Thursday, February 28, 2013

{Review} Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Title: Tough Girl
Author: Libby Heily
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Libby Heily
Release date: January 14, 2013
Date Read: February 4, 2013 - February 6, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭
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Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.

When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.

Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?

Free copy supplied by the author Libby Heily in exchange for an honest review. 

I've been avoiding writing this review for weeks, because I knew it was going to be hard to write. But I HAD TO GET IT OFF MY SHOULDERS eventually you need to get over it.

TOUGH GIRL was kind of a surreal book. It was... strange. Not bad, but definitely different.

It's about a young girl named Reggie, a troubled and misunderstood eleven-year old and her alter ego, Tough Girl. Reggie's unstable mother disappears and during this time, Reggie's alternate life begins to creep into her real life. Soon she can't tell what's real and what's not as she's hunted down by someone she created.

It all sounds very simple and original, and it is. I mean, it's original. Is it simple?

description

I was completely, utterly, and totally lost when I didn't want to be.

I mean, I literally had to go back and read chapters again because it was such a whirlwind, and sometimes I still didn't get it, which as readers know, is one of the most infuriating feelings in the world. There was a lot of info-dumping through conversations, so when someone was talking for a long time, I sort of just skimmed over it.

Except when the conversation is filled with all the information you need to know so you're not lost in Wonderland, YOU CANNOT PULL THAT SHIT.

I got the feeling that the author knew exactly what was going on (well, obviously), but the reader basically got this:

description

It's all so confusing, but it becomes intolerable around half-way through the novel. Politics, death, corruption, blackmail, planets, creatures, creatures changing gender and lying about it (??? I think I'm going to have to re-read that part), galaxies...?

I don't even know, you guys.

The writing fit perfectly for the story: dark, intense, and powerful. It's probably not competing against Laini Taylor's writing anytime soon, but it was very good for a self-published novel and I didn't really have a problem with that part.

I didn't feel any real connection to Reggie whatsoever. I admired her - brave, determined, and badass - but I didn't like her. She was weird as hell. She was supposed to be weird, and the scene was supposed to show that Reggie would give anything to have food a comfortable life, but c'mon now.

Sneaking into an apartment to touch a six-hundred pound woman's fat rolls.

description

In fact, I didn't like any of the characters in TOUGH GIRL. I remained icily unattached from them and respected them from the sidelines. I didn't hate them at all - they just didn't interest me and I wasn't emotionally invested in them. They were all extremely well-developed, however, with interesting back stories and different personalities.

Reggie lived basically on her own in a very dangerous environment, which required her to mature very quickly and learn to take care of herself, but I still think that asking an eleven-year old if she's still a virgin is seriously wrong.

I mean, has the girl even gotten her period yet?

Just because you've learned to fend for yourself and grew up pretty quickly doesn't make you sexually mature. I would know.

The ending was very disappointing and quite dull. A better ending could have greatly improved TOUGH GIRL, but all in all, it was an absorbing, dark, and intense read.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


{Review} Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Title: Shades of Earth
Author: Beth Revis
Format: Library Hardcover
Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: January 15th, 2013
Date Read: February 25th, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭✭
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Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

Actual Rating: 3.5 rounded up to four.

Wow. I am really speechless. I didn't like the first two books so I was hesitant to pick this one up (read: I waited till it was overdue to read it). But, holy shit, when I did? I am now a strong believer in insta-book-love.


All my earlier problems are still here (Elder, idiocy, Elder, more idiocy) but it got better! One of the reasons that this book is 100% awesome than the previous two books is probably because well, they finally landed on Centauri-Earth. 


This may not excite everyone but personally, I couldn't tear myself away from SHADES OF EARTH. It was just too fascinating. I mean, they're on another planet!


Other than my character-centered problems, I have one huge problem that isn't that easily overlooked. Idiocy and inconsistencies. I'll be going through my notes here (yeah, got all fancy with notes and stuff).


If you remember, in SHADES OF EARTH, the people of Godspeed finally decided to land on Centauri-Earth which means melting the frozen people to get them out of cryosleep.


When they do, predictably, they are quite confused over why these people of the Godspeed have leaders and aren't the Sol-Earthians slaves. It's all quite amusing, the little power struggles but when they semi-figure things out, everything is really crazy. 


After some terrible happenstances, Amy becomes "acting commander of the Godspeed mission". 
Amy. 


AMY THE SIXTEEN YEAR OLD IS IN CHARGE.


Why? I'm pretty sure in military doesn't work like that. The whole bleeping concept of "military" is chain of command. A sixteen year old, no matter why, would become acting commander unless the strict militariness of the military has devolved into a primitive war group.


My next problem with idiocy is these supposed "intelligent scientists types". So, this one scientists is excitedly telling Amy:


"It should be impossible. I talked to Frank, the geologist. He says there are minerals in the soil he's never seen before. We're talking about whole new elements to the periodic table!"- page 190.

Um, no. Sorry but if you're on another planet, why would you add the elements of this planet to the periodic table of Earth, another planet. What? No, that's not how it works. I would think that you would make a new periodic table, not add onto a Earth periodic table, full with elements that may not even be on this planet.


But, hey, what do I know? I'm not a scientist.


Inconsistency one: Amy seems to love Centauri-Earth in one chapter and detest it in another. I don't think your emotions can zip around like that every few minutes/hours. Weeks? I suppose but minutes? Nope, sorry.


The rest of my notes are centered on character problems.



Characters


Let's start with Elder and why I want him to go jump off a space ship. If you've read the previous two books, which I'm going to assume you have for the rest of the review, you'll know that Elder unhooked Amy from the cryochamber or whatever they're called in this. The unhooking almost killed her and after she recovers, he pretends he doesn't know how sh
e woke up early. His reasons for unhooking her? He was horny.

No, I'm not kidding. The reason Elder unhooked Amy from her cryochamber was because he was horny and wanted to make out with her but was thankfully nice enough not to rape her while she was sleeping. In this case, I'm using "nice" lightly.

He’d also possessive, jealous, and assuming. Amy goes out with a guy and immediately Elder thinks that Amy is cheating on him and that they’re going out to make out. He then sneaks up on them right when this guy forces himself onto Amy and Elder’s like “OMG she’s kissing him and cheating on meh!” 


He only accepted the fact that she wouldn’t cheat on him after she pushes him off of her. 
W-WHAT 


Elder somehow couldn’t see the fact that Amy was completely devoted to him. Why? I'm sorry but that doesn't work for me. Elder, dude, she loves you so much that she followed you to a strange alien world. She's not going anywhere.

Amy is fairly mediocre as a character. Though she’s not extremely stupid, she’s not exactly bright. She’s not witty or loveable. She’s just sort of there, for better or worse.

In terms of intelligence, everything is weird. She’s not the stupidest heroine I’ve ever read about but then again, she’s pretty irresponsible and seems to have something against thinking situations out. 


Though this example is stupid on both Elder’s and Amy’s part, it’s a fine example of how much Amy thinks. Elder brings her a bunch of flowers, native to this new and exotic planet. What does Amy do? She sticks her nose in it and passes out because of some neurotoxins.


I suppose this is a case of plot needed stupidity but I’m sure Revis could have found another way to introduce the plants, as they are important to the storyline. Instead of thinking about how to introduce them, she just slaps them in, making her intelligent character unbelievably dumb.


Another prominent character who I find that I need to go over specifically is Chris, the seemingly mild mannered friend of Amy. For the first ¾, it seems like his only purpose in life is to make Elder and Amy’s relationship strain. That’s seriously how he’s treated.


He obviously lusts over Amy and is very close to her. Somehow, she doesn’t see his blatant flirting. Elder immediately sees his flirting and turns into Even-More-Possessive-and-Jealous-Elder. 


I absolutely detest characters whose only reason for being in the story (well, that’s not exactly true for Chris but it’s very near that) is to cause trouble in the main character’s romance. It’s a cheap way out.


The many of the other characters were sadly what I predicted them to be. In ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, you can immediately tell that, by Amy’s extreme love, her father would be a complete asshole - which he was. By her lack of thought towards her mother, it was obvious she would be a minor character without any real definition - which she was. 

Not many of the side characters were especially memorable but I don't think they were bad. It's just that the book was mostly focused on Elder, Amy, Amy's Dad, and Chris.


Plot and Writing


Plot

As I said, I love the concept. Other planets in one topic we are severely lacking in YA lit. Novels set on other planets are more common but the whole “humans traveling to another planet” idea is much more rare. Lately, a lot of aliens on Earth YA books have been popping up but I honestly prefer the we-are-the-aliens books.


I have laugh at SHADES OF EARTH for being entirely hilarious with the presentation of the aliens. Apparently, they're the bad guys, not the people who are taking over their goddamn planet. It's so stereotypical really. Practically every alien book and movie in existence follows this humans-are-always-the-good-ones storyline.


The story isn't bad, if extremely predictable. After they started finding the "things" I could tell the plot. I mean, ohmygod, was it predictable? Everything came true.


However, even though it doesn't sound like it at all, I loved the story. I didn't really care that I knew what was going to happen. I really ate SHADES OF EARTH up. I wish that the previous books were this amazing, but I guess you can't have it all.


Writing


While it's not elegant, or anything near elegant, Beth Revis's writing is most certainly exciting and addicting. I decided to read the first chapter before returning it but in what seemed like a few minutes, I had read a quarter of the book and didn't want to stop.



Likes and Dislikes



Liked:
- setting
- writing
- plot

Disliked:


- all the problems with stupid phrases and plot points

- plot
- Elder
- lame characters


Conclusion



Though Revis needs to work out the inconsistencies with the plot and characters (not to mention, do her homework on how periodic tables work), I just adore this book. I don't think it's perfect, but it's pretty awesome still. I recommend SHADES OF EARTH, and the whole Across the Universe series, as a good no-brainer read.



Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

{Review} The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton

Title: The Blood Keeper
Author: Tessa Gratton
Format: Library Hardcover
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 5th, 2012
Date Read: February 15th 2013
Rating: ✭✭
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For Mab Prowd, blood magic is as natural as breathing. She spends her days on a secluded Kansas farm with other blood witches, practicing spells for healing and trying to avoid boring lessons like algebra and history.

Wild and confident, Mab uses magic to understand her entire world. But when one of Mab's spells mistakenly taps into a powerful, long-dormant curse, she finds her magic spinning out of control - and crashing right into Will Sanger, a boy from town.

Will has always relied on the logical, tangible things in his life, like his dogs, his soccer team, and even his complicated family. So he tries to dismiss all he sees and feels around Mab. Still, the strangeness and beauty of her magic draw him in.

As Will and Mab grow closer, the unbound curse grows stronger. Hiding in the shadows of the forest, it seeks to manipulate Will and gain Mab's power - even if that means destroying everything they love.

THE BLOOD KEEPER is a book that started off smoothly and had everything I loved: blood magic, action, and mystery; however it didn't continue like that. A few days after reading the initial hundred pages or so, I picked it up again and to my great disappointment, it soon felt like a completely new book.

This book is actually a sequel, something I didn't find out till a few moments before writing this review. I didn't even suspect it since this book felt like a standalone. From what I see, the first book has nothing to do with this book - please correct me if I'm wrong however.


There are three POVs in THE BLOOD KEEPER - Mab's, Will's and Evie's. Mab's POV and Will's POV are very similar, the only difference being Mab knows what she's doing and Will is basically doing what ever Mab wants. He's so infuriatingly spineless. He needs to be saved every few minutes and he never seems to stop fainting (ok, I'm exaggerating - I think he only fainted once or twice).

 
Evie's POV is set a few decades in the past, I think 1920s. I think it is meant to be a surprise why it was linked to the story but it was all quite predictable. However, I still enjoyed the s
hort story that the POV told, finding it darker than the rest of the book.

While I have no problem with YA romance - or romance in general - I do hate when the romance seems to govern the plot, like in this book. The romance seems to overtake anything, including the interesting blood keeper concept, which is why I loved the first 100 pages so much more than the rest of the book.


Characters


Mab is the Blood Keeper, which basically means she maintains the land around her with her blood magic which is cool and all but she doesn't really do that in the book. She mostly dreams about Will and saves him and possesses people (actually that's pretty cool).

Will is the one of the weakest heroes ever. He doesn't do anything. I don't like heroes who can do anything but I sort of prefer them to do something other than ask Mab what to do. I think he's like that so the Gratton can say "wow look at me, my heroine is so strong. Flipping around gender stereotypes, yes sir." I'm sorry but it doesn't work like that.


Will's only strength is his amazing ability to whine and whine and never stop whining. Practically the whole book was spent whining about how is parents want him to join the military and how he doesn't want to and how they're like totally not understanding. 


Dude, I get it, you don't want to join the military and I fully understand and appreciate that but in case you haven't noticed, something really bad is going on and I don't think whining about your evil parents is the right thing to do right now.


The romance between the two happens to be the worst 
part about it. Scenario:

Will and Mab are talking about how horrible what's going on is. Will then think about how much he wants to kiss her. Switch to Mab's point of view and she's pretty much thinking the same thing. After longing looks are exchanged, they go back to talking about how dire the circumstances are.



The saddest thing is that this scenario happens all the time in the book. I swear, it happens at least five times. Romance = good. Romance at the wrong time = very bad.


Plot and Writing


Plot

The concept of blood magic which is tied to the land instead of the as an antithesis to nature is an interesting take on the subject. Most authors go with the conventional blood magic is evil thought, which I have to admit I was part of. I never really thought of blood magic as tied to the land, the animals, and life, which makes complete sense if you think about it.


As you have seen, I loved the concept. Blood magic in YA fantasy is almost unheard of, or at least not all the common. Though I would hate it become the new dystopian (I highly doubt it will), I'm glad to see that blood magic is popping into YA lit.


My major qualm with THE BLOOD KEEPER is the lack of defined plot after a certain point. Though you can always tell what the main plot is, it seems like the characters are more focused on how beautiful the other one looks at the moment. 


Once again, I will say that I have no problem with romance in my books, but when either the romance takes over the plot or interjects itself into the scene at the weirdest moments I don't want it in my books. 


At all. Ever.

Writing


While it wasn't terrible, I was extremely annoyed at the lack of word building. Mab spent most of her time in a forest - or is it a valley? And where? It's obviously close to a biggish city where Will lives but if Will goes there to swim or something, does that mean anyone could go there? It seems like it's too open for a place with secret witches... 



Likes and Dislikes


Likes:

- blood magic

- beginning

Dislikes:


- everything else



Conclusion


THE BLOOD KEEPER had a very promising concept but sadly, the execution was lacking extensively. I am very sad to say that I cannot recommend this book to anyone.



Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Monday, February 25, 2013

{Review} The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Title: The Nightmare Affair
Author: Mindee Arnett
Format: Library Paperback ARC (won)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Date Read: January 29 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭
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Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

Want to win a copy? Visit my giveaway!

THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR is a sort of difficult book to explain, hence my almost a month late review. Though it is definitely an enjoyable read with numerous laugh out loud funny instances, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR falls desperately below what I thought it would be like.

My expectations weren't high since I could tell that this book would be a classic example of funny-with-no-substance and even though this book met that expectation, it somehow fell short of what I thought it would be. 


The ideas weren't exactly unique, as the whole paranormal boarding school idea was been regurgitated throughout the years while little to no changes. This book is no different. I didn't hate it but I've never liked boarding school stories. 


The characters were humorous though at times they became excruciatingly boring and monotonous. Most of the characters were one-dimensional blobs but I say that in the kindest way possible. Truly.

The plot was horridly predictable with little plot twists that really surprised me. It wasn't a bad idea but it could have used some sprucing up I suppose. It needed something more substantial than what was given to the reader.


Characters


Dusty is a nightmare, which happens to be one of the most original aspects of this book. A nightmare basically feeds off dreams, not necessarily nightmares though. She can't talk to anyone or interact with anyone in the dream though. Personally, I found this whole "going into dreams" idea better executed in INSOMNIA.

Dusty is a fairly strong heroine. Nothing special really to say her but she wasn't a stupid unless you count the "big" twist, which honestly was easy to guess. 


Eli, the love interest, was surprisingly bland. I honestly expected something more than him being a side thing with little personality. His relationship with Dusty is undeveloped and bland. It seemed as if Dusty viewed him as a friend one chapter and in another as a potential boyfriend which is one of the lamest excuses ever.


Sadly, since I read this over a month ago, I couldn't tell you too much about the other character because for some reason, some of the plot and character elements of INSOMNIA by J. R. Johansson are seeping into this book even though they are utterly different books. All I remember is that the other love interest was entirely see-through and had more defining qualities than Eli.


I can end this segment by saying that by the end, I do remember not being very steady on who the characters were. They were under characterized at best, with no characterization at worst.



Plot and Writing


Plot

Though not terrible as I said, the plot lacked a lot of what I expected (well developed and paced with only moderate predictability). My expectations weren't high but somehow THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR somehow managed to fall past those. 


My biggest problem is that all the surprises in the book were predictable and I guessed the entire plot from very early on in the book. That almost ruined my reading experience for this book if it wasn't for the entertaining Dusty. Though her humor got on my nerves at times, she was still able to save the book from a two or even one star.


The pacing was weird at times,
 either very very slow or very fast. There wasn't much in the middle of those two extremes.

Another problem with the story is the murder mystery. I know it's the main focus of the book but I really didn't feel attached to it in any shape or form. I didn't care what happened or who killed the girl. It was disappointing as well.

Writing


The writing wasn't beautiful or eloquent but it was quick, fast, and fit the book well since I don't really take Dusty for the kind of girl who appreciates fine, flowing language.



Likes and Dislikes


Likes:

- Dusty Humor

- writing
- overall Tone to the book

Dislikes:


- lack of characterization

- too much Dusty humor
- plot
- predictability


In conclusion


I recommend THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR to someone who wants a quick, entertaining read because it's not really the book for anything else.



Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{Debate} The Assassin's Curse


Oceana and Lisbeth share different opinions of the book THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE by Cassandra Rose Clarke. Here, they battle it out over a Skype conversation, with Oceana attacking and Lisbeth defending. Read Oceana's negative review and Lisbeth's positive review before you continue.

Friendships are shattered.

Lies are revealed.

Romance seizes.

Welcome... to the debate.



Oceana: First of all, let's begin with Ananna, Miss Pineapple. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN STAND HER. How do you like her?

Lisbeth: Well, let's keep in mind that I read this a long time ago. I don't know if I'll still love her as much. But I loved her attitude more than everything. Even though she spent most of her time protecting Naji, at least she wasn't idiotic.

Oceana: What about this water nymph bitch? Didn't you think it was unfair that she had no personality, and her only purpose was to make Miss Pineapple jealous?

Lisbeth: I completely agree with you there. The girl's only purpose was to make Pineapple - I mean Ananna - jealous. That really ticked me off. She's basically that ex-girlfriend in every highschool drama.

Oceana: NAJI. Bitch, I think you're sexist because you hate spineless heroines, but Naji is adorable to you even though he's a damso-in-distress.

Lisbeth: This is where it's sadly going to a very uneventful and boring fight to the death. I was being hopelessly sexist.

Oceana: I TOLD YOU. I TOLD YOU.
Lisbeth: He's uterly spineless (and I'll be murdered by Zuz for saying this). I still think he's adorable in the same way you can say that Daemon is sexy.

Oceana: YEAH, BECAUSE DAEMON ISN'T A BIG BABY. Naji's like SAVEEEE MEEEE, PROTECT ME, HIDE ME FROM THE EVIL

Lisbeth: How do you account for the fact that Daemon is a huuuge asshole? Huh? He's insufferable.

Oceana: I never liked him while he was an asshole. Plus, he changed - and it's the same cocky confidence that YOU LIKE  IN DEAN AND THE OTHER DAMON.

Lisbeth: Damon is an asshole, and so is Daemon. There is no doubt about that. He's despicable at times but he's pitiful in the same way you feel bad and want to hug Loki in Avengers even though he's insane. Dean isn't an asshole. End of story.

Oceana: Yeah, he's a gigantic dick. I never said I liked him while he was being an ass to Katy. And I never said Dean was an asshole - I LOVE HIM - I said he was confident and had... *shudders* SWAG.

Lisbeth: Did you just say... swag?

Oceana: *cringes*

Lisbeth: Wow, ok... time for me to interrogate you. Did you truly not find the writing at times very vivid? I'm not saying the writing is fantastic and the best I've ever seen. It's not but I have to say that if you disregard the accent, the writing is very immersive.

Oceana: Yes. Yes I did. It could have been a lot better, and it's DEFINITELY better than a lot of self-pub written out there, but I found it... Average.

Lisbeth: One of my favorite things about THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE was the assassin and blood magic concept. Was this idea completely horrible to you like the rest of the plot?

Oceana: No! I loved the idea of the plot! It sounded amazing. But it was so disappointing.

Lisbeth: Yeah, yeah. I get it. You hate-y.

Oceana: *scowls*

Lisbeth: *scowls back*

Oceana: What about the romance? Please, explain THAT.

Lisbeth: Darling, you know I love you but I don't think you got the point of the romance.

Oceana: The blurb LIED TO ME.

Lisbeth: The whole point of the romance was the lack of romance. It was slow and hardly there but you could tell it was there. And what, pray tell did the blurb say?

Oceana: "... And the growing romantic tension between them." LIKE I SAID BEFORE. I HAVE MORE SEXUAL TENSION WITH MY FISH.

Lisbeth: I understand that you find it impossible to read a book without any romance, but they are there. As I said, the blurb is bad - very bad.

Oceana: Dude, I can read a book without romance. But it LIED. Don't you dare fucking claim there's romance when he can't tear his eyes off that nymph.

Lisbeth: Wait - didn't you tell me how you find it hard to read a romance free book? How it felt like something was missing? There's romance even though it's hardly there. That's what sequels are for.

Oceana: Ummm. I never said that...

Lisbeth: Would you like me to go and look through our DMs to find it?

Oceana: Oh yeah? Find it.

Lisbeth: How far can you search? In Twitter direct messages.

Oceana: Haha, I can't. I clear my history. Improvise, I guess.

Lisbeth: "I seriously can't read books without romance. It's physically painful." October 5th.

Oceana: That's the best you can come up with? That doesn't sound like me at all. *huffs*

Lisbeth: FINE. I'll do better. *grumbles* Bitch.

Oceana: LOVE YOU TOO.

Lisbeth: "Me no read books wit out kissy kissy." That's what you said.

Oceana: I was not aware that I was a ghetto baby...

Lisbeth: I'm improvising.

Oceana: Ghetto caveman baby, pardon me.

Lisbeth: "I shall not read a single book without sexy times". Direct quote guys.

Oceana: NOPE.

Lisbeth: PICKY BITCH

Oceana: Closer with the sexy-times part, though.

Lisbeth: "I totally can't read a book without sexy times."

Oceana: NO. How about, "I miss my freaking sexy times. I need some TENSIONNNNNNN."

Lisbeth: "Books without sexytimes are soooo boring. DEAN DAMON"

Oceana: I didn't even know Dean in October, dumbass.

Lisbeth: Oh ok... "I lurv sexy times in my books like say DELENA mmmmm hot"

Oceana: NO NO NO NO NOPE.

Lisbeth: I'm trying my best here! How about, "Delena. It's hot and tensiony. Romances should be like that."

Oceana: ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT

Lisbeth: WHY NOT IT'S TOTALLY YOU

Oceana: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is so not hot and steamy and it's one of my favorites. I DON'T EVEN SOUND LIKE THAT

Lisbeth: I THINK I KNOW WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE

Oceana: Forget this. You can't pretend to be me, bitch.

Lisbeth: DAMN YOU.

Oceana: I guess we're done here. See you later, guys. *ducks* STOP THROWING PLATES BABE

Monday, February 18, 2013

{Review} An Infidel in Paradise by S. J. Laidlaw


Title: An Infidel in Paradise
Author: S. J. Laidlaw
Format: NetGalley e-book ARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: February 12 2013
Date Read: February 5 2013
Rating: ✭
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Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.

Where do I start? AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE is about a girl who has moved to Pakistan and has to adjust to living there which basically means it's a high school drama set in well, Pakistan. That's really at AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE was - a high school drama. The plot promises a YA political thriller. I mean, it actually says this in the plot summary:

an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed

But then again it says this in the plot summary...


an enigmatic Muslim classmate

And everyone knows when a plot has the word "enigmatic" in it, it's usually about a romance not what it actually promises. In fact, I don't think I've read one books with the word "enigmatic" in the plot summary that didn't have romance as the main focus... (seriously guys, if you can find one non-romance focused book with the word "enigmatic" in the summary, I'll send you some chocolate).


My biggest overall complaint is the simple fact that AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE glorified cheating. I don't think this is the intent since the main character does not end up with the love interest but even so, it was there. 


The love interest, Mustapha, is engaged to Aisha. Emma comes in and starts flirting with Mustapha, trying to get him to leave Aisha (who he admitted to loving). That's what the main story is about. Aisha is portrayed as the jealous bitch even though she's just trying to get Emma to stop. Emma even acknowledges that she is flirting with Mustapha but she continues throughout the book.


Cheating is not okay. I don't give a damn if it's because you love her (you don't). Cheating will never be ok. Mustapha is also to blame since he seems to want the best of both worlds, both Aisha and Emma.



Characters


The main character in the novel is where many of my complaints center since she's so infuriating. I really wanted to strangle her around twenty times, which isn't really that much but I restrained myself - a lot. Emma hates every person with boobs really. 

If the girl looks at her the wrong way, she giving her death glares. If a girl dresses a certain way, she has to be an idiot. There's one character where Emma takes one look at her and nicknames her Hip-Hop Barbie. The little adjectives here and there make it very obvious that she thinks that everyone is an idiot to her genius.



Emma seems to think that the world revolves around her. Everyone in her family is mad? Obviously, the only reason they could be annoyed is because of her. I mean, it couldn't be any other reason! 


The other characters were stereotypes. There was the ice queen bitch who hates the main character, the amazing handsome wonderful love interest, the idiot friends who don't know as much as the amazing wonderful main character, the angsty little brother who hates the main character, the understanding teacher, the parent who is like totes annoying and doesn't understand our main character ... I could go on and on.


The only character I'll go over is Aisha, or better known as ice queen (she was seriously called Ice Queen). Aisha was that bitch who takes one look at Emma and WAAHH I HATES YOU AND I WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MISERABLE 4EVER. 

Except, in this one, I, to an extent agree with that sentiment. Sure, it was weird that she immediately hated Emma but the first time she met Emma, Emma flirted with her fiancĂ© and disrespected Aisha's country. I would hate her too , oh wait I do.

Plot and Writing


Plot

As I said, the plot is very disappointing. The only "political tension" in the book is at say 75% and it's only mentioned a bit before forgotten in favour of the romance. The "political tension" comes back at the very end in an odd and sudden terrorist attack but that's it. 

The summary says that ...her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate. but honestly Emma's life isnot in danger and Mustapha isn't really doing any helping. 


The plot summary is a LIAR.


Writing


The one positive thing in this book is the writing. Though, childish and mediocre at times (well most of the time but who's counting right?), some of the descriptions for the places were truly amazing. I felt like I was right there with Emma at times. That was awesome.


Likes and Dislikes


Likes: 
- Writing

Dislikes:

- Everything else

In conclusion


I really hated AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. 



Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

{Review} The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Format: NetGalley e-book ARC
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: April 23rd 2013
Date Read: February 12th 2013
Rating: ✭✭(.75)
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Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
For THE IMMORTAL RULES

THE ETERNITY CURE is sadly not as good as its predecessor, THE IMMORTAL RULES. It isn't a bad book but not nearly as great as the first book. THE ETERNITY CURE starts off around a month after the events of the first book, which basically means Allie is still trying to find Kanin, her mentor.


Though special in its own way, THE ETERNITY CURE didn't meet my sky-high expectations after reading the last one. Perhaps it's my own fault, for wanting a better book than THE IMMORTAL RULES but I honestly thought that was possible. 

It obvious wasn't.


THE ETERNITY CURE's biggest downfall happens to be THE IMMORTAL CURE's biggest strength and that is Allie. Allie, our resident vampire chick was one of the best heroines I'd met back when I first read it in May of 2012. She was all around awesome and I don't think I could describe her properly if I tried.


Basically, I love her.


In THE ETERNITY CURE however, she is still funny and intelligent but she seems to loose something about her. I can't really place all the reasons I didn't love her in this book, but I can name enough to count. The first reason is that Allie turns into one of those gah-vampires-are-humans-too vamps. The second reason is she suddenly develops an I-can-never-love-him-because-I'm-not-good-enough-for-him personality which is one of the most ANNOYING THINGS EVER. 


Another reason why THE ETERNITY CURE just didn't meet my expectations is with the ending, but I'll go into that deeper later. Basically: the ending sucked. A lot. 



Characters


In THE IMMORTAL RULES, Allie was a headstrong, street-smart girl who didn't give a shit about whether she was good enough for the guy she loves. I also really loved how she knew that she was a monster and there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. She drank human blood and killed people. She was awesome.

In THE ETERNITY CURE, she was less awesome and more focussed on whether or not she was good enough for Zeke. She was convinced that she wasn't and spent half the time crying over how she could never be with him and how she wasn't good enough for Zeke.



NO NO NO NO. Allie what happened to you? I loved you and now? I'm debating on whether or not I should take you off my Girlfriend list. You're still funny and occasionally badass but over all? You... *sigh* are just not the same girl I loved.


Zeke. Zeke. He got more annoying. I never loved him but now he's insufferable. He must be unable to make up his mind because in one part he's telling Allie how they can't be together and that he sort of hates her now but in the next chapter? He tells her how they can be together and they'll be perfect and that he loves her.


whut


MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY BECAUSE THIS IS ANNOYING


The only redeeming character is Jackal, some may remember him from the ending of THE IMMORTAL RULES as the blood brother of Allie. In a terrible way, he was awesome. Jackal has very little morality and has no problem with killing. He has a very morbid sense of humor that I adored. He's never redeemed himself and I was unable to forget that he is a terrible person, but Jackal is a very fun character. 



Plot and Writing


Plot

The plot of THE ETERNITY CURE revolves around Allie trying to find Kanin who is currently dying at the hands of his torturer. Allie instead finds Jackal, her blood brother and everything goes wacko. For a while, there are only two characters: Allie and Jackal but later Zeke, Allie's sort-of-not-really boyfriend who hates her. Yeah... awkward. Shortly after they find Kanin and something happens which lead Allie and Co. to having to find a cure because people are dying.



*attempts to turn off sarcasm*


The plot isn't bad necessarily; it just lacked that "thing" that made THE IMMORTAL RULES so lovable. Maybe it was the characters and the character interaction because that's definitely something that this book was lacking since there are really only three characters in the story that are almost always present. 


The worst part of the story had to be the ending. The ending was sloppy, rushed and implausible. It was one of those "the more you think about it, the worse it gets" endings. Though not nearly the worst ending, it's really terrible.


Writing


The writing was pretty standard Kagawa, which is a great thing for some and a terrible thing for others. The writing hadn't really evolved since THE IMMORTAL RULES, or her newer one THE LOST PRINCE. I know some people hate her writing, some love it, and some - like me - don't really care about it.


One positive thing I have to say about THE ETERNITY CURE is that the pacing was fast and felt appropriate to the book. The narrative tone (look at me, I sound like my English textbook) was very strong and was one of the only things that didn't change from the first book.



Likes and Dislikes


Likes:

- Jackal


- Plot 


- Pacing and Narrative Tone 


- Allie to an extent


Dislikes:


- Ending


- Lack of characters


- Allie to a larger extent


- Zeke



In conclusion


THE ETERNITY CURE just doesn't measure up to its predecessor. It doesn't even come close. I'm hoping it's just middle book syndrome but I'm still very sad because I'd been looking forward to this book ever since I first read THE IMMORTAL RULES. I don't know if I'd recommend it to anyone except for fans of the first one. It was an enjoyable read but nothing amazing.




Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.