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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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 Popular Books That I Disappointingly Rated 1 Star | Top Ten Tuesday





*Sighs* I know there are quite a lot very popular books in there and I do also realize that taste differs and some of you love these books.

Just because I didn't like them, it doesn't mean they're bad. Live and let live, okay?





10. WITHER - Lauren DeStefano
I just don't like books that mostly take place in fancy mansions. This was really boring.

9. WAIT FOR YOU - J. Lynn
See, this shouldn't be surprising to me because NA Romance mostly weirds me out. But I really like JL Armentrout and am constantly chasing the high/giddy feels I got from her Lux series.
I'm an addict.


8. SHIVER - Maggie Stiefvater
This was my first Stiefvater novel and absolutely scarred me for life. Um... this is literally about a girl trying to make her dog/ pet werewolf her boyfriend.

7. THE GODDESS TEST - Aimée Carter
I absolutely love everything Greek mythology and was very disappointed to find a very bad twilight fan fiction. Yikes.

6. SHATTER ME - Tahereh Mafi
Having everyone rave about this should've prepared me. Abusive is not romantic??? Wtf???

5. LANDLINE - Rainbow Rowell
I have read my fair share of Rowell novels and not really liked any of them, I don't know why I keep trying. It's still disappointing each time. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes.

4. CRUEL BEAUTY - Rosamund Hodge
Dear lord, save me. This was basically the YA High Fantasy version of one of those smutty historical romance novels you can buy at train stations.

3. SIX OF CROWS - Leigh Bardugo
*sighs* can people please stop using other cultures for aesthetics and also doing it WRONG. Simply hiring someone to back check facts can't be that hard for a bestselling author.
Also, this book is just bad.


2. THESE BROKEN STARS - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This one bored me out of my mind with the annoying insta-love.

1. CINDER - Marissa Meyer
I am allergic to cultural appropriation. How to get on my author blacklist 101.



What's your most disappointing 1 star read?


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book Characters That Everyone Loves But I Don't "Get" | Top 10 Tuesday






I am so sorry for half of my answers here. Unfortunately liking book characters is just as subjective as liking books!

10. Akiva 
from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor
I would even go as far as to say that I don't only dislike this guy or "don't get" him, I'll even say that he ruined the book for me. If he wouldn't exist, I would have loved it. BOOM

9. Richard Campbell "Gansey" III. 
from THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
Honestly? I don't know what's so interesting about him. I found him annoying and pretentious (which is exactly what he's known for and why people like him??? I don't know)

8. Annabeth Chase 
from PERCY JACKSON by Rick Riordan
I am SORRY but she's so... non-existent to me. Was she even in the books? Literally zero personality. I am SO SORRY

7. Étienne St. Clair 
from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
When I think of Étienne, I feel nothing. First time ever that a romance novel that literally doesn't have any other plot than the romance had me shrugging at the love interest. Étienne who?

6. Adrian Ivashkov 
from VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead
He's so annoying, so pushy, such a bad side character to set off a love triangle. It's a shame, really.

5. Augustus Waters 
from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
I am NOT a John Green person. Jesus, this kid was annoying.

4. Severus Snape 
from HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling
The good old debate. Either you love him or you hate him.

3. Isabelle Lightwood 
from CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare
Yeah, she fights in heels, we get it. I don't really get why she's universally acknowledged as the Feminist Hero™ of YA at all.

2. Kaz Brekker 
from SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo
Gosh, such a conceited, annoying wanna-be bad boy. I can't. He gets half his lines from fortune cookies I bet.




 1. Aaron Warner 
from SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

Well. I am not a fan of problematic bad boys with a tragic backstory that reveals they had a heart of gold after all. Abuse is abuse. Sorry, Warner.





Which characters that everyone loves don't you like?


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

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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, August 11, 2015

I Fall For Problematic Love Interests | YA Talk




I may not be the only one 

Usually I try very hard to be the voice of reason. But I also have a lot weaknesses when it comes to YA. The second we've got a sexy villain love interest entering the room, I'm suddenly unable to think properly.

After asking some of my friends in the reading community I noticed that all the male favorite characters are usually people that you wouldn't want to meet in real life - especially not in a dark corner.



Top Five Favorite Male Character Answers I got:

- Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
- The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
- Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
- Patch from Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

I haven't read all of these books, but I certainly noticed that there's a trend towards male villains.


Why are the bad boys so appealing?

  • Confidence
A thing that plays a major role when determining whether you find somebody attractive, is their confidence. When you present yourself well, you're more likely to succeed. 

  • "I do what I want"- attitude
I guess it's also a sense of maturity that radiates from men who know what they want and don't hesitate to for it, no matter the cost. They put themselves first to achieve their goals and that's probably what we all should do - of course within legal bounds. I'm not saying you should build an army of robots and invade your professor's house because he failed you in a class.

  • Danger!
With bad boys, you're bound to make more memorable experiences than with the nice guy next door. If the YA heroines stuck in a love triangle between the good guy and the leader of an illegal rebellion against a totalitarian regime, you already know who she's going to choose. 

We read books because we want to experience new things. We want to see the world the way never could in real life.

So hell yeah I'm going to root for the heroine to choose that guy who robs banks for a living over her childhood best friend! I don't care if he's a mass-murdering insane greedy villain, as long as he doesn't torture puppies.

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm absolutely 100% a problematic villain fangirl. Are you?


Who are your problematic favorites?


Come back next Tuesday for a new YA Talk! 

More YA Talks:


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

I Hate Love Triangles | YA Talk


Either you love them or you hate them.
Eventually every reader of YA will come across them. Love triangles seem to be trend that just won't get out of style.

What's a Love Triangle?
Love triangle commonly refers to the situation a protagonist of a novel finds themselves in when two different people are interested in them romantically.

Usually, the protagonist requites their affection or is in the process of learning to love them, hence leaving both love interest in competition with each other.

Some may say "Twilight" started it all, but I think we need to stop blaming Stephenie Meyer for everything that's going wrong in recent YA.

Popular Books about love triangles include
- "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver
- "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare
- "The Selection" by Kiera Cass
- "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

Books with love triangles usually play with the "bad boy" character and the "guy next door". I've noticed that more often than I'd like to admit, at least one of them is a super problematic villain. Not sure how that makes any guy attractive though.

Here's What Bugs Me

Love triangles in theory are absolutely fine. If you're looking for them. If you love reading about them, great, but I'm just not. The market these days is FLOODED with hidden love triangles. Most of the times you can't even tell from the blurbs whether the books are all about the romance and only feature the actual topic of the book on the side.
which I am absolutely not. Love triangles never have and probably never will be something that I'm personally interested in.

I've encountered it numerous that I've tried to read a book, let's say, about angels descending their heavenly wrath on the Earth, only to find out that the novel is actually about a teenage girl falling in love with an angel and a demon (any relations to existing books are just coincidental).

This has ruined the reading experience for me so many times. Had I gone on looking for a love triangle and a girl stuck between the evil overlord and the brave hero, I would have bought a novel about that.

Every popular YA novel these days features a love triangle.

Realism? What is Realism?

If you'd live in a dystopian society where every day is a struggle for survival, your number one concern would probably not be which one of the super hot two guys you should choose. I mean, these days it's a miracle if you find a guy that's attractive, smart and respects you, let alone two! If you're seventeen, cut the odds in half.

Here's What I Demand!

There should be something like ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings for book romance like:
- N for no romance
- E for established romance
- X for multiple love interests
While I'm at it, there should be a rating for instant love, but I guess we can't have it all at once. I just want to be warned before I get invested in a book and then get drowned in love triangles. I actually did encounter novels with multiple love triangles, god knows why.

Do you like love triangles? 
Which novel do you think has portrayed them the best so far?


More YA Talk:
15-year-old Protagonists Confuse Me 
Mary Sues and Why We Need More of Them 
Instant Love and Why It Ruins Everything 
Hey Authors, Why Is LGBTQ Representation So Hard? 
I Fall For Problematic Love Interests 
Are Diverse Characters and Representation Unnecessary?

See All
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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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