Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Did Not Finish

I really wanted to like More Than This; it came very highly recommended to me by someone whose opinion I respect greatly. After the first few pages, wherein the main character, Seth, drowns, I was thinking...well, this has possibilities, even if I wasn't too keen on the writing style. Unfortunately, as soon as Seth "wakes up" wherever it is that he's gone after dying, I quickly lost interest. It's not that the story isn't well-written; I suspect Ness is a genius in many ways as his use of words and his slow descriptive style are certainly intelligent enough. It's just that...I didn't care. I at first felt badly for Seth, a young man with a troubled family, dying much too young; and then, I just didn't care at all because the story was taking so long to get going and was so cryptic that it was just...uninteresting, at least to me.

Full disclosure: This book was, unfortunately, a Did Not Finish for me. Like I said, I wanted to love it but there are just way too many books out there that capture me quickly for me to spend so long struggling to pay attention to one that just doesn't. Realizing it may just be me and my moodiness as a reader, I am still giving this novel 3/5 stars out of a sense of fairness. And who knows? I may try it again at some point and find myself completely enthralled. But for's a definite pass for this reader.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

If You Like YA Fiction...Read This Book. Now.

Well, if you are expecting anything less than a glowing review for Tandem by Anna Jarzab, you're going to be very, very disappointed. I totally loved it: the world building, the characters, the action...all of it adds up to page-turning excitement and fun. Let me explain.

Jarzab's novel opens with Sasha being asked to the prom by good-looking Grant, a boy who has never shown an interest in her before. Sasha's puzzled but intrigued enough to accept, not realizing that Grant isn't who he has always been, and this date is going to be life-changing in more ways than one. For a girl who grew up listening to her grandfather's stories of multiple universes and princesses in other realms, Sasha's about to get first-hand knowledge of just how parallel worlds actually work when she is forced to slip into the life of her analog (the person who looks just like her). Is she able to pull it off? Why should she? What follows is complicated in more ways than one, and Sasha's very life could depend upon what she does...or doesn't do.

This novel had me trapped almost from the start with its rather unique premise and Sasha's honest storytelling. Of course there's a bit of a romance, but it's a slow build and not at all certain; Sasha's rebellious in more ways than one. Jarzab uses just enough science to lend credibility to her story, but it's the idea of everyone having a double out there somewhere that really brings this story alive. I actually made myself put this novel down before I went to bed last night just so I wouldn't finish it too fast; it was that enjoyable and that enthralling. Now of course I'm mad that I have to wait until next July for the second book, but you better believe I'll be acquiring the sequel on the day of release. Not truly a dystopian, not really a teen romance, Tandem is so much's a book that you'll find yourself absorbed into. What are you waiting for? Go read it now. Highly recommended!


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Emerald Green

Emerald Green is the final book in Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red Trilogy, bringing this delightful series to a close and tying up loose threads along the way. Gwyneth and Gideon are, once again, preparing to travel back in time to meet with Count Saint-Germain, and to close the Circle of Twelve. The closing is supposed to bring about a great good for mankind, but Gwyneth and Gideon begin to have their doubts, and these are only reinforced the more they interact with the Guardians. The presence of a second chronograph will allow them to time travel independently of the Guardians, but it brings its own dangers; will they find the mysterious substance the count is seeking? And what will happen if they do? Along the way, Gwyneth struggles with Gideon's wish to be friends, her uppity cousin Charlotte, and the presence of the friendly demon Xemerius.

Lots of nice twists populate this novel, and Gwyneth's voice is perfectly written with her angst and cleverness. I did get a little frustrated with the Gwyneth/Gideon relationship at times; I had trouble buying into it until perhaps the last third of the novel. The mystery that surrounds the chronograph moves along well, and the revelations make good sense in the course of the plot. I do feel that I'm left hanging just a bit after the close; I want full, complete answers to everything!

Emerald Green is just as much fun as the first two books in the series, and I was happily engaged throughout the storyline. Nothing too deep, but definitely lots of fun. Even the presence of the annoying little demon doesn't distract from the overall enjoyment, and I'm not one who normally enjoys that sort of thing. I'll be looking for more by this author!