Book Review: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

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Scintillate is a book about a young girl named Cora who can see auras. She goes on a quest to find out the truth about her mother and the truth about what she is. She finds herself drawn to the new Irish exchange student. When he goes back to Ireland, she follows him because that’s where her mother was researching. She then finds herself in grave danger from those who want to use her power.

Being from Ireland, I was beyond ecstatic when I received a copy of this book. I mean, a book having to do with my childhood land, auras and whatnot? Count me in. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The major problem I had with this book is that, for the most part, it was entirely and disappointingly boring. I had to force myself to finish it because it was just so clichéd and banal. It fell into so many annoying young adult tropes.

1.The Mary-Sue/Special Snowflake

“You’re different from them.”

“It’s not just the color of your eyes – though, damn, that emerald green against your black hair slays me. It’s what’s in them. I feel like I know everything… and nothing, when I look your eyes.”

Cora is just so special. She really is. The readers are told she is plain, but how can we believe that when two amazingly gorgeous guys fall instantly in love with her? She has a hot Irish exchange student from Ireland and a gorgeous Italian boy pining after her. To top it off, she has an extremely rare power and is being hunted because of it.

Cora also makes stupid decisions. After being told how dangerous her gift is and not to trust anyone with the secret, she immediately tells her two friends. She researches in a PUBLIC library. She goes against all of her instincts to be with a guy she barely knows. Even her cousin is okay with letting him drive her home after having fainted. This is how horror movies happen, my friends.

2. The Love Triangle

It has the love triangle. It makes no sense to me because they instantly feel protective of her. They instantly need her. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how Cora is so special. I detest love triangles, but I like them when they are done well. This is not the case which brings me to my next point.

3. Instalove

I think this category is pretty self-explanatory. This may work for tweens, but authors should know better than this. Seriously. I want development. I want the feelings to sneak up on me. I don’t want love at first sight.

4. The Cheesy Dialogue

I can’t count the number of times I rolled my eyes during this book.

Little mini-hearts floated into my bloodstream. “Love?”

We did that thing again, where we looked in each other’s eyes a fraction longer than was considered comfortable in polite society.

“Since I met you, nothing else exists. No one has ever touched me the way you do. You’re like a fookin’ hypnotist.”

 “It’s the sun on my back after days in the rain.”

“…to the wider world you are enchanting.”

5. The Twilight Plot

There’s the immediate attraction. There’s the “I’m not good for you, so I’m going to go leave you now.” There’s the love triangle. There’s the perfect character who everyone loves. She doesn’t know how special she is though.

6. OMG- I’m what?

Yup. It’s the “I don’t know what I am. I’m going to go on a quest to find out.” I mean, there’s nothing wrong with this. It can be a great tool for a fantastic plot. I just hated the way it was done here.

Overall, this was so disappointing. I gave it two stars because the latter part of the book, towards the end, is a lot more interesting than the beginning. For this reason, I can see myself picking up the next book and giving it a chance, but I don’t see myself recommending it.

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Book Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

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I wanted to like this book. I really did. It deals with a  lot of very deep issues that play a huge role in modern society: PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. The main problem with this book is that it feels as if it’s using these issues simply to make readers feel bad. It’s as if integrating these issues in a book will excuse any bad behavior on the characters’ parts. No. Just no.

Kacey is so unlikeable. I feel bad for her, yes, but the author gives me absolutely no reason to like her. She is judgemental and hypocritical. Other people are bad for being strippers and sluts, yet she can have intimate encounters without the same stigma. Why? What makes her so special? Anyone who makes a move on Trent is a slut, and she constantly envisions hurting these people. She is broken, but the message I got from this book is that a woman needs a man to heal. What happened to being independent? How can you heal when you need someone to make you happy? I don’t want to think that a woman’s happiness depends solely on a man and that girls need guys to fix their problems for them, but that’s what I got from Kacey.

And the relationship with Trent is just wrong. No. Please just no. It is one of the most dysfunctional and messed up couple that I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Trent falls instantly in love with Kacey, and he constantly uses sexual blackmail to get her to open up. No. How is this romantic? A person must be willing to heal and get help. You can’t just make someone go to therapy on the grounds that you won’t sleep with them.

The writing itself is not bad, but there was just so many problems I had with the book overall. There is a lot of slutshaming. A person’s appearance doesn’t define who they are. It’s sad that I have to say that – that it’s not common sense by now. We are constantly reminded of people’s appearances in the novel. Kacey is hot. Livie is hot. Storm is hot. Trent is hot. Everyone’s hot. Geez.

The ending is so unrealistic. How can a book that promised a realistic premise with all of its issues end with such a clean ending? Everything is fixed. Everything is all good. They just work themselves out. What could have been a redeeming aspect for this novel is treated with such little care. We could have seen Kacey grow. We could have seen her heal without the help of Trent, but alas, we do not get this.

Overall, I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn’t. Everything just felt so melodramatic and unrealistic. I have had little interest in reading New Adult books, and this book has just made me even more wary of the genre.

Oh and one more thing. Stalking is in no way hot or sweet or charming. It just isn’t.

Book Review: ARV-3 by Cameo Renae

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It seems as if those infected with the ARV-3 serum survived the apocalypse, but there were major side effects. There was something in the serum which caused them to mutate. They have become violent cannibals.

The creature was completely hairless, and its skin creased with countless wrinkles, appearing scabrous and leathery. It was horribly pale. Purplish blue veins protruded and snaked all over its body.

You can probably tell that this is a book about an apocalyptic world where a virus has spread. A serum that was supposed to save the people that were not fortunate enough to get to a hive underground turned them into cannibalistic monsters instead. Think The Walking Dead but with faster zombies/mutants.

Overall, I thought this book was okay, but damn did I love the scenes with the mutants, called Arvies. I love the action, the chase, and the feeling of being trapped. This book got me in the mood to read other zombie books because it keeps you on your toes. You never know when an Arvy is going to pop out of nowhere, and eerily enough they’re not brainless. They communicate. That was, hands down, the best part of this book. There were guns. There were swords. There were bombs. In other words, I love the action.

For this reason, it is a shame that the second half of this book took such a drastic turn. It went from being a kickass survival story into an average teen drama.  Action was still there at times, but I wasn’t kept in suspense. I wasn’t itching to read what was next because it didn’t have the same feel or atmosphere at all. I would have easily given this book a three or four stars, but because of how average I thought the latter part of the book was, I cannot bring myself to do so.

Just as I had it focused in my sites, its milky white eyes snapped up to me. What the –? It took me off guard, and was freaking me out, because its eyes never left me. It suddenly bared its teeth, and then… It held up its decrepit fingers, like a gun, and pretended to shoot me!

This is the kind of stuff you find in the first half of the book.

“OMG! Are they hot?” She whispered giddily, taking hold of my shoulders.

I hesitated. OMG. Was she serious?

OMG! Was he freaking serious.

This is the kind of stuff you find in the second half of the book. Abi, the main character, and her friend Tina are constantly snickering and giggling, and it just takes away from the whole feel of the book. OMG yeah.

The romance in this book wasn’t very interesting. I just never had a chance to see them as being romantically involved before the main character spelled it out for the reader. What happened to subtlety? I do, however, love the tight-knit group. Even though they’re not all blood related, they act as a family, protecting one another no matter what, and it’s very touching. I love the family dynamic going on here, and it’s one of the best parts of this book.  Plus, Abi is pretty kickass.

Overall, I am interested in seeing how this plays out, but at the same time, it’s not on my top priority. In the next installment, more action and Arvies would be great.

A tear trailed down my face as we stepped further and further away from our past and headed north toward our future. 

Book Review: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

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Wonderland is a much darker and more twisted place than you can imagine.

Meet Dinah, otherwise known as the future evil queen of hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Ever wondered how she became that way? Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes goes on a journey to tell us how.

Dinah is the future queen of Wonderland. Her whole life has been spent preparing for the day when she will rule, and every day is as ordinary as the next. Things change during the days leading up to her coronation. Something sinister and evil lurks in the whimsical Wonderland, and Dinah must act quickly or her head will literally roll.

“OFF WITH HER HEAD!” she screamed.

Oh dear. What could have happened to make Dinah turn into the cruel monster we’ve grown up knowing her to be? The answer is lots of anger, hatred, and betrayal. She did not start out that way. Once upon a time, she was a naïve girl who wanted to be queen, desperate for her wicked father’s approval. The best part of this book is watching this young girl unravel into a bloodthirsty queen, and it is a magnificent unraveling, told wonderfully by the author. I love the mystery. I love the dark atmosphere. I love where it leaves the reader off – wanting to know more and itching for the next installment in the series. Since this book is about the descent into darkness of Dinah, let’s spend some time talking about her.

“Things are going to change for you, child, and you had better be made of stronger stuff than the whiny brat you seem to be now.”

Dinah is not without flaws. At the start, she is downright annoying, but she grows as a character. I can’t bring myself to like her, but I do respect her (at least, presently). She is spoiled and whiny, but she is fiercely loyal to the people she cares for and her kingdom, and that is an admirable quality. She wants to change Wonderland. She wants to be a better ruler than her awful father. It saddens me to think of what I know is to happen to her character, but at the same time, it is definitely intriguing.

“The more executions she had witnessed, the harder her heart had become.”

Even though she does have good points, it is not difficult to see her becoming an evil queen. She holds grudges. She hates with a passion. She is bitter from the lack of love and the abuse from her father and the betrayals that just keep coming. Yes, I can totally see her being an evil queen.

Moving on to the world Oakes has beautifully painted for us. Wow, is it magnificent. It is whimsical. It is twisted. It is brilliant. Her descriptions evoke the perfect atmosphere for this book. Wonderland is a fairytale, but it is also a nightmare.

“The rules of Wonderland decreed that a child couldn’t witness an Execution Day until her or she was ten years old. Until then, it was just a lavish day filled with gifts and celebrations – a reprieve from her constant lessons.”

The lavishness of the palace and the royal family with all its ornate furniture and sweet deserts is often mixed with the brutality of beheadings. Yikes. Because what everyone wants to do while watching someone’s head get chopped off is to eat tarts.Yeah, I think I’ll pass on that.

“Off with their heads!” screamed out a shrill voice from the back of the courtyard. “Off with their heads, off with their heads!” the crowd echoed, growing louder and louder, until the very ground rumbled with the sound.

The fascination these Wonderlanders have with beheadings is a bit creepy. Just a tad.

I am very much looking forward to the next installment.

Book Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

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Darkness didn’t scare her. It was the things she could see that did. The things she saw and felt when her hands came into contact with certain people.

Jenny Kramer has a gift. Ever since she was a child, she has been seeing visions of what seems to be a past life. Everything in her visions feels too real to simply be a dream. Everything is relatively fine until Pandora’s Box is open at a party where they decide to bring out the Ouija board. When are kids going to realize not to play around with this stuff? Seriously, nothing ever good comes out of it especially when it’s done at a party, but I digress. New kid Ben comes, and it seems that they are connected somehow. Jenny begins to unravel the mystery that is her life and meets a man that has traveled through time to find her, Nikolai.

Alright let’s get on with this review. Overall, I liked this book. I wouldn’t say it is a must read, but it is awfully cute and easy to get through. I am a sucker for time travel stories and am very much interested in the Romanov family, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It isn’t groundbreaking in either aspects, but it is a nice enough read that I can see myself recommending it.

Plot-wise, I thought the start was a bit slow. It definitely got better towards the end of the book where there was a lot more action. Something that bugged me about this book is the drastic change from one half of the book to the other. The first half is spent being paranormal with one guy as the pretty much the leading man while the other is more science fiction and includes a different main guy. I feel like it should have integrated the characters together as a whole as opposed to splitting up the book in order to focus on the different characters. I do, however, love the flashbacks/dreams Jenny has of a past life in Russia. Those were the chapters I looked forward to the most.

The characters were likeable enough. They’re nothing too special and not as developed as I would have liked, but they were by no means annoying or unlikeable. Jenny was a bit too plain for my liking. Sometimes, I just didn’t feel connected to her, so I would have liked for her to have been developed a bit more. I liked the guys more in this book because I could feel and sympathize with their emotions more than I did Jenny’s. Overall, Endless has a nice set of characters that I enjoyed reading about.

Nikolai bent to kiss her. “It doesn’t matter. Wherever they send you, whatever happens, I will find you. I will always find you.”

That Nikolai had cheated death to find her again.

Gosh, where can I get a Nikolai? Someone to defy time to be with me? I know most people would probably label Nikolai and Jenny’s relationship as bordering or being instalove, but I ended up liking it. I didn’t really think of it as instalove. To me, it felt more like destiny or fate – as if everything in the universe was pulling them towards each other. I mean, that’s the point of the book. They’re soul mates, so they gravitate towards each other. Therefore, I find nothing wrong with how it played out. It felt like instinct for them, and it made sense to me. I loved their past together. They were unbelievable cute. Another thing I liked about the romance aspect of the book is the love triangle. I am not a fan of love triangles, but done right, I tolerate them if not like them. I like the way it was done in Endless because I don’t believe a person can love two people at the same time, and it certainly isn’t the case here. Jenny admits being attracted somewhat to Ben, but that is forgotten when faced with a love that crosses the boundaries of time. This, to me, is what a love triangle is supposed to be.

All in all, if you’re looking for something cute and easy to get through, pick up Endless. It’s not amazing, but it is enjoyable. There are a lot of problems, but nonetheless, I quite liked this one.

Book Review: The Opposite of Magic by Colleen Cowley

ImageAfter twenty-six years that had nothing in common with fantasy novels, her life was finally heading the proper direction.

Emily Daggett is a twenty-six year old woman who has never quite outgrown her love of fantasy novels. Her academic specialty is even the study of magic throughout history. Despite having grown up, she, like many of us, still wants to believe in something otherworldly, and well, magical. This comes in a form that she least expects – Alexander Hartgrave, a bald, grumpy IT worker who seems to despise her for her complete failure with anything technological. The novel shows us their relationship and dives deeper into incorporating magic in a cold and real world. However, there’s a problem. Emily apparently is one of the rare few that cannot use magic. She’s anti-magic. Talk about irony.

I liked this book a lot. The contemporary fantasy aspect of it was refreshing to me. There are no castles, no damsels in distress, no dragons to be slayed, and no curses to be broken. There is, however, a woman’s initial inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, a soul tortured by guilt, a tentative and unsure relationship, and a man’s greed from power.

“’You’re confusing life with fairy tales, Daggett.’”

Emily is such a relatable character. I’m sure most of us feel the same way that she does – we’re clinging on to the imagination of our childhood when anything was possible. We still dream. It was great to see a character that embodied this unwillingness to let go of the appeal of magic, and it was great to see her gradually accepting that magic is not as fancy and romantic as it seems in books. I love her character. She’s stubborn, smart, and has one heck of a conscience. She’s no damsel in distress, and she won’t stand by being treated as one, and throughout the book, she more than proves her worth through hard work and determination. She holds her weight intellectually and physically to Alexander, and because of this, their relationship works on so many levels.

Alexander Hartgrave is proof that snarkiness and intelligence should not equal to being an asshole. He also proves that you don’t have to be gorgeous to get a girl and that sexiness isn’t defined by outer appearance. He’s awesome, funny, caring, and totally likeable. His reason for staying away from Emily initially completely makes sense, and I found myself falling in love with the character throughout the book. Cowley has an amazing talent of making us care about her protagonists. We want to believe in them, and we want to root for them. Hartgrave and Dagett are so wonderful together without sacrificing each other’s true selves.

Not just because the two questions might be related, but because a mystery involving a shadowy wizard promised adventure. Nothing was more seductive than that.

I am not a huge fan of romance, but The Opposite of Magic is proof that done well, it can be enjoyable. The romance in this novel wasn’t the main aspect, but it was the highlight of this novel for me. It was both magical and real at the same time. It was a nice pace, and it’s almost as if it sneaks up on you. You don’t realize that you care for Hartgrave until Emily realizes it. You don’t realize how much you’re rooting for the two until their relationship is endangered. I was completely surprised at how much I loved these two together. Cowley did an amazing job on their relationship, making it so real and relatable.

Moving on to the magic part of this book, it was a little weaker than the rest of the book. It was interesting because it involved such a major theme in this novel, the relationship between magic and technology – the balance between the natural world and technological advances. The concept is really great, but as a huge science-fiction fan, the execution of the magic could have been a little more thorough, seeing as how it attempts to blend magic with science.

Another problem I had with the book is that Emily doesn’t quite act her age. I understand that she embraces the child in her, but at one point in a person’s life, we learn to contain this and act our age. I found myself forgetting her age and thinking she was eighteen or in her early twenties. If that were her true age, the novel would have made more sense, and I probably wouldn’t have batted an eye to it.

Another problem that I had was the ending. The whole book was so real despite the fantasy aspect that I was a little disappointed at the ending. It was a bit unrealistic and much too happy and clean for my taste. The whole book is such a nice example of magic living in a cold and real world that I was a little thrown off at the niceness of an ending where it seemed as if everything just worked itself out too coincidentally.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it to contemporary fantasy lovers and for those who still hold their childhood dreams dear to them. I had my problems with it, but the good definitely outweighed them. I truly love Daggett and Hartgrave and their relationship. This book is great in showing us that life is not a fantasy. Even in a book where magic is incorporated in the world, Cowley reminds us that there is still a distinction even if they are sometimes intertwined. The real world is not as clean-cut and good as it is in a fantasy, and it is important to remember that. The Opposite of Magic is an enjoyable and fun read to feed our hopes and dreams of magic while reminding us not to throw away what we know of the world that not everything is black and white – there are gray areas.

”You take a few spare facts and embroider them into a love story. ‘He must be good, he’s fighting a dark wizard’ – as if life had anything to do with books. As if evil people never occasionally do the right thing.”

Want the book? Buy it here. 

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

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Let me start off by saying that I actually liked the first book in this series, The Selection. It wasn’t absolutely captivating, but it was nice enough to get through easily. This book, however, is completely different. I found myself forcing myself to get through it in order to give it a fair review. Let me explain.

What I enjoyed about The Selection were the characters. I knew when I read on the back of the book that it was a cross between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games  not to expect anything serious. This lowered expectation actually made the book fun. I liked seeing all the girls in one setting and interacting with one another. It was cute and quirky in its own right.

Now, in The Elite, there are only six girls remaining. The fun element was sucked out with nothing to replace it with – just more drawn out drama. The only characters I liked in the book were Marlee and Carter. I found myself wanting to know more about them than America and her troubles. I don’t understand how this book could be around three-hundred something pages with basically nothing going on. It’s pages and pages of the main character, America Singer, crying and complaining. America has become such an annoying character with her indecisive and impulsive nature. She is seeing two guys at one time, and yet she has the audacity to get mad at Maxon for trying to give the other girls a fighting chance. Yes, because what you’re doing is completely different, America.

That’s not to say that I like Maxon all that much. Sure, I was all over Team Maxon in the first book, but he becomes a lot  less likable in this installment. I get that he has a lot on his plate but using people to feel loved? That’s pretty low. And then there’s all the secrecy. I don’t get it. Did I miss something? Why does he have to keep information from America? I feel like it was just a device to keep us wanting more, but it ended up feeling like a confusing mess.

Although I am not overly fond of love triangles, I can accept and learn to like them if they are written well. This was not the case with The Elite. America keeps having make out sessions with Maxon and Aspen, and yet I don’t feel as if she feels guilty for her actions. Maxon doesn’t even know she’s cheating on him with Aspen, so it’s unfair of her to be upset with him seeing the other girls. It’s what he’s supposed to do. That was the whole point of the Selection, remember?

The world-building is just horrid and rushed. It makes absolutely no sense, and I don’t buy it for one second. How could a country founded on the basis of liberty so easily accept a monarchy just because the guy has money and doesn’t know politics? No way would a whole country just submit to a king like that. For that reason, this novel feels like a romance novel that’s trying a little too hard to go with the current young adult dystopia craze going on. The world doesn’t feel developed or thought out. It just feels rushed and superficial.

In conclusion, I was really disappointed with this book. The writing itself was actually good, but the plot just fell short. There’s no excitement. You don’t feel sympathy for the characters – rather, you find them annoying. I think I will be reading the next book in this series just to see how everything ends. I’ve stuck around long enough to read two of the books, I might as well finish it up. Who knows? It just might get better.

My 2013 End of Year Book Survey

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Hosted by The Perpetual Page-turner.

Best in Books 2013

1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat – you can break it down by genre)

  • Graphic Novel – The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon
  • Young Adult – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Science Fiction – The Humans by Matt Haig
  • Fantasy – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • Nonfiction – Mummy Knew by Lisa James

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

  • ReMIND by Jason Brubaker – I had no idea what to expect from this from the synopsis, but it turned out to be absolutely brilliant! (See my review here.)

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – This one was fantastically spectacular. I completely fell in love with it! (See my review here.)

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

  • Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

  • Margaret Atwood – I knew about her, but this year was the first time I actually got a chance to read her books. Amazing!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – Nonfiction books on abuse was definitely a new experience for me (the only one I had read before Mummy Knew is A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer), and it has given me a greater understanding of others and a greater ability to sympathize. (See my review here.)

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

  • Again, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – This was absolutely fantastic, and within that small book is many more lessons yet to be learned! (See my review here.)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

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Utterly spectacular!

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

  • Unnamed Alien (in Professor Andrew Martin’s body) from The Humans by Matt Haig

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – The words are pure poetry!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James – It’s such a horrific story that really makes you think.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I started reading this when it first came out, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I can’t believe it took me until this year to finish it! It’s absolutely magnificent!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“Dear Son,

You’re holding this letter now because this is the most important day of your life. You’re about to have your first child. That means the life you’ve built with such effort, that you’ve conquered, has finally reached the point where it no longer belongs to you. This baby is the new master of your life. He is the sole reason for your existence.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

  • Shortest: Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • Longest: Outlander (Outlander Series#1) by Diana Gabaldon

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

  • Again, Mummy Knew by Lisa James – This whole book is filled with shocking and horrifying scenes.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

  • Jack and Mabel from The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – Their relationship was absolutely wonderful. It had flaws and was completely realistic. It is, hands down, one of my favourite couples of all time.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien 

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

  • The Nao of Brown by Glynn Dillon – It was recommended to me by a local librarian, and I ended up loving it!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

  • Graphic Novels (It’s not really a genre, but I don’t want to get too specific on this one.)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

  • Tim Drake and Wally West from Teen Titans (comics)

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

  • I’m not really sure about this one.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

  • Excluding graphic novels, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

  • The Humans by Matt Haig – It was so entertaining and funny!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

  • Mummy Knew by Lisa James
  • Damaged by Cathy Glass

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

  • Aquaman Vol. 2: The Others y Geoff Johns – I think Aquaman as a whole gets too overlooked. The New 52 actually did a great job with him and his storyline!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

  • I’m not sure! I can’t think of any as of right now!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

  • I want to try and read and blog more!

Whew! I had a lot of fun answering these questions! Thanks for reading! Have a happy holidays and a very Happy New Year!

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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What have I just read? I was fooled once again. I was fooled by high ratings and a pretty cover. Shame on me. This book was so bland. It is yet another cheesy romance young adult novel hiding under the guise of “paranormal.” 

First of all, let me talk about the plot. This book has 452 pages. I wanted to give up by page 200. Things just kept dragging on and on, and the writing is so uninteresting that I was finding myself forcing myself to trudge on. The story starts out a mystery, then romance , and then bam! It’s paranormal. The reader is left saying “huh” with a question mark on their face. The only remotely interesting plot points are the at the start with the mystery and the end with the paranormal. The book would have been much better if they centered around those two genres more and offered up explanations along the way – not just come at you like a truck in the end. Everything else should have been cut out because it was so boring. The romance was just awful.

The characters were so typical. Although I didn’t find myself hating Mara, I didn’t find myself rooting for her either. I couldn’t care less what happened to her quite honestly. The love interest, Noah, is a pretentious douchebag who feels superior because he’s from Europe and is “more cultured.” And of course, like every other cliched young adult novel, the author uses a popular, slutty girl with apparently no morals or any good in her. This ploy to try and get us to sympathize with Mara was not effective, and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at how obvious and one-dimensional the characters were. There was no depth. It was just bland personalities and overused stereotypes.

The romance was terribly uninteresting. You’ve got mister Noah Shaw who is oh so gorgeous and has bedded pretty much every girl at school and Mara Dyer who is your plain Jane with little experience with guys. Of course, Mara is the first girl Noah ever cares about, and to prove it, he drives her to school! Shocking! I know. Oh and it’s terribly romantic how Christian Grey  Noah orders for Mara and beats other guys up for her. Why? Why are these assholes so popular? Noah wasn’t as bad as some other male protagonists, but he was still quite annoying – his character being utterly unoriginal. Been there, done that.

My final verdict? This is a skippable title. There’s nothing new to this story. We’ve all seen it before. It’s the same old young adult novel equation with new variables.