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review 2017-07-21 14:09
DNF: GIlded Cage
Gilded Cage - Vic James

I received a copy from Netgalley.

Another one for the DNF pile. I couldn't get into this one. The society baffled me. I can't get my head around the concept. It was weird and annoying. In this British novel society is still split by huge class divisions. The elite aristocrats at the top run everything and all have some sort of magic ability. The working class have to complete ten years of slavery, where they don't get paid. They an either work in something called slavetowns in factories or domestic work. There's lots of different characters, lots of plots and different agendas, and it's all really really boring. Didn't care about any of it. I made it to 40% but I just don't have any interest in figuring out the plot or the characters. I just can't get my head around ten years of forced slavey in a modern world. Don't get it. At all. And really just don't want to read any more, so DNFing.

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for approving my request to view the title.

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text 2017-01-04 21:09
DNF: Moon Chosen
Moon Chosen - P.C. Cast

No stars. Doesn't even deserve 1 star.


May be my quickest DNF ever. Barely 3 pages and I loathe this book. Stuck it out to 20 pages, but no more. I hate the characters and the world buildings is nonsense, the dialogue is ludicrous and the plot is awful. Big ass NO WAY am I wasting any more time on this rubbish.



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text 2015-12-29 13:11
Review: Sanctuary Bay
Sanctuary Bay - Melinda Metz,Laura J. Burns

I received an invite to view this title from the Publisher through Netgalley.


I was quite excited when I got the initial email with an invite to view the title. It was one on my wish list so I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, as it turned out, I did not like this book one little bit. 


Started off with quite an intriguing premise. A little girl is hidden by her parents and its clear that something very bad is going to happen. She's told what to do when she escapes - find a lady with children or a kid tell them her name is Sarah Mercer and ask for help. They stress the point quite dramatically to tell that her name is Sarah Mercer. It’s never actually made clear (at least not to my recollection) whether that is actually the girl’s real name.


Hop to many years later and Sarah Mercer is a mixed race foster kid who has received a scholarship to some exclusive all immersion private school called Sanctuary Bay on its own private island. The novel starts with Sarah taking the ferry to the new school wondering where the scholarship has come from. She’s not a great student or anything. She’s a victim of an underfunded social care system and has been shipped from one foster home to another.


It’s clear right off she’s got an attitude problem. Understandable given her circumstances, we also learn right off she’s mixed race and never knows what box to check when she’s filling out forms – black or white. This becomes something of an issue for her. Every character that is introduced is described as race, hair colour, what they look like. I’m all for diversity in books, I really do think its very important to have different characters from all kinds of background and ethnicities. It’s a great way to learn about other cultures and people. I don’t need it thrown in my face every time a new person comes onto the scene. Nate – white, brown hair, really good looking, Mr Diaz, Hispanic, curly brown hair. Elaine – white, blonde, very thin. I’m paraphrasing but it’s more or less like that. A lot. It got very tiring very fast.


Sarah’s attitude and the fact that she’s on scholarship and some of the kids she’s now going to school with are extremely rich kids gets very grating as well. I get that she’s tough, but go with the flow already! She’s been given a wonderful opportunity, the kids she meets are annoying, but they appear to be friendly and don’t seem to look down on her because of her background (which I think is where a lot of the attitude problems comes from) At least at some point Sarah does seem to realise this and decides to make the most of the opportunity she has. She’s also got a perfect memory. She can recall absolutely everything she reads or studies. This has caused some problems with teachers in the past who think she has been cheating. She also has problems zoning out when something sparks a memory. Usually something bad. When she remembers that memory down to very last little detail, she’s lost in the moment completely. All adding to the tough girl attitude. She’s snarky and defensive.


The first thing she learns about Sanctuary Bay is it’s a total immersion school system, no contact with parents or the mainland. There’s also a crumbled ruin on the island that used to be a mental institution. There are rumours abound that the doctors performed extremely dangerous and illegal experiments and stuff on the patients. It was also a Nazi POW camp for a time during World War 2. There may be ghosts around. It’s almost like everything horrible that could have happened in terms of POW and badly managed institutions has happened at some point in this island’s history. Now it has turned into an uber posh boarding school.


Sarah learns the school has its own internet, its own wifi system and each student gets their own cell phone which has all their schedules and is voice controlled. When she’s meeting the other kids and her roommates, one of them offers Sarah her notes for a class they share and pretty much tells the phone - send Sarah these notes. Or it can locate any student or teacher anywhere. It’s got some pretty nifty technology. One of the best schools in the country the kids who attend and graduate can pretty much write their ticket to any future they want.


Sounds like a pretty good deal. So why didn’t I like this book? I didn’t like the main character for one thing. As I’ve already mentioned, Sarah’s attitude got on my nerves, she’s almost too perfect, comes in out of the blue and within less than a day everyone, including the teachers, really seem to like her. Along with two of the most popular boys on campus, one being the student body president, who is really popular and handsome. The other is the richest kid in the school, (who happens to be really hot and her roommate’s boyfriend. He’s also an ass, but for some reason even though Sarah tries to say she doesn’t like him, she really does. Blah.)


There’s also hints of a secret society, and anyone in this secret society is going to do better than anyone else. Sarah’s two roommates disappear in the middle of the night frequently. So what does Sarah do – what any inquiring mind would do – she sneaks off to follow them. And gets caught up in this secret society nonsense. It’s all fun and games, and something to do with a daft ritual and some sort of drink that may or may not be drugged and alcoholic. It’s all fun and games and silly initiation rituals until things take a drastically dark turn.


A student goes missing. Sarah thinks she saw what happened but no one else believes her. At this point, I lost interest and pretty much skimmed to see what happened in the end. In spite of the fact that I didn’t really like any of the characters or the hints of a romance plot, the writing was interesting enough that I still wanted to know what was going on. But by the 60% mark or so, it was convoluted ridiculousness.


A big ass conspiracy was revealed that was so unbelievably ludicrous and the whole reveal scene with Sarah confronting the baddie, even finding out the truth about what happened to parents in the novel’s opening scene, was laughable. It seemed to have a somewhat open end as well. It’s left at what could be a cliff hanger or at least open to the point of not knowing what actually happened to the characters who survived the big confrontation scene.  Very disappointed in this novel. Not my taste at all.


Thank you to St Martin’s Press for the invite to view the title.

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text 2015-08-28 11:28
Review: Hollywood Witch Hunter
Hollywood Witch Hunter - Valerie Tejeda

DNF at 30%.


Just don't like it. It's too cheesy for me. And I hate the characters. It started off pretty terrible but it was sort of amusing and entertaining, but the more I'm reading, the more I'm not liking it.


I can not stand the main character Iris, drives me up and the wall and makes my eyes roll. As a supposedly bad-ass girl who dresses in leather and carries a special gold knife to hunt witches and who is supposedly the only female witch hunter in history says "beotch" instead of bitch - it makes me want to slap her.  If you're bad ass enough to wear leather and hunt things - swear properly!! 


The mythology makes me shake my head and I wanted to slap characters as well when the new guy who comes in and is being shown around is  pleased that witches won't hunt his male relatives. In spite of the main character being the only girl with the witch hunter gene the whole thing had an irritating misogynistic vibe to it.  


I am done with this book. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-06-23 15:44
Review: Those Girls
Those Girls - Lauren Saft

When I first got one of those 'Read Now for the first 1000 members' email from Netgalley for this title, I was quite excited. I never get those. So I went and downloaded the read it now option.


Though adding it to my Goodreads page and seeing the huge amount of negative reviews for the title, my enthusiasm began to dwindle, especially as I read some of the reviews. I read the first 10% and was rather put off almost immediately.


This review will be spoiler filled and ranty.


First scene is two girls in a car heading to a pharmacy cause one is worried she’s pregnant and every other word out of her mouth is an expletive. She wants the B Plan pill cause her strict Catholic mom won’t let her go on the pill. Right there I had a really bad feeling about this book. The girl wanting the B Plan pill, Mollie comes across as an up tight self important whiny entitled little bitch. Her friend Alex isn’t much better.


I nearly DNFed right there,  but pushed on with it. It was pretty damn terrible. The whole thing seemed to be about privileged private school girls getting wasted, high, partying and having sex. Revolving around three characters – Mollie and Alex and a third girl called Veronica. Veronica is constantly referred to as trashy, slut, whore and a whole host of that sort of name calling.


Truth be told Veronica is the most likeable character in the book. Yes, she has copious amounts of sex but so what? She’s completely confident in who she is, she’s rich, she’s pretty, she’s got something appealing about her that draws both the girls and boys in her direction. Veronica, in spite of her reputation, has a much deeper side to her you get a glimpse to in her chapters. She does some pretty stupid things, including sleeping with Mollie’s boyfriend which becomes a huge plot point later on in the novel.


Mollie is a flat out bitch. Horrible horrible horrible girl. She’s got an air of entitlement to her, an attitude and a foul, foul mouth. Everything is about her, people are the foulest insults imaginable if they don’t tell her things. Everything is about her awesome super cool boyfriend (hottest guy from the neighbouring boys school no matter how awful of a person he is). This girl seems to have no self esteem either. The boyfriend is a douchebag.

He smokes, he drinks, he pressures her, a few times she mentioned sex hurts, he doesn’t care where she is, sticks it in regardless, but in spite of his many many faults she has to keep trying to please him cause he’s totally the hottest guy in school and he’s love her eventually right? How about a big ass NO.  Mollie is constantly judging everything around her as well. Makes her really tiring and me as the reader wonder how on earth this girl could have any friends at all with her vile personality.

(spoiler show)


The third girl, Alex, is supposed to be the nicest most “normal” one of the bunch. She’s the tom boy type girl who gets on really well with the boys, though no actual boyfriends, and has a secret passion for music which I get the impression is supposed to make her “deeper” than the others.  

She’s in love with her best friend Drew who has a thing for Veronica. This makes Alex uncomfortable and God knows why – but she encourages them to get together. When they do – all she does is bitch to Mollie about it. While she has joined a band from the local high school and got a quasi boyfriend out of that. They make out a lot but she whines when not much else goes on. Clues are this dude knows she’s got the hots for someone else and wants moments with her to be memorable rather than sex for the sake of sex which seems to be what all the other girls do.

(spoiler show)


Most of the drama revolves around things like this. A lot of partying and worrying about who’s sleeping with who and getting drunk and getting high. There’s a game of truth or dare at one point where some rather personal questions come up and people get pissy. Mollie’s asshole of a boyfriend dares her to make out with Veronica. Which later on leads to the most uncomfortable threeway I’ve ever read. Again, a point on Mollie’s low self esteem, she does it just to make the boyfriend think she’s hot. Wishing she was drunker at the time it happens, does not make for fun reading.


While the whole thing was pretty awful mostly, it was at least amusingly bad, but it was like a where is this whole train wreck of a book going?


At some point Veronica starts screwing Mollie’s douchebag boyfriend and finally, Mollie finds out. And is absolutely furious. She and Alex decide to get revenge…by roofie-ing Veronica at prom to make her pass out so they can strip her and leave her somewhere in public for everyone to see her so Veronica will be humiliated. (Though by this point Alex is doing the same thing – sleeping with a best friend’s boyfriend and no one things to get this sort of brainless revenge plan on her? ) The fact that Mollie has roofies available to her is disturbing enough.

(spoiler show)


At least there were some consequences for their actions at prom. Though in spite of all the drama and backstabbing, and screwing everyone else’s boyfriends, the girls don’t seem to care.  They are punished for prom drama (all three of them) but seem to move past everything pretty quickly. Which left me as a reader completely and utterly baffled

(spoiler show)



It made me think of the Gossip Girl books and at a stretch Leah Reader’s Black Iris both are pretty much along the lines of the same thing –  teens, sex, partying, drugs and revenge. Unfortunately for me, ‘Those Girls’ just didn’t have the arrogant charm of Gossip Girl, nor did it have the brilliant writing and shock factor of ‘Black Iris’.  I got the impression that this book was trying to combine the two. It didn’t work.  The whole thing was pretty awful, as I mentioned, but at least had an amusement factor. Though that last bit made me really really hate it. 


Thank you to Netgalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the chance to view the title.

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