From the Notebook: Top Ten Series I Won’t Be Finishing

From the Notebook is back with some potentially unpopular opinions! I have the top ten series that I have cleared out of my Goodreads because I won’t be finishing them, from reasons ranging from outgrowing the writing to actual dislike. Be forewarned that I might say something not so nice about a book series you like! I’m sorry about that! However, I would love to have a conversation about why you think I’m wrong–or if you agree, of course! Let me know if I’m about to miss something at all, or if I’ve made the right call!

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Review: “Poison Princess” by Kresley Cole

Poison PrincessPoison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole

Goodreads | Amazon

Evangeline “Evie” Greene, 16, leads a charmed life until her horrifying hallucinations predict a disaster that decimates her Louisiana hometown. She joins classmate Jack – with his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, bad attitude – and 22 other teens, as an ancient prophesy re-enacts the ultimate battle between good and evil. But who is on which side?

Thanks to SimonPulse and PulseIt.com for this free read!

3 stars

Not since Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi have I had such a huge love-hate relationship with a book. I mean, seriously. At times I was steaming mad or annoyed, but I kept reading because OHMAHGOD SO GOOD. I swear this review sits at three stars just because that’s my middle of the road rating and I don’t know what else to do because I cannot tell if I love or hate this book. Let’s try to figure this out together, shall we?

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Countdown to 2012: Books I Can’t Wait To Read (Part 2)

Yes, this countdown required not one but TWO postings. Why? Because there are so many amazing books out there! If you missed part 1, you can find it here. But enough babbling, let’s get to the BOOKS.

RAPTURE by Lauren Kate (Fallen #4)

Release date: June 12

Why: Because I enjoyed all three previous books for the most part, and I’ve seen this through so far I can’t help but see it through. If you’ve read my blog before you know I hate hate hate the instantly in love YA cliché, but Kate makes it work as much as it ever can. The last book, Passion, was a genuinely interesting trek through time that really departed from the first two, so I hope Rapture will be just as interesting!

 

THE GOLDEN LILY by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #2)

Release date: June 19

Why: Because Mead’s Vampire Academy world is freaking amazing. I may never adore another set of her characters like I did Rose and Dmitri, but honestly the characters of Bloodlines are putting up a pretty goodfight–even though I hadn’t liked many of them when they showed up in the VA books. Then there is Adrian, whom I would read ANYTHING about. Plus, the end of Bloodlines? The VA character that showed up? I NEED TO READ THIS SO BADLY. It comes out the day after my birthday, so those future gift cards of mine have already been waaay committed.

ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White (Paranormalcy #3)

Release date: July 24

Why: Okay, I’m not going to lie: these books are quirky. They are way quirky. It takes a certain type of reader to be able to take the quirkiness that is Evie. But you know what? I love it. The books are easy reads that are cute and funny, and pretty exciting when you get into it. Also, interesting. The plot line is pretty original for a “let’s through every paranormal in the world into one book” scenario. I love me some evil faeries. Endlessly won’t be on my MUST HAVE NOW list the second it comes out, but it will most certainly be on my bookshelf pretty soon after.

COURTSHIP AND CURSES by Marissa Doyle

Release date: August 7

Why: Because I’m genuinely curious. I read Doyle’s Leland sisters duet and thoroughly enjoyed them, and this is clearly in the same vein. Goodreads billed this as the third book in that series, but the blurb makes no mention of them at all. Are they in it? Is this going to be a redux of that series with a new character with a much less flashy name? I suppose we’ll see August 7!

 

HIDDEN by PC and Kristin Cast (House of Night #10)

Release date: October 6

Why: Because I’m hoping it’s the last one, honestly. I’ve held on with this series this far because I didn’t think they could drag this out THIS LONG and because Stark is hot. That is baaaasically it. I haven’t even bought the last one yet (pictured here because I wanted a pretty picture)because I wouldn’t cry if I had to give up the series right there because HOW MUCH MORE? How much more stringing out can there BE? WHERE do they keep coming up with more? It is this twisted reasoning that allows this book on this list.

UNTITLED by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #2)

Release date: November 2012

Why: No, this book doesn’t have a title or a cover yet, but it can’t help but be on my list. The first book (pictured here) made my book review turn into a rant of epic proportions and made me LOSE MY MIND. I can’t NOT read this book because Tahereh Mafi is writing it and I have this yearning faith that she’ll get her act together and write like the FANTASTIC writer she is just waiting to be.

UNTITLED by Ally Condie (Matched #3)

Release date: November 13

Why: Because I genuinely want to know how this ends. I’m still trying to get my hands on Crossed and my review of Matched wasn’t glowing, but…hey. This series is only three books and I’m interested. Why not? Pretty sure these books are worth it just for Ky, anyways. Maybe my views will change when I read the second book, but I’m staying open-minded. (The image here is only the teaser cover, not the actual one–in case you were wondering.)

 

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices #3)

Release date: November

Why: Must we go over this again? IT’S CLARE. Yes, in case you were confused, this is a different series. Clare is currently going back and forth between them to keep them both moving along so nobody kills her. With the hangers she always ends the books at, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone threatened her with that. Especially, you know, Clockwork Prince. This book needs to come out SO MUCH FASTER. With the addition of the 3 “not planned” books to The Mortal Instruments, I must say that The Infernal Devices has become my favorite because it feels fresh and exciting, not like she’s forcing more plot out. I was really worried the books were going to turn out too parallel to each other but…nope! They are both equally amazing and equally different. GIVE ME MORE!

 

And that’s it for now! Until, you know, tomorrow when I’m browsing Goodreads and OHMYGOODNESS LOOK AT THAT BOOK THAT’S COMING OUT. Because it will happen. It always does. 😀

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

4 stars

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has a plan of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time–and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

 

Buckle in, ladies and gents. This is going to be one heck of a book review. Why? Because I have so, so much to say about this book–and, trust me, not all of it is good.

Shatter Me was a book I was dying to pick up. SEVEN DIFFERENT AGENTS went flying after this manuscript. Seven. And this is Mafi’s first novel. SEVEN. A regular author is lucky to find one. So, clearly, this book had to have something LIFE CHANGING in here. So of course I had to read it.

The beginning of the book didn’t disappoint me (my personal opinion is going to be part of something I explain later on, hence the constant repetition of this fact). All I could think at the time was, “Whoa. WHOA. GUYS. OHMYGOD WHOA.” This lasted until halfway into the book, when my pure and utter entrancement with her writing style gave way to the reviewer in me who watches for every little slip up a YA author can make. Mafi made a HUGE one, one that I’ve discussed before with fire–and now have to discuss again. But anyways, after that, I couldn’t get back into her writing style. I started to evaluate it clinically, and reading reviews on Goodreads made it clear to me why this book–this amazingly written awesomeness that wowed me into submission–is struggling to hold a 4 star rating.

Mafi’s writing style doesn’t belong on a YA shelf.

Okay, that sounds harsh on both her and YA readership, but in general that fact is true. I hate to bring back up Twilight but–whatever you think of the book–you have to agree that the writing style there is ridiculously simple. And it’s a worldwide phenomenon. Those two things are related. YA readers read YA because they don’t want to be bogged down in the complex, fantastical sentences that run amuck in, say, literary fantasy. One thing I’ve always heard said about writing YA is keep it to the point.

Halfway through the book, I remarked to my also writer boyfriend that I wanted to write down every one of her unique descriptors to steal for my own, but that would mean paraphrasing the whole book. It was upsetting to realize that that’s not a good thing. Shatter Me caught all this attention from ADULTS. Adults who read YA all the time and are just begging for something as refreshingly different as Mafi’s. Personally, as a writer myself, I would like to worship the pages her writing style waltzes over. But the typical young adult browsing the shelves that Shatter Me sits on just don’t have the patience for the way it’s written, and that makes me sad.

But now you are wondering, why is the book given four stars here? Why not five, if I love it so much? It’s because halfway through the book, Mafi violated one of the worst clichés every in YA literature, and I cannot forgive her for it.

Uh oh. I think I am going to rant after all.

Romance is one of the biggest things in YA books. Doesn’t matter what the genre, it is ALWAYS THERE. I don’t mind this; sometimes I even quite enjoy it. But I am still at a loss as to why adults think that 99% of females see some hot guy and instantly fall eternally in love with him. And you know? I’d be fine with it sometimes, because some girls are over dramatic, but ALL THE TIME? And WORSE, when the guy is also instantly like, “You are mine forever.” PEOPLE. SERIOUSLY. STOP. I literally can’t take it anymore. Shatter Me was one of the worst offenders of this I’ve seen in a long time. Juliette and Adam haven’t seen each other in THREE YEARS, since the NINTH GRADE, and they’re professing their eternal love for each other within five seconds, and it includes several speeches about how the other embodies all the strength, beauty and/or goodness that the speaker thought was no longer left in the world. Someone shoot me.

Granted, Mafi’s writing style has already given Shatter Me a otherworldly, unreal feel to it, so I would have honestly been willing to accept a little bit of that. But…the way they talk to each other? No. Nonono. I’ve had a boyfriend for eight months, and I STILL wouldn’t tell him, as he was dying, “You have to get better so I can memorize every inch of your body with my lips” (or at least that’s the general sense of the quote). Just…no.

You know what’s worse? I honestly don’t know what to think of this book. The thing between Adam and Juliette burns me something fierce, and sometimes I want to give it three stars. I won’t give it any less because of the way Mafi writes, and sometimes because of that I want to give it more. Sometimes, for brief moments, I can forgive Adam and Juliette because their love just adds to the overall exaggerated tone of the book. I just…honestly don’t know what to do with Shatter Me. I fell in love with Mafi, but I came to dislike the book. I didn’t know that HAPPENED. Half the reason I am so angry with it is because I love it just as much as I hate it and I can’t freaking pick a side. I will certainly be picking up the sequel because I can’t NOT, but I am going to send out this one wish: Please let Mafi write a book worth her. She could do SO MUCH and have writing that just blows the mind but…that’s all wasted on Shatter Me and it’s audience.