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review 2014-01-30 01:54
The Cavendish Home for Boys & Girls
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls - Claire Legrand

I wanted to like this book so badly. I love Claire LeGrand, and I'm dying to read Winterspell and Flights & Chimes... but Mrs. Cavendish just didn't do it for me like I'd hoped. It was very very dark, which I don't usually mind, if there's a point to it. And there didn't seem to be. I absolutely hated Victoria, the main character, at first. But it's a testament to Ms. LeGrand's writing that she could make what is essentially a less-flamboyant Veruca Salt likable in the end. I struggled to get behind Victoria from the beginning, and I finally gave up and got comfortable with what I saw has her flaws. In that aspect, the book was a nice ride & I appreciate the author for making me see so much more to her character than I initially found.

 

There's a lot of creep in Mrs. Cavendish, and a lot of adults doing very bad things. Much what goes on in the Home is vague & LeGrand's descriptive passages aren't strong enough for the reader to visualize things in their head, nor are they strong enough to further the mystery. They just left me confused. There are enough hints to make you wonder what is really going on - I had a whole litany of questions in my head as I read - but there's never much resolution or explanation. It felt like the entire run of the LOST tv series, mashed up with some asylum horror films, under the guise of a Roald Dahl-esque children's book. A lot of confusion & really dark stuff, but not enough magic & wonder to pull it off.

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review 2014-01-17 15:15
His Risk To Take
His Risk to Take - Tessa Bailey

This was by far my least favorite of Tessa Bailey's "Line of Duty" series. Or maybe my fever/flu has finally subsided enough for me to see clearly. IDK. From the outset, I really wanted to like Troy - he has the saddest backstory so I thought it would be interesting to see how Bailey would mesh that part of his past with the way she writes her typically dominant male protagonists. Unfortunately what I thought could be an interestingly sweet-but-alpha character turned out to be completely unbelievable for me. It was like a switch when he got into the bedroom & his brand of dirty-talk just didn't do it for me. Ruby didn't do much for me either, maybe it was the "busting the crime lord from her past" plot line that didn't interest me, or the continued bad choices she kept making, or maybe it was the fact that this was the third one of these I read in a row... I also realized that this was her second installment in the series and having read them out of order, this might account for the slightly stilted writing & choppy dialoge when compared to Officer Off Limits & Asking for Trouble. The rest of the series can easily be enjoyed without this one.

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review 2014-01-14 16:59
Review: Freak of Nature (IFICS #1) by Julia Crane
Freak of Nature - Julia Crane

I'm going to keep this one short and simple. I had requested the book mainly because of the title, which seemed interesting. Unfortunately, compared to the title, the story wasn't as much interesting.

 

The heroine of the story is Kaitlyn. She is a human, or was a human, until she faces a perilous accident after which the scientists use her body as an experiment and turn her into a cyborg. As a cyborg, she is not supposed to feel any humanly emotions, except that she develops a special feeling for the young scientist named Lucas.

 

The story this far is pretty good. Though I'm not convinced by the love part, but I get that it's almost a  must-have part of a story so I could cope up with it. But I would have been more convinced if it was a little more well developed. Though Kaitlyn appears a total robot in all kinds of way possible and still she has feelings for Lucas, what is more weird and irrational is Lucas's weakness for Kaitlyn. It's not like he hadn't known Kaitlyn was a cyborg and developed feelings for her. He knew, that appears to me a little unconvincing. What I liked though, was how their feelings grew over the period of time, and not instantly after seeing each other. Of course, that's not supposed to happen as Lucas had seen Kaitlyn every day under the experiment. Though both of the characters had potentials, it was not shown up to the mark.  Not only these two main characters, but other supporting chracters were not developed properly as well. They seem to come and go as a bundle, without any individuality.

 

The narration was boring at times. I don't know why, because I like this type of alternating narratives. But I guess the writing seemed more like stream of consciousness, a literary technique I still can't develop the slightest liking for. But narrative alone could have made the story a little more interesting, had it not been this monotonous.

 

As for other elements, I missed the spark. You know moments, specially in sci-fi fantsy, where you are at the edge of your seat, (in my case) biting nails wondering what might happen the next moment? Well, I did not come across a moment like that while reading this, and I would have loved to see a few moments of anticipation and anxiety, really, because that's one of my weak points :D

 

Overall, I would say this book could have been a lot better. The plot was good, even the unconvincing parts could have been written better to make me want to believe. I feel the author has a lot of potentials, but somehow everything didn't click together in one place. I hope the next book in the series covers for this loss.

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Source: bookeatereviews.blogspot.com/2014/01/freak-of-nature-ifics-1-by-julia-crane.html
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review 2014-01-11 15:28
Doubled
Doubled - Charlotte Stein

I gave Charlotte Stein one last shot & it's official - her stuff is just not for me. I know a lot of my fellow readers love her, but I just cannot get on board (though I really liked Addicted). Her female protagonists are always SO up in their own heads, they can't vocalize any of their thoughts (which is critical in a menage situation) and her sexytimes are so formulaic they just don't make up for it. I'm chalking this mistake up to the onset of the flu, and it must have been the delirium of my fever that even allowed me to finish it.

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review 2013-12-28 07:00
Fracture Me
Fracture Me - Tahereh Mafi

Oh Tahereh. You're such a lovely writer & I really love the Shatter Me series... but you should have just left well enough alone and spent last fall concentrating on your nuptials & Instagram account, etc & kept this little outtake in your notebook. Unlike Destroy Me, it really added nothing of value to the overall story arc - if anything, it pushed me off the Adam-or-Warner? fence and firmly into "Warner For-evah!" territory. In other words, it did nothing to strengthen Adam's character (and I loved him SO much in the first book!). Anything of value in this novella could have easily been worked into the forthcoming series finale. ILY Tahereh... but not Fracture Me.

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