jen7waters

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Wild Magic

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Such a disappointment! I don’t even have the heart to write a decent review, and believe me when I say I’m hurting inside---this was my first Tamora Pierce book and I had such high expectations, but the poor darlings came all tumbling down as the story progressed. I just couldn’t get into it. It’s… it’s all over the place, to the point that I had no idea whatsoever of what, who, when, where… I just---I just---it’s not for me.
Beautiful Disaster: A Novel

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I was very curious about this one, mostly because I had read so many contradictory reviews that I wanted to find out where I stood in the matter. That said, many thanks to NetGalley and to Atria Books for providing me with a copy of Beautiful Disaster.This book tells the story of a young woman, Abby, who goes to college and there she meets Travis Maddox, the bad boy of the place – you know, shaved head, lots of tattoos, a fighter, and most of all, a playboy. Against all odds the two end up becoming best friends, but everyone –except Abby— can see that their relationship is so much more.Travis can’t stand when Abby goes on a date, when guys talk to her, or even look her way, and he always does something about it, like punch the date/talker/observer straight in the face. Abby complains but deep down inside she loves it, she loves that Travis is so territorial and protective of her, so why not face the situation and just date the guy? Well, Abby has a quite mysterious past, which she slowly lets the reader know along the story, but the main problem is: she doesn’t want to be romantically involved with a guy who kind of reminds her of her father when it comes to vices -- all the drinking, and the easy money that comes from the fights, not to mention she knows about the tons of girls he has slept with and discarded in the morning.That’s when the “beautiful disaster” part comes in, because despite all of Abby’s fears, they become a couple for real and all is great until it isn't anymore. Of course this wasn't a surprise for me, since they become a couple around page 200, and my copy was 400 pages long, so I figured I was still in for A LOT of drama – and I wasn’t wrong.Abby and Travis will breakup, start over, breakup, start over, to the point of driving their friends to breakup, they’ll have to face demons from their pasts, go to Vegas, make deals with dangerous people, breakup again, go through hell while apart, try one more time, fail, fail, fail, until SUCCESS!I'll admit I got to a point where I just wanted them to please stop, please just stay together, I just can’t anymore, PLEASE! And honestly the writing could use some grooming, BUT for some reason since the moment I started I couldn't stop reading, I needed to know how Abby and Travis's story was going to end.I can’t say Beautiful Disaster is a great book, that the plot is original, that the writing is flawless, or that the hero and heroine are the best main characters around, but I can say that this was one of those addictive, impossible to stop, just-leave-me-alone-I-need-to-finish-this readings, and in my book that's always a positive thing.
Power: The Hero Chronicles (Volume 4)

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Secrets, the first installment in The Hero Chronicles series by Tim Mettey tells the story of Nicholas Keller, a teenager who moves to a new city with the only family he has left, his aunt Cora, and against all the rules starts making friends (an enemy too), playing football, a sport he doesn’t understand completely but in which he’s good at, and he even gets himself a lovely girlfriend.This would have been normal for every other teenage boy but it certainly isn’t for Nicholas who has never been allowed to make connections with others or to call the slightest attention to himself before---why, you ask? Well, the title of this book is Secrets and Nicholas has a few of them, and as so, his aunt fears constantly for his safety and keeps coaching him on being “invisible”.I can honestly say that the mysteries around Nicholas kept me hooked on the story, I wanted to unravel them all, to find out why he must keep a low profile at all times, what happened in his past, and of course, what was the real story behind his parent’s deaths. Another big mystery has to do with his special abilities—he can run super fast, he’s very strong, and he boils inside when someone makes him angry, to the point that I thought he was going to be some kind of Hulk.Overall Nicholas was a good, decent, likable protagonist and I would befriend him in a minute if I could; aunt Cora reminded me of my own aunts, her sacrifice was touching; and Elle, the girlfriend, in one word: classy. Nicholas has great taste.There was one thing that bothered me though, the amount of dialogue that starts with “So”, but that’s just a minor detail.To sum up: an interesting, straightforward, easy to read first chapter of a teenage hero’s life.(I received a copy of Secrets in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the Kenwood Publishing Group for the opportunity.)
Throne of Glass

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God, I waited so long for this book. I honestly still remember the day, a long, long time ago, when I stumbled across the author’s website and saw a video where she was giving the happy news to the world, Throne of Glass (at the time called Queen of Glass) was going to be published, and poor Sarah was crying her heart out -- from happiness, of course. I immediately added the book to my wishlist and a year later ta-dah, it arrived at my doorstep.At the time this book came to my attention because it was being sold as a Cinderella retelling (and I’m a sucker for all things fairytale) where the heroine was this kickass assassin, but at some point the story must have evolved because Throne of Glass has a lot more going on than that. To tell the truth, one can barely see traces of Cinderella in Throne of Glass, only that at some point there’s a ball and Celaena isn’t allowed to go, but she sneaks out and attends the thing anyway.But note that I’m not complaining -- I’m not annoyed that this isn’t exactly a Cinderella retelling, because I love epic fantasy and Throne of Glass certainly went down that road. The plot involves a corrupt king, magic, murder mysteries, a dangerous tournament, and of course, the kickass heroine. All this happening at the same time, giving the reader barely time to breathe.Of course I didn’t like everything about this book, thus the 3 stars rating, I almost, almost gave it a 4, but THE LOVE TRIANGLE. Ugh. I’m sorry but I can’t condone this crap anymore. From now on, love triangles will always subtract a star on my ratings. Always!Authors, PLEASE. Stop this trend. I'm so tired of this sh-t. There's nothing wrong with writing stories where there's only one love interest. NOTHING. Please, I BEG YOU. P L E A S E.It doesn’t help that I don’t like Prince Dorian, no, let me rephrase that, it doesn’t help that I load Prince Dorian, and that Celaena has the hots for him. I’m sorry, but I can’t stand the guy or the moronic relationship. HE’S AN ASS, FOR GOODNESS SAKE.That said, fear not because I will be reading the next book in the series.
Ashen Winter

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Ashen Winter, the second book in Mike Mullin’s series Ashfall follows Alex’s story six months after the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. Alex now lives in a harsh scenario, where survival is something he has to work for daily.I honestly enjoyed Mike Mullin’s writing, especially because of Alex’s narrator abilities—his point of view is always straightforward, unpretentious, and appropriate for a teenage boy. I also liked his sympathetic, easygoing manner (brooding & bad-tempered heroes are overrated) and most of all his loyal heart. The bad news are, I couldn’t get into the story or care that much about the characters, even if I did like the hero. The whole book is about Alex and his girlfriend, Darla, traveling here and there first to find Alex’s parents (who are missing) and then some guy who might know where they are, along the way they face life threatening dangers, make enemies, friends, until Darla is kidnapped by this scary gang and there goes Alex to save her. And that’s it, that pretty much summarizes Ashen Winter. I’ll give Mike Mullin a thumbs up for his flawless writing and interesting, credible post-apocalyptic worldbuilding, and I can certainly recommend this series to fans of the genre, it’s just that, unfortunately it wasn’t my cup of tea.(Many thanks to Tanglewood Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Ashen Winter in exchange for a honest review.)
Ironskin

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Ironskin is a retelling of the classic Jane Eyre mixed with a couple of fantastic elements—mainly fairies and fairy magic—and being a hardcore Jane Eyre and fantasy in general fan I was *extremely* excited to read it; needless to say I did the happy dance when my request on NetGalley for an advance copy of Ironskin was approved. (Many thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge!)The book follows the basic steps of the classic, starting off with the heroine, Jane Eliot, arriving at Mr. Rochart’s house seeking for employment as a governess for his young daughter Dorie. I remained optimistic during the first 100 pages or so, mostly because I was enjoying the worldbuilding, which I think is the strong point of Ironskin, but also because even though I know the original tale by heart, I still managed to get caught up in the mysterious, obscure and sometimes creepy essence of the storyline.Unfortunately the optimism didn’t last and by page 200 I was bored to death. Why? Well, the heroine’s main concern since the beginning is her charge, Dorie—the girl is different from everyone around her, she’s exceedingly disobedient, she sees things that aren’t there, she has magical powers, she gives the creeps to people around her, and her father can’t keep a governess for too long.Being Jane different from other people herself, with a scarred face and an iron mask to cover it up, she’s determined to be the governess Dorie needs. This would have been fine, had it not taken hold of almost the entire story, like, the first half of this book is all about Jane trying to get Dorie to use her hands to eat and to pick up things, because she does everything using her powers.The other half of the book is still about Dorie, plus there are a couple of episodes in which Jane tries to find out what Mr. Rochart does for a living. I kept waiting to fall in love with these characters and to care about their personal tragedies but as the pages flew slowly by I just got more and more bored.Other thing that bothered me was the lack of solid interaction between Jane and Rochart throughout the story, and yet they still fall in love with each other.The final twists and events were mildly surprising, but overall I was not happy with the way the story comes together in the end.There’s also something quite wrong with the beauty concept in this story, as if all beautiful people are possessed by evil beings and in grave need of salvation…I honestly wanted to love this book but it wasn’t possible.
Defiance

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I’m disappointed at Defiance, not that it’s an awful reading or anything but I just couldn’t relate to the characters – Rachel is kind of annoying and Logan did nothing for my lady parts.What happens is that Rachel needs to go after her missing father, and bring back an important package if she wants to save her boyfriend’s (Logan) life. Honestly her journey was quite boring and the Cursed One didn’t help, come on, a terrifying creature you can control with a remote that looks like a flute? … Seriously?The worst character of them all is the guy who runs the city Rachel lives in, in two words: cardboard villain.The setting is medieval (I think), but Logan, who is an inventor, comes up with the most amazing, kind-of-futuristic gadgets – I’m not sure where the knowledge/technology/power comes from.The romance started off okay, I love me some unrequited love, but as the story progressed I just lost interest in the couple.I probably won’t go back to this series, because I really couldn’t care less about what happens next.
A Million Suns

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I’m so disgusted by this book right now that I can’t think, see, or hear straight. I also have this massive headache caused by my stubbornness in finish reading something I was hating so freaking much, but alas, I did it.In a nutshell, the reason why I hated this book while having enjoyed the first one a lot can be explained by this quote:Haven’t you figured out that half my problems are because of you? If I didn’t have to watch out for the freak, maybe I could get something done! ~Elder to AmyWasn’t that just lovely?The best part comes afterwards when Amy pretty much stays mad for like 2 minutes, dismisses the subject entirely, and actually starts falling in love with Elder. Excuse me while I barf. Beth Revis, are you a dude in disguise? Because I cannot believe a woman would handle the situation like this. I mean, AMY JUST FORGETS/IGNORES THE FACT THAT ELDER CALLED HER A FREAK THAT'S IN HIS WAY.ARE.YOU.F******.KIDDING.ME.I'm sorry but this^ is not okay. The stress he was under isn't an excuse, his sixteen years aren't an excuse---nothing is an excuse for his words and behavior, and I am APPALLED, HORRIFIED, SICKENED by Amy's lack of response. Girls not standing up for themselves after being insulted is not okay. Girls falling for the guys who did it is even worse.After that I just stopped caring about the characters. My hatred for Elder kept growing with each new chapter, and Amy, well, if she doesn’t respect herself, how can I respect her?The rest of the story didn't help my case, it was painful to watch it unfold actually, I mean, all those nonsensical plotlines... like, why did Orion left those puzzles for Amy? Why couldn't he just TELL her what was going on? Why would Doc go to all that trouble JUST TO DEFREEZE THE GUY? Couldn't he just have clicked the defreeze button WHENEVER? Good God. >__>So, yeah, this is it for me and this series. My only regret is that I didn’t write the Across the Universe review before I started reading the second book, because when I eventually do write it, my opinion will be completely tainted by all this newfound hatred I have for the characters.
Poison Princess: The Arcana Chronicles

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Poison Princess, my God, I waited ANXIOUSLY for this one. I love YA and Kresley Cole, so naturally I was beyond excited to check out her debut in the genre, and after reading it I’m happy to say I’m not disappointed. The beginning freaked me out (that is one awesome yet creepy prologue), and the initial chapters confused me a bit---I mean, I knew this was YA but I was not prepared for such a generic opening: girl goes to her first day in school and there she meets the new mysterious hot guy, who rides a bike, drinks a lot, and behaves like an ass, especially towards her.My first reaction to this was a loud hiss, followed by a: Not this again! But I kept on reading, and it paid off, because suddenly the story transformed itself into a tale of survival and self-discovery in a post-Apocalyptic world.I really liked Evie as a protagonist, she’s that mix of fragile yet tough and determined female, and I cared for her since the beginning. She’s quite the troubled soul, and even when she’s surrounded by friends and family, she’s alone in the world---she is constantly having horrible visions and hearing voices in her head, which sets her apart from others.After the Apocalypse she gets stuck with Jackson, the bad boy I talked about before, they team up to travel in search for Evie’s grandmother, and it’s maddening!! Good God, it had been a while since I read Kresley Cole, and I kind of forgot her couples are always on the verge of kissing-slapping each other. ALWAYS. I won’t lie, I like this type of couples but they can drive me nuts after hundreds of pages. And the misunderstandings---Christ!! Let’s just say ALL of Evie’s and Jackson’s troubles could be prevented if they just talked. You know, like normal, civilized, sane people do.I honestly didn’t like Jackson at the beginning but as the story unfolds I got to understand him---deep down he doesn’t feel like he deserves a girl such as Evie and IT KILLS HIM, because he likes her like a madman. He also has no idea whatsoever how to act around her, and since Evie has no idea of what really goes on in his head they always end up reaching the wrong conclusions about each other and fight nonstop. Evie’s supernatural powers were strange to me at first, but I loved that last scene when we finally get a glimpse of what she can do, so I can hardly wait for more. What else is there to say? I recommend it!
Hunting Lila

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Hunting Lila was quite the fun read, thank God for that. It’s so hard for me to find a good, fun, young adult paranormal series that when I do it’s like Christmas. The heroine, Lila, is very likable and easy to relate with, and even though it’s a tad difficult to believe that a 22 year old guy would fall in love at first sight with a 17 year old girl, at some point I decided to ignore it and just go with the flow, because, really, Lila and Alex are super cute together, and that’s why I love books, because they tell the most unlikely yet amazing stories.Btw, that's one handsome, perfect, swoon-worthy hero right there. These days pretty much every other paranormal YA hero is this mysterious, dangerous, with no manners at all *ARSE* but "OMG he's SO HOT!" *MC swoons*, that when a great guy like Alex comes along I feel like standing up and give the book a big round of applause, throwing confetti, releasing white doves, opening up the champagne! That's how happy I get. There’s a plot besides the romance, which is very intriguing, and the reason why this book ends with a cliffhanger, plus with a lot of questions to be answered -- needless to say I was extremely happy that the second book was out already.
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