Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

let the sky fallLet the Sky Fall
(Let the Sky Fall #1)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publication: December 3rd, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Genre: YA Paranormal
Goodreads

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past – except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian – Vane’s guardian – and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

First time reading it, Let the Sky Fall was pretty entertaining, but not long after that the sparks were gone and I unintentionally neglected this book. This holiday, I decided to pick it up again and see if my reading slump was the one which caused me to DNF it.

Unfortunately, I’m still not impressed.

Continue reading Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

[Review] Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

days of blood and starlightDays of Blood and Starlight
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication: February 25th, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page count: 513 (Paperback)
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Goodreads

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is–and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Continue reading [Review] Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

[Review] Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publication: November 15th, 2011 by Harper Teen
Page count: 340
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Paranormal, Romance

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Review

Seriously, what is this? X-Men?

^That was me by the end of the book.

I can’t. I don’t even know what to say anymore. This book left me speechless but in a bad way.

Prior starting this book, I have heard mixed reviews, mainly negative feedback but I decided to give it a chance. I thought my biggest problem would be with the writing. Apparently, although some sentences resulted in awkward laugh or terrible frown on my face, eventually I got used to it and even found the writing to be mildly tolerable. Some were beautiful even.

“My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

What I couldn’t just tolerate were the poorly-developed, unrealistic characters and the nearly non-existent plot.

Right from the start,we know that Juliette is locked in a prison due to her superpower for 200+ days. I completely understand how such thing would affect her emotional state — no friends, never experiencing any parental affection. I would believe if she had difficulties trusting people but BAM…once Juliette knows that Adam is her childhood friend she just melts…

Which leads to the second issue, the romance. I had difficulty buying their relationship because it seems to be based on past experience. I mean, just because you went to the same school and both of you suffered from terrible condition back then doesn’t mean that it’s love. I want build-up tension. Sparks and chemistry.

And that revelation in the end? I did not expect that it would end that way because the whole book was dedicated to romance with political talks inserted here and there. I thought the sudden plot development was rather far-fetched and now I don’t know whether I should continue the series or not…

[Review] The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: April 24th, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Page count: 443
Genre: YA – Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.
Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

Review

Upon starting this book, I was hooked. Like, eyes-glued-to-the-pages and unable-to-stop kinds of hooked. The narration is undeniably the main reason why it was so easy for me to devour this book. It is descriptive without being excessive, words effortlessly flowing from one page to another so I was able to visualize each scenes well.

Allie is one hell of a protagonist. She is smart, snarky and tough with her katana-wielding and combat skills. She also isn’t quick to judge and that’s the trait I most appreciated about her. Regarding the situation, when she is cornered or shunned due to her status as a vampire, she puts herself in other people’s shoes and understands the reason behind their action. She knows better because she used to be one of them, but I loved it that she doesn’t try to blame the others for what happened to her.

“I was a vampire. Nothing could change that. But I didn’t have to be a monster.”

Also, I was glad with Allie’s decision in the end. Not because I wasn’t particularly invested in Zeke or his group (which I honestly wasn’t…) or because I liked Kanin better (I admit I did, though) but rather because Allie shows her ability to draw the line between romance and responsibility.

Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, the pace got a tad too slow for my taste in the middle of the book where is mainly about Allie’s interaction with Jeb’s group. I can see how those people affect Allie and allow her character to develop more but I can’t help but to feel that the side characters are outshined by the protagonist. However, the epic action scenes near the end makes up for it and left me curious about what would Allie do in the next installment.

Strong, consistent protagonist? Checked.

Realistically broken worldbuilding? Checked.

Impeccable writing? Checked.

I’ve made a mistake by delaying reading this book but I’m truly glad I picked it up. The Immortal Rules was one of the few remarkable books – which did live up to the hype – I have read in 2014.

[Review] Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Between the Lives
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Expected Publication: August 7th, 2014 by Orchard Books
Page count: 336
Genre: YA – Contemporary, Paranormal
Goodreads

The perfect life or the perfect love. You choose.
For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she shifts to her ‘other’ life – a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she’s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she’s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments that bring her dangerously close to the life she’s always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she’ll choose?
A compelling psychological thriller about a girl who lives two parallel lives – this is Sliding Doors for the YA audience.
Thank you Hachette Children’s Books for the review copy. This does not affect my review or opinions at all.

 

Review

I was immediately intrigued by the premise upon reading the blurb. I love stories about parallel universe and so I felt like I had to read it at some point. Between the Lines was far from being the perfect book but it obviously left me feeling good.

“I am two people. Neither better than the other, no superpowers, no mystical destinies, no two-places-in-one-time mechanism – but two people.”

First of all, let’s talk about the main character, Sabine. To be honest, I didn’t always love her throughout the book. She isn’t annoying by any chance, it’s just that her character isn’t fleshed out enough to make me root for her. I wish that her emotions and desperation had been conveyed much more realistically. She has gotten used to living literally two lives but one incident changes her view and tests her knowledge of her strange existence. In order to find out more, Sabine conducts a series of experiment that might as well be a little disturbing for me, such as hurting herself. Other than that, I thought she was an okay protagonist.

I also liked Sabine’s relationships with her siblings. In Roxbury, she has an adorable little sister that looks up to her and it really shows that they both care for each other. In her other life (Wellesley), she has two older brothers she isn’t close to but I really enjoyed reading the development of their relationship.

The plot was enjoyable. Although the book switches between two lives, I could easily follow the story without getting confused. It was actually nice to read about how Sabine can maintain such different personalities in both lives. However, the thing that definitely got a frown for me is the paranormal element. I’m not sure that the “Shift” had been explained thoroughly and I remember feeling baffled many times.

There is also what could be one of the most-cliched twist ever regarding the romance but luckily, Jessica Shirvington managed to stir my emotions with how well the scenes are written and if it hadn’t been for that emotional feelings I got in the last 100 pages, then this book would have definitely had a lower rating.

I thought the ending was much too convenient and a lot of my questions about Sabine is still unanswered but overall, Between the Lives is a really great book. I read it in one sitting and I would recommend to for people who are looking for a quick, meaningful read.