Category Archives: Fantasy

*Review* Impostor – Susanne Winnacker

Imposter Alt Cover Imposter

Susanne Winnacker

320 pages

Read 2-23-14

Format: E-book

Source: Netgalley

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 Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love …

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. There she trains with other Variants, such as long-term crush Alec, who each have their own extraordinary ability.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor – the stress, the danger, the deceit – but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

This book sounded very interesting, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it and was lucky enough to get approved.  I also found this alternate cover, which I like even more than the original cover.  I liked the other cover a lot, don’t get me wrong, but this one is smoother and better fitting for the story than the original.

Tessa has a really cool power, she can morph into anybody she has touched, and she is given this really dangerous mission.  She has a lot of internal conflict over her mission, which is very understandable since she has to deceive so many people by posing as one of their loved ones.  Tessa was on okay character, but she could have been better.  I felt at some points she was a bit too obsessed with crushing at the wrong times, but did like Alec when he was being sweet to her and could understand why she would crush on him.  I also liked seeing her struggle with being part of a “normal” family.

As for the killer and such, it wasn’t really hard to figure stuff out and it didn’t surprise me at all who it was, but the ending scenes with the killer did get a bit exciting.  There were a couple small things that were left unanswered, so I hope that there will be some explanation in the next book.  Also, there was a character in this story that I hope had a bigger part in the next story since he was a bit pointless in this one.  The writing was pretty good, but there were some things that became a bit repetitive, not a lot though.

All in all I enjoyed the story and will be looking forward to the next book.

Interesting, good writing, good story, though no surprises in the end.

4 bookmark

 

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Cinder Review with Guest Reviewer – My Mom!

Cinder Cover Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Marissa Meyer

 Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

So today is a special guest review from my mom!  I am trying to win an advanced copy of Cress and for it I had it to loan somebody and have them do a review.  I loaned it to my mom since we like a lot of the same type of books.  Plus, she doesn’t read as much YA as I do, and I honestly think she really needs to remedy that 🙂  Cinder is definitely an awesome one to make her read since it is one of my absolute favorites and one of the first I recommend to anybody.

I read the back of the book, and when it said cyborgs, I was like cyborgs?  Really? I thought it was going to take me forever to read it since it was science fiction, but once  started, I didn’t want to put it down!

My daughter told me I needed to read this book that it was so good. I read the overview and thought – great a science fiction I will never finish it. Believe me when I tell you when Marissa Meyer combined a modern day Cinderella and a toned down Star Trek influence she produced a Marvelous work of fantasy fiction. I could hardly put it down, it was wonderful! Ms. Meyer was able to write and create this story as if it was completed in one day. The story flows from beginning to end.

The character Cinder has a chip on her shoulder but not for the obvious reason. You fall in love with her in the beginning and at times you wish you could just thump her on the head for making some of the decisions that she makes. She can be a bit sarcastic and at times it can go over your head and make you do a double take. She is used to getting the blame for many things she has no control over and so she blames herself for her sister’s illness, so she risks her life to try to save her.

Prince Kaito is portrayed as most princes are. Great looking and all the girls are in love with him. He seems very humble, yet wants to claim to be a bit spoiled. He is concerned about the evil Lunar Queen Levana, who tries to make the common people see her as a good and caring queen. The Queen is trying to get him to agree to marry her and he is totally against it. He has the weight of his kingdom on his shoulders so he worries the outcome of his decisions that concern the queen and her possibility of retaliation against his people, and I as hoping she would fall off the balcony, she is so evil.

The personal androids add a bit of a different kind of personality, emotion and logic to the science fiction part of the story. You have a companion that has emotions and opinions such as a friend would have. The medical androids have all the logic and very little personality. The role for them is matter of fact and emotion has no part for them and it works.  Except for Iko, who had a lot of personality and was very funny.  She was certainly different than the rest of the androids!

As for the sisters, Pearl is awful to Cinder, but Peony is nice and not like the typical evil step sisters.  And I couldn’t stand Adri, she is such a horrible, wicked stepmother,  I really enjoyed this book and it was not what I expected, but so much better than what I thought it was going to be.  Great book, even for people who aren’t big on science fiction!

I hope everybody enjoyed the guest review from my mom and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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*Review* Teardrop – Lauren Kate

Teardrop Cover Teardrop

Lauren Kate

441 pages

ISBN: 9780375990694

Read 10-20-13

Source: Literary Lushes ARC Tours

Format: Paperback ARC

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Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

So, even though the Fallen series fell kind of flat for me for the most part, there was just no way I could pass up reading a book with such a gorgeous cover!  Sometimes, it is good to judge a book by the cover because I am certainly glad that I gave this book a shot.  I loved it so much and it was so much better, in my opinion, than Fallen was.  I really can’t express how much more I liked it over Fallen.  The story was better, the characters were better, the relationships were better.

First, we have Eureka, who is a bit moody yes, but who wouldn’t be after their mother died?  She does typical things of those in mourning and depressed, but she doesn’t cry.  It takes a very strong will to not cry over some of the things this poor girl is put through.  She is quite strong and very determined.  There weren’t any parts that stuck out to me where I wanted to smack her like some of the characters I’ve come across, though I did hate her stepmother, Rhoda, but of course we were supposed to hate her.  Ander is interesting, I’m not in love with him yet, but I do like him.  I had a stronger connection with Brooks, really.  I wasn’t very crazy about Cat, she is a bit of a slut and bounces from guy to guy like it’s nothing, but she is a really good friend to Eureka.

The story was really great and had a lot of strong points and a lot of secrets.  I kept wanting to read and find out more and what does this do and what is going to happen here and what is that about??  I just wanted to know more, more, more, so reading it in two days was definitely not a problem.  I never found myself rolling my eyes at anything like I did several times through out the Fallen series.  I think she greatly improved with Teardrop and I hope the rest of the series is awesome, too.  Also, the descriptions were great and I loved so many of them!

Can we go back to that cover again?  I mean really, JUST LOOK AT IT.  I could get lost in it.  So. Freaking. Beautiful.  It was also my Cover Crush a couple weeks ago and one of my favorites for the year.  There’s a good bit of meaning in the cover as well.  I really hope people who dislike Fallen like I did (at least the first two books, the second two were okay) still give her new series a chance.  And for those who loved Fallen, definitely check this one out!  Thanks again to wonderful ladies over at Literary Lushes for letting me part of this ARC Tour!

Great strong main character, lovely descriptions, kept me reading and wanting to know more, secondary characters okay.

4.5 bookmark

 

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*Review* The Last Olympian – Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian Cover The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5)

Rick Riordan

381 pages

ISBN: 9780739380338

Read 9-3-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. 

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

I am so sad that this was the final book in the Percy Jackson series.  I loved everything about this series and I became so attached to all of the characters. Like Harry Potter and his friends, these characters have wriggled their way into my heart and I’ll love them forever.

The final installment was pretty satisfying and wrapped everything up nicely.  Nothing was left unanswered and there was a lot of action. There were some sad parts too (it is a war after all).  Some of the  characters I wasn’t crazy about I ended up liking a lot by the end of the series.  I loved hearing about all the mythology stories and seeing how the author brought the gods and goddesses to life.

I liked the funny dialogue between everybody and it made all the  characters even more charming and lovable.  The only thing I could possibly complain about in this series is the overuse of the word said – I said, Grover said, Annabeth said – all in the same paragraph sometimes, but other than that I can’t complain at all.

I will definitely be reading the other series by Mr. Riordan and I look forward to falling in love with more of his characters. I recommend this for anybody who loves a good adventure, mythology and awesome  characters.

Wonderful characters, action, nice wrap up, a favorite!!

5 bookmark

 

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*Review* Tides – Betsy Cornwell

Tides Cover Tides

Betsy Cornwell

304 pages

ISBN: 9780547927725

Read 8-31-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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When high-school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don’t expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.

This was my Random Reads pick for the month of August and I was excited to read it since I love stories with mermaids and such.  This was my first selkie story and it was interesting and a nice read.  The story was very well-written and I enjoyed the visuals that came from the author’s descriptions.  I have never been to New Hampshire, but I hope it is as lovely in real life as it is in the story.  We get to see the story from different views, so we get to see on land and in the water with the selkies and hear some abut selkie lore.

As for the characters, I liked them, but I wasn’t as connected with them as I would have liked to have been.  Noah was nice and hardworking and Lo was quiet, but a good sister.  I liked them, but I just didn’t fall in love with them.  Mara was interesting, but I felt it was kind of weird that Noah would want to immediately befriend a girl who was running around in an oversized men’s shirt and string as a belt for clothing.  There were a couple more issues that were a bit more serious that were touch on in this story, but not talked about in great depth; it was part of the story, but not THE story.

I loved the cover and it’s soft colors.  I like to think that the person on the front is Mara, seeing her both in her human form and her selkie form.  I also liked the title with the fancy scripted letters of the T and S.  I really enjoyed reading this book, even if I didn’t connect to the characters the way I wanted to, it was still a great story.  I will definitely read more by this author since she writes such lovely scenes.  I definitely recommend this book to those who love stories about water creatures!

Beautiful writing, selkie lore, good characters, didn’t connect to them like I wanted to.

4 bookmark

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*Review* The Fairest of Them All – Carolyn Turgeon

The Fairest of Them All Cover The Fairest of Them All

Carolyn Turgeon

288 pages

ISBN: 9781451683783

Read 8-10-13

Format: Paperback

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours

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What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and MermaidThe Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

I was so excited when I found out I was going to be a stop on the book tour for The Fairest of Them All, and when I had the beautiful book in my hands, I think I squealed some.  This book was really quite incredible and a masterful rewrite and combination of two popular fairy tales.

The two main women in this story are Rapunzel and Mathena, who is the witch that cares for Rapunzel.  Both are strong and complicated characters with layers and secrets a bit darker than most.  Between the beginning of the book and the end, you will not look at either of these characters the same again.  We see Rapunzel over the course of several years and her transformation from an innocent young adult to the shadow of herself she becomes.  Layers are added onto Rapunzel, where as with Mathena, layers are removed and we learn her secrets later in the book.

The writing is beautiful and very much like a classic fairy tale.  The author paints us incredible scenes full of emotion and turmoil.  The descriptions are also lovely as is the cover of the book that gives us a beautiful picture of Rapunzel.

Generally, it is pretty hard to surprise me, but the twists this story takes was definitely not what I was expecting, especially the really big “Whoa, really?” moment.  Thank you Carolyn for actually surprising me.  I loved seeing the realistic magic, plus a bit of unrealistic magic mixed in, with the plants and herbs being used.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who enjoy fairy tale retellings and magical realism.  The book is listed as young adult, but I would suggest it for the older teen and up side because of the sexual content.  Definitely an author to add to my favorites!

Complex characters, beautiful writing, creative, older YA audiences.

4.5 bookmark

 

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*Review* The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan

Battle of the Labyrinth Cover The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4)

Rick Riordan

375 pages

ISBN: 9781423101468

Read 6-17-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

Honestly, I don’t know why I am so late on this review.  I guess I thought I already did it!  Sometimes I do that with stuff; it happens with scatter brained people like myself.  So, anyway…

I LOVE the Percy Jackson series!  I still have one more book to read, and I am going to be sad when it ends, that is how much I love it.  These kids have some crazy adventures and this book is no exception!  The labyrinth was really cool and crazy big.  There was so much that happened in this book!

The characters are all as great as ever, even Clarisse was able to be connected with for this one.  Things are building for the final book and I can’t wait to find out what happens.  Luke is evil as ever and we get to see Tyson some more and a couple others I don’t want to give away.  I wish I had super awesome books to grow up on like Percy Jackson (it wasn’t published until I was 20, nearly 21!).  The reader did a great job between the voices and the emotions of the characters.

Great characters, great reader, building tension, can’t wait to read the final book!

5 bookmark

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*Review* Ink – Amanda Sun

Ink Cover Ink (Paper Gods #1)

Amanda Sun

326 pages

ISBN: 9780373210718

Read 7-18-13

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Literary Lushes ARC tours

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On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

The first think that caught my attention with this book was the cover.  It is beautiful and graceful and the dripping title is ominous. Then I read the synopsis and found out it takes place in Japan and I knew I had to read it for sure! Thanks to Brittany and Alyssa at Literary Lushes I got to be the first stop on the Ink book tour they are hosting and was able to enjoy this great book.

This author writes incredibly well and I loved the descriptions throughout the book, especially with the cherry blossom trees. The way she wrote out the imagery was very artistic and beautiful.  It is obvious that she had spent some time in Japan and I liked how she included Japanese words through the book. My only complaint on that would be that some of the words I still couldn’t figure out and they were italicized everytime (stupid complaint I know, but my brain kept accenting the words as I read it since they had italics).

As for the characters, I liked Katie pretty well, though I’m not sure why she really felt the need to know what Tomo was up to. She did well as a character who was learning the ways of a new culture and I liked how the book started out with her making a foreigner’s kind of mistake. With Tomo for some reason I didn’t have the connection I wanted, though I’m not really certain why. He was mysterious and confusing at first, but we get to see who he really is eventually.

This story felt very Japanesey to me (not that I’ve been there just seen a lot of movies, anime and manga) and pretty much the whole time it played out like an anime in my head, lol. The concept of having Japanese gods is really cool, though I didn’t learn as much about the mythology as I would have liked.

All in all I felt it was a really good story and beautifully written. I definitely will be reading the next book since the characters stuck with me and I must know what happens to them. Thanks again to the ladies at Literary Lushes! Check out there website to see what tours they are hosting and even join our awesome bimonthly Twitter chats!

Beautiful writing, good characters, great concept, would have liked to have seen more about the mythology.

4.5 bookmark

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*Review* Struck – Jennifer Bosworth

Struck Cover Struck

Jennifer Bosworth

373 pages

ISBN: 9780374372835

Read 6-30-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

This was my Random Read for June, and since I was on vacation and finished the book the day I was getting on the plane, I am now able to finally post my review.  This was the first book I have read that involves cults, and it sounded like it could be a pretty intense read, plus, the book trailer was one of the best I’ve seen.  I can’t say this one held up to my expectations, though I did enjoy it I wasn’t blown away by it.  The idea of someone being a lightning was also tugging at me to read it, but I didn’t really feel the “addict” part of it.

Mia was mostly a pretty good character.  It took a lot to shake her up (it would take a lot to shake me up to if I had been hit my lightning so many times) and she stood her ground for what she believed in.  She had a lot of hard decisions to make, sometimes making the obviously wrong ones, and she had a ton to deal with like a stubborn brother and a sick mother.

Jeremy was interesting and I thought it was cute how Mia compared him to Clark Kent at times because of his glasses.  By the end of the book, I had some mixed feelings about him because of some of the things that happened.  Rachel, one of the main Follower characters, I greatly did not like.  If she were a real person, I would have liked to punch her in the face a few times.  But, I’m sure this is what the author was going for, so, well done on her.

The book was written pretty well as were the descriptions; I just wasn’t wowed.  If you are interested in reading it, by all means, still pick it up because it was an enjoyable read and I liked the way it ended.  Also, if you have time you should look up Lichtenburg scars (the scars the MC has), they are pretty awesome looking!

Good descriptions, interesting story, good ending, didn’t wow me.

4 bookmark

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Filed under 4 Stars, Fantasy, Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Random Reads, Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Awakening – L.J. Smith

Awakening Struggle Cover The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)

L.J. Smith

276 pages

ISBN: 9780061020001

Read 6-6-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror… 

Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan: Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon: Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be.  I watched the first 3 seasons before I read this book.  I love the TV series, but I wasn’t in love with the book.  At least not this first one.  It is quite different from the show!

Elena was very different between the book and the show.  In the show she is a caring person who puts others before herself, but in the book she was the queen bee at school and manipulated people to get whatever she wanted.  I just didn’t like her very much.

And this book was the worst I have read on insta-love.  It was unreal how fast the insta-love was.  There was no real connection between Elena and Stefan for me.  I understand why Stefan would want Elena, but I don’t know why she wants Stefan other than she feels the need to take whatever she wants.  There was no relationship development.

Stefan on the other hand I actually did like.  He is very mysterious and wants to protect Elena.  We get a good history on him and he is a deeper character than Elena and has a better attitude.

There was soooo many things that were different between this book and the show, I really wouldn’t know where to start with it.  There are characters in the book not in the show and vice versa, characters who have totally different personalities and names where changed and mixed around.  Gotta say I like the TV show better than what I have read so far.  I will keep reading however because I want to see more of Damon (I’m Team Damon all the way) and hopefully I won’t be so annoyed with Elena past the first book.

Annoying main female character, good writing, major insta-love, enjoyed the TV show better.

3 bookmark

 

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