The Killing Game (DNF review)

The Killing Game
Title: The Killing Game
Author: Toni Anderson
Genre: Suspense, Romance
Pages: 366
Publisher: self-published
Published: April 12th, 2013
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Wildlife biologist Axelle Dehn isn’t about to let anyone harm her endangered snow leopards—not the poacher intent on killing them, nor the soldier who wants to use them as bait. But Axelle is unknowingly entangled in a conflict that stretches back three decades, a conflict that could spark a war between two of the world’s great nations.

British SAS soldier, Ty Dempsey, is on a mission to hunt down an infamous Russian terrorist in a remote region of Afghanistan. Dempsey hasn’t failed a mission yet, but when Axelle is kidnapped by the Russian, he is forced to choose between duty and his heart. He risks everything to save the determined, prickly woman he’s fallen for, but in doing so sparks a deadly series of events that threaten to expose the most successful spy in history. A spy who will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

My thoughts: ☆☆

Remember that “blind date with a book” challenge I took a while ago? Yeah… This is the book I got.
Let me begin by saying that I really do not like reviewing books I don’t finish. I want to be a published author in the hopefully near future, and I wouldn’t want someone publicly judging my book when they didn’t read it all. I try to do authors the same courtesy that I would like them to give me by just never speaking of books that I don’t enjoy, but since this was part of a challenge that I just kind of dropped, I thought I’d go ahead and review it on here so you’d know how that ended up. However, I will not be posting my rating on Goodreads or Amazon like I normally would because I don’t want my two star rating to factor into the average over there. This rating is based on the first sixty pages, and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt! But complicated ramble aside, here’s what I thought:
I knew this book wasn’t in my preferred genre when I picked it up, but I started it with an open mind because I’ve really enjoyed other genres the few times I’ve branched out. If I can connect with a character or theme, I can almost always find something to like about the book. But unfortunately that didn’t happen with The Killing Game…

The Writing
The writing style was very choppy, and it made it reeeeeeeally hard to get into the story! Here’s a snippet of the notes I started taking for this review just to give you a taste:
•Ok… I get it… It’s cold.
•Yeah… Harsh landscape… Got it!
•Wait a second! There are two “D” names, and idk who’s who anymore!
•AWWWWWWW! Leopard cubs!
•How long are we going to drag this out can we please either capture the guy or let him go or kill him already?!

Looking back at those notes, they seem kinda harsh, which is exactly why I hate writing DNF reviews! Again, take this with a grain of salt, but the writing was just very hard for me to read. I kept getting confused at who was talking because there were… I think three POV characters that I saw??? And I kind of had a hard time transitioning between them because I didn’t connect with any of them. Which leads to my next point…

The Characters:

I know I didn’t get far enough to really see any character growth, but every single character seemed very flat to me. It was all “telling,” not “showing.” Everything was directly stated, and there was no subtext for the reader to fill in the blanks.

The Plot:

I think the plot is probably the best thing this book has going for it. If the writing had flowed a little easier, and there wasn’t so much description of cold weather and rough landscapes, I would’ve probably finished it just to see what happened.

Conclusion:

Please ignore everything I’ve said here and give this book a chance if you’re interested in this genre. It could very well be that romantic suspense or whatever on earth this thing is just is not my cup O tea! For all I know, suspense books are supposed to have choppy writing and cardboard characters! If you read this kind of thing regularly, please enlighten me on the writing style and characters of a typical book in the genre because now my writerly nerd side wants to know…

Let’s Chat!

Have you read The Killing Game? Did you finish it? What are your thoughts on DNF reviews? Have you ever written one? Would you consider writing one? Under what conditions if any would you write one? Let’s chat in comments!

These Broken Stars (minor spoiler with warning)

These broken stars book cover art
“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.

Until all that’s left is us”
― Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 374
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 10th, 2013
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Please allow me a moment to fangirl… I love this story and these characters even though they both have their flaws, but I promise I’ll try to be coherent!

The Writing:
To have a dual point of view, this book flows amazingly well! The writing is very elaborate as is typical for the genre, but it’s elaborate in a way that seems simple if that makes any sense at all… It pulls us as the readers into a new world and makes sure we know all the important details, but it also isn’t overly descriptive.

The Characters:
Lilac and Tarver are awesome characters! They are both very distinct, and even if the chapters weren’t clearly marked with who does the narrating, I would be able to tell them apart with no problem!

The Plot:
Uhh yeah… The plot does get a lil weird closer to the end, but let’s just… look over that and focus on the cool characters and setting! Just kidding!

What lost this book two stars?

I knocked off two stars for the plot because there are a few things that really bugged me, but these things could very easily be subject to opinion:
•Scenario: A boy and a girl have been flirting. Girl pretends to hate boy because father orders her to do so. Boy and girl get thrown onto a deserted planet. Boy and girl fall in love. Shocker…
•Minor spoiler alert pertaining to plot tropes! Skip to the next bullet point if your concerned: You know how sometimes characters die, and then they come back to life when the love interest is heartbroken and can’t seem to move on without the “dead character? I’m not saying that happened exactly, but yeah…
•The ending was a little sudden. One minute things were happening, and the next minute Lilac and Tarver were headed back to wherever their home planner was! Huh what???

What won this book three stars?

•Very distinct characters.
•Strong internal and external conflict.
•Really cool alien beings!
•Interesting use of character backstory.
•Easy to read writing style.
•Other general awesomeness!

Conclusion:

If you like SciFi at all, I think you’ll like this book! I will definitely be reading the rest of the series!

Share your thoughts?

Have you read These Broken Stars? Do you wanna read it now? Any thoughts on my rather scattered review? Let’s chat in comments!

The Islands at the End of the World (spoiler free review)

The Islands at the End of the World cover

Title: The Islands at the End of the World Author: Austin Aslan Series: Islands at the End of the World #1 Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Pages: 384 Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Published: August 5th, 2014 Format Read: Audio Find It On:

iBooksamazonGoodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Before I get into this, I have to say that I would probably give this a two star rating had I read it and not listened to the audio book. There are a lot of long passages of Hawaiian language, and I think it would have detracted from the story had I been trying to read the text. When I see a word I don’t know in a book, I usually end up googling how to say it because it bugs me until I know. That being said, the audio book made all the Hawaiian words sound Beautiful! It pulled me into the story rather than bringing me out of it because I wasn’t struggling to read words I’d never heard before.

The Plot:

The plot was very original! We’ve seen stuff like this before: worldwide power outage, people panic, economy shuts down, government is obviously keeping a massive secret, there’s lots of fighting, and alien attacks and biblical prophecies come into play. However, The Islands at the End of the World does a really good job of putting a new spin on things. Because it’s set in Hawaii, we become amerced in a new culture that adds to the mystery. Austin Aslan does a fantastic job of pulling you into the Hawaiian world and making you believe in the culture, and then he throws a massive plot twist into the mix that creates an ending you’ll never expect.

The Characters:

Ok… Several of the characters seemed a little flat to me, (Leilani’s dad for instance), but Leilani kind of makes up for it. First of all, she has epilepsy, and it’s not one of those things where the character has a medical disorder just for the sake of having a medical disorder. It does cause a couple problems, and it is relevant to the plot. The only problem I have with it is that Leilani’s dad tends to have a… somewhat downplayed reaction when Lei has an epileptic seizure. There’s one point where she wakes up, and he’s just like, “Hi,” and I was left going “Shouldn’t you be a little more concerned that the world is in chaos and your daughter just had a horrible seizure?!” I personally have a disorder where my adrenals don’t work, and I’ve had some pretty bad seizures before, and my parents are not exactly cool, calm, and collected when I come out of it… I also question some of the language used when Lei has a seizure. It’s referred to as “fits” a few times, and I think I remember reading somewhere that that’s not accurate. Epileptics can feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!

Why is this not a five star book?

•Several flat characters. •The thing with the Hawaiian language mentioned above. •Downplayed reaction to epileptic seizures. •Some awkward dialogue. •Possible incorrect medical language concerning epilepsy.

Why is this rated three stars?

•Hawaii makes for an interesting setting. •Cool new culture. •Epileptic character that isn’t just epileptic for the sake of being epileptic! •Original spin on an old plot. •Cool Hawaiian shaman people. •Hawaiian language sounds beautiful in the audio book. •An ending you’ll never expect!

Conclusion:

I will be reading the second book as soon as I find it! I did point out a lot of flaws, but quite honestly I didn’t notice those until I started taking notes for this review. The writing pulled me in, and held my attention until the end.

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Islands at the End of the World? Do you want to read it? What are your thoughts on the use of foreign language in books and characters with medical disorders? Let’s chat in comments!

Blue lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue cover art
Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 391
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: October 21, 2014
My Rating: ☆☆☆
Amazon:
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Goodreads Synopsis:

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆

Ok… I don’t really know what to say about this book! It was weirs? But amazing? And beautiful? And really creepy? And I like crazy characters? And I’m kinda confused?
I’m giving Blue Lily, Lily Blue three stars for basically the same reason that The Dream Thieves got three stars… It just didn’t really seem to carry the plot as well as the first book did. I have to say that these characters are some of the most awesomest, (that is totally a word for the purposes of this review), characters that I have ever seen in a YA fantasy novel, and I’ve read a LOT of YA fantasy novels! I’m a sucker for characters with depth, so I would love to give it four stars for that alone… BUT.. I can’t justify it.

The Writing:

The writing is still really beautiful, and it conveys the characters’ thoughts and feelings perfectly, but it’s kinda hard to follow in this book… It was pretty while still being simple in the previous books, but now it’s… overly pretty? It’s not that way throughout the whole book, but it definitely sticks out where that is the case.

The Plot:

Hmmmmmmm… tries to be not blunt
I’m not really sure how the plot of this book has anything to do with the plot of the rest of the series… I mean… Ok… There might be minor spoilers coming??? But it won’t totally ruin it because I’m about to give some plot events WAY out of context! Just skip down to the next heading if you don’t wanna risk it!
At the end of The Dream thieves, Blue’s mother disappears. I’m not saying why… Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up right where that left off! It shows Blue and the boys searching for her, but then it detours, and strays off the path, and does a lil circle, and somehow manages to tie everything up nicely. There is a LOT of really crazy weird stuff in between, but the ending does redeem it! Everything gets wrapped up in this nice lil bundle for The Raven King to bring to an epic finish! And it better bring it to an epic finish because I have too much invested in these characters!

The Characters:

I already touched on this, but i just have to fangirl… These characters are SO real! I feel like they’re going to come out of the pages! And those arcs!
Blue: Blue is experiencing a crisis in this book, but you can still see the developement! This is her book, and her story, and her perspective on the world shaped by the first two books, and her perspective is.. quite an interesting one! And she is falling for a character who I didn’t think I’d want her with at the beginning, coughs and suddleypoints you in the direction of previous reviews, but I think maybe I like it just the tiniest bit now??? It’s growing on me!
Gansey: I thought Gansey’s character was SO flat and fake in The raven Boys, but he’s gaining some depth now! We’re starting to see some backstory, and it’s making me really want to like him! Still getting that shatter Me vibe though if you get my drift…
Ronan: NOT gonna fangirl! NOT GONNA DO IT! But he’s my favorite….. I have this thing for characters who are just really broken and have basically nothing left to lose, and that’s Ronan in a nutshell. I reeeeeeeally want him to turn around and do something awesome! But I’m afraid his heart is going to be broken before that happens and I don’t like it!
Adam: Adam’s right up there with Ronan in my book! He’s had probably the worst life of any of them, but he’s got a big role to play, I just know it! At least he better! And his character gets stronger and stronger in each book. He was SO quiet and kinda in the background at first, but now he’s a key player!
Crazy Girl: No, that’s not her real name… But i’m not telling you her real name because I want you to be as shocked as I was when you find out who she is! Just know that she’s crazy, and she sings demented songs about crowns and birds and blue lilies, and I love her because she’s crazy for the sake of being crazy! Plus, Maggie Stiefvater actually composed the music for the song, and it played at the end of the audio book, and I love it when authors make something specifically for their story like that! Maybe one day I’ll be musically talented enough to make a book soundtrack… One can dream!

Final Conclusion:

I loved it! But mostly because of the characters… I have got to find out what happens to these awesome people! The plot’s a little iffy at this point, but I think the last book is going to redeem it. I will be finishing the series because that ending was a major cliffhanger! I know an that one evil person from the first book and a new evil person from the second book were trapped in a cave together, and I think they woke up something NOT good! Maybe it’ll kill them and leave Blue and the boys to live happily ever after on the leyline? Yeah, right… Anyway… If you like awesome characters, and you enjoyed the first two books, you should read it. I think you’ll like how it ends up.

Book In A quote:

“Her aura is like yours—it’s blue,” he said. “The clairvoyant aura!”

“Is it?” She was going to be extremely annoyed if this was how she had gotten her name—like naming a puppy Fluffy.”
-Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

The Dream thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves “He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.” -Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

Title: The Dream Thieves

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #2

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Pages: 437

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: September 17, 2013

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Amazon

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Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take? Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself. One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things. Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake. Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Maggie Stiefvater’s can’t-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two.” Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆

After my five star review of The Raven Boys, I was really hoping for a bit more out of the sequel. don’t get me wrong! The Dream Thieves is an AMAZING read, and I WILL be finishing the series, but I still ended up giving it three stars. Let’s analyze my reasoning and see what y’all think!

The Writing:

The writing of The Dream thieves is honestly what sealed the deal on that three star rating for me. The writing of The Raven Boys was tight! There was NO confusion about who was narrating at any given time, even though there were up to five points of view being shown. Every single word counted for something, and at NO point were you left wondering exactly why you just spent 30 minutes of your day reading that chapter. The Dream Thieves didn’t seem to have that tight writing style. It stays true to the characters and the series, but sometimes it almost became more like a decoration and less like a perfectly worded masterpiece. All the metaphors and descriptions are still beautiful and amazing and wonderfully full of things for me to learn from, but I did find myself flipping back a page a few times to see who was narrating. I guess the easiest way to describe the writing is that it had a dream-like quality, (pun totally intended), but I think that was meant to contribute to the plot of the story because so much of it took place in dreams. Oh don’t cringe over it taking place in dreams! These were dream scenes done right!

The Characters:

Oh my gosh the characters! Yeah… I thought I was over my fangirl stage, but no… These characters are just too amazing to be real! Oh wait… They’re not real… They’re just little bits of story! But if you’re a bookworm of any kind you will excuse my sleep deprived brain and know exactly what I mean! These characters are the kind of characters who seem like they should just come out of the pages and be real! And those character arcs…

Blue: Blue is undergoing a transformation, and I LIKE IT! She kind of had these preconceived judgements of people who I will not name at the beginning of the series, and I can see them slowly slipping away.

Gansey: Like I said before, I do not particularly care for Gansey’s character. It’s not because his character is badly written, but because of his personality, and I think that maybe he’s one of those characters that readers are supposed to love/hate until something major happens to make them drop everything and love them. Shatter Me ringing any bells for anyone??? anyway… I can kinda see him slipping a little into somebody I can’t help but love, especially in his interactions with other characters. He reeeeeally cares for Ronan and Adam and now Blue, and it is SO sweet when that shows through.

Ronan: Ok… Y’all know about my love for Ronan if you read my review of book 1, and that love didn’t lessen any after reading The Dream Thieves. In The Raven Boys, Ronan didn’t get much time at the mic, but his story really starts to show through in The Dream Thieves. We still have that multiPOV thing going on, but there’s a definite focus on Ronan. There were a few times where I kinda questioned whether certain things were true to his character, but for the most part I LOVED it! He went through a MAJOR transformation and admitted some stuff to himself and his friends that kinda shocked me, but now that it’s out I kinda feel stupid for not seeing it earlier… Let’s see if you can guess what it is!

Adam: Can someone please just pick Adam up and put his heart back together because oh my gosh! I almost cried a couple times! And I can’t even tell you why cause spoilers!!!

Noah: Noah didn’t get a whole lot of focus in this book, but he is definitely undergoing a transformation of his own, and I don’t know if it’s a good one or not. It makes sense for his character, but I have a feeling that it’s really going to destroy my little bookworm heart when he reaches the end of it.

Mr. Gray: Yeah! We have a new character! He gets some mic time, and he is quite intriguing! But he hurt Ronan so I hate him a little!!!

The Plot:

The plot structure was VERY tight, and there was no slow spot at the beginning like there was in book 1. It jumped right into the story, although the first chapter was a little metaphorical. I do think it worked for the opening though, and it definitely fits Ronan’s character. The Dream Thieves continued the trend of weaving the individual story of each character into the bigger picture, and it was done extremely well! I love watching all the stories intertwine and connect and fall into place like puzzle pieces right where I wasn’t expecting them to join. They’re woven so tightly together that you can’t have one story without the other without the plot falling flat somewhere. And the ending? The ending was a TOTAL cliff hanger that I will NOT spoil, but somebody goes missing… I feel like that should be followed by epic music but there is none…

In Short:

You’re probably all wishing I’d get to the point now, so… You should read it! But after you’ve read The Raven Boys! Don’t go starting in the midst of a series! EVER! The writing does get a little weird at times, but I think it’s a writing technique, and it doesn’t detract from the amazingness of the story enough to make it not worth reading! If you liked book 1, book 2 will only be a minor let down, and then you’ll get sucked into book 3 just like I am now! In fact, I am going to leave you to ponder over my review and leave me comments whilst I go read and then do algebra homework!

What are Your thoughts?

Have you read The Dream Thieves? Do you want to read it? Are you reading anything creepy for October? Tell me in the comments! Until next time… Happy spooky reading to all you bookworms! Oh come on… You know you’re reading something at least a little creepy! I’m thinking Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake is gonna be my next creepy read! If you’ve read it, share your thoughts on that as well! From Cheyenne 🙂

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggi stiefvater

The raven boys Title: The Raven Boys Author: Maggie Stiefvater Series: The Raven Cycle, (Book One) Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery Pages: 416 Publisher: Scholastic Inc. Published: September 18, 2012 My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ iBooks amazon Goodreads

Synopsis From goodreads:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆

Can I just fangirl for a second? I waited a week before writing this review so maybe it might come out coherent, but no such luck! I am still not over the amazingness of this book, and I really hope I can do it justice! This is possibly the most well written book I have ever read that has more than two narrating characters! The narration alternates between four, sometimes five, characters, but there was NO confusion as to who the POV character was at any given time. And don’t let the blurb fool you! I thought it sounded like some fairytale knockoff at first, but I was WROOOOOOONG! The Raven Boys is one of the most original books I’ve ever read, and it’s so believable as you’re reading it that you get sucked into the story and you read 416 pages in two days like I did! How do I even communicate this? Let’s do an in depth analysis because this book deserves it!

The Writing:

The writing of this book is beautifully simple. To make a conflicting statement that probably won’t make sense to anybody but me, the writing is a form of showing by telling. You know how writers always end up in the “showing not telling debate?” This book does both and neither. The words are so intertwined that we’re told everything without really being told anything, and we’re shown everything, and told nothing at the same time. Yeah… I’m confused too, but you’ll get it if you read it! It’s very metaphorical and… fantasy like intone, but the words are simple enough that it doesn’t seem like that. It’s also not so simple that it seems like a book for younger readers, but not so overly metaphorical that you feel like you’re slogging through old English stuff either. Sorry to anyone who actually enjoys old English stuff and doesn’t have to slog through it. I wish I could be like you!

Character analysis:

Oh my gosh… The characters! They’re all so amazing and they feel so real and they’re all unique and I LOOOOOOOVE them! Let’s break it down before I go into hardcore fangirl mode… Blue Sargent: Blue seemed flat to me at first. I mean… That blurb put me off quite a bit from the get go. Killing her true love with a kiss? Yeah, no, NOT my style! But that’s not how Blue is AT ALL! She is eccentric, and weird, and cool, and sensible, and adventurous, and kind, and… generally an awesome character who isn’t like one of those characters who thinks she’s average but has every boy throwing themselves at her and can literally do anything she wants including fight off murderous bad guys with little to no training! She’s got an attitude, a strong set of morals, and the kind of mindset that doesn’t take nothing from nobody! Oh yeah! There’s also the fact that she acts like a kind of energetic battery for anything that can tap into it, including ghosts and her psychic family! How’s that for awesome and original?

Gansey: I do not care for Gansey’s character at this point in time. He just seems SO FAKE! But I also think he’s supposed to seem that way. and I have a sneaking suspicion that he and Blue are going to end up together at the end of this, and I reeeeeally don’t want that to happen unless he undergoes a MAJOR transformation! I like what he stands for, but can we please just drop the sixty-year-old politician act? That being said, he is very unique, and I can’t wait to uncover more of his past. I can’t tell why though because that would be a spoiler, and I refuse to spoil this book in the review even though I’m way late to reading this.

Adam: Where to start with Adam? Adam is… complicated. His story nearly made me cry, and I won’t tell you why for the same reason I won’t tell about Gansey. Let’s just say he’s had a rough home life, and no matter how much he wants to blend with the other Raven Boys, he just doesn’t. He’s different, strange, somehow more aware and yet unaware of the big picture. He’s the outsider of the group, but I think he’s got a part to play, and it’s gonna be a big one judging by the ending, which I won’t spoil.

Ronan: Can Ronan pleeeeease just come out of the pages so I can hug him and tell him everything is going to be ok even though things are probably going to be the polar opposite of ok?! I mean he’d probably just tell me to f* off, but I don’t really care! He try to be so strong, but really he’s a word away from falling apart. I have this thing for tragic heroes, and if Ronan doesn’t get his act together and do something amazing by the end of this series, I WILL cry.

Noah: Oh my gosh spoilers!!!! I must be careful. Noah isn’t actually there. He’s a “smudge,” to quote Gansey, just an imprint of something that once was. And that’s all you get on Noah, even though I had things half way figured out by the second time he was mentioned. Let’s see if you can get as close as I did! 😉

The Plot:

The beginning was SLOOOOOW… Stuff happened, and it was pretty big stuff, but the pacing was off. The writing made up for it though, and I am SO glad I stuck with it! After about… let’s say chapter 8ish, things got better, and better, and better… And that ending… That ending was epic! It was a total cliff hanger, but it was a good cliff hanger! When you read the last line, you will immediately want more! And it’ll be the good kind of wanting more, not the angry kind of wanting more that leaves you at a total complete loose end.

Final Thoughts:

You NEED to read this book! Just DO IT! And tell me what you think! The ending is slow, but you will NOT regret sticking with it! Here’s just one teaser quote for you from Ronan’s psychic reading… “A secret killed your father, and you know what it is.”

Did That Make sense?

Please share your thoughts of my review in the comments! I hope it was actually coherent, but I have a feeling it wasn’t because I am still too obsessed to make anything look sane. I LOVE every single character, and the writing style is amazing! And also I am in desperate need of some Ronan giffs… He’s my favorite character, (because I’m crazy like that), and none of the gifs on Tumblr had descriptions…. cries You guys should really put your favorite Ronan, or just raven boys in general, gifs in the comments and describe them so i can make a collage out of them and make it my screen saver. Yeah that sounded pathetic… Y’all don’t really have to find me gifs unless you just wanna make me really happy! Ok… I’m just rambling now… I’ll stop! Go read The raven Boys, and tell me what you think! I will be very sad if you don’t like it, but you will like it, so it doesn’t matter! From Cheyenne 🙂

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan EE

Angelfall cover art

Title: Angelfall 

Author: Susan EE 

Series: Penryn & the End of Days, (Book 1) 

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, SciFi 

Pages: 224 

Format Read: Audio

Publisher: Filia 

Published: July 3, 2013 

iBooks

iTunes Audio 

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 

Goodreads 

 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. 


My Rating: ☆☆ 

Disclaimer, disclaimer! I am a self-proclaimed angel enthusiast! I love studying angel lore! Cheyenne Raphael is my pen name because Archangel Raphael is the angel of healing and the patron angel of the blind. Therefore, I had some angelic expectations upon opening this book! 

I did really enjoy Angelfall, but it was also a bit of a let down for me. I’ll hit the high points first, and then I’ll get into the… not so great stuff. And we’re gonna do this in bullet point form today because I have to do chemistry homework after this is over… Yay me… 

 

The Awesome Stuff! 

  • Penryn Young is a total badass! Like she is awesome, and I love her sarcastic attitude, and we would either be best friends or one of us would kill the other! I’d probably be the one to die… 
  • Penryn’s Mom has paranoid schizophrenia, and it is portrayed very well. I love books with mentally ill characters that aren’t just there for the sake of having mentally ill characters! Like she’s crazy, and that’s a problem, but it’s also not a problem, and that’ll make more sense when you actually read it… Maybe… 
  • There are angels! And they’re actually real angels mentioned in the lore! Sort of… 
  • Penryn’s little sister is wheel chair bound, which is awesome because I don’t see many books with wheel chair bound characters! I have NO idea if it’s a good portrayal of a wheel chair bound character because obviously I’ve never experienced that. It could be totally stereotypical like most blind characters in YA literature, but it seemed pretty darn good to me, and the fact that we had a schizophrenic character and a character in a wheel chair in the same book is awesome! (someone please tell me if this is a good wheel chair bound character because now I really wanna know…) 
  • The plot keeps you on your toes! In fact, it kept me up until midnight trying to finish it… And I had to do Algebra the next day… That went well! Not! 
  • I was really able to get into Penryn’s head and connect with her character. The writing style and POV made that really easy, and it was literally an emotional rollercoaster! 
  • I listened to the audio book, and the narrator was amazing!!! That has absolutely nothing to do with anything unless you love audio books like I do, so just go with it if you don’t…. 

 

The Not So Great Stuff: 

  • The angels are… interesting. I guess I didn’t really expect it to follow the lore exactly, but I didn’t expect them to be kinda warped either. And… There’s some stuff in there that bugs me about the whole God/angel connection thing. You’ll get it when you read it… 
  • The romance aspect seems kinda silly to me! Like… It’s not very believable! I get that it’s fantasy, but usually I can suspend my disbelief and become absorbed in the story enough to believe anything, and that didn’t happen with this relationship! I can’t say anymore for fear of spoilers, so just see for yourself! 
  • Why does every chapter end with a massive cliff hanger?! That’s cool sometimes, but it got old after about the first five times it happened. I’m the kind of person who can’t stand to stop anywhere other than a chapter break, and those, “whose gonna die?!” cliff hangers were making it reeeeeally hard to find a good place to stop and sleep! Hence the midnight reading… 
  • The writing was a little overdone in some places. I noticed it mainly with dialogue and descriptions, which is something I notice a lot because I have to watch it in my own writing. I mean… We get that the city is in ruin; you don’t have to tell us fifty-two thousand times! And the dead body description is making me sick… 
  • Why are there suddenly creepy alien monsters being created in an angelic science lab? Where did that even come from? Is that just there for a weird plot twist to keep people up reading late and give them nightmares, or is it going to mean something later? Ok… It did mean something, but it was just a little shocking, and nothing really lead up to that. I had this whole elaborate plot worked out in my head the way I would have written it, and then it all crumbled to the ground with freaky stuff that seemed like it didn’t belong. We already had demons, and then these weird, creepy, SciFi monsters took over the plot and i didn’t see their connection to the previously mentioned demons!
  • What is with that ending?! It just stopped suddenly, and nothing really came to any kind of close! I get that there are more books in the series, but even though it is a series, it needs some kind of closure or else it’s gonna drive me insane! And not the good kind of insane that makes me want to keep reading! That goes back to the massive cliff hangers getting old after a while… 


Final thoughts: 

I liked Angelfall, and I will probably finish the series, but the other books got shoved further down my TBR list after reading the ending. I wasn’t impressed with the ending, and endings are the one way for a writer to hold my trust. If you can’t write a good ending, I won’t trust you to write a good series. That’s ironic since I struggle with endings myself, but it’s just how I am! The cliff-hanger chapters threw me off too. I like short chapters, and I don’t mind cliff-hangers at all, but we don’t need a giant cliff-hanger to end every chapter. Sometimes it is perfectly ok to write a small cliff-hanger that doesn’t immediately threaten anyone’s life. I did really like Penryn’s character, and her and her sister are honestly probably the only reason I plan to continue the series. I thought I’d like it for the angels, but they’re just weird… Angels shouldn’t be weird! 

 

What Do You Think? 

Have you read Angelfall? Are you going to read Angelfall? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let’s talk bookworm stuff in the comments! 

P.S: My laptop is insisting on autocorrecting Penryn to Penny, so sorry about that if I missed any! I tried… I really tried… But technology hates me today… 

From Cheyenne 🙂 

Book Review: Girl Of Nightmares, (Anna #2), by Kendare Blake

Girl Of Nightmares

Title: Girl Of Nightmares 

Author: Kendare Blake 

Series: Anna #2 (click here for my review of book1) 

Pages: 336 

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates 

Published: August 7, 2012 

iBooks 

iTunes Audio 

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 

Goodreads 

 

Goodreads Synopsis 

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. 

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. 


My Rating: ☆☆ 

Like Anna Dressed In Blood, Girl Of Nightmares is seriously creepy! Like don’t read it at night creepy! But the creepiness is toned down quite a lot in the second book. Anna Dressed In Blood gets a ten out of ten on Cheyenne’s scale of creepy, and Girl Of nightmares is somewhere around an eight. It may actually be the same level of creepy, but it’s a different kind of creepy. I’ve said the word creepy WAY too many times in that paragraph, so I think I’ll move on now! 

I will admit that Girl Of Nightmares was a bit of a let down for me as far as plot and structure, but it still maintained the realistic characters that I fangirled over in book1. I’m a sucker for awesome characters, so that’s why I’m giving it four stars. Anna Dressed In Blood had a very tight plot structure, along with the realistic characters, and the end of the book left the readers wanting something more. Girl Of nightmares was that something more, but it wasn’t quite the tightly woven something more I was hoping for. 

The main problem that I had with it was the romance subplot, and the ending. The subplot kind of seemed to me like it was just there for the sake of having a subplot with romantic issues, and the ending was just a little… anticlimactic. I mean… We went through all this stuff, and traveled half way across the world, and now it’s just gonna end, and everybody’s just gonna walk off into the sunset in a cloud of rainbows and butterflies! That might be a little exaggerated, but that’s what it seemed like to me. And ok! I have to add a spoiler because I have feelings! 


Spoiler, Spoiler!!! 

The whole break up thing with Thomas and Carmel… What on earth was that about?! I mean I get what it was about, and it totally made sense, but it just seemed a little down played/way over done to me! That was a conflicting statement, but it’s true! It was kind of taking over at first, and then it kind of got dropped, and then she showed up in England, and then it was all better! I guess I just think it could’ve been done better, but it’s nothing to stop anyone from reading the book. 


End Of Spoiler!!! 

In short, Girl Of Nightmares is an awesome book with a few minor plot problems that bug my writerly brain more than they probably should. It definitely shows Kendare Blakes amazing characters, and the writing style is very true to the series. It was a bit disappointing after the tight structure of the first book, but it isn’t enough to make me drop the series if a third book is released. 


What do you think? 

Did you like Girl Of Nightmares? Do you agree with my views? Disagree? Think I’m crazy? Don’t answer that last one! I love hearing from you guys, so drop me a line and tell me what you think! Happy creepy reading!!! 

From Cheyenne 🙂 

Book Review: Born At Midnight: Shadow Falls, (Book 1), by C. C. Hunter

Born at midnight cover art

Title: Born At midnight 

Author: C. C. Hunter 

Series: Shadow Falls, (Book 1) 

Pages: 416 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 

Published: March 29, 2011 

Format read: Audio 

 

iBooks 

iTunes Audio 

Amazon 

Goodreads 

 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…


My Rating: ☆☆ 

Ok… This is rough… I am giving my first public two star rating! But I feel it’s warranted, and I’ll explain why! 

Born At Midnight really does not have the best writing in the world. Maybe I’m a hard critic since I’m an aspiring author who loves to pick apart writing, but it just seemed to me like the whole flow of the words needed a couple more rounds of edits before it hit the market! It certainly wasn’t horrible, and it definitely shouldn’t make you not read the book. It just seemed to me like the writing style was… let’s go with simplified. By that I mean that the writing style made it seem like the book was meant for middle grade readers, but there was some content in there that definitely was NOT meant for middle grade minds! It really just did NOT blend well, and it got my attention enough for me to mention it here. There were also a few descriptions of character actions, dialogue, and body language that just didn’t seem right. I was cringing a bit whilst reading it because it was just SO awkward for the characters involved in the scene that the awkwardness carried over to me… I mean, there is a certain degree of awkward that is good to have in a book, BUT come on… Enough’s enough! This kiss is getting gross and will probably be the thing that makes the two kissers avoid each other for the next thirty pages! And I’m blushing! Yeah, that’s another thing. The romance is a little weird, and it kinda takes over the plot a little instead of being just a subplot, but I think it might shape up to be better in the next book. I don’t care about your guy troubles; I care about figuring out what on earth you are so I can get on with my life! 

WOW! That came out harsh! I’m going to reiterate that the writing should not stop you from picking up this book after reading my review, and that I am somewhat of a hard critic when it comes to writing style and words. I also listened to the audio book, so it tends to really draw my attention to writing style issues when I hear the words rather than reading them myself. I reeeeeally like where the plot is going, and I will honestly probably finish the series because I want to know how it ends. To me, it kind of seems like one of those pointless but ridiculously entertaining TV shows that you turn on for mindless entertainment after a long day. 

I do like the characters a lot! They aren’t your stereotypical vampires, witches, werewolves, shifters, and fairies. There’s a really cool spin on some of them, and I want to find out how they develop over the course of the series. The main character seems a bit flat to me, but that goes back to the writing. The whole point of the book is that the main character gets sent off to this camp for supernatural creatures, and everybody knows what type of creature they are except for her. She sees ghosts, which really resonates with me, but she isn’t quite like the other creatures who see ghosts. She’s trying to determine her identity, and I love that theme. I have the other audio books, and I am planning to finish them, mostly because of that addictive TV show vib I mentioned! The plot did thicken at the end thankfully, so that’s enough to keep me going. Hopefully the writing will improve too, and I’ll be sure to post my reviews! 


What Do You Think” 

Have you read Born At Midnight? Are you planning to read it? Did my review turn you away? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or through any of my social links! I love to chat! 

From cheyenne 🙂

Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On Cover

Title: Carry On 

Author: Rainbow Rowell 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance 

Published: October 6, 2015

Pages: 384 

Synopsis: 

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

 

*Synopsis and cover art from www.rainbowrowell.com. 

 

☆☆☆☆☆

I am giving Cary On five out of five stars because it is absolutely amazing! If you’ve read Fangirl, (click here for my review), you will understand the meaning behind Carry On a bit better. In fangirl, Cath is writing fictional fan fiction for a fictional fantasy series, and Carry On is Cath’s fictional fan fiction brought to life by Rainbow Rowell! A lot of people are criticizing Cary On for being a rip off of Harry Potter, but honestly I don’t see that. Yes, it features a school of magic, a dark creature trying to harm magic, spells that relate to common words and phrases, and a young chosen one who seems like the worst chosen one ever, but the story still seems to be a world away from the Potterverse in my opinion. Harry Potter has a more fantastical flow to the words, like it’s set in a far away world, while Carry On is set in the modern world, and has a more modern flow to it. I would consider HP full on fantasy, while Carry On to me is “modern fantasy,: if there is such a genre. 

I absolutely LOVE the romance in Carry On, and that coming from me is a huge complement since I’ve been called an “anti romantic” for my views of romance in YA literature. It’s amazing to me that Rainbow Rowell was able to turn two complete enemies around and make them fall for each other in one single book.

**Possible romantic spoiler alert!!! Baz and simon are sO awesome together, and I was shipping them even as I was reading Fangirl. I love how the little bit of diversity in Carry On seemed perfectly natural, unlike in some books when it seems forced, or like it’s there simply for the sake of being diverse. 

**Possible spoiler ended… 

Carry On is meant to be the eighth book in the fictional Simon Snow series that is portrayed in Fangirl, and I would honestly love to see Rainbow Rowell publish the other seven books. I really like how Carry On encompasses so much world building and character development in one novel without it seeming overwhelming, but I really would love to spend more time in the Simon Snow universe. In short, Carry On is amazing, and you should totally read it if you A: read Fangirl and loved it, or B: like YA romance/fantasy and want something a little bit different to read. 

Buy it now at: 
Let’s start a discussion! 

Have you read Carry On? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? I’d love to know what you think in the comments or on twitter @writergirl1999!