Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It has taken me a week to try and get my thoughts together regarding this book. And after 7 days, I am still left with an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Honestly, I think I must have read a completely different book than everyone who gave this 5 stars, did.
I went into reading this book with an open mind, and was actually very anxious to start reading it because of all the glowing reviews and recommendations I had gotten for it. And even when I didn't fall in love with the story the way that others did, I was still more than willing to stick with it because I wanted to see what happened. I wanted to see where the author was going with all of Mara's hallucinations. But, the further I got in the book, the more frustrated I became.
Some of the things that frustrated me: There are the obvious similarities to Twilight & Hush Hush...a quiet, awkward girl becomes the stalkerish obsession of a ridiculously gorgeous boy full of mystery. But where this book differs (in my opinion anyway) is that the stalkerish boy in question here has absolutely NO appeal or redeeming qualities whatsoever. Noah is one of the most obnoxious, self-centered asshats I have come across in fiction in quite some time. And the way that Mara goes from being rightfully stand-offish towards him, to being completely smitten beyond all hope in zero to sixty is just one of the many faults of this story. And then there is Mara's best friend. About 3 quarters of the way through, he completely drops out of the story. Um...why was he there in the first place? Other than to pop in every few chapters to remind Mara to stay away from Noah?! Just when I thought there might be a character that was interesting and trying to talk some sense into our heroine... he gets suspended from school, and poof! he's gone.
And here is my main problem with the overall book: To be blunt, Mara's 'ability' is just plain ridiculous. Yes, it is unique...but only in that it is a silly story concept that just doesn't work in my opinion. And the fact that she meets and falls in love with a boy who just happens to have the exact opposite ability...is enough to make me want to smack my head into the wall. And as if all those elements weren't enough to make me sorry I wasted my time on this book in the first place...there's the actual ending. The 'big reveal' as it were....it worked about as well as one of those 'dun dun DUN!!!' sound effects in a really cheesy movie. And left me literally saying out loud to myself..."Are you freaking kidding me?!" I know they are setting up a series here, but gimme a break! To have the villain magically come 'back from the dead', is one of the most overused plot elements of all time. And it wasn't even used well.
Maybe I have just been spoiled by reading so many truly great books over the last few months, but The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer was a huge disappointment.
Every once in a while I stumble upon a book that takes me completely by surprise. I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but decided to take a chance on it because of the interesting synopsis and creepy cover art. I am so glad I did, because this was hands down one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I have had all year.
On the surface, Mackie seems like an average teenage boy. He goes to school, has a crush on a cheerleader and feels alienated from the adults in his life. But Mackie is a Replacement, a changling left in the place of a human baby that was stolen from it's crib in the middle of the night sixteen years ago. Because of his potentially fatal reactions to iron, blood and consecrated ground, each day is a struggle just to survive.
In Mackie, Yovanoff has created a truly wonderful character. The reader can't help but be captivated by his story. His sense of longing to live a normal life...to just belong somewhere, is heartbreaking. And his absolute devotion to his sister is just one of the many reasons I love him so much.
I loved just about every aspect of this book...from the smart dialogue, to all the truly creepy characters Mackie meets in the Underground world called Mayhem, to Mackie's best friend. The ONE thing that I was not so thrilled with was the female lead, Tate. She was just too...harsh for my taste. She didn't seem to appreciate everything that Mackie ended up going through to help her. And her hot and cold attitude toward him was frustrating. But in the end, that was just a minor annoyance that is easily overlooked.
What a wonderful surprise this turned out to be. Such an amazing story with truly unique and unforgettable characters. Loved every word!!
1 star - DNF
Usually I have a LOT to say about a book that I have read....either good, bad or in between. But sometimes a book comes around that I just can't bring myself to care about either way. This was unfortunately one of those books. So, I will keep this short and sweet...
I got about half way through this book, and had to give up. I had a very hard time taking the characters seriously. They seemed very one dimensional, and some of the dialogue was just plain laughably ba
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Inital thoughts as I finished the book:
The last act has left me a puddle of emotional goo.
I will admit to going into this book not knowing exactly what to expect. The book synopsis is so vague and mysterious that I couldn't help but want to dive into this bizarre world where a young girl is sent out on these errands by her beastly guardian in search of teeth...human and otherwise. Where a door opens in Prague, and exits into Marrakesh.
I was completely captivated by this story from the first line. And I knew this was something special within the first few chapters.
I truly feel like delving any more into the actual plot would lessen the impact for anyone thinking of reading this book. This really should be a book that is experienced from beginning to end, with the roller coaster of emotions that that entails.
But, I do have to point out that Laini Taylor's writing is just absolute perfection. Her characters come to life in such a vivid way, that it honestly felt like I was inside the book as I was reading it. And one final comment regarding the character of Akiva. Hands down one of my favorite fictional characters ever.
Normally I would have been beyond annoyed by the MAJOR cliffhanger of an ending that this book had (the final few chapters left me a weepy mess), but I can forgive Taylor for that, knowing that we will have 2 more books in the series to look forward to.
One of the best books of 2011 (top 3)
One of my all time favorite books...period.
4 1/2 - 5 stars
It's taken me several days to get a grip on exactly how I feel about this book. As it is, this review will be a short one since I am still having a hard time trying to put my thoughts into a review that isn't a rambling mess.
This books was not what I expected. At all. Going in, I thought this would be an old fashioned zombie gore-fest. And while there are scenes of the infected going on the attack, this book is more about what's going on in the world of the living. Attempting to survive in a world where each and every person is born with the same virus. A virus that will activate upon the person's death, or even at some random moment in time...turning the person into the horror movie cliche' of a zombie. Of course you could also still be turned into the walking dead the old fashioned way of being chomped on by your undead neighbor. But the idea of living day to day with the question of not if...but when and how it will happen? That's what's truly scary about this book.
I will admit that Grant was a little too descriptive at times. There are countless scenes involving routine blood tests, and while I know that aspect of the story is important, I still didn't enjoy reading about the same process so many times. Also, the beginning was a little slow, and I feel like the story itself was dragged out a little too much. But the last act of the book....more than makes up for any faults i may have with the overall story. The ending packs a HUGE emotional punch, so much so that I find myself unable to dive into the next book right away, as i feel like this one took so much out of me.
So thankful to all of the people who recommended this book to me, as it truly was one of the best I have read in a long time.