I feel like I need to talk about this book. It's been out for awhile now, but I just got to reading it within the past month. Now I feel motivated to write a little rant about it.
The novel begins well. I was actually quite excited, especially because there was not some over dramatic overly love oriented vibe to it. The two main characters, at the beginning, were both strong, talented, and mostly reasonable. However, there was one thing that really bothered me about them, which was the fact that they were quite one-dimensional. They actually sounded like they were the same person at times, despite being brought up in completely different circumstances. Not only that, but the perspectives sounded way too much like a middle-class view mixed with serious clichés. For example, Day is proposed as the cynical-with-a-soft-side, rebellious, charismatic/womanizing, dark protagonist character. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? If not, call to mind a few other male lead characters from YA novels, such as Jace Wayland (Mortal Instruments), Fang (Maximum Ride Series), and Loki (Trylle novels). Furthermore, June is a cliché as well, pictured as brilliant, curious, spur-of-the-moment, and well off until she meets him. Again, call to mind the characters of Clary (The Mortal Instruments), Grace (Shiver trilogy), and Wendy (Trylle novels). However, these similarities are pretty common, and I'm surely not doing enough justice to the actual differences, so I continued to enjoy it.
When the romance came along, I was not expecting much. I knew it would, as who could possibly write a novel with two main characters of opposite sex and not make them fall in love with each other? So it showed up, with its lack of necessity and irritating drama. However, it was pretty well done. Of course, sadly, it was based off beauty, but it was more complex than the typical romance and I was enthralled when the characters kissed. Yet still the novel was definitely dragged down a bit because of it. To begin, such an enthrallment is a reader's enthrallment. It is one of the most powerful reactions, as it can create sheer enjoyment after the anticipation of it. However, so often it is used before the anticipation can build up enough. This makes it very difficult to continue the romance afterwards, as well as making a sort of anti-climax for the novel. Examples of this could be shown within the Shiver series, the Mortal Instruments, the Twilight series, and so many others. My preference is always to wait until the end of a series before the two characters get together if at all.
Moving on, I had one of the biggest issues with the descriptions and exposition. I feel my issue is best represented as notes to Lu and her fellow authors, stated as follows:
-I don't care if it's a novel, people do not just randomly think of their names (ex: I was named Joe after my grandfather. Let's go rob a bank)
-People don't describe, in detail, familiar objects. (ex: I glanced at my name tag, which I'd been wearing all day. My normal, curly script had become messy in my rush, so my name had been barely visible)
-Go easy on the descriptions. Save the elaborate ones for scenery. You are not recording a police description, so they do not have to be written down one after another. This is especially apparent with clothing. (ex: I looked down at my blue dress, with little pearls and eloquent silk ribbons. The same silk was used to wrap my high-heeled shoes, which were covered in the layers of tulle beneath the skirt. It reminded my of the top half of a globe, minus all the splotches of green and white. Where the north pole should have been, the skirt met my tightly strung bodice. The strings pulled at my skin so I could hardly breath.)
The final conundrum was with the preview of the next novel, which is partly why I don't plan to read the sequel in its entirety for a long while. As stated above, the romance issue occurred. The romance seems to have died and now the author is trying to pull together two people who really shouldn't have gotten together in the first place. What I mean by this is that the main characters seem angry with one another, and are lacking all the humor or passion that makes romance useful in a novel. Furthermore, they seem to have slipped into another cliché. This time, Day has become the overly-protective/controlling boyfriend and June has become the clingy, trying-to-make-it-work girlfriend. As you can see, it seems stuffy.
I know that was long, but I have a lot to get off my chest. By the way, when I write these things I am not saying that I don't make these same mistakes. This is simply my perspective as a reader towards this novel.
You guys (my, like 10 readers) might be wondering, "Where did the book critiques go? I really enjoyed them! This new Whatever blog stinks! Where did classy Sydney go?" Screw you. Let me tell you why I haven't been making the book reviews:
What do you think? Should I move onto another blog? Should I go onto youtube instead? Do you have these blogger problems too? Let me know and join the club of aspiring bloggers!
PS. The critiques are not gone! It just might take me a while before I bring a critique to the table. Don't be too sad!
Summary: This story begins with a seventeen year old girl, Juliette, who is trapped in an asylum after killing (on accident) a young boy. Juliette gets a new roommate named Adam. She and Adam get more and more familiar with each other, realizing that they had known each other long ago. However, it turns out that Adam is a soldier sent to check Juliette's sanity before sending her to the Reestablishment, a dark new government ruling what's left of civilization after the earth began to die. They send her there because she has a power they want; she can kill a person if she touches them, however she can't control this ability. Once there, Juliette meets Warner, a young man very interested in her. She is trapped there, forced to bend to Warner's will as his attraction for her grows stronger and stronger. However, Juliette falls in love with Adam. The story climaxes when Juliette and Adam learn they can touch each other without Adam getting injured. With this realization, Juliette and Adam run away. They join with Adam's younger brother and a suspicious army companion, now searching for the only good place left on earth.
Plot: The plot in the novel was superb. It was suspenseful, daring, and almost strange. It brought up many parts of the darkness of the modern society, yet keeping the novel hopeful with the way everything is told. It also offers some great romance scenes and a sort of love triangle that's well-rounded and beautifully passionate. The reader is easily swept away in the flow of the novel. Last, the action is told where it's fast-paced and scary but also slow enough to be thoroughly understood and digested by the reader.
Characters: The characters were quite well developed. The main character was flawless in development, never darkening or becoming almost frighteningly distant. No, the main character was strong, humble, and thoughtful with additions of romantic and kind to round out the personality. She never faltered in this almost literature pureness that so delights me to read. I mean, how often are the main characters strong yet realistic. It was so easy to imagine her footsteps, her image, and her choices without feeling bitter or untrusting towards the character or author. The other minor characters were just as interesting. Warner and Adam were really well done so they held very specific images so the reader forms feelings towards each with absolute sureness. No character, even the villains like Warner, were ever wasted or bitterly ignored from the novel or reader, truly filling out/smoothing out the novel. All in all, it was the characters' honest human traits while perfect fantasy development that made this novel great.
Overall Review: This novel was a fantastic read. It brought new, untested plots and events into a very "traditional" apocalyptic view. Through this, the novel really began to burrow its way into the reader's heart. Each twist, each event that occurred, was executed so well even the bad ones made the reader happily excited to move on. Of course, the author could have never have made this book so great without the great characters. They were strong, passionate, thoughtful, and (most of all) human. Each person in the novel was so relatable, it was easy to envision one's self in their shoes. However, the characters also brought a kind of strength and undying hope that is almost exclusive towards imaginary characters. In all, Shatter Me was a magnificent book with interestin
Summary: The fourth book in the Born at Midnight series, is a modern fantasy with some horror edge. The main character, Kylie Galen, learns that she is a supernatural chameleon. This means that she can switch between vampire, werewolf, and other supernatural species. She can also see and speak with ghosts and contains the ability to gain powers when defending other people. She goes to a boarding school for other supernatural people like her. In this part of the series, Kylie faces a new murder mystery with three victims of a serial killer, one being the twin sister of the headmaster of the school. The murder creates some very curious questions about the headmaster, as well as Kylie’s abilities in protecting and how the supernatural world truly functions. Kylie’s mysterious grandparents and relatives also are trying to get her to leave the school and join them in their homes. In the end, Kylie must solve the crime and find the murderer before they take their next victims.
Overall Review: This was all in all a great book. The word choice was perfectly fit, and the dialogue was very well executed. The characters were memorable, and the author’s development remained consistent. The main character especially was easily lovable and the reader became attached within the first page. However, the ending was a tad off key and left many questions unanswered. All in all, it was a great book that lived up to its previous novels.
Summary: Seeing Redd, the sequel to The Looking Glass Wars, begins at the beginning of Alyss Heart’s reign over Wonderland. However, it is not smooth sailing. Arch, the king of the neighboring kingdom, is planning to take over Wonderland. He executes many plans to try to sabotage Wonderland. One of Arch’s schemes, for example, is that he kidnaps Queen Alyss’s personal bodyguard and force her to do many traitorous tasks toward the kingdom. Also, while Arch works to eliminate Alyss’s kingdom, Alyss’s evil aunt Redd builds up an army and works towards taking over Wonderland. It ends with a battle between Queen Alyss’s army and the combined forces of Redd and Arch. The result of the war changes Wonderland, and its people, forever.
Overall Review: This novel had a very good plot. It followed classic structure with surprising twists to keep the reader interesting. It also helped that the sentence structures and word choice were very fitting towards a more mature story such as this. Character development within the novel did not severely decline in any way, and the author developed each character with more detail than the previous book. However, the ending, although intriguing, was a bit too fast and uneven to securely inspire the reader to move on to the following book in the series. All in all, Seeing Redd was a beautiful fairytale with modern twists and interesting characters
This is a fractured-fairytale about the classic Alice in Wonderland. It begins with Alyss Heart, living in Wonderland as a young princess. She has two loving parents, powers of imagination that stun her subjects, and a wonderful friend named Dodge. Then, her wonderful life crumbles into oblivion as her evil aunt, Redd, conquers Wonderland and brutally murders Alyss's parents. Alyss and the royal family's bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must escape to the Pool of Tears. Alyss and Madigan are separated in the portal, and Alyss ends up in a Victorian London. Lost and alone, Alyss tries desperately to find someone who will believe her story. She ends up in an orphanage, where the Liddels adopt her. Finally, she meets an author willing to tell her story. However, the author only deceives her and twists the story into a childish fairytale, Alice in Wonderland. Destroyed by this betrayal, Alyss gives up and begins to conform with her society. She is even engaged to the Prince of England. Then, in a turn of events, she is taken back to Wonderland. She then must regain her imagination powers, and ultimately battle Redd for the kingdom.
I thought the plot was fantastic. It followed a traditional fairytale outline, then through in some dark and mature elements. It had a very slow, developed rhythm throughout, even in the most dramatic sections. I quite enjoyed that, for it gave the reader time to reflect and understand the words. The story's touches of realism corresponding with the dreamlike fairytale components blended perfectly with each new chapter. The suspense and mystery kept the reader's interest, while the powerful battle scenes stirred emotions and attachment of the characters. Not to mention the author's execution of each event was superb, and obviously thought out. In fact, I felt that each word the author set forth unto the story had some meaning, whether it be obvious or hidden.
These characters were very unlike many I have seen before. Each one had some sort of story, giving powerful reason behind every single actions. The main character, Alyss, was actually one of the most intriguing of the characters. At the beginning, I was quite off-put with the snotty, young Alyss character. As the story continued, she began to slowly develop into a strong, wise person capable of ruling a kingdom. However, when she conforms to the London Society, the character development seriously declined. Although the author tried desperately to regain Alyss's being, he could never truly regain the reader's trust.This, I thought, was the only major downfall with the characters and their developments. There was one other issue, concerning Alyss's childhood friend, Dodge. When she returned to Wonderland as a twenty-something year old, she found him to have matured into a bitter, cold young man intent on revenge. This could have been a horrible downfall of the story, but the author did fully succeed at creating this change more into a problem rather than a permanent impediment.
All in all, The Looking Glass Wars was a wonderful piece of writing. It contained an exciting plot with wonderful descriptions and storytelling. The characters of the book were equally interesting. Although, the story did contain some minor problems that often left the reader a bit out-of-sorts, as well as a lack of proper character development towards the middle. Nonetheless, The Looking Glass Wars was a very excellent book.
This is a horror story, told by the perspective of a rebellious, artsy, teenager named Alexis and her younger sister, Kasey. Kasey has always collected dolls, but one in particular seems to cause some strange occurences. Kasey's behavior begins to become more and more peculiar, and the same is for her speech and memory. The book finally climaxes when Alexis discovers that ghosts are oh too real, and that Kasey is being possessed by a very evil one. Alexis joins forces with an unlikely help, and they fight to stop Kasey before she does the unspeakable.
I thought the plot was exciting, suspenseful, and actually well-written. It had a couple bumps, but the author quickly captured the reader back. I even liked the inclusion of a little romance, that was just too sweet and developed. The only complaint I have is that I felt the author could have committed to the creepy ghost. I mean, it was great when it finally climaxed, but otherwise the horror was slightly lacking.
At first I was not a big fan of the rebellious, too-good-for-the-world kind of girl. But as the story went on I learned that there was much more than the overused, irritating character stereotype I had put her as. She actually contained a lot of potential, and the author developed her just right. However, I can't say the same for Kasey. Even though she was a victim, I found her quite irritating and too childish for the age she was. I also didn't enjoy her strange social patterns even when she wasn't possessed.
It was good. The author did write along a fairly easy subject, but managed to execute it quite well. However, some of the suspense was missing, the minor characters were a bit lacking, and (most of all) it was a tad too safe for such an edgy subject. If only she had taken it one more step further. In all, Bad Girls Don't Die was a good book with an enticing main
A new review! I am so sorry about how long it's been since my last review, but my schedule has become increasingly hectic as I try to balance my life. I am constantly jealous how book characters can create equality with such grace. Anyways, on to the review. This review is going to be in a different format, for the sake of change.
The List is a modern story about a list stating the ugliest and prettiest girls, in each grade, at a public school. It is made and distributed five days before the homecoming dance, and is a school tradition kept for years. The story goes on to explain how the eight girls on the list are changed because of this new judgement. Each chapter revolves around a certain girl, and describes the few days in between the release of the list and the homecoming dance. The book ends explaining each girl's take on that one night.
I thought the plot was a bit bland. Yes, the story did include very realistic circumstances, but in doing so there was no grand climax that left the reader gasping. Don't get me wrong, I am all for realism, but if the author's point was to stun the reader I don't think she executed that quite properly. And although each girl experienced many problems and dealt with inner conflicts, the story ended up being bland and a bit rushed. Also, the overall suspense was very lacking. Not to mention the ending was quite disjunct.
I found the characters to be relatable and intriguing. Their dialogue was very appropriate, as was their attitudes towards certain things. The development was done very well for most of the characters, and by the end the reader was very attached. The only problem I had was with Jennifer and Margo, the two senior girls. I found their decisions and actions distant and random, with conviction that went unexplained. Also, I think the author gave the girls the wrong kind of behavior to properly express the purpose of The List. If the personalities were to be switched, I may enjoy the two girls much more.
The List had a good message towards teenage girls. The characters were relatable and, most of all, believable. However, the proper execution of plot was amateur and I did not enjoy the strange connection of the girls' stories. All in all, it was an okay book with some nice components.
New series everyone! So, this story revolves around a girl named Wendy Everly. It begins with her "mother" trying to murder Wendy when Wendy was six. It then skips to Wendy's life today. She lives with her aunt and brother. At first I thought that she was stubborn, irritating, and unable to fulfill the criteria to be a desired main character. Then, a boy named Finn tells her she is not human but a Trylle (nice way of saying troll). He then tells her that she must go with him to find her true family. She refuses, until she is nearly kidnapped by the Vittra, an evil race of Trylle. The two then go to her real home, where Wendy discovers she is a princess. However, she is not happy there and her real mother is quite displeased of Wendy. I liked the mother, Elora, at first but during the course of the book found her more and more of an issue. Then, Wendy and Finn fell in love. Ugh, normally I like that kind of romance, but that was some very awkward love. Finn kissed her like one time then just left. Wendy was unsure of her feelings for him, but is now heartbroken because he left. Also, their love is forbidden which I wouldn't have minded if not for how the story-line was carried out. All in all, an okay book but I am definitely reading the next one in the series.
Hmm, what can I say about this book? Well, let's start off with Wisty. Her character development kind of went haywire in this new book, and her relationship with Byron was so awkward I almost skipped the pages including him. Whitford's development was at a standstill the whole time, though his relationship with his dead girlfriend ceased. However, Patterson made the mistake of bringing the girlfriend back in at the end equalling a seriously confused reader. Patterson also kept the reader completely in the dark. I mean, sometimes I had no clue what was going on. Characters kept drifting in and then disappearing so randomly it took forever just to figure out who each person was. Also, this whole "one" character was really just aggravating. With the reader knowing so little about his motives or the details of what he was doing, he became more of a problem for the reader rather than an actual character that develops throughout the story. This kind of unexplained writing is sadly prominent in James Patterson's series, Maximum Ride. Although, there the writing is slightly less confusing. However, I'm not sure if I will continue to read the next book in the Witch and Wizard series.