Posts Tagged: ARC

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Posted by • 13 Comments

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

Review: Blackbird by Anna CareyBlackbird by Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 16th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her. 

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined. 

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

I always go into YA thrillers with a bit of trepidation. As someone who loves these types of movies and TV shows I always end up finding the teen novel versions to be a bit too convenient which leads to a lot of eyerolling. While this was definitely a unique take on the genre with it’s second person narration, it did still fall victim to the typical tropes I have come to dislike over time.

What was striking right off the bat was how the reader is thrown into the novel with the second person narration. With the word “you” constantly being used to describe our MC it really throws us into the novel and leaves us feeling as if we have woken up with no recollection of who we are and as if we are the one attempting to evade the police. I had read novels in the past with this perspective and they are always written as if the protagonist is speaking to a specific person (or in the case of We Are The Goldens, writing a letter to a specific person) but it was never done quite like this. I liked the immersive experience that it led to and that it did manage to heighten the chase scenes quite a bit.

What I did long for was a more believable timeline of events and that everything didn’t seem to fall into place quite so easily. Of course I can’t go into all of the details that comprise what exactly is going on in the story but I can say that the twists were easy to see coming from a mile away and this led to me feeling pretty bored for a large part of the novel. One thing that I always long for with thrillers is to be taken by surprised, left with my jaw on the floor saying “well, I didn’t see that coming!” and that just didn’t happen here. I will say that the idea behind it all and what happened leading up to the MC waking up where she does at the beginning of the novel was enough to keep me going and was even enough to leave me wanting the sequel to finally figure it all out. I think Carey gives us just enough tidbits of information to leave us feeling like we know what’s going on but feeling like we need to get even more information to have the clearest picture possible.

There is a romance to be had here as well but I can’t tell you that it was anything to write home about. It was rushed, random and really lacked substance, not something that had me rooting for the characters at all. In the end I guess you can say that my thoughts for this one are really all over the map. There were parts that were really well done but I think a lot more of it could have been fleshed out and cleaned up a bit. If you are looking for a quick, passive read I think you could come out enjoying this one quite a bit but if you are looking for an edge of your seat thrill ride I am going to recommend you look elsewhere.


2.5 Hot Espressos

Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

Posted by on 08/20/2014 • 13 Comments

Ok so, I was all about ready to rate this book a 4-star, and then I learn this is actually the finale. Wait, what? Ok let’s rewind a bit. As a sequel, it’s actually pretty darn good with some intriguing developments in the plot, and we get to see more about how survivors turned evil in the midst of the apocalypse. But then I finish the book, look up on Goodreads, and see that this is actually a duology. Whoa! No! This did not feel like a finale at all. The blunt ending is now especially crappy knowing that this is it… I am now very much disappointed. Booo! Buuut, I did enjoy being horrified while reading this, so I do give it that credit.

I seriously read this whole…

Review: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Review: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Posted by on 08/18/2014 • 24 Comments

I really wanted to love this one, and I could almost give it a 3-star after the fascinating twist at the end, but I just can’t. For the most part, I couldn’t stop seeing the glaring parallels with Harry Potter which annoyed me endlessly. I’m not one to roll my eyes at similar storylines – I don’t curse all MG novels about magic school for being Harry Potter rip-offs, but there are only so many similarities I can tolerate.

So let’s see, we have this kid, Call, who was marked at birth by the most evil of its kind – someone corrupted by his desire to become immortal (called the Enemy of Death but I call him Ed, sounds much more ominous don’t you think?). When Call gets to magic…

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Posted by on 08/15/2014 • 12 Comments

I can’t even count the number of people who messaged me their love for this book on the day that I started it. Because of that I was pretty hopeful that I would be a fan as well. Upon finishing I can say that while I was smitten with the unique perspective it quickly got very dry for me and the novel is one that I had to force myself to pick up just to get through.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Falling Into Place is the unique way in which it is told. Now, apparently telling you whose perspective this whole tale comes from would be a spoiler (which I don’t agree with because it’s very clear from the first few pages…

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Posted by on 08/14/2014 • 22 Comments

Whoa! Having had no luck with witch books lately this was a nice surprise. It’s unique and well written, with a quick pacing that turned it into an unputdownable read.

Trial by Fire starts with the introduction of Lily, a sickly girl who has had a rough life of weakness and fevers. I knew right then that this was going to be a great read. This girl was funny, awkward, easy to connect to, and with a compelling narrative voice. Plus you just knew this constant sickness was something witchy and had you craving to know more. Wanting to get away from all of it, Lily finally gives in to the voice inside her head that, unbeknownst to her, is from another world completely. When she suddenly finds herself in…

Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Review: Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Posted by on 08/12/2014 • 11 Comments

When I started reading Don’t Touch I didn’t expect for it to be the experience that it ended up being for me. I had some very uncomfortable realizations about myself as I made my way through it’s pages and it became a story that I don’t think I will ever forget.

Before I tell you why this one really hit home for me I want to talk about the novel for what it is. It’s the story of Caddie, a young girl who has just started school at an academy for performing arts. It’s the story of how her anxiety has led her to believe that bad things will happen if she touches other people and it’s the story of her working through that fear. Putting a character like Caddie…

Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Posted by on 08/11/2014 • 9 Comments

This was a straaaange book! But most importantly: it’s deliciously creepy!

Brenna delights us with some more of her gothic, morbid, yet marvelously fascinating storytelling in her newest release. Fiendish is compelling from the very first chapter. After a quick introduction to Clementine, a slight glimpse of who she was prior, we experience her entrapment inside this cellar, held in place by willow roots, while a decade passes. The cryptic but riveting manner with which the passing of time is described had me enchanted. It was, in a way, full of desperation and longing, though strangely beautiful. All of this occurs within the first few chapters, laying the foundation – and the promise – of an eccentric, highly original road to come. Once Clementine is set free, however, is when…

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Posted by on 08/08/2014 • 24 Comments

Awww! What a cute and sweet read. A Little Something Different is exactly that – a romance story that is different from any I’ve read before, and one that leaves you with a silly smile on your face. The perfect rainy-day read, that’s for sure!

In short, this is a love story about two people who keep misreading each other. One is extremely shy, the other is quiet and reluctant, not realizing they’re both into each other. What makes this book unique, though, is the way it’s told. We don’t go into this story with the perspective of our main characters, but rather everyone around them, even including a squirrel and a bench who, unsurprisingly, talks a lot about butts. The number of perspectives is at a whopping 14, rotating…