Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

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Check out the Halloween Read-a-Thon here!

My TBR list here!

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**Originally, I was going to use Mary: The Summoning for this one, but I thought The Body Finder actually made more sense and fit the description better.**


First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The almost annoying focus on young love amidst a killing spree and the third person POV.

Second, the reason they didn’t negatively impact my rating: The story was pretty original (the body finding part anyway) and very well written.

Third, the moment I fell in love with this story:

“She waited only a few moments longer than she needed to, silently thanking Brooke for sharing this time with her… for sharing her heartbreakingly beautiful echo.”

How many stars do I give this? I’m going to surprise myself by giving this FIVE FREAKING STARS.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with this story. In fact, I was on the fence about buying this one in the first place, but now I’ve definitely got to check out the rest of the series AND add Kimberly Derting on my Authors To Read list.

Halloween Horror Rating:

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Two out of five bats. I hate to say it, because this is such an awesome novel, but ultimately it just wasn’t all that scary. There were a couple of moments where it had some good suspense or thrill to it, but I just wasn’t buying the concept of “terrifying” here. Would it have been scary in real life? Absolutely. Was it scary as a novel? Maybe not so much.

Even so, I’d read it a thousand more times.

But let’s begin with The Engaging And Overtaking Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

That this was easy to get into. This is a combination of story and writing, but even if the story is good, the writing is what seals the deal and that’s what happened here. It was easy to fall into the story. By the end of the prologue I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the book (and I did so in under 24 hours, so there!). The writing was sort of long, if you know what I mean. The sentences didn’t rely on being short and choppy to be easy to process, but rather were well built. They varied to keep the writing interesting, not afraid to have those quick, jarring statements, or the long rambling ones. Italics were used freely and without judgement. They were mostly well placed and added some good emphasis, as italics should. Overall, I found the formatting and style pleasing and that goes a long way for me.

What I felt was a little questionable:

I’m not a huge fan of third person for YA (though it tends to work better for Adult novels and sometimes Middlegrade) and sort of feel like this could have been a little bit better of a novel in first, however, I don’t think it destroyed the novel to be in third. I think it’s going to bother a lot of readers, however, who maybe feel like a third POV is going to put too much distance between Violet and the reader when there’s the potential for so much emotional charge. It wasn’t a problem for me, but for some I think it will be.

Moving on to The Addicting Like True Book-Crack Story.

What I liked:

Everything. Well, just about anyway.

I loved the romance and while I think it might be off putting to some people who really want the grittiness of the serial-killer slash psychic portion of the story, it was ultimately a very successful story. I even think, in a little role reversal, the romance was the vehicle for the supernatural/killer portion! It was great to see them struggling against their feelings, but also once opening up to them, how they still interacted with each other basically the same. They were still friends, despite all the touchy feely things that had sprouted up between them.

I felt like it was interesting to have the short chapters from the killer’s POV and it helped to add a little bit to the end when we finally realize who it is. And I liked that it wasn’t cut and dry. There was a tiny twist that you almost kinda saw coming, but I think you were distracted enough by the romance that it wasn’t obvious. I also liked that the Epilogue had your heart pounding. Awesome.
I love, love, love the body finder stuff. I mean, seriously. The echoes? Freaky and awesome. The drive to find dead things? Totally weird. I mean, I was really sold on Violet’s ability and I loved that only the people closest to her knew about it—including her family. It made an already good story that much better. I was really impressed.

What I didn’t like:

I think maybe the romance developed a little too quickly. Like, head over heels before book two too quickly. However, even that isn’t a huge unlike. Because they were BFFs from the getgo, so I can see the romance moving rapidly as a result.

Other than that… I didn’t like the scene at the part. The end of it, yes, that was awesome, but the part with Grady? Just too typical. Too “Every YA Book Has This Scene” (which I’ll go over later). I think it might be the only thing I truly didn’t like in this book. Really. And as I mentioned, I loved the end of it.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

I loved that Violet wasn’t just a goody-two-shoes girl who was like “oh, woe is me!” She’s abrasive and at times aggressive, moody and very occasionally manipulative. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her insecurities. She doesn’t look like everyone else, she doesn’t feel like she’s “changed” enough or “grown” enough as some of her friends have. She doesn’t think she’s good enough to get the guy, etc. HOWEVER, I will say that her self-deprecating attitude was mild, making it, in my humble opinion, far more authentic. She was just this normal teen who, as a result of hormones and crazy things going on, had insecurities that she dealt with in the best way she could.

I also loved that Jay was… self-aware. He wasn’t just some cocky jerk, but he could be at times and I felt that was pretty genuine, too. He was gorgeous, but his personality allowed that to be an incidental trait that carried his character a little farther.

Also, he’s my new Book Boyfriend. *Sigh*

I liked that the parents HAD A ROLE IN THE STORY. Like, a legitimate one. Sure, at times they were lax—like with the open/closed door policy—but mostly they were struggling like real parents between protecting their daughter and letting her develop into a real, live person. Go figure. They didn’t have to be the Absentee Parents to make the story believable. Her family was involved without hindering the overall flow of the story and I appreciated that.

What was bad:

Grady.

Seriously, even Lissie Queen of the Bees was an acceptable stereotype for me, because she didn’t play that big of a role. But Grady? He was supposed to be one of their good friends and then he goes all slobbering mangy rabid boy dog on Violet? No, too convenient. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but that whole Incident felt too… tropey. It was staged to the point where, while I appreciated the Good Save and all, I had a hard time not rolling my eyes. It was just this excuse to bring things together, a means to an end, and that really bugged me. Because everything else flowed really well and then you have Grady. And we never really resolve Grady, we just have to live with him.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:

Ah, alas, there are tropes and stereotypes here. Even in the best of books a little rain must fall… I don’t think that’s how that quote goes. Regardless.

Tropes:

A) Girl Is Attacked For Being Foolish… But It’s Okay, Love Of Her Life Miraculously Saves Her!
B) The Fated High School Dance… Like OMG
C) I’m In Love With My BFF, But I’m Not Admitting It

Stereotypes:

A) Pretty People Are Mean… Except For My BFF/Boyfriend Because He’s Super-Hot AND Nice
B) I Have Curly Hair So I’m Not Pretty… Except I Totally Am and Just Don’t Know It (okay, also a trope, but you get me)
C) The Sporty One, The Pretty One, The Dumb One, and The Main Girl

Would I recommend this? Hell. Yes.—If you like reading YA at all and care even a little for suspense. I mean, jeez. Awesome.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

the-body-finderTitle: The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
ISBN: 0061779814
Language: English
Approximate Length: 327 pages
Stars: ★★★★★
I have a used softcover copy.

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Review: Ouija by Katharine Turner

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Check out the Halloween Read-a-Thon here!

My TBR list here!

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First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The way this reads like a Middlegrade book and the complete lack of suspense/horror/or anything remotely terrifying.
Second, the reason they absolutely did negatively impact my rating: Because the writing was third-grade status. So simple I could have done this just by watching the movie with absolutely no writing skills whatsoever.
Third, the moment I knew this was going to be bad:

“‘Hey.’ Trevor appeared in the doorway.
‘Oh my god!’ Laine gripped the board tightly. ‘You almost gave me a heart attack.’”

Because, um, why? Nothing happened. Absolutely NOTHING HAPPENED to build up to this “surprise, heart attack inducing” moment.
How many stars do I give this? Sadly, only 2. Maybe a 2.1, but probably not. (Lets be honest, I’m already being generous.)
I went into this book really wanting to like it, but I just couldn’t. This is possibly the first and probably only time I will ever say this but, THE MOVIE IS BETTER.
I feel like I should be stoned now…
Halloween Horror Rating:

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One out of five bats. It was pathetically un-terrifying to the point where I was bored and more interested in the grief of the characters, than the supposedly scary stuff happening.

A total disappointment.
But let’s begin with The Bland And Pathetically Boring Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

Not much of anything, really. I found that this was one of those moments where the writing was TOO simplistic. It made it difficult to read, because it was so easy I felt like I was reading See Spot Run. I mean, why not include pictures, too?

Oh, wait, they did…

Seriously though. I’ve been trying to find something that I really enjoyed in the writing style itself, and I can’t find anything. I felt it was boring, stilted, lacked suspense, and felt more like it was meant to be read by 10-year-olds.

What I felt was a little questionable:

Um, everything.

First, the writer didn’t seem to understand that as a novel, not a movie the writing needed more meat. There needed to be at least a hundred more pages, all of which should have been descriptors. Okay, maybe not *all* but a damn lot of ‘em. There needed to be more “her heart thumped wildly in her chest as she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise. She couldn’t see it, but she sensed it there, lurking, looming—coming towards her. She couldn’t force herself to turn, her body frozen in irrational fear, but in the mirror she caught the reflection. It should have been nothing, but that shadow—” Instead, we get the characters running around doing… well, we don’t really know what they’re doing because they’re suddenly downstairs in the dead girl’s room when a second ago they were in the living room. And they’re dying left and right, but they only seem mildly affected by this.
Where’s the drama? Where’s the suspense? Where are the friggin’ ghosts already?! Seriously, even they didn’t manage to be effective in this novel—which is bad, given that it’s basically a ghost story.

Moving on to The Rather Hobble-Cobble Story.

What I liked:

The relationship between Debbie and Laine. It was the closest thing to a really functioning storyline that we could grasp on to and it was the only thing that was convincing as a motivator for the unfolding events. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the sort of depth that it needed to be really *great* or effective and it left everyone feeling sort of… well, maybe like Debbie and Laine should have been dating and the two guys should have been thrown to the wolves.

Regardless, the best part (in the sense of storytelling) was Debbie’s apparent suicide. There was the promise of real depth there when her friends are initially grieving. They attempt to deal with her death in their own ways, wondering how they “missed the signs”. This was the most genuine part of the whole story—and it was only there as a backdrop to the rest of what was going on. Really disappointing.

What I didn’t like:

Most of what happened.

The Ouija Board has the potential to bring some real creep factor to any story—and yet it utterly failed here. There was no sense of foreboding, there was no feeling that they were playing with fire. Instead it was all this “oh, and by the way, a serial killer ghost is after you, kay, bye now”. I mean, that was the feeling I got from this novel and it really left me wishing that more had happened in the story. I think this is more a result of the writing than the actual plot, though I think there are holes there, too, and I think if we’d been offered a little more time to explore what was going on and given a few more details, I would have enjoyed the story more.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

The relationship between Debbie and Laine. And the relationship between Laine and Sarah. Both of these bonds were very brief, because the whole story was brief, but they offered the most development and tangible feeling in the whole novel. I also would have liked to explore the Laine/Pete dynamic, because it was, strangely enough, stronger than most here. More compelling. At least, it had the potential to be. But again, it was wholly underdeveloped, leaving it more like this weird “did I imagine a connection there?” thing.

What was bad:

There was almost no character development. No one really changed—or even had the chance to. We actually got the most change from Trevor, I think, and not in a good way. He shifted from the loving boyfriend to aggressive and unstable. But we only get a glimpse of that and the next moment he’s all “but I love Laine so much! Even though I think she’s nuts!” It was really disappointing.

The friendships between each of the characters had so much room for development, but instead they fell flat. I was left thinking that these characters were just cardboard cutouts of people, stand ins for the real things that had yet to arrive.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:

There’s the Missing Parents trope. I think this novel counts as YA and falls into the same My Teenager’s Running Rampant, But I Really Can’t Be Bothered As A Parent trope. There’s also the My Boyfriend Takes Over My Life trope, though in a very small capacity. There’s the I Had To Grow Up Too Fast To Take The Place Of My Absentee Parent trope, always a fun one.

There weren’t a lot of Horror Tropes here, though fans of the genre will notice some. The Final Girl(s) being the main one, but also some “playing with something we shouldn’t” and “it’s just a game”.

Would I recommend this? No—there just isn’t enough here to be bothered with, sadly enough.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

ouijaTitle: Ouija
Author: Katharine Turner
ISBN: 0316296325
Language: English
Approximate Length: 224 pages
Stars: ★★☆☆☆
I have a used softcover copy.

Review: What Doesn’t Kill Us by Stephanie Henry

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First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The mega insta-love and the “he’s so perfect, omg” characters.
Second, the reason they did negatively impact my rating: Because this story relied so heavily on the characters and the story and neither were executed well enough for that.

Third, the moment I knew how I was going to feel about this story:

“Why does the sound of him saying my name make my insides melt?”

Because this quote is like all of the quotes. This quote shows what the writing is like and it shows how the rest of the novel is going to work—an instantly, for no apparent reason love sick girl is won over… with absolutely no effort on the young man’s part. Why did I pick this quote? Because there was absolutely nothing leading up to it. She just suddenly feels jiggly in her insides because he’s cute. I mean, jeez.

How many stars do I give this? 2.6 because it’s got holes and only so-so writing.
It has a wicked hook and there is potential… but the writing just wasn’t up to standard and in the end, there was too much rushing in a story that should have been twice as long.

But let’s begin with The Bland And So-So Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

The fast-paced nature of it. As I mentioned, it’s got a hell of a hook and that helps a lot with a story like this. The first chapter really sets the stage for the story—for Drew anyway. And that helped a lot with getting through the rest of the story. I’ll also mention that I didn’t mind the switching POV. For this story, I found it helpful and with only one perspective, the story probably wouldn’t have been even this good.

What I felt was a little questionable:

The fast-paced nature of it. I know, I just mentioned this as something I liked, but let me explain. The story started off fast, which is good, but then it got bogged down by things like “Craig Morgan”. Is there a reason we have to say his full name every time? It started to feel like you were saying He-Who-Must-Be-Named-Every-Time… Like, give it a rest. But that aside, I’m actually talking about how Drew’s life is now. By chapter two it’s all “and no one likes me and I’m the bad boy and I don’t expect anyone to care…” All of which was important, but the author sped through it like lightning and I was just left scratching my head thinking, “Why do I care?” Because I didn’t. The stuff with his family was horrible—but I’m not really sure how it spilled out into his high school career. Was it just a result of gossip? Did his father spread the rumors? We don’t know. Because there’s nothing to let us know. Instead, we get a rapid fire break down of what’s going on and it just needed more… development. The start of something was there, but the author seemed so hellbent on getting through that she didn’t much care whether we were following or not. I needed longer scenes, or at least more developed ones. What are the characters thinking? Why are they thinking that? Why are they so hooked on each other? She tried to tell us, but I just didn’t buy it—and that’s a flaw in the writing, not necessarily (though additionally) the plot.

Moving on to The Too-Fast, Too-Insistently-Intense Story.

What I liked:

That the story is about hope and overcoming the bad things. I don’t necessarily think that reading has to teach us anything, but I think when it does and it’s not overly preachy, that can be really beneficial and add something to the story. In this case, I think it did. It’s about forgiveness and love despite differences and, ultimately, about finding hope. I’m not sure it’s really enough to save the story, but I appreciated it all the same.

I liked that Hailey was blaming her initial attraction on mystery. Oh, he’s the bad boy, so I just want to know, not that I’m really into him! It’s maybe not written well enough or followed through on later to be truly believable, but I thought that was a better way of tackling the otherwise overwhelming insta-love found here. I wish the author had stuck with it a little longer and dealt with Hailey’s drive to not have feelings for Drew.

What I didn’t like:

A lot.

I didn’t like the insta-love, as I’ve mentioned. It was excessive and that’s dangerous in a story that is literally about that love. Because it’s all about the getting together, not the being together in a story. It’s about the fighting to be with one another that lends enough drama for a story to really exist. That’s why we end up with love triangles and parental disapproval and wrong side of the tracks stories. Because there has to be a struggle and if we don’t get one, the story is, unfortunately, boring. We need the drama, and there was a lot lacking here—even when it wasn’t.

Additionally, why the heck didn’t she have more reservations about him? She was all, “he’s demented!” and then “I want to jump his bones”? How do you get from one to the other in a straight line? I don’t know, but Hailey did.

And that’s how we end up with this gem:

“I haven’t heard why he’s a supposed murderer. What did he do to get that reputation?”

Um, I don’t know, like, MURDER SOMEONE? I hear that killing is the leading cause of murder-related deaths these days…

The whole party scene. From the moment with her dad to the next morning, I was rolling my eyes. And that’s a lot of eye rolling. I didn’t buy that Hailey was just suddenly super comfortable getting tossed—because the author didn’t sell it to me. She told me, “Yep, Hailey’s on a bender!” which seems so out of character for her, despite the circumstances. Not that that is necessarily an unwarranted reaction, but Hailey just seemed so… natural about it that I found it unbelievable. And the whole “Oh, Drew is here! Now I’m feeling super sober—despite the, like, six shots of tequila”? No. Just no. Have you heard of alcohol poisoning? Have you heard of drunk the next day? Have you heard of puking in the bushes?

None of that happened and that seemed… unlikely. It just made everything else that happened lacking it realism to the point where I was just shaking my head.
Honestly, there’s more. The whole dad thing. How can we have the characters not freaking out about this? Yeah, they get a little upset, but then it’s like “oh, but if you see it from his point of view…” No. He does not get a point of view. Because a-holes do not get point of views. Ever. Because they are, in fact, a-holes. And he was. The most selfish jerk ever… and no one called him on it. It was just like “oh, Hailey, you just need to learn to forgive him.” Um, no. At all, no.

I thought the Val-Craig thing was useless. I thought the father thing was… poorly executed. I thought the mom thing was sort of out of left field and didn’t add anything really to the story other than a “and they all lived happily ever after!”

I know there’s a lot I didn’t like and I wish it weren’t so, but when the writing isn’t great, we need the story to carry us and vice versa. We had neither of these things here and it shows.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

Drew being a good guy and supportive of Hailey. Perhaps a little cliché? But I appreciated that he wasn’t just some bad boy that she was trying to change. He was legitimately a good person.

Hailey being able to look past the wage differences of their families. I don’t think it was shown enough, though they mentioned it several times, but it was nice that the money really didn’t matter to her.

The mom freaking out after what happened with Hailey’s dad. It was probably the most realistic reaction of everyone in the book and while it was annoying on some level, I appreciated that it was genuine. We didn’t get enough genuine in this, I think, and I’m grateful that it showed up here at least.

What was bad:

The fact that there was really only one “bad guy” (two if you count the party, but that was all so surreal…). Everyone else wasn’t a bad guy, even when they seemed like they were a bad guy—or really should have been. Did it help the story that Craig was a decent guy despite his reputation? No, not at all. It would have been more beneficial if he played a larger actual role, but he’s so peripheral until the party that it’s moot point. And what’s the point of forgiving the dad? He broke so much trust, wrecked a lot of lives, and didn’t even think he did something wrong! Staying with a child in a loveless marriage is the dumbest thing a parent can do and doing it for the sake of the child is just an excuse. Especially in this circumstance.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:
I’m just going to list them here, because… yeah.

• The Poetically Deep Kid In Bad Boy Clothing
• The Preppy Popular Cheerleading Rich Girl With A Heart Of Gold
• The Shallow Best Friend Who Only Loves Shopping And Boys

And that’s not even dealing with the assumptions the characters make about each other—everyone seems to buy the stereotypes in this book until otherwise proven. Like “Craig Morgan Reads a Book” time or the “Cheerleader Listens to Country” or the “Bad Boy Likes Poetry”. All of it makes these huge assumptions about people they don’t even know, and everyone gets offended even as they turn around and do it to each other…

Would I recommend this? Sadly, no—but if you can get past the bad writing and the poorly developed plot and the really bad insta-love, you might enjoy this. But I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

what-doesnt-kill-usTitle: What Doesn’t Kill Us
Author: Stephanie Henry
ASIN: B00E5Z7PWM
Language: English
Approximate Length: 259 pages
Stars: ★★★☆☆
I received a free ebook version in exchange for an honest review.

 

Update – Blog Format

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Sorry, I know I JUST did a blog update post, but I’m super busy right now (I know, story of my life, broken record status there) so I thought I’d do a post about what I’m thinking of doing with the blog.

I mean, other than what I am doing.

First, I’ll get some more reviews up soon. I’ve just finished up book 2 in the Lux series, so I’ll get that review written up and posted soon. I’m working on Ouija for the Halloween Read-a-Thon, so I’ll hopefully get that one taken care of, too. (I’m so behind with that it’s not even funny…) I’m actually looking through other people’s blogs (finally) so I’ll drop some comments and likes. I’ve been missing out on people’s posts so I’m trying to do rapid fire catch-up! Which is only about half effective, because I can’t spend any more time on it right now…

Later. Definitely later.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to mention was the formatting, right? I don’t necessarily mean design (though if people have comments on that, feel free to share! I’m still practicing the whole design thing, so yeah, hints are great), but rather content? And scheduling.

Poo, Mondays.

First, I was thinking of doing a Book to Movie Monday post. You know, talk about all the YA books that have been bastardized, I mean, turned into movies? So many of my favorites are movies now and some of them have bombed so bad… Others I’ve enjoyed, though I like them for different reasons than the book. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it every Monday though… So maybe an every other week thing? What do you guys think?

That Weird Day Before Monday…

Second, I was thinking of an NA Sunday. This blog is all about YA, but I’ve read *some* good New Adult books (though not many). I was thinking I could have a sort of “free” day with Sunday and post NA books instead of restricting only to YA. Do you think that would be okay? Or would it just throw off the whole feel of the blog?

Because Everyone Loves Thursday.

Third, I wanted to do a Throwdown Thursday OR a Throwback Thursday. I could compare two books (like Vampire Academy versus Strange Angels or The Hunger Games versus Divergent – or more aptly, against Battle Royale, but I haven’t read that one yet…) and maybe do voting for a winner in the comments? What do you guys think? Like the idea? The other one, the Throwback, would be going back and talking about books I’ve read in the past that I really enjoyed instead of maybe some of the newer ones? (Though, really, I’m so behind on the times sometimes…)

And The Rest Of the Whatever Week.

I have a couple of other ideas floating around – a Freebie Friday, talking about books I’ve gotten for free or as ARCs and maybe doing a Wednesday Recap or a Terrible Tuesday for books that I’ve really disliked and why – but those three are the big ones I was really thinking about.

I’d love to hear from you guys! How do you set up your blog? Do you like to do a system of what to post when or do you do it more fly by the seat of your pants? Should I just nix the themes and stick with how things have been?

Leave me your opinions below! And I’ll do a real post sometime soon!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

**Hey guys! Let me know what you think of my new reviewing format! I’m going to be using this template in an effort to make more accurate and unbiased – or at least informative – reviews!**

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First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The excessively hateable hot and cold of Daemon and blame it on the ‘mones (hormones) mentality.

Second, the reason they didn’t relatively impact my rating: The writing was freakin’ good, even when the characters were being stupid/annoying/generally unbearable.

Third, the moment I fell in love with this story:

“I hated Daemon Black—if that was even his real name—with the vengeance that equaled the solar power of a thousand suns … The son of a bitch blew up my laptop.”

How many stars do I give this? A solid 3.98. Because my god the writing is addicting! Even when I thought people were being dumb or I was having a WTF Mate moment! It’s that good.

Let’s begin with The Butterfly Inducing Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

That Armentrout has once more brought me into this fairly fantastical and slightly unrealistic story with no qualms. Aliens? No problem. Crazy dark shadows coming to get you? Sure thing. Sexy boy next door who is so ‘effing mean you have to like him? Yep, still there with you. Really, it didn’t matter what was going on, I still bought it because Armentrout successfully drew me in with her writing. Katy was consistent, even when she felt like she was all over the place. Being in her head effectively made me feel like I was her—both loving and hating Daemon right along with her. It was great. Armentrout is very effective with the first person and puts you right smack dab in the middle of what our MC is feeling.

What I felt was a little questionable:

There were mistakes. Spots where the story seemed to jump forward—weren’t they just on her porch? How are they now walking in the forest? I wasn’t sure if these scenes were maybe forgotten/meant to be added to before the final product or if it was a transition issue, but I noticed it a couple of times and felt it was a little jarring. These were the only moments that really took me out of the story and I didn’t appreciate that. Thankfully, they were few and far between.

Moving on to The Twilight With Aliens Story.

What I liked:

That there was no insta-love. Yes, there is no denying that Katy was instantaneously drooling over Daemon—and really, can you blame her?—but as soon as he speaks, she hates his guts. It’s really quite refreshing. They both try so hard to hate one another, to not let the other get under their skin, that it moves the story along mostly through romance (once more, the “genre” of the piece is merely a vehicle for romance) without making you want to gag about how goo-goo they are over each other. I really appreciated that.

I also liked the “other form” of the Luxen. I won’t get into specifics here, because I’m trying to stay spoiler free, but I will mention that their other form is humanoid but with some noticeable differences. It’s a little weird, but I liked that they weren’t just basically humans from another planet. They are intrinsically different and I think that adds more credence to the whole love story. It’s real love if you can overlook such a large difference, yeah?

What I didn’t like:

How much of a jerk Daemon is.

Okay, let me clarify, I hated that he was such a jerk to Katy—and that she still liked him/spends time with him regardless. Now, it’s not so simplistic as all of that. There are reasons which sort of justify it all, but in the end, Daemon is such a jerk to her—whether he actually cares or not is besides the point—that it’s really hard to think “hm, I can totally see myself overcoming this small personality flaw to see the inner beauty”. Because, really, when a guy’s a jerk, he’s a jerk. Period. Chances are, you’re not going to change him. And there are reasons/explanations, blah blah blah, but it made it really hard to see why Katy was so hung up on him (I don’t care how sexy he is) until really late in the book. That’s slightly problematic for me.

Additionally, I kept feeling like this was Twilight while I was reading it. Not in that horrid, bad fanfiction kind of way, but rather this is what Twilight *should* have been. Well-written, charged with danger and emotion, full of things actually *happening* not just “Oh, Edward looks like a Greek God!” But the similarities remain. The outcast characters who are… different. The bubbly sister who just loves and cuddles you, insisting her brother is your long lost love. Not to mention the whole “I hate you, but not really” hot cold thing with Daemon… I mean, this reads so much better, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling, no matter how I tried.

And finally, the Whole. Damn. Thing. With. Simon. Seriously? Everyone told you not to be an idiot. I’m not saying it was Katy’s fault, because Simon was the a-hole, but I wish she had listened to the instincts that everyone else seemed to have. Especially since she didn’t even like him. Again, not her fault. Never her fault. But I did want to shake my head at her a little. I couldn’t help it.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

The snark. Oh my god, the snark. It was all over the place and it was beautiful. I want all of my characters to be jerks to each other now. They need to have witty, scathing comebacks and they need to make comedic, totally inappropriate, I like to make you made hilarity. Like, all the time. Seriously, I really enjoyed the dialogue in this and that is because Armentrout made some wicked lovely characters here. Screw the romance, them verbally sparring with one another made me want to get a flag, throw on a foam finger, and paint my face like Braveheart. It was awesome.

It made me like Daemon even when I hated him, and that’s pretty darn impressive. Additionally, I actually did like Katy. She wasn’t just a “oh, I’m so plain” Jane. Instead, she was a self-aware, struggling to find herself teen. She didn’t want to be Jane. Instead, she wanted to be Joan. As in badass Joan Jett. I appreciated that she tried to go against her initial, shy instincts and fight back. I think it showed us some struggle and growth.

What was bad:

Um, I hate to say it, but Dee. See, I liked her. A lot. She was fun and bubbly and the kind of BFF everyone wants. Beautiful and fun, but so over the moon for you that she forgets all that and slums it with us poor mortals.

But that’s sort of the issue. She’s known Katy for 2.436 seconds and there’s our insta-love… She just has to be Katy’s friend. Nevermind the danger or the problems it causes. She has to. Even though she doesn’t know a darn thing about this girl. Nope, nada. Just that she’s the new neighbor. It felt too much like a means of introducing the romance and giving us a reason why Katy and Daemon would ever hang out despite their mutual hatred. I just couldn’t buy it, even with the reasons Armentrout supplied to convince us of why she would do this.

Also, is it just me, or is Dee basically Alice from Twilight? Serious.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:

Paranormal As A Vehicle For YA Romance – or SciFi in this case. A bit of But Why Would He Want Me? And a smidgeon of It’s Dangerous For You To Be With Me – But I Want You Anyway.

Really, other than some of the typical teenage romance stuff and some Must Have scenes in YA (the dance, Halloween night, a moment in the woods/at the beach/otherwise outdoorsy smoldering hottimes), I didn’t feel this was excessively tropey. Yes, Katy was sort of Plain Jane. Yes, Daemon was a wee bit Greek God of Hotness. Yes, Dee did embody the Pretty Best Friend. But I feel like most of them moved past these molds also, or at least made an effort to.

Also, Katy was saved a lot by Daemon—but she did some saving, too! It was pretty awesome considering she’s only human.

Would I recommend this? Yes—if you enjoy teen romance, love-hate relationships, a little bit of paranormal (because it reads more like paranormal than SciFi), and you appreciate some snarky characters.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

obsidianTitle: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
ISBN: 1620610078
Language: English
Approximate Length: 335 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I have an ebook mobi format.

Sex in YA – Appropriate?

WARNING: Before continuing, please be advised that this post shall contain certain terms that may not be appropriate for younger readers or might make some readers uncomfortable. These terms will be used for the purposes of properly defining terms such as erotica and will be centered on sexual euphemisms for genitalia. If you are uncomfortable with these terms, please read no further. If you would like to read the gist of this post, but are thoroughly offended by the terms, please leave a comment or contact me on another page/post/email and I will be happy to provide you with a summary minus the terms. Thank you.

dear-reader3

Continue reading “Sex in YA – Appropriate?”

Review: Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

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Okay, so, I really wanted to give thus five stars, but there were a lot of little mistakes throughout that really just needed another set of eyes to fix. All the same, I can’t completely ignore it, so this is actually a 4.5 star review!

So, this was an engrossing tale of the zombie apocalypse that has torn apart society. In the wreckage, people have tried to rebuild, but it’s like the wild west, lawless and dangerous and not always for the reasons you expect.

At first, I kinda didn’t like Savannah. I thought she was a little too eager, a little too cocky, but by the end of the book I wanted her to ride off into the sunset with the guy of her choosing and Apocalypse Boy BFF Zack who is one of my favorite characters. He’s the strong, loyal, realist guy in all of this and it makes him very likeable. Alex is a jerk, Cole I’m undecided on (still) and Marybeth can shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Plot. It was well thought out and decently original, though it follows most of the same tropes of zombie apocalypse stories, but they were well done, coupled with a fast paced style and flow that makes them engaging and worth reading. I at first didn’t understand why Zarahs story was so important (beyond the obvious) but by the end I appreciated their paralleled tales.

All in all, I would recommend this to any zombie fan, especially if you like YA, strong (but not over the top) female characters and a good look at what it might be like to make it through the end – one way or another.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

mortalityTitle: Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain #1)
Author: Kellie Sheridan
ASIN: B014AYUCR2
Language: English
Approximate Length: 211 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I have both a boxset ebook copy and a physical softcover copy.

Update

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I feel as though I should apologize! I haven’t been on my blog much lately and I feel sort of bad for that. October has turned into a super busy (and way stressful) month for me, which irks me to no end.

Where are the pumpkin spice lattes? (And, well, everything really.)

Where is the pumpkin carving?

Where are the bad horror movies?

WHERE IS MY DARN COFFEE??!?!

Oh, wait, that last one isn’t really an October thing… Anyway, I really just ended up swamped by work. Deadlines got moved up (which was not my idea) and as a result, I can’t get anything done on time. Worse, everyone wants me to do MORE. More revisions. More writing. More outlining.

Whatever.

All of this accumulates until we are left with just one thing: An annoyed E.C. (Who is prone to random crying fits that really have no bearing on anything and are making my significant other stare at me as though I’ve grown a second head… but we won’t talk about that.)

Anyway, I really just wanted to let everyone know that I haven’t forgotten you all! This has been an awesome experience to reenter the blogging sphere and I’m not giving it up. I just haven’t had the chance to be as active as I’d like. But I’ll get started on some more posts, some much overdue comment replies and some blog perusing. Additionally, I swear I WILL get back to my How To Write A Novel series.

Eventually, lol.

There you have it folks. I’m not done yet, just having that pesky Life Happens problem. I’m still doing the Halloween Read-a-Thon (which, if you haven’t checked it out, link is here; my TBR is here) and have started Ouija! I’m about 25% through.

Stay tuned for updates. And feel free to comment below with… well, whatever you’d like! Tell me what YOU do when life gets in the way! How do you deal with stress? What’s eating you lately?

Sharing is caring!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

P.S. – I just found out how to delete stuff off my Kindle that I didn’t want. Lol. I feel accomplished.

Review: Sam I Am by Heather Killough-Walden

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I was pleasantly surprised by this!

This was a well written stor and despite some mistakes, I really enjoyed the read! The author managed to pull threads of my favorite holiday through to create an original, engrossing tale. I obviously loved the Halloween elements and enjoyed the idea of Sam altogether. I wish there had been a bit more on the magic witchcraft side of things, but I appreciate the fact that the story didn’t drag because the author was trying to explain everything. There were a few plot holes or at least things that I felt needed more explaining, but the story was pretty well formed and mostly coherent.

The characters were decently developed. I think Logan was edging towards too perfect, but just barely. Dom was everything I want in a male lead and I liked that there was a useful adult in the mix – unusual in YA. I hope to see more of Meagan in book 2.

Overall, I am impressed. I hadn’t been expecting much.l, but I got a great, fun, Halloween read out of it. I would recommend to fans of Halloween, mild romance, and some supernatural fun. Will definitely be reading book two!

**I should make a quick note on this. Yes, I really enjoyed this book. I did not, however, feel that it was truly groundbreaking or extraordinarily amazing. I thought it was MUCH better than expected and enough that I didn’t feel bad for paying the three bucks to read it. And I will read the others, too. But if you don’t like Halloween and you get easily distracted while reading, this probably isn’t for you. I personally really liked it, but I think there are a lot of readers that might not feel the same way.**

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

sam-i-amTitle: Sam I Am (The October Trilogy)
Author: Heather Killough-Walden
ISBN13: 9781301163373
Language: English
Approximate Length: 147 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
This is currently only available in ebook format.