ARC Review: Through Glass-Rebecca Ethington + Release Day Blitz Post

4/5 Stars

Through Glass (The Glass, #1)-Rebecca Ethington

ThroughGlass COVER REVEAL

I had chosen to cover my walls with memories. Cohen had chosen to cover his walls with his future. The future he had hoped for. In every single one of his dreams, he and I were center stage.

Paintings, sketches, crudely drawn finger paintings; one after another covered his walls. They bled into each other as they faded and swirled; one wish, one future, one into another. I looked at each one as my vision threatened to cloud over and the emotion touched my eyes, tears threatening to break free.

I saw the two of us holding hands on a pier, a broken down carnival surrounding us. The two of us lying together in a bed as we laughed. His lips against mine as we sat beneath a blackened sky with a dozen twinkling lights above our heads. My body, on the wall where he had pushed his bed up against, my eyes looking into the air in front of him, staring into the exact spot where he had lain.

***

I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t care.

Except I did.

I cared about her. She was all I could think about. So much had been taken away from me, however as the light burned into me, the brightness scarring my brain, she was still there.

Her smile, the fiery red color of her hair, the way she tasted when I kissed her. The way my fingers moved when I painted her. 

Alexis.

Plot: Alexis thought all of her dreams were finally coming true, at 17 she received her acceptance to her first choice university, had a wonderful home life, good friends, and would have the next four years to try to kindle romance with her childhood best friend and crush Cohen. On the day everything changed, Alexis finally mustered the courage to cross the friend zone, taking a risk, and kissing Cohen. When he kissed her back it felt like everything was perfect and was suddenly coming together just the way she wanted it. Exhilarated, breathless, and dizzy with the aftereffects of that life-changing kiss, Alexis hurries up to her room to get changed for their first date, looking across the way through her window into Cohen’s bedroom. He’s there, longingly smiling at her through the glass when his lazy, happy grin turned into outright horror. Alexis tried to see what terrified Cohen but it was out of her line of sight. One by one the lights were cut, leaving the world in complete darkness, the sun dimmed, seeming to disappear behind a black cloud of ash. Swirling bits of darkness fell from the sky like black rain, a rain that fascinated and seemed to call her neighbors from their homes out into the street, eager to touch the magical black specks. Alexis was just about to open her window and give into the temptation when Cohen’s grandfather touched the black mass and a creature formed out of the droplets. A horrifying black beast with razor-sharp golden talons, jagged feathers, a hulking, muscular body that leaked and seeped darkness simultaneously creating it and one with it. The creature lifted its talons and slashed, cutting grandpa Cohen until all that was left after the attack was a white pile of ash. Confused and scared out of her mind, Alexis doesn’t know where to turn and her hopes sink when she realizes that the window between her and Cohen was the closest they’d be able to get. Alexis fears for her family, cries for the loss of life as she knows it, and is quickly struck my an acute pain in her head that shoots white light behind her eyes. It’s a broadcast from the creatures. They call themselves the Ulama and they have a set of rules that must be followed should the humans want to survive. They must stay in the house, be absolutely silent, and eat the food given to them. The Ulama arrive in packs after the message, destroying each house so that all food, all sources of light, of memory are destroyed, ripped to shreds. Alexis and Cohen learn to live this way, hunkering to be together yet forced apart by the space between their two windows and the strange, deadly creatures. Through Glass is about survival against all odds, about terrible choices, hopes, dreams, and becoming more that you thought was possible in the face of oppression.

PROS:

  • Watching an artist work has never been so sexy. Cohen is gorgeous, sensual, charming, funny, and so deliciously tempting. The scenes between him and Alexis are rife with steamy sexual chemistry that ignites right off the page. The build up of their relationship though short is unbelievably powerful and perfectly paced. These two are meant for each other, like two pieces of a beautifully puzzle they fit so well that you will be overwhelmed with feels. Embrace it, love it, it’s fantastic.
  • The suspense is brilliantly written, every single moment is fueled by mounting tension that will wind you up and have you bracing yourself for impact. The clicks on the stairs, the slow, sinister approach of the Ulama is so terrifying and full of anticipation that will have you flipping like mad through the pages just to see what happens.
  • Alexis is a bold, strong, determined, heroine. She takes charge and though she is afraid, she is willing to fight to the death for survival. She’s crafty, savvy, and able to survive the ruthless hunting of the Ulama, braving the darkness, fighting against their mental manipulation to save herself and the man she loves. Plus, her fashion sense is ridiculously awesome. I had the strongest urge to draw her. Camo, leather, a superhero shirt, and steel-toed boots, she’s a complete bad ass.
  • The utter loneliness, and yearning for human touch, how Cohen and Alexis stare at each other through the window, communicating through silence with sign language, unable to touch, to kiss, to hold one another is heartbreaking. The emotion is poignant, and creates a genuinely heart-felt connection with the characters.
  • Action-packed, filled with just enough mystery to keep you on your toes, and guessing throughout the story.
  • The Ulama are complex, gruesomely described, dangerous creatures straight out of your worst nightmares.

CONS:

  • Some of the descriptions and word choices are a little repetitive.  There was an overuse of the word “the” as a sentence starter. Stylistically there should have been more variety in sentence structure.
  • The explaination for the creation of the Ulama, their release, and the subsequent events that led to the black out was too short and should have been expanded on in-depth. A couple of sentenes wasn’t enough and was more confusing than anything.

If you liked any of the following you’d probably enjoy this:

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Here is some more information:

Title: Through Glass
Author: Rebecca Ethington
Release Date: September 20, 2013
Genre: NA Dystopian with Sci-Fi and Romance
Everyone remembered the day the sky went black. The day the sun was wiped from the sky. They remember the wind as it brought in the darkness; the way the earth shook and everything changed.Everyone remembered the screams as the darkness ate those who were out in the open, those who had surrounded themselves by light, and those who made noise.Everyone remembered the voice from the sky and the way food disappeared.At least, that’s what I hoped. I hoped that there was an ‘everyone’ that would remember because I am not sure how many are left, how many survived. Or if anyone did.I hoped that I wasn’t alone.

I remembered that day.

I remembered because it was the day I became alone.

It was the day that everything was perfect until the monsters took it away. Then the house went silent and the birds stopped singing. It was the day when everyone disappeared, everyone except the boy, the only person I have seen in two years.
The boy I talk to through the glass.

About Rebecca Ethington
Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

Pleasant reading,

-BB

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Mid-Week Update and News

So guys it’s been a week and trust me it’s been a busy one. It’s unfortunate that my weekly school reading is so time-consuming but learning about Balkan politics and totalitarian regimes is sort of useful, right? I know I’m a day late on the mid-week update but I have some news and exciting things to share with you. As you know I’m very behind on reviews, I promise I will catch up on some this weekend. So, if you were looking for the reviews on Insignia or Kiss of Fire don’t worry they’re coming!

As I’m sure you have noticed I’ve been on an ARC trend lately and I love, love, love it. I hope you can tell that I really enjoy reviewing books and sharing my thoughts with you. I know that sometimes I can be tough but I really feel like honesty and integrity are the best policies.

Tomorrow Rebecca Ethington’s new book Through Glass will be available for purchase and I am participating in the release day blitz. I’m currently working on the review and it will definitely be posted tomorrow. I am so grateful when I receive ARC’s and to explore and experience these new books before they’re released. It’s really cool and a great way to promote something you enjoyed.

About Through Glass:

If you like dystopian and creepy science fictiony creatures this is definitely for you. It’s a love story, an exploration of dealing with loss, finding strength to carry on, and to muster the courage within yourself to fight oppression and be your own savior. It’s wonderful. For the review check back tomorrow!!!

Upcoming reviews:

ThroughGlass COVER REVEAL

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Great book related news stories this week:

If you have any suggestions or review requests don’t hesitate to email me!

Happy reading,

-BB

ARC Review: When Stars Die-Amber Skye Forbes

5/5 Stars

When Stars Die (The Stars Trilogy, #1)-Amber Skye Forbes

*** This ARC was given to me as a gift for an honest review.

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He’d be mine. No one else’s. He’d be my sin, and for this one moment, I could forget all my feelings and pretend that I’m not doubting Oliver, Colette, or anyone else in the world.

***

“Being able to power through one’s own weakness is a sign that one had the strength to endure this type of life. You weren’t ready, Amelia. You weren’t ready to accept that weakness is an inevitable part of life, and that true strength lies in not giving in to that weakness, but accepting that weakness as a part of yourself and using it to find strength.”

Where do I even begin? This book is fantastic, easily one of the best books I’ve read so far this year, and for those of you who haven’t checked out my Goodreads tally that’s close to 170 books. Let me start off by saying that going in, I had no idea what to expect, you think becoming a nun? Hmm? Perhaps not the traditional route for paranormal YA but honestly, this is such a creative, beautifully crafted concept that juxtaposes the traditional ideas of sin, fate, temptation, and damnation with redemption, choice, abstinence, and salvation, it’s got something for everyone.

If you are a fan of Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns series, Amy Plum’s Revenants series, Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth series or even Cheri Lasota’s Artemis Rising add this to your TBR pile NOW! You won’t be disappointed.

Plot: Amelia Gareth wants nothing more than to save her brother Nathaniel from eternal damnation in the fiery pits of hell. Nathaniel is a witch. This alone is enough to condemn him. Born of a Seven Deadly Sin, witches are not only a product of sin but their families are destined to be destroyed by it. In a heroic, desperate effort to escape this fate, Amelia and Nathaniel flee to Cathedral Reims where she hopes to become a professed nun. This is no small sacrifice. The steps to become a nun are a grueling system of devotion to Deus and blind supplication. Girls go through years of training before reaching the trial stage. These trials are a tortuous test of endurance, mixing flagellation, blood-letting, isolation, and fear. Many do not pass with approval from the head nun but Amelia is determined to prevail despite the pain.

Everything is going according to plan, and with the trials looming, the end is finally in sight after 3 hard years. That is, until Amelia starts seeing things. Shadowmen; dark, sinister , blistering cold beings roam the halls of Cathedral Reims searching like madmen for those who can see them. Amelia thinks that she’s going crazy, her hallucinations spiraling out of control like one of the girls who couldn’t handle the pressure of sisterhood and committed suicide. As the Shadowmen draw ever closer, Amelia can no longer doubt their existence. After a horrible accident involving her best friend, who has terrible burns that no one but Amelia can see, she is faced with two life-altering realities: first, that she, like her brother, is a witch and second, that the Shadowmen are very real and have their sights set on witches within the Cathedral.

Amelia, more confused than ever, and in serious danger, doesn’t know where to turn, whether she should continue down her path to professing as a nun-even though she’s a witch and there’s no chance at heavenly paradise-or to flee from the Shadowmen that threaten to take not only her life but to destroy those she loves.

PROS:

  • Every character is multidimensional, well-developed and has qualities that question how we define good and evil and whether or not it’s possible to be redeemed. There are no strictly evil characters, each “bad” guy down to the fleeting characters has a background story that will melt the ice in your heart despite their past transgressions. They’re remarkably real, complex, and full of heartbreak and yearning that creates a raw, beautifully transcending reading experience.
  • The relationship between God, church, redemption for sinners, what happens after death and the judgements faced are all explored in a way that will leave you bursting with questions and reassessing how you think about faith. The themes are thought-provoking and profound on many levels.
  • Amelia is beautifully passionate about her faith, determined, headstrong, and has an astounding amount of perseverance. She’s stubborn sometimes to a fault but her strength of conviction is admirable. Although she claims she’s selfish, she is one of the most sacrificial, giving people in the book. Her love for her brother, her  devotion to her friends is put above her own welfare and she gives up her life as the wealthy daughter of a prominent accountant, forfeiting her future of marriage and children to save her brother’s soul. Occasionally, Amelia is foolish in her assumptions and trusts her heart over her head but this is hardly her downfall, and often it awakens her to a greater understanding of herself.
  • The Shadowmen are creepy in a semi-Dementor way. They skulk in the hallways, radiating cold, pain, and darkness. They watch, wait, and listen ever searching. They’re like vicious hunters on the prowl for blood, which they often find. They kill in truly horrific ways. They are sociopathic murders with a single-minded determination and fealty to their ruler. The whole system of their strengths and weaknesses manifested in supernatural power and compelled goals is fascinating and complex.
  • Love is an aspect of this story but not the feature. Amelia’s heart is full of love and respect for so many people but when she falls she falls hard. Completely, utterly consumed by her heart and how she feels to the point of blindness and denial. This is both a positive and negative aspect of her character. Her love is given fully and as a gift. How quickly she falls, and how soon she becomes okay with temptation is a little questionable when her entire life since joining the Cathedral Reims was to reject this temptation and it is fighting against sin that drove her from her home.

CONS:

  • Because Amelia is 18, some of the situations are a little more mature than what is generally in YA fiction. There are a few steamy sexual situations, and two rape scenes.

If you liked any of the following, you’d love this:

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18144259Happy reading all,

-BB

My Top 5 Book Series That Inspire Writer’s Envy

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Writer’s envy. We know it, we hate it, we love it, sometimes we want to punch it in the face or scream out of jealousy. Writer’s envy is the proverbial angel and demon on your shoulders warring for attention, telling you you’ll never be that awesome or maybe, even, that one day, you will reach that level of creative genius.

Writer’s Envy 101

What is writer’s envy?

Well my dear grasshopper, writer’s envy is that little thing that happens when you, as a writer, read a book that simultaneously breaks your heart and fills you with such bliss that you seem to transcend your existence and start a whole new life in that imaginary universe. It’s that special moment when a book is so powerful that the world seems to stop and no matter how much you know you should move on and get on with your life, YOU DON’T WANT TO. It’s that little bit of ecstasy that floods your veins with warmth, douses your body in ice, and sets your soul on fire. Okay, enough with the theatrics, although I wholeheartedly mean every word I wrote, the truth is, writer’s envy is that green monster that latches on your back and whispers in your ear words that tear out your heart and cause you to angrily rip apart your manuscript and make you feel a tad bit errr…a whole lot like a writing failure. You want so badly to live up to this talent that you’ve fallen in love with that you start to hate it and yourself a teensy bit even if you won’t admit it.

That sounds horrible. Is it all bad?

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When people think of writer’s envy it seems like a bad thing, something that messes with your head and causes you to frantically edit, edit, scratch the words out in psychotic circles like that creepy kid in The Ring, and break out the paper shredder. DON’T DO IT. While editing is not a bad thing, don’t give up. Writer’s envy can be very positive and in fact, might even help you on your way to becoming a better writer.

How, dearest blogger, do I use my writer’s envy to my benefit?

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I’m glad you asked. Firstly, writer’s envy is a great way to recognize what works and what doesn’t. Look at how the characters interact. I’ve often found that even more so than a great story, realistic, funny dialogue is hard to come by, but when you find it definitely take notes because this is no easy feat. Secondly, after staring at your manuscript for who the heck knows how long (often I find myself slipping into a catatonic state wondering just where to go next and what I need to edit to fix where I’m stuck) this might be an eye opener. It could inspire a fresh look at your manuscript and maybe, from another writer’s perspective, you can reevaluate your own writing. Third, inspiration. Inspiration is one of the most all-encompassing, wonderful gifts a writer can grant a reader or fellow writer. Ideas sprout other ideas, and perhaps may entice you to explore a different plot route. Now, PLAGIARISM IS BAD. That’s not at all in any way, shape, or form, what I am suggesting, I simply mean, check out what you love and see how you can apply that feeling to your own writing.

Now that we’ve gotten the foundational info out of the way, here are my top 5 series that inspired my writer’s envy:

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

From the second I started Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was hooked. My cellphone lockscreen and background reads:

Once upon a time, an

angel and a devil

held a wishbone 

between them.

And its snap split the

world in two.

I’m probably unhealthily obsessed with this series. It’s magical, it’s lyrical, it’s like a fairytale in a whimsical Prague setting that you know is destined to end badly but the hope that love with prevail despite an epic battle between heaven and hell and the possibility of death around every corner. This love story is unlike anything I’ve every experienced. AND it’s so much more than a love story. It’s full of life and real, raw, glimpses into the heart. The beautiful depictions of Prague are captivating, the characters are brilliant, and the story. Holy hell, the story, left me speechless. It’s the kind of life changing read that you will never forget and you will be thinking about it for the rest of your life. Karou and Akiva trump those sappy star-crossed tweens Romeo and Juliet and good riddance. I’ve been to Eastern Europe and have never written a story set there but this made me want to, badly.

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The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

I’ve always thought the fey were evil. Ever since Tinker Bell and her hair pulling stunts in Peter Pan (though I hated Wendy).   Firstly, iron fey, seriously? What a fantastic, bold, unique idea. The fey world is so detailed, it’s borderline Middle Earth. Seriously, the amount of painstaking, calculated description in itself is awe-inspiring. I have so much respect for Julie Kagawa. The Iron Fey world was so real that you could almost believe fey live among us, preying on the innocent, slaves to their own whims. The sheer evil, the emotional capacity, the amount of feelings that this series opens up to the reader…I’m speechless just thinking about it.

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Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

I like dystopian, I’d even go so far as to say that I love it. Under the Never Sky takes dystopian to a new level. It’s unusual in such an innovative way. Generally dystopian tends to lean towards science has destroyed us or saved us depending on the view in a very Frankenstein way but this is beyond futuristic science fiction, this takes the world and divides it and then throws catastrophic storms that can destroy entire villages. The evolution of people, allowing them to have developed abilities to cope with this is incredible. The tribal vs civilized, the outsider, the creepy, overbearing government, and the passionate love is just not something that usually works so well together but in this series it feels a lot like destiny.

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Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

Told from different perspectives, set in a world far removed from our current time, Luxe takes everything you love about Jane Austen and makes it contemporary. From the mannerisms, the affairs, the word choice, the splendid dresses, the conflicted emotions, the social hierarchies, the war with propriety and how that stifles the spirit. SO MUCH is going on in this series. These girls are relatable, emotional, but such strong role models. This is the series that I look at as a model for a powerful, compassionate, yet head strong female lead with so many facets to her heart.

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Desolation by Ali Cross

This series is not only a study in psychology and behavioral patterns but you will definitely question the nature of evil, whether it is ultimately a choice or something that you’re born with. The story is tragic, broken, but so full of hope and desperate longing for a love that eclipses time. Redemption, pain, and the struggle to overcome a past that sinks its teeth in and doesn’t want to let go. The main character is bold, brutally honest, and she walks the fragile line between adoration and loathing. Her character by itself, without the love story, without the battle of good and evil, her internal struggles and quest to find herself as a person apart from the world she was born into…wow, seriously, wow. Between the kickass battle scenes and sexual tension that steams off the pages, it is my go to for authentic, perfect love and how that love can make a person want to overcome and face battles that they never believed they were brave enough to attempt, let alone win.

If the weird sizing is bothering you, it bothers me too but if it helps, you can think of them in size order of which inspired my writer’s envy more.

What are some books that have inspired your writer’s or even reader’s envy?

-BB

Mid Week Update and News

Grad school is tough guys. Seriously, over 100 pages on Nazi/Soviet dictatorships is not light reading, in fact, it feels like 10 times the actual number of pages. I already had two papers due and that, in part with general exhaustion is why there’s been a two day hiatus in blogging. Alas, I’m back in the game and I’ve got so much to share with you. Firstly, I’ve been reading some amazing books. I don’t remember the last time I’ve given so many 5 star ratings it’s ridiculous and all in different sub-genres of YA. You will love these books and I can’t wait to get the reviews out there. Many of them are from small publishing houses and some of them you probably have never heard of but they’re definitely something that will enrich and broaden your reading borders.

Yesterday, I got drenched in a monsoon and nearly struck by lightning in a horrendous thunderstorm but I was saved some peace of mind and frustration by an idea that I think you guys will love. Tomorrow, I will blog about 5 book series that inspire writer’s envy. I’ve felt it, you’ve felt it, who hasn’t? But writer’s envy is not all bad, I would argue that it’s even a plus. So if you’re interested in my musings on that or to see just what series I envy, check back tomorrow sometime probably late afternoon.

Upcoming Reviews are as follows and this time in order:

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Here are some cool articles, pics, and fun things I stumbled upon while cruising the Internets:

  • For those of you who are not strictly YA and love a good paranormal romance Karen Marie Moning, if you don’t know who she is, seriously, seriously, I can’t even express how awesome her books are. If you like faeries, if you like highlanders, if you like druids, if you like very blush-worthy, detailed sexy scenes, you will love her style and her powerful story telling. Anyways, she has been sharing teasers from Burned book 2 in the spinoff from her Fever series. I share these on my Facebook every time she posts. Here is the link to her page: Karen Marie Moning Page
  • Huffington Post’s 10 Books Every College Freshman Should Read While I wouldn’t really recommend Portrait of a Lady there are books on here I’ve never heard of and are being added to my TBR
  • Beautiful LOTR Tarot Cards
  • For those of you who live in California there’s a great event coming up for an opportunity to meet with some best-selling Indie authors. Rockin’ the Holidays Indie Reader Bash

Happy reading,

-BB

 

Review: Callis Rose-Mark Tufo

1.5/5 Stars

Callis Rose-Mark Tufo

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***DNF at 70%

Plot: Callis Rose is a girl with terrible powers that she doesn’t fully understand and can hardly control. She’s able to influence people’s decisions, force them to hurt themselves, freeze their bodies, or manipulate them into potentially life threatening situations that they have no power to stop. Her inability to fully comprehend her powers causes her to make a terrible mistake that costs her her happy home and her parents’ lives. After the accident and the incidents that followed, Callis is placed into the foster care system. She’s tossed from home to home where she’s compelled to sacrifice herself in order to survive her circumstances. From heartbreaking instances of child labor, to bullying, beatings, pedophiles, heroin addicts and the like, when Callis finally is placed in a home where she can have a normal life, it’s freedom unlike she’s ever known. Callis has learned how to wield her powers to protect herself and those she cares about. All she wants is to start high school, make friends, and find some semblance of normalcy. But on the very first day she’s already been branded a freak and harassed by the mean girls on the school bus for her hand-me-down clothes and the fact that she lives in a trailer. When Kevin, a JV football star, popular guy, and all around nice kid starts sheltering Callis from the taunts by her peers she finally makes a friend. But as jealousy, teen drama, and sinister events start to unfold, Callis is forced into fight or flight mode and must make the choice to use her powers for good or evil and potentially risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

PROS:

  • The cover has a very eerie, Exorcist feeling that simultaneously haunts and draws your attention. The wicked evil radiates off the cover between the black and white, the glowing eyes, and the red text.
  • Callis parallels Carrie on so many levels. She’s an outwardly innocent girl, who is a bit off, she comes from a family of questionable background, she’s the butt of everyone’s jokes, but inside she’s insecure, broken, unsure of herself, and unable to trust without losing a piece of herself. She’s been taken advantage of, suffered through so many traumatic situations and dealt with them the best she could. For all the terrible things she’s seen and been part of it’s admirable that she didn’t crack, and go completely insane. Her strength is unparalleled and places her at a place well above the other characters, so much so that she is like a supernatural entity even without her psychic powers.

CONS:

  • There are few times when such magnificent ideas are so abysmally destroyed. This idea was the kind that movies are made of, where power is born with such sinister possibilities that the sheer magnitude of terror is overwhelming. There was so much potential for horrific, truly creepy scenes that invoked the spine-tingling chill that great horror is made of . I can’t recall the last time I was so thoroughly disappointed.
  • There is not a single redeeming, relatable character apart from Callis. The bitchy popular girls are overly stereotyped and ridiculously obnoxious to the point of barely being readable.
  • Kevin’s and Callis’ love has little basis, apart from the fact that she’s attractive and this isn’t even reinforced because originally when asked if she was pretty, Kevin replied that she was weird or something along those lines. The notion that a mere week or two later he’s absolutely infatuated with her beauty, sparkling personality, and bountiful heart is unfounded, and doesn’t make an ounce of sense. What is understandable is how Callis is enamoured with Kevin, he’s attractive, popular, a football player, and he’s the nicest person she’s ever met. The fact that he pays her any attention at all is enough.
  • There were several typos, tense issues, and other grammatical errors. Needed another round or two of editing.
  • The foster care system is painted as the worst possible outcome for any child. While there is no doubt about the corruption of the system for money and the need for social workers to put children in less than savory or safe conditions just to get rid of them, the cynicism is toxic. Callis’ transition to each different home which accounted for much of the book, was each a sharp, disturbing look into the system and their screening process. While realistic fiction is appreciated this was something else. I can’t even begin to tell you how many rape, molestation, and sexual abuse scenes I’ve read as both and English and Russian major but this was unbearable. There are many creepy, disquieting, and utterly disgusting scenes of near rape and molestation that are sickening to read. Although there is not a full rape scene there’s enough of the dirty, gritty, horrified feeling of complete hopelessness and despair to leave you feeling disturbed for days. I understand that the author was making a point about the system but were two scenes absolutely necessary?
  • Mindy and her sycophantic minions are so pathetic, weakly developed, and just sad, sorry excuses for enemies that their monopoly on many scenes are almost pointless and I often felt the urge to bypass their POVs entirely.
  • Callis’ transition into battery and violence was quick, gory, and didn’t have a solid foundation. One second she was a kind girl with unspeakable psychic powers and the next she’s relishing hurting people.

If you liked any of the following you might enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

-BB