Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

reviewundertheneversky

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky #1

Veronica Rossi

3.5stars


 

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland–known as The Death Shop–are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild–a savage–and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile–everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Divider

This was another reread for me, but it was one of the series I set out to finish in 2016. I remember really liking this book the first time, and while my opinion didn’t really change, there were a few things that made me lower the rating from a 4 to a 3.5

Pacing is pretty slow. It didn’t ruin the story, but not much really happens. Within the last 100 pages the story really picks up, which I guess is pretty normal. There isn’t a whole lot of backstory but in this case I don’t think it really ruins the book. Sometime around 300 years ago the “Unity” occurred, which I think involved some sort of catastrophic weather shift that forced people into domes. And after living outside for 300 years, the outsiders also developed genetic mutations, which allow some people’s senses to be extra strong. Although I personally would have enjoyed way more backstory, I think this was pretty sufficient. I do still hope we will learn more in the next two books.

I liked Perry a lot, but Aria annoyed me for 50% of the book. She was just so…I don’t really know. Not immature. Maybe naïve. She is really rude to Perry and continuously calls him a monster and savage even though he keeps saving her life. She is so upset that he killed three men who were going to EAT HER. Come on. Sometimes murder (especially in a wild land where there are no rules and people are going to EAT YOU) is totally and completely justified. I won’t go so far as to say that everything with happens with the Croven’s is totally her fault, but if she had just listened to Perry it probably would have turned out differently.

She gets better about halfway through the book though and by the end I actually really like her so yay for character development.

And I really enjoyed the romance. Once Aria stopped being an asshole I can see why Perry falls for her. Sure it’s bordering on instalove (it’s been less than 2 weeks) I am always a bit quicker to forgive the trope when the couple is involved in a fight for survival. Like, when it’s just the two of you working together, it makes some sense that you would seek comfort with the other one.

Other pluses include an actual mention of Aria’s period (and while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it barbaric, I totally agree that it is bullshit that it has to happen every month) and sex in YA! Yeah it happens off page but they very clearly have sex.  I’m totally for incorporating more sex into YA lit.  I don’t even care if it happens off page.  I just want more sex, especially when the characters do not hold their virginity up on a pedestal as the be all and end all of their worth as women.

s2f

My Slump is Over! Reivew of The Raven Boys

review

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 3.19.26 PM.png

 

The Raven Boys

The Raven Cycle #1

Maggie Stiefvater

4.5stars


 

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.Divider

This was a reread for me, although the original read dates have disappeared from Goodreads. I know I read it while I was living in Michigan so I think it was Summer 2014. But anyway.

I read it, and really enjoyed it. And then I waited a few weeks before picking up the second book and I had basically forgotten a lot of what happened in the first book. Sometimes I can blame this on the book just not being memorable, but I think this time it was me. So I put off finishing the series because I don’t think the 3rd book had even been released yet.

But now with the 4th and final book’s (I think) publication about a month away I decided to reread it. Plus it helps that I finally got the 2nd and 3rd books (a very late Christmas present).

So, even though I have been in a pretty massive reading slump, I picked this up yesterday and I blew through it. I loved almost everything about it. In fact, I don’t think there is one thing that I didn’t like, except I still can’t bring myself to give it 5 stars. Maybe if Ronan had had a POV chapter here and there it would have been a 5.

The writing was beautiful; not too over the top that I roll my eyes. There were lots of times I wish I had been near a computer so I could have jotted a few sentences down but I couldn’t tear myself away from the book to even do that. I think the pacing was just right for me. Maybe it was because I had already read it, but I was racing through it. I knew the general plot but there was a lot I forgot. I was extremely interested in the quest for Glendower and learning about the ley lines and everything.

And to top it all off, we get to know a great group of characters and there is barely any romance! I don’t know what it is, but sometimes it is just so refreshing to have a book that does not focus on the romance. (Of course there is major foreshadowing to future romances/love triangles, but whatevs.  As long as it doesn’t overpower the character development and the quest plot, I’m fine with it).

And I love all of the characters. Of course, as I always prefer a misunderstood bad boy, Ronan is my absolute favorite. He just reminds me so much of Mickey Milkovich from the US Shameless, and that is extremely high praise because Mickey Milkovich the love of my life. The only character I’m kind of meh about is Adam. I don’t know why because I feel like it should be Gansey that I’m not particularly fond of, but I love him.  Even Blue, who very easily could have been another cliche female character, was great.

I’m currently almost half way through the 2nd book, and I really, really hope that I’m heading up out of the slump!

Reviewing the Sequel: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

untold

 

Untold

The Lynburn Legacy #2

Sarah Rees Brennan

2013

3.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


It’s time to choose sides….

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Some spoilers for the first book.

So since the last book, Kami and Jared have broken the link between them, Jared hates her and Kami has no power. Rob is raising a Sorcerer army, and Lillian wants nothing to do with Kami, Ash, or Jared.

This was another reread for me.

This was my original review:

not as good as the first one, but I have hope for the third. I don’t really consider Kami Jared Ash to be a love triangle because it’s obvious at this point that she really doesn’t care for Ash the way she does Jared. There is no competition at this point. Also, where the fuck is Kami’s mom and why does she suck so much?

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but I think I will change my original 3 star rating to 3.5. I still really enjoyed the book, it’s just not much really happened. It was kind of a filler book, with a weak battle scene at the end. There was a lot of relationship drama and SO MUCH could have been avoided if Kami and Jared had just had a conversation where neither jumped to conclusions about what the other one wanted/meant.

Again, the characters make this book, and again Kami comes out as the true winner.

She cried quietly, hands pressed to her eyes, and as she cried she was almost relieved. Here she was, lonely and miserable, and she was still going to go into the gym and do what needed to be done. She had wondered who she was without Jared, stripped of all her supports and forced to stand on her own. She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn’t broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost.

NOW THIS IS HOW YOU HANDLED A BREAK UP.   Honestly, I don’t think I can think of another book, especially a paranormal romance book where a character so maturely handles a break up. Honestly, for all it’s faults, this one paragraph alone makes up for a lot of the bullshit drama. Kami NEVER lets the fact that she is upset over a break up stand in her way. I mean, that is seriously bad ass. At her age, I would have taken a day or two off from trying to fight evil. But NOPE. Not Kami. And that is why she is possibly one of my favorite heroines ever.

Oh, and lets not forget about the fact that throughout this book, Kami is literally powerless. Yes she was a source in the first book, and was at some points able to control the magic, but she has lost that link. All she has is her brains and her mouth and she kicks serious ass. I mean, not exactly in the fight scene that comes at the end, but just in general. She doesn’t need special magic powers to be awesome. And I love that.

The other characters were just as awesome, with the exception of Jared. He was funny again, but way too melodramatic. And I really hate Kami’s mom. She is completely useless as a human being. Jon Glass for the win. Rusty Montgomery was another winner in this book. I just love him so much. I really want Kami to forget the Lynburns and be with him, but you know…platonic friendships are cool…I guess.

Ooh, just something else, the book actually mentions bisexuals!! An actual mention, which is almost unheard of in, ANY form of entertainment.

All in all, I enjoy these books mostly for the characters. Untold read almost a bit too much like a filler book and the drama was a bit much, but I would still totally recommend it.  I am super excited to FINALLY read the last book and find out once and for all how this all ends!

s2f

Just as Good the Second Time: Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

unspoken1

 

Unspoken

The Lynburn Legacy #1

Sarah Rees Brennan

2012

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


 

I originally read Unspoken in March of 2015.  I read the second book in the series as well, but never made it to the final book.  That’s why I wanted to add it to my my Series to Finish challenge  for 2016.  It also works towards the Reread Challenge I am participating in, so that is always a plus!

Here is my original review from March of 2015:

I bought this book used a few months ago and it has been sitting on my shelf and I just never felt like reading it. So yesterday I finally decided to see what it was all about and I’m mad at myself for waiting so long. I loved this book.

I had some issues with the writing where sometimes I was completely lost as to what was going on and it sort of dragged for a minute there towards the end, and i’m not exactly sure how i feel about the love triangle/romance aspect…but still. I loved this book. Mainly because I loved the characters. I loved Kami, i loved Jared (most of the time) I loved Kami’s dad and most of all I loved Angela. Maybe it’s because my best friend’s name is Angela, or because she was basically me, but I loved her most of all. Honestly I could have read an entire book with just Kami and Angela, or Angela just shitting on people.

The mystery/supernatural aspect I feel could have been handled a bit better, but i was interested throughout and I have already ordered the second and third book off amazon. They won’t be here till Wednesday and I want to cry. I need them now!

After rereading, my original review still holds up pretty well.  The best part about this book are the characters.  Kami is so sassy and I LOVE sassy characters.  She has no problem speaking her mind and she rarely ever puts up with shit from other characters.  And she can take care of herself.

“You did an awesome job out there in the woods,” he said. “And with the article.”

Kami beamed.  “Thank you.”

“But I think you and Angela should leave this to the police from now on.”

“What an interesting thought,” Kami said.  “Thank you for sharing it with me.  Let me share a thought with you: Actually, I can walk myself to class. And I can also handle myself, so I’ll be doing what I want.”

Honestly, I could just copy every amazing thing she said and make that my review because she is freaking awesome.

And Angela and Rusty were also amazing.  Angela’s disdain for other humans spoke to me on a spiritual level and Rusty’s laziness is akin to my own.  They are by far my favorite secondary characters.

I even really enjoyed Jared and the connection that he and Kami shared, although they were bothy pretty back and forth on whether or not they enjoyed the link between them.

Again, the writing is what threw me a bit because I did have a hard time following along sometimes.  It was easier to understand with the second reading.  I no longer think the end dragged and I was actually very happy with this reread.  I’m glad I ended up liking it just as much as the first time.

I’m really glad that I decided to pick this for one of my first books of 2016.  It’s just such a fun book and I still can’t wait to continue, and hopefully finish, the series!

s2f

 

2016 Hard Core Re-Read Challenge

img_5356

I’m joining the 2016 Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge hosted by Lois @ You, Me and a Cup of Tea. Since it overlaps with some of my personal challenges it shouldn’t be that hard.

Rules:

  • First off, this challenge is for EVERYBODY! That means YOU! I want anyone and everyone to join in on the fun!
  • I suggest you make a list of books that you want to re-read for 2015 and post it with your sign up post. You are welcome to add to it as the year goes on and you definitely don’t have to read them all. I recommend it be a suggested list and you can just chose books off of it as you go along.
  • The challenge officially runs from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. ONLY books started AND finished in that time frame will count.
  • The link where you can post your reviews will be up shortly. That way not only can everyone enjoy other people’s review but also that is how I’ll keep track of how many books you complete for the drawing at the end (see below). I don’t care how short or long your review is. 🙂
  • For every ten books you re-read your name will be entered in a drawing and if you complete the challenge you signed up for it is entered again. So even if you go overboard and think you can re-read fifty books but only end up re-reading 20, you can still be eligible for prizes! There will be three winners. The first place winner will get their choice of a book or a literary trinket (costing $20 or less) from Amazon. Second place will have the same option only costing $15 or less and third place the same costing $10 or less.
  • All forms of books are allowable including actual book, ebook and audiobook.
  • If you don’t have a blog but still want to participate you can sign up with a comment and use Goodreads for reviews or I suppose even comment on the reviews page with your reviews. I don’t want to exclude anyone from joining in the fun. 🙂
  •  Registration is open from now right up until the end on December 31, 2016.

Levels

  • Level 1 0-15 Re-reading itch
  • Level 2 16-25 Re-reading bug
  • Level 3 26-35 Re-reading fever
  • Level 4 36-50 Re-reading paralysis
  • Level 5 50+ Re-reading coma

I’m going for Level 2 16-25 Re-reading bug