Review: Indelible (Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: July 30th 2013 by Harlequin Teen (first published July 1st 2013)           
ISBN: 9780373210732
Genre: fantasy
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley


Indelible (The Twixt, #1)Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT.




If you think you may want to read this one, there is a Goodreads giveaway HERE through July 16, 2013.


If I had to summarize this book in one word, it would be: Strange. I'm just not certain where on the 'strange' spectrum I would place Indelible. It could be closer to the 'so strange it's amazing' area or the 'this is whacked out strange.' For now, I'm going to say it's somewhere in the middle.

The idea behind Indelible is unique. I can guarantee that you have read nothing like this. I would even bet a kidney on it. However, because it is such a unique concept, it was hard for me to buy into it 100%. I never made it past the relationship between Ink and Joy. How can one instant take you from "I hate your guts" and "I could care less about what I did" to "you may be my soul mate". That was too much of a stretch for me. I think if more time would have been spent making the transition between those feelings, I would have been more okay with it. Buuuuut, then there is that whole thing about Ink not really being anything (I got the impression of some oozing, swirling vortex inside of a pseudo-human candy coated shell).  Now, that was just weird. So naturally, I just couldn't see how Joy could have romantic feelings towards something that was described repeatedly as nonhuman-- and to the extent of being nothing at all. Way too far into left field for me.

Other than the relationship aspect that really seemed to drive the majority of the book, I had a few issues with the story telling aspect too. I hate to admit it, but I got confused sometimes-- which is not easy to do. I can't really say what it was that had me baffled, but I ended up rereading entire paragraphs trying to grasp what was being said. That made me almost give up on the book. I was around 30% finished when I felt like I didn't want to read anymore. Then I picked it up the next day and read about 30% more. Something pretty important happened, and I figured I needed to find out what the cause was (because I had my hunch). I did end up finishing it, but I do not think I will read the next book in the series. It just didn't move me the way I've seen others proclaim. I felt like once I looked beyond the dazzle of the uniqueness, I was left with too much of an unbelievable story. (and yes, I know it was a fantasy but it still didn't click with me)


Review: Awaken (Abandon Trilogy #3) by Meg Cabot

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 343
Publisher: July 2nd 2013 by Point
ISBN: 9780545284127
Genre: mythology
Source: eARC from Netgalley


Awaken (Abandon Trilogy, #3)Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.



Hmm... well. I wasn't really feeling Awaken. I made the mistake of reading Underworld and Awaken within a few days of one another. (I read Abandon and Underworld a few months apart.) I think that reading these books back to back made me notice some things that were pretty annoying.

First off, this romance betwen Pierce and John is insane. Not intense , ooh-la-la kind of intense, but border line psycho. I had compeltely forgotten that these books took place in the time span of a few days. Soooo, how the heck are Pierce and John so exclusive and attached at the hip? It's just creepy... and now she's talking about babies? Heck no!

Then, you add in the mess of the plot. There was just way too much going on, and not enough answers. It was a mess. Seriously. I get very annoyed when questions are not answered. Or, like in this case, the answers are just thrown together really quickly. Something just didn't sit well, let's say that.

Since this series is at an end, I think I can speak for it on the whole. I honestly do not care for these books that much. The relationship aspect between Pierce and John just isn't that believable. I think there are just better versions of the Persephone and Hades myth out there to read instead.


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Sure, Brazen may be the naughty little sister of Indulgence, but where do you think Brazen learned everything?

A chef and a rock star. They couldn’t be from more different worlds…

Rock star royalty’s favorite son, Jake Olsen, couldn’t help but interfere after listening to his future brother-in-law talk non-stop about his ex-wife, Beth Carlisle. Jake decides that the only way to get the groom’s mind off his ex-wife is to give her a fake fiancé.

Before Jake can convince Beth of his plan, he's forced to move in with her to avoid the paparazzi. Their instant attraction makes for a sizzling "first date", but soon Jake’s fame gets in the way and Beth wants out. Too bad Jake's figured out just why her ex is so obsessed with her, and he's afraid he's not going to be able to give her up either.

Now it's up to Jake to convince this chef together they make the perfect recipe.
  Buy now on Amazon. Barnes and Noble: Coming


Preschool teacher Laura Nichols is celebrating her birthday and sister's bachelorette
party in Vegas. Being in Sin City is thrilling and she intends on tapping in to her wild side. Laura can't resist the added excitement that comes with saying yes when a hunky man off the street proposes...

FBI agent David Abruzzo has been working undercover as a thug to bring down the Zacolli crime family, but his cover depends on convincing the mob he came to Vegas for a quickie wedding. If they catch on to his plan, his cover's blown, and he's as good as dead.

Over the course of 48 hours, David and Laura use rollercoasters, glowing condoms, and exotic male dancers to stay alive and bring the crime family down. But it will take more than Lady Luck, one night of passion, and a little Vegas magic to turn their fake marriage into something real.

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


 Image consultant Blake Matthews is facing his toughest PR challenge yet: salvage the image of celebrity chef Kirin Hart. Once he does, he'll be able to acquire LA's most successful PR firm. But Kirin's no easy fix. She's stubborn about changing her comfortable homemaker image, and is being sued for sexual harassment by a junior staffer. She needs a PR lifeline fast. Only problem is Blake wants more than to make her over...

Kirin doesn't need a makeover--her fans love her as she is. But she could lose everything if the sex scandal and reputation that has followed doesn't get quashed right away. Kirin agrees to let model-perfect Blake work his magic for two weeks, but things get complicated when she can't deny the way her body flares to life whenever he's near.

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



 

 


Review: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 424
Publisher: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780316134026
Genre: fantasy
Source: My own copy


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?



This was nothing like what I expected. AT ALL. To be honest, though, I'm not sure what I was expecting.

The setting for Daughter of Smoke and Bone was phenomenal. I know nothing of Prague, but I could imagine myself there. The writing was so descriptive that I could smell the burning embers from the fire and feel the wind whipping over my skin as the characters sat perched on the cathedral watching the sunrise. I could feel these things because it felt like I was there with them. This was probably one of the best settings I have come by.

The plot was pretty interesting as well. Since this is the first of the series, it's setting the stage for the remainder of the books. I have no idea where things will be heading, but I can guess there is one heck of a fight scene brewing. Now, as for a love story... Karou and Akiva were intense. Think Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, because that's what they were. A fantastical Romeo and Juliet of sorts. As I type this, I can think of more similarities between the two stories, which makes me like this more and more. So I'm going to say that's just what this was: a highly imaginative retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

The characters were pretty solid. Karou and Akiva were layered and very interesting. As their individual stories unfolded, you had glimpses into their pasts. As a reader, though, you were left to fill in most of the gaps until the very end. The supporting characters were also well written for their purpose. There was a fine line between protagonist and antagonist that often became fuzzy. That will be the basis for book 2 (Days of Blood and Starlight).

Overall, I enjoyed it. It did not knock my socks off or leave me speechless. I found myself getting tired of the multiple points of views at time. Karou mostly told the story, but at times Akiva would tell his version. What really through me for a loop was the final third of the book that was told from a different perspective all together. While it helped finalize the story and share insight into Karou's past, it was still a bit confusing upon the initial switch.

I keep pondering over this theme of hope that runs throughout the novel. I know it's important and once I put words to my thoughts, I may change my view of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

 photo 3-star.gif

Mintue Review: Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) by Meg Cabot

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 336
Publisher: May 8th 2012 by Point
ISBN: 9780545415071
Genre: mythology
Source: my own copy



Underworld (Abandon Trilogy, #2)Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.




This version of Persephone and Hades is moving right along. Underworld was the second book in the Abandon series by Meg Cabot. So far, I've enjoyed the books.

The relationship between Pierce and John is interesting. Although Pierce got on my nerves a bit in this book at times, she's an overall pretty likeable character. I admire her determination and commitment to those she loves. Like all of Meg Cabot's books that I've read so far, the characters' actions and voice seem appropriate for their age. Pierce is not a 17-year-old girl acting 30. She makes stupid choices and whines just like any teenager would.

I think the best part of Underworld, though, has to be the subplot. John's history is dark and helps move the story along, while Alex's delimma really lights sparks. I found what was happening with Alex to be biggest driving force so far. I will even admit that the surprise at the end caught me off guard. (Not so much what happened, but who was there to witness it.)

Like any good middle book in a series, Underworld ends with a cliffhanger! So, if you don't like cliffhangers, you better wait to read this one until the final book comes out. You will be happy to know, also, that this is a super fast read. I was able to finish this one in just a few hours. Hooray for summer reading!
 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone read-along: finale

The end is a bitter sweet moment. Can you believe how quickly we have moved through book?

This week we are finishing the Daughter of Smoke and Bone.



I've got a confession to make this week. I've been struggling to put into words my thoughts for this book. There is this thing nagging at the back of my brain that I just can't put into words. So this week, you get to help me articulate my inner thoughts. (That's trecherous work, be warned.)


I've been playing around with this theme that kept popping up all over the book: hope. You know it's important when it's in every chapter, right? I think it's no surprise that Karou's name would end up meaning hope. But the real question is why? Why is it important? Why Karou and not Akiva or Brimstone? Why is hope so necessary in this book?

So there is your challenge! Find the 'why'.




Happy reading!

Previous discussion posts:

Week 1 discussion here
Week 2 discussion here
Week 3 discussion here
Week 4 discussion here

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