in the series is free as an ebook this week! It’s the Book of the Week at Apple so you can download it for free here! Or get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Seriously, you should read this anytime at any price because it’s worth it . . . but for free? Snap this one up while you have the chance!

Still not sure? Check out my review of Tyger, Tyger and the next two books in the trilogy: In the Forests of the Night and
When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears.

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

18 Oct

Speechless

author : hannah harrington

pages : [paperback] 288

memorable quote : Hate is… It’s too easy. Love. Love takes courage.

favorite characters :asha & sam

summary :

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself

review :

This book wasn’t what I expected. At some points it was slow and frustrating but, overall, I think that I came out of it feeling better for what I’d read about. It was interesting and took a different take on all of the difference characters throughout the novel.

Chelsea used to be one of the popular girls, the mean girls, until she made a very good decision that made all of her so-called friends hate her and now she’s ostracized at school. At first I was like everyone else, thinking that her vow of silence was a selfish and stupid decision. But the more I saw characters pushing her to stop, the more I could see how her strength was growing and taking her down a path she might never have started otherwise. Surprisingly, she was becoming a better person.

Several times in her reflections on her past life, I realized that Chelsea is one of those people I and I’m sure most other people detest. She changed herself completely to get in good with the popular girls and doesn’t even realize how much of an affect that’s had on her until she does something that ends her relationship with all of those terrible people. While I like knowing that people can change and there’s always a reason why someone might be acting cruel or rude, some parts of the book didn’t sit as well with me because I couldn’t relate to the people portrayed.

I think that this book has a good message and would be enjoyed by many people but I also feel like it was lacking somewhat to me. The plotline was very predictable so I had the feeling that I could skip a lot and still know what was going to happen. There were no real plot twists, which I tend to look for in contemporary literature. Maybe it was because Chelsea was having one-sided conversations with everyone but with most of the characters I felt a kind of disconnect.

This is a good, quick read, but isn’t one of my favorites.

3/5 stars

If you liked this book, you might also like Absent or One Moment

buy the book : amazon

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield

1 Oct

Stained

author : cheryl rainfield [also wrote scars]

pages : [hardcover] 304

favorite character : sarah

summary :

n this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for “normal.” Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer

review :

I really don’t even know where to start with this review because I read this book so quickly and loved it so much that when that happens I usually only spend my review fangirling over what I just read. That usually doesn’t make for the most coherent review so I’ll try to contain myself!

First of all, let’s talk characters. Sarah is everything you could want in a female protagonist. She has flaws. And she isn’t one of those characters who’re shown as quirky  in a bad representation of actual people and are waiting for other people to stand around and help them. No, Sarah can certainly handle herself, even if she truly is the only one holding herself back. Like most characters she can’t seem to step back and think of herself without also considering how other people judge her because of the port-wine stain on her face. Even if her parents constantly support her and remind her of how beautiful she is.

I loved the alternating viewpoints between Sarah and Nick. Because of Nick we get to see what’s happening in the outside world after her abduction but we also get a better feel of him as a character than we would if everything was left to only Sarah’s point of view. He’s a great friend and I’d definitely like to have him as my friend, especially if he’s up for lending me some of his comics!

Even if you think that you know what to expect in this book, everything will turn itself over and you’ll find yourself wondering what might happen next. There are so many twists in this book, little things that’ll have you sitting on the edge of your seat and rooting for Sarah all the way through to the end!

Although this book does contain some material that might make some readers uncomfortable (kidnapping, rape, psychological torment) this is a very powerful read and I think that it’s important for many people to read this. From where I am in life right now, I really needed an empowering book like this. I think there are other people out there who’ll benefit from Sarah’s bravery just like I did. Pick this book up as soon as you can!

5/5 stars

If you like this book you might also like Held or Pretty Girl-13.

Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael

24 Sep

Brother, Brother

author : clay carmichael

pages : [hardcover] 314

favorite characters : kit & jack

summary :

After his grandmother’s death, seventeen-year-old Brother sets out, with the abandoned son of a friend, on a 200-mile trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to find his twin brother, of whose existence he just learned.

Part coming-of-age story, part love story, this is a book about finding out that who you are and where you come from aren’t necessarily the same thing.

review :

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. It’s contemporary, the focus is on family, and I haven’t read a book like this in ages, if ever! I loved reading about these characters because no one’s perfect in this story. Even Brother, who dropped out of high school. But he was able to take care of his grandmother and get a job to help support them instead. He’s had a hard life, about the opposite of the one of his twin brother that he’s just found out about. I found it so interesting seeing how the two of them were so alike in appearance and so different in personality just because of how they grew up and where they came from.

I really loved the supporting characters in this as well. Well, loved as in they were very interesting and absolutely well-constructed but some of them were just horrible. Even Cole, who seems to be there for his brother sometimes, is very willing to drop him at any moment just when things are getting tough for him. That kind of an unsupportive brother is practically the only one shown here. That and another one I can’t mention because I’m afraid I’ll spoil one of the big twists of the book! I love how Brother sees all of this and still wants to strive to be the best sibling he can possibly be, under the circumstances.

One of my own personal fears is having someone try to control how I act or what I say. Brother needs to face that now that he’s found out about his family. I loved his strength and I think he’s a great role model. I would love to have the strong morals that he has. Well, I think that I have them, but everything like that becomes a real test when something bad is happening and the easy route isn’t always the best one.

I’d recommend this book to anyone, boy or girl, young or old. Read it with your sibling. Appreciate your family. Strive to be a better person.

4/5 stars

The Rise of Norse Mythology

16 Sep

I think by now almost everyone’s read Percy Jackson, right? If you haven’t, please stop reading this post, pick up the Lightning Thief, and come back and tell me how much you liked it! Besides that book there are tons out there focusing on Greek mythology, from old myths to the gods themselves. But, really, it seems like no author has decided to reach out and touch other mythologies, at least large scale authors in the YA genre. Until now.

I didn’t realize the shift until I recently read two books focusing on Norse mythology, The Lost Sun and Loki’s Wolves. Both of them I went into with barely the summary read and out of it I drew a better understanding of Norse myth than I ever had before. Interpreted differently for the books, yes, but it was enough to get my interest and make me want to research this further and learn more on my own.

Now that’s where I get excited. Because if I wanted to do that, maybe younger readers will also get interested in it. And maybe that’ll lead to more YA books about other mythologies.

I know that there are others out there, ones I haven’t actively searched for, but now that I know more about Norse myths I’m definitely going to look into reading more novels based off of it. I have no idea where this resurgence came from. Maybe because of the Avengers movie? Thor and Loki, anyone?

Have you read any great retellings lately? I’m trying to read more about any mythology, so any recommendations will have me eternally grateful! I’ll give you hugs and cookies!

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