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review 2017-06-24 21:03
Zombies, Vampires, Shapeshifters, Conspiracy, and A fight for the people...you could say this has it all.
Gods of Anthem - Logan Keys

 

 

 

Book Title:  The Last City

Author:  Logan Keys

Series:  The Last City #1

Genre:  Dystopian, Zombie, YA

Publisher:  Le Chat Publishing

Setting:  Florida (I think) and Sweden

SourceI received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(this link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

Heroes by Generdyn Music ft. Zayde Wølf  -- I seriously don't know how I came across this, nor have I ever heard of this Generdyn or Zayde Wolf...but really this goes with the book really well has all the feels for it.  It's very inspiring and quite intriguing.♫

 

 

 

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜

3.8/5 STARS

B

 

My Thoughts

 

The Last City formerly known as Gods of Anthem reads like two separate stories.  One is Liza's and the other is Tommy's.  Alternating between the two every so often, not necessarily at chapter breaks.  Which maybe made the story more confusing for me, at least for first 2/3rd of the book.  Although, I did prefer Liza's story over Tommy's because it was a little less complicated. 

 

Oh yeah…there's zombies in this as well…which I'm usually freaked out by them, because they give me nightmares.  These zombies, though, are sorta kept behind the walls so to speak, at least most of the time.  The zombie theme is not overly prevalent, which I did like, because, I didn't have any sleepless nights while reading this.

 

 

Ultimately, though, The Last City feels more like a prequel because of it's rather anti-climatic ending.  I felt like the story only became engaging within the last few pages.  I think the series has the potential to be exceptional, I just don't know if the Author can pull it off, at least for me.

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3.8/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  3.8/5

The Feels:  3.5/5

Addictiveness:  3/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  3.3/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4/5 My Cover is the one that says The Last City

Ending:  3.8/5 Cliffhanger:  Yes, pretty much

 

Will I continue this series?  I already have the arc of La La Land, and I feel like theirs potential for this to be a great story…so…yeah.

 

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review 2017-06-18 17:29
Bad Girl Gone
Bad Girl Gone: A Novel - Temple Mathews

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This ended up being a very uneventful read for me. The premise felt really cool: a girl finds herself in a creepy orphanage, realises it’s actually a kind of purgatory for murdered kids, and tries to find out who killed her so that she can move on. The beginning was intriguing, especially since, like other ghosts in the orphanage, Echo first has to piece together memories of her death—reliving the trauma at once would be too shocking—, and investigating why you’re in an orphanage when last you knew your parents were definitely alive, well, that’s tricky.

The problem lied mainly in how all this was executed. Not particularly thrilling, for starters. Echo has a couple of culprits in mind, so she and the other kids go to ‘haunt’ them and see if they’re going to wield under pressure, or are actually innocent, but… it wasn’t anything scary or memorable, more like pranks, not like the really creepy kind of haunting you could get when adding children/teenagers to the mix (in general, I find kid ghosts scarier than adult ones). The mystery itself—finding the murdered—wasn’t exciting either, nor were the murderer’s reactions. Perhaps this was partly due to Echo’s power as a ghost: entering living people’s bodies in order to perceive their thoughts. The investigation part, in turn, was more about vaguely picking a maybe-potential culprit, scaring them, popping in their mind, then be gone. Then the story. And then Echo’s past as a ‘bad girl’ was revealed, and it turned out it wasn’t so much bad as introduced without much taste.

Definitely cringeworthy was the drama-addled romance. Echo’s living boyfriend, Andy, is all about moping and wanting to kill himself over her death, and… well, call me hard-hearted and callous, but you’re 16 and that kind of relationship is by far NOT the first one you’re going to experience in life, so pegging everything on it always feels contrived to me. Then there’s cute ghost boy Cole, who’s not about murdering the hypotenuse (thanks goodness), yet was strange, considering Andy is not aware of his presence, and so the triangle is… incomplete? (Its attempts at becoming a square later didn’t help either.) Also contains examples of stupid Twue Wuv/The One/soulmate 4evah/Doormat Extraordinaire. Such as Echo being so happy that her corpse was dressed in her favourite dress at her funeral… Favourite because her boyfriend Andy liked it. I still have no idea if Echo herself liked the pattern or colour or whatever. In any case, these are the kind of tropes I dislike in novels in general, and in YA even more. Why always make it look like couple love is the ultimate end, as if nobody (whether girl or boy) couldn’t have a good life in different ways?

In fact, I was more interested in the orphanage’s headmistress (whose back story plays a part for a chapter or so) and other inmates, all with their own murders to solve. These I would’ve liked to see interact more than just as Echo’s sidekicks. But we don’t get to learn much about them, apart from how they died. Too bad.

Conclusion: Nope

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review 2017-06-14 19:04
The Girl from Rawblood
The Girl from Rawblood: A Novel - Catriona Ward

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I did like the narrative weaving back and forth between past and present, shedding more light on characters that came before Iris and Tom, as well as the atmosphere of Rawblood, both stifling and inviting to nostalgia. I had more trouble keeping interested in the story itself, though: the characters weren’t particularly engaging, so I never cared much about them. I never really felt the connection between Iris and Tom, and therefore its role in the ‘immediate and terrifying’ consequences mentioned in the blurb didn’t have much of an impact

The present tense narration tended to throw me out of the story from time to time, which didn’t help; I’m not sure why, I’m not too keen on that tense when it comes to historical fiction (and/or when several narrators are involved, as it’s often difficult to tell who’s telling the story, and it was the case here at times).

The reveal towards the end made sense in a way, yet seemed to me like it fell a little abruptly, and wasn’t completely… justified. Revenge? But why, considering ‘her’ identity, why would she inflict that on the Villarcas? Accident, couldn’t help it? Hm, not really convinced here. Quite a few things were unclear, and not in a way that contributed to a mysterious / gothic atmosphere.

Conclusion: I may have liked it more, if not for the style and the characters.

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review 2017-06-12 09:00
ARC Review: Back To You by Chris Scully
Back to You - Chris Scully

There's a melancholy undertone to this book, and it permeates everything that happens within. Set in a small town along the Canadian Highway of Tears, a stretch of road where women and young girl mysteriously disappeared over a period of about 40 years, there's a certain kind of dread that sits in the pit of your stomach from the get-go.

 

Alex/Alexander/Sandy Buchanan, a journalist, returns to the town where he grew up after leaving with his mother 20 years earlier upon his parents divorce. He returns, reluctantly, because his estranged father's drinking has finally caught up with him and the old man is expected to die soon. Alex has no expectations of a happy reunion as he still resents his father, but hopes to get a story out of his visit.

 

The story is told entirely from Alex's first-person POV, which naturally lets the reader see only what Alex chooses to see. We don't get a whole lot of insight to Ben or what makes him tick, except of what we're allowed to see through Alex somewhat self-absorbed eyes. There's a moment when Ben lays it all out, and Alex finally... well, you read this for yourself.

 

Alex's older sister Janet lives close by, having returned to be closer to their father some years ago, and their relationship is equally strained, with Janet blaming Alex for never even trying to have a relationship with his father after the divorce, and Alex resenting Janet for continuing to ask him to. Their relationship is complex, and it was clear from the start that Janet was troubled.

 

The only thing that Alex looks forward to as he drives up to the small town is seeing his childhood friend Ben/Benji Morning, who's now an artist. Back when they were in their early teens, Alex had strong feelings for Benji that confused and scared him, and when Alex and his mom moved away, he quickly forgot all about Benji. In the years since, he's never been able to recapture the feelings from their one innocent kiss, not in the one-night-stands, the failed relationships, or even his relatively short marriage.

 

Additionally, shortly before Alex's mother left with him and his sister, Benji's older sister Misty mysteriously vanished one day. Alex's father was the last one to talk to her, and Alex and Benji observed her car driving down the highway the day she disappeared. She's never been found, and her and Benji's mother has never stopped looking, obsessed with finding out what happened to her daughter. In all those years, she's never had any emotional energy left for Ben, and he basically had to raise himself after his sister's disappearance. Now living in a small studio above the garage, Benji has worked hard to find a bit of peace while still keeping an eye on his mother, a peace that is threatened by Alex showing up on his doorstep. He's teaching free art classes to special needs kids and others, and has carved out a quiet albeit lonely existence for himself. He longs to move on, but realizes that his mother will continue to stagnate in her quest for finding his sister.

 

Just about the time Alex arrives in town, Misty's car is found in a nearby lake on the outskirts of town, and the investigation is given a second wind.

 

The mystery about what happened to Misty is deeply intertwined with Alex's relationship with his father and sister, and basically drives the story. The romance and rekindled feelings between Alex and Ben take second place, really, and theirs is not an easy road.

The book is full of poignant moments, but it's more suspenseful mystery than romance. Alex learns that what he believes to be the truth might not be after all, and that the dying man in the hospital bed has perhaps similar trouble in expressing his feelings, and that Alex is his father's son after all.

 

The truth about Misty's disappearance does eventually come out, though it wasn't a huge surprise to me. There were hints along the way, in what people said, hints that Alex either didn't understand or was too busy avoiding. Truth is a double-edged sword, as Alex surely finds out.

 

This isn't an easy read, and with the focus not on the second-chance romance but the mystery and suspense, it's not a book that would appeal to readers who look for fluffy M/M romances. They'd miss out, of course, as this book showcases this author's exquisite ability to set the stage and draw images with her words, transporting the reader into the story and giving him or her a unique experience. The writing is exceptional in creating the perfect atmosphere and evoking just the right emotions while reading. As with Until September, the author also doesn't shy away from making statements about the social issues behind the Highway of Tears. 

 

I was fascinated from the start, and couldn't stop reading. A true page-turner, this book delivered on everything it promised and more.

 

 
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-06-10 17:37
Girls Made of Snow and Glass - Melissa Bashardoust

          Arc Provided by Flatiron Books through Netgalley

 

                       Release Date: September 5th

 

Pitched as a feminist retelling, "Girls Made of Snow and Glass", doesn't disappoint in the least. Told in the alternative pov's of Mina, the stepmother Queen and Lynet, the snow Princess, this is a story that most surely will stay with the reader long after its read... What if there was more to the "tale" of the "evil" stepmother and her "naive" stepdaughter? What if there was a story of trying to break with one's past and one's sorrow? What if you only wanted to be loved, but never quite achieved that? How would you turn out with people trying to make a puppet out of you? This is the story of two women both trying to find out their true natures in a grey world . A world of snow and cold. And of bitter family ties. Along the way they will have to decide if they'll risk breaking those ties for a chance of finally being themselves. And of loving who they want. "Girls Made of Snow and Ice" is a tale of self discovery, friendship, and of budding young love, interwoven with bits of magic... In it, you have very different love stories. You have one between a woman with a heart of glass, and her creation. But for how long will it be her creation?

Another between two girls, both trying to survive in that world: One that has had everything given to her, except the love of a mother. And the other, who is trying to find her own station in a world filled with people who want to use her...

But for me, the most rewarding its between a mother and her child. Despite all obstacles, barriers, and wishes of kings. The writing is skilfully done, taking the reader successfully into a cursed world of snow, and many were the phrases _ so beautifully written _that I would love to share with you guys.

Really a remarkable read.

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