Showing posts with label shatter me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shatter me. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2016

[Review] Cursed - Jennifer L. Armentrout: Deadly Touch and Familiar Vibes





In CURSED, Ember McWilliams was resurrected by her younger sister Olivia after she died in a car accident. But Ember came back with a supernatural power herself: everything she touches dies.

What intrigued me: I had Armentrout withdrawal.

Copycat storyline?

Armentrout wrote an intriguing novel with an amazing character voice here. What I enjoy most about Armentrout's novels are always the spot on teenage voices with super sassy, sarcastic heroines. Ember is a very strong character and I really enjoyed reading the book from her perspective.

Sadly, CURSED is too reminiscent of a lot of books I know to stand on it's own. The setting in the manor with the evil father reminds me of WITHER, the concept of the deathly touch of SHATTER ME, the gifted children of MISS PEREGERINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, and Adam, the quirky childhood friend is an absolute YA stock character. It seems like there isn't an ounce of originality in this. 


Forced chemistry

A huge chunk of the novel takes place at the Cromwell residence, and from there it just goes downhill for me. The novel severely lacks in world building and is simply just not well-thought out. Protagonist Ember gets kidnapped a third into the novel by people with similar gifts. Hayden, who lives in said house is also gifted, immediately expresses an interest in her after stalking her for months, and their "tension" is very forced, disturbingly sexual from the start, and just overall awkward.

CURSED wasted a lot of potential, relying to hard on the romance and not backing the story up enough. I could have loved this if there was more behind those abilities, less lusting, and more brains. It's hardly believable how easily Ember let's the Cromwells get away with taking her and her family, especially because she's literally a girl with a deadly touch and could kill anyone she wanted.

I wanted Ember to be a strong, kick-ass protagonist given her extraordinary ability. CURSED disappoints me, because yet again a strong heroine forgets how dangerous and perfectly capable of fighting for her rights she is, simply because there's a pretty boy in sight. Sigh.


Rating:


☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

I realize that the rating is probably a little to low for this excellent character voice, however there is just too much material that I've seen in other novels before. The tropes that Armentrout borrows aren't even executed extraordinarily, it just reads like an average novel with little to no planning or world building. CURSED absolutely disappoints by being too similar to novels who have simply done it better before. 


Additional Info


Published: September 18th 2012
Pages: 304
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA / Urban  Fantasy
ISBN: 9780983157274

Synopsis:
"Dying sucks
...and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. 

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read books by Jennifer L. Armentrout?

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

[Review] Zodiac (#1) - Romina Russell




In ZODIAC, humanity has long left the earth and moved on to another group of planets named after Zodiac signs. Telling the future is the new science of this galaxy, until one girl starts predicting the impending doom of all twelve planet constellations brought upon them by the mysterious thirteenth star sign.

Why it intrigued me: I love everything astrology and I'm a sucker for books with a space theme. Also, this probably has the most beautiful cover of 2015.


Mediocre World Building Can't Carry This Premise

Though the premise is very, very promising, Russell absolutely fails in world building. The biggest problem of the book is that it's set in a distant future instead of an alternate timeline or fictional world. Having those twelve planet constellations named after the star signs with each person living there having a personality associated with that star sign, is pretty hard for me to believe. Even taking this as just high fantasy concept, it's nothing that we haven't seen before.  *cough* DIVERGENT *cough* 

ZODIAC has this nice concept and promising idea of fortune-telling futuristic humans living somewhere in space, but that's it. A lot of it doesn't make sense and the biggest problem is that so many concepts are named, but remain unexplained. I don't even remember all the specific names for emperors and soldiers and matriarchs. There is so much lingo in this and so much unexplained, complicated pseudo-world building that I was just at a loss at some point and felt like giving up. 
I'm not sure what the world of ZODIAC is trying to be. High fantasy, futuristic, science fiction, something entirely unique? For a different galaxy there is just too little imagery to even create a world in my head. 

From Zero to Holy Mother of Everything??

I'd forgive all the issues I have with the confusing world of ZODIAC if the characters were decent and likable. Rho Grace is a fortune teller from the planet Cancer that somehow is able to tell the future without any science-y gadgets. So far so good. She's one of those blank slate characters that you can't help but not care about because she doesn't really have a personality. 

But then she randomly gets promoted to emperor of everything and addressed as Holy Mother for literally no reason at all and her voice and everything just changes and I felt like I must have skipped 300 pages of character development by accident. Honestly, I've never had the issue with too much character development before, but this novel will probably become my standard example. 

The whole novel is simply about her trying to convince everyone that someone coming from the ancient long forgotten thirteenth planet is trying to kill everyone. Along the way she also falls in love with two very easily forgettable, replaceable love interests who I'm sure were pretty much taken straight from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi. It's just every cliche every packed in an insanely beautiful cover and thrown into space. Can I get my time back?


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

You can try, but it's just too light for me. Nothing I haven't read 700 times before and with a way better execution. It's every debut YA novel ever smashed into one. I'm grieving for the wonderful premise.



Additional Info

Published: November 9th 2015
Pages: 448
Publisher: ivi
Genre: YA / Sci-Fi / Space and Other Planets
ISBN: 9783492703819

Synopsis:
"Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?"(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read ZODIAC?

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

[Review] Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi



In SHATTER ME, Juliette gets a cellmate after almost a year of being locked up alone because she is a threat to society. 

What intrigued me: The fact that everyone and their mothers have read this.


Little Miss Perfect?

What annoyed me the most about the plot is that every two chapters Mafi puts massive emphasis on how beautiful and goodhearted and pretty she the main character but yet she does not know it- therefore everyone falls for her. The problem with characters like this is that they are neither likable, nor interesting. 

Literally every single male character her age expresses romantic interest in her at least once and compliments her. Boring. I'd rather read about a character that stands out because of their personality than their looks. 

I’m having a hard time sympathizing with superficial characters. The books that I like usually don’t spend much time explaining eye colours and hair flowing down in chocolate rivers. I want to sympathize with the characters for the character’s sake, not for their looks! Of course shortly after the first chapters, another guy in addition to the token love interest gets thrown in, and we have 

The Typical, Predictable Love Triangle

On the one hand the sweetheart Adam, the boy that gets thrown into Juliette's cell. But what a coincidence, he's not a stranger, but a boy that used to go to her school! And of course he has been in love with Juliette forever for god knows whatever reason, since they spoke about 15 sentences total before they said I love you. Yeah. 

And then we have Warner, the villain, that bad guy who most likely secretly has a good heart and is obsessed with her. I don’t need to continue reading the series to know that he’s probably gonna go through character development, turn out to be not so bad and Juliette is torn between the two. Yuck. This is simply bad plotting. And lazy writing to be honest. 

I didn't care about Juliette and the generic love triangle is both predictable and boring. The world building confused me and I simply didn't click with the book. Just not for me.


Rating:

☆☆

   



Additional Info


Synopsis:
"Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."(Source: Goodreads)

 Have you read SHATTER ME?

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