Monday, 31 October 2011

My Name Is Lan And I'm A Bookaholic


Hey All,

It probably doesn't come as much of a surprise that I am a completely nuts about books. I'm proud to be a bookaholic and to celebrate my addiction, I've gone and done a guest interview. To stalk me and read my answers, click over to Bookaholics Anonymous . Don't forget to join the feature if you feel like owning up to your addiction like I did. I'd love to get to know my fellow bookaholics a little better.

~Lan

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


The Story:
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? - From Goodreads


My Thoughts:
I know this books is quite popular with readers but to be honest, if I hadn't promised myself I would read one zombie book for Halloween, I would have stopped reading this one pretty early. What saved this book for me was the writing. As insanely selfish and annoying as Mary could be, Ryan's prose was gripping and I kept going in the hopes that the writing would somehow drown out the unlikeable characters. It didn't. 
     Anyone who has read my other reviews would be clued in that I can forgive a lot of flaws in books if I care about the characters. If I'm halfway through a book and I'm actually hoping that everyone dies, there's something terribly wrong. Let's take Mary for example. I suppose in reality, she is probably a true representation of what a teenager would be like. She's selfish, possessive, single minded and dare I say it, downright stupid. If Ryan meant for Mary to be this unlikeable than she should have, in my opinion, at least made Mary's motivations more compelling than just a need to see the ocean because of stories her mother used to tell her. I found this to be such a hollow reason, especially since on the first page, Mary professes not to believe her mother's stories about the ocean anymore. This example is the biggest problem I had with Mary's internal diatribe (of which there is a lot). Some of the questions, conclusions and even her stray thoughts make no sense or are so lacking in merit I really just wanted an unconsecrated to tear her head off and end it. There is a section where Mary wonders if she and her companions are all that different to the unconsecrated because she is tired, hungry and thirsty. There is a big difference i.e. the uncontrollable need to feed on human flesh which is the premise of the book remember???
       In essence, The Forest of Hands and Teeth left me with so many unanswered questions that I don't feel like Ryan really thought her ideas through to completion. The story is full of continuity and illogical issues which I found to be very jarring. This coupled with the lackluster characters really just didn't do it for me.
      Just because I can't not ask these questions, here is a list of things that I thought didn't make sense. Please click away now if you haven't read the book as the below list contains spoilers. Feel free to answer these for me if you've read this book because my head just doesn't want to solve these riddles:

-I seriously can't imagine a future where people would just accept the ministrations of a powerless religious order just because. I'd like to think that the human spirit is more resilient than it is portrayed in this book. 
- Why didn't any of the people think of fighting the unconsecrated instead of simple reinforcing the fence? If they had a complicated gate system which allowed for a person to be kept separate from the village and from the unconsecrated why not open it on the zombie end, let a few through and then kill and burn them? It's slow going but if they kept at it, in about a year I think they could have killed enough unconsecrated to make a difference.
- One minute the unconsecrated were so strong and relentless and the next they couldn't get past a simple chain link fence? For that matter, why can't zombies climb or break through doors?
- I understood the need for couples to be committed to each other, but when two couples are in love with each others partners, I don't get why they couldn't swap. After all, they weren't even engaged. The whole idea of 'because the Sisterhood said so' or 'that's how things are' is utterly ridiculous. Furthermore, I don't understand why Harry didn't ask for Mary and then asked for her and why Travis didn't ask for her when he said he would. The whole thing was just a waste of pages.Even the explanation towards the end made no sense.
-One second Harry was useless with a bow and then another he's dropping unconsecrated like flies. Which is it?
The Rating:
5.5/10

Friday, 28 October 2011

Review: The Outcast by Patricia Bernard


This is one I have re-read because I was thinking about dystopians before a time when The Hunger Games made them super popular. I first read this book about 15 years ago and have re-read it many times since. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone out of print since then which makes me really sad because the whole series is just so good. 


 The Story:
In Fish's world, people are divided into two groups. The Megas live in Megalopolis and have knowledge chips implanted in their brains. These knowledge chips designate their status within society and gives them the power to build great machinery and even control the weather. The Zoners have long rejected the idea of knowledge implants and are forced to live in the four zones outside Megalopolis. Fish is a Mega-throwback, saved from being sacrificed at birth by his caring mother. In the tradition of his people, Fish is pushed over into the Arid Zone, an infertile perimeter around Megalopolis where Zoners must survive for a number of years as part of their initiation. He finds himself on a dangerous path, trying to live at peace with his Cluster and save a Mega from certain death.

My Thoughts:
I wish I could find a copy of this book for a giveaway because I would love to be able to share this gem with someone. The Outcast is one of those books that felt so ahead of its time. Set in an alternate dystopian future, The Outcast follows Fish on his journey of self discovery, where he will learn to make peace with himself and learn of his destiny as the  Rule Changer.
       As a Mega throwback, Fish has been shunned his entire life by his father, his twin older brothers and his community. The Zoners are a proud race of stocky, bronzed and fierce fighters. In contrast, Fish is tall, lean and light haired. The only love he feels is from his mother, who tries to shield him as much as she can from the hurtful world. Rather than succumb to self pity, Fish decides to study the fighting techniques of the animals he observes regularly. These skills come in handy when his mother can no longer hide his burgeoning adolescence from the village leaders and Fish is pushed over into the Arid Zone. Fish seeks out his older brothers Ant and Bird who at first don't want him in their Cluster. In order to join them Fish defeats Ant in physical combat using his self taught fighting skills and earns their grudging respect.
     When Bird hatches a plan to pass Fish off as a Mega so that they can steal food from Megalopolis, Fish is willing to go along with the idea to garner the approval of his new Cluster. What he finds inside Megalopolis tests everything he has ever known and throws him into the complicated world of knowledge chips, body harvesters and perhaps most frighteningly, love.
    The Outcast is unlike any other book I've ever read. The ideas are so unique and the plot is all kinds of exciting. There's not a moment of the story when I wasn't completely gripped and wanted to know more. There are twists and turns and I felt like the male POV was written remarkably well. Fish is not a hero who lets things happen to him. He goes out and fights for what he wants even if everyone wants to push him down. It's such a shame that the library copy is the only one I can get a hold of. I am so close to emailing the author.

The Rating:
10/10

* I read this book as part of my 2011 Aussie Authors Challenge.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Writer's Corner: Disguising That Info Dump!


I'm guessing I don't need to lead you guys into this week's topic. We've all read them before. Those books that start off by throwing pages upon pages of back story and world building info at you. Possibly in some very long winded dialogue or character reflection. Some of us like them. Others not so much. How do you tell what is enough info to interest a reader and what will make their eyelids droop?
       On a personal level, I don't mind the info dump if it's done seamlessly. By that I mean if the info is meshed well into the MC's thoughts or comes at an appropriate juncture. Sometimes the info dump is even necessary for the reader to understand the plot. This is especially true in paranormal, dystopian or alternate history novels where the readers may be picking up the book in the middle of the action. Strangely enough, I don't find info dump so necessary in fantasy because I'm pretty much expecting something far out.
       Conversely, I don't mind books that throw you in the deep end and slowly drop nuggets of wisdom here and there. Sure things are a bit confusing a first  but eventually everything unfolds and half the fun is getting there right?
        At this point, I feel I need to confess that this post is a knee jerk reaction to my mindless trawling of Goodreads reviews  over the last few days. There are just so many comments about how slow some books are or how readers disliked a book because they didn't know what was happening.
      So if there's one thing I've learned from my Goodreads stalking it's this: You cannot, I repeat, cannot please everyone. So stop trying. There is no magical formula when it comes to info dumping. As a writer, you just have to follow your own gut instincts and unless there's ten  pages where you describe a character and then go on to tell us who all their family members are and which planet they come from, than you should be fine. 
      This post is pretty insightful huh? I wish I could take my own advice. I'm off to trim some info dumping fat!
   

Monday, 24 October 2011

Misc Monday: I Am Officially Freaking Out


I think I've redefined the meaning of stretching yourself too thin this month. Or should I say for the coming month. To qualify here is a list of things I have going on for the next four weeks:

- NaNoWriMo
- Sister's hens night
- Sister's wedding (of which I am a bridesmaid/florist)
- November giveaway
- Must finish Aussie Author Challenge for above stated giveaway
- A million and one books to read/review

Yeah okay, so the list doesn't look that daunting when it's presented so neatly but I kid you not it's more than it seems. I realise that none of the stuff on the list is mandatory and I could just say no and take the pressure off myself but c'mon, let she who is without a toppling TBR pile cast the first book. Nobody? I didn't think so!

I thought my 5 days off work would help but the internet was down for 2 of those days (you didn't notice because I have perfected the skill of squint typing into an iPhone and I know where the 3G hotspots are in my street!). Also, I've been hit with another mysterious headache so looking at the computer screen has been a bit nauseating.

Anyway, enough of that. I promised I would give myself this post to freak out and then I'd just get on with it. Thanks for listening guys!

Telesa Giveaway Winners


Congrats to the ladies from Borough of Books  and Ninja Girl Reads who are the winners of my Telesa giveaway.

Thanks to everyone who participated and be sure to keep a lookout for my November giveaway!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

GoodReads Newbie


Hey All,

So I'm finally on goodreads thanks to the gentle persuasion of Beth from Sweet Books'n Stuff. Stalker that I am, I've gone on a bit of an adding spree and requested a bunch of you guys as friends. So please don't be freaked out if you get a random request.
     I have no idea what's going on so I added everyone using their email addresses if they've emailed me personally before. If anyone else feels like adding me my email is lc.novel@gmail.com and my username is just Lan I think...

Over and out.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Follow Friday (14) - Superhero Surprises

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkie and Alison. It's a really fun way to get to know other bloggers and pick up a few new followers on the way.


This week's question is: What superhero is your alter-ego? 

This week's question is a really difficult one for me because I am a massive superhero geek. There are so many that I like and probably none that would fit as an alter ego but because I have to make a choice I would say Poison Ivy because of the cool evil botanist thing or Storm from X-Men because I think her powers are the best.



In reality, if I were really a superhero, I would probably be mostly like Monk, the female version.  Twitchy and OCD but gets the job done.


So what did you guys pick this week?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

On Research or Lack Thereof

I'm in a bit of a conundrum this week. In the lead up to NaNoWriMo I've set my sights on fleshing out my outline and character summaries. Part of doing this means that I am heavily in research mode. And I hate it! I normally write fantasy or paranormal so I'm usually less strict with myself about the amount of research I do. I mean hey, if Meyer can make sparkly vampires, I think I'm pretty safe to take creative liberties sometimes. 
     Unfortunately, Seeders is going to be a YA dystopian and I want to make it as plausible as possible.  There are some environmental themes in this one and some concepts that I need to get right or I'll end up looking like a fool. Plus one of my pet hates are books that just don't make any rational sense. For example, it really bugs me when books have a family with all different hair colours. Say the parents are blond and yet the kid has dark colouring. Gosh that really annoys me.
      It's just that research is so beyond boring. I didn't like it at school, absolutely hated it when I was at university and now I find that it's even more boring when all I really want to do is start writing. It's at times like these where I really wish they would speed up cloning. Then I'd have a minion who could do the research for me. Plus all the household chores so I could spend all my time reading. Until that happens I guess I better just bite the bullet and get to it.
     Do you guys have similar research woes? How much research do you do before you start to write? I'd love to know that I'm not the only one going mad.

*Okay I must be prophetic or something because an hour after I published this post the book about cloning that I won from Beth at Sweet Books 'n Stuff arrived. I really need to read it for research. How's that for the universe listening!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Misc Monday: Apologies and Promises

When I first started blog stalking it always really amazed me how bloggers would always put where they received their review books from and it blew my mind that many of them were given review copies. The whole idea was totally foreign to me because at the time my books came from one of two places: the bookstore or the library. Now that I'm 5 months into the blogging thing, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I have so many books I want to read and usually get about 1 book review request a week. Which brings me to the apology bit of this post.
      I've accepted quite a few review books and haven't been able to get around to reading many of them. That thought really bugs me because I've always been able to prioritise my time well. So I apologise to all the great and patient authors out there who have taken a chance on me and my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you.
      What am I going to do about it you ask? Well from this moment on I promise that for every print book I read I will read one of my review books until I've caught up. Getting the e-reader will certainly help because a lot of my review books are e-books and I used to print them all out which was a bit of a paper guzzler.
       Anyway, this seems like a bit of a random pointless post. Thanks for reading guys.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Weekend Recap


This post is inspirited by a feature that Jessica at Thoughts At One in the Morning regularly does on a Thursday. I thought I might do one today since I've been fully MIA the whole weekend and partially MIA for a while now.
      It was my birthday last Tuesday and I've been a bit melancholy that I'm now leaning very much towards the adult side of things. YA is well and truly a thing of the past. But I'm not going to turn this blog into a whining tool so instead, I want to ask you guys if you can recommend any adult paranormal books I can start reading. I figure it's high time I ventured past the YA realm to see what else may be out there. I will try anything unless it's full on romance. I somehow got over those when I was 14.
     Any suggestions?

Reading news:
-Have finished reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and The Piper's Son  by Melina Marchetta.
- Currently reading Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep (Yes BJ I finally started this series!)

Writing news:
- Aside from frantically trying to get something ready for my next writing workshop (in 3 days), and semi outlining for NaNoWriMo, not much in the writing section. Oh yeah, a while back I asked you guys to help me out with some names for Seeders in THIS POST. Just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten and many of the suggestions you guys made will be used. Except for Jenny's  suggested name Ember, who has graduated to her own novel idea :)

Just stuff:
-I got an e-reader for my birthday AND a voucher to an online seminar on how to write, publish and market your own book so I am pretty excited.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Follow Friday (13) - When Two World Collide

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkie and Alison. It's a really fun way to get to know other bloggers and pick up a few new followers on the way.


This week's question is: If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form and epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?

Hmmm this week I think I might like the characters from Vampire Academy (mostly the Moroi) meet the characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I reckon there would be more than a little disagreement about if it's okay for the Moroi to have human feeders. That battle would be epic for sure!



* Don't forget to enter my TELESA giveaway. Entries close 23 October 2011. Click HERE to enter.


**Am going to be offline this weekend trying to get a lot of novel outlining/work junk done but will def be back Sunday to follow anyone who follows me so please be patient with me :)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

NaNoWriMo Recruiting & Halloween Jealousy


Hey All,

It's October which for most of you guys means that Halloween is a great holiday to look forward to. If all the stuff on American TV and movies is anything to go by, then I am green with envy. How do we celebrate Halloween in Australia? Well I answer this question and more in my guest post at Sweet Books'n Stuff. Go over and check it out!

In other news, I've been hearing all about NaNoWriMo on heaps of blog for a while now but haven't had cause to really get into it. At first, the idea of writing 50,000 in a month seemed like madness to me so I didn't bother looking into it any further.
      Then Beth over at  Sweet Book'n Stuff mentioned it whilst we were discussing becoming critique partners (have I mentioned lately how much I love book bloggers?) and the more she said the more interested I became. Now that I've decided to speed write Seeder's Poison for a comp in May 2012, speed writing is looking more and more appealing.
       So last night in a fit of uncharacteristic ambition, I signed up! There is so much information on the webpage and I haven't go the slightest clue how to use any of the features but somehow getting that small bit done has renewed my spirit and now I just can't wait to start.
       What's the point of this post you ask? Well, I figure that NaNoWriMo is more than about just writing a lot of words in a short period of time. It's also about community and connecting with other writers. So really, I'm here today to see if anyone else is interested in joining me on my writing quest! I've already almost roped in Ashley from Bookaholics Anonymous. I figure the more people I know who are doing it, the less chance I will just give up halfway because my fingers are about to drop off.
      So, if anyone is interested, my profile name is Write_Obsession. Add me if you like and I will try to add you. I have no idea how to do this as yet but I will figure it out!

Lan

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Review & Giveaway: Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young


The Story:
Nestled in the heart of the Pacific is Samoa - a lush tropical paradise. We walk to a different drum beat. Here, ancient mythology tells of Telesa. Demon women who are guardians of earth and gifted with the elemental powers of Air, Water and Fire.Telesa are vengeful and cruel.Tales to frighten children.Or are they more than that? From Washington D.C, comes Leila, in search of family,a place to belong. Instead she finds her destiny and it threatens to tear her apart. There is the bewitching call of a Telesa sisterhood and there is Daniel. Will Leila embrace her birthright or will she choose the one who offers her his love with a crooked smile and dancing green eyes? Will Daniel be the element that gentles the fire of the Telesa? Or must love burn at the altar of the telesa covenant? There are many different kinds of love. All of them require sacrifice. Who will give everything for the one they love?

My Thoughts:
There were so many things running through my head before and after reading Telesa. Lani and I had a discussion about reading books your friends have written and how you would react if you didn't enjoy it. I have to admit, I lost a little sleep worrying about this. Luckily for me, Lani is extremely talented and I needn't have stressed. Telesa is one of those books that you pick up because of the great mythology and stays with you because of the loveable characters. To top everything off, Lani is just one of the funniest, most insightful bloggers I have met and you'd be barmy if you didn't check out her blog Sleepless in Samoa.

Things I liked:
-How freaking awesome is the cover? Whoever designed it is a genius.

- Leila is my kinda heroine and someone I can identify with immensely. She's that tough chick who will stand up for what she believes in but is also respectful of her elders and doesn't want to hurt people to get what she wants. Leila is frightened and alone but she doesn't let that turn her into a mopey sad sack. Instead, she takes her future into her own hands and flies across the world to find her destiny. That's pretty ballsy in my books.

- Jason. He deserved a post of his own. Read about why I loved him so much HERE.

- Daniel. How can you not fall in love with a guy who says this: “I love you. And I can’t be without you any more. I want to be everything to you. But if I can’t, then I’ll be what you want me to be. Your friend. Your debate sparring partner.” A crooked smile as he paused before proceeding. “Your designated driver. The guy who picks you up the next time you pass out in the hallway. Heck, I’ll even settle for being the guy who gets his eyebrows singed – just so I can give you my shirt when you burn all your clothes off.”

- Simone. He is a Fa'afafine with a wicked sense of humor and I warmed to him the second he appeared. I almost jumped up and down when I read about him because I learned about Fa'afafine at University and it's the first story I've read that highlights this interesting culture.

- Those of you who know me well will know that food is one of my main loves. And man can Lani describe delicacies to make your mouth water. At one point I was like huh? is Jason in this scene with his top off? I just want to eat this food!!!!!

- Those Telesa ladies are some badass mofos. Part of me really disliked them but another evil part wanted to see them unleash hell. If you're looking for a read where the badies are bad but their motives are in that grey area, this is the book for you.

- I can't help but be drawn to the underlying environmental theme in this book. I'm not sure if Lani meant for this to happen or if it just came out because of the Telesa mythology but as bit of a greenie I really enjoyed the lesson.

Things I wasn't so keen on:
- For a very short time I thought Lani had gone the route of Cassandra Clare and made Leila and Daniel long lost siblings....I don't want to give too much away but I kinda wished a certain aspect of the mythology had come to light earlier. Although I know it will be explored in the next book of the series.


Rating:
9/10

AND NOW THE GIVEAWAY!!!!

Lani has been kind enough to offer two copies of  TELESA to two lucky readers. You can choose from the print version or the e-book version. To enter, please fill in the form below. The giveaway is international and will run from today until 23 October 2011. The winners will be drawn using Random.org. Good luck everyone!!

*I'm pretty new to Google forms so if this form stuffs up I apologise in advance :(

Friday, 7 October 2011

Follow Friday (12): Book Body Snatcher!

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkie and Alison. It's a really fun way to get to know other bloggers and pick up a few new followers on the way.


This week's question is: If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

At the moment, I am trying to think of a character I want to be, but I keep coming up with reasons why their lives are pretty messed up. This is what happens when your favourite books are paranormal/dystopian YA. I think I might have to go the opposite way and say Laura Ingalls Wilder because I'd love to see what life would be like in pioneer times :)

What did you guys pick this week? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #1: The Sending


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting. This is my first WoW and I prob won't be doing it every week but I have been anticipating the following book for so long I just had to jump on this bandwagon.



The Sending by Isobelle Carmody
Anticipated release date 31 October 2011

Summary from Penguin Books Australia:

The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal.  But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key.  And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated.

Elspeth's search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined.  It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever.

And it will test her, as she has never been tested before . . .


I've been reading this series since I was 12 and this book has been a long time coming. I've only ever found one  other blogger who has read this series so I'm hoping to connect with more! The cover summary tells me Elspeth and Matthew may be reunited and I'm super excited about that.

What books are you guys waiting on?

Monday, 3 October 2011

Misc Monday: Updates & Stuff


This is a mixed bag of a post. Where all of the little updates and things that don't really fit into any of my other posts go to be seen.

First off, I am doing my first guest post over at Dark Side of the Covers. Be sure to pop over and check it out. I blog about a topic that's very close to my fingers: Blog Addiction!

In reading news, the TBR is getting way out of hand. I have at least 20 books on loan from the library at one time and I end up reading maybe 2 a month and then having to constantly renew or return books. Somehow this doesn't stop me from putting new books on hold though.

In writer news, I am searching for a critique partner to motivate me to write my next novel which I am planning to finish by May next year in order to enter it into a writing competition. I have a few options about where to post my request but I'm a bit skittish because, and I feel like a bit of a sap for admitting this, I am worried about idea theft. I wasn't at first and then a few people I know suggested it to me and now my OCD has turned it into something bigger. Do you guys ever freak out about people stealing your ideas too or am I the only paranoid one?

In reviewing news, I've decided to keep my reviews short and in a list format for now so they don't take so much time to write. That way I don't feel like writing a review is a chore and won't have so many backed up like I have been doing lately.

Finally, a lot of my blogger friends are going through rough/busy times at the moment so I just wanted to say hang in there guys. Hope things get bright soon.

Anyway, it's the start of another week everybody! Only 4 more days until the weekend :)

Over and out.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Story
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch...Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her. - From Goodreads


My Thoughts:
The Good:
-The whole concept of the organites was pretty creative, although I'm not sure how I feel about Griffin's parents journeying to the center of the earth and finding them;
- Finley's dual personalities had a lot of potential. I really wanted to see some of her bad side make it through the merging process though. I guess all my anti-hero musing has bled over into my reading :)
- Jack Dandy was a pretty fun character.
- I liked that Finley and Sam didn't get along. So often in YA books, the MC is mostly universally loved and I felt this aspect added an element of conflict even if Sam is as bright as a brick wall.
- The different POV's were a good way of getting insight into the motivations of each of the characters.

The Bad:
- Character descriptions in this book really bugged me. Yes, I get it, Emily is a redhead and her hair is ropey (whatever that means) and Sam is big.
- Two sets of love triangles. No. Just no.
- Griffin bored me to tears. I really thought he would be more charming but he just came across as very self righteous and seriously, if my gargantuan best friend backhanded me and then tried to kill the girl I was in love with, he wouldn't be walking away with just a slap in the wrist.

*Side note: If I weren't so lazy I would have written my own plot summary because the goodreads one is a bit misleading. I mean Emily's unrequited love for Sam??? Where did they get that from?

Anyway, on the whole, I didn't mind this book. It wasn't one I fell head over heels for but still a fun read and I think I good lead in book for my steampunk foray.

The Rating:
7/10


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