Books for a Delicate Eternity

Reading is my hobby, my lifeline, my salvation, my escape, my sanctuary, my lifestyle, my love, my passion, my essence. Find my love of books at: http://www.delicateeternity.com

Review: Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

Dissonance - Erica O'Rourke

A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

 

I haven’t liked a non-space science fiction book this much in the longest time. I was captivated by Dissonance from page one to page end, and I LOVED IT.

 

First up, though, I have to mention this. I got a little freaked out because Delancey’s surname is Sullivan (and so is mine, although you probably don’t know that), and her music teacher’s name was Ms Powell AND SO WAS MINE. I was just like: whaaaaaat??? Anyway. I had to mention that because CREEPY BOOK AND REAL LIFE CROSS-OVERS AREN’T THAT COMMON.

 

There were two main things I loved about Dissonance.

 

One: the realness of it all. Seriously. It was like the real world. The conversations between characters were not stilted in any way, and the relationships between characters were so real. It was like a really good contemporary novel but in which the world had multiverses. Which I guess makes sense because that’s what it was supposed to be. The normal world but only Walkers now about the multiverses. So huh. O’Rourke did her job extremely well in that aspect.

 

Two: the multiverses. They were so freaking cool. I have never read a book about multiverses. Sure, alternate and parallel – but never multiverses. There were so many. And it was explained so well. There were threads and Del could, like, reach in and do magic voodoo with them and fix them because she’s a special snowflake but in the most unspecial snowflake kinda way (another win for Dissonance right there).

 

This is a lead on from number two, but the explanations really were fantastic. I mean, I can barely wrap my head around time and dimensions etc etc on the best of days, but all the multiverse and Walker stuff in Dissonance was explained in layman’s terms, and it was just so easy to understand. YAY.

 

I feel like I gotta mention the romance, because it was all kinds of awesome because there are multiple versions of the same love interest. AWESOME, RIGHT? Right. And the romance wasn’t the #1 priority in this book. It wasn’t romance with a touch of sci-fi. If anything, it was more like the other way around.

 

The ending. THE ENDING. *screaming* It was cliffhangery in the most non-cliffhanger way possible and I just NNNGGGHHHH. I need the next books in these grabby hands right meow. RIGHT. MEOW.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: Corruption by Jessica Shirvington

Corruption - Jessica Shirvington

A copy of this novel was provided by Harper Collins Australia for review.

 

I must say that I was a little disappointed in Corruption. I think because I loved Disruption SO MUCH, I was expecting something just as good, if not better from Corruption. I also might have forgotten the fact that my love for series generally decreases after the first book. This happens with every single series that I can name right now. And sadly, Disruption (the series) was no different.

 

Nevertheless, I’ll try and wade through my thoughts on Corruption, and really try and figure out why I was not as enamoured with it as I was with its predecessor. I wrote my review for Disruption in dot points of things I loved, and these changed. So I’m going to explain what changed, and why I was disappointed.

 

  1. Kickass Heroine.

The main thing that might have resulted in my decreased enjoyment of Corruption was Maggie. In my review of Disruption, the first thing I wrote about was the kickass heroine. I was happy that I had finally found a book where the MC doesn’t take shit from anyone and can stand on her own two feet. Maggie lost this in Corruption. She really did. She went from badass to … no ass. She was scared, and weak, and I was really disappointed in her. I get that she went through some tough times, but don’t we all? Isn’t strength the ability to get through the shit and come out on top? I felt let down by the loss of Maggie’s kickass-ness and assertiveness. She became the run of the mill heroine who I really cannot stand.

 

  1. Gus and Maggie’s Relationship.

Another thing I mentioned was my love for the fact that Maggie and Gus were biffles, and that there was no romantic attraction or anything between them. This changed in Corruption and I was so very disappointed and annoyed by this. Why? Why was it necessary to have them kiss, and to have Gus reveal weird, convoluted feelings for Maggie? It didn’t add to the storyline, and it took away one of my favourite aspects of Disruption. We got a freaking love triangle. Why? Why?

 

  1. Maggie + Quentin Together.

In the first book, I liked how these two played off each other. There was emotional tension, sexual tension. Pretty much every kind of tension. They didn’t take crap from each other, they weren’t cheesy. They were amazing. But in Corruption, along came the crap. Along came the cheese. I get they love each other, I do. But I can get so tired of declarations of undying love and the readiness to die for one another every few pages. Yes, you’re true matches and yes you love each other very much but come on. Why are you all about the dying? Shouldn’t you want to live for each other?

 

  1. Plotline + It Sucked Me In.

The plotline was a little all over the place for me, and I was not sucked in at all. I don’t know what happened, but the storyline dragged and I could see everything coming and there were some moments where I wouldn’t have cared if I put the book down and never picked it up again. And that’s really quite sad.

 

+

 

So there you go. I guess the reasons why I didn’t like Corruption as much as Disruption is because most of the things I loved in the first book were changed in the second.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection - Kiera Cass

I had heard a lot of things about The Selection before reading it. I had read negative reviews, glowing reviews, mediocre reviews. And, to be honest, I just wanted to see where I would fit in with these thoughts on The Selection. I wanted to read the book, as well. Of course.

 

I liked The Selection. For me, there was nothing horrible about it, nor was there anything superbly fantastic about it. It was good enough to have me read it in one day, but not good enough to have me fall in love with it.

 

I think the characters are what drew me back from this novel. I wasn’t a particular fan of America. Besides the fact that I didn’t like her name, I thought she was pretty shallow, and thought quite highly of herself. SPOILER Towards the end of the book, she says she won’t choose between her two love interests for her. Uhm, I’m sorry. So you’re just going to string these two guys along, for you? That’s kind of ridiculously selfish, if you ask me. END SPOILER Whilst there isn’t anything wrong with accepting the fact that you’re good-looking, admiring your own beauty is a little too self centred for me. For this, and a few other reasons, I simply could not gather up any especially warm feelings towards our main character.

 

Or her two love interests.

 

I thought Maxon was shallow. In personality, that is. I thought it was unbelievable that he would have fallen for America after she yelled at him, and kicked him in the groin etc etc. And his ‘adorkable’ speech felt REALLY put on. I didn’t think it was cute, I actually kind of thought it was lame. I know there are people who adore this guy, but I just can’t see why. He’s pampered, naïve, and kind of annoying. Sure, there were some pretty cute moments with him in them, but the fact that he’s still off kissing other girls whilst proclaiming his feelings for America ticks me off.

 

In the beginning of the book, I was ALL TEAM ASPEN. I thought he was cute, and I loved the fact that he wanted to take care of America, and his family, and all that other stuff. And then pride reared its ugly head, and I went off him. Like, dude. Please. All she did was buy you dinner with her money. HER money. She can do whatever she wants with it, and if she wants to freaking make you a dinner, EAT IT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. Don’t yell at her and then break up with her. Jerk. And the thing that happens towards the end of the book – totally saw that coming. But it was still kind of cute-ish.

 

There wasn’t a lot of spotlight on any of the other characters, except for your token bitch, and the token nice girl. Celeste (beeatch) could have been a lot worse than she was, and Marlee (nicey) was alright. Nothing particularly special about her. For me, anyway.

 

The whole book was focussed a lot on dresses and makeup and girly things. I thought this was okay, since that’s what the Selection is all about, but I would have liked some depth in there, as well. I mean, the whole ragamuffin attackers thing could have been explained a bit more, and the castes were really interesting but kind of took a backseat. Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to The Elite.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World - Amie Kaufman,  Meagan Spooner

A copy of this novel was provided by Allen and Unwin for review.

 

I’m gonna be up front and say that whilst I really liked This Shattered World, I didn’t love it as much as These Broken Stars.

 

It took me a while to get into This Shattered World. I was not 100% into the beginning, and I was becoming sorely disappointed that it wasn’t the piece of beauty that was its predecessor. Fair enough, I liked everything, but I was in no way as in love with it as TBS.

 

However, somewhere along the way, it captured me.

 

I fell in love with Jubilee and Flynn, and I found myself turning each page quickly because I wanted to find out what happened RIGHT NOW. I was all of a sudden invested in their story, and their lives, and well, their romance.

 

The romance in this book is not heavy. There are only two kissing scenes (two!), but the connection between Flynn and Jubilee was tangible in its realness and force. I was shipping those two from page one until page end, and I must say I wasn’t disappointed in their relationship in the slightest. There was no instalove, no declarations of feelings that haven’t had time to develop. In fact, there’s a perfect scene and a perfect sentence where Jubilee says that she wants to find out if she can love Flynn (of COURSE SHE WILL – HOW COULD SHE NOT?).

 

The world building was on-point, as was the storyline. I could see Avon so clearly, and I was never left with the WTF is going on feeling in regards to the pacing and the the crap that was going down. The plot was intricate and simple all at the same time – which seems impossible, but that’s how it was.

 

There were some really heartbreaking scenes because this novel is heavy in the death and betrayal department, and I just really felt for all the characters because they were really broken. And I love broken characters. This Shattered World definitely had me cheering for a Happily Ever After for everyone involved.

 

TARVER. I loved that we got to see Tarver again, and that he is still so in love with Lilac. EEP. Those two are so high on my ship-it list, it’s not even funny. So it was awesome being able to read about them again.

 

I have a really big feeling as to who the third book is going to focus on, and I hope I am right because it would be AWESOME reading about this certain character, especially with the way they were introduced to the story in This Shattered World.

 

All in all, This Shattered World was an excellent sequel to These Broken Stars, and I cannot wait to see how the Starbound trilogy ends!

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

The Hallowed Ones - Laura Bickle

Oh my gosh. Lately I have been reading okay books. Ones that I don’t abhor, but ones I don’t love, either. And then, this morning, I was rifling through my library books, and I remembered that I had requested The Hallowed Ones be ordered in because I loved the look of it. It’s overdue, and I didn’t want it to become another one of those library books I really want to read but end up returning and never reading. So I picked it up. And here I am, six hours later, writing a review for it.

 

I simply could not put The Hallowed Ones down. From the moment it started, I was sucked into the amazing world building and character voice that Bickle has given us in this novel. I mean, I only stopped reading this book throughout the last six hours to check my blog three times, and do necessary things for normal bodily function, like eat food. And then it was straight back to The Hallowed Ones.

 

Katie was an amazing character to read about. She was devout in her Amish beliefs, but wasn’t ready to accept the rule and authority of others without making sure that she was willing to accept it first. This made her an awesome and interesting character to read about. If you don’t want to read a novel heavily focussed on the Amish way of life, and many thoughts about religion itself, I wouldn’t suggest The Hallowed Ones to you. However, it was this in depth look into the Amish life, and Katie’s questioning of God and religion that entranced me so whilst reading this novel. I found her thoughts captivating, and they had me wondering along right alongside her. I loved her absolute dedication to anything that she applied herself to. She didn’t complain about anything, even when she was handed the most awful of tasks. But she didn’t just obey blindly. She risked a lot by being the person she was – a really good person.

 

I adored Alex’s character, as well. I thought he was wonderfully fleshed out, and I loved that he didn’t judge Katie for being the way she was. Sure, he didn’t agree with it or accept it wholeheartedly, but he didn’t try to change her or force her to abide by a different way of life. One of my favourite scenes in the novel is where he and Katie are talking about all the ancient Greek gods. It was beautiful.

 

Alex and Katie’s relationship was amazing. I loved how Alex was passively protective of Katie, and how he always worried, and always comforted her. And then AND THEN *squeals* Siiiigh. It was so perfect. They are so perfect. Whilst I am here swooning about these guys, the romance was NOT at the forefront of this novel. It was a nice addition to an amazing story. But I just so happened to fall in love with this relationship more than anything else. As so often happens with me. Hopeless romantic that I am.

 

The Hallowed Ones is a slow book. You’re not thrown into the midst of an action-packed supernatural novel. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if it was going to turn into a supernatural novel. But it did. Slowly and surely with eerie suspense and suspicions and creepiness. It was fantastic. I love Bickle’s take on a thoroughly popular supernatural creature – it brought a whole new freshness to the story that made reading it thoroughly enjoyable. If I go too far into it, I believe I would wreck the amazing experience that is The Hallowed Ones.

 

The writing style absolutely gripped me from word one, and is the kind that you find yourself settling into very easily. The Hallowed Ones is beautifully written, but reading it is so very effortless - in the most epic of ways. I found myself immersed in the world entirely whenever I landed my eyes on the pages.

 

One thing that I thought could have been improved upon a little bit was the description of Katie herself. I had no idea what she really even looked like until halfway through the book. And I am still a bit mystified as to how old she is, too. I would have liked to be given the details of our fantastic heroine.

 

I seriously cannot wait until I can read The Outside. I desperately want to know what happens to Katie and Alex, and pretty much the whole world inside this story.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: The Empath by Erica Crouch

The Empath (Lost Locket of Lahari) - Erica Crouch

Okay, it is official. I have never previously had a favourite author - only favourite books. But the time has come for that era to end. I have a favourite author, and lovelies - her name is Erica Crouch.

 

Every single time, and I mean every single time I read ANYTHING by Erica, I am completely and 100% captivated from start to finish. Her way with words is unparalleled, in my humble opinion - and what words those are. Every single one has a meaning and a place, and they are never useless. Each and every one is important to the storyline, and the way these words come together is beautiful. Erica was blessed by the word gods, I must say.

 

As for the story: again, wonderful. Again, a wonderful and kickass heroine. Again, sexy boys. Again, mystery. Again, AMAZINGNESS EVERYWHERE.

 

There is such an awesome cast of characters in The Empath, even though there aren't that many of them. Each and every one of them is complex, and their motives unclear. Every single character is questionable and leave you wondering what they really want with Odessa.

 

Which brings me to my thoughts on Odessa. Two words: hell yeah. Erica has this ability to write characters that are completely real. They have vulnerabilities and strengths - just like every person on earth. And Odessa was no different. She also grows so much as a character in a mere 100 or so pages! Character development in a novella? Never before seen.

 

There was one thing I didn't like about The Empath, and that was that it wasn't an entire novel. I want more of this story, and I want to know were life takes Odessa after the last page. I just want more of everything Erica writes, if I'm being entirely honest.

 

If you want a story that will completely captivate you with magic, mystery, and murder - The Empath is perfect for you. GO! BUY! NOW!

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Unremembered - Jessica Brody

I had been aching to read Unremembered from the moment I read about it. I fangirled over the cover (which, coincidentally is not this one – but this one is uber pretty anyway), desperately wanted to read the story, and just yep. I wanted to read Unremembered immediately.

 

Unremembered was pretty darn epic. Everything was SO different from what I had guessed it would be like. I was kind of expecting a bit of a sci-fi twist on the run of the mill amnesiac story, but it was so much more than that. So much more. It was not your run of the mill anything. It was purely and utterly unique, and in the most wonderful of ways.

 

I don’t really know where to begin talking about Unremembered, especially without ruining any of the awesome surprises that Brody has included. I’ll start with the characters.

 

Violet, our main character, is lost. Her memories are gone, she has no clue of who she is or who she was. She doesn’t know who to trust. She doesn’t even know how she ended up as the sole survivor of a plane crash that she, in all reality, should have died in. I liked how Brody wrote Violet’s confusion about her predicament. Her little ‘isms’ made me laugh. Like how literal she was with everything. For example, Cody (her foster brother) asks if she wants to go to some far off country because the internet connection might be better there. Violet says yes, and literally. I’m not anecdoting (yay for making up words!) that very well, but the scene was adorable. I think that Violet herself was adorable. The only thing that irked me a little bit was the focus on how beautiful Violet was. But I can kind of understand the fixation, now that I know the story’s secrets.

 

Lyzender. Zen. ZEN. Aw, man. I feel another book boyfriend making the list. Zen is the epitome of a romantic and adorable guy who is dedicated to his girl, and willing to do anything and everything to protect her. In a non-creepy way. So many gold stars to Brody for creating a non-creepy love interest, and with no love triangle to boot. *starts dancing* When part of the reveal is, well, revealed, my heart broke a little for Zen. Everything that he had been through for Violet; to be with Violet. It was just heart-breaking and heart-warming at the very same time.

 

The lesser main characters were also awesome. I especially liked Cody and Rio. I thought that they were developed really well, even though they didn’t have a lot of page time. I felt connected to them nonetheless. I thought that Violet’s foster parents were written really well – enough caring to make them nice people, but then ample freak-out-age to make them normal.

 

The reveal was quite epic, as I mentioned before. I really did not see it coming at all. Which is great – I love being surprised by novels! It’s getting harder to find novels that still have that capability. But Unremembered does it, and does it well.

 

I especially love a conversation that Rio has with Violet. About what makes us human. Our limbs, our heart, our brain? Our essence? How much can we lose before we are not human? Or is it what we gain that makes us human – experiences, emotions. I love how thought provoking this conversation was. It definitely had me wondering what I think defines a human. Whether or not it is their human body, or their human mind. And I cannot express how thankful I am that Brody was able to give me something to think about. When I read YA books, more often than not, I am engrossed in the story but as a story. About characters and worlds and settings that I love to immerse myself in when I want to escape from my own world. But when I can come across something that really makes me think - and about something important like this, I cannot help but be thankful to the author for being able to bring such a topic into a story. It’s quite amazing.

 

Needles to say, I am eagerly anticipating the second book in this series, Unforgotten. I cannot wait to read more about Violet and Zen, and everything that they will be facing. Which is sure to be a lot of adventure and suspense, and of course, epic romance.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf

Unbreathable - Hafsah Laziaf

A copy of this novel was provided by the author as part of a giveaway.

 

I have some conflicting feelings towards Unbreathable. So I am kind of going to break this review into two parts, which I have never done before.

 

On the one hand, I did really enjoy it. I like Laziaf’s writing style; the way it is understated, and smooth. It engaged me from the moment I started reading. I loved Lissa’s character voice, and the way she saw and thought about things.

 

I adored the descriptions and explanations of Jutaire, the Jute, and the human settlement. The world building was excellent in regards to these aspects. I can see the White Plains so clearly in my head, as well as the rows of houses amongst the red dust of the human settlement. This scene setting was amazing.

 

The surprises were ample, and placed evenly throughout the book. We weren’t bombarded with surprises in one chapter, but they were quite heavy throughout the book. But they were interesting and captivating, and personally, I enjoyed every single one of them.

 

The boys. I liked them enough. Of course, I preferred Rowan. I felt like his character had more depth, and that he was more driven and motivated in regards to what he wanted. The description of Rowan’s clothing was one of my favourite aspects of Unbreathable. I loved knowing what he was wearing at every moment – midnight blue, sky blue. The outfits sounded very pretty, and extremely handsome.

 

The plot itself was good. I liked the focus on Jutaire, and Earth as habitable planets; Earth more so. I cannot tell too much regarding the plot, because then I would be ruining heaps of things. But I liked it.

 

And now, the things I didn’t like so much.

 

Character development. In regards to Lissa, there was SO much room for character development. She discovers all these new and crazy things about herself, but I think she accepts them too easily. I would have preferred for the plot to move more slowly, and for Lissa to take her time adjusting to this new information about who and what she really is. The development of her character was a little lackluster.

 

The love triangle. This part of Unbreathable kind of pained me. Like I said previously, Rowan was my preferred love interest. Julian is the other one. I didn’t understand Julian’s character all that well. I think he was also missing some character development, and some explanation of the kind of guy he is, and why he does the things he does. The love between Julian and Lissa progresses far too quickly for my liking. Again, if had been slowed down a little, it would have been better.

 

In regards to the love triangle, I really disliked Lissa’s attitude. Yes, the whole point of a love triangle is that the girl loves both of the boys. But with this one, it was so extraordinarily obvious who Lissa was going to choose. And yes. I know Rowan does a lot of bad things, but I couldn’t stand the way Lissa treated him. It made me dislike her as a character, which always impedes upon the enjoyment of a novel; disliking the main character.

 

It was these things that reduced my four star love of Unbreathable to the three star rating at the beginning of the review. For me, when I am able to talk about things I liked, and things I wish could have been improved, it means that I invested myself emotionally in the story. I was highly invested in the story of Unbreathable, which is why I wanted the things that I wasn’t fond of to be a little better.

 

That being said, I did enjoy Unbreathable, and I can’t wait to read the next instalment in the series.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Review: The Treatment by Suzanne Young

The Treatment - Suzanne Young

A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

 

I have a few mixed feelings about The Treatment, but overall I liked it.

 

The biggest change from The Program is that Sloane and James are now out of The Program and on the run. They meet up with two rebels, Cas and Dallas. I immediately liked Cas and disliked Dallas, even though she was kinda awesome. But she was moving in on my man, I mean Sloane’s man James and I was hissing at her every time she made some comment about him.

 

Dallas was a really interesting character, and by the end I adored her. She’d gone through so much crap, and stayed strong through it all. She had her moments of weakness, but I think that made me like her even more, because it made her human.

 

Cas was hot. Not gonna lie. And all I could think of was Castiel from Supernatural, so that was a huge bonus. I kinda shipped Cas and Dallas, even though they said they were just best friends. But I am all for that, too. Not every boy-girl interaction needs romance for it to be amazing.

 

The love triangle between Sloane, James, and Realm became a true love triangle in The Treatment. And I didn’t mind. I think Young handled the fact that, whilst Sloane loves James more than life itself, she also has feelings for Realm. And it’s understandable. Realm was with her through The Program and he is, essentially, her safe place.

 

And even more realistic is the fact that when Sloane finds out (for the second time) that Realm was a planted patient in The Program, she insists she hates him even though she knows she doesn’t. We can’t stop loving someone even though they do us wrong. I loved that aspect of this book. The way Young handles the relationships and emotions that each character has for the other is impeccable and completely believable.

 

Even so, I’m sitting here wondering exactly why this is a three star and not a four star review, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I know I was disappointed in the ending, as I felt it was too rushed. We’re given a ‘six months later’ kind of ending and I was left wanting to know everything that happened in between. I wanted details and I wasn’t given any.

 

And I also kinda wanted Sloane to forgive Realm a little more. I mean she loves him but in the end she’s still not talking to him. I get it. I do. He hurt her terribly by lying to her. But he also saved her ass a thousand times. Can’t she at least be civil to him? I don’t know – I think I have a huge soft spot for our emotional manipulator Realm. What can I say?

 

All in all, I certainly liked The Treatment, and it kept me reading and reading from page one, and left me happy with the series overall.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Mini Review: Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney

Starry Nights - Daisy Whitney

A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.

 

Yet another two star read for yours truly. I seriously don’t know what’s going on at the moment with me and my reads – it is thoroughly disappointing that I am reading so many mediocre books at the moment, especially when they have great potential, like Starry Nights did. I was immediately interested in Starry Nights, back when I read a book by the same author earlier in the year. Paintings that come to life? A guy who falls in love with one? That SCREAMS Chiara all over it. And yet – I was disappointed. I felt that the romance moved too fast and the plot moved too slowly. Sometimes there were things happening and I didn’t know why, like the introduction of a certain character/spirit. I had no idea why they were included, nor what they added to the storyline. I wasn’t swooning over Julien at all; in fact I found him quite pretentious as times, which is a huge turn-off. I didn’t feel the romance between him and Clio, and was overall severely disappointed in this book. I’d say the best thing about Starry Nights was the character Bonheur – he was the only thing in this novel that truly came to life.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/10/mini-reviews-volume-1

Mini Review: Powered by Cheyanne Young

Powered - Cheyanne Young

A copy of this novel was provided by the author for review.

 

Powered was a premise that I was extremely interested in: people with powers have to take a Hero test to be a fully fledged superhero, and a girl who doesn’t pass. Unfortunately, the main character, Maci was immature, childish, and downright annoying at times. I wasn’t rooting for her to get her hero status, and in fact I was hoping that she’d have to wait and grow up a little before she received the title. I really liked the character of Evan – I thought he was a good edition to the story, even if I thought he was a little too perfect at times. The world building and descriptions weren’t the greatest and sometimes I had no idea what the character’s surrounds looked like. Even so, I’m quite interested in reading the next book in the series, simply because there was quite a cliffhanger, and I’d like to see if Maci grows as a character over time.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/10/mini-reviews-volume-1

Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar - Meg Wolitzer

A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

 

I just don't particularly know where to start talking about Belzhar. I know that I can say I had quite high hopes for this book – I mean, a girl who writes in a journal and is reunited with her dead boyfriend? Hells to the yeah. But I can also say that these hopes were, unfortunately, not met.

 

I found Jam (full name Jamaica – what is with YA books and names at the moment, seriously?) to be kind of an annoying character. She’s incredibly self centred and doesn’t really seem to care about anyone in her life, except in the most basic way possible. Her story is that her boyfriend, Reeve, died and she couldn’t cope with it so she was sent to a school for “the emotionally fragile”. Here she is given a journal and whenever she writes in it, she’s transported to Belzhar where she can be with him again.

 

I was kind of let down by Belzhar (the place). I thought it would be this once place where all the kids went and had super awesome fun magic times. But instead, it’s a different place for all of them, where whatever bad has happened hasn’t happened yet. Sure, this is kind of cool, but it got a little repetitive after a while.

 

I think the premise of the journals was quite interesting, but I’m not 100% sold on whether or not they were needed in this book. Especially since their powers or whatever were never truly explained. And besides, isn’t it a bit unprofessional and dangerous for the teacher to be giving out journals to teenagers when she knows weird shit goes down when they use them? Hello, duty of care!

 

The supporting cast of characters in Belzhar had heaps of potential, but each and every one of them fell flat. They all had these tortured pasts, but instead of uncovering them, it was like I was just told about them. Each of the characters just had a huge monologue that took up a few pages explaining what had happened to them and what they saw in Belzhar. This was a huge disappointment, because some of their stories were heartbreaking, and it was practically impossible to really care about their stories and what happened to them when they were such mechanical characters.

 

The ending. I’m just gonna come out and say that I did not like it. I guess perhaps it was going for the “shock” effect but I was left with more of a “WTF” feeling more than anything else. Like, I understand that everyone deals with events in their life in a different way, but what happened to Jam was so completely weird that it was hard to sympathise with her in any way. I was just left nonplussed by the whole thing.

 

All in all, Belzhar was a novel with an interesting concept that just fell flat for me.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/10/belzhar-by-meg-wolitzer

Review: Broken Strings by Maria Farrer

Broken Strings - Maria Farrer

A copy of this novel was provided by Scholastic Australia for review.

 

I’m not entirely sure where to start off writing a review for Broken Strings. The one thing I know for sure is that I did not really like it. And I guess I’ll try and go through the reasons why.

 

The big no-no for me in Broken Strings was the main character, Jess. The blurb says that she’s seventeen (even though she doesn’t turn seventeen until about halfway through the book), but you could have fooled me. I have never read about a 16/17 year old acting so childish in my entire life. And that is saying a lot, because I read more than my fair share of YA books. But Broken Strings takes the cake when it comes to misrepresented teenagers. I actually felt kind of insulted and offended, to be honest – that a teenager had been portrayed in such a petulant way.

 

Now I know teens can be ferocious little things, but I know that they also know appropriate social behaviour – of which Jess had none. She threw frequent tantrums, talked back to her parents and grandmother constantly, was not grateful for one tiny thing in her life, and spent 99.999999% of her time bemoaning her circumstances – which were not bad at all.

 

On from this, Jess has a fade-out sex scene in Broken Strings which I found utterly confronting. No one that immature should be having sex. It was almost inappropriate, considering how the girl behaved around people – including the guy she has sex with.

There are two love interests in this novel. We have Charlie, a 23 year old guy, and Stefan, a fellow teenager.

 

I found it ridiculous that Charlie had any interest (in even being friends) with Jess, since she was just so childish. Anyone I know (being 21 makes me pretty close in age to Charlie) would see Jess as some ridiculous unappreciative child. He certainly wouldn't want to be involved with her romantically. And Stefan is no better. Jess is constantly shunning him and talking back to him and ignoring him. I’m pretty sure that guys don’t take that kind of crap from girls, but hey.

 

The violin aspects were quite interesting, but they weren’t really the focus of the book, and Jess spent most of the violin scenes complaining (surprise, surprise).

 

The “big secret” was quite guessable, and I suppose a little inappropriate (again). Now, I know that YA can be dark and I love that about the genre, but this entire book almost felt like a middle grade novel about a thirteen year old girl with these themes (like sex, and this “secret”) thrown in there to appeal to an older and therefore wider audience.

 

All in all, I was not a fan of Broken Strings, from the main character, the threadbare plot, and the general falseness of the whole story.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/10/broken-strings-by-maria-farrer

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice - Becca Fitzpatrick

A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.

 

There are two words to describe Black Ice and they are: hot mess.

 

Reading Black Ice was like watching one of those crappy B-grade horror movies where you spend the 1.5 hours yelling at the female MC to grow a brain and use some critical thinking. Except Black Ice took a lot longer than 1.5 hours to complete.

 

Let’s start off with our main character – Britt. As if Britt is a legitimate name anywhere. Britt’s a bit of a rich bitch, if we’re being honest here. Within the first chapter, I had a clear image of the type of girl she was. From the fact that she pouted and used the word daddy *gagging*, to her pining over her dick boyfriend who broke up with her on prom night, to her walking bare footed in a freaking petrol station, to her pretending some random stranger was her boyfriend in front of previously mentioned dick ex-boyfriend – Britt was an idiot, plain and simple. I had no hope for her whatsoever.

 

This escalated when she internalised about her “best friend” whom which she was constantly annoyed by. Then why were they friends? Beats me. I mean, if Korbie (KORBIE FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST) annoyed her so much, then why didn’t Britt just give the friendship the finger and piss the hell off? Again: beats me.

 

But it gets worse. OH SO MUCH WORSE. It starts raining because they set out a few hours later than they intended because Korbie was packing shit. For a hiking trip. All you need are warm clothes and good shoes. How long do they really take to pack? Anyway, because of this lateness they get stuck in a snowstorm in Britt’s Jeep (which she didn’t even prepare for going up a mountain like getting windshield wipers). They leave the heater on (cause, you know, fuel means nothing), and then decide to go walkabout in the snow. Enter cabin with two strange men. One of which was Britt’s fake boyfriend (who was so kind because he went along with it – I mean just how nice is he!!!).

 

So Britt and Korbie decide to go into this cabin with two strange, older guys – Shaun and Mason (nice fake boyfriend guy). Mason is all standoffish (how utterly cruel of him after he had been so nice) – hello warning bells! Shaun flirts with both the girls, gets angry over the tiniest thing (RING RING RING), whilst Mason has more of an urgent: you need to gtfo of this place right NOW (so very mean, isn’t he). Fast forward and Shaun + Mason decide to kidnap the girls and force them off the mountain because Shaun killed some guy and hit and run some chick. Britt convinces them to leave Korbie behind (with some flimsy completely unbelievable lie) and so the three of them set off together.

 

Okay, these bits are probably going to get a bit spoiler because I can’t withhold my feelings on certain topics. So, be warned: SPOILERS!

 

So Mason, Shaun and Britt set off to trek their way through a blizzard because Britt lied her butt off about her hiking skills and she has a map of dick ex boyfriend’s (who also happens to be Korbie’s brother). Britt pretty much spends the whole time fantasising about the ex boyfriend and then eventually leads Shaun and Mason to a cabin where she intends to piss off and leave them there. Lo and behold that doesn’t work.

 

During this time, Mason is still standoffish and Britt tries to “understand” why he would do this when he was so nice when she met him for five seconds at a petrol station. Then he is all self deprecating etc etc.

 

Britt somehow manages to run out into a snowstorm where Mason follows her. When they arrive back at the cabin, Shaun is in a verbal fight with ex-boyfriend who has found the cabin and is asking for Korbie and Britt. Shaun says that Korbie is back at the first cabin and Britt is off with Mason doing the dirty or something. Then ex-boyfriend (Cal) shoots Shaun dead. RING FREAKING RING.

 

Fast forward some time. Britt is attracted to Mason, refuses to think about the fact that Cal just murdered someone. There’s a make-out scene or two, in which Britt says that she has Stockholm Syndrome. PUHLEASE. Seriously? Just get out. Eventually she runs away from him because she can’t stand the fact that she likes this guy, and makes her way to Cal’s cabin.

 

More crap happens and then Britt finds out some shocking shit about Cal and tries to tell Korbie, who insists that she’s lying (such a great friendship here), and helps tie Britt up when Cal asks her to (WHAT? WHAT!).

 

END SPOILERS, GUYS!

 

I won’t go into any more details because then you’ll know the entire book, but I hope I explained my hot mess comment at the beginning of this review. The main character was as flimsy as a piece of paper, and the plot was practically nonexistent.

 

If you’re in need of an eye roll and stupidity abound, I’d say give Black Ice a go.

 

Oh, one more thing. I absolutely loved the Australian stereotype in the Epilogue! Because everyone from my country looks like Nicole freaking Kidman. And just because you know the words bogan and ute does not mean you should use them. Ever.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/10/black-ice-by-becca-fitzpatrick

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Scarlet was an amazing sequel to Cinder. We were introduced to new characters, new stories, new settings, new everything, and it was refreshing.

 

I know a lot of people are wary when it comes to the second book in a series - I think there’s even a term (second book syndrome, or something along those lines). I have never quite understood this fear and trepidation, as I have often enjoyed sequels just as much, if not more than the first book. I am happy to say that I enjoyed Scarlet just as much as Cinder.

 

I loved the introduction of Scarlet herself, and Wolf the best. WOLF. I cannot even comprehend my love for this character. The way Meyer has woven the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood into this epic sci-fi story is kind of unbelievable. I didn’t know how she would tackle LRRH, but she tackled it well. It wasn’t predictable, or slow. It was fast-paced, action-packed, and simply amazing.

 

Even though Scarlet and Wolf only knew each other for a day or so, I didn’t feel insta-love. The development of their feelings was written into the story so cleverly that I completely believed their feelings for each other, and didn’t feel as if anything had been rushed at all. Only a talented writer could pull that off, and Meyer is nothing if not talented.

 

Wolf was definitely my favourite character in this novel. I love broken characters, and I love broken love interests even more, and he fits that description perfectly. This book definitely makes it onto the ‘ultimate swoonage’ shelf in my mind, reserved for the book boyfriends that will make me swoon to the max. But, other than the excessive and incessant swooning that went on whilst reading of Wolf, his story was also interesting, and intriguing. I REALLY hope there is a chapter in Cress told from his ‘point of view’ (as much as it can be in third person), because I want to see inside his head, and learn more about him and his predicament. I pretty much just want more of him, but I can veil it in the interest of his background, can’t I?

 

Scarlet was also an awesome new character in The Lunar Chronicles. She’s strong-willed, won’t take crap from anyone, and is dedicated to her mission of saving her grandmother. Whilst I didn’t love her as much as I love Cinder, I still think she’s a great character, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her, and her story.

 

I desperately want to know what happens to all of the characters – especially Kai. KAI. *insert wailing noise* I need Cress in my grabby hands right now.

 

If you cannot tell that I really liked Scarlet, and that I think you should The Lunar Chronicles ASAP, I shall tell you now. Scarlet was awesome, and I loved it, and you should definitely read The Lunar Chronicles. Like, right now.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/09/scarlet-by-marissa-meyer

Review: Chasing Before by Lenore Appelhans

Chasing Before - Lenore Appelhans

A copy of this novel was provided by Allen and Unwin for review.

 

It’s official. This is the first book that I have read and am about to review that I did not like. It was not amazing, or really good, or good, or even okay. I did not like this book.

 

In my review of Level 2 (or The Memory of After as it is known now), I said that I wasn’t a huge fan of Neil and that I didn’t really understand why Felicia was so obsessed with him. If I thought Felicia was obsessed with Neil in Level 2 – oh boy, I did not know what was coming in Chasing Before.

 

To sum this book up: Felicia pining about Neil, or fighting with Neil, or reliving memories of Neil. Neil. Neil. Neil.

 

Neil, the most self righteous sanctimonious character I have had the displeasure of reading. So, this WHOLE TIME he hasn’t wanted to do the deed with Felicia. He won’t even sleep in the same bed because of course THAT’S A FREAKING SIN. And then SPOILER we find out he had sex eons ago and is a goddamn born again virgin END SPOILER I can’t stand liars, I can’t stand people who always think they are better than others thereby making others feel lesser. I also cannot stand manipulative people. I’m pretty sure if you look up ‘manipulative’, there’s a picture of Neil. He uses Felicia’s feelings against her all the time. For example, they’re having a fight (one of thousands), and to shut her up he tells her he loves her – for the first time. Of course, all fighting ceases because Neil loves her. Ugh. I CANNOT STAND NEIL.

 

More than I can’t stand Neil though (but not by much) is how much I can’t stand Felicia. She pines over Neil, even though she’s pretty aware of what a jerk he is. She even thinks it a few times. And she is attracted to Julian (who I’ll get to in a moment). HELLO. WHEN YOU’RE ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT WITH, THAT PROBABLY MEANS YOU SHOULDN’T BE WITH THE PERSON YOU’RE WITH.

 

And dear lord the self deprecation. ‘Oh, Neil is too good for me’, ‘I’ll never be good enough for Neil’, ‘Neil wouldn’t do this’, ‘I’m so bad, how can someone so good like Neil ever love me?’. NEIL IS A DOUCHE. A really douchey douche. He makes Felicia feel like shit over the most ridiculous things, and the lies and all the manipulation are vomit inducing.

 

Felicia is like the anti-heroine. She relies on the men round her and completely bases her self worth off their opinion of her.

 

Julian is the only good thing about this book. He’s sexy and supportive and everything he has ever done has been for Felicia. He is so unselfish, so the opposite of Neil, so the right love interest for any girl who thinks she deserves something good (OH HO WHICH FELICIA DIDN’T, I SEE WHAT HAPPENED THERE).

 

There was no plot in this book, which irked me to no end. Oooooo evil angels doing absolutely nothing. One showdown with one evil angel and then that’s it? What the actual hell? What was the point of this novel, except to drag out the Felicia-Neil drama? I’ll tell you – there was no point.

 

Overall, I didn’t enjoy Chasing Before at all. I feel like I completely wasted my time reading this novel.

 

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

Source: http://delicateeternity.com/2014/09/chasing-before-by-lenore-appelhans