Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ARC Review: Midnight Cravings by Joelle Sterling

Midnight Cravings (Eternal Dead, #1)
From the blurb:

With her acne under control, the braces off, and a new haircut, Holland Manning has discarded the nerdy girl image for a bold and edgy look. This is the year that she’s finally going to snag her long-time crush, football star Jarrett Sloan. But being realistic, how can a bookworm like Holland compete for Jarrett’s attention when Chaela Vasquez, his uber-gorgeous ex-girlfriend, is going full throttle to get him back? Holland’s mom claims to be a witch, but her spells go awry and sometimes even backfire. Holland warily asks her mother to cast a love spell on Jarrett, and not surprisingly, the spell doesn’t work. But something strange is happening at home. Night after night, Holland awakens to flitting shadows outside of her bedroom window and eerie whispers, causing her to suspect that her mother may have mistakenly opened a pathway that unleashed something unspeakably sinister. Discovering her own powers of sorcery that have been lying dormant, Holland sets off on a dangerous mission to vanquish the nest of teenage vampires that are picking off the students at her school, one by one.

My rating:

Unimpressive. And the ending left me wanting...I don't have a lot of good things to say about this book. It wasn't the worst book ever, which is why it receives two stars. Warning, there be spoilers within the review. Read at your own risk.

This book needs an editor, badly. I'm hoping since I received an ARC that the publisher has worked to clean up the writing prior to publication.

And I still haven't got a clue as to what Jonas is actually supposed to be, a zombie or a vampire or a mix of both. The book had an interesting start but then fell flat rapidly. And while this may be part of a new series, someone needs to tell the author that each book in a series should ideally stand on its own. This one does not. The reader is left wanting, and it feels as if this is a simple marketing ploy to make us want to buy the next book as well, just to get some answers.

The writing is not very good. Sentences are awkwardly constructed on many occasions, the dialogue is strange and unrealistic most of the time, except for the few occasions where Holland interacts with her love interest, Jarrett, and, in some instances, the narration is stilted or just plain weird. The switching POVs are confusing at best, and with their distinctive difference give this book a split personality vibe.

Also, this author seemed to have been conflicted between wanting to write a YA romance with a supernatural element and a hard-edged urban fantasy novel. The explicit gore, especially when the narration switches to Jonas' POV, is excessive for a YA book, and in most cases superfluous. It doesn't add much to the book, and I was quite shocked to find that kind of explicit language in a book that's being marketed to young teens.

The character development is almost non-existent and most of the cast feel one-dimensional and/or unrealistic. Holland comes across as shallow and childish, but we are then supposed to believe she's the great heroine who will save the day. Her mother is a bumbling idjit, too concerned with pretending to be a witch than taking care of her child. Naomi, Holland's friend, described as an intellectual bookworm, goes from being a bullied school outcast to a fashion and make-up expert in the blink of an eye. Zac, the vampire, is supposed to be scary and manipulative, but then ends up being outsmarted anyway. The 'real' vampires were caricatures at best.

Overall, this book was a disappointment from start to finish. The transitions between the POVs are too quick, and the subplots add little value and end up confusing the reader.

If this book is indicative of the series, I'll be skipping it.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return.

Goodreads Book Page

Author's Goodreads Page

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ARC Review: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant/Katherine Applegate

Eve and Adam
From the blurb:

And girl created boy… In the beginning, there was an apple— And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal. Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy. Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

My rating:

I was very excited when I got approved for this ARC. After reading it, I feel let down by this book, and the potential it had to be outstanding.

The concept is fascinating. I expected a riveting story around the dangers and advantages of bio-engineering, plus a bit of teenage romance. What I got was a lukewarm romance chockfull of tropes and cliches. Meh. There wasn't much for me to like about this book, except maybe the cover. That is cleverly done, playing off the Adam/Eve/temptation/science/technology theme.

So much of the story didn't work for me. The slut-shaming (Eve's promiscuous best friend), the insta-love (Oooh, Solo, you so swoony, barf), the perfection of Adam (so utterly gorgeous, he stops everyone he comes across in their tracks, OMG), the one-dimensional characters, the lack of character development, the lack of character depth, the switching POVs (who both sound like the same person), adding a 3rd POV - the list goes on.

I'm sorry. This wasn't a good book, at least not for me.

Author's Goodreads page

Monday, November 19, 2012

ARC Review: Mistletoe Magic by Sydney Logan

Mistletoe Magic - A Short Story
From the blurb:

It’s Christmas Eve, and Melanie Taylor is on a mission to find the perfect gift for her husband. Something special. Something expensive. Something that will save her marriage. Can a chance encounter on an elevator make her Christmas wish come true? 

My rating:

Just in time for the holidays, Sydney Logan delivers a short story about two people who've lost that loving feeling. I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this story, and at less than 5K words, it was a quick read.

Melanie is shopping for a last minute gift for her husband who's spending too much time at work. Ethan is in the same department store, trying to purchase a gift for his wife, who's lately been caught up in fashion and money. Both are saddened by the state of their relationships with their spouses, but neither has any idea how to fix things.

It's a poignant story about what really matters, and that sometimes, we can get so caught up in work and material things that can damage a relationship.

With a little bit of magic, a mistletoe and a power outage, there just might be hope for these two to find what they have been missing.

It's a credit to the author that she manages to put much emotion and realistic character depth into such a short story. That's quite a feat, and I hope you'll give this story a chance.

And when you're done reading this, why not check out Lessons Learned as well?

Author's Goodreads Page

Author's website

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Until next time,

Monday, November 12, 2012

YA Giveaway!

The fabulous Beth Revis is sponsoring a huge YA book giveaway. You can enter it by clicking on the graphic below. Tons of chances to enter. 

Good luck!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...