Showing posts with label wither. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wither. Show all posts

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Favorite Covers, Surprising Books, Excitement | 2016 End of Year Book Survey

I can't believe 2016 is over already. This really didn't feel like a whole year. Let's hope 2017 brings everyone of us some good things. Buckle up, this one's a long one.

This tag was created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner.





1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
Mh. I think I'll have to go with A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray. That book totally took over my blog and social media this year.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Several! LIFE AS WE KNEW IT really disappointed me, because I love disaster books. WITHER, RED QUEEN, and SIX OF CROWS were also massive disappointments.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Probably BUMPED by Megan McCafferty. I totally didn't expect this to be about over-the-top religious teens. Mixed with a world where teens are eager to get pregnant, I was very disturbed.


 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Omg that's totally LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Córdova. I was -so- annoying about this book, but it's so good, y'all. Bisexual latinx witches. C'mon.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
Best series: Firbird by Claudia Gray.
Best sequel: TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray
Best series ender: Firebird by Claudia Gray.

You know why? Because I never finish book series! This is the one series that I even picked up the sequels for this year.



6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Sarah Crossan joined the glorious ranks of my new contemporary favorites. I welcome her into my blog, y'all will see her around.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Probably SOMETHING WICKED by Debi Chestnut. I don't read a lot of Non-Fiction, but books about ghosts and the paranormal always pique my interest. This one scared the @'#!+ out of me.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
UNNATURAL DEEDS by Cyn Balog. One sitting wonder, read completely while I was in the waiting room for a doctor's appointment. Totally hooked me on reading more of her books.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I'm not a rereader. If at all probably A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray because I've got a book boyfriend in there that I already dearly miss.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
I need to stop answering with A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU .... I did the exact same thing with READY PLAYER ONE last year, where is my self-control... ehhh... WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT by April Genevieve Tucholke is quite pretty.

11. Most memorable character of 2016?
I don't know, these are getting so difficult. Maybe Pyotr from VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler? I really liked him.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moira Fowley-Doyle maybe. I like her style a lot and even though her book didn't really quite line up with my personal taste, I'll be checking out more by her for sure.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES by Louise Gornall, no contest. The first book with a chronically-ill character and great representation that I've read and forever cherished.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 
I'm really ashamed of reading WITHER by Lauren DeStefano so late. That book came out ages ago, I feel like I totally missed the 2010 dystopian craze. Super embarrassing to be so late to the party.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
*clutches heart*

“Everything he’s done, everything he gave up and risked for me: Paul did all that without the slightest idea of being loved in return.”

― Claudia Gray, A Thousand Pieces of You


16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Oh lord. I don't know how I did this the last time, the longest seems to be LAST SACRIFICE by Richelle Mead with a whopping 608 pages apparently. Don't know about the shortest one.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I guess this one's going to BUMPED by Megan McCafferty again for the weirdness factor.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
GRAND DUCHESS MARGUERITE AND LIEUTENANT PAUL MARKOV FROM THE FIREBIRD SERIES BY CLAUDIA GRAY OKAY NO CONTEST DON'T EVEN

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I don't think I have one this year.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Previously this year? Or previously before 2016? Because I totally don't have one for the latter, I refuse to put any books that were less than three stars in this category. Another blank then.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
This one might be POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder. It was solid, but I don't really have a desire to read the rest of the series, totally didn't care for the magical elements.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Oh I guess if we have to go with Pyotr from VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler then. Eastern European scientists are my jam.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
SLEEPING GIANTS by Sylvain Neuvel, that one messed me up. Space robots, yessir

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Mhhh, difficult. I remember being very impressed with Tara Sim's debut TIMEKEEPER. Steampunk world where time is controlled by clock towers. Super imaginative and fun.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Again, VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler. The Taming of the Shrew is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and a retelling of that is always super fun to read for me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Ho boy, ONE by Sarah Crossan is a tearjerker deluxe. Poetry about conjoined twins. You always know what'll happen to fictional conjoined twins before even reading the book, so you can imagine.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
UNICORN TRACKS by Julia Ember. Give me more African lesbians please!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES again, I was Advanced Crushed™.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT again. Nobody has a magical mind quite  like April Genevieve Tucholke.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Probably RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard. I just don't get it, it's so many books fused into one. I'm not even mad about the book I'm mad at the friends who thought I'd like this, haha.



Feel free to leave the link to your tag in the comments so I can look!



 Last year: Best and Worst Books of 2015 | End of Year Book Survey

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

[Review] Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) - Lauren DeStefano: Polygamy and Dystopia

In WITHER, Rhine gets abducted to be a bride in a world where women live to be 20 and men live to be 25.

What intrigued me: The blurb makes it sounds like a solid dystopian novel. I may have also seen this around quite a lot and was curious.

World building?

What initially drew me in on WITHER is the premise. It sure sounds like a dystopian novel, but with more world building and less emphasis on rebellion. However, while the latter still holds true after reading the novel, the former is exactly where it went wrong for me. There is honestly no world building in this book. Nothing is explained, there are no reasons for anything. 

I was insanely disappointed that you don't learn anything about the world as you go along, because there is nothing to learn. Essentially, this read is just about the polygamous relationships protagonist Rhine's husband Linden has, of course with a side of intrigues. 

I'll forget this book soon

I felt claustrophobic reading this, because the action mainly takes place in two or three different places total, while most of it is just in the house. DeStefano tries to hide this by adding ridiculously long descriptions of everything, from the looks of the rooms, to every single time Rhine gets dressed to look pretty for her husband.
This unnecessarily ruins the pacing and makes the first 50 pages a nightmare to read. I wouldn't have minded all those descriptions if the beginning of this didn't only consist of them. Because WITHER lacks so much in world building, it really relies on the reader liking the character dynamics, which I just didn't. 

We have every cliché ever in this, a love triangle that doesn't make sense and feels forced and instant-love-y. I would have liked this more if it only had one love interest, because I found Linden quite sympathetic. The writing itself is really good which is just more reason for why I'm so frustrated with this. The idea is okay, the characters are alright, the writing is amazing - how did this book end up to be so forgettable and ... average? Very disappointing.


Rating:

☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

WITHER has potential to be a wonderful quick stand-alone, but I cannot imagine to read three books set in this world. I wouldn't recommend it, because it bored and disappointed me.



Additional Info

Published: March 22nd 2011
Pages: 358
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA / Dystopia
ISBN: 9781442409057

Synopsis:
"By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. 

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can't bring herself to hate him as much as she'd like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband's strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out?

Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?"(Source: Goodreads)


Have you read WITHER?

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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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