Updates, Mini Reviews and a Book Haul
I’ve not been very active recently due to suffering a sever stomach illness since January and have pretty much only been reviewing Netgalley books. Thankfully all better now, hoping to get the all clear at the doctors tomorrow and go back to work. So instead of bombarding Booklikes with lots of reviews, I figured I’d do a mini review post of some of the books I’ve read and not reviewed.
Early January I finished my Twilight reread. I have this book on audio, paperback, iBooks and Kindle. Yes, I know there are plenty of problems with it that can be picked a part and its one of those books that in spite of loving it to pieces, I do like to unmercifully make fun of the stupid heroine and sparkly vampires. But that being said, its still a five star book for me. This is one of the books that got me hooked on YA fiction, so it will always have a special place for that reason alone.
I got a shiny new Harry Potter set for Christmas so I’ve been working my way through that as well, so far up to Order of the Phoenix. My favourite is Goblet of Fire. I’ve read Order of the Phoenix a few times, and in years past its always been my least favourite, mainly due to Harry’s poor attitude problems. However, reading again now, I can actually understand where he’s coming from. I never bother reviewing Harry Potter books, I can never find the words to express how much I love them. I was never fond of the final book, I’ve only read it once, (one of the rare occasions where I thought the movies were better than the book), we shall see when I get there if I have changed my mind at all.
January 17th I finished the first book in Cassandra Clare’s infernal Devices series. Considering I’m a total Clare fangirl, I just did not love this series. I’ve never been overly fond of Victorian era steam punk as a genre, so maybe that’s it. I liked it, and have the other books in the trilogy, so its got my interest enough to want to finish the series, but I just didn’t find it as good as the Mortal Instruments. Then again, it took a few books into the series before I completely fell head over heels for the Mortal Instruments, so maybe I will like the next book more. 3 stars.
January 21st I finished A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. This was a bit of cover lust, as time travel and parallel universes aren’t really my thing. And as a former Dr Who fan (I’ve not watched the last few seasons) time travel always in my mind comes back to the Doctor. (Which may be an unfair generalization but that’s just me) I’ve been surprised by time travel books before, but this one didn’t really do anything for me. It was an interesting concept, but a little predictable in the plot. The sciency stuff was interesting, even logical, but the romance angle got annoying.
Jan 31st I finished the first book in Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore series, Nevermore. This was a paperback I’d bought used from Amazon on a whim, and has been sat on my shelf for ages, and while I’ve picked it up a few times, I’ve never got past the first few pages. Looking over the blurb it was like...a five hundred page plus book about a cheerleader and a Poe obsessed Goth boy? What the hell was I thinking? I was surprised at how much I loved the book. And the characters, particularly Isabelle, the cheerleader. Great character development, and fantastic world building, I loved the Poe angle, and filtered in lines from the Raven (though in my mind, thanks to The Simpsons the Raven always sounds in my mind like its read by James Earl Jones) 4 stars.
Jan 31st I also finished the second book in Brodi Ashton’s Everneath series, Everbound. Picking up shortly after where the first book left off the second book follows Nikki’s journey through the Everneath as she tries to rescue Jack after his sacrifice. This book had some terrific world building, and Nikki’s character showed immense growth as well. The first book she was whiny and annoying, the second book she’s got her head out of her ass and is doing something rather than sitting back and complaining. I liked her a lot more in this installment. The ending was a little annoying, there was a twist which was eye roll inducing in well should have seen that coming way. Left at a cliffhanger (of course) I am looking forward to seeing how this trilogy concludes. 3.5 stars
Feb16th I finished Something Real by Heather Demetrios. Something else I picked up on a whim as it deals with a girl who grew up in a huge family based reality TV show. With the exception of Judge Judy and The Hotel Inspector I loathe reality TV. But the concept of the book got my attention. And I fell head over heels in love with the story pretty much from the first page.
The premise of the story is the heroine grew up on a reality TV show, which was cancelled when she was a tween, now she’s a senior getting ready to graduate High School and she comes home one day, cameras everywhere and the show is back on. And a total nightmare ensues. I loved the writing, the characters were incredible. What the older high school aged kids go through is gripping, but appalling considering they’re trying to live normal lives while dodging unscrupulous producers and paparazzi and horrible parents.
The mother and step father in this book are quite possibly some of the worst parents I have come across in YA fiction. The mother is completely self absorbed and only interested in how she looks to the cameras, regardless of the heroine’s obvious problems. She won’t listen to reason and can turn anything back to what ungrateful brats her kids are. I wanted to punch the mother on numerous occasions. Along with the producers and TV interviews they deliberately instigate unnecessary and cruel drama on the oldest kids and then wonder why the kids are rightly pissed off.
How the heroine and her twin brother rise above this is brilliant. There’s a wonderful romance built in for the heroine as well, when she finally gets the attention of the boy she’s been crushing on, and she has some pretty good friends too. This is my best book of the year so far. 5 stars.
Feb 24th I finished Velveteen by Daniel Marks. This book was awful. I was really looking forward to it. From the sound of the blurb it looked like a book about the ghost of a teen girl who was murdered by a serial killer and how she gets her revenge from beyond the grave. What I got was an annoying bunch of teens and tweens running around a poorly constructed Purgatory with some weird stuff happening. Initially I quite liked Velvet, it started out with her haunting her killer and full of rage. She was a complete bitch who shot her mouth off regardless of the consequences. But her attitude became grating. Sent to Purgatory, Velvet is in charge of some sort of street team who Salvage souls. At least that was the impression I got. The purgatory world building was so haphazard it made no sense. There were lots of things going on and it was hard to keep track of the plot. Made worse when Velvet rescues a guy named Nick and falls in insta love. Nick is too annoyingly perfect for words. Velvet became too annoying for words. The plot was lousy and the ending was terrible. 1 star. Not recommended at all.
March 2nd I finished the second book in Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War trilogy, Kinslayer. This is one of my favourite dystopias. The second book took me nearly four months to get through. And is fantastic. I can not even form words for how much I love this series. This is also one of the most horrific dystopias I have ever read. On the one hand, the second book was a lot easier to read because I was more familiar with the characters and the style of writing, but on the other hand, the plot is so dark and terrible there was only so much of it I can take. The characters go through pure hell and the good guys determination to make things right again is totally gripping and absorbing. I was a bit of an emotional wreck after finishing this one. 5 stars.
(I need some light and fluffy reads before I read the last book in this series)
March 4th I finished the third book in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Faefever. I’m a little late to the party in becoming totally addicted to this series. This is a series I never review after reading, I just like reading and rating this one. What keeps me addicted to this series is the world building, I love the Fae world building (even if it is scary and creepy) and Mac. Mac is one of my absolute top favourite urban fantasy heroines. One thing I do not get at all is the fangirling over Barrons that I’ve read in some reviews. In my mind the man is an asshole of epic proportions and while there is certainly an intriguing mystery about him, I don’t find him sexy in the slightest. I don’t get it. That ending had my eyes bulging. How the fuck is Mac going to get out of that? 5 stars. Best book in the series so far.
March 9th I finished the second book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. After being less than impressed with the first Vampire Academy series I really had no interest in the rest of the them. At some point I must have figured what the hell, I’ll give it another shot. And I’m so glad I did because I just loved the second book. Better writing, better characters and a totally absorbing plot. I found Rose very annoying and full of herself in the first book, but I warmed towards her so much more in this installment. Yes, she certainly had more than a few bitchy and idiotic moments in this one but I found her so much more likable and character growth was amazing. Before I was even half way through this book I got the rest of the books in the series. The end of the second book was surprisingly moving and I actually teared up. That bumped my rating up from a 4 star to a 5 star. And now I’m totally hooked.
This turned out to be a lot longer than I thought! To finish off, a book haul photo of books purchased in February.