Book Review–Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

brvws14

 

 

This is the 52nd book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
Published November 13th 2012 by Penguin

 

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

 

——

 

After listening to the first two books on audiobook to refresh my memory (I haven’t read them since they first came out), I was excited to find out how the series would end. I liked Matched pretty well and while I liked Crossed, it was also a really slow book.

Overall I liked Reached fairly well. Not as well as the first book but better than the second. Things went in a completely different direction than I was expecting. While the beginning drags some, when things began moving, the plot got way more exciting.

I think what I like most about these books is how the characters feel about choices, freedom, and art (visual, written word, songs, etc). The three POVs were interesting though at times I felt one would have sufficed. Though I guess it was nice to see more into different areas that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.

The love triangle has gotten old, though. Actually, it got old in the last book, too. While I don’t really feel too strongly one way or another at this point, I was just ready for it to finally end. I figured Cassia would end up with the person she did at the end. At least unlike other series, the guy left behind also found someone to love though the relationship didn’t have as much development as I would have liked.

I liked how the first and second books were tied into this one and how things didn’t end up perfect at the end. It was realistic. Though I have to admit that I was pretty sad about Indie’s fate. She’s one character I found very interesting.

I’d probably give this one a 3.5, putting it between my rating of book one and two. Overall I enjoy the series and would probably re-read it again in the future.

 

 

3halfstars

 

 

 

jncname

Advertisements

Book Review–Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

brvws14

 

 

This is the 51st book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

16179216
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
Published March 1st, 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books

 

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.(

 

——

 

Dear Killer sounded like a book that I would like. I’m very much into the horror genre and have always been intrigued with reading from the murderer’s POV. I figured this would be similar to the Dexter series. While it was somewhat similar, this book was also very different.

Kit is an interesting character, but hard to connect to. Half the time I didn’t quite understand what was going on with her or got annoyed with too much telling, not enough showing. I do like that her character develops over the course of the novel, especially with her conflicting thoughts concerning what she does.

The only other characters I liked were Alex and Maggie. Kit’s mother is even more of a mystery than Kit herself. I think things with Micheal could have been interesting if his storyline had went in another direction.

I liked the letter aspects of this, though I found the method in which Kit collects them to be somewhat unrealistic. It would have been interesting to know how it had all started.

The story itself was slow moving and didn’t interest me nearly as much as I thought it would. The climax was pretty good, but the rest of the book was lukewarm.

Overall, this book had potential but just didn’t meet it. It’s okay, but I wouldn’t pick it up again nor would I recommend it. Disappointing!

 

 

2halfstars

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Blonde Ambition (A-List #3) by Zoey Dean

brvws14

 

 

This is the 50th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Blonde Ambition (A-List #3) by Zoey Dean
Published June 18th, 2004 by Poppy

 

While Anna’s new job as intern on the hottest television show brings her into contact with an interesting new man and helps her see how possessive Ben has become, Cammie sets her sights on Adam.

 

——

 

I liked the first two better. Maybe I’ve outgrown these types of stories, where most of the characters are rich, petty, and full of drama. The only characters I could care about were Adam and Sam. I liked Anna in the first two books, but in this one she just seemed to be all over the place. I didn’t care for the plot, either. I do like the Cammie/Adam relationship but don’t have too much faith in it. Still, I’d like to see how these books end and if they get any better from here on out. This one was really just “okay.”

 

 

2stars

 

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–My Girl by Patricia Hermes

brvws14

 

 

This is the 49th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

My Girl by Patricia Hermes
Published December 1st 1991 by Scholastic Hippo

 

When your Dad’s an undertaker,
your Mom’s in heaven,
and your Grandma’s got a screw loose…
it’s good to have a friend who understands you.
Even if he is a boy.

Thomas J. is Vada’s best friend. They live near enough to each other to bike ride over and play, or even just hang out. The two are always together, sharing their afternoons, their adventures in the lake, and all of their secrets. Then something terrible happens to Thomas J. and Vada has to learn to fill her days without her best friend around.

 

 

——

 

Basically the book version of the movie. There might be a few scenes that are new or altered since the book is from Vada’s point-of-view. The author did a good job telling the story through the eyes of an eleven-year-old. I probably would have liked this better if I were younger. I believe the movie is better, but still kind of neat to see a written version.

 

 

 

 

2halfstars

 

 

jncname

Book Review–Dexter by Design (Dexter #4) by Jeff Lindsay

brvws14

 

 

This is the 48th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

Picture Source: Goodreads.com
Picture Source: Goodreads.com

Dexter by Design (Dexter #4) by Jeff Lindsay
Published January 1st 2008 by Doubleday

 

The macabre, witty New York Times bestselling series (and inspiration for the #1 Showtime series, Dexter) continues as our darkly lovable killer matches wits with a sadistic artiste–who is creating bizarre murder tableaux of his own all over Miami.
After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard–and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice…and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight.

The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.

 

——

The plot and themes in this one are probably my favorite out of the series so far. I like that this one focused more on Dexter’s complicated relationship with his sister and his conflicting emotions concerning “Harry’s Code.” The mentor aspect toward Rita’s kids is also interesting.

The last book wasn’t all that appealing to me. This one kept my attention for the most part, though it tended to drag toward the end. And maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like the writing wasn’t as good as in the first two books. I also kept stumbling upon typos.

Now that I have finished the TV series, I am intrigued on how the book series will end.

Not my favorite out of the series due to the writing and the slow ending, but probably my second.

 

 

3stars

 

 

 

jncname

Book Review–The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson

brvws14

This is the 47th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

Picture source: Goodreads.com
Picture source: Goodreads.com

The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson
Published February 11th 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.

When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?

J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.

——

I picked up this book from the new section at my local library as I’m always on the lookout for books that are about characters from cultures that I know little about. This book helped me expand my mind more concerning people like Laila and her family–people who are stuck in a bad situation due to actions caused by their families.

In a way, this book kind of reminds me of The Book Thief, except instead of seeing the POV of citizens who do not agree with what those in power are doing, we see the POV of a daughter struggling to come to terms with what her father has done, how others view them, and how it affects her relationship with him.

I felt the author did a good job describing Lalia’s transition to living in America. I enjoyed reading her experiences with American culture, and also learning more about her own and how Americans may react to it. I also liked her relationship with her family, friends (especially Emmy), Ian, and Amir.

The book was a little hard to get into sometimes. I understand that Lalia is supposed to be a very guarded, cautious character, but sometimes it felt like a wall was being placed between me and her. Maybe that was the idea, but when I cannot connect well with a character, I find myself not caring quite as much about what is happening to them than I would if I cared more about them. While I felt bad for Laila and her family, it felt like I was feeling bad for them from a distance.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It’s probably not something I would read again in the future, but at the same time I am glad that I gave it a chance.

3stars

jncname

Book Review–I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

brvws14

 

 

This is the 46th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.

 

bethcooper I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
Published January 1st, 2007 by Harper

 

Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced: “I love you Beth Cooper.” It could have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is.  And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And Kevin, Beth’s remarkably large boyfriend, is in town on furlough from the United States Army. Complications Ensue.

 

 

——

 

I really wanted to like this one, I did. I’m a big fan of “underdog” type stories. However, this was just bad. I figured it would be bad once I started reading. The writing style immediately turned me off. I think the author was trying to be funny in an absurd kind of way, but all the writing did for me was give me a headache. The writing tried too hard, in other words. There were a few lines that did make me chuckle, but not enough to change my mind about the overall book.

The characters are not really likable at all. Not even Denis Cooverman, our underdog. It was hard to feel sorry for him, relate to him, even like him. This from a girl who was nowhere near popular in high school. The “gay” best friend, Rich, was somewhat better, but his movie cast trivia got annoying after the first few times. Beth Cooper isn’t likable at all. I know sometimes the worst people can be considered popular and desirable, but I couldn’t see what the big deal was. Same for her friends. And we won’t even go into the lame army-type dudes who seem to need some mental help.

The plot itself wasn’t bad, but since I was stuck with the before mentioned characters, it was not very enjoyable. The book began to drag on and I found myself only being able to read a few pages a day (sad when I typically finish a book within two to three days). There was a moment near the middle where I thought this might actually get better. But then it started getting bad for me again and that hope was squashed.

I’m not sure there is anything redemptive about this book for me. It wasn’t all that funny. I didn’t really like it at all. I only stuck through with it because I want to compare it to the movie. Hopefully the movie is at least somewhat better. Definitely not for me.

 

 

 

halfstar(2)

 

 

 

 

jncname