Mini Reviews: 2013 Clean-Up

Hi guys :)

It has been 2014 for nearly four months now (still feels like it’s 2012), and I still have a couple of books left from 2013 that I have yet to review. This fact has really been bothering me lately since I don’t feel like I can fully move on until I have done so, and I don’t know about you, but I definitely think it’s time for a major clean-up. :)

Ps. All these books are either the first in their series, or standalones….except for The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, but that one is at the very end, so if you haven’t read the previous books in the Bloodlines-series and want to avoid spoilers, just stop reading after Obsidian. :)

♦♦♦♦♦♦

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)Title: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publication Date: December 18th 2012

Length: 488 pages (Hardcover)

Series: The Darkest Minds #1

Synopsis from Goodreads: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Review:

Ever since I finished The Darkest Minds (back in November), I’ve been thinking about my feelings toward it. Some days I think it’s definitely a four…others I think it’s more of a three. One moment I think I’ve decided, and the next I change my mind again.

These books, the ones in the middle, I find are the hardest to review (probably why I’ve been putting this one off for so long). I just have a difficult time putting my thoughts and opinions into sentences, but I guess I’ll just have to try my best.

First of all, I liked the concept of this book, I liked the powers, and I’m intrigued by the story…but I just didn’t like it enough. It wasn’t spectacular, super original, or different. It didn’t etch itself onto me, and even though the second book has already been released, I don’t feel the need to pick it up anytime soon.

And why did I feel this way? Well…to be honest, I think it’s mostly because of the characters. You see, there was not one single character in this book that stood out to me. Not anyone that I loved. Yes, I did like Chubs (he was my favourite if I have to pick one), and yes, Liam was a sweetheart that I probably would have fallen head over heels for in real life, but in this book…I found him pretty boring. And Ruby, don’t even get me started on her. You cannot believe how much I swore about her while reading this book. She just whined and whined about her powers, barely ever used them, and kept thinking about herself as this big bad monster. God, you’d think she had burned newborns alive and eaten them. No, Ruby and I did not get along at all. Plus, I didn’t particularly like the insta-love between her and Liam. :/

I know I make this book sound really bad, but as I mentioned above, I am perplexed. I did like it, and I did enjoy reading it…I just didn’t love it. It did manage to capture my attention in the beginning, and I think Alexandra Bracken is a really good writer, but while reading The Darkest Minds, I kept wishing for stronger and more memorable characters, more action, more superpowers, and less whining and self loathing. I’ll probably read the next one sooner or later, but it’s not a priority right now.

Also, as a little side note, I kept picturing this:

orange

Anyone else who got this image in their head? ;)

3.5/5 Stars

3,5 stars kopiera

Quotes:

“He’s so busy looking inside people to find the good that he misses the knife they’re holding in their hand.” 

“The darkest minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦ 

Title: The SpectacuThe Spectacular Nowlar Now

Author: Tim Tharp

Publication Date: October 20th 2008

Length: 294 pages (Hardcover)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sutter Keely. He’s the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

Review:

When I first picked up this book, I expected a very different story from the one I got. This isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case…it kind of was. What I wanted was a nice cute-ish contemporary about teen love, and instead I got alcoholism, lying, and destructive relationships.

Yep, quite the contrast there.

Sure, I do appreciate when a book is realistic and reflects the actual world that we live in, and this one definitely does, but sometimes I thought it was a bit too much. I got so tired of Sutter (who was a major idiot), his excuses, and his lying, both to himself and to others. I couldn’t relate to anything that happened, or personally understand why the characters acted the way they did, which made it hard for me to sympathise for them.

What you need to understand is that these are my personal feelings, as always, and you may very well love this book. I just didn’t.

Over all, apart from the fact that I didn’t particularly like the story or the characters, I have to say it was a pretty good book that kept me reading and held my attention all the way to the end. It was realistic, and especially the ending felt very true. There were some character development in there as well, and that, in my opinion, is always a plus. :)

3/5 Stars

3 stars kopiera

Quotes:

“My job is okay. You know what an okay job is, don’t you? It’s a job you only hate some of the time instead of all of the time.”

“To hell with tomorrow. To hell with all problems and barriers. Nothing matters but the Spectacular Now.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Obsidian (Lux, #1)Title: Obsidian

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published: December 6th 2011

Length: 335 pages (Paperback)

Series: Lux #1

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

Review:

Obsidian is the first book in the Lux-series, which has become very popular since it first came out in 2011. It is also a series I have been putting off reading for ages (mostly because of the god awful covers), but no more. December last year I finally decided to once and for all join the rest of the world and see for myself what it was everyone was raving about.

Now, after reading it, I first of all have to say that I understand why so many people like it. It is very addicting, fun and fast-moving….

…but there were a few things I had a really difficult time letting slide:

1. I am not the first person to say this, but I have to mention it anyway: the similarities between Obsidian and Twilight is pretty freaking impossible to miss. I’m not going to go that much into the details since I don’t want to spoil anyone, but let’s just say they don’t just have similar themes. Some parts were basically a remake of Twilight (there’s a truck almost hitting the main character, and a “I know what you are”-scene in the forest, people), and I don’t know if this was done on purpose (kind of like a parody), or not, because the characters even referred to Twilight a couple of times, so it can’t have been a coincidence. Oh, the parallels were endless…

“You don’t sparkle, do you?”

(Yes, that is a quote from the book)

2. I guess I only have myself to blame and should have known better, but I don’t like when the boy is “perfect”. You know, super ripped and stuff like that. I also try to avoid douchebags on principle, and Daemon, I don’t care about his reasons, was undoubtedly a douchebag. He was really mean, and I hated that he saw Katy’s protests and objections as “cute”, and something that could be easily fixed. I mean, is it okay to camp out on a girl’s porch and tell her she won’t be able to leave the house until she agrees to go out with him? I think not.

These were my two big no-nos, but there where other things as well. For example, the aliens were pretty stupid (it was almost like they wanted to be found out), I found the dialogue kind of weird, unnatural and forced at times, and the list goes on and on. This book got some serious eyerolling out of me (holy cheeseball), and a few times things got so ridiculous that I had to laugh. Not necessarily in a good way, either.

From everything I’ve said so far, you must think that I absolutely despised this book, and yes, during the first half, I was absolutely 100 % certain I would never bother to continue on with the series…but by the time I hit the second half, I kind of changed my mind. So ther must have  something about it that I liked, right? Yes, in fact there was. Despite his behaviour, though I don’t think it excuses it, I found the interactions between Katy and Daemon quite entertaining. He became less of a douche, and while it was still annoying, I managed to let go of the fact that Obsidian basically was an alien-version of Twilight, and when all this happened, I started to really enjoy what I was reading. :)

If you like Twilight, Roswell, and I Am Number Four, then good, this is basically a mix of those. It is pretty addicting and fun, and I will probably keep reading the series (in fact I’ve already read the second one), but because of the things mentioned above, I’ll never be as fond of it as many others.

3/5 Stars

3 stars kopiera

 

 ♦♦♦♦♦♦

Beware of SPOILERS if you haven’t read the previous books in the series,

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)Title: The Fiery Heart 

Author: Richelle Mead

Publication Date: November 19th 2013

Length: 420 pages (Hardcover)

Series: Bloodlines #4

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Review: 

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I love me some Vampire Academy/Bloodlines (and if you haven’t , welcome to my blog!), and The Fiery Heart was no exception. :)

Like all Richelle Mead’s books (that I have read), The Fiery Heart invoked nothing but happy feelings in me, and I had a huge grin pretty much non-stop while reading it. :) It was funny, sweet, and kind of sad — things you can always trust Richelle to deliver in her stories — and I enjoyed every second of it.

Sure, it was kind of cheesy at times, and the typo’s were a bit annoying, but to be honest that doesn’t really matter to me when it comes to these books. Not that much at least,  because as I mentioned above, they make me happy. :)

There are two thing’s I sort of have to complain about, though, the first being the dual PoV. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy seeing thing’s through Adrian’s eyes, but personally I would have liked him to stay a bit of a mystery.

Second, I also would have wanted more focus on the other characters and the rest of the vampire world, and less on Sydney and Adrian’s love-life. Yes, yes, yes, it is very nice that they’re finally together, but I still would have appreciated just a tiny bit more other stuff.

Overall, though, I loved it, and I can’t wait until Silver Shadows comes out. :D

4.5/5 Stars 4,5 stars kopiera

Quotes:

“Did you know that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?”

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: 2013 Clean-Up

  1. I feel so torn about reading the Lux series. While I want to see what the fuss is all about, I don’t like the idea of reading something with so many similarities to Twilight.

    I should really do this myself, I’ve got somewhere around 20 books I need to review from the past few months. Whoops….

    • I am in a minority, so there is a chance you’ll like it, but if I were you I’d borrow it from the library (if possible), rather than buy it myself.

      I have so many books from this year to review as well and it stresses me out. :S I’m going to have lots of days off school the upcoming weeks, so hopefully I’ll have time to change that, though. :)

      • Yeah, either that or I’ll look for a cheap copy at book sales – spring/summer means lots more coming up and I’ll have the time to go to them. Though now that I’m looking, the Kindle price is currently only $3. Hmm….

        Yeah, I’m in the same boat. I haven’t even posted my book reactions post from February yet and I only write single paragraphs for those! Thankfully I only have two left to write about for that one so maybe in the next couple of days…

        Hurray for days off! I have a five day weekend for Easter so I’m hoping to get a lot more reading and reviewing done in between family time. *fingers crossed*

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s