Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Book Review – Crank (Crank, #1) by Ellen Hopkins

November 21, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Crank (Crank, #1) by Ellen HopkinsCrank by Ellen Hopkins
Series: Crank #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on June 15, 2010
Pages: 544
Genres: Realistic YA Fiction, Verse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Triangles, Burned, Fallout

four-stars

This is a story about a monster. Not a dragon or a mythological beast, but a very real, very destructive monster--crystal meth--that takes hold of seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow and transforms her into her reckless alter-ego Bree. Based on her own daughter's addiction to crystal meth, Ellen Hopkins' novel-in-verse is a vivid, transfixing look into teenage drug use. Told in Kristina's voice, it provides a realistic portrayal of the tortured logic of an addict.

Crank, you see
isn’t any ordinary
monster. It’s like a
giant octopus,
weaving
its tentacles not
just around you,
but through you,
squeezing
not hard enough to
kill you, but enough
to keep you from
reeling
until you try to get
away.

The Storyline
Kristina is a high school junior who’s your typical normal kid who brings home good grades and has never done anything to disappoint her mom. Kristina though, isn’t always Kristina. Sometimes she becomes Bree, the girl she’s always wanted to be. The girl who tells it like it is, the confident one, the one who’s nothing like Kristina.

When Kristina goes to Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit her dad she meets the neighbor boy Adam and her life begins the slow roll downhill.

His voice dripped
Honey and cream,
Irresistible poison.

He was poison and he introduced her to another irresistible poison: the monster. Just trying it once and her life was forever changed.

My Thoughts
This is my third foray into the works of Ellen Hopkins and I have yet to be disappointed. These are hard books and I can see why people either love them or hate them. They wrestle the difficult subjects that normal authors refuse to touch in order to avoid controversy or dispute. I can understand this; however, that makes me love this author that much more because she does wrestle these tough subjects. She tackles them to the ground and does it with gusto.

All of Ellen Hopkins books tell a brutally honest tale and you’re not likely to get a happy ending either so don’t be surprised if you’re left beaten and bruised by her stories and not given your fairy tale ending. Her books just simply are take it or leave it. Personally, I can’t get enough of them; I find them incredibly hard to put down once I’ve started and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

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Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira Grant

November 17, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 2 Comments

Short Story Review – Countdown (Newsflesh 0.5) by Mira GrantCountdown: A Newsflesh Novella by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #0.5
Published by Orbit on August 1st 2011
Pages: 85
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Feed, Deadline, Parasite

five-stars

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

When will you rise?

Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.

 

’There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.’

Countdown is a must-read for fans of the Newsflesh novels. Countdown takes you back before the virus was spread, before the zombies came alive, when the world was still as vivid and vibrant as it is today. This is a super short story and left me wanting much much more, but it was still an extremely informative piece of writing that I felt was essential to truly understanding the Newsflesh world. You don’t get to read anything about Shaun or George or even Buffy, but you do get a glimpse into the life of Amanda Amberlee, the creator of the cure Dr. Alexander Kellis, and of the group responsible for unleashing it onto the world, ‘The Mayday Army’.

Once again I’m astonished at the ability that Mira Grant has in world building. Even with a short story, she does a phenomenal job at pulling you right in. She makes you feel as if her world truly does exist and that you need to remember to grab your shotgun before leaving the house to protect yourself from the zombies waiting outside. This short story made me love the first two Newsflesh books even more and also made me just a tad bit crazier over my desire to read Blackout. (As if that was possible).

Mira Grant? You’re amazing.

’When will you Rise?
And the world gave itself an answer:
Now.
Welcome to the aftermath.’

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Book Review – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

November 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Tipping the Velvet by Sarah WatersTipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Published by Riverhead on May 24, 1999
Pages: 472
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

"Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England" (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act.In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.

Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson, Sarah Waters's novel is a feast for the senses - an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

Sarah Water’s debut novel set in 1890s London is a delightfully shocking tale of exploring the boundaries of gender roles in the Victorian era. It’s about finding out who you really are and being comfortable in your own skin and about overcoming heartache and finding love again.

’And was there at her side a slender, white-faced, unremarkable-looking girl, with the sleeves of her dress rolled up to her elbows, and a lock of lank and colourless hair forever falling into her eye, and her lips continually moving to the words of some street-singer’s or music-hall song?

That was me.’

Nancy is an oyster girl who works quite dutifully in her parent’s restaurant. It’s not until she goes with her sister Alice to Palace, an old-fashioned music hall, that her life is changed forever when she sets eyes on Kitty and sees her performance for the first time.

’Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this there was a girl: the most marvelous girl – I knew it at once! – that I had ever seen.’

When Nancy becomes intent on catching Kitty’s eye and having her notice her she begins going back to the Palace every night just to see her again and again. When Kitty throws a flower to Nancy in the crowd the two finally meet afterwards and a friendship is cultivated that slowly becomes much much more. Nancy becomes Kitty’s dresser and when she is offered a job in London Nancy decides she simply must go with her.

The story continues to develop and as time progresses the two become even closer and eventually become lovers as the two eventually team up together on stage.

’The act, I knew, was still all hers. When we sang, it was really she who sang, while I provided a light, easy second. When we danced, it was she who did the tricky steps: I only strolled or shuffled at her side. I was her foil, her echo; I was the shadow which, in all her brilliance, she cast across the stage. But, like a shadow, I lent her the edge, the depth, the crucial definition, that she lacked before.

What follows is simply the beginning of Nancy’s story and it’s quite a memorable one. I must admit there were parts that were quite shocking that I wasn’t expecting (like when I found out what Tipping the Velvet really meant… haha!), but that was the beauty of the story, the beauty of Nancy’s story. The writing was honest, the characters were vibrant, and I loved each and every page. Sarah Waters is an absolutely gorgeous writer. Her words will intrigue you, they will astound you, and you won’t be able to get them out of your head. I can’t wait to get my hands on more from her.

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Book Review – The King Maker by Susan Frances

November 12, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The King Maker by Susan FrancesThe King Maker by Susan Frances
Published by Champagne Books on November 7, 2011
Pages: 222
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

When American pilot, Steve McKenna is murdered, he takes with him secrets about an international crime ring. Secrets that he only reveals to his friend, Cullen Danes.

An investigator for the British Aviation Ministry, Cullen is determined to find his friend’s killer, but his life is in danger when the crime ring’s operatives learn he knows secrets that can expose them. Cullen’s rescuer is a woman whom he meets at the International Aviation Convention, Nina Holt. She proves to save his life in more ways than one and together, they uncover a labyrinth of illicit activities that involves government officials, bank executives and global industrialists.

Nina and Cullen’s true test comes when he asks her to take a leap of faith. Torn between jumping into the unknown or remaining with her family, Nina has to decide whether to take the biggest risk of her life. That is if the King Maker does not have them killed.

Steve McKenna, an American pilot, is found with two bullets in his back at Faversham Airport in England. He and his family resided in Northampton, Massachusetts; however, his job as a staff pilot at Bloomfield Airport often brought him to England. Authorities are left with no leads as to his killer could possibly be except for some stolen credit cards that were found in McKenna’s locker at Faversham Airport.

Questioned by authorities, McKenna’s friend of 5 years, Cullen Danes refuses to accept that his friend could have ever been involved in any sort of criminal activity and decides to assist in any way he can in the investigation. After meeting Nina Holt at the International Aviation Convention, she ends up assisting him and being quite the life saver after he unavoidably becomes a target by the same individuals responsible for the death of his longtime friend. As the romance between these two grows, the danger and risk involved continues to grow as well.

This was quite a detailed and intricate storyline, The King Maker surprised me with how much I ended up enjoying it. You’ve got an international crime ring, a murder mystery, and a romance to boot. What more could you ask for?

I think the author did quite well in not making a storyline with multiple characters too hard to follow; each character was an integral part in the overall storyline and didn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle. The storyline ended leaving a continuation a possible option and I look forward to reading more from future Susan Frances books.

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Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

November 11, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan PoeThe Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Published by Public Domain on September 1839
Pages: 28
Genres: Classics, Poetry
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Raven, Tales of the Macabre

three-stars

Roderick Usher is ill, but not due to any normal causes. When the narrator of the story arrives at the House of Usher, he finds that all is not well in the old ancestral home. The house itself appears to be almost alive, and the illness of Madeline, Roderick's sister, is not all it seems.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic short story first in 1839, and was memorably adapted for film by Roger Corman in 1960.

This unique edition includes an original essay on the ‘Curious Quirks in the Early Life of Edgar Allan Poe’ by J. S. Williams.

The Fall of the House of Usher is in the opinion of many scholars Poe's most famous work of prose.This unsettling macabre work is viewed as a masterpiece of American Gothic literature. Indeed, as in many of his tales, Poe borrows much from the Gothic tradition. Still, as G. R. Thomson writes in his Introduction to Great Short Works of Edgar Allan Poe: "the tale has long been hailed as a masterpiece of Gothic horror; it is also a masterpiece of dramatic irony and structural symbolism."

The Fall of the House of Usher has also been criticized for being too formulaic. Poe was criticized for following his own patterns established in works like Morella and Ligeia using stock characters in stock scenes and situations. Repetitive themes like an unidentifiable disease, madness, and resurrection are also criticized. However, there is speculation that Poe used a real-life incident as the basis for his story: the entombment of two lovers at Usher House in Boston, whose bodies were discovered when the house was demolished in 1800.

Scholars speculate that Poe, who was an influence on Herman Melville, inspired the character of Ahab in Melville's novel Moby-Dick. John McAleer maintained that the idea for "objectifying Ahab's flawed character" came from the "evocative force" of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher. In both Ahab and the house of Usher, the appearance of fundamental soundness is visibly flawed — by Ahab's livid scar, and by the fissure in the masonry of Usher.

And the award for the longest run-on sentence that still manages to somewhat make sense goes to… yes, you, Edgar. You, my friend, know how to use those punctuation’s to their fullest potential and then some. You even manage to use dashes like it’s nobody’s business.

And now for the winning sentence…
*deep breathe*

“It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of blank and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down — but with a shudder even more thrilling than before — upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.”

*gasp*

Holy criminy.

Overall an odd story that requires much interpretation because at face value it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Yet… I’m oddly intrigued at his writing style and will definitely be seeking out more of his work in the future.

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Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Touch of Power (Healer, #1) by Maria V. SnyderTouch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Healer #1
Published by Mira on January 1, 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

The Storyline
Touch of Power is a new series by Maria V. Snyder that introduces Avry of Kazan, a Healer who is able to take illnesses away from another and take them as her own. The only illness that she can’t take without expecting to survive is the plague. Unfortunately, people believe that Healers are the reason the plague exists and she is forced to keep her abilities hidden from others. When she’s abducted by a band of rogues and told that they require her help to heal a prince who is sickened with the plague she must decide who’s life is worth more because only one of them will be able to survive.

Thoughts
This is actually the first novel I’ve read by Maria V. Snyder so I’m unable to compare it to her past works. I must say I did enjoy it, although I was hoping for more in the end. Even though this book is marketed to YA, I appreciated the fact that the main character was 20 years old and actually acted her age.

Overall there was a major disconnect in the building of the story as a whole for me. I would have loved to see more explanation regarding Avry and maybe some information about her past. It was briefly touched upon but I think it could have been expanded even more. The world that Avry lived in had the potential to be a truly fascinating fantasy world but the author didn’t seem to find it fitting to expand upon that either. The lacking of explanation really made everything really confusing because it seemed like a fantasy world in olden times but there were various modern references that didn’t exactly fit. The author did best with the character development, their relationships, and their interactions.

I’m not sure if I’m left with enough interest to continue the series but I’m sure this will become a favorite of die-hard Maria V. Snyder fans. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t include me.

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Early Review – A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa Dale

November 9, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – A Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa DaleA Promise of Safekeeping: A Novel by Lisa Dale
Published by Berkley on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 346
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

An unforgettable novel about love, forgiveness, and letting go.

Nine years ago, Lauren Matthews prosecuted the case of a lifetime. But her error in judgment sent an innocent man to prison. Now Arlen Fieldstone has finally been released, and Lauren has only one thing on her mind: asking forgiveness. How can she make up for nine years of his life? To get to Arlen, Lauren must first get through Arlen's best friend, Will Farris, who hasn't forgiven her for destroying Arlen's life.
In the steaming summer streets of Richmond, Virginia, three people's lives collide. Lauren needs forgiveness. Arlen needs hope. And Will? He needs something too, something that no one can know—especially not Lauren...

Nine years ago Arlen Fieldstone was convicted of murdering the wife of Senator Juan Raimez. Today, he’s been exonerated of all charges and is now a free man. Lauren becomes so distraught over her role in putting away an innocent man and taking away 9 years of his life, she travels down to Virginia to apologize to him.

‘Lauren had thought she’d wanted to give something to Arlen: her apology. Her willingness to step up and take some responsibility for what had happened to him.’

This was a novel about forgiveness and second chances, but I didn’t relate with the characters which made their actions hard to understand.

The one section of the story that I would like to point out is a letter to the editor that Lauren’s brother actually wrote and submitted:

“Dear Editor: Everyone is pointing at Lauren Matthews for Arlen Fieldstone’s wrongful conviction. But here’s the truth: She’s not a cop, so she didn’t gather evidence. All she could do was interpret it for the jury. If you want to blame someone for Arlen’s mistreatment, blame the jury that convicted him. Blame the cops who botched the evidence. Blame a weak defense. But don’t blame Lauren Matthews for doing her job.”

Despite the fact that this was a biased statement, as the writer was her own brother, it still has a ring of truth: in the long run it really wasn’t her fault. She was presented the evidence from the police and it was her job as a prosecutor to convince the jury that the defendant should be convicted. I understand this and I especially think that anyone who has studied law would feel the same.

Will’s quick infatuation with Lauren seemed ill-placed with the rest of the story. This is supposed to be a woman that he can’t stand because in his eyes she’s the sole reason for why his best friend was put away for 9 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Yet by their second time around each other he’s already considering how good looking she is and by the fourth he’s imagining her in bed. Just seemed like a wrong piece in the puzzle that shouldn’t have been included.

Essentially, I enjoyed the story; however, I really had a hard time understanding the main characters guilt over the conviction of an innocent man. It happens, it will continue to happen, but you learn from it and you move on. You don’t let a single case from 9 years ago cause you so much grief that you develop heart problems and you feel the need to travel across several states in order to apologize to the man. A side story regarding her brother played a part in the reasoning for her guilt, but I still had a hard time understanding/accepting it.

The ending was quite predictable and everyone lived happily ever after. My main issue was that I didn’t connect with any of the characters and that made me lose major interest in this novel as a whole.

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Book Review – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) by Laurie R. King

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 2 Comments

Book Review – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) by Laurie R. KingThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1
Published by Minotaur Books on April 1, 2010
Pages: 384
Genres: Mystery
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles into his lap on the Sussex downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern twentieth century woman proves a deft protégée, and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, this first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries is “wonderfully original and entertaining...absorbing from beginning to end” (Booklist).

If you’re in any way a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this book/series is a must read for you. I’m new to the world of Sherlock Holmes but I immediately loved him following his first book A Study in Scarlet and I desperately wanted to read more stories about him.

Sherlock Holmes is now a retired beekeeper residing in Sussex Downs. Despite the fact that he is retired, his mind is still just as sharp and he still assists the police in solving local cases. Sherlock Holmes meets Mary Russell (the narrator), a 15 year old young woman, one day and recognizes her as a like-minded individual almost instantly.

’The formality of his speech was faintly ludicrous considering that we were two shabby figures facing each other on an otherwise deserted hillside.’

Mary quickly becomes a sidekick to Holmes and he teaches her all the tricks of his trade. Despite her young age, despite the fact that she is female, she quickly becomes an equal to Sherlock which is quite a change when compared to the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.

”A conversation with you is most invigorating, Russell. That might have taken twenty frustrating minutes with Watson.”

I absolutely loved how true to form Sherlock was in this book and if I didn’t love him/this book enough as is, the addition of Mary made it absolute perfection. Their dry humor and verbal sparring was delightful. They began as friends and Mary was constantly striving for Sherlock’s approval.

’Ah, how sweet was the pleasure of seeing the look of appreciation spread over his face and hearing his murmured phrase, “Very good, very good indeed.” It was like coming home.’

The book actually spans quite a number of years as Mary is almost nineteen by the end. The progression of their relationship was lovely and despite the fact that it could be construed as inevitable it was still a delight to witness.

‘Reminders of my femininity always took him by surprise. However, I could not hold him to blame, for they took me by surprise as well.’

This has absolutely become one of my favorites and I will definitely be continuing this series. Thank you Maja for the recommendation. 🙂

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Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon Frater

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Fighting to Survive (As the World Dies #2) by Rhiannon FraterFighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater
Series: As the World Dies #2
Published by Self-Published on February 17th 2009
Pages: 307
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The First Days, Siege, The Last Bastion of the Living: A Futuristic Zombie Novel

three-stars

 

Katie and Jenni have found new lives with the survivors of their makeshift fort, but danger still lurks. Nothing is easy in the new world where the dead walk and every day is a struggle to keep safe. As the elements, bandits, and the zombie horde threaten their safe haven, Jenni and Katie join the other survivors in fighting to survive as the world dies.

 

*Please note I read the older, self-published version. There is a newer, edited version available but my review is not based on that version.*

The Storyline
Fighting to Survive picks up a few weeks after The First Days left off: Katie and Jenni are helping establish a new life on the fort and working to minimize the ongoing danger of the zombies. Nothing much happens (in my opinion) in regards to the zombie as this book focused mainly on expanding on new characters, the growing of existing relationships, and establishing more problems outside of the zombie issue. The writing was still a bit stilted for me and I still love the zombie action scenes far more than the character interaction scenes.

The Relationships
So I totally get that everyone is living day to day not knowing how much longer one another will survive, but does that give everyone the right to become a bunch of hussies?

“We just decided today,” he explained. “Life is so short. We just don’t’ want to waste time. We’ve been sleeping together in my tent. Might as well make it official and be a family.”

Uhh… okay?

Jenni and Juan were already together in the last book and their relationship steadily progresses until they are eventually living together. Jenni and Juan’s relationship is strange though and I’m not positive whether they actually like each other or not. And I swear… I was going to snap if I hear Loca one more time.

Then there’s Katie and Travis. In the last book Katie kept trying to keep Travis at bay by continuing to remind him that she is in fact lesbian and no she will not be with him. Her reasoning behind this was explained in the last book as she didn’t want to tarnish her memory of her wife Lydia even though she did have feelings for Travis. View Spoiler » I felt that whole storyline and the ending was anticlimactic and definitely inevitable. But… View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts
Reading these books back to back has caused me to become quite cynical. I do plan on finishing up the trilogy but will come back to it at a later date when I’ve managed to forget some of my irritations. I’m hoping the third one has lots of zombie action scenes and EVERYONE gets eaten! hahahaha

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Early Review – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

November 8, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia HandHallowed by Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly #2
Published by HarperTeen on January 17, 2012
Pages: 432
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Unearthly, Boundless, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

three-half-stars

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Unearthly Series

When I requested Hallowed on Netgalley I was dumb and didn’t realize that this was the 2nd in a series. Since I was already approved I decidedly to immediately read Unearthly so that I could dive right into Hallowed (that was the plan if I liked it). Well I did. I really really liked Unearthly and I wasn’t actually expecting to (not a diehard fan of paranormal/fantasy/romanctical/YA books).

There will be spoilers from Unearthly but any spoilers from Hallowed will be hidden in links!

The Storyline
Long story short, Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off; Clara is still confused about how to proceed after she failed to fulfill her purpose. When she starts having more dreams/visions she determines that she’s in a cemetery, that someone she loves is going to die, and it’s going to happen as soon as this Spring. Clara is also still trying to handle her conflicting feelings that she has for her boyfriend Tucker and for Christian as well.

What Was Missing For Me
Two key elements that had me completely enthralled in Unearthly unraveled for me in Hallowed.

The Love triangle: I think the author did a beautiful job of NOT making it a cliché and NOT irritating the daylights out of me in Unearthly. In Hallowed I felt that the work she did in maintaining the non-love triangle did not hold up under the pressure of being just like every other YA paranormal romance novel. Now don’t get me wrong, I can understand the reasoning behind her relationship with Christian in the beginning was because he was involved in her purpose. It then evolved into Christian and Clara both being angels, being able to relate to each other, and a kinship was created. It didn’t necessarily need to go into lovey dovey status, and that’s where she lost me.

Clara’s Independence: I loved the strength and independence that she exuded in Unearthly; I didn’t see that once in Hallowed. In this book she’s completely in love with Tucker (which is fine, not the issue) but she’s even daydreaming about their wedding and the kids that they would have and their life together (again, not really an issue). Where she lost me was when she started contemplating whether or not she should even leave for college because that would mean she’d be leaving Tucker behind.

Speaking from personal experience, I did this exact thing. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend at the time behind and so I decided to actually stay home instead of making the leap of faith and going to the university that I had been planning on attending. I look back and hate myself for my lack of backbone in changing my future plans based on a boy that I thought I loved. So essentially this may not be a problem for everyone else or the general population but I certainly saw a part of me reflected in Clara’s actions and it definitely registered quite a negative reaction for me.

The one thing I was thankful for was that the author gave the main character friends that made sure to tell her she was being dumb and made attempts to dissuade her.

Straight Spoiler Section
There were some parts that I simply had to get out there for discussion, but for those of you who have read it already. Spoilers ahead!
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Final Thoughts
I still enjoyed this, it is still worth the read, but no I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Unearthly. I also feel a tad cheated as I was under the impression that this was a trilogy and now I hear talk of a fourth one? (Correct if I’m wrong.) I do see how there could be plenty more added on to the story, especially since Clara still has like 100+ more years of life left, but I do hope that we start getting some answers because the ending to Hallowed was a bit frayed at the edges for my liking.

So this IS a trilogy… I’m definitely looking forward to Boundless even more now because there will finally be a resolution and some questions that I’ve been dying to have answered! VERY EXCITED!

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