Friday, December 28, 2012

About my absence

It's been, what, three months since I've last posted a review on my blog? Certainly far too long. I can't even bring up a plausible excuse for this, other than... well, I just needed a break (a very, very long break). School, and my personal life, just kept getting in the way of blogging, and though I love to post reviews and talk about books, I just didn't have the time to do so anymore. You guys may have noticed my absence on Goodreads and Twitter as well. I apologize for all of this. Now that it's summer break here in Brazil, I'll get back to reading and posting reviews as quickly as I possibly can.

In the meantime, I apologize. Again!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

- Graceling Realm #1
Release date: October 1st 2008
Published by: Harcourt
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

In a world where people born with an extreme skill - called a Grace - are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't have high expectations when it came to Graceling. I've seen some really good reviews around lately, people loving this book to death, but for me, it wasn't all that good. I'm not saying that Graceling is a bad book (far from it!) but it didn't hold my attention the way I wanted to. It took me nearly three weeks to read a 400-page book, and that's too much for me. 

The world-building and the characters are really solid, and when I say solid, I mean it. They're consistent, and complex enough for you to understand their motivations, but still know that there's more to it than it looks like. I've learned to read Katsa's point of view and think of her like a real person, not a character. That's pretty damn impressive. Kristin Cashore has a way with words, and because of that, she can create realistic scenarios and beautiful descriptions that are as detailed as possible without being boring. 

I had no idea what to expect from Po and Katsa's relationship - on the summary it says that they become friends, but I've seen a lot of people saying that they're cute as a couple, so I didn't know what to believe - and I was incredibly satisfied when Kristin Cashore took this aspect of the book down to a whole different road. I can say for sure that their romance, and their friendship, are intertwined, and it's as perfect as it can possibly be. I'm happy about how this turned out. 

However, I had a hard time connecting with everything in Graceling. I could see how the descriptions were beautiful and could be very engaging, but it failed to capture me. I wasn't enthralled by Katsa's awesome fighting skills - they were very cool, though - and while I understood and liked Po a lot, I didn't fall for him, not the way I wanted to. Graceling was pretty entertaining, but I'm afraid I can't say it's one of my favorites. I will continue reading this series, though. It has a lot of promise, and I still hope that Cashore will manage to wow me and show me what she's really capable of doing with her readers. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Lost Prince, by Julie Kagawa

- The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1
Publication date: October 23rd 2012
To be published by: Harlequin Teen
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

It's no secret that I love Julie Kagawa's books. The Iron Fey is one of my favorite series ever, and The Immortal Rules enchanted me in a wonderful way. I had high expectations for The Lost Prince, obviously, and though it didn't disappoint me, I still had some issues with it, especially when it came to Ethan himself. 

I was used to see Faery through Meghan's eyes, and now that we have a new main character and the same world through a different POV, it all changed. I still felt that rush of familiarity with the faeries, and Nevernever, but I couldn't connect with Ethan the same way I did with Meghan. It wasn't just the fact that he's a different person, but because it's weird to see a grown-up Ethan. I knew him as little Ethan, Meghan's younger brother who loved her and was only a victim. Now, he's this badass, trouble boy with this badboy vibe, and this difference made me hesitate. Because of that, I was unable to feel the rest of the story the way I was supposed to. I'm sad that this has happened to me, but at the same time, this allowed me to focus on something else - the secondary characters. 

Keirran, Meghan, Grimalkin, Ash, Puck - they made it all up for me. I was so, so happy that they appeared in The Lost Prince. Keirran, especially, was a treat. It was wonderful to know Meghan's son, to see him interact with his uncle. Keirran reminded me so much of Ash and Meghan - he had Ash's personality, from the way he looked at people to his badass skills; and he had Meghan's heart. To put it in a simple and direct way, I loved him more than I loved Ethan, and while that was expected, it still surprised me. I expected Julie Kagawa to win me over with her characters once more - I just didn't expect these characters to be the secondary ones. 

The plot and pace of The Lost Prince were carefully controlled; it had its slow parts, of course, but they weren't boring, not really. There was so many things going on it was impossible for the story to slow down enough for it to be boring. The only aspect of this book that didn't win me over in the slightest was the romance. Kenzie was an interesting girl, and she had a good chemistry with Ethan, but it didn't work out for me. It wasn't exactly insta-love, but it was close to it, and I didn't enjoy it. I hope their relationship will be more explored in the second book, and while I wasn't thrilled by the idea of a romance blossoming between these two, I'll keep an open mind about it. Who knows? Kagawa has blew my mind more than once. I'm sure she can do it again. 

Overall, The Lost Prince was a really great book. It failed to blow my mind, unfortunately, but the rest of the story - the plot, the pace, the action scenes, the writing, the secondary characters, and the world-building - was so engaging that I can't bear to give this book less than 4 stars. Julie Kagawa's world felt like going home, and for that, I'm grateful. I'm excited to read The Traitor Son, and to see more of Ethan Chase and his adventures. I'm pretty sure he'll surprise me in the future. 

A review copy was provided by the publishers via Netgalley. Thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tiger's Destiny, by Colleen Houck

- The Tiger Saga #4
Release date: September 4th 2012
Published by: Splinter
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.  It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all. 

Oh, my. This is was a hell of a ride, that's for sure. Tiger's Destiny took long months to get published, and when it finally happened, I read it as fast as one can possibly read a book. It took me 5 hours to get through this 400-page monster, but it was worth it. It was so worth it. One of the things I like most in a series is when it has a sense of finality, or even a sense of purpose, when you know that what're you reading will make sense in the future. In Tiger's Destiny, I got exactly that. It all got wrapped up so perfectly in the ending - answering questions so long overdue - that it was easy to forget all the negative aspects and give it a 5-star rating. Now, however, I'll try to explain both the good parts, and the bad parts. 

Kelsey herself, the main character, was an interrogation point for me. She was a very likable and relatable character through the story, but when it came to the love triangle between her, Ren and Kishan, I disliked her a lot. She was immature, and her lack of good sense put both boys in a lot of trouble. I'm not saying I would behave much better, had I been in a situation like this, but Kelsey could've thought some things over before saying them. There's an specific scene in my mind right now, but I won't spoil it for you. Let it just be said that I wasn't completely satisfied with Kelsey. 

The Big Bad Love Triangle that Colleen Houck created in book 2, Tiger's Quest, still amazed me - when it came to the boys, of course. It's incredibly easy to like both Ren and Kishan, even with the obvious differencies between them - Ren being the more provocative and protective type, and Kishan being a little more sweet and understanding when it came to Kells. The author did an excellent job at making us feel torn between these two, and feel everything - every decision, every blow in the heart - that Kelsey had to go through. Maybe it's because of this that I didn't quite like Kelsey - I didn't always agree with what she chose. 

When it came to the plot and storyline, Tiger's Desting was just as complex and confusying as the previous installments. The Indian culture and history background play and enourmous role in setting the stage for Kelsey, Ren and KIshan, and while I failed to understand much of it when it came to time periods, I was still blown away by it. Here in Brazil we have a very famous saying: "Reading is culture". I always say that this series has the power to prove this sentence true. The amount of culture that you absorve when you're reading The Tiger Saga is frightening!

The Tiger's Destiny was everything I thought it would be, and much, much more. It had just the right dose of action, a little too much of romance (not that mind!), a lot, a lot of heartbreak, that left me sobbing sometimes, but most important of all, it offers this series a conclusion that I didn't see  coming. Colleen Houck is a genius... she's answered every single question that has haunted us since Tiger's Curse, and honestly, the ending couldn't have been better. It just felt right. I'm really satisfied with the way this book has turned out, and I'm excited for the next book, Tiger's Dream. I have no idea what it'll be about, and I'm afraid of how Colleen is going to continue with the storyline, but I'm anxious nonetheless! 

 4.5 stars

PS: I'm really sorry about my absence lately. School is crazy, but my tests have just ended, so now I can finally catch my breath! It feels so good to be posting on my blog again :D

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa

- The Iron Fey #1
Release date: February 1st 2010
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Amazon, Goodreads

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

When you think about faeries, what exactly comes to your mind? I used to think Thinkerbell was all there was to it, but Julie Kagawa, thankfully, proved me wrong. Faeries aren't glittery little beings. They're soulless creatures that crave a good bargain, and are always looking for ways to trick a human. They're beautiful, alluring, and may be the death of you. It's so refreshing to start reading a book in which the mythology is something unique and - though not unexplored - open to endless possibilities. 

In The Iron King, first book in the Iron Fey series, we have Meghan, an ordinary high school girl whose life turns upside down when her brother, Ethan, is kidnapped and taken to the Nevernever, home of the faeries. The story basically is about a girl trying to get her sibling back, and though it was never boring, it failed to blow me away completely. 

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of this series, and it's been a wonderful ride to read all the books all over again. However, I couldn't help but notice how The Iron King isn't perfect like I thought it was. Maybe it's my own sense of criticism that is changing, but maybe the thing that drew me to it a year ago, when I first got my hands on this series, doesn't appeal to me now. And that factor is Meghan herself. 

She is a pretty strong heroine, but only in general. She matures greatly as the series progresses, but in The Iron King, specifically, she's still that same protagonist that I've seen so many times in other YA books - fierce, beautiful (but thinks she's flat), and a Mary Sue sometimes. It's interesting (and a little amusing) to compare this Meghan to the girl she has become later on, but I can't help but notice these differences, and how - if this had been my first experience with the book - this would've bothered me. 

The side characters were the best part of the book for me, especially Puck and Grimalkin - not that I'm saying that I don't like Ash. It's just that in The Iron King, we don't get to really know him, and though he passes off as an alluring, dark prince and a good love interest, I didn't immediately fall in love with him in this novel. That said, Puck and Grim are the best characters in this book. They're just so funny and entertaining! I wish I had a best friend like Puck. It would surely make my life more interesting, LOL. 

With a fascinating mythology and captivating characters, The Iron King has two different flavors mixed together: the flavor of Disney's magic, and the darkness of a medieval movie, especially one with fantastical creatures and handsome knights. I do believe this series is a must read, but more than that, it's something that will make you squeal like a fan girl, and satisfy your need of action scenes. It's no wonder Julie Kagawa is one of my favorite authors!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Showcase Sunday #8

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren. Its aim is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

Well, I can't say I wasn't excited for September - a lot of good books are coming out this month, and I bought way more than I should. Oh, well.

Origin, by Jessica Khoury
Archangel's Storm, by Nalini Singh
The Dark Light, by Sara Walsh

I finally got a copy of Origin - I've been dying to read this book. The setting is what attracts me most in this novel. I mean, come on! Amazon jungle! \o 
Nalini Singh is an awesome writer, and I fell in love with her Guild Hunter series. Now, however, each book in the series is about a different angel, and I don't like that. The first three books were about Elena and Raphael, and I still wish she'd keep writing about them. I'm not overly enthusiastic about Archangel's Storm, but you never know!
The Dark Light sounds so good (also... hot cover). 

And last, but totally not least, Tiger's Destiny, by Colleen Houck. Words cannot describe how excited I am to read this book. The Tiger's Curse series is fantastic, and I cannot wait to see what's going to happen in the fourth installment.

What about you? Leave me a link, or just tell me in the comments!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heaven, by Alexandra Adornetto

- Halo #3
Release date: August 21st 2012
Published by: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Only sixteen when she started the series, Ally Adornetto knows how teen hearts beat, and this long-awaited conclusion is certain to be her most popular book yet.

Bethany, an angel sent to Earth, and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier, have been to Hell and back. But now their love will be put to its highest test yet, as they defy Heavenly law and marry. They don’t tell Beth’s archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, but the angels know soon enough, and punishment comes in a terrifying form: the Sevens, who are rogue angels bent on keeping Beth and Xavier apart, destroying Gabriel and Ivy, and darkening angelic power in the heavens.

The only way Bethany and can elude the Sevens is to hide in the open, and blend in with other mortals their own age. Gabriel and Ivy set them up at college, where they can’t reveal their relationship, and where there is still danger around each corner. Will Bethany be called back to Heaven – forever – and face leaving the love of her life?

It's incredible how much taste in books can change over the years. When I first read Halo, two years ago, I loved it so much I read it again three times. I adored Hades as well, although I agreed about everything the negative reviews said (ironic, I know). When Heaven came out a couple of weeks ago, I knew I probably wouldn't like it, but well... I decided to give it a try. 

I wish I hadn't.

Let me be honest with you guys: I didn't finish reading this book. My review is based entirely on the first nine chapters, because that's as far as I went. I'm not saying this book is awful from the beginning to the end - that would be highly hypocrite of me - but from the beginning to chapter 9? Yeah, it's pretty bad. A few gems were enough for me to drop this book and want to burn it.

Bethany and Xavier are going to marry (and they're not even nineteen, let me tell ya), and apparently Heaven has a problem with this, since, you know, Bethany is an angel and Xavier is a human. An earthquake strikes the town, and suddenly, Bethany knows something is wrong in the Kingdom. And what do they do? They hurry to a chapel, and get married. 

Oh, how romantic. And stupid. 

Bethany, you know something is wrong in Heaven, and it all started the second Xavier tried to put a ring in your finger, and you still run to the freaking chapel and get married. Do you want to die, or is it just a subconscious wish?

All right, moving on. They get married, the priest dies in front of them, and they're suddenly being chased by the Seven, rogue angels who want to keep them apart. Actually, Heaven itself wants to keep them apart. Gabriel and Ivy defy the laws to help them (as if the Archangel Gabriel would defy God to protect an angel and a human and allow them to be together. Go figure), and you know how Beth and Xavier feel about all of this?

They're okay with it. They don't regret the fact that they got married and a lot of people could die because of it. They don't regret it at all, and that just pissed me off. They're feeling guilty because the priest died, but not because it was their decision to marry in the first place. I can't even begin to say how wrong this is. 

Also, there were a few quotes that jumped at me (meaning, I wanted to kill myself when I read them):

"We can think of it like a game," I replied. "Winning the right to be together... that's our goal, and we're just playing against an especially difficult team."

Yeah, you're playing against Heaven. And a person has already died because of it. What are you going to think of that, Bethany?

"You know that won't ever change, right? I'll always be here." Xavier pressed his forehead against mine. "You can bet on that. Besides, fending off these Sevens should be a piece of cake after what you've been through."
I thought about that for a second and decided he was right. What could be worse than being dragged to Hell and trapped in an underworld where those you loved couldn't find you?

LOLOLOLOL. Seriously, I laughed out loud at that. NOTHING happened to her in the underworld! NOTHING! She stayed in a first class hotel, being pampered by the Prince of Hell himself, and not even once was she hurt in the process. Yes, emotionally, that was hard, but come on. Being hunted by rogue angels who wanted to kill you and would do anything to accomplish that is slightly more tormenting, isn't it?

"How many babies do you want to have?" With any other teenage boy, that kind of question would have set off major alarm bells. But as usual, Xavier was unfazed. 
"Probably no more than a dozen."
"Be serious."

They're teenagers. She's an angel. They're being hunted by Heaven. People can die. Gabriel and Ivy are going through Hell to help them. And that's what they're talking about.
Oh, God. Why.

And that's not even the worst of it. They're in bed, trying to get some sleep, and Bethany just won't shut up about it.

"Do you think there's much change of it happening?"
"Of what happening?"

"Us having kids."
"Sure. Definitely. One day."
"Can we call our first born Waylon if it's a boy?"


If you're asking yourself "Could it get any worse than this?", well... yes. Yes, it can. Bethany's stupidity can reach unspoken levels, to the point where they're supposed to stay in a cabin, and not come out, for anything, and this is what happens:

"Can we drive into town today?" I called out to Xavier, trying to sound blasé. "I really want to get out of the house."

Sure. Why don't you hang a sign on your neck, as well?

"Fine." He sighed heavily. "But if we're going outside you need to cover up to make sure you're not recognized."

"By who?" I asked sarcastically. "The paparazzi?"

I can't even.

Apart from those little gems that I just loved, there's the obvious things that pretty much pissed me off as much as those quotes. The fact that everybody just adores Bethany, even those who don't even know her:

"Oh, I can wait," she said emphatically. "You're so nice and pretty I don't wanna mess you up."

Oh, please.

There was also the fact that Xavier spoke British English most of the time, even though he's supposed to be American, through and through:

"But I reckon he must be pretty pissed off at someone."

Xavier was forced to smile at my analogy. "Reckon we can beat 'em?" he murmured. 

However, I must give credit where credit is due. Gabriel and Ivy surprised me a couple of times (positively!) and I can't help but mention these wonderful quotes:

"Do you expect us to keep defending you no matter what you do?"

"You do not experience emotion, Bethany - you wallow in it, you are controlled by it, and everything you have done is based entirely on self-interest."

"Just because you don't understand love doesn't make it wrong!"
"This isn't about love anymore. It's about obedience and responsibility. Two concepts you appear not to understand."

To those two, I only have one thing to say:

Apart from those quotes, Heaven failed to impress me. It was shallow, uninteresting, and the characters made me want to kill myself. I know this review is insanely long, but I had so many things to say, it was impossible to make it short. I regret all the time I spent reading this book, and honestly, I'm glad this trilogy is over. I know there are a lot of fans out there that are really sad Heaven is the last book, but for me, three books about Bethany was enough. More than enough, really. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Innocent Darkness, by Suzanne Lazear

- The Aether Chronicles #1
Release date: August 8th 2012
Published by: Flux
Genre: Young Adult/ Steampunk
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

This book was everything I thought it would be, but at the same time it surprised me. I was expecting a great - but not awesome - book about faeries and a great world-building, and Innocent Darkness was exactly that. However, some other aspects of it caught me by surprise, like the love triangle and Noli herself. 

Maybe it's because I'm used to reading books about faeries that have a strong heroine (I only have Eugenie Markham and Meghan Chase as a reference, come on!), but Noli's delicate, insightful nature was completely unexpected, and pleasant all the same. She was different, wild and still feminine, and this balance of personality fit the world-building perfectly. The mythology surrounding faeries is dark and alluring, and Noli was a perfect main character. A bit naive sometimes, but not enough to make me angry. Put it in a simple way, she was a remarkable heroine, and I really liked her. 

What I'm feeling torn about is the love triangle. I loved V, Noli's best friend - he was cute, caring, and fierce at the same time when it came to her - but throughout the book, he fell into the same category as every other guy of a love triangle that I have ever read about. Dark, flat, and silent most of the time, without a deep personality or reasonable motives, who thinks that making a decision that affects the main character without consulting her is okay. All right, this is a historical fiction, and back in the 1800s, men did make decisions without asking the women first, but I'm tired of reading a love story that doesn't have equality. I get it that V has more experience than Noli, but for once, I'd like the guy not to fall in the same Edward-esque cycle of brooding and being mysterious without a reason to. 

I didn't like Kevighn at all, and I really hope Noli won't run after him. Please, give me a break, the guy tried to confuse Noli and use her as a sacrificial lamb, and I'm supposed to feel for him? Okay, he changed and suddenly fell in love with Noli, but he still tried to kill her - and even after admitting that he was in love with her, he was still thinking about her as the sacrifice... as if Noli being the girl he loves was nothing more than an unfortunate issue! Yes, faeries are supposed to be heartless, but this won't work for me. If Noli has to end up with someone, please, let it be V. He's way better than Kevighn. At least he genuinely cares for her. 

The world-building was interesting, if not amusing. I have a certain familiarity with faerie books, and it was fantastic to see these creatures through a different point of view, a different story with another essence altogether. Innocent Darkness was a very good debut, and I look forward to its sequel. I hope the story will impress me more; it certainly has the potential to do so!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Showcase Sunday #7

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren. Its aim is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

I got some really good books this week, as well as... well, some not so good ones. Overall, I'm happy about everything that I got.

 The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter, by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight, by Julie Kagawa

Finally - finally! - I own the entire Iron Fey series. I read this series last year on my e-reader, and I always wanted to have physical copies of it. There was a bookstore here with all the books in stock, and I just couldn't pass this opportunity. I'm re-reading The Iron Daughter right now, and boy, let me tell you, this series is as good as I remembered!

The Iron Legends, by Julie Kagawa
Foretold, edited by Carrie Ryan
Vanquished, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié

Two anthologies that I've been looking forward to for months now. The Iron Legends was pure perfection, but Foretold was a complete disappointment, unfortunately. I hope Vanquished will be as good as I'm hoping. I'm not a big fan of this trilogy, but Crusade was fantastic, so fingers crossed that this one will be good!

Over You, by Emma McLaughlin
Heaven, by Alexandra Adornetto
White Cat, by Holly Black 

Over You sounds ridiculously cute, and I adore the cover. I really need some fluffly contemporary novel right now ^-^ I tried to read Heaven, since I enjoyed Halo and Hades, but I couldn't get past page 70. My taste in books must've changed a lot, because honestly, this book was awful. I've heard really good things about White Cat. Really hoping it'll live up to its hype!

So, that was all that I got this week. What about you guys? Tell me in the comments, or leave me a link to your post, and I'll check it out! :D

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homecoming, by Richelle Mead

- Homecoming is part of the Foretold anthology. 
Release date: August 28th 2012
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis of Foretold:
Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.

I honestly don't know what to think. I've been waiting for this novella to come out for two years, since Last Sacrifice disappointed me a little. I was hoping Richelle Mead would give us a wonderful closure to Vampire Academy in that book, but instead, all we got was a ton of loose ends and unanswered questions... but that was okay, I told myself. Obviously Richelle Mead had something else planned, and all these issues will be addressed later on, maybe in Bloodlines, or, umm, who knows, in a novella?

And finally, she gave us what we, fans, desired the most... a novella with Rose and Dimitri in Russia. And now that I have read this novella, all I wish for is that it was never published in the first place. I don't know what the hell Mead was thinking when she wrote this, but this novella was useless. That's it; it's just useless. It doesn't add anything to the story, let alone give us some closure. 

Let me make myself clear and just explain why I hated this so much. And yes, I tried to control myself, but there'll be a lot of ranting in this review, so I apologize for my language.

You see, the novella starts off with Rose and Dimitri in Russia, about to visit the Belikovs. Dimitri is nervous, of course, since it's the first time he'll get to see his mom and sisters after being turned back into a dhampir. And that was supposed to be wonderful - I mean, that's what I waiting for, after all - it was anything but. Most of the time Mead simply told us what was happening - she didn't show us. I kept waiting for my heart to break and for me to feel happy for Dimitri but that didn't happen, because for the first time in my life, I didn't connect with him at all. He was like a stranger to me, and that pissed me off beyond words. I felt betrayed; it was like Mead had twisted everything that I loved, changed Dimitri and Rose so much I couldn't recognize them. 

Speaking of Rose.. what the hell happened to her? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?! She was all over the place. And Rose was the biggest disappointment of all times. She was ridiculous. She kept questioning Yeva and fighting her, even when Dimitri was standing right next to her, as if Rose had the right to disrespect Yeva in front of the Belikovs. Not to mention that makes no sense - Rose knew Yeva, she spent weeks with her in Blood Promise. It's like Mead suddenly forgot that, and decided to write these fights just to show us how badass and brave Rose is. Let me tell you, Mead, it didn't work. It made Rose look like a fucking brat. 

And the romance. I won't even get started on the romance. There was no chemistry between her and Dimitri, there wasn't a single scene that made my heart race, there wasn't a single dialogue - except for one quote - that made me swoon. Can you sense how angry and disappointed I am? Even the plot of this novella was all over the place.. and come on, it's a novella. It's not even supposed to have that much of a plot, because there's not enough time for it to develop. But of course Mead had to do it. And you know what? I don't care about a strigoi that's been killing humans near Dimitri's village. I don't care about the Blood King. I don't care about a new villain. I don't care about hot dogs - because, you know, there is a conversation involving hot dogs that lasts 2 pages. This was like an awful fanfiction - and I call it "awful" because I've read amazing fanfictions that are way better than this.

I'm not saying this novella was supposed to solve every single loose end in the series. Of course that's not possible; like I said, there's not enough time for this to happen. But come on! At least give me some closure on Dimitri and Rose themselves. Show me how they're living, show me what challenges they have to endure on a daily basis to stay together, how they're managing the whole "being Lissa and Christian's guardian" thing. Please, just show me something important, something relevant. We never even get to know how they went to Russia in the first place - something is mentioned about how Rose is nervous about leaving Lissa alone, but what about Christian? I find it hard to believe that Dimitri would just leave his Moroi alone in the Court, even if he was protected by Lissa's guardians as well. Dimitri isn't like this.

I'll just put it in a blunt way: Homecoming was unnecessary. It failed in every single aspect. It lacked creativity, it lacked writing - and I don't say this lightly -, it lacked romance, it lacked substance. I honestly regret all the time I wasted being excited for this novella. It was uncalled for, because you know what? It didn't add anything new to Vampire Academy, it didn't add a single thing to Last Sacrifice, and to be honest, the only thing I'm looking forward to, right now, is forgetting Homecoming was ever published. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quick review: Iron's Prophecy, by Julie Kagawa

- The Iron Fey #4.5
Release date: September 1st 2012 (also released on August 28th as part of The Iron Legends anthology)
Published by: Harlequin Teen

Warning: This review will contain spoilers for those who haven't read The Iron Fey series. 

Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child… 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this novella. Sure, the summary does give plenty of the plot away, but I'm still glad to say that Julie Kagawa surprised me. I missed these characters so much - especially Ash - and it was wondeful to dive into Nevernever and Meghan's life yet again. So much has changed since we last saw her, and it was different to see her as The Iron Queen. Meghan was powerful and regal, but she had the same heart. She still loved Ash, and would do anything to protect her family and those who are important to her, and after everything that she's been through, her personality still amazes me. I simply love this girl. 

To put it in a simple way, Iron's Prophecy was a quick, good novella, that fed me yet another dose of The Iron Fey. Unfortunately, I am now forced to acknowledge the fact that this series is really over, and that I have to let go of Ash and Meghan - Oh, Ash, how I'll miss you - and stop fantasing about what's happening to them, or what adventures they're going through. It's going to be hard.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Girl of Nightmares, by Kendare Blake

- Anna #2
Release date: August 7th 2012
Published by: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

It was actually a pleasant surprise when I found out Anna Dressed in Blood was going to have a sequel. It wasn't terribly necessary, to tell you the truth, and I wasn't craving for a sequel when I finished reading Anna, but since there was a second book coming out, I became increasingly happier and more excited to get my hands on Girl of NIghtmares. Now that I have finally read it, I realize that, well... this book really was necessary to give us some closure. 

Anna Dressed in Blood ended in a somewhat tragic scene, where Anna got dragged down to Hell - or someplace else, - with Obeahman. In Girl of Nightmares, Cas is struggling to get back to his life and move on, but visions of Anna being tortured makes that a hard job. Because of that, this book is a lot darker than its predecessor. It's obvious Cas is suffering, not knowing where the girl he loves is, and what the hell he can do to help her - if there's anything he can do to help her. I felt all that right along with him, but while I loved the character development that this angst-filled plot provoked on Cas, I wish the pace of it hadn't been so slow. I understand that there's a lot more going on here than a few ghosts stirring up trouble, really I do, but certain parts were so slow and full of pain that it was suffocating. I missed the easy-going dialogues and action scenes that Anna Dressed in Blood had, and maybe that's why I couldn't fully enjoy this book. 

Most of all, though, I missed Anna herself. It's not like seeing her being tortured repeatedly make me think "Awww, how I missed you, Anna! I'm so glad I'm reading this right now!". It hurt me to see Anna being injured like that, being broken like that, and yes, she did appear in the ending, but it wasn't something I was looking forward to, really. She was so broken that I all I wanted to do was give her a hug. It was obvious that the Anna I met in Anna Dressed in Blood was gone for good, and I was incredibly sad about it. 

The ending, however - and I do not, in any way, say this lightly - is the best part of this book. Yes, the secondary characters were amusing, and I loved the way we got to know the Order and Cas' purpose, but the ending made me forget everything. It was so, so perfect, that I can't - even now - talk about it without looking like a lunatic. If you're looking for a happy ending, you may - or may not - have it. In my opinion, this was a happy ending. It was bittersweet, and though not entirely what I was expecting, it gave this series a solid closure. Of course, Kendare Blake could always write another book about Cas and his adventures, but for now, I feel like Cas's story has come to an end. The curtains were closed exactly how they should have been, and I appreciate that a lot. This series is really good, and it's one of the best series about ghosts that I've read. If you enjoy this kind of thing.... just go for it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Showcase Sunday #6

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Books, Biscuits, and Tea, inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren. Its aim is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week.

This week was FANTASTIC in books. There's an event happening in Sao Paulo about books. It's like a BEA, but everybody can go, the books aren't free, and there aren't ARCs there. Kind of like a giant bookstore, where each publisher has its own stand and features. I went there on tuesday, and I freaked out. Seriously. I bought a lot of books, all of them in Portuguese:

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Starters, by Lissa Price
Wake, by Amanda Hocking
A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan
Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
Pure, by Julianna Baggott

I know this doesn't exactly fit in this post, but I just thought I'd share a picture with you guys. You know Game of Thrones, right? Well... The Iron Throne was there, on the Game of Thrones' publisher's stand, and I sat on it. I sat on the Iron Throne! And I know this isn't a huge deal, not really, but for me, someone who loves the tv show and doesn't miss a single episode, it is. I felt like I really was on King's' Landing.

I also got something that's more book-related than the picture above. A necklace with the Hunger Games' mockingjay. A friend of mine bought it recently, and he sold it to me. 

And then, to make matters worse (or better, I guess) I got some ebooks as well:

Innocent Darkness, by Suzanne Lazear
The Demigod Diaries, by Rick Riordan
The Treachery of Beautiful Things, by Ruth Frances Long

So, these are all the book-related things that I got this week. I can't wait to get started on these books, especially Innocent Darkness, since I've been craving for it to be released. The Demigod Diaries was a really cute anthology, featuring a Percy and Annabeth novella, some games, and a novella writen by Rick Riordan's son. It was plenty of fun, and very quick to read. 
What about you guys? What did you get this week? Tell me in comments, or leave me a link, and I'll check it out!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feature & Follow #3

Feature and Follow Friday is a meme, hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, that gives bloggers the opportunity to meet other bloggers, and gain followers :D

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind, it doesn't have to be a book blog.

Oh, well. Would it be ridiculous if I say I'm shy about this question? It's not a tough one, but still!
Someone who inspires me? There are a lot of bloggers who inspire me, but basically, there are two of them: The Story Siren (I used to follow this blog, and it was what inspired me to create A Whole Word in Pages in the first place - it was what gave me the push that I needed to put my reviews out there, in the open), and Sam, from Realm of Fiction. Sam was like, the first person who ever posted a comment on my blog, and I remember how excited I was when I saw it. I really like her blog, her reviews, and her writing style. :)

So, that's it. These are the bloggers that inspire me. What about you? Tell me in the comments, or leave me a link and I'll be happy to visit your Feature and Follow post!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Biting Cold, by Chloe Neill

- Chicagoland Vampires #6
Release date: August 7th 2012
Published by: New American Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

*Warning: This review will contain spoilers of the previous books in the Chicagoland Vampires series, especially Hard Bitten and Drink Deep.

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.

No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

When I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dropped it altogether, but I was using her descriptive writing to train my English, and my translation skills, so I just swallowed my urge to throw the entire series away, and kept reading it. And now, two years later, this is one of my favorite vampire series of all times, especially because of the politics and the complex world-building - although some kick-ass scenes and a breath-taking blond Master vampire do win a few brownie points. 

I feel like Chloe Neill is unraveling something unique with her series. In it, vampires burn in the sun, but they also have a knack for using a katana, they're magical creatures that feel all the currents of power around them, and their eyes silver when they're feeling certain emotions. It's a familiar yet completely disconcerting territory to explore, and Chloe Neill has done a terrific job at it - she's still doing a terrific job at it, since this is her sixth book and things are only improving. Merit has grown into her skin, gone from a geeky graduate student to a vampire Sentinel who's willing do to just about anything to protect her House and her city. She's at the same time a reliable friend and a kick-ass vampire chick ready to swing a katana when danger arises. I simply love Merit, and the way she has evolved as the series went on. 

Now that I'm talking about, you know, my love for the characters, I wouldn't be able to write this review without talking about Ethan, the breath-taking blond Master vampire that I mentioned before. If you have read this series, and invested as much effort into it as I have, you're probably as happy as I am about Ethan being in this book. And at a certain extent, my expectations were met and I was fan-girling over the fact that he's back the whole time.. but at the same time, I was disappointed with a few things. Ethan has changed, and I wasn't ready for it. One second he's this intense guy bursting into Tate's office and being staked by Celina... and then, he's this open-minded guy who's not afraid to speak his mind, and being forward with Merit about his feelings. Well, this troubled me. I couldn't create a connection between these two sides of him, and I was afraid that Chloe Neill had changed Ethan in a permanent way. I'm glad to say this didn't happen, and once again I saw the Ethan that I loved and got so frustrated with. My friends, I can definitely say: Ethan Sullivan is back. Prepare yourselves: It's a tough, yet exciting, ride. 

When talking about the plot and the villain, I was surprised by how much Biting Cold was about Tate. The summary talks about an evil chasing Merit across Nebraska, yes, but I thought that maybe that was just a secondary plot arch, and Mallory stealing the Malificium would've been the real issue. However, Mallory's betrayal is the least of Merit's concerns, now that Seth Tate has finally showed his true form. I loved this twist, and though it was a little weird to know what Tate was, it made sense. I was satisfied by the way things turned out, especially when it came to the "final" battle. 

Overall, Biting Cold was everything I thought it would be, and more. Chloe Neill is a fantastic writer, and now I can only wonder why I was so worried about this book in the first place. Chicagoland Vampires is still placed firmly on my "favorite" list, and with everything that has happened in this installment, it's obvious things are going to be even crazier in Chicago now. I can't wait to see more of Merit and Ethan.This series is just getting better and better!

Waiting on Wednesday #15

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week, I'm anticipating:

Foretold: 14 Storis of Prophecy and Prediction
Publication date: August 28th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Add it on Goodreads!

Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It's human nature to wonder about life's twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life's unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction's brightest stars.

I've been waiting for this book since December/2010, when a certain author - COUGH COUGH Richelle Mead COUGH COUGH - didn't write Dimitri and Rose going to Russia in Last Sacrifice. And I've been dying to get my hands on this story 'cause honestly, it's Dimitri and Rose, as in, the best couple in YA. And now this book is here and it's coming out in 13 days (yes I'm counting) and I'm in a mess, waiting for it to come out. Especially since they released a teaser and maybe, just maybe, there'll be a wedding. A wedding

So... that's what I'm so eagerly anticipating. What about you? What're you looking forward to this week? Leave me a link, or just tell in the comments!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Assassin's Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release date: October 2nd 2012
To be published by: Strange Chemistry
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads
Pre-order it on: Amazon, Book Depository

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

The Assassin's Curse had a lot of premise, I'll give it that. And my expectations were high, in a way. The synopsis was eye-catching, and the cover is pretty different and unique. However - and I don't say that lightly - something was missing. I couldn't fully give in to this story, and though it had some appeal, it didn't satisfy my needs at all. The writing was good, as was the setting, but the characters just didn't work for me. 

Ananna was the biggest issue, I guess. She seemed reasonable in the beginning, but towards the end, all I wanted to do was shake her. She wasn't mature (though that would've been fine, had this been her only negative aspect) and her decisions were childish. I don't like it when the author makes the heroine fight the love interest just to look like she has a strong personality, without any real reason to. Luce, from the Fallen series, is like this. Nora, from the Hush, Hush series, is like this. And Ananna is like this as well. It was a big disappointment, and I couldn't help but notice how her arguments with Naji were pointless, and didn't add anything new to the plot, or to the character development.

Naji was another question mark, though I quickly grew fond of him. At first, I thought he was just another closed, intense guy that all readers are supposed to love, even without any real depth, but as his character was explored more, it became clear how complex he is. Naji's been through a lot, and that's what makes him broody. When I finally understood that, Naji was surprisingly easy to relate to. The romance between him and Ananna was close to nonexistent, and I appreciated that. Though there is some romantic tension going on, it never took the attention from the plot, and the trouble Naji and Ananna were in. This leaves space and context for something else to develop in the sequel, and I look forward to that. Maybe Clarke will dive in this territory when the time comes. 

The world-building was solid, and had a lot of potential for action scenes, which unfortunately was wasted. The story has some quick scenes, but for the most parts, it was painfully slow, heavy with details and dialogues. It took me nearly five days to read this book, and considering the fact that I spend almost five hours reading per day, that's a long time. I wish the author had explored the action scenes a bit more, though I understand that she wanted to build the setting and introduce us to the world she has created. This introduction, however, could've been shorter. 

Overall, The Assassin's Curse was an interesting debut. It failed to blow me away - though I'm pretty sure it will blow a lot of readers away -, but I'll pick up the sequel. This story has a lot of potential, and I'm hoping this will be explored, and a certain character - aka Ananna - will develop a lot more and grow into her own skin. She can be a fascinating character, if only Clarke knows how to do it. The only thing I can do for now is think positive... and wait for the sequel.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley. Thank you!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry

Release date: July 31st 2012
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

It's incredibly difficult to read a hyped book. I get nervous, and I just don't know if I'll like it or not, if it's going to be disappointing or mind-blowing. More difficult than that, however, is to write a review on a hyped book that I loved more than anything. That's exactly what I'm facing right now. I have no idea how to put what I feel about this book into words. Pushing the Limits was fantastic, and I honestly don't know where to begin.

Perhaps I should probably begin by saying that Echo and Noah were fantastic characters, not because they were strong, or kick-ass, but because they were so damn human it hurt. They went through so much - Echo, because of her scars, and Noah, because of his tough family situation - that it's impossible, completely and totally impossible, to not sympathize with them. Both Noah and Echo were realistic to the extreme, and not once did I look at them and thought "Wow, that just didn't make sense", because everything, from the way they decided on things, and to the dialogues, was realistic and well thought. I cried for them, I cheered for them, and I couldn't get enough of these two.

The set of secondary characters couldn't have been more eclectic. Noah's friends, Echo's family, Noah's brothers, and the school counselor, were delightful characters, and they all fit into the story without taking the spotlight away from Echo and Noah. I loved the relationship between all the characters, the dynamic that it created between them. It was incredibly refreshing and also allowed us to get out of the drama and hurt that usually followed Echo and Noah around.

And - just because I can't help myself - I gotta talk about Noah. My newest crush is simply adorable. Noah is the kind of boy that's tough on the outside - he has to be, to stand everything he's been through - but on the inside, he's a boy separated from his brothers and in love with a broken girl. He's strong for all of them, while at the same time struggling with his own problems. I couldn't be prouder of the way things turned out in the ending for him - and Echo, of course - because he really deserved it. The romance that developed between them was sweet, and full of pain as well. It was heart-breaking and swoon-worthy at the same time.

I waited more than 3 months to read Pushing the Limits. I read every review out there, and I was positive I'd love it. And yeah, I did love it - but Pushing the Limits is also the best contemporary novel I have ever read in my life. The characters and flawed but impressive, the multiple points of view were distinguishable, the writing was smooth and the romance was wonderful. The waiting, my friends, was well, well worth it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Thing About the Truth, by Lauren Barnholdt

Release date: July 10th 2012
Published by: Simon Pulse
Genre: Contemporary (YA)
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Kelsey’s not going to let one mistake ruin her life. Sure, she got kicked out of prep school and all her old friends are shutting her out. But Kelsey’s focused on her future, and she’s determined to get back on track at Concordia High.

Isaac’s been kicked out of more schools than he can count. Since his father’s a state senator, Isaac’s life is under constant scrutiny—but Concordia High’s his last stop before boarding school, so Isaac’s hoping to fly under the radar and try to stay put for a change.

When Kelsey and Isaac meet, it’s anything but love at first sight. She thinks he’s an entitled brat, and he thinks she’s a stuck-up snob. So it surprises them both when they start to fall for each other. Kelsey’s happy for the first time in months, and Isaac’s never felt this way about anyone before...But nothing’s ever completely perfect. Everyone has secrets, and Isaac and Kelsey are no exceptions. These two may have fallen hard, but there’s one thing that can ruin it all: the truth.

They say "Don't judge a book by its cover", and sometimes, that really does prove itself true. Unfortunately, The Thing About the Truth doesn't fall into this category. I've never been a fan of this cover, but the summary looked so interesting and just plain entertaining, that I decided to give it a try, regardless of the specifics. And yes, Lauren Barnholdt's newest novel is plenty of fun and very enjoyable, but... it wasn't memorable. At all.

My problems with this novel is related to the main character, Kelsey. I will be honest with you; the entire time, she looked like a brat to me. She fought with Isaac for no reason at all, only to spite him and - at least that's what it looked like - to prove how mature and sure she was of herself, when really, her actions spoke of the opposite. She mistreated Isaac over nothing - he helped her countless times, and all she did was turn her back on him, and I hated that. I hated how self-righteous she was, and most of all, I hated how she didn't care about anyone else, only her grades, in a difficult moment. If someone were crying her eyes out in the bathroom, or passing out in front of Kelsey, all she did was think about how late she'd be to her meeting with the principal. I mean, really?

Also, the big "truth" that was supposed to come out and destroy Isaac and Kelsey's relationship wasn't shocking at all. Sure, I understand why it was difficult for both of them to face this omitted truth, especially Isaac, but even then, it wasn't serious enough to do that much damage. Maybe I just never went through that sort of thing, but really - after I learned what big secret Kelsey was keeping, I was expecting a simple fight between them, not something epic like that.

The romance, however, was incredibly cute - if you forget Kelsey's ridiculous decisions - and since that's what I was looking for, basically, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction. The Thing About the Truth did its job as a light contemporary novel - it entertained me and gave a lot of swoon-worthy scenes - but as a romance book with a deeper meaning, it failed to impress.