[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

[ARC Review] The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals
(The Naturals #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Crime/Mystery, Paranormal

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.
What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.
Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.
Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Disney Hyperion for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review in any ways. 

 

Review

After seeing a negative review for it, I was a bit hesitant, but luckily I decided to try it with an open mind and I ended up falling in love completely with this book. The Naturals was definitely one of the best mystery books I’ve ever read!

“We saw things that other people didn’t – things that people our age should never have to see.”

The first few chapters were hard to get into. Since the main character is a Natural profiler (which basically means she can figure out what kind of person someone is by paying attention to their his/her behaviors ), there are lots of detailed descriptions and the character’s thoughts about other people’s behaviors and personalities. Although a bit tedious and rather confusing at first, when I hit page 50 something, The Naturals became much more thrilling and heart-pounding. Gathering clues through their observations, solving a tough serial murder, I couldn’t put The Naturals down once I was completely engrossed with the story! The mystery was unpredictable and the plot was sooooo addictive, full of twists! THIS is how you write an awesome mystery book!

Even if I didn’t connect with the main character, I loved reading the story from her POV. Cassie has motivation and determination to uncover her mother’s mysterious death. She didn’t come across as whiny for me, not even once. On top of the likable protagonist, The Naturals also has awesome side characters like Michael, Lia, Dean and Sloane. I loved reading their interactions – they’re different from one another but these people can work together when needed! Sloane is my favorite! Her awkwardness…I could understand that haha!

The only thing that disappointed me is the love triangle. Although the romance isn’t dominant, the love triangle just seems too out-of-the-blue for me and I personally think this book would be even EVEN better without it! Not that the romance was horrible – it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t mind-blowing either. It just sounded odd to me to have a love triangle in a mystery book. However, I do really appreciate the lack of romance in this book. It isn’t dominating the main plot and occupying the MC’s thoughts the whole time. This subtle kind of romance (except the love triangle) suits the tone of the book well.

The Naturals is the kind of book that isn’t easy to figure out and will keep you awake until you reach the last page. With the lack of romance, cool concept plus unpredictable and highly addictive plot, The Naturals was a gripping mystery book that kept me turning the pages. It’s so sad that the next book won’t be out till next year! :’(

Note: The quote is taken from eARC edition so no guarantee that it won’t be altered or removed from the finished copy.

[Review] Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices #3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: March 19th, 2013
Pages: 568 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
Tessa Gray should be happy — aren’t all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.

Review

Oh, where should I begin?? I was speechless when I finished this book. There was a happy feeling – satisfaction – when I closed it, but there was also sadness and frustration cause it finally ended. Clockwork Princess was the best of the series in my opinion. The pacing isn’t slow and I found myself enjoying this book as a whole – probably too much that although I was so curious about the ending, I did not want this book to end.

“The world is a wheel,” he said. “When we rise or fall, we do it together.”

The main reason I enjoyed this book is mostly because I grew so attached with the characters. I loved Jem. I loved Will. Their brotherly affection nearly KILLED me because even though they are caught in a love triangle with Tessa, that doesn’t change how much they love each other. Their relationship had me in tears a few times (well, that’s saying something cause I almost never cry when I read and I didn’t expect two boys who care so much about each other would make me cry.)

“I am grieved for your pain,” he said. “But I am glad that you love her.”

I think that’s what makes the love triangle even more painful and nearly unbearable – in a good way, of course! And speaking of the romance, I really really liked how the book ends and how Clare concludes the love triangle. I might be in the minority here, but I loved the boys so much that whenever Jem is with Tessa, I felt really bad for Will and whenever Will is with Tessa, I felt really bad for Jem. Maybe it was a tad too HEA, but it was truly satisfying and frustrating too at the same time (cause the book ends and there are no more pages after that).

The book starts well, the middle was really heartbreaking and I was touched the most in this part (mostly because of Jem). There were so many actions and although my friend annoyingly spoiled something for me, there were twists that still caught me off guard! I loved, not just the main characters, but also the secondary characters like Charlotte and Henry, Sophie, the Lightwood brothers and Cecily. And even Bridget, who admittedly sounds so gloomy, could make me laugh thanks to her depressing songs.

The other romances between the side characters are also sweet! Cecily and Gabriel, Gideon and Sophie, and Charlotte and Henry… oh my god they are FREAKING ADORABLE! And like I said before, I grew so attached to all of them. The POV shifts A LOT from Tessa to Will, Charlotte, Gabriel and Cecily, etc. Those shifts don’t seem random anymore. I was, in fact, waiting for the shifts and whenever it was Tessa’s turn and there hadn’t been any POV shifts for a long time, I was like, “When is Will’s turn? Or Charlotte’s and Gabriel’s?” Not that I dislike Tessa or anything, but those POVs provide an insight of those characters’ minds and we get to know what happen to the others.

I probably spent too much time talking about the characters but, really, I LOVED them so much I just couldn’t help it. Clare successfully stirred my emotions and tore my heart for the whole time and yet as I read the ending (including the epilogue) it was as if my heart was sewed again. But there will always be scars left and believe me, I think this series had been a pleasurable experience overall.

If you haven’t read this series yet, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR??!

Rating

5 Cakes!

[Review] Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince 
(The Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: May 1st, 2012
Pages: 496 (UK Paperback)
Genre: YA – Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will — the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…

Review

I didn’t know where to begin when I first started writing this review… My thoughts were all over the place and I thought I temporarily lost my ability to form coherent paragraphs so I was about to write this review in bullet points instead. Luckily, I already recover from THAT ending and thank God I already have a copy of Clockwork Princess. *phew*

After my incident with Linked, I admit Clare’s ability to add the right amount of description at the right time without being too distracting and unnecessary is great. I mean, a well-written book doesn’t mean it has flowery descriptions and needless words or sentences. I think Clare knows when to elaborate and when not to.

As expected, this book is told from third person POV. The first book primarily focuses on Tessa with a few switches to other characters. In Clockwork Prince, however, the POV switches more — to Tessa, Will, Magnus, Sophie and Charlotte. While the switches seem random occasionally, they do give us more understanding of what happens to the other characters.

Although the pacing isn’t as slow as the first book, I still got bored a few times when I reached middle of the book. The pace does pick up later and I found the second half much more interesting and unputdownable. I stayed up till midnight to finish this book, mind you!!

And as usual, secrets are revealed one by one, bits by bits. The plot intensifies with betrayal(s), family issues, new discoveries, and we are introduced to a few new characters. The mystery isn’t unraveled in this book yet, but we are starting to see the direction it will go in the third book. There are new clues and shocking discoveries, but I’m sure Clare will piece them together in the third book with an epic (and possibly painful as I was told) conclusion.

Okay now let’s talk about the characters, shall we? Finally we get to know Will’s past, making him a more understandable character. It was so sad and oh my gosh when he finds out the truth it was even more painful. His relationship with Magnus develops and his brotherly affection toward Jem is still as sweet as ever. I know most ladies will easily fall for bad boys with tragic past and sarcastic humors (in this case Will). Wait, don’t get me wrong – I liked his character and Jem’s too!

Now speaking of Jem Jem Jem JEM JEEEEMMMM (oh I’m sorry for losing control xD) we always knew him as a patient and considerate and kind character despite his weaknesses. But in this installment, Clare adds another layer to his angelic personality, something un-Jem-like.

Oh my gosh and the romance. Tessa finds herself drawn to Jem even more and things start to go swoony and steamy and then there’s her relationship with Will whom she can’t avoid any longer and oh my gosh oh god asdfghjkl I can’t even. I’m rooting for Jem but I felt really REALLY sad for Will too… Holy crap, and when Will finds out the truth… it was so so SAD! 🙁

On a side note,  I found it hilarious and somewhat ironic that there’s a werewolf named Woolsey Scott. Yes, a werewolf named Woolsey Scott. (Wool=sheep; just ignore my unusual sense of humor xD)

Overall, Clockwork Prince was a fantastic sequel, it was slightly better than its predecessor. The only good thing about my tardiness of starting this series is I could dive into Clockwork Princess immediately!

Rating

4.5 Cakes!

[Review] Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I originally read the Indonesian translation of this book but I’m providing the information of the US version because I’m writing my review in English.

Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 31st, 2010
Pages: 478 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal

Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.

Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entrée to the Magister’s secret Pandemonium Club.

Review
I admit that I actually wanted to love this series before I started reading it. A lot of people said that TID is – in a way – better than TMI books which I thought were decent except for City of Glass and maybe this is a bit biased but I stopped reading at that book. I didn’t bother to read the rest of the series cause… well, I read the synopsis and I found it not really interesting… Okay, so what did I think of Clockwork Angel?

Luckily, I ended up liking this book. A lot.

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

At first this book was a bit difficult for me to read because everything is intensely described and the pacing is slow in the beginning. Believe me, I had never read anything which is so descriptive other than Cassandra Clare’s books. But once I had adapted to her writing and third-person POV, this book was definitely engrossing for me. And the pacing does get faster in my opinion. I always prefer first-person POV because I can relate to the characters better. But in this case, third-person POV works perfectly fine cause Tessa’s perspective is limited and we get to know what happens to the other characters this way, making the book more interesting.

Tessa in the beginning wasn’t the type of heroine that I like. She’s weak and annoying. She makes stupid decisions. However, I liked watching her transform into a sharp-witted and braver girl. She has no combat skills but she eventually knows how to make use of her transforming gift and gain advantage from her enemy with it.

Will is the typical bad boy in YA books. He’s rude and moody and a bit unstable. He covers his dark past or emotion he doesn’t want anyone to see with humors. Will’s remarks did make me smile several times and he grew on me throughout the book! Though he seems to be less hilarious than he should be… (I read the Indonesian translation, btw. Cannot find the English version anywhere.) Anyway, I was a bit disappointed because his past or his reasons of acting like a jerk isn’t explained in details – I definitely want to know more! – but I think Clare is saving it for future installments. Other than his jerk-ish attitude, it’s good that he also shows some caring sides. His bromance with Jem is so sweet!!

“How rude. Many who have gazed upon me [Will] have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun.” 
Jem still had his eyes closed. “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong.”

Jem, the angel to Will’s devil. I love this guy so much! He’s very gentle and kind and considerate – basically Will’s opposite. Sometimes I wonder how come these two be best friends. But it does make sense that only super patient people like Jem can put up with Will’s attitude. What I like the most about him is that he doesn’t complain about his unfortunate condition. Speaking of that, I really really feel bad for him.

And the romance. There’s a love triangle, obviously and it’s between Will and Tessa and Jem. (Why in love triangles it has to be assholes vs angels?) Honestly, I really like both of them. I love Will’s interaction with Tessa. I love Jem’s interactions with Tessa. I don’t think I have to explain any further. They’re so asdfghjkl and the romance made me swoon. Like, seriously. But I think I’m leaning to Jem a bit. 😛

I like Charlotte, Henry, Thomas and Sophie. I think Jessamine is (mostly) irritating. I don’t have to explain any further too, do I? 😉

“It’s Will,” she [Jessamine] said. “He’s being absolutely ridiculous in the dining room.” 
Charlotte looked puzzled. “How is this different from him being totally ridiculous in the library or the weapons room or any of the other places he’s usually ridiculous?”

I had a few issues with Clockwork Angel and the thickness was kinda intimidating, but all in all, this book was fantastic! The twists were surprising and the most of the characters were great! I personally think this is better than City of Bones. I’m glad I gave it a chance. 🙂

Rating:
4 Cakes!

P.S:
  • Tessa reminds me too much of Clary – and not just her, but Will also reminds me of Jace, so Jem is most likely TID counterpart of Simon. But ignoring the fact that the main characters resemble TMI characters, I like TID characters more. And they’re believable and simply more likable. What do you think? Does this bother you?
  • I don’t really care with Cassandra Clare writing more books about Shadowhunter even though some people think that it’s so not original and creative. Milking the cash cow until it’s dead is never good, but hey, I heard Clare is writing a new series with Holly Black and it has nothing to do with her Shadowhunter stuff. It’s with HOLLY BLACK, people, so I need to read it too! xD