Friday, June 8, 2018

Wolf Season

Wolf Season was given to me as a Christmas gift by a close friend. It is not a novel I would have chosen for myself but I am glad it was given to me since it broadened my horizons in literary experience.

It took me a long time to get interested in Wolf Season and when I was finally to the point where I could not wait to see what happened to everyone the novel ended. Which was frustrating in it's own right but looking back I see why Helen Benedict stopped when she did.

Rin just wants to be left alone to live with her shadowy demons that haunt her every movement. Tormented with PTS to the point where she can barely function Rin struggles to realize she is no longer in the war or that everyone is out to get her or her blind daughter Juney.

Naema works hard to become a doctor in the US and take care of her son who lost a leg in Iraq. Determined to give her son as normal a life as possible Naema gets a job working at the local veterans hospital until a devastating storm hits that lands her in the hospital.

Beth has it all or so it would seem, the picture perfect girl in high school married to the school jock. While her husband is busy being a war hero Beth is busy hitting the bottle. Torn up every time her husband comes home and is more and more a stranger Beth has no idea what to do about her destructive husband or her ever delinquent son.

All three of these women have very different back stories and different problems but they all want a better life for their child. It becomes very clear as the story progresses that any of them will do anything to keep their child safe and well cared for, the love they posses for themselves may be in short supply but it never dwindles for their child.

The writing took a long time to grab me. It felt like I could not make a connection with the character and I am not sure if that was due to the characters all being so reserved or if it was due to the writing not pulling me in. Like I said earlier just as I really started to get into the story it ended. I do wish a few more details had been shared and while it does say novel Naema is in another novel by Helen so maybe these characters will appear again. I do not think I would seek out anything else by Helen but if I happened to see it at the library I would most likely check it out, the story is one that I cannot stop thinking about it and parts of it haunt me.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

I am not sure what I was really expecting from The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and even after reading it I am not really sure what to say about the story beyond it was strange. I randomly chose The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett from the library while I was stocking up on reading material to keep my occupied while on a vacation from work.

Right away the book came off as strange to me and I was not sure what was really going on however since I wanted to know what happened to Lizzie Lovett I read until the end.

Hawthorn is not a normal character and I do admire Chelsea Sedoti for that, writing characters with interesting quirks and personalities is not easy. In no way does Hawthorn come off as cookie cutter anything she is a teenager who desperately wants to fit in with everyone at school while maintaining her uniqueness. I really do not feel like I can do Hawthorn justice in a review.

The writing was not something that screamed amazing at me while I read the story but looking back I see how complex of a character Hawthorn is. I am not sure I would ever actively seek out anymore of Chelsea Sedoti's work but I would not shun it either.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Twisted

Twisted is the ninth book in the Pretty Little Liars series and I was wondering where Sara Shepard would go with things since everything seemed tied up nicely in the eight book. In a way I was surprised at how the story started out.

Immediately the hint of a new secret is pushed at the reader but I was not as interested in the secret at least until the new A showed up and started tormenting the girls.

Hannah continues to want her father to accept her and thinks his companion is the perfect way to grow closer to him at least until she realizes her step-sister, Kate, is getting the majority of camera time. Overcome with jealousy and rejection issues Hannah continues to struggle with her self  esteem.

Aria finally has it all, peace with her fathers new wife, her mother getting rid of her sleazy boyfriend, and the perfect boyfriend who she has had a crush on since seventh grade. All that starts to fall apart for her though when her boyfriends family decides to host a foreign exchange student who is a dream girl right down to the perfect Finnish accent. Caught up in the girl's little games Aria does her best to stay one step ahead of her in keeping her boyfriend all to herself.

Emily is in a serious slump, having lost the love of her life again she just does not know how to function. Hoping against all hope that Ali survived the massive inferno somehow she also fears to tell her friends the truth she left the door open hoping Ali would escape. Needing a friend she is glad when a new girl moves in down the street. The two girls quickly bond and Emily starts to trust her new friend with some dangerous secrets which quickly turns deadly when a new A starts texting Emily about her secrets.

Spencer has it all, she got her grades up, took extra AP classes, and is even getting to see her mom happy as she dates a gentlemen with two children of his own. With everything turning around Spencer is able to forget the horrors of her summer until her mom's boyfriend's daughter starts holding music practice in the house. Confronted with the horrors of what she did Spencer is certain nothing will come from it until a new A starts sending her incriminating texts.

All in all Twisted felt like a dead horse was being beaten until the new A showed up. At first I was confused as heck at what was going on. Things did not transition that smoothly like previous books had. While some time had passed the characters seemed different in some ways and like they had got a bit more childish in other ways. I am still enjoying the series and I do plan on reading Ruthless soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wanted

Wanted is the eight book in the Pretty Little Liars book series.

In shock over the appearance of Courtney, Ali's mentally ill twin sister, the pretty little liars try their best to cope with all the changes around them. With Ali's supposed killer behind bars and the haunting text messages having stopped the girls all hope to have a normal life again.

Spencer just wants a chance to get to know her half sister but Courtney is acting strangely and Spencer has uneasy feelings. However with her family all torn up and her mom devastated from the affair her husband had Spencer clings to the only people who want to talk to her.

Hannah just wants to continue to be popular and bring down Kate, her future step sister. Determined to get back her queen bee spot Hannah cannot wait to knock down Kate when Courtney suggests a diabolic plot to embarrass Kate in front of the whole school.

Emily is beyond torn, having had a long time crush on Ali Emily is not sure how to interact with Courtney. Confused and embarrassed that Courtney will be grossed out Emily struggles with trying to understand her own feelings and not giving the school more to gossip about.

Aria is cautious of Courtney, she does not trust her nor does she want anything to do with her. Careful to keep her emotions under control Aria watches Courtney for any sign of the mean pranks that Ali use to play on the girls. Something is wrong and Aria is determined to figure it out.

Wanted tied up the Pretty Little Liars series nicely, I was expecting some of the twists and not some of the others. I did have a few questions left about things but nothing major. I was surprised at the end of the book to read the note from the author saying how it was the last book in the series when eight more books exist. I have started Twisted and it does seem a bit different, I would like to see how it will end up tying back into the first books in the series.

Of Neptune

Of Neptune is the third book in the Syrena Legacy trilogy. Oddly enough I enjoyed the second book the most and most of the time I tend to find the second book in any trilogy unsatisfactory in some way.

Emma feels out of place, seen as a abomination by the Syrena she does not wish to live in the ocean. However she fears humans finding out she is half merperson. Torn on what to do she follows her grandfather's advice and decides to visit Neptune with Galen. Amazed to find a whole town full of half breeds and humans living in harmony Emma is immediately enticed by the life that could exist in Neptune for her.

Galen cannot wait to get Emma away from everyone and have her all to himself so when she suggests visiting a town in the middle of no where he is all for it until he finds out the town is full of half breeds living a normal life. Horrified at the thought of losing Emma Galen lets his temper get the better of him and runs off to do what he thinks is right and tell his bother, the Triton King, about the town.

Of Neptune reminded me a bit of the first book interesting in parts but slow for the rest of it. I had a hard time finishing the story and I even had nothing else to read. I am glad I did read all of Emma and Galen's story but over all it felt like the story contained a lot of unnecessary filler. While I liked enough to have gained something form reading the trilogy the writing did not entice me enough to seek out more of Anna Banks work.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Heartless

Heartless is the seventh book in the Pretty Little Liar's series. I really had fun with Heartless, the ever secretive A was devious and toyed with not on the four girls but the readers as well.

Hannah cannot seem to catch a breath with her soon to be stepsister Kate in the house, after she blurts Hannah's secret to her father he quickly finds a preserve for Hannah so she can get the special treatment she needs to receive help with her eating disorder.

Emily is learning the hard way that A is not going to flat out tell them clues to solving Ali's murder but instead making the girls work for it. Stuck on an Amish settlement in the middle of no where Emily struggles to figure out why A wanted her to go there.

Spencer thinks she has it all figured out even more so when A pushes her in a direction that shows an even darker side to Spencer's already confused family tree.

Aria is struggling with her attachment to Jason, Ali's older brother, as she tries to figure out why Jason is acting so strangely. In an attempt to learn more about Ali's death Aria turns to less traditional means.

Nothing is as it seems and all four girls discover major clues about what could have happened to Ail. I cannot wait to start Wanted


Of Triton

Of Triton is the second book in the Syrena Legacy. I had no intention of reading Of Triton so soon since I struggled with the first book but I could not get the characters out of my mind. I guess Of Poseidon left more of an impression on me then I realized.

Emma has to take in a lot, she is struggling to accept she is a half breed and that her mother is famous among the Syrena. Terrified of being discovered as a half breed Emma struggles with what path to take since Syrena law declares all half breeds must be put to death she worries that will be her fate if she reveals herself as having the gift of Poseidon.

All in all Of Triton was a much faster and smoother read. The writing was vastly improved and flowed at a better pace. I could see more of the characters and their personalities morphing into adult attitudes which was nice. The ending was tied up nicely so I was confused at first as to whether or not their was a third book, I do look forward to seeing what happens with Emma's and Galen's relationship.