Publisher: Harper Collins

Divider

Ruins: Review

Ruins: Review

I really struggled with how I was going to rate this book. Partials and Fragments were two of my favorite reads of 2013. This is also the first series I’ve completed since I’ve started reviewing so there was that component as well. Were my feelings unfairly influenced by how high my expectations were? Ultimately, I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, of the 50 or so books I’ve read so far this year, this is one of my favorites, but I wanted more. There was much to love. The strong characterization, complex medical breakdowns, viral thrills, and realistic post-apocalyptic terror are all there. Yet there were some very significant issues that weighed down my enjoyment. For me, one of the main reasons I think this final installment flags some is the large absence of Samm. Ironically, he has more POV chapters in Ruins than in the previous books, but… Read more »

Divider

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 »

Divider

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 »

Divider

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 »

Divider

Avalon: review

Avalon: review

When I was 21, a mutual acquaintance introduced me to Buzz Aldrin at a cocktail party. We had been talking for under thirty seconds when he just turned around and walked away.  While I was in the middle of speaking.  I got to talk to the second human to walk on the moon, and I was so boring he couldn’t even be bothered to make up a polite excuse for turning his back on me mid-sentence.  It was the greatest moment of my life. Because I love space.  Space adventures are among my favorite things in the world.  And Avalon is a really, really fun addition to this genre.  I mean, it has laser guns and a cute boy.  What is there to complain about? Not much, but… well, a few things bothered me. For instance, two (male) members of the Avalon’s crew are virtually indistinguishable from each other, character-wise,… Read more »

Divider

The Promise of Amazing: review

The Promise of Amazing: review

Look at that cover! Oh, how I want to join those two fresh-faced teenagers in their tiny little love bubble.  I want to giggle and be generally adorable with them.  I want him to call her “short stuff” and her to tease him about his awkward lankiness and the fact that he’s ugly in the same way as Paul Dano, and then I want to squee as they touch their frosty noses together. And the premise–girl working in her family’s Medieval Times-style banquet hall falls in love with a boy after saving his life in a ridiculous way–is a lot of fun.  I wanted so badly to love this book.  It really does (I’m so sorry please forgive me) promise to be amazing. That’s the problem with titles, isn’t it?  A few years ago, my husband wrote for a show called The Forgotten, and the day he got the job… Read more »

Divider

How to Love: review

How to Love: review

Maybe if I’d taken the time to read the blurb or ask what How to Love by Katie Cotugno was about, I wouldn’t have read it. Or maybe morbid curiosity would still have gotten the better of me, but I’d have had an easier reading experience for being prepared. Because there are some books you read for the pleasure of losing yourself totally, of becoming an entirely different person in a different time and a different reality. And there are some books you read to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, to see yourself reflected back from a new perspective. I wasn’t prepared to see myself staring back at me in the form of Reena Montero. Before:  Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists… Read more »

Divider