Journey to the Jade Girl (Idols – A Book Review)

Idols
Author: Margaret Stohl
Published: 2014

idols

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

So I watch while my world spins out of control.

After destroying the Icon in The Hole (Los Angeles), Dol and her friends search out the other Icons so that they can destroy them and save the world from the Lords who have taken over and thrust humanity into slavery. But when Dol’s dreams about a little jade girl grow increasingly alarming, the group journeys all the way to the SEA colonies (Asia) to help her figure them out. This little girl could hold the key to freeing the world.

Along the way, relationships are tested, revelations about what the Icon children truly are is discovered, and a betrayal leaves everyone stunned and hurt.  Can they really save the world or is it too late? More importantly, are they even meant to?

As I trekked through this book, I found it to be just like Icons, (you can read the review here). It didn’t much grab my attention. That’s not to say that it didn’t have nice moments. It did. The usual grab that a story needs to keep me attached just wasn’t there unfortunately. I just felt like I was being dragged along.

I became increasingly disappointed in Dol as I got farther and farther in the book. Here she’s got a great, massive destiny and all she keeps doing is saying no as if she has a choice. She comes across as a very weak character that refuses to do anything to help her friends. It’s understandable to be afraid of dying or of your loved ones getting hurt.  The word no comes out too often, and yet she’s the one who’s rioting for rebellion against the Lords and everybody looks to for leadership and hope like she straight out of Star Wars. It really grated me. Backing out of the Save The World Plan halfway through is uncool and really ridiculous. You don’t get to exit like it’s a video game. Find your courage, swallow it down, and do the damn thing.

Idols

I felt like I was getting bounced from moment to the next without fulfillment. I just don’t feel like I got enough because the moments that I wanted more from were the ones cut way too short. I don’t mean that they were cut off by something else interrupting the moment in the book. There wasn’t enough detail to give me enough of a visual and get me to latch on that it was important.

I really enjoyed that I got to see more of what the world was like. There was an underground community, a temple and elephants. The new imagery really moved this adventure further and since I’ve never been to Asia, I really liked it.

The reveals that really surprised happened toward the end of the book, which was a shame. It left the book hanging like a monkey off a branch. It wasn’t a very pleasant feeling. Just ick that it happened at the end.

Overall, the book wasn’t extremely memorable for me. I didn’t get very attached to the characters. I couldn’t get an emotional grip to be able to. The journey to rid the world of Icons did end on a cliffhanger that left Dol damaged and angry. I don’t know if there’s another book to follow in the series. I haven’t seen or heard about it. I don’t think I’ll read it if is out there. It just wasn’t for me.

Quotabes:

“Out of range, that was us. One sunset, one kiss may have saved our lives.” (Dol, p. 50”

“You are a thing of quick and endless and always-changing beauty. Humanity.” (Bird to Dol, p. 115)

“What’s so passionate about a fruit? It’s essentially just an ovary for a seed.” (Tima, p. 225)

“Jade girls and jade dreams.” (Dol, p. 316)

“Not everything that comes from the sky is an angel.” (Dol, p. 413)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Alien by Thriving Ivory.

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Hooked On Too Many Feelings (Icons – A Book Review)

Icons
Author: Margaret Stohl
Published: 2013

icons

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

They’re different. They survived. Why?

The entire world changed on The Day. The power went out. Cities were destroyed. People dropped dead. Dol’s family was some of those people. She and her best friend, Ro grew up at The Mission out in grasslands, living the simple life out of the range of the Icon and its deadly power, and relying on only each other.

When the government destroys their home and kidnaps them, they’re forced to join up with two other teenagers, Tima and Lucas. Together they are the Icon Children, the only people immune to Icons that The Lords left across major cities. And together, the Icon Children plan to take each and every one of them out, though their escalating emotions may make that difficult. Dol finds her heart is torn between hothead Ro and kind Lucas, but can she get past her own sorrow to figure out her heart. To help the world? Lucas’s desperation to please his mother, The Ambassador may threaten their mission. Ro’s intense feelings for Dol could put him in an early grave. And Tima, with her own secrets trust nobody but Lucas.

 

This was a very interesting book. Aliens, for lack of a better terminology, have come to earth and instead of co-existing, they rule over everybody and everything. From Dol’s POV, we see a world without one of the most basic luxuries that we have. Electricity. While for some, it’s no different since they’ve lived decently without relying on it too heavily, for others, like those who live in The Hole (what used to be Los Angeles), it’s harder and more life threatening.

Icons

Dol is completely driven by her emotions and that’s precisely how Margaret wrote her. I found that to be quite unique. But it was also a bit problematic in many places. Solely reading from her emotions didn’t allow me to get a strong handle on the characters. They were all over the place. There also wasn’t enough information on the characters. The small details you learn about a character as you read just seemed to be missing here. Also, Dol was very assuming, as if me, the reader, was supposed to know what she was telling me already and, uh, I didn’t. For example, she often says—“that’s how Ro is” or “because that’s what Ro does”. And this comes after Ro already doing this ‘something’ that she feels the need to point out, or for some reason, emphasize.

There’s a chance that it’s just me feeling oddly tweeked about how off kilter this part makes me feel. LOL.

It just came off very weird, to me. It was interesting that it breached that dimension, though, much like an actor on stage of a play talking straight to the audience.

 

A delightful addition was the snippets at the end of each chapter. Each one was different and really gave me a visual for what this broken down world looked like apart from what Dol was trying to show me. I really struggled seeing through Dol’s eyes because details were so limited, so these bits really gave me an outside look.

Icons

I have the sequel and have already started it. I am hopeful that it’ll be a little better, more open and revealing I guess is what I’m trying to say because while there is great potential, I’m just feeling lost. There’s not enough to keep me tethered.

 

Quotables:

“Their hearts stopped beating. They died where they stood. Quietly. Instantly. Every person, every age. Everyone close enough to the Icons.” (Lucas, p. 111)

“Fear is a dangerous thing.” (Dol, p. 151)

“The Grassboy who loves the Grassgirl goes out with the tides. The Grass Revolutionary comes in them.” (Dol, p. 322)

“Be brave. Be alive. Be free.” (Dol, p. 406)

“Feelings are memories. Memories are also feelings.” (Dol, p. 426)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Walkin’ on the Sun by Smash Mouth

It’s Sunny’s World, We’re Just Floating In It (Waiting a Lifetime – A Book Review)

Waiting a Lifetime
Author: Samantha Markham
Published: 2016

Waiting a Lifetime

My Rating: Full boltFull boltHalf bolt

Sunny Siebel leads a simple, teenage life. She goes to school, spends time with her family, loves to read…and she can see ghosts. That’s right. This girl sees dead people, and for her it’s more comforting to spend time with them than it is to hang around actual people.

One day she runs into Degory Alden, a Reaper, in a back alley. Suddenly she’s thrust into a world where she doesn’t have to hide her gift. However there are those that want to hurt her, but Degory isn’t about to let that happen. Together they fight whatever comes at them from Malighosts to other Reapers and even the heavens as their caught in the middle of something much worse than all of them.

Waiting a Lifetime

First off, I received this book from the author herself via Booktasters on Twitter in exchange for an honest review, so without further ado, here we go.

I tried very hard to get into this book. And I think that’s the problem. I tried. When it comes to reading, one shouldn’t have to try. The magic of the book should suck you in and make you hate it when it shoves back into the real world because you enjoyed it so much. That didn’t happen for me with this book.

I didn’t get a strong enough feel for the characters. Both Sunny and Degory were all over the place as were their emotions. Very choppy. I couldn’t latch onto them. I feel like if there had been more detail and I knew more about them I could’ve gotten a stronger attachment.

I was very curious about the world of Eden and wanted to see more because it sounded pretty cool, but again, I didn’t get very much. I’m not even sure how to describe it to you. All I got were the basics of the place. The story moved from moment to moment without any…meat to it. The bone and structure was all there, but there was no meat, no details that gave me the sense that I was there with Sunny, seeing, hearing or getting any of what she was on her journey.

When I’m seeking out what I don’t know more than following the story then it’s time for me to hop off. It really was beautiful, but I believe there was so much missing. My inner English major was about to jump out and I hated that. I’m a reader here!

And maybe, this book just isn’t my cup of tea. I prefer Zen or Passion from TAZO…which wasn’t where I was actually going with that. LOL. Anyway, this book just wasn’t for me. I didn’t get pulled in because I couldn’t. While I know some people fell in love with this story, I fell short and that’s probably why this review falls short as well.

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Into the Ocean by Blue October.

You can find me:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

Oh, Death… (Endless Knight – A Book Review)

Endless Knight
Author: Kresley Cole
Publsihed: 2013

Endless Knight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Shocking Secrets. Unexpected Allies. Gut-Wrenching Treachery.

The Flash has obliterated the world, turning it into  an apocalyptic wasteland, and Evie Greene is no longer the fragile, helpless girl. A deadly game that only one can win has already began between the tarot cards. Oh yes, they’re real. Evie, The Empress, has fully embraced her poisonous abilities, though she hasn’t embraced the part she’s meant to play in this battle to the death. Death keeps calling out to her, growing closer and his craving to end her is also growing.

With her friends and the help of other Arcana cards, she stands a chance at ending this dangerous game and surviving the dangerous threats that lurk in the shadows. Jackson is still reeling from Evie revealing her abilities to him and when dark secrets are revealed, shattering her heart, can Evie truly stay out of the deadly game?

Endless Knight

Following Poison Princess (you can read the review here), this book was just as hot and addictive, seducing me all naughty-like. Tsk tsk! I was a little concerned that this wasn’t going to measure up to all of the intense action and emotions, but let me tell you, there wasn’t a beat skipped. From beginning to end I was rattled. So many new elements were added, expanding the worldview that Kresley created with this series, adding more to the journey that Evie and her group are on: to stop the game and end Death—the deadliest of the Arcana. It really added to the development of the characters as well. Evie was faced with more than her strange abilities and the voices in her head. She’s now faced with her own emotions of how she feels about herself and how she feels about others, whether she can truly trust the people she allows into her heart.

The Major Arcana introduced in this book are The Hierophant, The Devil, The Tower, The World, Strength and Death, pulling Evie and her group onto the battlefield. Then there’s the spinning complexity that is Evie Greene and Jackson Devaeux. Their (extremely intense) feelings for one-another comes to a head and if you’ve read Poison Princess then you already have a pretty good idea of just how these two are with each other-fighting, bickering, immense build of sexual tension that neither really want to admit to. Sparks were flying between them in Poison Princess. Those sparks turned into a full-blown fire here in Endless Knight.

And then, add a side of Death and you get a really messed up triangle. And you just can’t look away. Well, I couldn’t. (And if I’m being honest, I’m a total shipper of Evie with Jackson. Oh yes, very much so.) More so, major secrets were dropped and my jaw dropped along with them. I won’t tell you about them because that’d just be rude, but they completely change Evie’s life.

And then there were cannibals. Yep, people eaters, and that was actually pretty creepy. Kresley’s attention to detail actually gave me chills from time to time. You’ll get twisted and sharply because of how in-depth it gets. I still know the parts I held my breath at.

Endless Knight

I still find the pacing of this story to be really nice. It moves fast, but is completely steady. Not a single bit felt out of place over the span of several months for these characters. The transitioning is so smooth and that’s not something I usually point out, but it was so splendid that I had to. The mentions of time passing was subtle. And I loved the well placed surprises even though they broke my heart. I didn’t except what I discovered. This is coming from a chick who strongly dislikes surprises, but holy crap.

Do I recommend this book? I ordered the third book before I finished this one, so yes! I do. There was nothing that through me off the path. If anything I’m more sucked in than before. It’s been some time since I’ve been this attached to a series.

 

Quotables:

“Death comes for us all…” (Mathew, p.20)

“Sooo….anybody else have a sense of impending doom?” (Finn, 56)

“Hotel California, Evie. You can check out, but you can never leave.” (Lark to Evie, p. 189)

“I desired you before, but I never loved you until this life.” (Aric to Evie, p. 306)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Bad at Love by Halsey.

 

You can also find me:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

Cars Aren’t Tree Huggers (Where It Began – A Book Review)

Where It Began
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Published: 2012

Where It Began

My Rating: Full boltHalf bolt

 

Gabby lived under the radar. Way under. That all changed at the beginning of Senior year. She came back to Winston with a brand new look that her over-the-top mother, Vivian, insisted upon. That is when the bad, yet most popular boy, Billy Nash notices her and then she’s suddenly living it up in the popular crowd with his hand in her back pocket.

But then one night, Gabby wakes up on the ground. The stars are spinning above her and not far off, a car is wrapped around a tree and the keys are in her hand, but she can’t remember what happened or how she got there. Everybody else does though. While everyone thinks she’s covering for Billy about the crash, she’s trying to figure out how to get out of this tight, legal fix without jail time.

Soon enough she discovers that she can’t continue to ignore the truth any longer and has to find out what it is. It could be what saves her.

Where It Began - Tumblr

How do I begin? Hmmmm…

Well, there is much I appreciate about this book, but much that I don’t. The style was really unique! I loved it! I was in the front seat of the character, Gabby, who is recovering from a horrendous car crash due to drunk driving. Just like her, we are clueless about what is going on around her. This POV was much closer than your ordinary first person POV. I was planted right into her head and the story pulled you along with her memories and thoughts. That did limit what I knew, though. The natural fluidity that comes with the character physically interacting with everything around them was not there because you never stretch beyond Gabby’s mind. Between Gabby’s recovery from the car accident she can’t remember, I rediscovered some memories with her that retrace her steps to where she is currently, which was really nice. I liked it because it gave some backstory, which really adds to the story. The style is much like Dot-To-Dot.

The blips between Gabby and her boyfriend Billy in their chatrooms were really nice, too. I liked that Ann really held up the style and language that actually occurs online. It added good fluff to the book that filled out the characters.

The tone however? I did not enjoy. Not. At. All. Gabby’s over-exaggeration that doing anything that would help get her out of her nasty legal situation with drunk driving and wrecking a car was mind-numbing. She was going to just DIE if she had to lift a finger to do anything. Not very appealing. And neither was her boyfriend, Billy Nash. I couldn’t believe she wanted to be with this guy. He’s conceited, obnoxious and could care less about the condition Gabby is in. The girl was completely mangle from that car accident, but yes, let’s fix his sexual need. Queue my flattened and disgusted look. He cares more about his probation and if he’ll get out of this. Ann did phenomenal job in getting me to hate this guy.

And then Gabby is telling herself what to not do in order to keep him—don’t do this, don’t do that, it’ll chase him away. If a boy acts like a jerk and has you trying to figure out how not to be yourself then he is not a keeper. I was just disgusted with this kid! Who did I love in this book? Gabby’s friends, Anita, Lisa, and Huey. All three have decent heads on their shoulders. They were not falling for any of this deceit and even though Gabby was ridiculous, they were loyal to her and never ditched her once through her recovery and return to Winston.

This book was more disappointing than I expected. It’s not my taste, I believe. Rich, privileged kids and their parents working to get them out of a fix by nailing the girlfriend with it is just downright slimy. I just struggled too hard trying get on Gabby’s level. She didn’t seem like much of a better person. She was too snooty and uptight and felt entitled. I just can’t give this book much love. I was happy that she’d found a happy ending to a better life, though.

 

Quotables:

“This is how a person falls in love with Billy Nash.” (Gabby, p. 97)

“I had never been beautiful before this moment, but now I am. I am beautiful because Billy says.” (Gabby, p. 100)

– Okay, I plucked this one out because it made me cringe. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a grand and special feeling when the one you’re falling for finds you to be beautiful, but-and this is sole opinion of course-do not, I repeat, DO NOT sit there and think that you are only beautiful because he/she says so. No. You were beautiful before you met them and you will always be beautiful after. Their say so does not determine beauty. It’s you.-

“I want to be back in my After and not in some weird after-After Purgatory, waiting to find out if I am Saved or damned.” (Gabby, p. 127)

“Nobody believed I didn’t remember, so nobody told me the truth; they all thought I knew the truth already.” (Gabby, p. 326)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Baby Don’t Lie by Gwen Stefani.

 

You can also find me at:

Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J.

You’ve Been Beeped, It’s the Apocalypse (Poison Princess – A Book Review)

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1)
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012

Poison Princess

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

She could save the world-or destroy it. 

Evangeline “Evie” Greene has the perfect life, with a best friend and the perfect boyfriend she’s ready to go all the way with. It starts crumbling when she begins to have horrifying visions, and hear scary things call out to her. Evie is desperate to figure out these visions to find out what is real and what isn’t. All she knows is that it has something to do with tarot cards…the Arcana.

Turns out, the tarot cards don’t just tell your fortune. They’re real people and threatening her, wanting to kill her. That’s according to her grandmother who tried to kidnap her when she was younger, though.

Now, after the world has been decimated, Evie has to turn to the last person that she wants to in order to survive, Jackson Deveaux. From the bayou and with a wicked attitude and irresistible grin, this Cajun will do whatever it takes to help Evie, as long as she tells him what she’s hiding in return. But, can she trust him enough to tell him what is really happening to her? That her grandmother wasn’t crazy, and the tarot cards are calling out to her in her head and seeking her out to kill her?

poisonous

This book. THIS BOOK!

I’ve been told by several people that I need to read Kresley Cole and they were right. I picked up this book at my bookstore, my curiosity certainly piqued at the idea of tarot cards being brought to life as actual people. Such originality. I find the use of tarot cards to be fascinating. I use them myself from time to time so to see them as real people with unnatural abilities gives me the shivers. Good shivers, of course.

Poison Princess

I loved how fast-paced this book moved. The pace also felt slow with how much detail there was. A perfect mix, like swirling chocolate and vanilla ice cream together. The amount of detail from the tidbits in Evie’s life and how she’s trying to hold on to it by the very threads that threaten to snap because of her visions and then zooming out to the gain a perspective on what was happening across the world with various dangers that could end her and Jackson was phenomenal. There wasn’t a single moment I wasn’t engulfed in this book. I could not put it down.

The over-dramatic dialogue between Jackson and Evie was superb. I normally don’t go for a book that over reaches in  how people interact, but with this being and apocalyptic world and these being two, hormonal teens, it worked SO well. Not going to lie, I ate it up shamelessly. The chemistry between the two of them was intoxicating, turning my stomach to knots. It’s danger boy meets sassy girl and both of them are unrelenting. As if the apocalypse didn’t have enough problems with cannibals and slavers, eh? Then there’s the Arcana, the tarot deck that are real people, and to be honest, this book only hits the cusp of that whole ordeal. And it’s just enough to keep me hanging on curiously because only knowing that they’re all fighting to be the last man standing isn’t enough. There’s got to be more to it.

I can’t wait to read more. I have already ordered the next book in this series because I’ve become quite infatuated with this series. Give me more!

 

Quotables:

“If Brandon was a good boy but not yet a great guy, Jackson was a bad boy—and already a bad guy.” (Evie, p. 82)

“Evie, people with no hope for the future can be very dangerous.” (Evie’s mother to Evie, p. 149)

“The last two monarch butterflies are thousands of miles apart and flying away from each other. A boy is skateboarding across old Lake Michigan…” (Mathew to Evie, p. 280)

“For as long as you’ve been looking down your nose at me, I’ve been craving you, an envie like I’ve never known.” (Jackson to Evie, p. 341)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Teenage Wasteland by The Who.

Look Out! It’s a Cult! (Awake – A Book Review)

Awake
Author: Natasha Preston
Published: 2015

Awake

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Of course, the dress was white. This is what I’m supposed to die in…

Scarlett meets a cute boy, Noah. Scarlett falls in love with said boy, Noah. But then Scarlett and her family get in a bad car accident and she starts remembering things that she never recalled as a child. There’s fire and people who are not her parents. And also a girl named Evelyn. A part of her never wants to find out about what it all means, but a much bigger part is desperate find out so that she can put it to rest. Noah sets out to help her, but soon enough Scarlett isn’t so sure she can trust him after he reveals how he’s connected to her memories. With so many dark secrets swirling around her, Scarlett is determined to get to the bottom of them and when she does, she immediately regrets it, and Noah.

 

I read The Cabin by Natasha Preston before this and while I wasn’t very partial to it (you can read the review here) I was very glad I read Awake. It was so much better! The air of mystery was fantastic. Nothing felt safe because everything was suspicious.

There was a very strong Wicker Man vibe when Scarlett discovered everything behind her memories, (No, I can’t tell you and ruin the book!) I was surprised. Preston did a phenomenal job in keeping me in the dark, much like Scarlett, about how everything was connected to the main point. I didn’t even care that I’d already predicted some parts perfectly because I wasn’t able to predict what was going to happen…if that makes sense.

Awake

Scarlett and her beau, Noah, are complete opposites. While she is enveloped in a world of technology and fast food, Noah lives the green, health life. I enjoyed their development as a couple. It was kept simple without major and pointless drama drudged up. The way they shared those parts of their lives was tender and sweet and utterly gushy.

Even more, I loved the double POV between the two. As the reader, I got to know things that Scarlett or Noah didn’t share with one another. It was fun to be able to see the story unravel between the two of them. And when Scarlett thinks that they’re both stupid for trying to get free of their predicament I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard a character outright admit it. As the reader I think it often about some characters from other books. It’s a part I read more than once because it’s my absolute favorite.

To keep this as spoiler free as possible, the book was pretty great. I was puzzled during some situations like with Scarlett and her best friend Imogen because Imogen was extremely one-sided, for example. They escalated randomly and without premise. They felt like speed bumps, easy to get past so I didn’t think much of them

 

There were a few questions hanging in the air at the end, leaving a possibility for a sequel. I am quite curious to see if there will be a follow-up. It is spoiler-y below.

Will Scarlett find her sister, Evelyn?

Who is the one member of Eternal Light that didn’t get captured by the police?

 

Quotables:

“Well, you never know what’s out there in the big bad world.” (Noah to Scarlett, p. 3)

“The truth was all I wanted. Why Couldn’t anyone just give me that?” (Scarlett. P. 114)

“I’d built a wall around myself the first day we’d met, but she used a sledgehammer to smash it down and made me care for her.” (Noah, p. 118)

“Time to fight for my life.” (Scarlett, p. 248)

“Your life starts now, and I promise it’s going to be pretty great from now on.” (Scarlett to Noah, p. 310)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song Today? How Soon is Now? T.A.T.U. Loved the cover.