Waiting on Wednesday #42

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

OthersphereTitle: Othersphere (Otherkin #3)

Author: Nina Berry

ETA: December 31st, 2013

Summary from Goodreads: In her fresh, inventive debut, Berry introduces a teenage feline shapeshifter coming to terms with her strange powers in the first in a mesmerizing new series that deals with such teen issues as body image and the strength to be found in friendship.

Disclaimer: That’s a really crappy summary that I’m sure will be updated at some point, but until then you can see what these books are really about with my squealing reviews of #1, Otherkin, and #2, Othermoon.


ARC Review: “Othermoon” by Nina Berry

othermoonOthermoon (Otherkin #2) by Nina Berry

Goodreads | Amazon | My Review of Book 1

Everyone has secrets. I had no idea mine would lead me into shadow.

Dez has found the place where she belongs. With the otherkin. With Caleb. Or so she thought. As the barriers between our world and Othersphere fall, a wall rises between Dez and Caleb, leaving her fiercest enemy her only friend.

And maybe something more.

Now Dez must make a devastating choice: keep the love of her life, or save the otherkin from annihilation.

4 stars

Thanks to K-Teen and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released January 29th, 2013

You know when you have those moments when you’re like “I’m going to rate this book -5,000,000 because it just BROKE MY HEART” and then you realize “CRAPCRAPCRAP IT WAS SUPPOSED TO!”…anybody?

Well, that’s what happened to me with this book, at any rate.

When I reviewed Otherkin, the first book in this series, I can still remember the awesome feeling of how amazingly surprised I was with the book. I’ll be the first to say that I’m a bit of a jaded reader, and I have a LOT of cliché pet peeves that instantly make me dislike a book unless they’re done VERY VERY WELL. One of those is a boarding school setting. But Berry brought that in for Otherkin and I LOVED IT. I couldn’t believe it myself. So needless to say I had high expectations for Othermoon as well, and I basically wasn’t disappointed.

Othermoon picks up basically right where Otherkin left off. Dez and her mom and dad are moving away from their home to flee the Tribunal. The night before they move, Lazar breaks in but doesn’t seem to steal anything, and then Dez’s mom channels this weird thing from the Otherworld that claims to be Dez’s birth mother. All this weirdness ensues, which includes stealing one friend back from his abusive father and causing all sorts of problems.

And then Dez and all her friends end up back at a new school setting.

Honestly, I was hoping for a little bit broader setting with this book. The school was great last time, but I’m always looking for books to expand from this horizon. Granted, the actual school-ness of the setting never overwhelmed the book at all, but still. Personal preference.

I think my real issue with the beginning of the book was Caleb and Dez. Talk about moving fast. Neither of them could think about anything else besides having sex with each other for a good portion or the first part, and it was kinda creepy, not going to lie. I mean, they hadn’t seen each other for months and had only just met a little while ago. But since this didn’t last and wasn’t a part of the book for like 3/4ths of it, I passed over it without too much of a hiccup.

Once again, I was really impressed by Berry’s ability to wrap me into a story which wasn’t particularly new. I mean, one of the bad guys becoming good for a girl? Read that. Dez having an ego moment and thinking she has to do everything on her own, alienating her friends and Caleb in the process? Read that. Love triangle? READ THAT. But the thing is, I never lost interest. I never thought, “Oh yeah, THIS AGAIN.” I totally believed in the story line. Usually when main characters start going off on their own I start screaming “WHY AREN’T YOU TELLING ANYONE ANYTHING?” But Dez’s reasons made just enough sense that I totally believed them. I also totally believed the requisite couples fight that makes room for a new guy in the love triangle. Caleb got FREAKY, but believably freaky and also believably annoyed with Dez. As I was reading, I just couldn’t stop thinking, “I should have so much problem with this events” and being ridiculously impressed that I was totally buying the whole thing. It’s a hard phenomenon to explain, but basically Berry has SO MUCH of my respect for being able to do this.

Like Otherkin, Othermoon NEVER stopped moving. Despite all the crazy world stuff, it was never bogged down with info-dumps. Actually, if there is one problem with the world, I’d say that it’s that we don’t know ENOUGH. I mean, of course we know enough for the purposes of the book. I, as a reader, just need to know more. Like, what is Dez really? Who is that apparition that’s speaking through her mother, really? All of these things being left unanswered is vital to the plot, but I’m very impatient.

I really, really need to get my hands on book 3. I almost can’t handle how much I need to get my hands on book 3.

All in all, I still very much recommend these books to you guys. Othermoon gets only a 1/2 star less than Otherkin, simply because the romance in this one kind of threw me off, but obviously not by much. I legitimately still cannot get over how impressed I am that Berry can make plot devices I’ve seen before seem so interesting and keep me so invested, given that I’m so hard to please once I’ve seen something more than twice. Not only that, but the believability of the characters is supremely fantastic. You don’t always see this in a lot of YA lit. So READ THESE BOOKS.

ARC Review: “Otherkin” by Nina Berry

Otherkin (Otherkin #1) by Nina Berry (Click for Goodreads)

Sixteen-year-old Desdemona Gray doesn’t even bother with crushes on cute boys now that she’s forced to wear a hard plastic back brace all day.  What guy would want to literally have to knock on a girl to be let in?  So she squashes down every impossible desire until an uber-awkward brush with a boy brings out all her frustration and she changes…into a tiger.  In that bewildering moment, she is captured by Ximon, the leader of a fanatical group hell-bent on wiping out the five remaining tribes of shape-shifters, known as the otherkin. 

With help from a handsome, mysterious fellow captive named Caleb, she escapes and goes on the run, finding allies and learning the truth behind the legends of wizards and were-creatures.  Then Ximon goes too far, and Dez must tap into all her buried desires to find her inner tiger and save herself, her new friends, and the boy she loves.

4 1/2 stars

This review is of an ARC received from NetGalley. You can get a copy for yourself July 31st, 2012.

I’m going to be perfectly honest: I did not go into this book with high expectations. The first book I ever requested from NetGalley was a shifter book so bad I couldn’t finish it. I haven’t read anything about shifters regularly since … the Animorphs when I was about 12. BUT, this story has an awesome cover with a tiger on the front so how COULDN’T I request it?

And I’m so happy I did.

Just the first chapter is literally explosive. You instantly get a feel for Dez, how she feels about herself AND get a bunch of action–action that, by the way, rarely ever stops for a good while. The perimeters of the novel are pretty quickly established, but you aren’t hit over the head with exposition which is fantastic. In fact, the amount of info-learning but not info-dumping was excellent throughout the novel, even though the mythology was very unique and slightly confusing in places. I understood the gist of it and was never bogged down in trying to understand, which is a big plus for me, Ms. Short Attention Span.

However, about a fourth of the way book, the plotline twisted in such a way that I deflated and moaned like I was a hot air balloon stabbed through the heart. Caleb tells Dez that there is a place they can be safe, and guess where it is?

A school. A shifter school. A freaking school.

Schools feel like such a cliché these days that I CANNOT stand them when they happened. This is also how that first shifter novel I read really rolled over and died. I had to stop reading because I was so worried this book was also going to dip into horribleness.

But it DIDN’T.

I kept reading and almost couldn’t believe it. Berry managed to make it readable, the characters not too much of clichés and really make it feel REAL. The tension and then camaraderie between the classmates came right out of the pages. It really set up the ending well, and–most importantly–it was READABLE. I can be nasty when a book drops into clichés I hate, so I fully expected to start hating everything. But instead, i loved it. I was shocked!

The end brought back that rolling action I loved in the beginning. The cooperation between all the shifters and the descriptions were absolutely fantastic. The end of the end seemed to almost be anticlimactic and flat after all that action, though it did make sense. The pacing of the book, for the most part, however, was fast, which I love. There were never many points where I felt I could put the book down.

But about that  docked star: A little bit of it is the ending, but not a lot of it. Most of it came from Dez and Caleb’s relationship. I hate insta-love. I will forever and always dock stars for insta-love. The only reason it wasn’t a full star was because Dez and Caleb weren’t–shockingly and fantastically–the center point of the novel. It was more about action and information than their romance. However, when you’ve only known each other for less than a month and have kissed only once, there is no way multiple conversations about seeing Dez naked don’t come off as creepy. Caleb’s kind of buzzed-all-the-time attitude didn’t help matters. Given that I loved Dez as a character, I kept screaming ABORT, ABANDON SHIP! But of course she didn’t. They’ve found eternal insta-love.

All in all, however, this book turned into a favorite for me. I loved the descriptions, the history, and the pacing. The action was fantastic, and I was ridiculously impressed at how Berry wrote in a school setting that I didn’t hate the guts of and in fact really enjoyed. For once, there was romance for the main character that wasn’t the driving force of the story, so I even forgave the insta-love a little bit. If you love shifter books, GET THIS NOW. Even if you don’t love shifter books and are looking for something new–like I was–I RECOMMEND IT. July 31st, folks, preorder now!

The second book in the Otherkin series, Othermoon, is slated for a February 2013 release date.

Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy… But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic was a freebie if we so wanted it to be so, and I had to do that, because I couldn’t come up with much for the other topic!

I am usually a voracious reader, but sometimes … I just can’t do it. Either I don’t have the time, or–EEK–for some reason I don’t have the interest. So here’s a list of books that I have but need to read!

1. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

I know, I know, I’m a HUGE Clare fangirl but I STILL haven’t read this. It’s disturbing. But I haven’t read City of Fallen Angels in such a long time I know I need to read it again but … I don’t want to. Reading past the original trilogy was a choice I made for myself knowing I would probably regret it, but… *sigh*

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Actually, I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I already started this one. However, the world is really hard to settle into for me, so it’s just sitting there, 30 pages in, STARING AT ME.

3. Chime by Franny Billingsley

I really am going to get around to this, I swear! I just have no reading oomph right now for some reason. And also I feel I should finish Under the Never Sky first.

4. Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

It is utterly ridiculous how long I have had this book but left it unread. It is literally, horribly sad. I have THE HARDCOVER. But for some reason, I just can’t read it. I’ve been told it’s good and I believe you guys, but goodness. There’s just something repelling me every time I go near it.

5. Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Yet another one I’ve had for AGES and have still yet to read. I actually did start it, I think, but then I got sidetracked by Vicky Alvear Shecter’s Cleopatra’s Moon. I need to find some historical fiction that isn’t all about the same people. 😛

6. Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler

This one isn’t entirely my fault. I bought this book for my dad for Christmas, and he still hasn’t read it yet either. Clearly my only plan of action is that I must wrestle it away from him whenever I have the time to tackle a Cussler book.

7. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

This is actually something that, like Under The Never Sky, is sitting on my currently reading shelf. Unlike Under the Never Sky, I really do like it. The problem? I have no idea. But NetGalley probably wants my review. 😛

8. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQueen

Have this from NetGalley. It’ll probably be my next NetGalley read and review after I finish Glitch. But I have to finish Glitch first. 😛

9. Otherkin by Nina Berry

NetGalley read and review after The Peculiars. My NetGalley read and review list is far too long. Watch this:

10. Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

NetGalley read and review after Otherkin! Maybe I should, you know, get on that. Eventually. WHERE DID MY READING BUZZ GO? I think finals swallowed it. Here, finals buzz, here kitty kitty– Oh that’s not going to work.

So what about you? Have YOU got a book that’s been lying around forever you still haven’t read? Also, don’t forget to check out my Two Year Blogoversary Giveaway!