[ARC: In Bullet Points] The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

The Almost Girl
Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: January 7th, 2014
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Science Fiction, Dystopia

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. But coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.
Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.
Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
Thank you Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all.

 

In bullet points…

What I liked:

  • The main character. Being an ex-general, Riven is a very cold and brutal character. She doesn’t let her walls down most of the time. What I’d like to appreciate is the consistency of her character. When you have this tough kind of protagonist, usually she will transform right away into the typical kind of teenage girl. However, Riven still shows a considerable effort to focus on the task at hands instead of melting to goo every time the love interest appears. She does eventually give in to hormones, but luckily the couple isn’t too lovey-dovey.
  • The plot isn’t as predictable as Howard’s other work called Waterfell. Although the beginning didn’t immediately grab my attention, I managed to gradually enjoy it.
  • I think the ending emphasizes how responsible Riven is compared to the other female protagonists once they have got together with their love interests. (For those who have read it will understand what I’m talking about lol.)
  • I really liked how tense and action-packed the book was. There were plenty of gory and excited battle scenes plus some unexpected twists.

What I didn’t like:

  • I found the romance pops out of the blue at first because the two barely interact with each other yet the guy seems to be in love with her after only meeting her for a few times.
  • The love interest is pretty bland and it seems like he’s too perfect.
  • There is a very confusing explanation near the ending and I failed to understand that even though I read it for a few times.
  • Please do not make out when you’re in a dangerous place and need to escape quickly. Duh.

Conclusion:
Despite having some flaws I couldn’t ignore, The Almost Girl was better than Waterfell in many areas. Overall, I thought the book was decent and enjoyable, but I would still recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a tense and action-packed science fiction.

 

[In Bullet Points] The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

The Fall of Five
(Lorien Legacies #4)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication Date: August 27th, 2013
Pages: 342 (UK Paperback)
Genre: YA – Adventure, Paranormal, Science-Fiction

I thought things would change when I found the others.
We would stop running. We would fight the Mogadorians. And we would win.
But I was wrong. Even though we have come together, we barely escaped from them with our lives. And now we’re in hiding, figuring out our next move.
The six of us are powerful — but not strong enough to take on their entire army. We haven’t discovered the full extent of our Legacies. We haven’t learned to work together. Time is running out, and there’s only one thing we know for certain: we need to find Number Five before they do.
They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya. I am Number Four. I was supposed to be next.
But I am still alive.

The battle is far from over.

In bullet points…

What I liked:

  • Most of the characters, like the badass and practical Six, the violent-loving and blunt Nine, the kind-hearted Marina and OMG EIGHT! Marina didn’t really stand out for me in the previous books but I grew to love her character and friendly personality. OH AND I NEED MORE EIGHT!!
  • The romance between Marina and Eight is so heartbreaking considering what happen at the end of the book :’( I NEED MORE OF THEM…
  • The climax of the book is so tense and action-packed, unlike the first 80%. I think it’s the best part of the book. There’s a surprising revelation that left me “WTF YOU KIDDING ME? NO WAY NO WAYYY?! WHERE’S BOOK 5???”
  • The writing works really well with action scenes!

What I didn’t like:

  • The dominating romance. Part of the reason why the last 20% is so badass is because nothing actually happens before. The first 80% is romance-filled and drama-filled. Some of the events I had been waiting for since the previous books happen just like THAT and I was like “that’s it? THAT’S IT?? SERIOUSLY?!” I expected more…. :/ 
  • Some of the characters like Sarah (yes, I still hate her until now) and Five. I WANNA PUNCH FIVE IN THE FACE!! And John (Number Four) is the leader-like guy in the book but he just seems too perfect and I found his character less likable. It felt like he gets the spotlight far too often from the previous books until now. However, I’d like to see his future development after witnessing THAT EVENT at the end of the book.
  • The writing felt like telling instead of showing at the non-battle parts. I think some dialogues aren’t necessary and rather useless. 

Conclusion:

Lorien Legacies series is indeed going downhill. The plot feels like a drag and I think it would have been better to make this series a trilogy instead of adding more books and ends up dragging the story. I was at the brink of giving The Fall of Five two stars due to the dominating romance but this book is saved by awesome characters (mostly) and the last 20%. Plus, in the end The Fall of Five gave me the urgency to read the next book (which will be released next year ._.) and SOOOO MANY FEELS!!!

[DNF: In Bullet Points] Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae

Hidden Wings

(Hidden Wings #1)

Author: Cameo Renae

Publisher Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication Date: January 16th, 2013
Pages: 204 (Kindle)
Genre: YA – Paranormal, Romance
Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.
As her family’s sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.
Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn’t even know who or what she is.
A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday… things will change.

Thank you Netgalley and Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review at all.

 

Review

Guys, please don’t be fooled by the beautiful cover.

I’m not sure I can form a coherent paragraph right now cause I am too annoyed so let me just list what I didn’t like in bullet points.

  • I didn’t like the MC. Her sadness came across as fake to me and from her voice I felt that she’s a shallow person.
  • The writing and the dialogue are too cheesy and sloppy and just…amateurish. There are also too many unnecessary caps-locked words. For example:

…and I did NOT want him to think I was immature.” – page 20

Malachi did NOT look happy and glared in our direction.” – page 26

I mean – HELLO! I only met the guy a few ours ago and, but there was something there… something that happened when we touched… something that wasn’t natural… something that seemed to pull me towards him whenever he was near.” – page 31

Which brings to the next issue:

  • Flawlessly perfect boy who turns the MC literally into a puddle at first sight and she’s already saying stuff like he’s the-only-one-who-could-pull-her-out-of-her-sadness crap.

His powerful smile seemed to pull my sinking heart from the unknown depths of sadness, and place it somewhere a little safer.” – page 21

His touch did something to me. It warmed me and made me feel like everything was going to be alright. But as we neared Malachi, he let go, and I was suddenly hit with a with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and emptiness.” – page 25

He gently brushed my arms with his fingers, which melted a bit of my sadness.” – page 29

He stole my breath for a moment, and then he smiled; making my heart flutter. How was that possible? I never thought I’d be able to pull myself out of this eternal sadness.” – page 29

I just couldn’t see any light at the end of this pitch-black tunnel… except for the small glimmer that was sitting in the seat next to me. Kade.” – page 29

Ughhh seriously, girl??

One last quote:

’Well, the only thing keeping me from falling apart right now is you,’ I said glancing into his big, bright eyes.” – page 34

Okay, that’s it I’m outta here.

DNF