Exit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston

Exit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston

26790913Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

It feels weird to say that a book about rape was good, but this book about rape was good. It’s a hard topic to deal with, and I can’t say I’ve read any other YA that talks about rape so openly, but I think it’s important that this book exists (plus that cover is gorgeous).

That being said, I had some issues with it.

I’ve read reviews that talked about how “easy” this book was, how Hermione’s support system was so perfect and, apart from some nasty rumours early on, she was never treated differently. And it did, for the most part, seem too “perfect” – everyone knew what to say and how to act, and Hermione herself was so well put together, it was hard to believe she was a teenager, nevermind a teenager who had been drugged and raped and – MINI SPOILER ALERT – had an abortion. Just one of those things should have been enough to push her over the edge, but she was remarkably calm, almost robotic, in the way she described her thoughts and feelings.

While Hermione herself mentions that she feels disconnected from the event because she can’t remember what happened, it’s hard, as a reader, to even begin to understand her when the narrative feels so disjointed, more like a checklist of events and moments that had to happen before the climactic scene at the end (which lasted all of two pages) than a real story. I know I liked E.K. Johnston’s writing style when I read A Thousand Nights, so maybe it was Hermione’s character that I couldn’t connect with? I did like her best friend, Polly, though, and I liked Polly’s sideplot, though it did feel like it came out of nowhere.

…if I were dead, they could just bury me…and move on. Broken is harder to deal with.

One thing I absolutely did not get was Hermione’s relationship with Leo. Leo proves himself to be a jealous dick who basically victim-blames Hermione because she dared to speak to other guys at their cheerleading camp, and she dumps him (and rightfully so!). But she never really seemed interested in him in the first place, so why were they together at all? What purpose did he play apart from being the jealous ex who turns around in the end? Literally anyone else could have taken the role of victim-blamer and it wouldn’t have made a difference to the overall story.

You’re okay with asking a girl who was wearing a pretty dress and had nice hair, who went to the dance with her cabin mates, who drank from the same punch bowl as everyone else – you’re okay with asking that girl what mistake she made, and you wouldn’t think to ask a boy how he would avoid raping someone?


E.K. Johnston does get props for setting it in Canada – northern Ontario, no less – with a brief mention of my hometown (Amy, another girl at the cheerleading camp, is from Mississauga), not to mention the fact that Polly decides to attend my alma mater (McMaster represent!). I never realized cheerleading was a big deal in Canada, to be honest, since I don’t think my high school even had a squad. And I also don’t get why Hermione needed to ace calculus to get into a Humanities/Social Science based program, but it’s also been a while since I had to apply to university, so maybe that’s a thing now?

I haven’t read The Winter’s Tale yet (I’ve always wanted to), but now I might have to, to see if I can catch all the Shakespeare references in this book.


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The Nowhere Emporium – Ross MacKenzie

The Nowhere Emporium – Ross MacKenzie

24471045When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long, the ‘shop from nowhere’ — and its owner, Mr Silver — draw Daniel into a breathtaking world of magic and enchantment. Recruited as Mr Silver’s apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the Emporium’s vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms — rooms that contain wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined. But when Mr Silver disappears, and a shadow from the past threatens everything, the Emporium and all its wonders begin to crumble. Can Daniel save his home, and his new friends, before the Nowhere Emporium is destroyed forever?

I picked this book up in Scotland last summer (I wanna say it was like the “Scottish Children’s Book of the Year” or something along those lines), and finally got around to reading it.

…for those of us who open our eyes, those who truly dare to wonder, there is treasure everywhere.

Let me start by saying that I did enjoy it. It was cute and imaginative, and kept me intrigued (although I did get a little impatient at one point). While most of the story took place in present-day Glasgow, every so often there were chapters that took us back to Edinburgh in the late 1800’s. It was a nice way to talk about Mr. Silver’s backstory without filling the present-day chapters with paragraphs of exposition.

Stories are precious.. They are treasure. And the most precious story of all is that of life.

I liked Daniel as a protagonist; while he wasn’t anything special, per se, he was curious and gentle and formed a sweet relationship with Mr. Silver’s daughter, Ellie. Ellie had the potential to be a great character too, but I felt she was a little stiff and maybe not as fleshed out as Daniel or even Mr. Silver. The villain – who had a fabulous name – was a little on the comical side because of how aggressive he was (he had a Count Olaf vibe), and I saw one of the plot twists coming from a hundred pages away, but the writing was still charming.

My problem with the book is that it seemed familiar, like I’d already read it before. At first, I thought it was bringing back vague memories of the movie, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, but several Goodreads reviews mentioned how similar it is to Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus (except, obviously, for a middle grade audience!). There’s also a scene that is ALMOST IDENTICAL to a scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and it bothered me that the editor didn’t point it out or try to change part of it (seriously, it’s practically verbatim).

I keep waffling between giving it a 3.5 and a 4; on the one hand, it was enjoyable and a breeze to get through; on the other, it seemed like a mishmash of other books and movies, so it didn’t feel unique enough to warrant four stars. It would be a great book to hand to a middle grade reader who was not up to committing to the whole Harry Potter series, though.


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Dirty Wings – Sarah McCarry

Dirty Wings – Sarah McCarry

18490688A gorgeous retelling of the Persephone myth, Sarah McCarry brings us the story of Cass and Maia–the mothers from All Our Pretty Songs–and how their fates became intertwined.

Maia is a teenage piano prodigy and dutiful daughter, imprisoned in the oppressive silence of her adoptive parents’ house like a princess in an ivory tower. Cass is a street rat, witch, and runaway, scraping by with her wits and her knack for a five-fingered discount. When a chance encounter brings the two girls together, an unlikely friendship blossoms that will soon change the course of both their lives. Cass springs Maia from the jail of the only world she’s ever known, and Maia’s only too happy to make a break for it. But Cass didn’t reckon on Jason, the hypnotic blue-eyed rocker who’d capture Maia’s heart as soon as Cass set her free–and Cass isn’t the only one who’s noticed Maia’s extraordinary gifts. Is Cass strong enough to battle the ancient evil she’s unwittingly awakened–or has she walked into a trap that will destroy everything she cares about? In this time, like in any time, love is a dangerous game.

Dirty Wings is an extension of All Our Pretty Songs as it shows us how Maia and Cass (the mothers in AOPS) met and became friends. While it’s technically a sequel, you don’t have to read them back-to-back; it would hold up as a standalone, but there are some “OH, I GET IT” moments that you’d only experience if you read both.

Once again, the prose is gorgeous, particularly during Maia’s sections when she describes her piano playing:

…she is the keys, the strings vibrating, she is the wood of the hammers falling and the brass of the pedals and the charged atoms of the air whirling past her, she is the waves of sound, she is articles bright and living, she is shattering and coming together, she is breathing the music, she is transcendent, she is divine.

Cass and Maia have such an intense relationship that, once Jason enters the scene, Cass’s feelings of fear and loss become palpable. It’s heartbreaking to see how she starts to unravel when she feels like Maia is slipping away from her, and the last couple of chapters piece together the puzzle of their relationship in All Our Pretty Songs.

I felt like this one was more obvious about which myth it was pulling from. There are some visuals that are associated with Persephone, such as the pomegranate, and there is the appearance of a dark, dream-like figure, who I’m guessing is Hades. You don’t have to know the myth to appreciate the allusions because they’re built in so flawlessly, they wouldn’t stand out if you weren’t looking for them.

Because it’s more literary fiction, not a whole lot happens, but the stuff that does happen is significant (I know that’s vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything!). This time around, the story is told in alternating chapters, “Then” and “Now”, and the deeper you get into the book, the more you see how they’re connected. There are some key moments that happen in “Now” that are relevant to All Our Pretty Songs, and it retroactively makes the first book clearer (if that makes sense) as you start to fill in the holes left by the unnamed narrator in AOPS.


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All Our Pretty Songs – Sarah McCarry

All Our Pretty Songs – Sarah McCarry

17167090The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and I finally got around to picking it up. The eye-catching cover, the praise quote on the front comparing it to Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block, the other praise quote that referred to it as a “punk-rock remix of the myth of Orpheus”…all those things appeal to me.

Let me start off by saying that comparing Sarah McCarry’s writing to a combination of Neil Gaiman and Francesca Lia Block is PERFECT. I read Block’s Weetzie Bat books a few years ago so I don’t remember the details very well, but as a Neil Gaiman fan, I can confirm that McCarry has mastered the sort of lyrical prose that can be half “this is gorgeous” and half “what the heck is going on?”.

It’s easy to fall in love with the words. Evocative descriptions and frank discussions of sex, drugs, and rock & roll abound, with our unnamed narrator lavishing poetry over her beautiful sister-friend Aurora and her boyfriend Jack.

All the best artists are selfish. .You can’t be good unless you care about the work more than you care about anything else.

I might not have necessarily picked it up if I hadn’t read a review that pointed it out, but the story takes place in the mid-1990’s, with the grunge/punk subcultures playing a huge role in the setting. As a result, it’s easy to draw comparisons between Aurora and Frances Bean Cobain (who I’m guessing was the inspiration for Aurora), but you don’t have to be a Nirvana fan to understand how messed up these girls’ lives become after Aurora’s father dies.

If this were the kind of story I want to be in, I’d flip back to the pages where all the words made sense and the ending wasn’t written yet.

It takes a while for the mythology to kick in. Most of the first half of the book is dedicated to day-to-day descriptions of Aurora and the narrator and how their relationship becomes more complex once the musician Jack enters the scene. At the same time that the narrator starts dating Jack, Aurora finds herself enthralled by a mysterious man named Minos. At that point, the book shifts into mythology and a world that is only hinted at before it blows up in the narrator’s unsuspecting face. I liked the way the mythology was built in, but I was hoping it would happen sooner or in a more obvious way.

I’m still not sure how to rate the book. In terms of prose and concept, it’s a solid four, but the meandering plot in the first three quarters left me wishing it would hurry up.


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ARC Review: Escape from Witchwood Hollow – Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

Escape from Witchwood Hollow – Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

23242292Everyone in Arnn – a small farming town with more legends than residents – knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.

After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.

Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.

To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.

How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

Release Date: October 29th, 2014

Thanks to Jessica and Jordan (the author) for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Here’s something the synopsis doesn’t tell you: the story is told from three alternative POVs in three different eras: Lady Clifford in 1670, Albertine in 1850, and Honoria in 2001. Each girl finds herself lost in Witchwood Hollow at some point, and their fates are ultimately intertwined.

What I liked:

-the way the three narratives tied together; if you pay close enough attention, you can start to weave them together, but it was still nicely done.

-I thought Honoria’s backstory was unique – I don’t think I’ve read any other YA books that deal with 9/11, though I know many exist – and there were some heartbreaking moments when she tried to deal with her grief.

-I really liked how bold and bittersweet the ending was; I didn’t expect it to end that way, and I love that Mierek took that risk.

-the writing was nice, fairly simple, and easy to follow, but I’ll admit my attention occasionally drifted. It reads on the younger end of the spectrum, so it would be a nice transition between middle grade and young adult; there are some creepy moments, but nothing nightmare-inducing.

What I didn’t like:

-I understood why Lady Clifford was a POV character, but I felt like that took away from some of the surprise at the end (it was pretty obvious)

-I didn’t really like any of the characters, or, at least, I couldn’t pick someone to root for. Honoria was a sympathetic character, but I couldn’t connect with her; I didn’t like any of her schoolmates and the Harley/Leon/Honoria triangle felt a bit forced. The other POV characters – Lady Clifford and Albertine – had their strengths, but neither was a particularly likeable character (in my opinion).

I know that this next thing is going to be super nitpicky, but it threw me off: at one point, Honoria puts on her headphones and listens to Green Day singing about “a boulevard of broken dreams”. Honoria’s section takes place in 2001; “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was released in 2004 (I knew I was in high school when it came out because American Idiot was everywhere that year!). Pop culture references are so tricky because, if done poorly, they can take away from the story, rather than adding to it; for readers like me who pay attention to these references, it can be off-putting that something as simple as a release date wasn’t double checked. But I suppose that would be an editorial thing, to fact-check before publication.

Overall, Escape from Witchwood Hollow was an interesting debut. It had a great concept, but, in my opinion, if it had been tightened and polished a little bit more, it would have been a lot stronger.


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The Name of the Star – Maureen Johnson

First of all: MERRY CHRISTMAS (and/or Happy Holidays, if you don’t celebrate!). Whether you’re taking a break from crowding around the Christmas tree or doing something else entirely, I hope you’re cozy and warm and maybe enjoying a steaming mug of tea (or hot beverage of your choice) :)

at xmas

Now on to the review:

The Name of the Star – Maureen Johnson

13595639Jack the Ripper is back, and he’s coming for Rory next….

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target…unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

I’ve heard a lot about Maureen Johnson but have never actually read any of her books. My sister actually read this one (and the sequel, The Madness Underneath), and told me I would probably enjoy them. So while we were in London, I decided to read a London-based book (all the better to imagine the setting!).

The first thing I noticed was how long it took to start. I realize that, as the first book in a trilogy, it was setting up the broader story, and I completely respect that. However, as someone who’s been criticized for taking too long to get the story started, I’ve come to expect books – especially YA books – to start a little faster.

Once stuff actually began to happen, the momentum picked up and hurtled along nicely. Of course, if you a) read the back of the book and b) have read any book ever in the history of the world, you should be able to guess who the Ripper is, even if you don’t know his motivation. Part of what dragged the beginning of the book down was waiting for Rory to clue into the same thing as you: that she can see ghosts and that that one particular dude is maybe a bit suspicious.

Otherwise, I have to give Maureen Johnson props for spinning an interesting story. There’s a healthy dose of diversity (Boo and Callum), boarding school politics, lots of details about daily life in London (which is one of my favourite cities), plus, of course, ghosts (personally, I’m hoping for more Alistair in the next books). It’s obvious that she put a lot of effort and research into making the story as true-to-life as a ghost story about a Ripper copycat can be, and that’s impressive.

My only other issue was the narrative voice. It sometimes felt stilted or lacking in enthusiasm. I can’t help but compare it to the other ghosts-in-London series I’ve read (and adored), Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co, where the writing is energetic and bursts off the page (and also has a much better ship that this one…I mean, I liked Jerome at the beginning, but he turns into quite the dullard as the story progresses). Unless it’s Johnson’s intention, at times it feels like even Rory has no belief or passion in what she’s talking about, and it’s hard to connect with a character who’s so disinterested in her own story.

I was waffling between 3 and 3.5 interrobangs on this one; given that it’s the beginning of a promising series with a great concept, I’ll round it up and give it a 3.5 (it is Christmas, after all!).


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ARC Reviews – June 2015

This month, half of my ARCs had a musician love interest, which is funny, but also says a lot about me personally.

  • Grunge Gods and Graveyards – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “I was intrigued by the cover, and I’m automatically drawn to books where the love interest is a musician (it was an bonus that he also happened to be a ghost), so I figured I’d give this one a shot. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would!” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Lady in Blue – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “..since I was intrigued by the Lady in Blue in [Grunge Gods and Graveyards], I was more than happy to find out a little bit more about Lana Bloom.This self-published sequel came out a couple of months ago and it does a fine job of filling in the gaps.” (5 interrobangs)
  • Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez: “It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • Fractured Dream – K.M. Randall: “It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read ever, but I couldn’t really get into it (despite finishing it!). I’m certain there are people who will devour this, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone enough to care what happened to them.” (2.5 interrobangs)
  • Date with a Rockstar – Sarah Gagnon: “This was one of those books where part of me was going “wow, this is cheesy/dramatic/over-the-top” and another part of me was going “I LOVE EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW”.” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Heartbreakers – Ali Novak: “If you’re in the mood for a fluffy fanfic, then this will be your jam. There are some serious moments (Cara does have cancer, after all), but it veers around truly emotional territories.” (2.5 interrobangs)

Overall, it was an interesting month for ARCs, with a nice mix of hits and misses. What have you read this month?

Fiction Friday Round-Up – June 5th, 2015

This was a pretty busy week; among other things, Jane and I launched our new pop culture website, Mind the Gap (which you should totally check out because we have a lot of great content!). But I also managed to completely catch up on the Flavia de Luce series, and finished a couple of ARCs. As always, please click the titles for the full review!

  • As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust – Alan Bradley: “The series is no longer simply a collection of unrelated mysteries; it started to hint at the bigger picture and Flavia’s role within that larger narrative.”
  • Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk de-Michele and Paul Marquez: “It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.”
  • Grunge Gods and Graveyards – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “If I was trying to pitch this book, I’d say it was a combination of Melissa Marr’s Made for You and Elizabeth Chandler’s Kissed by an Angel but with more ghosts and, well, grunge (those are all good things, by the way).”

Last week, I read a truly disappointing ARC:

  • Beyond Clueless – Linas Alsenas: “I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but this is one of those rare cases where I feel too old to read this and I think it would be better received by readers aged 12-14”.

But I also read a great female-centric comic book, so it sort of evened out!

  • Rat Queens Vol 1: Sass & Sorcery – Kurtis J. Wiebe: “There are also light, funny moments in between all the fighting; whether it’s Betty packing candy and drugs for dinner again or Dee being anti-social i.e. reading a book at a party, you get a good glimpse at the queens’ personalities.”

ARC Review: Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez

Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez

22980192Lucinda is as old as humanity itself, yet perpetually young, beautiful, and endowed with supernatural powers. She lives a double life human and immortal. In her human guise, she manages Lucinda’s Pawnshop & Antiquary, the doors of which can open to any street anywhere in the world at any time. Mortals who have arrived at a moral or spiritual crossroads are drawn into the mysterious shop. If they acquire one of its cursed artifacts, they may find themselves drafted into Lucifer’s service.

Born out of a betrayal of trust between the first woman, Eve, and father Lucifer, Lucinda has worked covertly and subtly for millennia to be true to her mother’s love by subverting her father’s schemes. She wins freedom for some; Lucifer keeps those who fail for eternity. She has to be careful, for Lucifer has placed her under the watchful eye of the fallen angel Nathaniel, whose real intentions are a mystery.Lucifer manipulates his army of corrupted souls to achieve his end game: to explode the tension between global powers, then create a charismatic anti-Christ to seemingly save the world with Lucinda as mother and a hand-picked human as father.

But Lucinda has her own plans. After centuries of seeming distance from humanity, she falls in love with a mortal man, which threatens to derail Lucifer’s plans to trigger Armageddon. This book follows Lucinda’s torturous relationship with her supernatural father, as she strives to secretly undermine his crusade to destroy mankind. How deep does Lucinda’s humanity go? Where do her true loyalties lie? Is she her father’s ally, or her mother’s child? And if the Devil’s daughter will not love a man he can control, can Lucifer control the man she loves?

Release Date: July 14th, 2015

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

That’s like the longest summary in the world, but it gives a good idea of what the book was about.

I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it as much as I hoped.

What I liked:

-the cover is beautiful. There are FLAMES in that eye. FLAMES!

-it was a great angel-devil story that DIDN’T make Nephilim the main focus (in fact, they were only mentioned briefly and that was in reference to something else).

-the female characters weren’t helpless damsels; they had agency and their own powers – either literally, in the case of Lucinda and Janine, but also in a figurative way, like how Brittany’s ethical convictions won over her need to have a high-paying job.

-there were some surprisingly dark moments. You’d think I’d have been prepared, since I was reading a book about the (literal) spawn of Satan, but I was still shocked when someone’s head got chopped off. I was not expecting it, but I liked how the story took a dark turn.

-I liked this portrayal of Lucifer – imitating men with his physical appearance, but still being a bringer of chaos. I thought it was interesting that he was so calculating and devious and just not straight-up “I’m going to destroy everyone!”. I also liked how – in this one, at least – he wasn’t trying to make up for causing the Fall, which is what usually happens when Lucifer shows up in a YA novel. It sounds horrible to be rooting for the bad guy, but it’s almost nice to read about evil-Lucifer instead of repentant-Lucifer.

What I didn’t like:

-the chapters seemed long. It didn’t actually take me a long time to read, but I felt like it lasted ages. I think the pacing might have been a bit too slow for my personal taste.

-there was a lot of build-up, a lot of pieces of the puzzle which only sort of came together at the end. As far as I know, there will be a sequel, and this book was all about the set up without any real actions until the last few chapters. Admittedly, this is a good way to get people interested in the rest of the series (so many loose ends!), but I wasn’t expecting it to end so abruptly.

-there were some characters I didn’t particularly care for so their parts slowed down my reading. It didn’t help that their story lines were usually the ones that required some thought (I don’t understand the military or legal sectors at all).

It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.


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ARC Reviews – May 2015

This month, I’ve read four ARCs – one of which was for a blog tour – and just started a fifth. Here’s a round-up of what I read! (please click the titles for a full review)

  • Sing for Me – Gracie Madison: “I have complicated feelings about this book. It wasn’t bad per se, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I read the whole thing, though admittedly I started skimming at about 30%.” (2 interrobangs)
  • The Rearranged Life – Annika Sharma: “This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures…a cute summer read.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • The Blooming Goddess Trilogy – Tellulah Darling: “I really enjoyed this series: it was fluffy at times but still had a strong plot. The writing was funny and compelling, and if you like contemporary takes on Greek mythology, you’ll love Sophie’s world.” (4.5 interrobangs)
  • Beyond Clueless – Linas Alsenas: “I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but this is one of those rare cases where I feel too old to read this and I think it would be better received by readers aged 12-14.” (2 interobangs)

I just started reading Devil’s Daughter and it’s interesting so far – hopefully I’ll have a review for it up next week!

What ARCs have you read this month? Anything I should look forward to?