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Perfect Lies by Keirsten White

17 Oct

mindgames

Book Two in the Mind Games Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

**PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE SOME SLIGHT SPOILERS**

To preface before I launch into my review: If you’ve read Mind Games you MUST read Perfect Lies. (just try to brief yourself with all the deets of book one before launching into book two.)

I’m a little bored with my reviews lately so I am going to spice it up by using my helpful friend from Hercules:

Lordofthedead

So with Hades as my lovely assistant, let’s get to the dirty shall we?

In general, I liked this book. It was a little more disjointed than Mind Games but that’s to be expected with Fia’s spiraling mental state. White does a great job of exemplifying her struggles, her mental trauma and mental health. That part, I really enjoyed. Besides, the fact that Fia is just an effing badass (Katna from Graceling style) makes her legit.

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My issues lie with Annie. She drove me nuts. She’s boring, slightly selfish, and annoying.

First of all, I don’t want to sound crude. I can appreciate that Annie has a disability, but the way White writes her, I feel like she’s using her blindness as a crutch. It’s not empowering like I feel it should be in a YA novel.

Second of all, and here is my REAL problem, is her damn obsessions with this vision she has of her true love. Gag me. All we hear is “is he the one?” “Is that him?”

hadeseyeroll hesaguy

FOR REALS, HADES!

SO the plot progresses and Fia is getting more awesome and Annie is getting more annoying and shit is getting crazy and confusing. And things are like bam bam bam and your neck is getting whip-lashed with all the twists and then…. “is this the guy?” and “is this my love?”
facesmash

I did enjoy the ending but that flip flop narrating plus the alternating time flash backs had me confused until I finally got the hang of it. Talk about throwing some time-space continuum shit at me. I would have to constantly flip back and forth between chapters to understand what the hell was going on. And then a chapter with Annie would pop up and it was “OMG are his hands, like, HIS HANDS???”

angryimfine
But the ending is perfect. It definitely had the suspense and the drama and the dun dun DUN! The conclusion was anything BUT predictable. I seriously don’t think White could have made the ending any better.

Blowfinger

Thanks for joining me today, Hades. You’ve been extremely helpful.

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

7 Oct

endless

Book Two in the Arcana Chronicles

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

So I am done with Endless Knight, sequel to Poison Princess. What do I think of it?

nph

I don’t know what happened. Poison Princess was amazing. Absolutely awesome in every single way. Incredible to the point where I actually compared Kresely Cole to the Pope on my blog (https://rattlethestars.com/2013/10/01/endless-knight-releases-today/). And for a homegrown Irish Catholic girl, that’s a big deal yo. So this book’s epic fail is just a knife twisting deeper and deeper into my soul.

The thing that is also extremely frustrating about this book, is that I can actually and acutely describe exactly what was wrong with this book and why it was such a failure compared to PP.

1.) Where’s the sass, Evie? You were this smart mouthed, no-shit taking girl that popped off quips that made me bust out laughing. The book had none of the snarky humor that Poison did. Sure, there were some brief comical lines, but nothing like the constant barrage of hilarious lines Cole popped out of her character’s mouths constantly in PP. That’s one thing I enjoyed most about reading book one. I wanted so, so, so much more from book two.

2.) Where the HELL is the action? Sure sure every once in awhile we get the badass fights and ONCE we got a steamy scene, but besides a glimmer of wam bams here and there, this book was incredibly boring. PP wasn’t brimming with constant action, it did have some conversation parts, but those were filled with the smexy Jackson and the delicious build up between Evie and him. When nothing is happening in this book, literally NOTHING is happening. Evie, with the loss of her quick witted quotes, is not a strong enough character to tell a story. And those she ends up talking to and stuck with, are not interesting or developed enough to take the lame about of the non-action scenes. *wipes tear away*

3.) God effing dammit Cole. A love triangle? Are you serious? Touche with the twisty twists you threw in there to make it a tich more understandable, but *sigh*

different
You just haaaad to bring the YA cliche into your book huh? And not only did you ignite the three pointed romance of annoying fire, you topped it off with dragging out BOTH romances, giving them both obvious failures, making us practically HATE them both for different reasons. So not cool, sister. And with that threesome, you didn’t even top it off with any real, sexy, god I need some time to myself scenes.

This is another typical YA second book fail. I hope and pray that Cole can really create a better plot in the next book. But unfortunately, this series has now been bumped from my “need to read to breath” shelf to “I’ll put it on my list I guess” level.
disappointed

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

26 Sep

the bitter kingdom

Book Three in the Fire and Thorns Series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

I was legitimately upset when I finished this book. It’s heartbreaking knowing my journey with Hector and Elisa are over. I adore them in every way possible and I will miss them like they are my friends IRL.

Hector and Elisa will always have a little corner of my heart. Their romance and their steadfast love for each other is what everyone dreams of having.I am jealously happy for this fictional couple and wish more than anything that there were five more books to be written about them. About little Prince Rosario and fiery fierce Red, about Conde Tristan, Storm and Alodia, Cosme, Mara and Belen. There is so much Carson could do with this world and these people because she’s developed these characters so thoroughly and so wonderfully I can create futures in my head for all of them. There are living breathing people to me and I am going to miss their stories.

The Bitter Kingdom is dazzling. It’s drips with beauty, from the world to the words to way her characters live, Carson has captured every bit of imagination. This series is one of the greatest I’ve ever read. Carson solidifies herself in rank with fantasy authors like JK Rowling, Kristin Cashore and Cinda Williams Chima.

I can’t write anymore. Anything I write won’t live up to how breathtaking this story is. Won’t ever truly make you understand how ardently I adore this series. Instead, I am going to write Rae Carson a letter begging and pleading her to write another series about the characters. Look for it on my blog soon.

Because Rae? “I love this series like a dying man loves air, and I would hate to have it just once.”

 

Tarnish by Katherin Longshore

19 Sep

tarnish

Book Two in the (sorta) Tudor Series

Rating: Two out of Five Stars

I adore the Tudor era and the opulence of books that are written based off of it. But this book, blech. Might as well be discussing the grass growing.

I guess I shouldn’t have set the bar so high for Tarnish considering Gilt was such a let down for me. But I just WANTED so much from this story, it has so much potential and was an utter failure. The richness, the drama, the romance, lies and hate and passion and everything that exemplifies the Tudor court was gone. Not only that, but Anne was meek and annoying and trivial. The Anne Boleyn that brought down kings is absent in this story. True, this book is based on her before-Queen time, but that fiery personality isn’t even relevant to this plot. Its rather ridiculous that someone could make Anne Boleyn, the woman who changed the English culture, the girl who changed the face of politics throughout the ENTIRE world, who spawned a BRAND NEW RELIGION, make her BORING! Completely inconsequential.

I do give mad props to Longshore for attempting to show a different side of the Boleyn story, but to end the book right before the juiciest part even begins?!? AGH! I want to tear my hair out. I could have suffered through this book if there was a second one coming that would validate this bland, boring, book as set up. I could survive if this was a first installment of decadent, passionate, sexy series that brought Henry, Anne, George, Jane, Thomas to a singeing peak of a climax that saw Catholicism in England diminish. Where we could experience the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. I mean, at least Gilt lead us through Kat’s execution and finished the whole damn story. This book leaves you on the precipice of a cliff so tall you want to jump, no matter the landing, because you had to struggle through hundreds of pages of nonsense to reach nothing.

And the cover redesigns? Awful. Boring as hell. Why would someone think that the new cover for Gilt and Tarnish are better?

Needless to say, I wanted more. It was a disappointment. And now I am sad. And for some reason, I know I will read Brazen because I like to torture myself.

 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

10 Sep

5thwave

Book One in The 5th Wave series

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

This book is one of a kind. Its creepy as hell but incredibly funny and hits you right in the gut. This book defines the word “gripping”. Its like a current in the ocean; you can feel it slowly taking hold of you and then woooosh… You are sucked under and can’t come up for breath until it releases you. Which isn’t until the last sentence of the book.

I think I have an author crush on Rick Yancey. Anyone who can make me love to read a YA novel through the POV of a five year old is gently and lovingly placed on a pedestal in Sydneyland. (Don’t worry, it’s not ALL in Sams POV, you get to see Cassie’s and Zombie’s too.)

He’s got a knack for creating a world that is real, tangible and freaky. (Not gunna lie I had to turn on Honey Boo Boo for an episode because I live by myself and started getting creeped out in the middle of the night reading this…) And then, not only does he add the creep factor into the messed up alien-invaded humanity deprived world, he layers on a delicious frosting of subtle humor that makes this book rocket up into stardom. Let me be clear, this not a comedy, but it is hilarious. I’ve never seen a YA author write humor with such deft hand. The jokes aren’t in your face, but it’s so teen-angsty, shock-induced quips that make me love every single narrator in this book.

Now I am not one for quoting books, but The 5th Wave has some incredibly deep insights that I think everyone should read:

“Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit.”

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”

“God doesn’t call the equipped, son. God equips the called. And you have been called.”

“How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the human of their humanity”

And my favorite one of all from Miss Cassiopea herself:

“I don’t move. I wait behind my log, terrified. Over the past ten minutes, it’s become such a dear friend, I consider naming it: Howard, my pet log.”

I love Cassie. I love that she’s NOT this badass superhuman pro-tag. She’s a normal girl thrust into a crazy situation and trying to deal with it. She’s not Katniss, she’s me and you and any other normal girl. That’s why I love her. And I love that she loves Bear. Their relationship makes me happy. ❤

Fragments by Dan Wells

4 Sep

fragments

Books Two in the Partials Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

This is a good book. A long book, but a good one nonetheless. The story is intricate and fast paced and just as fascinating as the first installment. Its plot is layered with delicately weaved suspense, action, romance and discovery which flow seamlessly between all characters. Although Kira annoyed me at times, she is still a pretty stellar heroine and has a great set of morals. Even if they are a little too uppity to be realistic.

One of the biggest differences between this book and the first was that Fragments has switching narrators. I loved viewing life through the eyes of Marcus, Ariel, Haru and briefly through Samm’s. It added an element to this installment that the original didn’t have and allowed the pace and plot to roll out magnificently. I always prepare myself for second books to be a little lame, slow paced and basically just fluff. But Wells did a great job of structuring Fragments into a very gripping book. While it was once again a hefty read, the story didn’t get bogged down with unnecessary drama that most second books do. And this lingering romance between Marcus, Samm, and Kira is so down-played it makes me happy. This love triangle is NOT in your face, and could hardly be called a love triangle at all because I think romance is mentioned by each of the three involved… maybe two or three times each? Very refreshing.

As I mentioned before, Kira kind of rubbed me the wrong way a few times but overall was a great pro-tag. The thing that bugs me is her one-purpose mind set. While I understand she wants to save everyone, I feel sometimes Wells didn’t spend enough time on her reasoning and emotions to solidify her status as the Savior of Humans and Partials. SPOILER! And the fact that Wells spent zero time on Kira’s feelings after Afa’s death really irked me. They just glazed over it like it was nbd some DIED. Someone that they drug unwillingly through a chemical wasteland and was mentally handicapped. It was much too blase for my taste. But besides that and Kira’s sometimes overwhelming self-righteousness, her decision at the end makes up for the bs I didn’t like early in the book.

Overall, a decent read.

 

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

16 Aug

thehazards

 

Rating: Five out of Five Stars

There’s a not whole lot I can say about this book…

besides that IT. WAS. FANTASTIC.

I adore everything single little thing about this book. The pro-tag, the premise, the plot, characters, pace, everything everything everything. There is not ONE thing I can critique. Every female in her teens and up should read this, it’s wonderful.

I picked this book up as a “if I get to it” read. It was discounted on Amazon and I really need a break from my typical YA dystopia/fantasy/sci-fi stuff because I’ve been really getting burnt out with the same story over and over and over again. But this little beauty was so perfect. It was exactly what I needed and everything I wanted.

Ivy does an amazing job of creating our main character, Juliet. She’s sassy but not a bitch, playful but not crazy, smart but not a nerd. I just adored every little thing about her. I really liked how it wasn’t the same ole tale of nerd girl losing her V card, or beauty queen getting a smack down; there was no ugly duckling transformation here. It was a normal, good looking female, who has had sex entering the great wide world of college. She’s dealing with boys and romance and sex. Its not uncomfortable, its relatable. Its the perfect coming of age novel without it being a TYPICAL coming of age novel. I really can’t gush enough about how much I enjoyed it… umm I read it in THREE hours.

SO yeah, it’s by far one of my new favs. And the BEST introduction into the New Age genre evers.

 

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