Review Rendezvous: 6/9/18


XVI by Julia Karr
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, science fiction, dystopia
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 325
Publish date: January 6th, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

XVIEvery girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist–sixteen.

Some girls can’t wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina’s normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there’s one boy who can help–and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure…

For Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

This had a promising idea attached to it. I was interested in the idea of the tattoos and the social constructs surrounding them. But, after the first chapter or two, things began to go downhill. I didn’t particularly empathize with the character, which is a huge sign that the rest of the book won’t be too enthralling either.

I will admit, I finished the whole book for this one, which is an accomplishment. Normally if I end up disliking a book that quickly, I will just skim the rest to see what happens. Maybe it was my interest in the few mysteries that Karr brought up, or the fact that I had nothing else to do. Either way, the book isn’t particularly bad, it is just lackluster in my opinion.

Nine seems to follow the cookie-cutter dystopian teenager mold that I’ve seen many, many times. You can forgive the character the first time you read one like her. But the 20th? Not as easy. Granted that there are extenuating circumstances in the book, but Nina just seems to float through, responding to the situation rather than really acting. And then there is her reaction to events surrounding the end of the book, that I can’t disclose. If something like that happened to me, I feel like I’d have a much more emotional reaction. Just saying.

Overall, it’s meh if you have nothing else to do, but I’m not particularly motivated to read the second book.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/2/18


The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow by Alexie Aaron
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, mystery, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 342
Publish date: January 6th, 2012
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

tHoCCHLittle Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

The premise of this particular novel is certainly intriguing. I’m all for the story of an unwilling former gifted child dragged into a paranormal investigation. There’s quite a bit of mystery and suspense involved, but on the flip side there was also some out of place moments.

First of all, this is the beginning book in a series that has stretched to 19 books already, so the premise definitely has promise. The thing that really bugged me though about this book was how much focus was put onto romance relationships. Sure, add in some romance now and then to hooks readers who look for the kind of thing, but the main focus should be the mystery. Better yet, develop the kind of relationship throughout the series that has everyone going “Just get together already!”.

There also happens to be quite a few characters. I would expect to collect a large group of characters throughout the series as a whole, not in the first book. It was a bit overwhelming to try and read them all.

In the end though, it was a fairly good read. I did enjoy the mystery aspects, I ust wish it had been a little easier to follow the plot. I suppose I could try out the next one in the series, as it has the potential to be better. Although, the covers could use a bit of work, none of the books in the series look like they belong together.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 3/10/18


Fallen by Lauren Kate
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, paranormal, fantasy, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 452
Publish date: December 8th, 2009
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

FallenWhat if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 

Get ready to fall . . .

So I’m about to admit to the biggest sin in book-kind: I watched the movie for this book before I actually read it. I mean, according to Goodreads I read this back in 2014, but it’s only after I just saw the movie that I really re-read it and got interested. So it’s basically the first time I cared for the story.

But I must say, I did enjoy the book much more than the first time I read it. The take on angels is quite intriguing, and I need to know more about how Daniel and Luce ended up back together, because that has to happen in the end. It’s basically required.

Anywho, quick spoiler-free summary before I continue. Luce has been called psychotic her whole life (at least, until she pretends that she can’t see the shadows that plague her), but it came to a head when a cabin spontaneously combusted and killed the boy she was with. That got her sent to reform school, because no one believes Luce is entirely innocent. Even her parents are on edge, but they still love her, which is refreshing to have for once instead of the entirely absentee parents seen so often in YA.

It is at Sword & Cross, the reform school she’s sentenced to, that Luce meets Daniel. She can’t get over the fact that she’s known him somewhere before, and also can’t fight her need to stay away. She’s shocked when he realizes what he’s been keeping from her, and thus the problems begin.

I will admit, there was a bit of the classic love triangle that I am not entirely a fan of. It’s bad fallen angel vs. good fallen angel. We’ll see if it stretches out over more books, because then I really might have more problems with it. But, I digress. There is also some of that insta-love going on with Luce, which is why I ended up docking two hearts even though I did enjoy the book. Those two literary sins are just two of my least favorite things as they’re quite unrealistic. But then again, so is the concept of fallen angels and soulmates being reincarnated for each other. Either way, I’m still reading the rest, so that tells you it’s good enough to pick up anyways.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


VA

Follow a dhampir vampire as she protects her royal best friend from danger

Dead Beautiful

An interesting take on supernatural beings and soulmates

Hex

A girl discovers she’s a witch and is sent to a school for all types of magical creatures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 2/24/18


Vicarious by Paula Stokes
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, science fiction, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 336
Publish date: August 16th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

VicariousWinter Kim and her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

This one is another book that I was interested in at first but lost traction in the middle of the book. The idea of having virtual reality experiences seemed creative and intriguing, so I went for it. But somewhere after Winter discovers that her sister is dead, I lost touch. Maybe it was because she has a blatant disregard for her own safety and the protection that her brother-figure provides?

Either way, I put it down for a few days and then want to see how it ended, so I flipped farther towards the back. I was then met with quite a shock as I had read just past a huge plot twist in the book, So I went back a few chapters to see how things had developed. While it did not drag me back into the world, I will give Stokes credit for the move. I certainly did not see that coming at all, and it provided and interesting take on the unreliable narrator character.

I can’t give out the spoiler moment, but I will say that at least Winter does experience a fair amount of character growth by the end. The plot is a bit convoluted and crazy, which maybe be part of why I wasn’t keyed in, but it was good all the same. Maybe not re-read material, but interesting the first time around.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check this one out:

Dear Amy

A newspaper columnist receives a letter from a girl who was kidnapped many years ago.


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Review Rendezvous: 9/23/17


Judge by the Cover by Melissa Abigail
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 341
Publish date: January 2nd, 2017
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

JudgeHaruna Mitsukai is an overachiever with dreams of attending the University of British Columbia.

Ryu Debiru is a bad boy whose only desire is to escape this ridiculous prison called “life.”

Both attend Shady Glenn Academy and despite their similar “hafu” identity, they couldn’t despise each other more.

Years of avoidance come to an end when a major assignment on Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice pairs them together. 

Just as everything reaches a breaking point, revelations about an old East Side mansion called “Heaven” causes Haruna to question everything she thought she knew about him. 

As for Ryu? Well, all that glitters is most certainly not gold.

This book took me a bit to get into, but it wasn’t as bad as others I’ve read that started out the same way. The first thing that struck me was exactly how superficial the main girl could be. It’s hard to get into a book when the character coms off as unlikable to begin with, but the good news for Haruna is that she grows and develops as the book progresses.

We also get a bit of Ryu’s perspective in the book. I will say, while the split perspective might work, it’s almost as if Ryu is the more worthy character to follow. Not much really happens to Haruna over the course of the book, besides her working on the project and some internal development. Ryu, on the other hand, has quite a bit more to think about. I can’t get into exactly what without giving away spoilers.

There is a good setup for more in the following books, however I can’t say that there is much happening in the first three-quarters of the book. The growth that the characters go through is important, and that’s what makes up the first portion, but when most of the action happening is introspective, it slows down the progress of the book.

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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