Sunday, February 26, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

A weekly meme hosted by Krist at The Story Siren

Poison Study (from the library)

I had this on hold for a while and I can't wait to read it! I don't read many...fantasy based novels but this seems amazing! She's a criminal and then a prisoner and then a poison taster. Cool beans, right?
Blood Red Road (from the library)

I don't know why, but I love books with twins. (Preferably, girl and a boy) Maybe it's because I am one, but I love watching the weak-ish girl twin suck it up and tough it out without her brother. Or, more commonly, in search of her brother.

The Future of Us (from the library)
People who discover facebook from way back when? Sounds awesome. Sounds freaky. Futures scare me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Everneath

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Summary from Goodreads


I jumped into this book with high expectations, something that's always bitten me in the butt in the past. On the blogosphere there were so many gushing reviews and praises sung that I considered buying Everneath despite my state of not having money. I didn't, though, and simply borrowed the book from the library.

Now, let me tell you, the last time I got this excited over a new release had to be The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Suffice to say, I didn't really like that book very much. 

Everneath really sucked me into Nikki's life and every chapter when her counter ticked down, I felt panicked. She needed more time to fix her problems. She needed more time to say goodbye to Jack and her dad. NIKKI NEEDS MORE TIME! But the story portrayed the aspect of time perfectly, and Brodi Ashton nailed how teenagers feel about time. Six months feels like forever to us but when the deadline comes around, you realize that you haven't really accomplished anything and that six months is a really short amount of time.

Nikki's lack of feelings sort of bugged me, but it was important to the story so I had to let it go. A lot of narrators in YA fiction seem sort of passive and emotionless but at least Nikki had a good reason to be that way. I thought it was really intriguing how she could feel people's emotions but it wasn't very consistent throughout the story. In most scenes, she didn't feel people's emotion unless it was relevant to the plot. 

Some people didn't like the jumping back and forth from the past to present, but after I while, I grew to enjoy it. At first, it kind of annoyed me, but then I appreciated them because I could compare Jack and Nikki's relationship then, and their relationship now. It was really heartbreaking. The hopping allowed you to see what lead up to the now, and the before could have been a book by itself. 

Another thing that I really appreciated was that there was no insta-love. The relationship with Jack and Nikki (even though we don't know all of it) seemed to have grown over a long timespan of years. They were friends before they dated and that friendship grew into love. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, just so you know. 

The ending smashed my heart into a million pieces. I need the next book!

Everneath had a lot of problems I've seen in HarperCollins books. It needed some fleshing out. With the characters, with the explanations, and with the Everneath. The plot was fascinating, but that's usually how HarperCollins books are. They're very plot driven. The Tunnels, Everneath, and everlings could have been explained more, but the spin Brodi Ashton put on Greek mythology was new and exciting. I fell a little in love with both of the leading boys in this book, but I keep wondering why Cole claims that he loves Nikki. It'll probably be explained in the next book. But I can't wait that long

Everneath wasn't as great as I expected it to be. But I had really, really high expectations. Overall, it wasn't that disappointing, and it was an enjoyable read. It was a good book, and if I didn't have the mentioned expectations, I'd probably be more fangirly about it. Everneath has a lot of potential. Brodi Ashton did a great job, but I feel like if Everneath was fleshed out a bit more, it could go from being a good book to a "OHMYGOD THIS IS A FREAKIN' AWESOME BOOK"

Rating: 4/5 stars

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: The Running Dream

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her. 


When I picked up this book from the library, I thought it was going to be melodramatic and sentimental. But I picked it up anyway because the idea intrigued me. To be frank, this book was both of these things. 

But the thing is...Wendelin Van Draanen manages to pull off melodramatic and sentimental pretty well. At first, Jessica really pissed me off. She was so whiny and self-absorbed, never giving a thought to how the accident affected her family or the people at her school. While I kept reading, I realized that I was the one being stupid. Running was basically Jessica's life and she lost all of that due to the accident. Anyone except for a saint or someone with saint-like understanding would have reacted the same way. As the book progressed, Jessica grew as a character. She adjusted to her problems and eventually found hope. (Actually, her friends gave her hope.) 

Throughout this book, Jessica goes on and on about how she feels out of place because of her amputated leg. I think every teenager can identify with this feeling to an extent, even if we haven't had our legs sawed off below the knee.

The thing I liked most about this book wasn't actually Jessica, although I did grow to like her as I watched her story unfold. I loved Jessica's friends and team the most. Fiona could have just drifted away, content to pity Jessica and continue on with her able-bodied friends. But did she? No. Fiona had oodles of pressure for track and junior year closing in on her and she still was there for Jessica. All the time. The track team and their coach didn't behave like a team. Nope. They were a family. There was a sense of community that so many real life teams lack. It was a show of genuinely good human behavior that really touched me. 

The prose was lacking, the chapters were minuscule, and the outcome was obvious, but somehow Wendelin pulled this off. It was a good read but not something that I'd gush over.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars