Posts Categorized: 1.5 star books

Reign of Shadows: Review

Reign of Shadows: Review

I wonder sometimes if I’m too harsh on a book from the start because an early detail annoys me. Case in point, Reign of Shadows takes place in a world of night, the moon fixed in a perpetual solar eclipse. Why would you name a girl who was born on the night this happens Luna? While the world is plunging into chaos and fear you name a newborn baby after the darkness? I am guessing that it will eventually be revealed that her birth and this eclipse are tied together and Luna has some Very Special Powers indeed. This perpetual eclipse also gave me some questions about how exactly any life is still functioning? I am perfectly willing to buy that this is a fantasy story and that I am supposed to just go with it. Some things, like bats evolving into 4 foot monstrosities in the span of 17… Read more »

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Belzhar: Review

Belzhar: Review

If you’re already skeptical about  someone being in deep, dark mourning lasting a year over someone they knew for only a few weeks then this is definitely not going to be a book for you. Although normally that would put me off I really, really wanted this book to work. Considering Wolitzer is well established in adult literary fiction, I suppose I figured she was likely to have a shot at creating a truly wrenching story of lost love even if that love was so brief. There were a couple of clear ways this scenario could work and I was curious to see if Wolitzer would pull it off. She didn’t. Everything about this story is surface level only. There is no depth of emotion, no character development, limited growth, stunted pacing, and one hell of an obnoxious ending that had me going, “Seriously?!” So here’s the plot: After a… Read more »

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Side Effects May Vary: Review

Side Effects May Vary: Review

I’ll be straight with you. Contemporary is not my favorite genre. With that said, if I am going to read a contemporary novel it means I think there is a strong chance that I will really like it. Side Effects May Vary left me confused, disturbed, irritated, depressed, and angry in turns. I was so bewildered by this story that I am convinced that I simply must have missed the entire point of it. There just has to be something I’m not understanding here. Why would I want to read a book about terrible people, who are terrible to each other, and who exhibit extremely minimal amounts of personal growth throughout? Truly, I do not understand. Perhaps this is my fault. I thought the sort of repercussions Alice would be dealing with would be things like telling someone you love them because time has run out only to discover that… Read more »

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All that Glows: review

All that Glows: review

I’ll admit that I am partially to blame for what happened here. I read the premise, and I thought this would be a reverse Jane Eyre–or at the very least a reverse Twilight–with, you know, like a billion-year-old lady who falls in love with a teenage boy. I thought the power dynamics would be knocked on their tiny heads. I thought this bad-ass Fae warrior would have to make some tough choices about a humble soldier’s worthiness as a match for a prince. Basically I wanted She-Hector. And that’s all on me. Totally, no sarcasm, my fault. I know that the thing I wanted can’t really work in a young adult romance novel. I get it. Young women tend to be more mature than young men, so the popular fantasy is of an older dude (who doesn’t look creepily older). It really is super appealing. And your audience (teenage girls)… Read more »

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Fury: review

Fury: review

FuryBy Elizabeth Miles The pitch for this book is fabulous, and it’s easy to see why it got the green light: a group of beautiful girls, loosely based on the Greek Furies, punishes teenagers for their indiscretions. Add to that an insanely gorgeous cover using a model with glorious red hair in a flowing dress, and most people are going to be irresistibly drawn to it. I know I was. Even now when I look at this beautiful girl on the cover, I want so badly to forgive her for her toxic contents. But I can’t do it, my lovely girl. I just can’t. The marketing package is actually very misleading. From the synopsis and cover art, I expected a fairly typical paranormal YA novel, but what’s inside is actually much closer to horror-lite. Emily and Chase are both doing naughty, naughty things during winter break, and most of the… Read more »

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Shift (Shade #2): review

Shift (Shade #2): review

Shift (Shade #2)by Jeri Smith-Ready The first book in this series was really entertaining. I liked the concept of a world in which kids born after a certain time period could all see ghosts, as well as the idea of exploring how difficult that reality might be for both the ghosts and the ones they leave behind. Aura’s boyfriend Logan made a stupid mistake and paid for it with his life, leaving her full of guilt and unresolved feelings. In both the previous book and in this one, she has to find a way to help him come to terms with his future as well as coming to terms with her own. Complicating matters is the handsome Zachary and the Department of Metaphysical Purity, both of whom want  Logan gone for good. Warning: spoilers to follow. With such an interesting set-up, expanding on the story that began in Shade should… Read more »

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