Posts Categorized: myths

Cruel Beauty: review

Cruel Beauty: review

Retellings of classic myths and stories with well-known mythological figures as characters have been really popular lately. They can be resonant and deep, using the comfort of the familiar to comment on society and human nature, or they can be cheesy and superficial, with that “Here’s a quirky thing about me that history got wrong, wink wink fart!” attitude, and it can be hard sometimes to tell which of those you’re dealing with until you really get into the story. I am happy to report that this book is very much one of the former. Cruel Beauty is an exquisitely crafted retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche. I am in awe of Rosamund Hodge and her ability to strip that classic story down to its most basic narrative skeleton and build on top of it a brand new, complex world with rich, original mythology and characters. There’s also… Read more »

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Mini Reviews: The Boyfriend App + The Nightmare Affair

Mini Reviews: The Boyfriend App + The Nightmare Affair

We’re trying out a new format today with mini reviews! It’s a good way for us to share some quick thoughts about our recent reads, and to cover more books on the blog than we’d typically be able to. ———————————————– Title: The Boyfriend AppAuthor: Katie SiseRating: 3 out of 5 starsRelease Date: April 30, 2013Publisher: Balzer & BrayAge Group: YASource: ARC provided by the publisher Smart, geeky Audrey McCarthy needs money for college, so she decides to enter a competition to design a phone app that lets users find their perfect romantic match. I loved the idea of a girl who’s a tech nerd, so I was very entertained by the first half of this book. Audrey’s a fun character, and the explanations of technical terms and use of social media is well-integrated into the story; I also enjoyed the breezy writing and quick pace. But halfway through, the plot… Read more »

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The Calling: review

The Calling: review

The Callingby Kelley Armstrong I have a feeling that some people are going to hate Kelley Armstrong’s The Calling. It’s almost impossible that she didn’t think this was going to piss a few people off. This is a book you can’t take at face value. Because at face value, this is a slow progressing plot, the romance is largely missing (though not entirely, it’s just not with the same guy – shock horror), and as we get more answers about Maya, her friends and the bad guys, we also get more questions. This is an adventure book. It’s a prolonged action scene. It’s like a cross between the Blair Witch Project, Mantracker and Survivorman. There’s a lot of hiding, running, fighting, all that jazz. It started to become frustrating because if you’re someone who looks for plot development, then this might be a bit of a challenge. If you’re someone… Read more »

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyerby Michelle Hodkin Welcome to yet another teen romance masquerading as a paranormal novel. If you’re like me, you’ve been salivating to read this book for months because of the breathtaking cover—and of course, the premise of a girl waking up in a hospital with no memory of how her friends were killed is pretty intriguing. I’m sorry to say, however, that the maddening phenomenon I’m calling “cover fraud” strikes again, since this is another book whose interior does not live up to its beautiful cover art. Mara Dyer doesn’t know what happened to her friends the day that a building collapsed on them, nor how she somehow escaped miraculously unscathed. The family decides to pack up and move to another town to get away from intrusive attention and so that her lawyer father can take on a high-profile criminal case. Until this point, things are… Read more »

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If I Die (Soul Screamers #5): review

If I Die (Soul Screamers #5): review

If I Dieby Rachel Vincent *Happy happy dance.* For fans the Soul Screamers series, this book will either be everything you want…or everything you feared most. I fall firmly into the “incoherently happy” camp after reading it. Soul Screamers as a whole is kind of a funny animal. The mythology is pretty unusual and I really like the unique world that Rachel Vincent creates with her banshees, maras, grim reapers, and demon breath. The stories are admittedly fairly straightforward (think Morganville rather than Chicagoland or Vampire Academy) and Kaylee Cavanaugh sometimes seemed very young in the beginning. But as Kaylee’s problems became bigger and her relationships with her best friend and her family and her boyfriend became more involved, this somehow became a series that I really, really enjoy. She makes plenty of mistakes, particularly in that last agonizing book My Soul to Steal, but they are ones that you completely… Read more »

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Fury: review

Fury: review

Furyby Shirley Marr This book defies every just about every red flag that pops up in YA literature. Are you cautious when trying out a brand new author? Do you sometimes wince when girls behave in classic “mean girl” fashion towards each other? Do you get sick of brand names being dropped into casual conversation? Well, you’ll find all of that and more in Shirley Marr’s debut novel. And the funny thing is, because it’s in the hands of a gifted author, it all works. Beautifully. Within minutes of meeting Eliza Boans, you quickly realize that she’s a spoiled, murderous brat. She’s a privileged teenager living in the exclusive community of East Rivermoor, and she’s just confessed to a heinous crime in an interrogation room–but exhibits not a single shred of remorse. She’s far more concerned about returning to her pampered life in which she rules the roost of girls… Read more »

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Frost: review

Frost: review

Frostby Wendy Delsol It’s a tricky situation when you’re really looking forward to reading a book and it ends up being a disappointment. I normally post my reviews fairly quickly after reading, but I put off writing this one for some time because I was so conflicted over my feelings. The thing is, I really enjoyed Stork, the first book in this series, for several reasons: the strikingly original paranormal concept of a girl who is destined to be part of a mystical order of women, the fresh and funny voice, the cute relationship between Katla and Jack, and the bits of Icelandic lore. I thought that the paranormal stuff could have been more fleshed out, however, and I was hoping that this second installment would more fully explain what Katla’s duties and powers actually are and we’d get a little more immersed in the mysterious Stork society. But that’s not… Read more »

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