Because of the amount of books I read most months, I don’t get to review everything for the blog. The Mini Review Catch Up is my place to give you a little information about some of my other reads and whether or not I would recommend them without going into tons of detail. This time I have four very different reads to spotlight and I’ll let you know whether they were good, bad, or just plain ugly!
Delilah: The Making of Red by Jessica Sorensen
Book #2.5 in Nova
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Publication Date: March 18th 2014
E-Book Purchased from Amazon and Forever Yours
Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – A-
If you’ve read my reviews of the previous books in the Nova series, you’ll know that I am not totally a fan. I also really hated Delilah in the first two books. Well, Delilah: The Making of Red packed a huge emotional punch for such a short read and made me care about a character I previously disliked. Delilah’s story was so sad but was incredibly believable; it made me want to hug her. It does help you to understand where she was coming from in the other Nova books and why she acted the way she did. The only bad thing about this novella was how short it was. I hope that we find out the resolution to Delilah’s story in the next book. Highly recommended to fans of this series.
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publication Date: June 11th 2013
Book Borrowed from Local Library and St. Martin’s Griffin
Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – A
Wow, Charm & Strange was a complete mind fuck. There is just no other way to explain it. The less you know about this book going in, the better off you will be so I’m not going to say too much about it. It’s a complex and difficult read because of the subject matter, but Stephanie Kuehn has some serious skills when it comes to mixing the paranormal with the mundane. She made everything in this book feel like it belonged there, no matter how strange it might seem. The final reveal was heartbreaking but truthful and I just can’t… oh, the feels! I definitely recommend this one to people looking for something different in the YA genre. Though, if you don’t like books where everything isn’t answered, this may not be the read for you.
The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden
Book #1 in Cemetery Girl
Genre: Paranormal Graphic Novel
Publication Date: January 7th 2014
Book Borrowed from Local Library and InkLit
Christal’s Review – 3 Skulls – C+
Okay, okay, so The Pretenders wasn’t terrible, but it definitely didn’t seem like a story that it would have taken two writers to come up with… especially two pretty good writers. I love Christopher Golden and think he has some of the most beautiful prose you can find in genre fiction these days, but the short-form graphic format did not seem to be his friend. Charlaine Harris took a lot of flack for the later books in her Sookie Stackhouse series, but even this story felt simple for her. There are some amazing graphic novels out tackling complex and controversial subject matter, but this isn’t one of them. The story is very straightforward and we don’t get a lot of development or background about Calexa… she’s kind of just there. I would say give this one a pass for now, but maybe check it out once the entire run is finished. Hopefully there will be some kind of story buried in one of the installments.
Above by Isla Morley
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
ARC Provided by Edelweiss and Gallery Books
Christal’s Review – 2 Skulls – C-
Above was one of my most anticipated releases for 2014 but the execution just fell flat for me. I thought a story that combined abduction and the apocalypse would be different and exciting, but I ended up pretty bored throughout. The main character, Blythe, was sympathetic, but she didn’t ring true as a modern teenager. The two parts of the book, the abduction and then the escape back to a post-apocalyptic world, felt like two completely different stories. Overall, this book was just not for me. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, the first half began to drag after a while, and the twist ending was boring. The writing was also very jumpy and the tone changed too drastically from one half to the other. I also didn’t like the way the end of the book tried to make Dobbs, the kidnapper, seem like not such a bad guy just because his predictions about the apocalypse were correct. I haven’t read Room, but it seems like a lot of other reviewers compare Above favorably to that book. So, if you liked Room, you might like this book. I can’t recommend it myself, but a lot of other reviewers seemed to like it.
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