Tag: young adult

Angel: Why you should never judge a book by its cover- or blurb, or title, or concept, or…

Angel: Why you should never judge a book by its cover- or blurb, or title, or concept, or…

★★★★☆

(4.5 stars)

I thrift-shop trawl at least once a week, usually on my way to work in the morning, and to my surprise I found two new angel books two days in a row- Angel and Halo (next to read). After pretending I didn’t have literally 15+ physical books in my to-read pile, I bought them and promptly joked with my friends. I have two new bad angel books to read, I said. Ha, won’t these chunky monstrosities hurt me? What sort of fun, silly reviews can I concoct? You know, the normal things.

Problem: I loved this book. Quite early on I realized this book is not what it looks like- or, uh, feels like? What at base glance seems like every other YA para-ro where the girl has secret powers and the guy is so gorgeous is actually one of the best angel books I’ve ever read. This book inspired me. I thought about this book. I think I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the trilogy. I’m serious- the bar might be low, but Angel inexplicably sores.

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The Iron Queen goes nowhere new and I’m okay with that

The Iron Queen goes nowhere new and I’m okay with that

★★★★☆

(4 stars)

One of the scariest things for me about reading books I enjoy is how little I have to say about them. The Iron Fey did not begin this way, but by book three I feel I’m running out of talking points. This is not a good or a bad thing, there’s simply not a lot to discuss, especially as there’s no real ‘developments’. The plot in these books moves exactly where you expect it to, with no real push or pull suggesting anything else. If I’d made a bullet list of what I expected to happen in this book, I’d have gotten every mark correct.

Still, there’s no denying these are also great books. Yes, predictability can be a curse, but it works for this series. It’s a popcorn book, a blockbuster event which lacks a certain substance but does nothing ‘wrong’. The world of wild fae mythos and original iron fey is fun, the monsters and ideas around them are fun, the action and battles and powers are… fun. This is a book where metal beetles march forward on the battlefield crewed by musketeer fey, where Puck throws balls of fur which turn into full size grizzly bears, and where, again, a fairly regular housecat is invulnerable to danger and every immortal being appears to owe him a minor debt.

These books do not need to be edgy, twisty, dark messes. They work just as they are- cliche romance bordered by great concepts, worlds, and creatures, where the ordinary teen ends up being queen and all the bad guys are vanquished forever.

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Crescendo built to nothing but my own hatred of this series

Crescendo built to nothing but my own hatred of this series

☆☆☆☆☆

(0 stars)

When I accidentally began my paranormal romance binge focused on angel books focused on about 2010 era, I did not know how much pain I would be walking into. There were laughs in Sweet Evil, stupidly bad as that was. There were highs in Fallen, which had a couple good ideas. And then there’s Hush, Hush, a series so mindbogglingly bad it does nothing but frustrate and taunt me. There’s barely even humor to be found in the poor writing and horrendous world-building, plot, and characters. It’s just a slop you have to wade through for over 400 pages.

This book features pointless breakups, never seen new antagonists, more confusing angel lore, the world’s longest series of semi-breakups and reunions over the course of non stop, short lived teen parties, even worse girl-hate, slut shaming, and so much more.

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Can Hush, Hush please be quiet?

Can Hush, Hush please be quiet?

☆☆☆☆☆

(0 stars)

Obviously, I’ve been on an angel reading spree this summer- yet if you’d asked me before to place my bets, I wouldn’t have thought Hush, Hush to be the worst of them all. I’ve been eyeing para-ro angel books since they were first published, but my dislike of the genre has always outweighed my interest in angels- so coming into them now is fairly interesting.

Anyways, Hush is atrociously bad. This is ‘you would not believe’ levels of bad going on here. Folks, we have headscratching angel mythos, smart-as-stone heroines, girl-hate, abusive love interests, and a villain who is one hundred percent correct. Settle on down to this boat of terror and place your arms under the bar- it’s a real doozy.

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The Kingdom: A fantastical, dystopic, nightmare

The Kingdom: A fantastical, dystopic, nightmare

★★★★★

(5 stars)

I very rarely buy physical copies of books. New, at least- one reason for my spurges of bad YA recently has been because those are the easiest books to find thrift. Good books, especially new good books, rarely show up in charity shops. However, I went ahead and paid full price for The Kingdom without reading any reviews, and I’m glad I did.

I knew I would like this, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t pleasantly surprised how much I did. My favorite movie is Ex Machina, and one of my favorite books is Only Ever Yours, and this book is a perfect blend of both, but also set in a theme park. And books set in theme parks are the best books.

Plainly, I would recommend this book to anyone (and already have). It’s a good length suspense about the meaning of being alive, AI, morality, and advanced technologies, and the only major downside to me was the ending, which seems to set up more for a possible sequel rather than embrace a clean, tidy ending.

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Abandon represents a fun- yet troubling- genre mix-up

Abandon represents a fun- yet troubling- genre mix-up

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

The author of the book is for once very important to this review: Meg Cabot! I’ve never read anything by her, but I know the name, and realizing she’d written this generic-looking para-ro book gave me pause. She wrote the Princess Diaries, a series which became a movie which I have seen heaps of nostalgia for and love. Without ever touching any of her contemporary teen-tween girl books I knew she was known for humor, lightness, fun, and quirky narration.

So what was she doing writing Abandon? This book screams para-ro boom of the early 2010s, from design to title to plot, yet is met in the middle by Cabot’s signature style. In the mix of an ugly love interest and his fairly abusive actions is genuinely funny dialogue. Despite the insta-love romance, there are bits of satisfying, true emotional moments regarding coming of age and being a teen girl. Even with the confusing, cartoon-ish bits, there’s real wit and good writing shining through.

Like, maybe I just liked this because I’d just finished a particularly bad quartet, but the writing is so good I found myself not caring as much as I should have about how bad the romance was. I liked the voice too much. Plus, it’s a short and snappy read.

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YA literature can do worse than The Beholder… so at least there’s that

YA literature can do worse than The Beholder… so at least there’s that

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

This (The Beholder, Anna Bright) is not a book I would have ever picked up, but I got it in a book crate and felt I ought to give it a go. It’s…. well, it’s not very exciting, and there isn’t a ton to talk about. I don’t hate it or have much to dislike, and generally enjoyed reading it, but it’s also not very engaging (or plot focused). The world building is a wonderful idea, but the execution is at times head scratching.

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