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review 2016-03-01 18:29
The Last Of The Firedrakes
The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles, #1) - Farah Oomerbhoy

**An copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

How? HOW does this have such high ratings and favorable reviews? 'Cos this was so bad, you guys. Oh, I should have DNFed. There's an hour of my life I won't be getting back.

It started out, not promising perhaps, but not totally terrible, in a generic fantasy story marginally better written than if written by an average 12 year old sort-of way. And it continued in this vein for the next 350 pages or so, with the addition of about a bajillion hackneyed cliches, an honest to goodness Pixie Hollow (with accompanying names eg. Penelope Plumpleberry), and a terribad romance. Let's look at the story, noting some of the cliches, shall we??

(Okay, not all of this will be totally 100% chronological. I'm only human. And I was speed reading.)

Aurora, an orphan, lives with her horrid adoptive aunt and uncle and cousin. Her uncle sells her to some baddie, who takes Aurora to a magical land, where Aurora discovers she is not only royalty but has inherited both of her parent's powers; she is both a mage AND an immortal fey, the combination of which is practically unheard of. She is also literally the most powerful fey-mage since the bestest and most awesomeest fey-mage whose names escapes me but basically he was super important and powerful. Her aunt wants her dead so she can take over the throne with absolutely no competition from the true heir. (But the "true heir" was in an entirely different fricking WORLD before the aunt brought her to Avalonia.) She falls into Insta!love (she actually refers to him as the love of her life, and her soul mate *gag*) with the Black Wolf, a dashing tall dark and handsome dude who runs around the kingdom doing who knows what but he's got this big huge reputation and he is actually the crown prince in disguise (I didn't see that coming AT ALL) and a total smarmy ass-hat. Aurora can talk with Pegasi, and she has one named Snow, and every scene with those two was dripping in awful saccharine pretty princess Pegasus power hour writing. Aurora is sent to a magical boarding school to learn how to control her powers, and where she encounters an Avalonian version of Draco Malfoy named Damien Blackwater, if memory serves, who blathers on about his pure "bloodline", is a general twat, and whose family is secretly in cohoots with Morgana. (At which point, I was jabbing at the Ipad screen at the rate of probably 20 pages a minute, just scanning the pages, because I was pretty confident there was nothing worth reading past that.) Aurora moons over Rafe, and they make out a bit but it never seems like it comes from any place of actual affection and it's written TERRIBLY. (This, and what was going on plot wise, had started to induce groaning and facepalming.) And then I think we are learning more about this special book of Abraxis that Morgana wants so she can control Dragoth (who is a demon?? I forget) but there are four keys you need to open the book, and she only has one. And then Aurora is an idiot (see below) and opens a portal (to hell?????) and lets Lilith (...like....that Lilith???) into Avalonia, and I don't know, Lilith is gonna use Morgana as a host body, because her wraith form will dissipate or she's weak in wraith form, or something like that. And that's mostly the end.

Aurora is also incredibly stupid. She's on the run from people who want to kill her, but instead of trying to get to someone who can help her, she begs to stay in Pixie Hollow (or whatever it was called) to sightsee the fairy market. Which gets raided by the Shadow Guard and she gets captured. Aurora also decides NOT to tell on one of the girls at the boarding school who let the Shadow Guard in, and is basically a big fat traitor, because.....that would be...tattling??? Oh gosh, there were so many instances of her stupidity, but here's another goodie. Aurora is told that bringing Snow back to life would be "dark magic" aka VERY VERY HELLA BAD DON'T DO IT and she fricking does it, because she neeeeeds Snow back. Well, guess what, Aurora? I hope you're happy that you using dark magic opened a hell portal.

(spoiler show)



Anyways, up till the last 60 pages or so, it was pretty darn bad, but it would have probably gotten two stars, because it was basically just a poorly written generic fantasy amalgamation of tropes and tween dreams when you'd daydream in your backyard about secretly being magical royalty. It wasn't something I would ever recommend, but as a wee girl with very few standards I might have even enjoyed it. Until Aurora and Rafe's gag-o-matic tripe of a "romance" was two-sided, and the plot went completely haywire.

Also worth mentioning is that this reads VERY middle grade, from plot to characters to the writing style, but then some bits felt more like they belonged in a YA? I think maybe this is one of those weird little books that was meant and marketed as YA but comes off as extremely childish and MG.

Thank goodness it's finally over.

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review 2015-07-09 05:58
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek - Sam Maggs

2 stars pretty much solely for the paragraph on Star Wars, all the times Stargate was mentioned, and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles recommendation.

First off, who is exactly is this written for? It claims to be written for "girl geeks" but the sad truth is that, aside from a few references and comments you'd need to be in the know to get,this offers practically zero information that geeks, or human beings in general, wouldn't already know.

At this point, is there anyone who considers themselves to be a girl geek who doesn't know what Potterheads are?? I doubt it. Or who doesn't know to bring water and cash and comfortable shoes, even if you're cosplaying, to a convention?

And Magg's brand of feminism was too strong for my taste. Not even really feminism, for most of it. Towards the end of the book, she states a general definition of feminism that was spot-on, but it didn't really mesh with the message strewn throughout the book, as the book as a whole tends to put women on a pedestal. Sure, some guys, geeks or otherwise, are bound to be jerks, but some girls, geeks or otherwise, are bitchy. We aren't these amazing incredible paragons of humanity. We shouldn't need to be told we're beautiful to be validated. And we certainty don't need to nay-say males in an attempt to prove our equality superiority.

Her section on internet trolls was at the same time absolutely true and utterly laughable. I read the first few entries and then skipped over the rest. We had a Fire Troll and a Frost Troll and approximately 7 other ridiculously named versions of trolls, some of which were legitimate trolls that she nailed and some that really weren't. One of such trolls was someone that will comment about grammar. The horror.

Additionally, this is one of the most politically correct books to ever PC. I can't even. And remember: "You don't need to identify as female to read this book!!" That's really good, because I identify as hedgehog. *eye roll*

It's essentially an mostly boring, and rarely amusing, overly feminist introduction to the world of fandom and internet.

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text 2015-05-23 20:58
A Long Long Sleep
A Long, Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan

**DNF AT 125 PAGES**

 

I wanted so much to love, or at least like, this book. And I tried. There's no denying that I was pulled into the story, as there was something about the writing. It wasn't terribly pretty, but it was engaging. Where I lost it was when Rose is mooning over Bren, and comparing him to Xavier, "her first love", whom she met when she was 7. Due to how often and how long she was in stasis, when she was 10, he was 5. He was cute and liked spending time with her and she considered him as a little brother. This continued on till she was 14 and he was 12, and they started feeling something more. And by the time she's 16, they are in true and unbelievable love and she's more concerned over his death than her parents, granted that they probably weren't around very much when they were alive.

 

"He was my best friend, my brother, my love."

 

Now the whole friend-to-boyfriend thing is fine, but friendbrother-to-boyfriend is just a titch creepy. I think too, it was how it was handled and written about. It came across to me as weird. She was always referring to him as "my Xavier" and...ugh. Just stop. Maybe I didn't make it far enough in the book for the plot to show up, but lame romance was rearing its head, and I have had enough of that to last me a lifetime.

 

By far the best part of this book was Otto, who I was quite interested in and would have definitely been willing to check out his book, which I was hoping would have more to do with his story and his "siblings", and stay away from romantic distractions. Except I read a review and it appears that it mostly deals with Otto and Rose's  romance.

 

Uggh.

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review 2015-04-17 22:24
The Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet - Maureen Johnson

I only read up to around page 240 and then skimmed/sped-read the rest. I simply had no further interest in what I was reading, in some way due to the fact that this is not the last book and the story is continuing to be dragged out for at least another installment. I caught some stuff about special magic stones and ghosts and crazy blood cults and creepy twins with an almost "Flowers In The Attic" vibe and something about "defeating death" and tearing the veils between the dead and the living, or something like that, I didn't really care. Anyways, I'm definitely not invested enough to check out the fourth book.

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review 2015-03-07 20:22
An Unlikely Match
An Unlikely Match - Sarah M. Eden

So when I heard about this book, I was skeptical but there was a part of me that really wanted to read it because any book that could, potentially, pull off a charming and fluffy romance between a ghost and a guy, oooh, I wanted to read that book. But, unfortunately for me, this book did not live up to its potential.

It was the one of the saddest cases of Insta!love I've read about in a while, considering that they barely even interacted with one another before, POOF!, they were "in love". He went from not believing in her existence to tolerating her presence in his house to loving her in the space of 100 pages, which may seem like a lot, but she doesn't show up for a while, so far as he knows, and also they spend almost zero page time actually in each other's presence. Now some of their romance was off-page, but I didn't get to read it, so I don't much see what the point of that was, especially since it killed what investment I had in their story.

And to top it all off, I was flabbergasted by how terribly written the end was. Plot bunnies abounded and were running off with my lettuce and all logic. I still have no idea how Gwen was dead and she was a sacrifice in a creepy ritual and the ritual needs to be keep being performed, so her spirit comes back (I got that bit), but her body really is truly dead and decayed, so how does it come back? It just didn't make any sense. Nor does the fact that it is mentioned that the ghosts cannot pick up anything corporal, and nor can the living pick up anything incorporeal. Okay, sounds legit. But ghost-priest picks up the book and then, later, when it is convenient, Nick's real live living friend picks up the same book and throws it into a ghostly fire that burns it up completely? How does this work?? Frankly, most of this book, but especially the last 50 pages or so, was strikingly unbelievable. And I do not say this because it was a romance between a ghost and a living guy. I was ready to roll along with that, but the rest of it, nope. I draw the line somewhere.


In a truly tragic turn of events, I lost my bookmark, which also had all my notes scribbled on it, which included a trulyamazingly laughable quote, but I shall do my best to remember it...

"The sight of him took her breath away, despite the fact that she had no breath that could be taken away."

I have no words for this, so I will leave you with:

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