Showing posts with label miss peregrines home for peculiar children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miss peregrines home for peculiar children. Show all posts

Friday, December 9, 2016

7 Popular books I really DIDN'T expect to like...but I loved them

I'm one of those weird people who shy away from popular books JUST because they're popular. I feel like they always end up disappointing me so I don't even try. 

Usually. Here are some popular gems I loved!

On the one hand, this was really a disappointment because I was expecting horror and got a heartwarming story about freaky kids. But it's good. It's really super interesting and weird. I love weird.

#6: ANGELFALL - Susan Ee
I haven't read many books involving angels before (I will know, HELLO new favorite monster), and I'm very iffy about post-apocalyptic novels. I loved this. I loved Raffe, the love interest, and I found the world insanely fascinating.

#5: OBSIDIAN - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Idk what I thought when I read this. I DON'T like paranormal romance much. I read all five books in the series in like a month. It's just so good.

#4: THE 5th WAVE - Rick Yancey
I honestly had no clue that this was about aliens when I picked it up. I was expecting some weird war book set in the 40s. (IDK DON'T ASK ME WHY)

#3: READY PLAYER ONE - Ernest Cline
I know, I talk about how much I love this all the time. But it's just so good. I don't like video games and don't like virtual reality books much, and don't know anything about 80s culture. Why was this so genius?!

I had no idea what this is about when I picked it up. Now it's one of my favorite books. Well-done time travel is my kryptonite. And I'm lowkey totally in love with the love interest.

#1: ALIENATED - Melissa Landers
The surprise of the year. I've always loved aliens and paranormal romance, but read a couple not so nice alien YA books this year. I've almost lost my faith in this premise, but ended up loving this one about an alien exchange student to pieces.

What are some popular books you didn't expect to like?

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

[Review] Cursed - Jennifer L. Armentrout: Deadly Touch and Familiar Vibes

In CURSED, Ember McWilliams was resurrected by her younger sister Olivia after she died in a car accident. But Ember came back with a supernatural power herself: everything she touches dies.

What intrigued me: I had Armentrout withdrawal.

Copycat storyline?

Armentrout wrote an intriguing novel with an amazing character voice here. What I enjoy most about Armentrout's novels are always the spot on teenage voices with super sassy, sarcastic heroines. Ember is a very strong character and I really enjoyed reading the book from her perspective.

Sadly, CURSED is too reminiscent of a lot of books I know to stand on it's own. The setting in the manor with the evil father reminds me of WITHER, the concept of the deathly touch of SHATTER ME, the gifted children of MISS PEREGERINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, and Adam, the quirky childhood friend is an absolute YA stock character. It seems like there isn't an ounce of originality in this. 

Forced chemistry

A huge chunk of the novel takes place at the Cromwell residence, and from there it just goes downhill for me. The novel severely lacks in world building and is simply just not well-thought out. Protagonist Ember gets kidnapped a third into the novel by people with similar gifts. Hayden, who lives in said house is also gifted, immediately expresses an interest in her after stalking her for months, and their "tension" is very forced, disturbingly sexual from the start, and just overall awkward.

CURSED wasted a lot of potential, relying to hard on the romance and not backing the story up enough. I could have loved this if there was more behind those abilities, less lusting, and more brains. It's hardly believable how easily Ember let's the Cromwells get away with taking her and her family, especially because she's literally a girl with a deadly touch and could kill anyone she wanted.

I wanted Ember to be a strong, kick-ass protagonist given her extraordinary ability. CURSED disappoints me, because yet again a strong heroine forgets how dangerous and perfectly capable of fighting for her rights she is, simply because there's a pretty boy in sight. Sigh.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I realize that the rating is probably a little to low for this excellent character voice, however there is just too much material that I've seen in other novels before. The tropes that Armentrout borrows aren't even executed extraordinarily, it just reads like an average novel with little to no planning or world building. CURSED absolutely disappoints by being too similar to novels who have simply done it better before. 

Additional Info

Published: September 18th 2012
Pages: 304
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA / Urban  Fantasy
ISBN: 9780983157274

"Dying sucks
...and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. 

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read books by Jennifer L. Armentrout?

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Monday, June 20, 2016

[Review] Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (#1) - Ransom Riggs: Creepy Photographs and Creepy Kids

In MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, Jacob, who grew up with his late grandfather's stories about an orphanage full of supernaturally gifted WWII refugees, is following his footsteps and trying to investigate whether any of the stories are true.

What intrigued me: I love scary things and creepy photographs.

This novel lives from its illustrations

The initial idea comes from actual creepy photographs taken in the past. Riggs constructed the narrative using them as a base and the result is phenomenal. It's super interesting to read about these special children and explore their world. However, I was under the impression that this would be just as scary as the pictures look.

Essentially, this is X-men for elementary school children. I never came under the impression that I'm reading YA, mainly because the characters all appear to be a lot younger than they actually are. There's a lot of antiquated language going on and if that kind of thing bothers you, you may not enjoy this novel. Sometimes I almost felt like the characters, especially the adults, speak as if they were talking to little kids. Generally I would even go as far as to say this is a Middle Grade read. I was hoping for more scary scenes, more things that make my skin crawl. However the novel absolutely works as it is and is quite interesting, despite not being what I expected it to be.

So much introduction

The novel takes an absolutely ridiculous time to take off. By the time Jacob gets to the orphanage, you're already halfway through. There is so much introduction that could've just as well been omitted and I felt absolutely cheated of my time by even bothering with the first 100 pages. All the reasons why Jacob comes to the orphanage in the first place and how his grandfather connects to it could have just been revealed later on instead of going through pages and pages of therapy sessions, nightmares, and teenage angst.

But when the novel introduces the peculiar children, I was immersed. I didn't want to put this down. I was glued to the pages, sucking up every bit of information and really, really wanting to find out how it all gets resolved. It gets better along the way and feels like Riggs mastered the character voices as the novel progresses. 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

If you're looking for horror, this isn't it. It's more of a heart-warming story about a bunch of creepy little kids, and it's definitely worth the read. If you don't mind Middle Grade. This doesn't read like regular YA. The pacing issues threw me off a little, but I recommend that you give it a try and push through!

Additional Info

Published: 7th June 2011
Pages: 352
Publisher: Quirk
Genre: YA / Horror

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read any scary books lately?

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