Tag Archives: review

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.

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Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

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.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, advanced reader copy, Review

Review: THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS

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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.

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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.

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August 18, 2013 · 5:55 PM

REVIEW: Delia’s Shadow

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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.

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REVIEW: The Enchanter Heir

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Stars: 5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 25, 2013

I was super excited when I was given an advanced copy of this book for review. I am a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima and have read the entirety of the Heir series as well as the Grey Wolf Queen series. I have always been enthralled by her character and world building and I was not disappointed in this next installment.

Since I have always been partial to the brooding-yet-layered characters, it was no surprise to me that I liked Jonah immediately. Emma, however, I was skeptical of. The book’s description paints her as a “wild child” who runs the streets of Memphis like some modern day “Beasts of the Southern Wild” character. Unfortunately, I instantly dismissed her as unimportant when she’s introduced solely based on that description. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book description was way off the mark when it came to Emma. Chima writes her as a free spirit, but never conforming to any stereotypes. It was almost as if I was meeting a real person who was not just created as is but has evolved through a lifetime of pain and happiness. In my opinion, she is probably one of the most real characters Chima has ever written.

I did like Jonah, but felt the book, with what it was, didn’t give a whole lot of answers. All of the other Heir books can be read as standalone installments, so I was mildly surprised that this book ended in a cliffhanger. This is probably where my slight frustration of reading the entirety of the book and then being given, essentially, the “TO BE CONTINUED…” screen came from. However, although major answers weren’t given, enough character back-stories unfolded peripherally that I was drawn along just as quickly and my interest never waned. But since most all of the secrets revolved around Jonah, I was a bit more conflicted with him than I was with Emma, who was just who she seemed to be.

Overall, I will be buying this book when it comes out. I just wished I had known beforehand that it would require a sequel and when the sequel will be coming out, because I don’t do well when you drop me into a high paced story and then abruptly cutting me off.

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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Filed under 5 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: Never Fade

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 17, 2013

So I was super surprised at how much I loved this book. I was also mildly surprised that this was the second in a series, mostly because I never felt lost with the character’s back stories I should have known before reading this. Which really goes to show how amazingly Bracken seamlessly wove her first and second installments together.

Ruby’s transformation from fearing her ability to being forced to use it to survive was a very palpable struggle. This book really sucked me in, but didn’t have such a hold on me that I couldn’t relax and enjoy it. Ruby’s new responsibilities and coming to love those under her in the League against her will was poignant and just so real.

There was so much action and so many twists, most of which I never saw coming. The book never lulled and never lost its constant momentum which I was only too happy to be swept away by. I loved it so much I’m going to be reading the first book of the series and buying this book when it comes out!

The only real problem I had with it is that one of the new character curses like a sailor literally every bit of dialogue. It was good character building, until it was just too much and I got tired of the f bomb being dropped like it was a space filler. I think I would have liked this book better had there been a bit more discretion with that character. However, overall I really did enjoy myself and devoured this book!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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June 18, 2013 · 9:09 PM