Archive for Paranormal Romance

Book: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: November 15, 2011
Source: ARC received from Around the World Tours
Series: Shatter Me #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel â?? with a paranormal twist â?? that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

First impressions: Juliette is a beautiful character. From the beginning, we are alone in her thoughts, as she whiles away her time in isolation. Her touch kills people, and for the last 264 days she has been alone in a wreck of a psychiatric hospital/jail with only a window and a notebook to pass the time. I fell in love with this sweet girl who dreamed of birds in flight and wished for a taste of fresh air.

Lasting impressions: Never has a title of a book been more appropriate. The writing and the characters and the world all made me want to shatter into pieces. Though the ending of the story went a different direction than I anticipated, it was not unwelcome. I’m excited to see where the next chapter in Juliette’s life takes us.

Conflicting impressions: At times the stylistic prose pulled me out of the story. How many ways can Juliette describe falling to pieces? A lot. I also wish that we’d gotten more of the history of her world in order to understand Warner’s motives as the villain. He kidnaps Juliette for his own purposes, but we don’t really know what those are because Juliette is so in the dark about the world outside her cell. I felt like I was flying blind a lot of the time.

Overall impressions: Despite the aforementioned flaws, and a perhaps tired plot that feels like a re-tread of the X-Men, I still absolutely loved this book. Tahereh Mafi fills her plot with such incredible characters that I couldn’t help but be captivated by all of them.

Juliette is one of the most sympathetic characters I can remember reading recently. She has been neglected by her parents and forced to avoid human contact for her entire life. My God! I would die! Yet she has remained kind, thoughtful, and perhaps most surprising, sane. She never gives up, and I admired that about her.

Adam is a bit of an enigma. He starts off almost cruel toward Juliette, but later reveals himself as a Peeta-like admirer from afar. Working for the enemy, it takes a while for Juliette to fully trust him, but he is so pure of heart and full of love that he ultimately wins her, and the reader, over.

Warner is a great antagonist. We may not be sure of his motives, but we know he wants to have Juliette as a pawn in his war against The Reestablishment’s enemies. He will do anything to achieve this goal, and forces her to do some pretty awful things along the way. For such a smart and sadistic guy, however, he seemed awfully gullible when it came to Juliette’s feelings.

This is an interesting paranormal crossed with a dystopian setting that never failed to keep my interest. Powerful characters are all seeking to find their destiny, and the new direction Juliette’s life takes at the end of the novel will have profound consequences for the next book. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the sequel as one of my most anticipated books of 2012.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Book: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: August 31, 2010
Source: Borrowed ebook from library
Series: Paranormalcy #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evieâ??s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

First impressions: I have to admit that with the number of people hoisting accolades upon Evie, I didn’t want to like her. Or this book. Evie is like the super-popular girl at your new school that everyone says is so nice, but you don’t believe them because anyone that popular, and pretty, and cool, cannot possibly also be nice.

But I can admit when I’m wrong. Evie is amazing.

Lasting impressions: The plot may be forgettable, but Evie and Reth and Lend are not. Or Lish. Or Raquel. Or David. Let’s be real – the characters are what make this one.

Conflicting impressions: What happened in this book? I read it a week ago. This shouldn’t be hard.

*thinks*

Hm. Evie wears pink boots? She meets a boy? A girl is on fire?

That’s all I got.

Overall impressions: Despite the fact that my brain has turned to mush and I can’t recall how this one ended (or, maybe, much of what happened in the middle), I do know that I liked it.

Evie is a force to be reckoned with, but not in the butt-kicking way you would normally associate with strong heroines. No, in Evie’s case, it is entirely based around her strong personality. I dare you to read 5 sentences of this book and NOT be able to tell me everything about her. Trust me when I say that you know who she is immediately, and that is always a great thing.

Kiersten White’s gift is writing strong characters. Each one of them, though colored by Evie’s perceptions, is full and vibrant. In fact, even the ones that Evie likes (Reth) can still be so forceful that I can make independent judgments about them. (RETH.) This may be Evie’s world, but we can still tell who is bad news. (Reth. RETH. RETH!!)

Ahem. So let’s talk about Reth, shall we? It’s not like I have strong feelings about him. Or feel the need to beat him to death with his own shoes.

Okay, I lied. I do have both of those things. I hate Reth, AND I want to beat him with his shoes. He is cocky, obnoxious, creepy, inconsiderate, rude, and a severe violator of Evie’s freedoms and personal space. He carts her off to his house and traps her there, touches and kisses her when she doesn’t want him to do so, and somehow the simple fact that he is an ex-boyfriend is supposed to make this okay? He’s a fairy, which earns him negative bonus points, and I wish he was not in this book.

I hope I’m being clear as to how I feel.

Even with Grossy McStabintheeye, the book is still enjoyable. I’d rather have strong feelings about a book than no feelings at all. Evie is delightful, even with her tacky style (hot pink boots and zebra print, I’m looking at you), and I adored her main love interest, Lend. Their relationship moved at a snail’s pace, which I thought made it that much more authentic. Throw in charming side characters and a unique setting, and this is one cute book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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Today I’m participating in Bookaholic Does Blogging’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Book Club for her BDB Challenge. Every month, in addition to reading one of the series’ books, I’ll be participating in her book club posts, so we can all gab about BDB!

Book: Lover Unbound
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Signet
Release date: September 25, 2007
Source: Bought for Kindle
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Summary: (from Goodreads) Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time – until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her.

Questions:
1. On a scale from 1-5, what would you rate this book? Briefly tell us why.

Snooze alert! I gave this one 2 stars because it was so boring I almost couldn’t finish it. I did enjoy getting V’s back story, and I loved seeing John Matthew through his transition, but I found Jane to be completely unsexy and uninteresting. That made it difficult to sustain my interest in V’s love story, and I do kind of wish they’d just made him gay instead of giving him a boyish woman to love. Major bummer.

2. There were a lot of revelations in this book. What did you think of the Scribe Virgin being V’s mom?

I thought it was interesting, but the formula of having the Scribe Virgin solve all of their love problems is getting old. I felt this revelation didn’t add much to V’s story. I don’t know if it just didn’t have enough impact or if I’m not up on the significance, but I found the whole scenario very underwhelming.

3. Sticking to that theme, what did you think of the Scribe Virgin’s request that Vishous become the Primale?

Well, I never believed he would actually become the Primale once Jane came into the picture. That’s not how Ward rolls. If there’s a love interest, then the Brother winds up with her somehow, so I didn’t find much tension in the request to be the Primale. I did like seeing more of the Chosen and their culture, though.

4. Phury stepping up to the plate is nothing new — what did you think of him taking V’s place as the Primale?

I have mixed feelings. It was very noble of him, but it seems more like an escape and an excuse to martyr himself yet again. He felt he was the last, obvious choice, so made the most of it. I can’t fault him for wanting to step up, but I feel bad for him more than anything that he can’t ever really do anything for himself. He’s such a pushover! Will he find true happiness ever? Guess the next book will tell us.

5. Back to the Scribe Virgin — we learned that V has a sister she’s been “hiding” for 303 years. What do you think will become of her? Do you think the Scribe Virgin will — for lack of better terms — let her live again?

I thought that was kind of weird and out of nowhere. I want to know more about the force that told the Scribe Virgin to have a baby, and only one. Why did she go against that? Is that God? Why have two babies and hide one? Hopefully I don’t have to wait for Payne’s book to find out!

6. What happened to Jane was a tragedy. What did you think of the Scribe Virgin bringing her back for V at the cost of her own happiness?

It was a nice effort, but I’m not clear on the rules. She’s a ghost, but she’s corporeal? It seemed like she was able to continue working and carrying on like normal, so it doesn’t seem like much of a tragedy to me.

7. What did you think of Butch’s theory that V thought himself to be in love with Butch because he was the first person V really cared about (until Jane)?

I think there is some truth to that. I also think that’s kind of the definition of love. V obviously loves Butch, and because of that, he’s attracted to Butch. Nothing wrong with that – they just have a different dynamic than that of the other brothers. I liked that Butch was cool with it, but wish he wouldn’t have brushed it off as something other than truly being in love.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system



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A fan of historical, dystopian, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, mystery, steampunk, and young adult fiction, as well as any book that thinks smartly and imaginatively.

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