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Sunday, December 22, 2013

[CLOSED] The Sunday Post #39 + Nicole's Birthday Giveaway

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (Dec 15 - Dec 21).



Oh, and...

Nicole turned 21 (so old!) on Dec 15 and to celebrate her birthday we're giving away 2 copies of a book she loves. We'll be giving away two copies of Poison by Bridget Zinn (which she reviewed here). Note that the winner of the PH giveaway also gets a tube of Lime Crime Poisonberry (because it's currently Nicole's favorite lipstick) and some washi tape (because Nicole's obsessed with them.

Giveaway starts on Dec 22 2013 and ends on Jan 5 2014 (GMT+8).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

1. The books will be sent from The Twins Read will not be held liable for any customs / taxes that your country will impose on you. Likewise, The Twins Read will not be held liable for any lost / damaged packages.

2. You must be 13 years old and above to join. Please ask your parent/guardian to join the giveaway for you, if you aren't.

3. If you only use ONE account to do all these tasks and enter under different names, they will still only constitute as ONE entry. 

4. If the winner does not respond to messages via Facebook, or e-mail within 48 hours, The Twins Read will have to choose another winner.

5. The covers of the copies you get may be different from the cover used in the The Twins Read promos.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Title: The Burning Sky
Author: The Burning Sky
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date:  September 17 2013
Publishing House: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062207296
Source of Copy: Purchased from National Bookstore


Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation - or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of the Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. ow, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission - and her life.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


When Iolanthe Seabourne calls down lightning to fix the precious elixir she created, she obviously doesn't know that her life's going to get oh so very complicated. It's a big mess that involves a Prince, a prophecy, a conspiracy and an all boy's school - because everyone wants a piece of Iolanthe's powers. It pretty much sucks that she was predicted to be the greatest elemental mage of her generation then.

Fair warning to those who're interested in this book, it starts of really slow and kind of strange and weird but be patient because it picks up soon enough. It doesn't hurt that Thomas' has really great characters. 

I just loved how Iolanthe readily admitted that she was afraid and that she'd prefer peace and stability to adventure. She'd rather run from the Prince than help him in his venture but it was also great to see her step up to the task when she realizes that there's a whole lot at stake. She's brave that way. One little thing about Iolanthe is that, for me, she was a bit too perfect. Blending in perfectly in an all boys school so seamlessly with nothing more but a lowering of her voice and the binding of her chest? Right. What? Titus was the same, he's like the ultimate spymaster with his plans and his back-up plans and all his bolt holes hidden wherever. It's like they could do no wrong and sure, they fail but it's pretty much obvious that the win's in their corner.

The world building was also quite confusing. The magical system and the setting were poorly done. It was confusing, to say the least. And I wasn't overly fond of the glossary at the latter part of the book. I don't want to have to have to keep flipping towards the glossary every time there's something that needs explaining. I mean, things like that could have been incorporated into the book right? Right. 

Overall, The Burning Sky is an okay read if you're okay with shabby world-building. The characters do make up for it a bit and maybe the slight romance. Will I get the next book? Definitely. I mean it's not that bad, give it a go. 



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: September 28, 2012
Publishing House: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062118783
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives - an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school's most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn't scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Going to a house party in an island moored far away from the mainland might sound a bit too much for Meg, but she doesn't think being gone for the weekend away from the parents would hurt. Especially when T.J.'s going to be at that party. But when a weekend of no rules and no limits turns into a living nightmare with the partygoers turning up dead one by one, the remaining teens end up wary and distrustful of each other. This is one weekend that anyone can seem to do without.

Well, I'd probably warn people that this wasn't really for people who are unaccustomed to pretty grisly deaths in books. While I didn't much blink an eye because Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist series pretty much made everything pale in comparison when it comes to gore, people who are thinking just along the lines of la-la-stabbity-stab-stab might end up surprised.

Meg was probably the most sane of the bunch, but then that would probably be biased since we're whisked to the story via her perspective. What she thought was supposed to be a fun party was shot when she realized that basically almost everyone in the house were jerks. I don't know about you guys, but a house party with no chaperones in a pretty secluded island already sounds like the perfect horror flick set-up for me, so I'm not exactly what possessed seemingly smart Meg to say yes to this party.

And because these teens have probably never watched The Ring, they watch a DVD only to end up with the warning: Vengeance is mine, only to find that a bit later, surprise surprise, there's already something happening in the house.

I actually finished Ten in one sitting, so it wasn't pretty bad. While I am in no way a fan of "Whodunnit" thrillers because I always end up wrong and probably because I am already casting suspicious looks at everyone from the get-go which makes it more annoying for me, Ten is a pretty easy read for newbies who are into thrillers. Enthusiasts of the genre might find this one a bit predictable, but Ten would be interesting for people who don't read thrillers more often. Provided that you're not that squeamish, of course.


Monday, December 16, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: September 10 2013
Publishing House: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781250054005
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life - and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath's sister has mostly grown away from the fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.

Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words...and she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never realy been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I'm not exactly sure what I can say in this review that hasn't been said before but I think it's pretty obvious that my foray into Rainbow Rowell books is a definite success. I initially wanted to start with Eleanor and Park, because a lot of my blogger friends swear by it, but it's Fangirl that caught my eye. No regrets.

I understand Cath. I really do and I willingly admit that I've been through a fanfiction phase. I used to write fanfiction online - no I'm not dishing out my dirty secrets - and I used to spend my life on the internet. (I still do actually, but maybe not as much anymore) I get Cath and her addiction and her fandom and her fangirlish tendencies and that's probably why I couldn't help but love her. She's totally relatable and unquestionably real. 

Levi, on the other hand, is totally adorable. He's sweet, he's funny and charming and he's just so happy. Totally unlike your typical YA male love interest who're generally broody bad boys with a six-pack - I mean Levi's got a receding hairline but still manages to be unbearably cute. Where can I get a Levi of my own? He doesn't have some sort of a tortured past, no issues at all, he's just so....normal. Don't you just love normal guys? I know I do. Can I also mention that Cath thinks he has pornographic eyebrows? Best description for eyebrows ever.

Aside from the romance, which is totally new for Cath, there's a lot of scenes where she interacts with people which are funny and too cute. Reagan, Cath's surly roommate, in particular is a favorite of mine she's brash and bold and straight to the point. Fangirl manages to balance out everything, Cath's budding romance with Levi, her growing friendship with Reagan, her forever bond with her sister, the fragility of her father and her estranged mother. 

Cath does a lot of growing up throughout the book and I loved every moment of it. I lost a lot precious sleep reading this book but it was worth every minute. Fangirl is a humorous, heartwarming novel about a girl who's forced to step out of her comfort zone and face life, love and fanfiction and who's got to come to terms with all these changes and realize that it's totally okay to step out of her little bubble once in a while.

I also want to add that I'm not a huge fan of contemporary but I've been known to make exemptions. Rainbow Rowell's books are one of them. I'll definitely be checking out her other books now that I've been converted and I'm definitely making my friends read this. Oh if only real life were like the novels I read.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins

Title: Forever
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publishing House: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373211067
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via NetGalley


All I want is my happily-ever-after.

That's all I've wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I'm carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there's a storm on the horizon, and it's sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we'll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)

*Edited on Feb. 3, 2014 due to grammatical errors.

(This is the final installment in the Temptation series so there are bound to be some little spoilers ahead if you haven't read the first books. My reviews for the first and second books, Temptation and Belonging can be found here and here.)

Noah knows that the only way he and his family can get back into the good graces of the Amish community is by giving them time to recover from jilting his Amish fiancee, especially when the father of said ex-fiancee blocks their every move and is making their life difficult. But Noah doesn't know that what he needs most is the one thing Rose can't give. Rose is pregnant with his child, and it's high-time that both of them took a final stand in order for them to finally be together.

I don't know how and I don't know why but every Noah and Rose I know seem to be walking disasters. In the second book, Noah got into an accident, and a psycho was after Rose. In this one, Rose has an accident, Noah and Rose get caught between a tornado (because hey, dramatic stand-offs) and hey look, psycho neighbors. Considering that Rose was pregnant most of the time in this one, to say that the couple has been through A LOT, cultural differences and forbidden romance aside, is an understatement. In truth, I didn't expect anything less because the second book, Belonging, was already rife with drama, and the only way to really end the series is to pile that drama on. 

Rose and Noah seem to finally get the idea that this couple thing is beyond the both of them. Everyone around them is affected, especially Sarah, Noah's younger sister, who seems to be falling for Constance's brother Micah, yet another tricky relationship. In Forever, Noah finally let go of his stubbornness and this is what really makes me sag in relief. Noah was actually pretty tough on compromising, but I guess he finally grew up and realized that they both needed to be in this together if they were really starting a family. While I am happy for Rose and Noah finally ending up together (come on, that wasn't even a spoiler), I did hope that they had more time before finally committing to each other. While their chemistry was there, I hoped that the readers were clued in as to actually why and how they deemed that they were perfect for each other. I mean, Rose and Noah are hot and they love each other, but that's all I really observed from them. 

Forever does include a little side-story and I thought that that was a pretty nice touch, but then Hopkins does the unthinkable and pulls the rug out from under us. Seriously, I thought that that would have made a pretty cute spin-off.

Even though Forever was quite cheesy and, given the disaster-thing I've mentioned, quite ludicrous, it was a pretty fitting ending to the series. As soon as I found out that I was given access to the title, I immediately downloaded the title and finished it in one sitting. Despite being over-the-top with its drama, Forever is engrossing and it was very hard to look away. I would recommend this series to people who are hardcore romance enthusiasts, and I do quite wish that there would be a spin-off to this series. 


Monday, December 9, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Of Triton by Anna Banks

Title: Of Triton
Author: Anna Banks
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: May 28 2013
Publishing House: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250003331
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


Emma has learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As A Half-Breed, she's a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm. Syrena law states all Half-Breeds should be put to death.

As if that's not bad enough, her mother's reappearance in the Syrena world turns two kingdoms - Poseidon and Triton - against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen's request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself - and her Gift - to save a people she's never known.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I found myself unable to resist this book mainly because of the cover. I mean, that photo right? I've always been a sucker for books that use underwater shots for cover photos. Too pretty.

My review will probably be on the short side, like the book which is 246 pages long. So short! In Of Triton, the story now shifts focus to the Syrena world. The struggles between both Houses - Triton and Poseidon and the power hungry Syrena who want to control them. I wasn't that big of a fan of the world building, but it's entertaining all the same. 

In the second book we also meet Nalia, Emma's mother, and from the get-go I didn't like her. Frankly, her reasons for hiding on land for the longest time were the worst. What kind of a pathetic excuse is that? Emma herself was actually very childish, I mean yeah I get that your mom's relationship with your father was iffy in light of the fact that she's pretty much in love with Grom but seriously, I'm pretty sure Emma's got bigger problems than her mother's love life.

Emma and Galen are actually pretty boring and their romance didn't see to progress into anything deeper. I think I liked Galen better in the first book. Actually, I think I liked Emma better in the first book too. I was pretty sure they were going to end up together no matter what and the tension about mating and Syrena laws and stuff were unnecessary plot devices. 

There was also that little thing about Paca and Grom being mated and the slew of problems that surface because of that stupid mating. I don't know guys, the Syrena seem pretty dumb to me to fall for that Paca's fake powers. I'm totally not buying the whole they've-forgotten-what-the-gifts-of-the-generals-look-like spiel. 

And that ending? It was totally anticlimatic. It was wrapped up neatly enough that I wonder what the third book could possibly be about. Will I be reading the next book? Maybe.




Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Sunday Post #38

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (December 2 - 8, 2013)





Peeps and peepettes, we went to ReaderCon 2013! Actually, we gave young adult book recommendations at the fair, and it was fun conversing with other reading enthusiasts.

If you weren't able to come visit, or just want to see what books we recommended, here's an image of the brochure/flyer. (Just click on the image to enlarge it.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

Title: Fireblood
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Publishing House: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 9781937053598
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher


To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Zara knows that the only way she can stop the guards from coming after her sick father is to keep a low profile. If she stays under the radar, he'll be safe and who knows, he might get well before anyone finds out about it. But when Zara Dane was publicly announced to be the future prince's bride, a title much coveted by every woman in the kingdom, any pretense of keeping to the shadows is lost. Thrown into court life and into the spotlight, the only way Zara can save her father now is to win the prince to her side... Or is it? As it turns out, a secret resistance is brewing in the castle grounds itself, and Zara might actually get somewhere if she ties herself up with them

Fireblood is a rather interesting hybrid of genres. It's historical fiction crossed with science fiction and dystopia and tied up rather hugely by a truckload of romance. I wasn't quite expecting romance to take up a lot of space for this one, to be frank, and it was really just so-so. All this jealousy was making things more dramatic than they seemed, and while I do appreciate some drama, Devlan's little snit fits were hardly what I had in mind. I like Devlan, I do, but when he forgets that his lady love is the prince's intended and does his little song and dance number with the green monster roaring its irrational head, no thanks. Zara, as the main voice of the novel, is easy to follow, but what I pretty much got from her was that she liked to be outdoors so that the prince could probably maul her less  she was reminded of the freedom she wanted so much. She spends a LOT of time trying to figure out how to ride a horse, and then you couldn't practically separate her from it. I deduce that she spent about a third of her time throughout the novel on top of one.

Sebastian was, for lack of a better term, a bipolar maniac. One minute he's sweet to Zara because he claims to love her, and the next he's practically forcing himself on her because he's the prince and 'no' always means 'yes' when it comes to him. He reminded me quite a lot of Warren from the Shatter Me series, which coming from me, is not a compliment at all. His moods fluctuate depending on whether or not Zara returns his ardor. This is the guy who based his reason for choosing her was because she wasn't into him, so you can only imagine how that plays out. 

What I actually do find more preposterous was Zara being almost unnaturally good with weapons just after a few practices. Oh, and that King Hart is apparently so obsessed with Camelot that he had his community built to imitate the medieval times. I don't know about you, but as much as I like historical fiction, I don't want to live in them. If a local government official told us that he/she was doing away with the present time and fashioning ye olden times once again, I probably would be in the first in line to immigrate to another country. And did I mention that King Hart had guards roaming around with walkie-talkies? It's kind of like living in Universal Studios where everyone's a cast member and everyone's in on it except no one wants to give up the whole thing. This king seriously took "Life imitating art" into a different level.

Overall, Fireblood isn't really something for everyone. I'm actually having a hard time rating this one as it wasn't so bad, but neither was it pretty good, so I'm settling for probably a 2.75. If you rarely read books and are interested in a historical fiction x dystopia hybrid with lots of romance, maybe you can find yourself enjoying this one.

Fireblood is expected to hit shelves around December 17, 2013.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Burning by Elana K. Arnold

Title: Burning
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Publishing House: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385743341
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Ben: Having just graduated from high school, Ben is set to leave Gypsum, Nevada. It's good timing since the gypsum mine that is the lifeblood of the area is closing, shutting the whole town down with it. Ben is lucky: he's headed to San Diego, where he's got a track scholarship at the University of California. But his best friends, Pete and Hog Boy, don't have college to look forward to, so to make them happy, Ben goes with them to check out the hot chick parked on the side of Highway 447.

Lala: She and her Gypsy family earn money by telling fortunes. Some customers choose Tarot cards; others have their palms read. The thousands of people attending the nearby Burning Man festival spend lots of cash - especially as Lala gives uncanny readings. But lately Lala's been questioning whether there might be more to life than her upcoming arranged marriage. And the day she reads Ben's cards is the day that everything changes for her... and for him.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Ben's town is folding up. The mine's bust and everyone is forced to go somewhere else to build new homes, join new communities, get new jobs. Ben's case is different. He gets a college scholarship and although guilty about it, Ben is looking forward to the future. Lala is a Romani. Being a Gypsy means that she doesn't put down roots; anywhere the family caravan goes, she comes with. Maybe that life sounds okay to her sister, but it hardly appeals to Lala, especially when she's forced to marry someone she doesn't love. When Ben and Lala meet, there is passion that burns just as enticing as the annual Burning Man event in Nevada. But just like almost everything that burns, there's the residual smoke and ash to account for.

Ben is not perfect. He's just an ordinary guy who gets an amazing college scholarship that would definitely give him a far better future than most people in his home town. While readers may catch a glimpse at how guilty Ben is over his good fortune, we can't really deprive him of a pat on the back for doing well. Ben is a romantic, and so when he meets Lala, he's very confident that she needs him, just as much as he needs her. He's so into Lala that he's this close to casting aside his future just to be with her. Lala, on the other hand, envies his freedom. Being a Romani means that strict rules are applied to the womenfolk. She's tired of everybody dictating what she can or can't do, and she knows that the arranged marriage will be the first step to a new enslavement. I liked that Lala was unafraid of being on her own, and even when she's given a chance to not be so alone, she's fearless about wanting to find herself first, and I don't think a lot of people will choose that. While her ambition may have been impractical to people of her descent, Lala is very pragmatic when it comes to her newly found freedom. 

If like me you were looking for just an unconventional romance, Burning is not really something I'd tout as such. More than the romance, Burning is all about growing up and making important choices, which I think is relevant to today's teens. But while I do somehow get the gist of what Arnold is driving towards, Burning is just too much of everything. I understand that when it comes to this intense attraction, all sense and rationality just has the tendency to fly away. But I think it's not unseemly for me to say that Ben and Lala fell in love too fast, too passionate. Oftentimes, there are paragraphs devoted to convince the reader of their overwhelming attraction to each other that it got kind of boring and cloying. 

I must admit that I was disappointed by the ending of the book, and the unexpected intensity of the romance. Burning isn't some cute, fluffy romance that you can coo over. It's not for people who want to escape to a world where hot guys with six-pack abs live happily ever after with girls who have rocking bodies and sleek hair. Sadly, I approached Burning the same way I did with any other contemporary romance, and I think that that was the reason why I didn't appreciate it so much. Ben and Lala are flawed characters, but I think that was the reason why I wasn't into the book. They reminded me too much of real life, of growing up, of the importance of finding one's self in a sea of people.

While I applaud Ben and Lala for the decisions that they have come to, the romantic in me had been temporarily defeated by the unexpected dose of realism after I finished this one. The romance was a tad too over-the-top but the outcome made it all the more believable, and I imagine that this is would resonate with a lot of teenagers.


Monday, December 2, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Elites by Natasha Ngan

Title: The Elites
Author: Natasha Ngan
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: Hot Key Books
Publishing House: September 5 2013
ISBN: 9781471401527
Source of Copy: Purchased from FullyBooked


Hundreds of years into the future, only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a melting pot of cultures and peoples - and fear and discrimination. As a 'Red' - an ethnic Chinese - Silver could never have dreamed of becoming an Elite, a guard of the city's Council, yet she is now on the brink of her first major covert assignment.

But when Silver's parents go missing, she is forced to confront the Outside - life beyond the walls of Neo-Babel. Silver is plunged into a strange new world of slums and dissidents, of secret splinter groups and deeply guarded secrets. And as the dirty truths about Neo-Babel begin to reveal themselves, Silver has to search deep within herself for the strength to fight against all she has ever known.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


When Silver fails her assignment as an Elite and her parents go missing her whole world's turned upside down. She's determined to find her parents and this particular endeavor leads her to the Outside. She's never realized that there was life beyond the walls of Neo-Babel and the world outside reveals truths about Neo-Babel that Silver could never have imagined were possible.

The Elites disappointed me. The characters were flat and lifeless and boring. Silver is, despite being an Elite, strangely inept at what she does. Butterfly, despite that adorable name, is as dull as Silver. Silver and Butterfly have been friends for a long time and I suppose it would not have been surprising for them to get together. But there was absolutely no spark to their romance, no feeling, it's like they got together for the sake of adding a romantic aspect to the story. 

The antagonists in The Elites didn't fare any better. Silver's Senior Ember is your generic too pretty, too skilled, I'm-better-than-you character and I couldn't resist rolling my eyes when she started brandishing knives and threatening Silver. She's obviously got some issues. The bad guys were bad and the good guys were good and that just about sums it up.

The plot is a convoluted mess. I mean I like books with lots of action scenes - I have a predilection for violence - but for the first time I find myself wishing that this book would slow down with the fight scenes and start developing a story. Back story would have been nice, and a little more world building would have been helpful. It's just Silver getting into trouble, blowing stuff up, getting chased, blowing more stuff up and so on.

If this is going to be the trend of future dystopian books...I don't know. Maybe I should start thinking of shifting genres. 



Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Sunday Post #37 + Stacking the Shelves #37 + In Our Mailbox #6

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (November 25 - December 1, 2013)




Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme first initiated by Tynga. This weekly segment will showcase the books/galleys/ARCs we've acquired/purchased/borrowed within the week.


Horde by Ann Aguirre
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Elites by Natasha Ngan
Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter (reviewed here)

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Endlessly by Kiersten White
The Liberator by Victoria Scott


The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Horde by Ann Aguirre
UnSouled by Neal Shusterman
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay


Trisha Wolfe's Fireblood
(Thanks to Spencer Hill Press x NetGalley!)


Lissa Price's Enders
(Thanks to Random House Children's x NetGalley!)


Rosamund Hodge's Cruel Beauty
(Thanks to Harper Collins x Edelweiss!)


Sara Larson's Defy
(Thanks to Scholastic x NetGalley!)


Elizabeth Wein's The Winter Prince
(Thanks to Open Road Integrated Media x NetGalley!)


Laura Lam's Shadowplay
(Thanks to Strange Chemistry x NetGalley!)


Bree Despain's The Shadow Prince
(Thanks to Egmont USA x Edelweiss!)

In Our Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. This features all the things we received in our literal mailboxes. 

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
(-squishes Strange Chemistry staff- THANK YOU!)

Mailbox love from the awesome Harper Collins peeps~

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
Split Second by Kasie West
Frozen by Erin Bowman
Evertrue by Brodi Ashton