Angels have descended to the earth and the apocalypse is here. Street gangs rule the day while fear rules the night. Fear from creatures like Angels. Penryn has one goal only, to stay alive and to help her family survive. She must be the strong one because her mother is mentally ill and her sister is in a wheel chair. Not the best of conditions to stay their ground in the angel apocalypse. Of course something happens to Penryns sister. She gets taken by Angels and now Penryn has to save her. She does this with the help of a fallen Angel who got his wings cut off by other Angels. She saves his life and pressures him into helping her find her sister.
So this premise of Angelfall by Susan Ee seems not really my thing. I mean come on an angel book? And another girl fighting for her life and the life of her sister? Not really a new thing. But the book got amazing reviews on Goodreads so I checked it out. It also helps that it is under 300 pages long. Turns out that’s a bad thing because this book could have used some extra pages. For me Angelfall was awful. I could not get into it and had a hard time finishing this tiny book. There was no world building besides the fact that Angels are killing humans on earth. That was it. All the world building is in the synopsis. Penryn is travelling with an Angel nearly the whole book and she is asking questions like: What are you guys doing here? What do you want on earth? And so on. But she gets nothing. No answers NOTHING. Well maybe all the answers will be revealed n the end, I tell myself. But that’s not the chase. There are no answers in this book, no closure and hardly any plot at all. Everything you need to know is in this synopsis. There is no character development there is just action scene after action scene that has nothing to do with this so called plot.
When I thought the book can’t get worse there it is, the forbidden love, because humans and angels do not mix. Penryn and her angel Rafe have no chemistry what so ever. They start out hating each other but suddenly they are in love? Seriously, I can’t take this. So please tell me why everybody loves this book so much? Is it because the plot is so predictable and stupid that it is easy to read? Or is it because there is only action and you do not have to get involved with the characters and the plot? I just don’t get it and I heard that there are also no explanations in the second book. Maybe I just read too many dystopian books and am now too picky but this did nothing for me. Maybe I just don’t like angel books. I hardly got through. So no, I will not continue this series.
We readers love our main characters but there are also some minor characters that suprised me because they were such a great addition to the novels they were in. I love strong side characters so that the spotlight is not only on the main characters. Minor characters should also be well thought out.
# 5 Iko from Cinder
I loved the android from Cinder. Even if she was an android her personality was so bubbly and just loveable all the time. When the thing with Iko in Cinder happens I was mortified and cried. Iko is such a great character and I think she is a big part of me loving this book so much.
# 4 Reagan from Fangirl
Fangirl is my favourite Rainbow Rowell book because it is not just beuatifully written but also has great character. Reagan is Cather’s college roomate. She seems diastant in the beginning but we soon discover that she takes a liking to Cather and helps her survive her freshman year. She is suportive and a great friend who will kick your ass when you need her to.
# 3 Alec from The Mortal Instruments
When I first met Alec from The Mortal Instruments I did not like him at all. But after time we got to know him and he became one of my favourite character in the whole series. I think I like him and Magnus even better than Clary and Jace. Alec is the moody type who is closed of and doesn’t talk a lot. But he cares deeply for his famiyl and friends and will do everything to portect them.
# 2 Kenji from Shatter Me
Kenji may be my favourite character after Warner. He is the only one that puts Juliette in her place and gives her a piece of his mind. And it looks like this was exactly the thing Juliette needed to grow. He helps her to get up and stop the annoying wining. Thansk for Kenji Juliette stand up for herself and starts fighting. Also he is such a funny character.
# 1 Neville from Harry Potter
For me, Neville is the ultimate side character. He does not get as much attention as Harry, Ron and Hermoine but he is there from beginning to end and does become a very important character. I loved Neville. I identified with him imediatly because I think I would have been like him when I would have attended Hogwarts. He is adorable and I think I don’t have to metion movie Nevielle who looks so handsome now.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is a cute contemporary romance novel. It takes place in a small town on the east coast and is about the relationship between Caymen and Xander. Caymen works at the porcelain doll store of her mother and wants to get out of this town as fast as possible. The store life’s from rich people who buy dolls but lately the finances do not look good. Caymen and her mother have a hard time getting by. So Caymen has a lot of reasons to resent the rich customers that frequent her store. When Xander comes in it is clear that he has money. Actually his family has money. And to top this he looks amazingly good. But Caymen has one rule: Never get involved with a rich guy.
Of course Caymen and Xander can’t stand away from each other and they become friends. Or are even more than friends? Caymen finally begins to see that money is not always a way to make your life easy. Xander has problems, just like she does and she slowly gets to know his world. There is also Caymen’s mom who seems to have a lot of secrets and hides things from Caymen. And what will the two of them do when the store can’t make any money more? So this is what The Distance Between us is all about. When I read this book I wanted a fast and cute contemporary and this is what I got. But I was not amazed by this book. It was okay but unfortunately forgettable. Caymen is highly annoying in her prejudices against all people with money and has no idea that maybe Xander’s world is not as perfect as she thinks. I did no really feel the love between Caymen and Xander and also there were the typical misunderstandings you find in so many romance books. I’m over the obligatory lack of communication between characters. Don’t get mad with the guy and run away. Why do people always run away in books and movies? It’s so stupid, I hate it. So this is kind of the climax of this book, the running away, not talking with each other and thinking everything is over. This is so exhausting, authors, please stop it!
But after all, this book was cute and kind of fun. I read it in one day so it’s a really fast read. I like the small town setting but did not like the rich/poor issues. Also I have to admit that I thought this book is about a long distance relationship but that was not the case so I was a little bit disappointed. But that’s totally on me not reading the synopsis. So if you search for a quick and easy read with not much depth and good looking character you may find what you are looking for.
Clay Jannon is living in San Francisco in the time of a great Recession and he is desperately searching for a job. On his job hunt he finds a 24-hour bookstore where a help wanted sign is hanging in the window. Clay is a tech geek but finds the idea of working in a bookstore interesting so he asks the owner about the job. Mr. Penumbra, the owner of the bookstore tells Clay that he is hired if he is curios enough, can work a ladder and does not mind working at night. So Clay winds up being the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. Clay soon learns that this store and its customers are weird. There is a whole section of peculiar books that Clay is forbidden to read. Clay soon gets really curious and wants to unravel Penumbras secrets. He discovers that there is more to the bookstore than meets the eye. The store is a front for something bigger. He has some wild theories and with the help of his friends he embarks on a journey to find the truth behind Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore.
A lot of my friends on Goodreads loved this book and many of them recommended it to me. I hoped that I would love it as much as they did but unfortunately this was not the case. It was an interesting book and I wanted to know how it ends but I was in no way invested in the story are liked the characters. For me this book seemed like a conglomerate of things I already read. It also reminded me a lot of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. But where Cline had me on the edge of my seat Robin Sloan’s Story about a bookstore and its mysteries were just some nice story. It is not a book I will remember. The characters felt flat for me and the whole book felt very much like a YA novel. There was hardly any world building and if you follow my blog you know that I always wish there was more world building in books. Clay is a one dimensional character and all the other characters are just here to play his sidekicks. Typical YA! His friends are conveniently rich or work at Google so Clay has no problem of financing his journey. For me this book felt too unrealistic. I know that it should be a magical story but it was just so convenient. Clay needs a book scanner that only Google has? Well his girlfriend works at Google. Clay needs to fly to New York to search for clues? No problem his childhood friend is rich.
Maybe you have to be a designer or typographer to appreciate this book. There was a lot about fonts and designs here. I liked the idea of debating e-books vs. physical books in this really unusual setting. But it was way too much. There was so much advertising about Google and Amazon that I just could not take it. The book also got so obsessed with technical details that I trailed off. It was sometimes hard to follow because the plot got neglected. I liked the story but it got overshadowed with the things I criticised. It was a quick read and had nice ideas but for me it was nothing special. Did you like the book? If so, maybe you can share with me what you liked about it?
Roomies is a contemporary book by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. When Elizabeth from New Jersey get’s an email with the contact information of her new college roomie Lauren from San Francisco, she immediately sends her a message to get to know her. This sparks a continuous series of emails in which the two girls get to know each other. They get to know each other over the course of the summer before they meet at college for the first time.
Elizabeth and Lauren could not be more different. Elizabeth lives with her mom, who is not often home. She is an only child and wants to major in landscaping architecture. When she does not work you can find Elizabeth on the beach with her friends. Lauren has no time to go to the beach. She has five siblings and Lauren is the oldest. So she helps out a lot in the house but secretly needs some alone time really bad. Lauren can’t wait to get her own single room in college. But then there is this email from her new roommate so it seems that the single room will not work out after all. But they have at least one thing in common, they both start college in the fall and will have to leave home. It turns out leaving and growing up is not as easy. They both have a hard time leaving their families and friends. And at the worst timing imaginable, both Elizabeth and Lauren meet cute guys that are just a summer fling or maybe more?
Roomies is a classic coming of age story told in two perspectives and partly over emails. Elizabeth and Lauren soon start to over share their secrets because it is so easy to do. Just send a quick email. But the problem is, they don’t know each other and misunderstandings can be expected when communicating with one another through email. For the cuteness factor there is a little bit of romance thrown in but it felt more like friendships for me. I liked this book and at the end it got emotional. I love all the books that deal with college so Roomies was a must read for me. But I could not connect with the main characters. Lauren felt to judgmental and Elizabeth too needy. Most of their decisions felt strange for me but the book was so short that I read in very fast. It’s a classic contemporary about growing up, making new friends and prepare for college.
I love book series but there are some Stand Alones that I loved even more than most book series. If you like to read books without sequels, here are some suggestions.
This book is a combination of two stories. It follows the young author Darcy who got her first publishing deal and is moving to New York after High School to get her book published. There she dives into the publishing world and as readers we also get insight into this world. After every chapter about Darcy there is a chapter from the book she is writing. So when you read Afterworlds you can literary see the changes Darcy makes in her story and what drove her to this changes. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and Scott Westerfeld achieves to write like a young girl whose writing style grows over the course of this book. If you want to know more about the publishing world you should check this one out.
This book is about Violet whose sister dies in car accident a year ago. Violets life change drastically and she can’t really cope with all these changes. When she meets Finch, she finally found someone who understands her and can help her. But Finch has big problems of his own. He suffers from depression and other mental health problems. He fights against the dark that is trying to swallow him whole but as he tries to help Violet he gets sucked in more and more in this familiar darkness. This book shows with brutal honesty that mental health problems can occur and how many people do not know what to do in this situation. Violet and Finch are alone with their problems and no one really knows what to do. But at least they can help each other. This was such a deeply emotional book, I would recommend it to everyone because it broaches the issue of mental health which is a theme that should be explored more in modern literature.
#3 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives only at night. It is a mystical circus with many secrets. In the middle of this circus stand a contest that is many years old. Who will win the contest? And what is going on behind the tents of this peculiar circus? Erin Morgenstern creates such a magical setting with The Night Circus like I have never seen before. This book is not so much about plot than about atmosphere and myths. The characters are all interesting and mysterious. You want to discover all the secrets the circus bears but that only goes very slowly. At the end everything unravels and gets together so beautifully. Finally everything is clear and makes sense. But until the end, enjoy the ride and keep your eyes and ears open to glimpse some clues of this magical journey.
Ready Player One is set in 2044 and the world is an ugly place. Wade Watts wants nothing more than to escape his dull existing in one of the slums of his city. He spends all his hours jacked into the OASIS, a virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to. The creator of the OASIS has set up a contest, who finds some hidden eastereggs inside the OASIS and can figure out his riddle, will inherit massive fortune and remarkable power. Wade can figure out the first riddle and soon a wild chase begins to save all the mysteries the OASIS creator has set up. This book was so much fun to read, it felt like playing a video game. It is full of 80’s reference to arcade games and movies. There will also be a movie adaptation with Steven Spielberg as director.
#1 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is easily my favourite Stand Alone. I love everything from Rainbow Rowell but this is my favourite book of hers. Fangirl is about Cath who is a real Fangirl. She loves the Simon Snow book series and writes fan fiction that is highly popular. The book starts with Cath and her twin sister Wren going to college. Wren wants to room without Cath and decides that she Cath should make her own life at college and not depend on her twin sister anymore. But Cath is a really shy and introverted girl who does not acclimate easily to her new surroundings. She soon meets a guy, Levi who seems to be too good to be true. So Cath struggles with being away from home, studying for her classes and probably falling in love with a really cute guy. This synopsis may seem shallow but it is the complete opposite. Surely everyone has anxieties and is not always comfortable in new situations. This book explores these insecurities and really hit home for me. Rainbow Rowell’s writing is vivid and wonderful that you will not want to put this book down.
“When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.” Goodreads
The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken is a dystopian fiction book series about kids who are the only survivors of a deadly plaque and have now developed dangerous abilities. The gouvernment of the US has no idea how to deal with them so he puts them into so called rehabilitation camps where the kids get tortured and killed.
The Darkest Minds
Ruby is now 16 and since she is 10 she lives at Thurmond, a camp for teens who developed abilities. Ruby is a green which means she is highly intelligent. Or so it seems. One day she collapses and wakes up in the hospital wing where a doctor helps her escape. Turns out Ruby is not a green but an orange. She can manipulate people’s minds and is highly dangerous. She gets rescued be the Children’s League who want to use her in their fight against the government. But Ruby has a bad feeling and after discovering something horrible she flees from the League and finds three kids in a van. Liam, Chuck and Zu help Ruby and now they are on the run together. They are searching for East River, a safe location for kids like them. On the way their Liam and Ruby get closer and fall in love.
This was an action packed first book and I loved the characters. The best scenes where definitely the ones with the four kids together in the van. I also liked the setup of the story and I was really invested in getting to know more about the disease and the abilities. For me this was a great and fast read and even if there is not that much world building it was enough for a first book. The end was a little bit cliché because how often have we seen the heroine sacrificing herself to safe the others. But asides from that this seemed like a series I could really love. Turns out I was wrong.
Never Fade picks up where The Darkest Minds left off. Ruby is now with the League and tries to find Liam because he ha curtail information for overthrowing the government. Even if there is action in this book it was boring and long for me. There were so many new characters that I didn’t care about and it was clear that this one character would die. The writing was not my thing. I thought it was all over the place and it was hard to understand the more chaotic scenes. Not because they were so complex but because there was so much description, too much because I zoned out often. The writing was also chaotic and confusing at times. But I was still kind of invested in the story and liked Ruby and Liam. So I just hoped the third book will be better and the ending will be a fulminate finale. I was so wrong.
In the Afterlight
This novel was so long and the ending was still too quickly warped up. How can this happen with an over 500 page book? After Never Fade I hoped I was just in a bad mood when I read it but this book was so boring. There are chapters that only describe the rooms where the kids are living and who is on what duty. Who cares? I want to know how it all ends. Finally after hundreds of pages they get to recue Ruby’s camp and that were some great scenes. I loved that Clancy was back and that he screwed them over again. But asides from that the book was boring. I wanted to see what will happen after the rescue. There is a press conference that got my hopes up. There they discussing the future of the kids with powers but nothing get resolved. I get that the government will be reluctant to open the camps but why not stand up for yourselves? Instead they are going on a road trip together? I get why they are doing it but there are so many things not resolved in this novel. It would have been so much better if there were less description and less fighting between Liam and Ruby and instead Alexandra Bracken showed us what her vision for this new America would be. But she takes the easy way out and shows us only that there will be negotiations between the kids and the government. I’m sorry but this is just not enough.