Everybody is talking about this book and not without good cause. This is a really hard book for me to review, not only because Meg and Amie are friends of mine, but also because I’m about to see them on Friday. Talk about awkward. And yet this review comes in full knowledge that they might throw things at me, or tear apart my manuscript, if I can ever convince them to crit it for me, out of revenge.
See how much I love you guys? I’m ready to make ALL the things awkward for your benefit!
The problem with These Broken Stars is that it’s so adorable, I think I’m going to die.
Like, for real, I’m 99% positive this book gave me diabetes…
I kind of have the biggest lady boner for Lilac and Tarver. They are, without a doubt, the strongest aspect of this novel. People looking for complex world building, fast-paced action or a complicated plot are probably going to be disappointed.
I should start this review with a disclaimer: I am friendly with this author and I have a lot of respect for her as a fellow blogger. However, I hope to review this book with as little bias as possible. Also, this is a review of an early e-ARC and I’ve been informed that the finished copy may have had a few significant changes. I’ll try and indicated that, but I haven’t checked the e-ARC against the finished copy, so please keep that in mind while reading this review.
Initially I was very excited to start Unbreathable because not only is Sci-Fi one of my favorite genres, but I also love when books take place on different planets or in space. I figured Unbreathable would fit the bill since it’s toted at a Sci-Fi adventure. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up loving it as much as I thought I would.
About half of Unbreathable‘s problems could have been solved if the pacing was a little slower.
Parallel, I’m sorry, I haven’t been fair to you. We got off on the wrong foot, I went into this relationship thinking you would be like Pivot Point due to the parallel universes thing. In hindsight, I recognize how ridiculous this was on my part, just because two books share a plot device doesn’t mean they will be anything like each other.
Unfortunately for you, it took me awhile to realize you weren’t going to live up to my expectation of a cute, quirky, funny read and that may have colored my initial impressions. You weren’t what I was expecting and I think if I had realized you were going to be so wistful and serious, I would have tried again later in a different frame of mind.
I don’t want you to feel bad about yourself, you had so much going for you. You had a good message, one you some up quite nicely here:
We’re all just a decision or two away from destroying the relationships that are the most important to us and the people we love.
I was incredibly nervous about reading Parasite. Not because it was a supremely creepy subject matter (anything having to do with the inner workings of the human body makes my palms sweat) but because I love Mira Grant’s previous work so, so very much, if this book was anything short of amazing I was going to go cry myself to sleep in a gallon of ice cream.
I’m pleased to report that while not as unbelievably fantastic as Feed, (take this with a grain of salt, if we’ve ever talked at all you may have noticed that I am a huge, unapologetic Newsflesh trilogy fangirl and I strongly recommend starting there if you want to get an idea of the damage Mira Grant can do with your nervous system) Parasite was an intense, horrifying look at where society’s quest to tinker with everything we can get our hands on could lead.
Awhile ago, Proxy briefly floated across my radar and the premise sounded promising (plus yay for gay MCs!) but I didn’t really have any grand expectations or insane drive to get it right away, more like passing curiosity. So when I had a chance to read it, I thought to myself ‘Hmm, I recall this seemed rather interesting, why not?’ What a wonderful impulse that turned out to be. Proxy was an intense, action-packed ride from the first chapter right up to the last page.
While neatly avoiding info-dumps, Alex London has created a creepy and completely plausible future dystopia with a sharp divide between social classes. Each Patron, the members of the wealthy upper class, have everything including a Proxy from the lower class to take the punishment for infraction they incur. Punishments range from enforced labor to severe beatings and the system is upheld by inescapable credit debt incurred from birth for all but those rich enough to buy their way out of it.
Whaaaaaat did I just read? What was that? You guys, Vicious is fascinating. It’s like a Rubik’s cube and a graphic novel had an illicit affair and this is their love child.
It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that has made me feel as mentally engaged on so many levels. I don’t even know where to begin breaking the book down. On the surface you have the obvious comic book trope: crime-fighting hero matched against the villain, his personal nemesis. Former friends turned enemies as the result of a dramatic series of events that left someone dead, one man with a mission and another man with a one way ticket to prison, both of them with superpowers. It’s impossible to describe without sounding overly dramatic.
Don’t mistake my meaning here, the tropes worked for this book. Probably because Victoria Schwab intentionally introduces them and then immediately throws them out the window.
I should start with a disclaimer, I was predisposed to like this book. I adore Robin McKinley, I’ve read Rose Daughter something like fourteen times, it was my go-to comfort read when I was in high school. That said, Shadows was fantastic all over the place. It’s full of patented Robin McKinley magic: extended adoptive family units, a band of (for the most part) animal companions and a lovely, satisfying romance. And magic, did I mention magic? Lots and lots of magic.
Let’s start with the genre. Shadows is a brilliantly strange sort of dystopian/fantasy blend unlike anything I’ve read so far. Dystopians have been all the rage and as many people have noted, they’re starting to feel formulaic and repetitive. Like there’s some sort of machine tucked away in a dusty warehouse cranking out book after book after book. Robin McKinley’s solution is to keep the grungy, totalitarian government setting and atmosphere but fill it with fairytale parts.
Jen said this was being touted as Star Wars meets Graceling. Entangled is a decent space opera (I’ll add more on the somewhat sexist connotation behind that term later), but I feel that’s like saying a hamster is a saber-tooth tiger meets Rainbow Dash. Hamsters are great. Even if they’re really cute but over-sized rodents who should be eaten by a more deserving predator. The point is, marketing people, don’t turn something good into something it’s not just to sell it.
Or at least tell the whole truth. It’s Star Wars I The Phantom Menace meets the Darkest Minds by Alexander Bracken.
There is nothing actually wrong with Entangled. It’s good, solid scifi. I liked Cade as a character, and her mission to save Xan was emotionally driven. This plot was driven by the main character, and she’s proactive, intelligent and capable. The writing is good, though I would have preferred a more descriptive flare.
Whenever I look at What’s Left of Me and Once We Were‘s covers, I can’t help but to think that the cover artist truly gets this series and how clever he/she is. This always gets me excited because I love seeing the cover actually mean something to the book. As much as I love pretty dresses, it’s the depth and complexity that I really crave. It’s the kind of cover that you don’t quite understand just by looking at it, but as you start reading, pieces of the puzzle fall into place. If What’s Left of Me‘s cover shows Eve, the recessive soul, struggling to find her voice and strength, then Once We Were depicts two souls (the outlines of the face), two distinct personalities, searching for their own identities. But how independent can you be from someone who you share a body with? Someone who has a different set of hopes, dreams and goals?
One of the biggest reasons for me wanting to read 3:59 was because it took place in a location very familiar to me. Like many other readers, when I hear about a book that’s set in my state or near my hometown, I feel this incessant need to read it by any means necessary. Unfortunately, 3:59 proved to be one big fat disappointment.
The book follows science wiz Josie Bryne who starts having dreams at 3:59 of a girl who looks just like her. As her own life begins to fall apart around her (she finds her boyfriend and best friend sleeping together, her parents divorce and she loses her job), she desperately wants the life she catches glimpses of when she sleeps. The girl Jo seems to have everything Josie wants: A perfect boyfriend, happily married parents and a perfect life. But when she finally gets the opportunity to cross over to Jo’s world, she learns things are far from perfect.