Tag Archives: netgalley

REVIEW: The Dollhouse

cover47401-mediumStars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 15, 2014

I was looking forward to reading the Dollhouse, though it seemed out of my normal young adult genre and more of a suspense crime/thriller. I was wrong, in a sense. This book is more paranormal than crime/thriller, though there are definitely overtones of the thriller bit.

I was sucked into the world of Cassie and Ethan as they search desperately for Aisha. The strange alliances that Cassie must make to ensure the rest of their captors don’t starve or get hurt are poignant and dynamic and the dollhouse carnival theme only makes everything more eerie as the story progresses.

Very few books I finish in one sitting, but I just couldn’t tear myself away from THE DOLLHOUSE. I was so invested in the book that when I reached the end, I hadn’t even braced myself for a cliffhanger and was floored and left craving more.

It’s difficult to review too extensively and not spoil anything, but I will say that as someone who gets creeped out fairly easily, I was able to read THE DOLLHOUSE during the evening hours without my fear interfering with the nail biting storyline. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a crime/thriller without the gore that comes with it!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley and have in no other way received compensation.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: The Fever

cover41424-mediumStars: 3/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 14, 2014

The Fever centers around what happens when mass hysteria breaks out as girls at a small town high school start dropping like flies with a mysterious illness that seems to manifest with just slight differences in each new girl.

I have to start out by stating that a major detraction of this story was the amount of sex. Not the act itself, necessarily, but flashbacks and talking about it and ruminating about it and how awkward it feels afterwards. Even during the mass hysteria, sex plays a major role in this narrative. The frustrating part was, sex had literally nothing to do with the illness or discussed out loud with anyone. It was a bit strange that this entire town, one way or the other, had sex on their minds. Maybe I grew up differently, but I never thought so much about sex in so much detail.

Now that I’ve gotten the major issue I had with this book out of the way, the rest of the book was fascinating. The reader gets to follow right along with Deenie, her brother, and her father as they begin to see that how people portray themselves doesn’t necessarily mean there’s not something festering- literally and figuratively- inside them.

This tale is full of suspense and leaves you hanging and partially blind to what is happening until the last page. Narratives like this can be a whole lot of fun, but I think the author had a little too much suspense, because I found myself growing just bored enough to talk myself out of reading and going back to studying for the MCAT.

Overall, the star rating dropped down to a three because there was just SO.MUCH.RUMINATING on sex. The narrative was drenched in it. I wanted to beat my head against the wall during some parts. But if you can get past that, there is a very good story that twists you uncomfortably to read in all the right ways.

I received a free advanced reader copy from NetGalley and in no other way was compensated for this review.

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 stars, advanced reader copy

REVIEW: Paradigm

ImageStars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: May 29, 2014

This book was interesting in that every other chapter switched the main character narrative. It starts with Alice and the Day the World Ended and then moves on to Carter and the Day His World Began. In this fashion, the book unfolds, each chapter feeding into the next and bridging the 87-year gap. I found myself yearning to continue the story of Alice after her chapter concluded, only to yearn for Carter’s story to return when Alice took over the next chapter.

The story was a bit weak on the world building, Alice’s world being a bit more fleshed out than Carter’s. This was not a major detraction, however, because just as Carter is trying to navigate a world that is not the same one he left, I empathized because I was yo-yoing back and forth between Alice’s world, Carter’s remembered world, and Carter’s actual world.

I really wish that Carter’s story hadn’t dragged the entire time. I suspect it was so close to being outstanding, that I wished for more character building than was probably strictly necessary. However, that just gives more credence to the author and what an outstanding job she did.

I would recommend this book to those who want more of an adventurous and darker dystopian that is not reliant on romance to push the plot forward; especially Alice’s story, which left me wanting to read for hours more.

This ebook was received from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I have only received a free advanced reader copy of the book and have not been otherwise compensated for this review.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy

Review: THE DREAM THIEVES

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 18, 2013

I have been in love with Maggie Stiefvater’s work for a long, long time. Not since the beginning, mind you, but since she published SHIVER. I’m lucky enough to have a casual acquaintance with her, I have a picture of her and my rabbit, and I have some doodles in my signed books from her especially to me.

Although this is true, I am not biased. To date, I have not met a book she has written that I haven’t liked. A lot. Her writing style is just so dry-humored and smooth like dark chocolate.

Okay. So back to the review at hand. THE DREAM THIEVES is a wonderful sequel to THE RAVEN BOYS. This book mostly focuses on Ronan with a good dose of Blue and little Adam, and Gansey. There’s an assassin in town that’s looking for a valuable thing that Gansey may or may not possess and will stop at nothing to get it. Plus, Cabeswater has disappeared into thin air and with it, any chance Gansey has to find the king he’s been looking his entire life for.

Maggie’s prose is lyrical, witty, sad, and rings with the truth of consciousness for every one of her characters. She breathes life into the pages seamlessly and grabs you along for the ride until the words run out. I was so, so pleased to get to read this second installment in The Raven Cycle a month early and I will definitely be buying the hardcover when it comes out!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley and did not receive any other recompense for this review.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4.5 Stars, advanced reader copy, Review

Review: THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS

Image

Stars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 24, 2013

This was a very light and fun read. I requested it simply because it mentioned the circus and I’m a bit of a shy carnie fan. The beginning was a bit weird, with chapters alternating “present” time and what happened in the past to get to where Lexi is currently.

So Lexi is a typical, quiet girl who likes her books as much as she likes her close-knit friends Eli and a girl she refers to as “Adventure Barbie”; one of those born perfectly and can do anything a man would like from rock-climbing to stunning a night club silent.

So one bad decision and a freak accident (not at the same time, of course), Lexi is homeless and cannot go back to her prepaid prep school without an adult legal guardian. So Lexi is swept to Florida on a Greyhound bus on a wild goose chase to try and find her mother who, when Lexi was eight, left her and her father to run off to the circus. Alright, I could live with that, cool. But when Lexi gets there, her mother isn’t even remembered by the ring master. However, he does give Lexi a job and a home and thus starts her adventure of living with a traveling circus.

I actually devoured this book in a day and a half. The half is because I fell asleep reading it. I think I was really drawn to the light heartedness of the book. Lexi was fairly independent and enjoyable to read, with enough depth to make her interesting. I loved her family dynamics with Lina and Lishka, the daughters of the ring master. It was the tiniest bit disjointed and I wished it flowed better with the change of chapters, but I really had a good time reading it!

I received a free ebook copy of this book from NetGalley and have received no other recompense other than the free text for my kindle.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: Water

StImagears: 3.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 12, 2013

Water is an interesting spin on a “fantasy/magic” book. It started out a bit stilted, with the main character Kaitlyn being kidnapped and held against her will in the span of a few pages. Read a few more pages, and she’s no longer there against her will. It all happened kind of fast, but at the same time I was hungering for answers, so this fact didn’t warrant much notice.

Pretty early on, the boundaries are set. Micah is the hot, older one that can calm Kaitlyn down with physical contact (preferably a kiss, obviously). Shawn is the evil-to-the-bone antagonist who would rather torture Kaitlyn and probably pulls the wings off of insects in his spare time. Micah, of course, is Kaitlyn’s “helper” with channeling her power. Shawn, of course, is the one who can put a damper on her powers. Okay, C- for originality, but characters don’t always make the storyline, so I kept going.

The book warns of sexual content before you start the book, so the fairly descriptive sex/nude/naughty scenes did not take me by surprise and I skimmed until the story continued. This happened maybe five or so times throughout the book. What was kind of a downer throughout the book was the fact that despite my consistent attempts, I just couldn’t connect with Kaitlyn. She lacked a “spark” and her emotions were… flat. She never seemed very bothered either way that she kept being kidnapped and held against her will for more than a year. There was no happiness but no frustration either. She was very disconnected with her surroundings. Whether or not this was intentional, I have no idea. It just didn’t seem to go very well with the story of a girl who is tough.

All in all, there was enough intriguing things in this book that I think there’s a good chance that I will pick up the sequel. I just really hope I’ll get hooked a bit more the second time around.

I only received a free ebook of this title in exchange for a review. No other recompense was received.

1 Comment

August 18, 2013 · 5:55 PM

REVIEW: Delia’s Shadow

Image

Stars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 2, 2013

Delia’s Shadow caught my eye mostly because it combined two things I love to read about: ghosts and historical fiction. I was delighted when I received a copy to review.

The book was fairly well written, with Delia immediately being a fun character to read about. She’s very demure and down to earth, though pensive because of the perpetual companion, a ghost she christens “Shadow”. Add a brooding policeman who lost his wife and unborn child in the same earthquake in which Delia lost her parents, throw them together in a life or death situation, include a few decade old cold cases and a serial killer who has begun to kill again, and you’ve got a good start to a leisurely novel.

This novel was definitely leisurely. The plot was fairly well paced with a nice balance of supernatural, a deranged killer, and delightful characters. The main drawback was the fact that although Delia’s perspective is written in third person, the author switches to third person for the brooding policeman Gabe’s perspective. This really shook up the flow of the book. Plus, when the murderer is identified, it took a while before I realized the exact significance because although the main characters are independent and easily recognized, the sub characters blend together colorlessly.

I very much enjoyed the character building of the main cast and their developing relationships with one another. The apparition definitely gave the tale a unique twist, but not enough to really make this book shine like a newly minted coin. This mattered little to me, as it provided a very refreshing change of pace from the books I normally read. I did, however, wished the author had not wrapped up the book so abruptly.

All in all, Delia’s Shadow is a very nice read for anyone who likes hauntings and historical fiction, especially in the same novel!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley and have in no way received any other recompense other than the free copy for this review.

Leave a comment

Filed under 4 stars