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review 2017-08-08 13:30
Body Parts by Jessica Kapp
Body Parts - Jessica Kapp

This book had so much potential to be so good. It started off so well. With mystery and life and death situations, but as the story progressed I was less and less into the story and the characters. I was so ready to like this book, especially after seeing a few positive reviews, but it just wasn't for me.

 

The story starts out with Tabitha in the Center and the immediately jumps into the main plot. Within the first couple chapters it is revealed that PharmPerfect isn't all that is seems. I was intrigued and definitely wanted to learn more about the company and the people behind it. I wanted to know more about the society that is ok with turning a blind eye to raising children for parts. 

 

Unfortunately, that's where my enjoyment stopped. Tabitha wasn't a bad main character, but she made decisions that didn't make any sense. In fact, a lot of the decisions made by the characters didn't really make sense. The secrets and the lying was entirely unnecessary. They seemed to just be there to create tension and add suspense, but kind of ended up flopping in that department as well because none of the surprises were really that surprising. 

 

Aside from a few things not making much sense, the romance really didn't do much for me. It felt rushed and it didn't feel like there were emotions behind the initial attraction. There was also a love triangle, which honestly never really works for me. I really disliked Parker and how he seemed to feel like he had a claim to Tabitha's life because of a pact they made. I didn't like how both Parker and Gavin seemed to think that they had the authority to be make decisions on Tabitha's behalf too. It wasn't only the guys that bugged me, Tabitha's instant dislike of any girl that Gavin knew was a little much. It wasn't warranted and she judges Cherry so harshly and only because she has a history with Gavin. 

 

This just wasn't my cup of tea. It wasn't really a bad book and I could see many people really enjoying it. It's fast paced and the story definitely draws you in, but there were just too many parts that I didn't enjoy that made it difficult for me to like the book as a whole.  

 

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-08-01 13:30
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth

This book was way different from Divergent, but not in the good way. I was a fan of Roth's other series and I even remember enjoying Allegiant during some parts (definitely not as much as the other two books), but I just couldn't get into this one.

 

When I picked this book up I had no idea that it was controversial. I hadn't read any reviews or really looked up the book at all, I just saw that Veronica Roth had written it and thought that I would give it a try. I am not claiming to be an expert of racism, but I don't really see why this book is so controversial. Yes, there are two groups of people of different races that are at odds, but it makes sense for the people from Thuvhe to be lighter skinned because of the climate they live in. People in colder climes tend to have much lighter skin because their skin needs to be able to absorb more vitamin D due to the fact that the sun isn't as strong (please don't quote me on this, I'm just trying to remember what I learned from classes I've taken). The Shotet live in a much milder climate, so it makes sense from them to have darker skin. Am I an expert? God no, but I'm struggling to understand why this book is so controversial. 

 

Anyway, moving on from that. This book was not at all what I expected. Divergent was a faced paced thrilling story, while Carve the Mark seemed to drag on forever. The first chapter was extremely difficult to get into. So many names are thrown around. There's a lot of confusion and it felt kind of like a mess and I was so close to just stopping there because it was that unappealing. It was too much all at once, but at the same time it seemed to move at a snail's pace. While the rest of the book definitely improved from the first chapter, the pacing did not and honestly my overall confusion wasn't really cleared up.Time seemed to fly by in a matter of pages, but it didn't feel like it and it was sometimes hard to remember that however many years had passed. I think at one point during the book it was mentioned that Akos was fifteen when he started training with Cyra, but like I'm pretty sure he was older than that when it was mentioned and I didn't realize that Akos and Cyra had known each other for years now. It was really odd and confusing. 

 

The characters weren't bad, but they also didn't stand out. Cyra was alright, but I dreaded reading Akos's chapters. They were so boring and honestly I didn't really care much about Akos in the first place so I didn't really want to read about his POV. I did think that Cyra's currentgift was the most interesting part of the entire book. I definitely liked the idea behind currentgifts and the current, but I kind of wanted a little more explanation. Also I saw the romance between Akos and Cyra coming from a mile away. I wasn't really insta love, but it also didn't feel believable. When they first kissed it kind of felt like it came out of nowhere. 

 

And now for the plot. For maybe a little less than half of the book, I kept asking myself "where is the plot?" It was basically nonexistent for a large chunk of the book and this left me feeling like there was no direction to the story for awhile. Once the plot did get going though I did enjoy it, but it wasn't really original.

 

Overall, I'm really disappointed by this book. I was a fan of Roth's other series so I was expecting a lot more from this book, but it didn't deliver. I probably won't be picking up the next book, unless it gets really good reviews.

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review 2017-07-07 12:00
Mister Monday by Garth Nix
Mister Monday - Garth Nix

This book is very different from what I usually read and there's kind of a backstory to why I ended up reading it. I was at the library with my boyfriend and I really wanted him to read The Raven Boys because it's my fave, so I agreed to read a book that he picked out for me. Yeah, our reading tastes are not the same. It's not that I didn't want to like this book, it just isn't for me. Even when I was younger, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book because I was even more of a cover snob and the main character was a boy (ew boys - middle school me probably).

 

Anyway, onto my actual review. This book wasn't necessarily bad, it just isn't something that I usually enjoy. While I have read some really good middle grade books, the majority of them don't appeal to me because I find it more difficult to connect to the characters. Arthur isn't an unlikable character, but I couldn't really connect to him. His sole motivation seemed to be curing people of this virus and while that's not a bad motivation there wasn't really any insight into who he was as a person, other than he's a decent human being that doesn't want people to die. 


The plot of this book was kind of confusing. I'm not really sure why the Will needed to do what it does because the real world seemed fine. The weird world that Arthur goes to doesn't seem to be in the greatest of shape, but there wasn't really anything outright wrong with it, I think. The book also kind of just throws you into the world without much help, except for the info dumping that occurs sporadically, but always during or right before it's most convenient. The rules of the world don't seem to be clear and seem to allow for pretty much anything to happen, especially if it'll move the plot along. 


The side characters all seemed to have ridiculous names that I found distracting. At one point, Arthur says that one of his siblings was named Eminor and is a musician, but he changed his name and I just found that so ridiculous. What kind of a name is that, at least go with Melody if you're trying to go with a music name. The side characters were all just kind of weird and honestly not really important for the most part, except for maybe Suzy. Suzy gets a lot more page time than most of the other characters, aside from Arthur, and she would have been a great character if her dialogue wasn't so bad. She's supposed to be from the time of the bubonic plague, but sometimes she talks like she's from the 1900s or like she's from the south. It didn't really make much sense. 


The story was definitely creative and I could see many middle grade readers really enjoying this book, but it wasn't my cup of tea. I don't really plan on continuing this series, mainly because there's seven books, unless they get a lot better.

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review 2016-08-23 03:03
Lola Review
Lola: A Novel - Melissa Love

Lola, by Melissa Love, reads like a television drama. If you're a fan of shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy, you should like this book. That being said, the book is not without its problems.

If you're a medical professional of any kind, this book is likely to have you rolling your eyes or fuming more than half a dozen times. The medical inaccuracies were ludicrous and easily fixable. Nothing consulting a nurse wouldn't have fixed. The problems are as follows (slight spoilers ahead):

#1. Character has finger cut off and reattached and contracts sepsis all under 24 hours. I was a CNA for five years, and during that time I was trained and became a certified phlebotomist. I drew plenty of cultures in those five years. Cultures, the tests used to diagnose sepsis, take 24-48 hours to grow results.

#2. The symptoms of infection take hours to develop. Even if they tested this character the minute he hit the ER, there's no way he could have been diagnosed and admitted for sepsis because they would have had no reason to even check for sepsis.

#3. I'm sure there are shitty hospital employees out there who do not give a shit about HIPPA rules and regs, but who gives out a patient's diagnosis and personal info to someone who's only asking for a fucking room number?

To paraphrase:

Person: "Hey, I'm looking for so-and-so."

Hospital personnel: "Right. He's in room what's-its-fuck and by the way they were able to reattach his finger and he was admitted because he has sepsis."

Person: "Great. I'm so-and-so by the way."

Hospital personnel: "Oh, cool. He's been asking about you."

If you've never worked for a hospital, none of this is going to bother you. Needless to say, it bothered the fuck out of me because I was enjoying the realistic feel of the book. It took me over half the book to get back into the story because I was pissed that the author couldn't be bothered with simple fact checking.

Another thing that took me out of the story was zero mention of smog. It's always clear blue skies and gorgeous vistas in this book. I lived in California for 15 years, was born and raised there. The sky always looked like a smoky bar unless the Santa Anas had blown through. This might sound like me being nit-picky, but not mentioning smog in a story set in southern California is like writing about Egypt without mentioning sand.

Finally, as far as accuracy is concerned, I've been a member of three different gyms in my life. None of them allowed you to keep items in their lockers overnight, much less for several days. That being said, some might. So I might be wrong, but I doubt it. Lockers in gyms are prime real estate, and I don't believe any company would risk tying up lockers by giving them permanently to customers. Besides, they would eventually run out.

All of that killed my rating for this one. The story itself is a five-star read, as is the quality of the writing. A little more research would've made this a runner for my book of the year. I loved the characters, especially Lola and Lucy. If the author decides to write a sequel, I'll definitely pick it up.

In summation: Lola is a terrific story that is well-written yet horribly researched. All of the problems in this book are easily fixable, but it didn't seem like anyone wanted to be bothered with checking the facts. If you can ignore the impossiblities and inaccuracies, you should dig it, but my life-experience ruined the book for me. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC, which I received for free in return for the honest review you've just read.

Final Judgment: Donald-Trump levels of fact checking.

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review 2016-07-22 17:30
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

After reading many glowing reviews of this book I was really looking forward to being blown away. Unfortunately, <i>Red Queen</i> fell short of my expectations.

Mare Barrow is a lowly Red and she's a lot like so many other heroines that you could probably interchange them and there wouldn't be much of difference personality wise. She's ruff, unladylike, hates makeup, fancy clothing, and everything that would make her seem feminine because heaven forbid we have a badass character that likes feminine things. The world would probably implode. Enough with the heroines that aren't pretty and judge other girls for wanting to wear dresses and makeup. It seems like most of the books I read have characters like this and normally it doesn't bother me if a character doesn't want to be feminine, but it was especially annoying in this book. It was just another way to set Mare apart for the other girls in the court and create more of a divide between her and Evangeline.

Evangeline is character that I could have done without. From the moment the two girls meet, they hate each other. Evangeline is portrayed as this stuck up bitch with a whole group of girls just like her and it's a constant battle between her and Mare. There is no depth to Evangeline's character and it's widely accepted by many characters that she's a bitch.

There's also a sort of love square going on and I was never really hoping that Mare would end up with anyone. I was leaning towards Maven, but that quickly went south, although I think he might be my favorite character. I wasn't overly fond of Cal, mostly because I didn't understand why he liked Mare. They didn't know each other and they barely spent time together. I'm actually satisfied with how the events at the end of the book played out because it wouldn't have been realistic if Mare's plan actually worked. I don't have much of an opinion on Kilorn, mostly because he's hardly even in the book.

The thing that saved this book was that I felt compelled to keep reading. The plot was engaging, even though it wasn't the most original. I loved the diversity of abilities and I really enjoyed reading about Mare's ability because it isn't very common in books that I've read. I'll probably end up reading the next one because I kind of like the villain and it will be interesting to see where the story goes.

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