Monday, November 21, 2011


Stars: 4/5
 Format: Kindle Book
 Read: November 13, 2011

I'm sad to say I didn't love this as much as the first book. It starts 6 months after Hollowland ended, and started fairly well. And then everything went to pot.
So they end up having to move, like usual, because no place is truly safe. I get that. Remy has to find her younger brother, so they take a detour to Arizona and I get that too. Remy is kind of emotionally damaged, so stuff isn't quite so engaging for the reader. That's fine. And then the author begins picking off characters. Which is also fine. However, the fact that Remy has basically turned into a flat, monotonous character that expresses few emotions and all shallowly is what bothered me.
When people begin to die, Remy doesn't engage. I felt like I was reading the story through a fog, where everything was dampened and not always in a good way. I know she's emotionally damaged, but I felt like this was an extreme that wasn't plausible. So my favorite character is gone, there's a whole slew of new characters, and other characters are mentioned in passing as dying. The whole story is very removed from Hollowland in a way that didn't connect well at all with me.
I didn't feel the characters at all. In fact, I went from Hollowland being my favorite to mourning the characters and story prematurely in Hollowmen. Because whatever spark that was in the first book, was gone from this one. I might also be overly disappointed because I had anticipated this sequel for so long that I sort of built a fairly large expectation, but even looking at it from a neutral stand point, I just did not connect with this book.
However, I will read any subsequent books in this series and hope that Remy will find her way back to us.

 Stars: 3/5
 Format: ARC Book Won
 Read: October 18, 2011

After so much hype and a gorgeous cover, I deeply wanted this book. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, only to be highly disappointed by the book itself.
The characters are fascinating, if a bit slow to develop, but the plot was the main problem. It felt that the author was overenthusiastic about writing and pours out several plot threads at once, most of which having nothing to do with the main agenda of the book. Tiki steals to care for her family, oh wait she has a mysterious birthmark-tattoo on her wrist, on wow she happens to be inside Buckingham palace and happens to have a ring fall right in front of her, she takes it... and then the writing changes completely. It's like two different writers tried to fit the same book idea and characters into one novel. The writing starts declining from "mediocre" to "childish" to "high schooler trying to write a book and make it big with no regards to prose or character development". It wasn't too bad, until everything is resolved. Then everything magically turns out okay; all that was missing was "and they lived happily ever after". Which, you know, is fine in some circumstances, but felt like silk tacked on to a burlap sack. It just doesn't fit together, no matter what you do.
Even the lore was weak, if nonexistent, to the point where I had no reservations on whether or not the agent even read any faerie books before taking this one on. I wanted to love it so much, even just like it, but in the end I just couldn't. It was a rocky "oh well this is getting better" only to turn to the next chapter and have it decline again.
It was just painful to read, having so much potential gradually get burned to dust. You're welcome to try it, but don't expect too much or your soul will cry a little.


 Stars: 5/5
 Format: ARC from Simon and Schuster
 Read: November 20, 2011

This was perhaps the cutest book I've read on the subject of "divorce" and fathers leaving. There is not a sad feeling in this book. Yes, sad things happen, but there's always hope.
The book is filled with straight forward innocence. It's the magic of having animals to love and protect you, about having an imperfect family that really is perfect in the end, and about having hope.
I entered a drawing for the ARC because my mom's a teacher who deals with lots of children with broken families. I won it, and was reading it for my mom, to test drive it. I would personally recommend this book to any age, from toddlers to grown ups. Perfect magic.

Stars: 5/5
Format: ARC from Simon and Schuster
Read: November 21, 2011 

I got this book as an ARC from Simon and Schuster along with the ARC that I 
actually wanted. They said they had "extra" so, naturally, give the girl who wanted a children's book ARC a YA ARC. I read the synopsis and promptly rolled my eyes and put it at the bottom of my "to read and review" pile. Really, a drug addict violinist? That could go so many different ways, most of them shady.
However, I eventually broke down and read it because I needed the book space. Well, another book is going to have to go because I actually liked this book a lot. Enough to give it five stars.
This book isn't about Carmen being a druggie. In fact the "drug", which happens to be a beta blocker (and you can't physically get addicted to those easily), appears every now and then. Whoever wrote the blurb obviously didn't know what they were talking about and condemned the book. Let it be noted that I hate most all romance, especially modern ones. Every modern romance I pick up includes sex, shallow people, sex, prissy teen whiners, and more sex. This book has none of those.
Carmen is quirky, independent, and refreshing. She's not a stereotype, which I was shocked about. And Jeremy isn't hanging on every page, blubbering and carrying on about love and such. It isn't even a typical "I hate the guy because he's a jerk and oh now I find that hawt and I'm totally into the bad boy thing". It's actually very... normal. But like, normal refreshing where the characters could actually exist in real life. It's hard to explain, but all "modern" novels walk a fine line between stereotypes and plausible characters and the author did a fantastic job staying on the right side of the line.
Although I enjoyed it, I am not completely in love with this book like some of my other 5 star books. But that doesn't mean it's not good, and I believe it deserves 5 stars because of the refreshing way the author tackled what could have easily been a huge disaster. I'm sure that for romance lovers that are sick of romance this would be the perfect book.
I'm super excited the semester is almost over. It's been awful, worst semester yet in terms of trying to pass and it's my senior year! Anyhow, I've been studying hours per day, every day, weekends and weekdays. I've been reading when I can, but reviewing is a sporadic thing. So yeah, lots of updating with my few reviews over Thanksgiving Break!