Friday, November 28, 2014


by Carmen Caine

Cassidy Edwards was born when she shouldn't have been. Her mother was pregnant with her when she was changed into a vampire, which should have meant that Cassidy died before she had a chance to be born. Instead, Cassidy was not only born, but she was born a monster.

She doesn't crave blood. She can barely tolerate human food. She only really feeds off the mana that every person carries around. Luckily for her, she only needs a brief contact to get the sustenance she needs.

Unluckily for her, she tried to feed off the wrong man.

Now she's been forced into a contract with that man to search for a dangerous vampire with a werewolf, a demon, and an addicted imp.

Maybe she can do this, but it would really help if she knew what the hell she was supposed to do.

Final thoughts: Interesting story with a few good parts.  I can see a lot of potential here, but Cassidy's naivete about her own existence and life is frustrating, as is her single-mindedness about revenge.  There's a soap opera quality to the story that gets a little strange. I'm interested in the next one, but I may not even remember that I wanted to read it when it does come out.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sweet Oblivion

Sweet Oblivion
by Bailey Ardisone

No book talk... just venting.

I have waited two days to review this because I felt like I needed some space, but this was just awful and time isn't helping.  I just don't understand the ratings on this one.  There are so very many corny cliches, as well as obvious discrepancies that this book is just really predictable and fairly bad. Nariella was fostered by a wonderful woman and an abusive man.  When the woman dies, Nari is left with the abusive guy and forced into a Cinderella-like life of keeping the house spotless, even when he destroys it, or she can't go to the bal... umm... the willow tree to meet her BFF. Just before she turns 18, she meets a mysterious guy with mysterious powers who has mysterious people following him looking for a mysterious place. 


There are so many plot holes and issues here including having no friends all her life, but suddenly having a pair of fraternal twins move to town who both think she's super cool. And the boy she's rejected, who moved away, has also moved back, so now she's got a whole clique going.

About 3/4 of the way through, someone seems to have told Ardisone that the plot holes were a little too massive, so she drops in some things to explain stuff like why Nari would still be at the home of a foster parent after the wife died. With or without the abuse, someone would have come to check up on her from time to time since she was a foster and not formally adopted. But let's just drop in a page or two to say that she was a foundling who was never reported and therefore never really a foster child. Oh! And Nari's BFF is discovered to be an amazing archer at pretty much the exact same time, so you know that that will be important later.

Nari is also fascinated by twins, not just her new friends, but she makes a comment early on about how she wished she had one, and, of course, there's a parallel story with Namine, who you just KNOW is Nari's long-lost twin (though that's not revealed here, it surely will be in the second book).

There's a simple saying that what you don't know can hurt you and yet, Nari is kept in the dark by her mysterious stranger over and over again even when she's in the most dangerous situations.  People tell her nothing and she seems to be OK with that. She also can't keep her own mouth shut and tells people all kinds of things that probably shouldn't be said, which means that will probably come back to haunt her in the future.

This is bad with tons of talking and sudden emoting with no real explanation or development. It's just not well-written and I have no need to read anymore.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Elite

The Elite
by Kiera Cass

America has made it past the initial eliminations of the 35 who started and is now one of the final six: one of the Elite.

As the competition gets down to its last weeks, America must make a decision about her future.  

She must choose between the boy she always thought she would marry and the man who has captured her heart.

She must figure out if she could make a good queen or if she would do more harm to the kingdom than good.

And she must decide which life she really wants before it's too late to decide anything.

Final thoughts: I'm wishing I re-read the first one because I felt like I was missing a few things; however, I still really liked this one once I got into it.  There are some very interesting ideas about politics and our country's possible future, which really sparks some thoughts.  I liked the development of the relationship between Maxon and America, though I really wanted to shake them at times.  Maxon's justifications for some of his decisions are poor and America's acceptance of one of them is frustrating.  Overall though, the story is well done and I look forward to reading the final book of this trilogy.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Taking

The Taking 
by Kimberly Derting 

Kyra Agnew was the best softball player her town had ever seen. She was on the road to earning a scholarship to pretty much any college she wanted. But she didn't want just any college; she wanted the college that her boyfriend, Austin, was going to go to. Her dad, however, thinks her decision shouldn't be made just because of her boyfriend's location. And that's the argument they're having when everything changes. 

That's when the fireflies surround her and a bright light beams. 

Moments later, Kyra wakes behind a gas station dumpster miles from home, with no memory of how she got there. She heads to her home only to find a stranger at her door. She runs to her boyfriend's house across the street only to find his little brother who isn't so little anymore. And she finds out that it wasn't just a moment between the light and her appearance behind the dumpster. 

It was five years. 

And, boy, have things changed! Her parents divorced after her dad became obsessed with fireflies. Her mother remarried and now has a young brother for Kyra. Her boyfriend is dating her best friend and they're at college following Kyra's dream. And her boyfriend's brother is very much in love with her. 

If all that wasn't enough, government agents are tracking her and a strange boy keeps following her. 

Which makes Kyra wonder, what really happened that night five years ago? 

Final thoughts: Meh. Interesting read and I finished it quickly, but I wasn't fully engaged. Things happened really quickly and sometimes felt like they were on hyper-drive. The relationship with Tyler was odd, confusing, and really out of nowhere (plus a little skeevy because he'd been 12 the last time she'd seen him and now they're in love?). Derting's Body Finder series was much better. Maybe I'll go reread that... 

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

When Jacob was little, his grandfather would tell him fantastical tales of children who were invisible, or could light fires with their bare hands, or float, or lift large boulders with no effort, or do so many other peculiar things.  As he grew, Jake realized that his grandfather was just making things up and that the monsters he sometimes talked about were just stories designed to scare a child.

But when Jake's grandfather is murdered in his backyard, and Jake sees what he thinks is a terrible, tentacled creature, the grandson starts to believe that maybe his grandfather was telling the truth.

After months of psychotherapy and medication to convince him that was a just seeing things, Jake finally gets the chance to find out the truth.  He gets to go the island his grandfather had told him about and look to see if he can find the mysterious Miss Peregrine and her home for peculiar children.

At first, all Jake finds is a bombed out house with no living creatures nearby.  However, after a second visit to the decayed and devastated building, Jake encounters the children his grandfather had told him about, along with a portal back in time to a loop that repeated the same day in September 1940, over and over again.

Unfortunately, Jake didn't come to the island alone and now he has to make a decision: go home to a life and a world of people who think he's insane, or stay with his new family of peculiars and defend them from the monsters that only he can see.

Final thoughts: Okay.  I'm struggling here because this was so very popular and it even became a best seller.  My problem comes from the fact that this book is almost entirely exposition.  It's like Twilight in the sense that the only real plot comes near the end and only after a very long set-up.  I was often bored and put the book down for long periods of time.  The pictures are fascinating, but they're just not enough to hold my attention and, now that the plot has finally started at the end of the book, I just don't care to continue reading.  There were many things going for this, but not enough to keep me interested.

Rating: 2/5


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