Book Review: Fury by Elizabeth Miles

RATING: StarStar

(Fury #1)

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better–the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

*****

PERPLEXING.

Fury had me at a loss for words… because I can’t seem to make up my mind if it’s bad or it’s bad bad. You know I have a soft spot for mythology but Fury just didn’t work for me.

It’s a given that the alternating POVs of Em and Chase is there to make you dislike them, because the plot is for the Furies to exact vengeance to those who have done wrong. But of all the people to exercise bad karma, why Em and Chase who are in high school that were chosen by the Furies? I kinda get Chase’s case, but Em? C’mon! She cheated on her best friend, so what? I bet there are worst offenses to earn the Furies’ attention. And why are the Furies in Ascension, Maine? These are the same questions asked by Em, but they were not answered. Why? Oh, wait. Yeah, because this book is part of a trilogy so maybe that part will be revealed in the later books. Uh-huh.

The only thing that made reading this book bearable is JD but even Em messed that up by wanting to hook up with him right after her lusty disaster with Zach. Can I be allowed to say, WTF? Amazing book cover, but it stops there.

Fury is dark enough to hold my attention and finish it, but when it comes down to story quality, I don’t think it has one. The idea of the Furies delivering justice (or revenge or whatever you want to call it) to a bunch of high school snobs was just plain preposterous.

 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Simon Pulse

Pub Date: 08/30/2011

 

Thank you Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for the free e-copy.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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Book Review: Solstice by P.J. Hoover

Rating: StarStarStar

Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known.

*****

DIFFERENT.

I wanted to love Solstice (because P.J. Hoover is very nice!) mainly because I devour Mythology and Dystopia books – but I didn’t, and that saddened me. If I were to sum it up, Solstice is 3 parts mythology and 1 part dystopia. The mythology is very refreshing, especially since Hoover related it to a dystopian setting. The story itself is stunning, but the female lead failed me big time.

Piper is smothered by her overprotective mother. Could this be the reason why she turned selfish, hypocritical, and gullible? I found her selfish because she thought only of herself when she saved Chloe. I found her a hypocrite when she demands the truth from her mom and Shayne but she keeps secrets herself. I found her gullible because she can barely contain herself with Reese (and his powers) but claims she only wants Shayne. Piper is a weak heroine – not worth rooting for. However, i really like her conviction and indifference about judgements (saying more would lead me to spoilers!). This is the one trait that showed she is who she is.

Shayne is by far the hottest H**** i’ve read (compared to Henry of The Goddess Test and John of Abandon) and the one who wielded most his power in its all brutal glory. He’s secretive (that’s a given for his character), compassionate, and definitely smoldering! His character is as strong as Piper’s is weak. Shayne is the reason that i keep on reading Solstice. He was the drug that calms me when Piper’s antics irritates the crap out of me. Reese is a force to be reckoned with but Shayne proved to be worthy of the upper hand. Piper’s mom and her overwhelming love to Piper is creepy that bordered to extreme.

First half of Solstice is confusing, but read on and you’ll be rewarded with astounding answers to those questions that lingered at the beginning. The climax barely give me the high i was hoping for. The conflict was not ended, only escaped from that led to a forgettable ending. But with Hoover painting a very different yet appreciative Underworld that i came to love, Solstice is bearable. If it wasn’t for my love-hate relationship with Piper, Solstice would’ve have been a great read.

*

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Rating: Star

(Abandon Trilogy #1)

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

 

What the F this book is supposed to be?!!

I was confused by Cabot’s writing style so it was hard to comprehend the story. The author writes like I already know about Pierce’s past when in fact, i don’t. Rewind, fast forward, double rewind – that’s i felt like when i was reading it.

Should Pierce come across as a resilient young woman or as a problem child who really doesn’t know what to do with her life? Her character was vague enough for me to not connect with her in any way. John is not as engaging as i thought he would be. who the hell falls in love after meeting a 7-year-old girl then rages when that same girl died suddenly when she was fifteen? John is a stalker, that’s what he is. There is no way their love story is in that book – i know, i read and finished it!

The conflict is nowhere near resolved. Just when i thought John and Pierce are going to take some action, i was already reading the acknowledgement page. *big sigh*

I am definitely not reading another Meg Cabot book.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Rating: StarStar

 

 

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

i only like the mythology part. but the story as a whole? not so much.

Boring Start. Sappy Middle. Crappy Ending.

Let me outline the positives and negatives because i’m sure i will not have nice things to say about this book.

Positive

(gosh, i can’t think of anything!)

1. mythology focused on the Trojan War, The Furies and the punishment (curse) put upon the Greeks and Trojans alike

(i think that’s it)

2.  a moment or two that i felt my heart quicken because of Lucas

(that’s really all)

Negative

(this could be quite a list, lol)

1. Helen is a loser who’s resigned to loserdom at the start. then she became violent, moved on to a stupid ogling teenager, before going to be the strongest and most lethal among the demigods (beautiful, strong, impervious to weapons, lightning striker, flyer). She’s the most absurd heroine ever (followed by Nora of Hush, Hush). The only freakin’ time i ever felt something for her is when she found out why she and Lucas can’t be together. i feel your pain, Lennie, but that’s about it.

2. kinda rip-off of Twilight, Cullen Family = Delos Family and City of Bones, incestuous relationship of Jace-Clary = Lucas-Helen

3. reason behind (i think there are two) why Lucas and Helen are starcrossed lovers is too complicated. Gosh, Angelini really killed the romance part.

4. love-hate between Helen and Lucas is so annoying! i’d rather read about Jason and Claire please.

5. the mystery on why and how they are demigods, they want to kill each other, they can’t be together, is so DRAGGING. i mean, get off of it already! it was so frustrating.

Between Starcrossed and The Goddess Test, i picked the latter for a more solid plot and story over the former.

Read at your own risk because for a Greek Mythology lover like me, i find Starcrossed utterly ridiculous.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Synopsis:

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

***** ***** *****

As I said, she chose to die rather than to stay with me. I was her husband, but she simply loved him more.

This is a new series to watch out for.

I was not smitten at first. Although the story has a new concept, the first half of the book was just average to me. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. But moving on the second half, i felt i was falling. It’s like the book and I started out as friends. We find something in common, what makes us comfortable with each other. As the need to protect and be faithful rise up, it is in the end that i realized: i am in love with The Goddess Test. 😀

I’ll start with the cover. At first glance, it did not catch my eye. But looking it again and again, it started to blossom into something pretty. Very pretty. The girl reminded me of Jessica Alba. So i thought of Kate as looking like Jessica.

The story revolves around the story of Hades and Persephone. In this case, Persephone’s gone so Henry has to look for someone to take her place as his wife and Queen of the Underworld. But the girl has to be worthy of immortality so she has to take the test.

Kate has to pass seven tests. If she fails even one, the consequences are very dangerous, especially for Henry.

As Kate deals with living her autumn and winter days with Henry in the Eden Manor, she realizes that this life is not as bad as she thought. More so, she didn’t felt little need to go back to the real world for the next half of the year. Being with Henry, she learned how to make friends, have a family, love and fight for a guy who lost the will to live. Or exist.

The synopsis misled me. It is not actually Kate’s mom that is the reason for her to enter into a bargain with Henry. Kate did it to save a friend’s life. No, not a friend but a person i so wanna see to stay dead. For the life of me, i could not imagine giving half of my year for the rest of my life just so someone (who is cruel to me) can live. And that is what Kate did.

Kate has no friends because she took care of her sick mom since freshman year. She also does not date because of that. If there’s one thing to describe her, it’s this: martyr. I’m not sure if i like that, and it made me wary to like her. But the author gave room for Kate to grow on me, since Kate is still beginning to know herself and open up to living a life, especially without her mom. By the time i finished the chapters, i felt a kinship with her. And yes, Kate, you did right. Even I was proud of you.

The one thing that strikes me the most is Kate’s frankness. It was such a refreshing character for a heroine. And for that, i love her.

Henry – for a Hades character, he’s pretty soft. Solemn. Cautious. But i liked it. There are few times i got to glimpse of the Lord of the Underworld and it was enough. He is more human than a god, but it suits him. After all, Hades does not belong to Olympus, right? He mostly stayed in the Underworld. So i get it that he’s lonely. And feels unloved. Henry is such a vulnerable character and it is just right for my taste.

James. I have mixed feelings for him. Is he in love with Kate? For such a short time, it is not possible. But it seems that he does. I felt sorry for him. But i think he’ll be a major character in the next book. Love triangle, anyone?

The mythology is intact. The twists came one after the other and i was like, ‘ok, what just happened?’ and when the time came for the verdict to be delivered, whether Kate passed or failed, i’m shaking my head in disbelief saying, ‘no way! No freakin’ way!’ then a smile slowly spreads across my face. It was a good read.

Debut authors are sweeping the YA shelves like a crazy tidal wave! And Aimee Carter is one of them. The Goddess Test will show you the side of the Olympians that are all too human and yet, staying true to their nature.

Keep trying until you have no more chances left. And even then, you keep going.

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”