A Somewhat Disappointing Finale: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

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unmade

Unmade

The Lynburn Legacy #3

Sarah Rees Brennan

2014

3stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility – and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Set against a centuries-old legacy of blood, power, and vengeance, the truth does not seem like much of a weapon. But it is all Kami has.


This isn’t going to be a very long review. Mainly because it took me so long to read that I don’t really remember that much of what happened in the beginning. And that probably isn’t a good sign.

I am sad to say that this series went downhill from where it started. Not so much that I didn’t like the books, I just didn’t love them the way I did the first. Kami was still amazing (as the majoirty of the characters still were. I especially enjoyed the banter between Lillian Lynburn and Jon Glass), and I really did enjoy the ending, but the middle really forced my opinion. I was much more aware of the failures of Brennan’s writing, and the pace was a bit too slow and the relationship drama was over the top. JUST BE HONEST WHEN YOU TALK TO EACH OTHER. STOP BEING SO GOD DAMN MOPEY.

At the same time, a lot of what happened was a too convenient for me.  There were multiple times where the characters were pretty much about to die and then miraculously they were saved! Once would have been fine, but it happened 3 or 4 times.

Plus, I’m kind of really angry over a certain aspect of the plot. I get it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

In the end I’m going to give it 3 stars, even thought it took me over a week to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy the majority of this book. I just can’t bring myself to give a series that started off so well anything less than 3 stars. I just wished it had remained at the same level of awesomeness that was Unspoken.

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My first “Nope” Review: Beautiful Creatures

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Before I even started my blog, I knew I wanted to set a few challenges for myself in 2016.  There were a bunch of series I wanted to start and a bunch to finish.  I also wanted to actually take a second look at books that I had previously labeled “Nope” for some reason or another.  Usually due to others reviews I decided not to read certain books, and I decided that simply wasn’t fair and I wanted to give the books a try, because maybe I would find a book that I actually really enjoyed.  You can check out the original post here.

My first book in this “Nope Challenge” was Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

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Beautiful Creatures

Caster Chronicles #1

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2009

2stars

Goodreads


Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


 

Obviously since this was on my “Nope” shelf, reviews had warned me against it.  But I really just had to see it for myself.  So where should I start?

The writing is really bad. Honestly, I recognized this on the second page. I can sometimes look past bad writing if I’m invested in the plot.  Hell, I’m not winning any awards for my writing.  But, it was really, really bad in this. And, on top of bad writing, the pacing of the plot is too slow, yet oddly jumbled and confusing at many points.  I mean, I enjoyed the overall plot.  I thought the world Garcia and Stohl created was interesting and deep, if only a bit confusing, but this book did not have to be 500 pages.  There are some books that do.  There are some books that NEED to be 800 pages long and every single word is important.  This is not one of them.  Again, take 200 pages off, speed up the plot and it probably would have gotten a better rating, bad writing and all.

I liked the setting.  I haven’t read too many “Southern Gothics” and this book really made me interested in them, mainly because it didn’t do that great of a job creating the South for me. I mean, I know the South can still be pretty backwards (well America can just be pretty backwards sometimes, so it’s wrong to just point to the South), but I have a real hard time believing that this book is supposed to take place in the present day with how they treat Lena.  Totally not believable.  But I am totally interested in reading more Southern Gothic stories.

I did like that it was a male POV, except for the fact that it was so hard to remember that Ethan was a dude.  He didn’t sound like any 16 year old boy I ever met.  I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t manly enough, I just think that the authors don’t know how to write from the male perspective.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethan, but he wasn’t half as bad as Lena.

Lena, hmm I don’t even know what I can really say about her except I hated her. Like if there is nothing you can do about possibly going dark, then get the fuck over it.  She was so god damn melodramatic I wanted to rip my hair out.  Honestly, Ridley was the best character and it made me realize that I am sick of reading about the “good” side.  The dark side might be a nice place to set a story.

Both Ethan and Lena are extremely stupid. I mean they have this whole conversation over what the clue “Claim Yourself” means.  That’s when I lost it.  I would have thrown the book across the room if I hadn’t been reading on the computer or if I hadn’t been at work. Their romance was so disgustingly gag-worthy.  It’s insta-love of epic proportions, even if they don’t admit it right away.  The way Ethan thinks about Lena makes me want to throw up.  Not even my high school boyfriend was that cheesy.

The ending was entirely too convenient and it made me pretty angry.

This would have been a great book. If not for the characters.  Or the pacing.  Or the writing.  Obviously I finished it. I read 567 pages, so it gets 2 stars because I just need to prove to myself that I didn’t waste my time.

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Why I didn’t want to read it:      Reviews

Why I changed my mind:    Popularity

Do I regret reading it?:    Not exactly

Will I continue the series?:    Probably not

Reviewing the Sequel: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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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!

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

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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!

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