Posts Categorized: eBook

Book Review – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

August 30, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 4 Comments

Book Review – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest

four-stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

The Lunar Chronicles series

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)  {Online Free Read}
The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) {Online Free Read}

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time”

In New Beijing, humans, androids, and cyborgs live amongst each other in a world ravaged by a plague called letumosis. Cinder became a cyborg at an early age after surviving a car crash that killed both her parents and now works as a mechanic to earn money for her self-absorbed and hateful adoptive mother. When her sister becomes sick and Cinder is blamed, her mother volunteers her for a medical testing group for cyborgs where the survival rate is non-existent. She inevitably stumbles upon information about her past that she had been unable to remember and it manages to turn her entire life upside down.

A sci-fi retelling of Cinderella as a cyborg“. That blurb had me skeptical for years, avoiding this book and insisting it wasn’t going to be for me. And then I read Glitches, the short story prequel to Cinder and it convinced me to finally pick it up. Boy, am I glad I did. In retrospect, it still astounds me that a book with so many various genres still managed to work as well as it did. I mean it’s sci-fi, a retelling, sorta steampunk-ish, and even dystopian. AND Cinderella is a total badass and even a mechanic. It shouldn’t work in theory but it definitely does. The world was brilliantly drawn and I loved just how well the Cinderella story was incorporated.

Cinder’s perseverance made her an extremely likable heroine and the romance between her and Prince Kai was completely charming (plus no instalove here folks!). Her horrendous stepmother was par for the course for the original Cinderella tale but good grief, that woman was the very definition of awful. In Cinderella, the wicked stepmother made Cinderella stay home from the ball and clean the house. Oh, woe is her. But in Cinder, her wicked adoptive mother sold her to a medical testing group where not a single person has survived. Now THAT is wicked. Cinderella didn’t know how good she had it. Even though everyone knows the story of Cinderella, there were enough alterations done to this story to keep it suspenseful. The ending will leave you yearning for the next book, Scarlet, with the author tackling another well-known fairy tale: Little Red Riding Hood.

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Book Review – Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

June 21, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 1st 2013
Pages: 397
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can PUSH THE LIMITS and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her HOW TO LOVE AGAIN.

Pushing the Limits is a contemporary YA story about romance and friendship and dealing with loss. Echo was involved in an accident with her mother but the trauma was so strong that her mind has blocked it completely. All she wants to do is remember, but is she strong enough to handle the truth? Noah is still dealing with the loss of his parents in a house fire and is struggling to survive the foster care system. He was separated from his two younger brothers and all he wants to do is obtain custody of them so they can all be a happy family again. Echo and Noah have both suffered in life but are complete opposites of each other, yet they fall for one another just the same.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: YA contemporary is not my go-to genre. This book sat on my shelf for years because let’s be honest, that cover screams nothing but high school! romance! angst! drama! to me. I was surprised that while the romance (and yes, all the angst and drama one could ever hope for) is a major part, the story possessed a depth I was not expecting. Echo and Noah were individuals that had been forced into growing up sooner than necessary due to incidents in their life and Pushing the Limits is their coming of age story that treads the line between YA and NA and will be well-liked by fans of both.

Pushing the Limits was entertaining and I read it fairly quickly, however, it didn’t manage to generate much in the way of opinion. I was overall a bit indifferent about Echo and Noah’s story. While I appreciated the complex and separate side stories of both characters, it was all too melodramatic for me in the end. The romance was given some time to develop so instant love wasn’t a real factor, but once the romance started it, the seriousness between the two progressed at the speed of light. There were the obligatory ‘I love you’s’ thrown around and the constant use of ‘babe’. While the characters stories possessed depth I didn’t feel that their romance did. The story suffered in pacing during the second half and would have benefited from a trim in length as it only succeeded in adding more of the already abundant melodramatic flair. Excessively long yet still compulsively readable, it disappointed by ending too predictable. I seem to have nothing but negative things to say, yet I did enjoy the read overall. It’d be worth it to give the author another shot to see how she progresses as a writer.

How to Love by Katie Cotugno {PurchaseMy Review}
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta {Purchase}
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley {Purchase}

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Book Review – In the Time of Kings by N. Gemini Sasson

June 6, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 0 Comments

Book Review – In the Time of Kings by N. Gemini SassonIn the Time of Kings by N. Gemini Sasson
Published by Cader Idris Press on September 14th 2013
Pages: 306
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

What if you could remember another life? What if you could re-live it and find love again? 

Professor Ross Sinclair has everything he could ever want. Reunited with childhood sweetheart Claire Forbes, Ross can finally begin to heal the pain of his childhood and live in the present. A honeymoon in Scotland is the perfect beginning.

But when tragedy threatens Claire's life, Ross's dreams come to a crashing halt. He must now face the possibility of a future without her. Then, in one unfortunate moment, he's hurled back to another time and confronted with even bigger problems.

Suddenly, it isn't 2013 anymore. It's 1333. The English have laid siege to Berwick, Ross has a wife he barely knows, more enemies than friends, and a past that brands him as a heretic.

“We all have a past. Some people just can’t let go of it.”

Ross and Claire are newlyweds, honeymooning in Scotland when tragedy strikes. Shortly before the two are due to leave for home, Claire becomes ill and ends up in a coma in the hospital. Ross becomes completely overcome with grief, unable to come to terms with what is happening and ends up in an accident and blacks out. He wakes up in the year 1333.

‘I marvel at the fact that I haven’t broken out in hives. Apparently, not only has my eyesight improved, but my allergy to horses hasn’t transferred to this time period, either.’

I blame Outlander on my time-travel obsession. I also blame Outlander for my high expectations when it comes to time-travel. I’m able to count on one hand the number of time-travel books that managed to work for me. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. There weren’t any special stones or portals that sent Ross back in time, instead, he was run off the road while riding his bicycle by a semi and tumbled down a hill. He woke up in another time in completely different clothes with renewed eyesight and a curious lack of his typical allergies. Instead of going back in time as himself, he went back in time and took over the life of one of his ancestors (à la Assassin’s Creed, just replacing the Animus with a grassy hill). It worked yet it didn’t and was cause for some serious confusion later as the story develops.

The historical aspects of this novel were well-done and felt very authentic but the incorporation of time-travel bits and a modern man in a medieval world felt clunky and strange. The biggest issue I had was with Ross, the main character, and his complete lack of a spine throughout the entirety of the novel.

‘I’d signed up for a fencing class during my freshman year of college, but during the first session my impulse whenever my opponent thrust his rapier at me was to roll up in a ball on the floor and cover my head with my hands. I quickly switched to bowling class.’

He improved somewhat as the novel progressed, but he was an irritating character from the beginning which made it difficult considering the entire story was told from his point of view. We’re given past glimpses into his childhood that were clearly meant to provide a reason behind his meek and submissive personality but it still didn’t work for me. The time period did succeed in maturing him and turning him into a ‘manly man’ but even then there were passages that were clearly meant to show his character development that was slightly ridiculous.

‘Somewhere a lamb, trapped in the ruins, bleats. I slow, keening my ears, and finally see it, its pink nose pressed between the bars of a wooden fence that has been pushed over. The small building next to it is still on fire. Adam sees it, too. He glances at me, shrugs in pity and goes on. A gap opens up between us and I dark after him, the lamb forgotten.’

If this was intended to show his growing manliness it was a big fail. The character was a total coward, completely spineless and while he was a little less cowardly by the end he failed to generate any sympathy from me and his plights.

The romance(s) were a big hot mess. We’re first introduced to Ross and Claire who are on their honeymoon yet Claire is constantly making fun of him, all in the name of playful teasing of course, and their spark couldn’t light a campfire if their life depended on it. When Claire becomes ill, Ross is distraught while contemplating life without her but it felt more like he was distraught about just being alone and didn’t have anything specifically to do with Claire. He wakes up in 1333, already resigned to the fact that he’s going to lose Claire and it immediately became oh! I have a wife here and another chance to love. The icing on the cake is the simple justification at the end, explaining everything with a pretty bow on top. It was a bit too perfect for my liking.

In the Time of Kings is a historical fiction romance with a time-travel twist but was lacking in both characterization and romance. The historical fiction bits strongly showcased the author’s abilities and will appeal to fans of the genre.

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer {PurchaseMy Review}
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley {Purchase}
Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon {Purchase}

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Short Story Review – Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5) by Gayle Forman

June 5, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, Short Stories, YA 0 Comments

Short Story Review – Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5) by Gayle FormanJust One Night by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #2.5
Published by Viking Children's on May 29th 2014
Pages: 43
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Just One Day, Just One Year

one-half-stars

 

After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter. 

 

 

Just One Day series

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman {PurchaseMy Review}
Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman {PurchaseMy Review}

In Just One Day, Allyson and Willem meet for one memorable day before getting separated. In Just One Year, the two spend the following year searching for one another before finally succeeding. But did they get their happily ever after?

All be warned: there will be spoilers.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this series in general but was so thrown by the ending (or lack of ending) in book two that I knew I had to pick this up regardless. Allyson and Willem never generated any warm fuzzies for me but I still wanted to see what happened to the two of them in the end. After finishing Just One Night I have to say, they (author? publisher? whoever made the call to publish this.) should have left well enough alone. The two get their happily ever after, but Just One Night only manages to showcase Allyson’s creepy stalker obsession with Willem (I’m sorry, but who travels the globe searching for a guy she spent a single day with?) and Willem’s creepy foot fetish. I’m not joking. Did he obsess about her feet in the other books? Because if he did I must have blocked that shit out because, ew? For only 43 pages there were an obscene amount of foot comments. Here are several examples:

‘Allyson is sitting on the sofa, her sandals off, neatly placed under the coffee table. (The sight of her bare feet. What this is doing to Willem’s blood pressure. She might as well have taken off all her clothes.)’

‘It all feels like a dream and yet as natural as breathing. This is what you do. Put Allyson’s feet into your lap.’

‘They are on the stairs and she is under him and he’s got that wrist of hers in his mouth (finally!) but it’s not enough, he wants all of her (the feet!) […]’

“…Allyson is sitting next to him, and with everyone jammed at the table, she is right up close. And then she slips off her sandals under the table and sort of nuzzles her foot against his.
He loses his appetite, for food anyway.”

In addition to the creepy foot comments there was one ‘memorable’ scene in particular where Allyson was behind Willem on the bike he was riding and she decides to make out with his back, I guess since his mouth wasn’t available.

‘She can nuzzle against his back and lick his vertebra if she wants to. (She does, so she does.)’

‘Willem is just desperate for it to end. He is so full of wanting that it is painful and Allyson keeps lifting his shirt and licking his back, which she shouldn’t do while he’s riding a bike because he might pass out. (But she shouldn’t stop, either.)’

This is the fourth Gayle Forman book I’ve read yet was the poorest showcasing of her writing skills. The point of view was often unclear and would switch up at random without any section breaks resulting in a strange disjointed feel to this short tale. Plus, I’m not sure what was up with the strange sentences she decided belonged in parenthesis for no apparent reason.

Just One Night was intended to give fans the happily ever after that was lacking in Just One Year but it just didn’t do it for me. It failed to create emotional resonance I would have expected for two people that spent the past year searching for one another. Maybe it’s because I can’t look past the creepy feet comments or the fact that it seemed to be about nothing more than the two sleeping with each other. Maybe it’s because I never cared for their story or either one of their characters but I didn’t feel there was anything truly romantic about this love story.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley {PurchaseMy Review}
Golden by Jessi Kirby {PurchaseMy Review}
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales {PurchaseMy Review}

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Book Review – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

April 25, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 6 Comments

Book Review – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Published by Timeless Reads on June 1908
Pages: 352
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

An unforgettable character beloved by generations of readers

Redheaded orphan Anne Shirley longs for a real home, somewhere she can truly belong. When she first arrives at the Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island, it's everything she ever imagined. But to stay, she'll first have to convince Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert to adopt her. And that means controlling her temper (even when Gilbert Blythe calls her "Carrots"), staying out of trouble (and away from hair dye), and not getting too carried away with her daydreams (though she would make the perfect Lady of Shallot floating down the river). Anne might not always get it quite right, but she does keep things interesting...

Through Anne's eyes, the ordinary world becomes magical and every day is an adventure. She inspires the dreamer in all of us, never hesitates to say the things we wish we could get away with, and makes us cherish every kindred spirit we meet. It's no surprise Anne is loved around the world by generations of readers.

anne readalongIsn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

Anne of Green Gables was written in 1908 yet the magic of this childhood classic continues to charm readers over 100 years later. Even at 28 years old, Anne managed to charm me. Yes, this is actually my first real read of Anne of Green Gables. I read The Secret Garden and Little House on the Prairie but somehow managed to miss out on the story of Anne, a spunky, chatterbox of a redhead with a knack for getting into trouble. I have no doubt I would have adored her then as I still managed to do so now.

Anne’s story is a simple one but full of heart. She was living in an orphanage for many years before she was finally put on a train and sent to Prince Edward Island where she was requested to assist Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, a brother and sister that lived on a farm in Avonlea. Immediately upon her arrival, she finds out that the duo had actually required a boy and that she wasn’t needed and would be sent back to the orphanage. She becomes determined to win them over so as to not be sent back, and succeed she did. Matthew was instantly enamored by this interesting child but Marilla was much more stubborn.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Anne is clearly the protagonist of the novel, however, I found myself paying a lot of attention to Marilla and the transformation that she undergoes throughout the novel because of Anne’s presence. Anne grows up and matures as any child is expected to do but Marilla is truly the one that changes, and definitely for the best. Marilla is a stern woman who sets out to teach Anne how to be a proper young lady and not to be so fanciful all the time yet it’s that fanciful nature of hers that slowly breaks down Marilla’s harsh demeanor. It’s a gradual breakdown but by the end of the novel she is able to admit to her love of Anne, how proud she is of her and how happy she is that she came into their lives. It was truly touching to not only see the benefit to Anne because Marilla and Matthew chose to take her in but how she in turn equally changed their lives.

Details of Montgomery’s early life reveal that she was the inspiration for her character Anne. Montgomery’s mother died when she was just 21 months old from tuberculosis and her father sent her away to live with her elderly grandparents who resided in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. Their manner of raising her was strict, such as Marilla’s manner was at first, yet their demeanor never lightened in the time she lived with them. The story of Anne is clearly how Montgomery wished things could have been for her yet despite her difficult childhood, one good thing clearly came out of it for Anne would have never existed without her experiences.

Big thanks to the girls over at The Midnight Garden for hosting this read-along as it was well past time I got to know Anne Shirley.

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Book Review – Cujo by Stephen King

March 28, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 11 Comments

Book Review – Cujo by Stephen KingCujo by Stephen King
Published by Signet on January 1981
Pages: 324
Genres: Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Pet Sematary, Mr. Mercedes

four-stars

Cujo is a two-hundred-pound Saint Bernard, the beloved family pet of the Joe Cambers of Castle Rock, Maine, and the best friend ten-year-old Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo pursues a rabbit into a bolt-hole--a cave inhabited by some very sick bats. What happens to Cujo, and to those unlucky enough to be near him, makes for the most heart-squeezing novel Stephen King has yet written.

Vic Trenton, New York adman obsessed by the struggle to hand on to his one big account, his restive and not entirely faithful wife, Donna, and their four-year-old son, Tad, moved to Castle Rock seeking the peace of rural Maine. But life in this small town--evoked as vividly as a Winesburg or a Spoon River--is not what it seems. As Tad tries bravely to fend off the terror that comes to him at night from his bedroom closet, and as Vic and Donna face their own nightmare of a marriage suddenly on the rocks, there is no way they can know that a monster, infinitely sinister, waits in the daylight, and that the fateful currents of their lives will eddy closer and faster to the horrifying vortex that is Cujo.

Stephen King has never written a book in which readers will turn the pages with such a combination of anticipation and dire apprehension. Doing so, they will experience an absolute master at work.

‘It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do all the things his MAN and his WOMAN, and most of all his BOY, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, if that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.’

Cujo is a seemingly simple story minus all the supernatural thrills that are usually present in King’s stories. It’s about a gentle dog named Cujo that one day chases a rabbit into a hole, encounters an infected bat, and that gentle dog slowly transforms into a horrid nightmare that the town of Castle Rock will never forget.

The story was a surprisingly heartbreaking one as we’re given brief glimpses of the transformation of Cujo and his inevitable loss of self control. Before he was infected, Cujo was a good dog who played with children and despite his size never gave anyone any reason to fear him. Unfortunately, his owners just never took the time to get Cujo his necessary shots. As the story progresses Cujo becomes more and more helpless  to stop the virus from taking control, but this sense of helplessness isn’t limited to Cujo. There are three separate storylines that all have that same sense of helplessness.

While the focus of this story is obviously Cujo, you quickly find yourself wrapped up in the lives of these people just as much. The main storyline is of course the unfortunate circumstances that caused Donna Trenton and her four-year-old son Tad to become stuck in a driveway in the middle of nowhere during a terrible heatwave with a rabid Saint Bernard keeping them from going anywhere. Donna attempts to make the drive to their local mechanic, Joe Camber, in order to get her needle valve fixed on the  carburetor. She makes it the whole way only to have her car die in the driveway yet her sigh of relief is short-lived as Cujo makes his presence known. The second storyline deals with Vic, Donna’s husband and Tad’s father, who is at risk to losing his ad agency after his biggest client seeks to drop them. Finding out the night before he leaves for New York that Donna has been having an affair only adds to his worries yet he still leaves as their livelihoods all hinge on him keeping his company. The third storyline is regarding Joe Camber’s wife, Charity, and her fear that their boy Brett is going to turn out exactly like his father. In a final attempt to help prevent this she plans a vacation for the two of them to see her estranged sister and her family after Charity wins $5,000 in the lottery. Shortly after arriving, a few things occur that leave her convinced that she’s already too late.

While these storylines all seem to be of little consequence there is one scene in particular that sets in motion everything that is to occur. As Brett and his mother Charity are preparing to leave, Brett notices Cujo acting strangely. He tells his mother but she demands he stay silent. She knows if he were to tell his father he would demand the boy stay home to care for his dog. They leave not telling anyone, being completely unaware of the devastation they could have possibly prevented that day. This only goes to show that seemingly small decisions can truly have vast consequences.

One of my favorite things about stories is learning about the inspiration behind them. King had read a news article about a boy in Maine that had been killed by a Saint Bernard. King’s motorcycle had stalled out and he just barely got it to the mechanic before it died. That same mechanic had a Saint Bernard that looked as if he would attack King until his owner got him under control. King and his wife drove a Pinto that also had a sticky needle valve on the carburetor. All of these real life issues came together in a terrifying way to become ‘Cujo’.

This story is an incredibly realistic horror that is easily imagined. While not supernatural, there is a comparison made to Cujo being of the same evil to Frank Dodd, a local serial killer. That comparison generates the theory of evil being a deep-rooted thing that is always there and is all the same. Whether Cujo is truly evil or not, his story still succeeds in leaving you with an exceptionally uneasy feeling when you consider just how easy this all occurred. And it makes you consider with a sudden horror whether your lovable pet is up to date on their shots.

This post was written for King’s March, an event hosted by Wensend & Fourth Street Review.

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Short Story Review – Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi

March 7, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, Short Stories, YA 5 Comments

Short Story Review – Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh MafiFracture Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #2.5
Published by HarperCollins on December 17, 2013
Pages: 72
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me

one-star

In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, Fracture Me is told from Adam's perspective.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam's focus couldn't be further from the upcoming battle. He's reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend's life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James's safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It's time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam's newly discovered half brother, won't be that easy. The Reestablishment can't tolerate a rebellion, and they'll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

Fracture Me sets the stage for Ignite Me, the explosive finale in Tahereh Mafi's epic dystopian series. It's a novella not to be missed by fans who crave action-packed stories with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu.

I usually skip on writing reviews for short stories because I tend to think of them as nothing more than filler to tide us readers over till the next installment. But I’m making an exception. Because this short story pissed me off.

Fracture Me is told from the POV of Adam and tells his part of the story that we don’t see at the end of Unravel Me. Adam is still upset about losing Juliette, he’s concerned about what happened to Kenji and he’s worried about leaving his little brother James. All understandable things to be concerned about.

My issue with this short story is it presented Adam in a completely different light than what we’ve come to expect. Adam was crazy with feelings for Juliette. Remember?

“It’s been me and you against the world forever,” he says.”It’s always been that way. It’s my fault I took so long to do something about it.”

There’s even the tagline on the cover! “I WILL NOT LOSE HER.” But in Fracture Me, he’s completely changed his tune. And he’s become a bit of a dick. The scene where Adam, Juliette and Kenji are on the battlefield is when his supposed true colors towards Juliette show.

‘The smart thing to do would be to hide her somewhere. Keep her safe. Out of danger. A weak link can bring everything down with it, and I don’t think this is the time to be taking chances.’

‘Kenji and Castle are always blowing smoke up her ass when they shouldn’t, and honestly? It’s dangerous. It’s not good to make her think she can do this kind of thing when really, it’ll probably get her killed.’

And this is where I get pissed because this is not how his character has been written in the previous two novels and is not what I think anyone would have expected from him at this point. Sure, I get it, this is the first we’re truly seeing things from his POV so there’s always the possibility that we read him wrong. But that’s not it. The issue here is, it all feels like one giant cop-out to solidify the ongoing issue the love triangle caused because clearly she’s gotta pick one. So let’s solve that by turning one of the guys into a total prick who thinks so highly of Juliette. Problem solved. We now have a clear winner.

cat_fail_7

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Book Review – Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

March 6, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 17 Comments

Book Review – Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh MafiUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #2
Published by HarperCollins on February 5, 2013
Pages: 480
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shatter Me, Fracture Me, Ignite Me

two-stars

The New York Times bestselling sequel to the groundbreaking dystopian novel Shatter Me! Kami Garcia, coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series, says Unravel Me is "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense. I dare you to stop reading."

Juliette is still haunted by her deadly touch. But now that she has teamed up with other rebels with powers of their own, she'll be able to fight back against The Reestablishment to save her broken world. With the help of these new allies, she'll also finally learn the secret behind Adam's—and Warner's—immunity to her killer skin.

Unravel Me is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, raves: "A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young-adult literature—or any literature!"

Shatter Me series

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) {PurchaseMy Review}
Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) {Purchase}

‘I don’t understand what’s happening or why he seems so uncertain about me and us and him and me and he and I and all of those pronouns put together.’

What. The. Fuck. Just stop talking.

Yeah, I don’t understand why I’m still reading this series either. I’m clearly the black sheep. Baa.

Unravel Me picks up where Shatter Me left off with Juliette trying desperately to get along with the rebel resistance that saved her life. Despite being surrounded by people just like her, she’s never felt like more of an outcast. Her powers are far more dangerous than any of the others and it’s easy for them to fear the unknown. Adam is also acting differently towards her and Juliette fears that the tests he’s been undergoing to determine why he’s able to touch her means their relationship will never be the same.

So my biggest issue with this book is lack of overall development in each and every part of this story. The storyline itself, the characters, etc. Nothing made progress. I think Juliette actually did some backtracking back to the weakling she was when she was alone in her cell. Not having the connection with Adam caused her to become this whiny, sniveling character that drove me absolutely batty. She spent a tremendous amount of time keeping secrets from everyone that obviously would have helped the situation the resistance found themselves in. It was ridiculous.

The love triangle continued, of course, and that was of course the sole focus of Unravel Me even when there were far greater concerns that could have been delved into. I’m sure if you’re into a more romance focused story then this will be your thing but if you’re going to slap a dystopian genre tag on a book I’m going to expect some detailed exploration into the world-building. The drama and angst was great and Juliette was so beyond ridiculous that she stopped caring completely for her future because she was determined to ‘live in the moment’.

‘His right hand slides up my spine and tugs on the zipper holding my suit together until its halfway down my back and I don’t care. I have 17 years to make up for and I want to feel everything. I’m not interested in waiting around and risking the who-knows and the what-ifs and the huge regrets.’

hahaha Just remember to wear a condom!

So by this point I’m obviously in for the long haul so I will be picking up Ignite Me. I don’t have much hope for Juliette making a noble sacrifice and putting her out of my misery but I do retain hope that the dystopian society will be explored in more detail considering this is the final installment. My hopes are not high though.

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Book Review – Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles #2) by J.A. Souders

January 24, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 8 Comments

Book Review – Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles #2) by J.A. SoudersRevelations by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #2
Published by Tor Teen on November 5, 2013
Pages: 352
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Renegade

three-stars

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

The Elysium Chronicles

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) {My Review}

Six weeks have passed since Evelyn has left Elysium yet she remembers nothing of her previous life. Gavin is the only one that knew her but she can barely remember him. When she begins having nightmarish flashbacks that seem to be continuously triggered by something she can’t understand, the village doctor fears she needs to get more help than he’ll be able to give her. With the assistance of an old friend of Gavins, Asher, the three travel through the Outlands to the City in hopes that Evelyn can find the answers she’s searching for.

The truth is I never intended on reading this. I finished Renegade and enjoyed it but was expecting so much more and was left mildly disappointed. But I recently recommended this book to my ‘I have better things to do than read’ 13-year-old step-daughter and holy crap she loved it and immediately wanted me to pick up Revelations. And then she demanded I read it with her so she could talk to me about it. So, I succumbed to the pressure. 🙂

Revelations suffered from middle-book-syndrome and possessed a lot of filler. For almost the entire first half of the book was spent detailing Evelyn’s flashbacks and the expedition to the City. There were some moments of intrigue but for the most part it was incredibly uneventful in comparison to the thrilling nature of Renegade. When I think back on the book as a whole there was a lot that could have been condensed or eliminated (such as the romance drama) and a lot that could have been expanded on in more detail (like the science and origination of Elysium).

The romance was a huge issue for me in Renegade and continued to be an issue in this book. There are even hints of a love triangle but I’m pleased to announce it fizzles out by the end for hilarious reasons. The romance between Gavin and Evelyn grows quickly and I love you’s are being dished out. Gavin becomes excessively possessive in regards to Evelyn’s safety and it’s understandable to an extent. When Gavin decides to not inform her of issues regarding her own personal health and other issues that she should be deciding for herself is when I developed an issue with him. His treatment towards her felt extremely condescending and I realize Evelyn didn’t have any memories so he thought he was only helping but that doesn’t mean she lost her common sense as well.

After the unfortunate cliffhanger ending there’s no doubt I’ll be reading the final installment even without my kid bullying me into it. I can only hope that the drama is all out of the way, that Gavin can allow Evelyn to make her own decisions and that we can get more concrete details on the interesting world of Elysium.

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Poetry Review – Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

January 19, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 7 Comments

Poetry Review – Love & Misadventure by Lang LeavLove & Misadventure by Lang Leav
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on August 20th 2013
Pages: 178
Genres: Contemporary, Poetry, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Universe of Us

two-stars

Lang Leav is a poet and internationally exhibiting artist. Awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship, her work expresses the intricacies of love and loss. Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

This poetry collection was brought to my attention when it popped up as a Nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Poetry. I was intrigued. Then it placed 2nd, getting beat out by J.R.R. Tolkien, and I was eager to get this. Thankfully my library had a copy because $9.99 for the kindle version and it’s only 78 pages? No thanks. But I wanted this very much after seeing it beat out Mary Oliver, which means Love & Misadventure HAS to be impressive, right? Except this was like sappy teenage love poems. Emo love poems. If the Lifetime channel started producing poetry collections. Really bad, rejected Hallmark cards. My single favorite of the bunch?

‘Do you know what it is like,
to lie in bed awake;
with thoughts to haunt
you every night,
of all your past mistakes.

Knowing sleep will set it right –
if you were not to wake.’

That is not a bad poem at all.

‘He makes me turn
he makes me toss;
his words mean mine
are at a loss.

He makes me blush!

He makes me want
to brush and floss.’

 And that one is not. Sign of a good love? If he inspires me to keep up on my dental hygiene would not be a personal sign for me.

All of the poems in this collection are simplistic (and excessively rhyme-y) but while only a couple were beautifully written, I found the rest of them to be juvenile, immature and lacking any sort of emotional depth which is exactly what I would expect with a collection of love poetry. I found the author’s personal artwork to be a lovely addition to the overall whimsical feel of the book though.

Love & Misadventure is going to be the perfect collection for those that aren’t typically interested in poetry. Because this isn’t poetry. It’s a collection of childish rhymes. Or maybe childish poetry. Either way, I failed to fully appreciate this because I like my poetry with some depth and complexity that leaves me pondering and this collection was completely lacking in that regards.

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