Posts Categorized: 4 star books

Arclight: review

Arclight: review

A harrowing sci-fi thriller about a teen who’s survived horrors but lost her memory, for fans of Veronica Roth, Stephen King, and Justin Cronin. When I read that description, I actually groaned. Comparing anything to those authors is just as bad as every new dystopian being coined the next Hunger Games; it nearly always sets up the reader for disappointment. What could possibly live up to those standards? Well, Arclight by Josin McQuein kind of… does. It’s got the dystopian feel of Divergent, the King creep-factor, and a serving of government experiment gone horribly wrong courtesy of Cronin. Marina woke up in the Arclight hospital, with no memory of how she got there. All she knows is what she’s been told: they found her in the Grey, hiding from the Fades, and brought her back to the compound. She doesn’t know who she is, or where she came from before that–no… Read more »

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Fragments: review and giveaway

Fragments: review and giveaway

Title: Fragments (Partials #2)Author: Dan WellsRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: February 26, 2013Publisher: Balzer + BrayAge Group: YASource: ARC from publisher This review is spoiler-free, even if you haven’t read the first book in this series. In my review of last year’s Partials, I posted a handy check list to help readers decide whether the book was for them. If you’re a fan of well-written science fiction thrillers or post-apocalyptic novels with strong heroines, this series is one you should definitely check out! What do you need to know going into the sequel? — There are fantastic action sequences, full of taut suspense and emotion. — Survivalist enthusiasts will love it. During the first half of the book, Kira spends most of her time searching through rubble for clues to ParaGen’s involvement in the devastating events that decimated human society. — A mysterious character named Afa, who has… Read more »

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Adorkable: review

Adorkable: review

Title: AdorkableAuthor: Sarra ManningRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: May 24, 2012Publisher: AtomAge Group: YASource: borrowed Okay, there isn’t anything really original about this book — not the characters, not the plot, not the themes or big ideas: dorky girl and hot jock; hipster-hating, card-carrying feminist outcast using hardcore persona to mask lonely heart; the impassioned, heated, honest-to-goodness desire to save the world (one dork fashion statement at a time). So we’ve seen it before but it is refreshing. Adorkable is exactly what you’d expect from a book with such a cover, but Manning adds a bit of extra — and that bit of extra is what ultimately glues your feelings to these characters, perhaps without even knowing it. I say that because Jeane is, for so much of the time, insufferable. She is loud, hate-y and obnoxious and she is so good at it, we want to give… Read more »

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The Indigo Spell: review

The Indigo Spell: review

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)Author: Richelle MeadRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date:February 12th, 2013Publisher: RazorbillAge Group: YASource: HC from publisher Hooray–my status with Richelle Mead goes from “it’s complicated” back to “in a relationship” again! *throws confetti* This review is spoiler-free even if you haven’t read any of the other books Bloodlines or VA books. Vampire Academy is one of my favorite YA series and I’m usually a big fan of this author’s, but I’ve had middling reactions to her books across all genres since Spirit Bound and Iron-Crowned. I am happy to report that the magic is back again for this latest installment of the Bloodlines series, which follows the problems that Alchemist Sydney Sage encounters as she tries to protect Jill, the spare to the vampire throne. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead picks up a few weeks after the events of The Golden Lily, and… Read more »

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House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7): review

House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7): review

Title: House Rules(Chicagoland Vampires #7)Author: Chloe NeillRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date:February 5th, 2013Publisher: PenguinAge Group: AdultSource: ARC provided by the publisher With most Book Sevens, I am usually checking release schedules and making all kinds of martyred noises about how series should quit while they’re ahead. By that point, authors are usually stuck on rules they’ve set for how the relationships play out, or they’re having trouble coming up with new problems without changing the nature of certain characters. That’s not the case with Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires, however.  This series shows no signs of slowing down or relying on tired, recycled story lines or forced conflict to move the action forward. In this particular installment, the vampires’ Cadogan House is in a state of flux as its status among the other Houses is called into question. On top of that, vampires are disappearing–and a face from the… Read more »

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Mind Games: review

Mind Games: review

I wasn’t really sure what I was in for when I started Mind Games. I’d only read the first in Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy series, and while it was cute with great world-building, it wasn’t enough to get me invested in finishing the rest of the series. Evie just felt so young. (You know. Like how young sixteen year olds are, compared to a wizened spinster of 30…) But, you guys? Fia is no Evie. Not even close. The moment he bends over to help the sorrow-eyed spaniel puppy, I know I won’t be able to kill him. This, of course, ruins my entire day. Sophia (Fia) is a trained assassin. A spy. A thief. She is whatever Keane needs her to be; an indentured villain with perfect instincts she doesn’t always understand, but always follows. And she will never, ever be able to escape. Because if she tries, they’ll hurt… Read more »

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The Archived: review & giveaway

The Archived: review & giveaway

Title: The Archived #1 Author: Victoria SchwabRating: 4 out of 5 starsRelease Date: January 22, 2013 Publisher: HyperionAge Group: YASource: ARC from ALA  I have to admit, it wasn’t until the second half of the book that The Archived by Victoria Schwab really started clicking together for me. I‘ve heard that some people who read the extended preview online were unsure if they wanted to continue, and I can see why–but something about the writing was really appealing to me and I ended up having a great experience with it. Here’s what I liked about the book: * Dead people who are kept on shelves like books? Sign me on! Awesome premise.  * I loved the eerie, something‘s-not-quite-right atmosphere. All this drama happening in the hushed hallways of a library setting somehow felt pretty creepy. * The narrative voice felt comfortable and real. * This isn’t written in a fast-paced sci-fi thriller… Read more »

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