Book Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

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Young Adult > Science Fiction | Dystopia

(Reboot #2)

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn’t what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren’s instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he’s underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

Book 1: Reboot review

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It was better than I expected! And that “off-with-his-head” moment was so awesome. 😀

I thought Rebel was better than Reboot. It could be that reading Callum‘s POV lessened my irritation towards him, because he’s an okay guy. Minimum sappiness? Check. Thank goodness!

Wren is still as badass as her number implies: One Seventy Eight. Showdowns between her and Micha were priceless :)) Her mentor Riley made his appearance in this sequel. This was the reboot who shot at her multiple times during training just so she can get over her fear of guns. He’s the reason why Wren survived HARC’s training. But Wren was confused, because now, he’s joking around her, hugging her, even! I liked him. He’s amused about Wren leaving HARC over a boy, a reboot under Sixty, no less! But in the end, he broke my heart. =(

I also like Gabe and Callum’s brother, David. These are only kids compared to the human rebels, and yet they understand more the need for humans and reboots to unite in order to bring down HARC.

Rebel is not lacking in action. Amy Tintera was not afraid to spray some blood, and break some bones. Having said that, I think Reboot series is a worthwhile read. I am glad that I gave romantic Callum another chance. Ha.

Oh, and this is a duology so, score!

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins/HarperTeen for granting my galley request.

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REBEL by Amy Tintera

Kindle Edition, 352 pages

Published May 14th 2014 by HarperTeen
4/5 stars

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Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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Young Adult > Post-Apocalyptic > Science Fiction

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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From The Monstrumologist to this — Rick Yancey, make me a hard-core fanatic, why don’t you?

If you don’t kill all of us all at once, those who remain will not be weak. You are remaking us.
We are the clay, you are Michaelangelo. And we will be your masterpiece.


I cannot contain my happiness with The 5th Wave. It was a stellar alien book from no less than Rick Yancey!

Cassie is a very magnetic heroine, I cannot help but root for her. The determination and indomitable spirit was such a surprise. (But now that I thought about it, one of Yancey’s strengths as an author is the ability to develop engaging and worship-worthy characters.) The stark contrast of Cassie’s character to the hopeless world she lives in, it makes me want to cheer for her, that she will make it to the end. *fingers crossed*

So the moment that certified I was hooked? Zombie‘s character. When his POV was introduced, I didn’t know who he was. Imagine my ecstasy when his true identity was revealed on his first chapter, I was giddy with excitement! Leave it to Yancey to stir things up in a major way. 😀 Smooth talker, this one – and the inappropriateness of it in a post-apocalyptic world was very funny. Heh.

Evan Walker. Even without his link to Cassie, his character would still shine. The shift between morality and mortality, as Cassie perceived him, was so addictive. Every scene that Evan’s in was sweet, heartbreaking, I just want to capture each moment. *sigh*

Needless to say, the alien plot was gripping, the villain was hateful, the edge-of-your-seat element was electrifying. Woot!

With obvious strength in characters and decisive story flow, The 5th Wave deserves two thumbs up from an existing Rick Yancey fan like me. More alien conspiracy, please!

P.S. Me thinks this book will still be awesome even without the romance angle.

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THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

Hardcover, 480 pages

Published May 7th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

5/5 stars

Book Review: The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

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Young Adult > Science Fiction > Fantasy

(Lorien Legacies #4)

The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?

John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.

But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.

The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.

And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.

The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.

Lorien will rise again.

Book 1: I Am Number Four review

Book 2: The Power of Six review

Book 3: The Rise of Nine review

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Poor Marina. Now, I am interested on her POV in the next book.

This series is very easy to read. But now I realized that it can be contained in just 3 books. The Fall of Five‘s good stuff started on Chapter 31 (it has 37 in total). Instead of training to death in preparation for the war against the Mogadorians, Four is cuddling with Sarah (why the heck would I be interested in that?!), Four is awkward towards Six, Four just do not know what to do.

Spare me the drama, Pittacus Lore. Who cares about teenage alien/human flirtation? I need some action, so give me a battle of a lifetime between Loric and Mogs!

Good thing that besides Four’s POV, there is also Sam‘s and Marina‘s. And Adam‘s character is kind of intriguing.

One measly training session. One (almost) entertaining Capture the Flag game. The rest is just flirting, bantering, bickering. When the ultimate unexpected happened, the Garde are just about as screwed as they were in The Rise of Nine. (If only they trained on how to work together, their powers complimenting each other, then they would have never fell for that trap. They would’ve defeated that pudgy enemy in a flash. Duh.)

Is The Revenge of Seven the final book? I hope so. Because I’m starting to wonder why I am still reading this series. It’s beginning to look like I am wasting my time.

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THE FALL OF FIVE by Pittacus Lore

Ebook, 268 pages

Published August 27th 2013 by HarperCollins

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)

Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review        Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review     Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review   Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

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“And I say to you now, I killed my father, not yours.” Lifting her palm, she peeled back and slapped him across the face. “And do not insult my blood.”

Heh. Payne is badass. :))

Lover Unleashed featured more of Vishous than Payne. Why is that? I mean, I did not like Lover Unbound‘s ending, so I don’t want anything to do with V and Doc Jane anymore. *huffs* (Although it was here that I only realized that they were not formally mated in their book installment.)

Fine. Good thing I have patience to sustain me so I can continue reading this series.

Manello, I like. He’s funny, can stand toe-to-toe with V or Butch, and he’s undeterred by a strong female like Payne. She, on the other hand, has no inkling on worldly desires, and it’s kind of funny (for me) that she can trash Wrath, beat him to bits during their sparring sessions, and then not know what kissing was. 😀 But she’s cool. Her loyalty to her twin is scary, despite being separated for more than a hundred years.

The back story of the Bloodletter is the intriguing part. Imagine Payne who is not afraid to kill him, and now she is being hunted by the Band of Bastards that stayed loyal to him.

I was anticipating the showdown between Payne and Xcor… then nothing happens. WTH.

Lover Unleashed is all about Payne being introduced to the world other than what she was used to with the Virgin’s Scribe spiritual abode. It’s about her romance with the human surgeon, V’s drama, and a lot of non-action.

But… I feel for Qhuinn. 😦

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LOVER UNLEASHED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 537 pages

Published November 1st 2011 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(Seven Realms #4)

A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed-Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love. 

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it? 

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Book 1: The Demon King review

Book 2: The Exiled Queen review

Book 3: The Gray Wolf Throne review

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After closing my copy, I hugged it tight. I had stars in my eyes, the biggest smile in my mouth. My husband stared at me, asking, “What is wrong with you?” and I just murmured (without looking at him) that the ending of The Crimson Crown was sooo beautiful…! Of course, he doesn’t know what I’m saying. I kept on smiling. What a fantastic way to conclude one of the best fantasy series in YA!

I would not have it any other way. 🙂 There are little questions in my head, but I didn’t mind them much. I am delighted with how everything fell into place, whether for better or for worse. I am utterly delighted!

The strength of the Seven Realms series lies in the tremendous amount of development that Cinda Williams Chima put into her characters. Han and Raisa were spectacular, but unbridled praise must also be given to Fire DancerNight Bird, even Micah Bayar! There is no good or bad, just the resolve to prove something or someone that they are worthy – of respect, service, and love. Woot!

The maturity of Raisa as a queen, and as Han’s partner was incredible. She’s out to get what she wants. She thereby complimented Han‘s determination to be the best person he can be. After The Gray Wolf Throne, Han now lives with conviction. He’s no longer a thief, he said. He’s resolute to make things work between him and Raisa, stands up to the challenge, just for the slimmest chance that they can be together. *happy sigh* Han was magnificent! He still have trust issues, and I loved that this is consistent with his character. He struggled with his secrets, and sharing them to people he cared the most.

Dancer‘s transformation was amazing! He was the epitome of the hope between jinxflingers and copperheads. And Night Bird was a pretty surprise. I did not like her in previous books, but now? Wow. Lord Bayar‘s fate was unsatisfying, but neatly done. Averill Lightfoot and Elena Cennestre are two of my least favorite characters. Such sneaky and insensitive Demonai warriors!

More than the superb plot, these character developments drove The Crimson Crown to the top of my favorites list. Han, Han, Han. I don’t think I will ever forget you. Swoon!!!

And that Epilogue? Oh my goodness! So uplifting, and sweet, and undoubtedly kind. =)

Similar to Lumatere Chronicles of Melina Marchetta and The Queen’s Thief series of Megan Whalen Turner in terms of epic love stories and intriguing politics, Seven Realms series is a must read for every fantasy lover. So Read. It. Now!

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THE CRIMSON CROWN by Cinda Williams Chima

Paperback, 624 pages

Published October 1st 2013 by Disney Hyperion
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5/5 stars

Book Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

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Young Adult > Paranormal > Post-Apocalyptic

(Blood of Eden #3)

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions – her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost – the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

Book 1: The Immortal Rules review

Book 2: The Eternity Cure review

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This finale was such a letdown, as I loved the first two books.

The first time I picked up The Forever Song to read, I put it down upon reaching Chapter 4. It would be weeks before I dared to continue. It was soo boring. And flat. Did I already mention boring? Julie Kagawa‘s storytelling might be growing out on me.

Allison was repetitive. Always with the hunger, the snarling, the promise of revenge against Sarren (but when the showdown was revealed, how pitiful Allie was). It was a never-ending lament on how she will destroy the lunatic vampire, and constant bickering with Jackal in-between. It really took forever to get the story into shape!

And there’s a lot of walking going on. Gah.

I asked myself: Am I getting used to JKagawa writing already? Because I found The Forever Song to be very predictable.

Zeke is still an emo boy. How come I cannot connect with him? There was no swoon factor. Kanin is the ever-efficient killing vampire, Allie is almost always fangirling about her Master. And Jackal missing the best fight of his existence? Oh, come on! Not fair! 😦

I liked The Immortal Rules, loved The Eternity Cure. I only finished The Forever Song for the sake of reading the whole series until its weary ending.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

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THE FOREVER SONG by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition, 416 pages

Published April 15th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

2/5 stars

Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

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Young Adult > Fantasy

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

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I cannot stop reading Half Bad. Brutal, hateful, but (that ending was) hopeful. Really good stuff.

The POV in Part I was very interesting. Using “you” instead of “I”, it made my reading experience unpleasantly real. It’s as if I was the one losing a hand because of some nasty acid, instead of Nathan. =) I easily adopted to Sally Green‘s cruel, magical world. A little subdued on the “magic” element, but it still worked for me.

Amidst persecution from the White Witches, Nathan persevered to live day by day. With the help of his brother Arran (I want a devoted sibling like him!), his sister Deborah, and his Gran, the Council’s oppression for a wild card like him was a bit bearable. When Nathan’s birthday draws near, and he awaits the Three Gifts that his bloodline will bestow upon him, the noose held by the Council grows tighter. Should he bear the unreasonable suffering, or should he run for his life?

I love, love Half Bad. It’s so simple – you’re different, so they fear you. But they will bully you into submission to disguise their fear into strength. But we all know that even good witches need to lose some damn steam.. like Nathan. 😀 Sally Green knows how to rile me up. I hated Kieran. I loathed Nathan’s sister, Jessica. I did not think of Mercury as a threat, though. Celia was a surprise, but a good one. And high five to Rose!

The value of a family and the strength that comes from its members are encouraged in this book. Nathan never gave up hoping that his father wants him as a child, and for an orphan like him, it’s all he has. 

The ending was good enough, the meeting between two characters in the midst of the battle was so cool, and so heartwarming!

*whispers* I haven’t read an absorbing magic-themed book like Half Bad in a while. The thrill of it!

P.S. Team Gabriel, anyone? 😀

(Attention to Jessica, Kieran, Hunters, Members of the Council… here’s me making a gesture of slashing your throats.)

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HALF BAD by Sally Green

Ebook, 416 pages

Published March 4th 2014 by Viking Children’s

4/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

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Wish I could skip the next books and go straight to Lover at Last. 😀 Qhuinn!

I am more tuned in to the story of John Matthew’s best friends, Blaylock and Qhuinn. Imagine me looking at each chapter, expecting to read more, only to see that it will take me 5-6 chapters before I see them again after the last chapter they had. No wonder I finished Lover Mine in no time! Blay’s full of longing, Qhuinn is full of ghosts inside his head.

Xhex does not need John to save her, and when she escaped from hell out of her own resources, I was electrified with her success. A true female of worth, as the brothers would say. She’s one of the strongest female characters in this series.

John has a lot of baggage from his past life as a human. His blindness perfectly complimented Xhex’s symphath nature, and wasn’t that something for me smile about. He’s not intimidated by Xhex’s strength, so plus points for him. Although his connection with his best friends went out the window when Xhex stepped into his life.

Darius‘ and Tohrment‘s back stories are some of the best parts, I think (after Blay & Qhuinn, of course). Not all Brothers are good to their offspring, or doomed to a life of loneliness.

I’m thinking, have I seen the last of Lash? I like Payne, too.

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LOVER MINE by J.R. Ward

Hardcover, 512 pages

Published April 27th 2010 by NAL

3/5 stars

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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Young Adult > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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It looks like I still have a problem with John Green‘s endings. Still, I adore Augustus Waters. The perfect dose of medicine for swoon-seeking readers like me.

I was not ready to be in tears when I started The Fault in Our Stars. Come page 25, I was closing my borrowed copy and mulling about putting it down after my emotions calmed. That scene with her father, when she was near death, oh the heartbreak for any parent…! My unshed tears I kept in check, I was literally choking from it. =(

Then it dawned on me how JG can easily suck me into his gem stories.

I was okay with Hazel, but I was more focused on Augustus. His character was so vibrant, so electrifyingly alive! I was fully charmed by him. Augustus’ presence in the pages was so strong that I actually felt the loss when he’s not in it. Awesome writing, JG. 😉

I am happy with Hazel‘s admirable relationship with her parents. Because if there’s anything she needs, it’s the endless support and unconditional love she got from her mom and dad.

Whoever thought that a pre-funeral would be the best thing in this book? I loved every bit of it.

A little anti-climactic for me, but the ending was sort of joyous (triumphant, even) if you were to look it at a different way.

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

Paperback, 316 pages

Published January 3rd 2013 by Penguin Books

4/5 stars

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Romance | Contemporary

Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . .

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Is this the same author who wrote Eleanor & Park?
I just wasn’t into it. Gah. Now, I feel horrible.

– It was a major bore.
– I could not find Lincoln romantic.
– I can relate to Jennifer, but not to Beth.
– Nothing happens.



Attachments could’ve been more different from Eleanor & Park. Not in story of course, but in the emotions drawn out of me by Rainbow Rowell. With E&P, I was constantly engaged, mixed feelings. With Attachments, grudgingly reading from one page to another – my response to Linc’s plight was continuously flat.

(What is wrong with me? I love Rainbow Rowell!)

The only thing I find even remotely redeeming about this book is Linc’s mom. I could identify with her stand on Linc’s life (and his sister’s). Her character is the one with fire.

Should I read Fangirl? Yes? No?

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ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell

Paperback, 368 pages

Published February 2012 by Orion

2/5 stars