The Dead And Buried
By: Kim Harrington
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
|Summary: Jade loves the house she’s just moved into with her family. She doesn’t even mind being the new girl at the high school: It’s a fresh start, and there’s that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade’s little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade’s jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn’t.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who’s seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade’s school — until her untimely death last year. It’s up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
Review: This book wasn’t terrible, but I felt Harrington missed a lot of potentials that could have made it a lot better.
First of all, I called it about a third of the way through and was dead certain (no pun intended) by the halfway point. I could tell from the very beginning that Harrington was going to try hard to throw readers off course by throwing every possible motive out there. (view spoiler on my Goodreads) As Harrington was so blatantly obvious, I don’t think she realized she was waving a bright red flag over the killer. I think if she had toned it down on the quick yet strong accusations, readers would have been more inclined to keep guessing until the end.
I also thought a contributing factor was because the whole book was so cliche with no question. (view spoiler on my Goodreads) Well, I guess I mean those too – at least in the sense I was hoping Harrington would have used more interesting tactics to make the book somewhat scary instead a ridiculously bad movie. Throw in the classic case of a mean (well Jade did give her reason to do so when she said she already had a mom) stepmother who is too absorbed with her son that she doesn’t believe anything Jade says. But my complaint was I almost believed Harrington knew the elements she used were cliche because she didn’t even bother really going in depth with the scariness or even the cliquish high school roles because the concepts are so widely accepted. So a lot of the details were just glimpsed over.
The reason why I didn’t give this book 1 star was because there were elements that Harrington used that could have made her book stand out. The first was the numbering system in Kayla’s diary. I thought it was a clever way to give readers a background on some of the characters. I mean, it wasn’t hard figuring out who was who, almost as soon as she wrote about them. But it was a nice way of making the story somewhat different. The second was the whole symbolic gemstones. I liked how she used the stones to represent certain aspects of the stories – whether it was a coincidentally similar situation or a feeling or even a concept like clarity or protection.
Unfortunately, those two things were exactly what I was talking about when I said wasted potential. Harrington could have done so much with those – the numbering system a little more complex so it adds to the readers’ guesses and the gemstones having a bigger role than just the jewelry she just happened to be wearing. I’m not saying turn it into some complex story involving magic. But the way she gave it so much attention in the first part of the book, the momentum kind of dropped off, and she kind ofdismissed the whole concept as “a hobby.” Wasted potential.
Overall, it’s a terrible ghost mystery story, and all in all, it was a pretty quick read. I just felt if Harrington hadn’t been so obviously steering us away from the culprit, and if she had sent a little more time developing the story outside cliche and given more thought to those potential, the story would have been a lot better than it was.
Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy 4)
By: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Rating: 3 stars
|Summary: For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.
I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.
I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…
Review: 2 stars for the first half and 4 stars for the second half.
I’m not sure if it’s because I read the first three books back-to-back, but I am really struggling with this one.
The first third was about everyone wrongly accusing Gwen of being Loki’s Champion and causing all this trouble, and she kind of wallowed in self-pity about how unfair it was, yet, she did nothing and didn’t even really try to speak out to defend herself. What happened to the no-nonsense girl that put up with Logan and all that crap thrown at her before? It frustrated me, and it annoyed me.
A third of the way through, finally, there was something going on, but it was the exact same thing – and attack in the library where an artifact was stolen.
And I think I remember her doing this before, but I’m getting a bit annoyed with people being referenced as “the Spartan” or Valkyrie or Amazon or etc. I understand that Logan calls Gwen “Gypsy Girl” as a nickname, but the first-person narration constantly distinguishes the kind – almost to the point of discrimination, but not really? I don’t know, it’s starting to get to me.
It also didn’t help that the reason I liked the other books so much was because I got to know Gwen’s friends. They were a good support system for her, and in this book, the only character that was slightly highlighted was Alexei, but he was so stoic of a character, that it was really hard to get much on him. I just wish there was more of Logan or Daphne or Oliver.
The last third of the book was when the story started to pick up – becoming more of the series that I had enjoyed so much. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the Reaper of Chaos was and who was behind everything. When things seem too easy or too convenient, that is the time to get suspicious.
But that was when Gwen returned to being the determined character I liked all along – and her thoughts went from thinking things were unfair to actually doing something about it. Instead of being frustrated with her, I started admiring her again for the tough decisions she had to make.
It was also when I was able to get more of the meat of the story – who was involved, why, the meaning of the artifacts, the explanation of the background that lead up to that moment and how everything began to fit together. And of course, the action.
Once again, Estep has created a great story involving the battle between the two gods and the champions serving them, using the mythical tools available to them. I just wish the whole book had been more about that than how unfair it was that Gwen had been blamed for everything.
Vanish (Firelight 2)
By: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: December 13, 2011
Rating: 1 star
|Summary: To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again ? and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone. Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family?s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on ? that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love? In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.|
Review: I really want to support a local author, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t honestly say that I liked this book.
This book is SO heavily emotionally bogged down. The
first eight chapters of the book was about her whining and wallowing in self pity. (View spoiler on my Goodreads.) On and on. It was just too much.
Don’t get me wrong. I admire an author who is able to describe emotions to where the reader empathizes and sympathizes with the characters. But I would say about 85-90% of the book was about Jacinda’s emotions – to the point where readers are just overburdened by the same thoughts over and over again.
And it ended so abruptly, that I was wondering if I was missing the rest of the story. It wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger, but it just kind of… stopped.
By the way, I liked Will from book 1, but after all of that thinking that Jacinda does, I have decided I like Casian much better. And I always thought he was more than what Jordan gave him credit for in the first book. I will be royally pissed if Jacinda ends up with Will.
Opal (Lux 3)
By: Jennifer Armentrout
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Rating: 3 stars
|Summary: No one is like Daemon Black.When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.
Together we’re stronger… and they know it.
Review: Mitch is never going to let me live this down, but I am DEVASTATED because I just did not like this book as much as the first two.
Let’s face it, Obsidian was SO great because of one thing, and one thing only – Daemon Black. And I was one of Armentrout’s biggest fans, on a campaign to get all of my friends to read the book and see the light. And in Onyx, Daemon wasn’t quite as swoon-worthy, and Katy was an annoying whiny brat, but I thought the storyline was much more developed. Sadly, Opal lacked both. While I still liked this book, I just didn’t get the same experience while reading it.
First of all, I have mixed feelings about Daemon’s and Katy’s relationship. On one hand, I’m glad to see they have progressed rather well and that it was possible for them to have the sweet connection, which is the ideal, dreamy wish of every girl. However, I miss that spark between them – the childish “I like you so I’m going to infuriate you” type of bickering that made the dialogue so great. No, I don’t condone drama, but some of Armentrout’s best lines were in those scenes.
The characters just were not the same in this book. Like I said, Daemon is sweet, and I would so fall in love with him for that if he had been that way all along. But his lines and cockiness just do not strike me the same way as they used to. And I understand that he’s looking out for Katy, but when did he get so possessive and overprotective?
And Katy? What happened to the spunky, no-nonsense girl I loved so much in Obsidian? I understand she has been through a lot, but my goodness, the girl cries over everything! When Daemon tell her she’s beautiful, when her mother tells her Daemon is a good boy and just about every other slightly emotional occurrence. She mentions being a crybaby near the end, but I wanted to roll my eyes all along.
And it wasn’t just our star couple. Dawson was an ass, not the nice brother we met in Shadows. Dee was a bitch, not the bubbly, friendly girl we met all along. Andrew and Ash were almost nice, and I think Armentrout tried TOO hard to make Blake a shady, creepy person. Like I said, I know a lot has happened, causing our characters to have a lapse in their usual self, but still…
But the reason why I liked Onyx, even though the characters had started changing, was because of the storyline. Daemon and Katy had to figure out what was happening between them (not relationship wise, but about what happened near the end of book 1), and they discover there is more to the war against the Arum and to the DOD than they can ever begin to imagine.
In Opal, nothing really happened. I mean, yes, Dawson reappears and tries to get Beth back. And Blake comes back, and the group has to figure out if they can trust him or not. And they learn about a new gemstone and its powers. But that’s about it. I didn’t feel there was much of a storyline, nor did the characters really get much further in their “journey.”
By the way, the end wasn’t so bad, maybe because I was kind of prepared for it, but I wasn’t like, “OMG, I have to have the next book now.” Or maybe it was because that scene was the most exciting/eventful part of the book?
For me, I liked this book because I’m a fan of the series, and I really want to know what happens with our characters. However, they just weren’t the same people, and as far as the plot goes, this really felt like the “middle book” that just stretches the story between the real action. I just wish I finished this book feeling more … I don’t know… satisfied.
|Neverfall (Everneath #1.5)||Brodi Ashton||Paranormal
|Blood-Kissed Sky (Darkness Before Dawn #2)||J.A. London||Paranormal
|The Search for Sam (Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files #4)||Pittacus Lore||Science Fiction||GR Link|
|Kiss Me Again
(If We Kiss #2)
|Blood Prophecy (Drake Chronicles #6)||Alyxandra Harvey||Paranormal
|Fading Amber (The Cambion Chronicles #3)||Jaime Reed||Paranormal||GR Link|
|Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4)||Jennifer Estep||Paranormal
And to everyone: