Tag Archives: YA

“Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo

First of all, cool author name. Beautiful cover art. Original Russian inspiration to a slightly historical fiction-feeling fantasy. Yeah, sign me up. This is a book I would love to see on the big screen, just as much as any of the Harry Potters, and I mean that. It’s a book with a map in the beginning on a double page spread. Enough said.

It starts out like other YAs, but in that third or fourth chapter, the conventions get a big twist, and happens again just after the mid-point.

It has it’s flaws and it’s weak chapters and its girly moments as any fantasy/war story does with a teenage female protagonist, but all flaws aside, the overall experience is filled with original yet familiar world-building and high levels of conflict. While other novels have “world-built” better or deeper, and yes, I would have like a little more from the book in that respect, the majority of the creatures, characters, and environments were better than most, and maybe I’m being too critical. I really, really, liked it, but I did want to know more about the class distinctions and Grisha powers. The culture’s details were never overkill going on and on, and it was never underdone either. I guess it found a happy-medium.

There was just enough Russian insipred diction and dress and decor in “Shadow and Bone” to keep me invested and curious about this place called “Ravka”, however some people may find it thin in some of its details. Considering this is the beginning of a YA trilogy though, and this novel truly set off Bardugo’s career on the right foot, I am eagerly anticpating the next novel. It should expand on what has already been set-up, and if it does, this is going to be a best-selling series.

The wait may be a while though, since Shadow and Bone was released very recently.

If you enjoy original plot twists, stakes which continue to climb and climb, total fear at the three-quarter mark when it seems all hope is lost, splashed with magical beasts, light court intrigue, and some coming-of-age romance (the weakest part of the novel), then this excellent first installement of “The Grisha Trilogy” is for you.

Some writing was weak and you might skim a few pages here and there, but over all, this 4/5 book gets a 4.5/5 from me just because the ending was exciting and seemed terrifyingly hopeless and I really got sucked in. That was well-executed, and Miss Bardugo knows how to write conflict. This has “make me a film” written all over it.

For fans of The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings, Graceling, and Grave Mercy. (If you haven’t read Graceling, and you’re a girl, read it now.)

4.5/5

MH

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“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth: a reaction to the novel

This is not a traditional review. It’s a reaction. And I’m doing this because I don’t feel like writing today, plus this is a second novel in a series by Veronica Roth, and I don’t want to waste your time if you’re not interested in the series. If you are curious though, please read my first blog review about the first novel HERE to decide if it’s worth your time.

The truth is, with every author writing a trilogy or worse, it’s hard to get genuinely excited for a series anymore. A lot of these author in Young Adult take a premise that could be a book or two at best and make them between three and seven obnoxious, money grabbing books. If you read my blogs from the past few months, you’ll know I complain about this regularly.

That said: I can honestly say the “Divergent” series is deserving of the buzz and should be THE NEXT BIG THING. A movie will come, and when the third book is out, this will hit the roof, just like Mockingjay did for Collins’ and her less than impressive “Hunger Games” Series.

Divergent is better. I’m sticking to it.

Which brings me to the reaction to “Insurgent” which came out in MAY 2012:

This was the best sequel to a “book one” I’ve ever read in Y.A.

It had the impact of Harry Potter while being Sci-Fi. It carries weight and angst and romance and violence. Veronica Roth continued to write a fast-paced story here, and, yes, it’s not perfect writing and can sometimes go on a bit, but nowhere near the extent of other Y.A. authors. You read Veronica Roth’s work because it’s so visual and has a lot of energy. It’s the series I would equate most to “reading a movie.” This is not poetic or artsy writing, in fact it is very utilitarian in its use, but you can’t turn the pages fast enough.

You read because the plot and story rules. She works with her strengths well. She does what she does damned good.

So I give it a 4/5, just like the first installment. These are not really sepearate books, but a three part, very long story. “Insurgent” picked up exactly where “Divergent” left off, which will be jumbling to someone who hasn’t read the first book in ten months, but it’s nothing a brief wiki visit can’t fix. Overall, this continued the adventure at the same calibur as the first one, which isn’t always the case for sequel movies and books. God knows there’s a lot of shit out there. But if you liked Divergent or if my PREVIOUS REVIEW entices you, go NOW to your library.

And the Ending, the last chapter, no, the last page, is a Holy Crap Moment. Enjoy that.

I’m sad there’s only one book left.

The stakes are raised, people die, and this plot runs deeper than affecting just five factions.

I’ve said too much already. Go. Go!

4/5

MH

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“Blankets” by Craig Thompson: an illustrated novel review

“Blankets” by Craig Thompson is a unique and mature graphic novel which was never a collection of comic issues, but a decidedly heavy and intentional one-shot novel told through pictures and text. A hefty 400+ page black-and-white journey with dark issues that are anything but black-and-white, this tale is ambiguous enough that many may not know how to feel about it, and some may not even like it — but if you consider yourself a lover of well-executed visual art or if you are a graphic novel aficionado, read this right away.

This title is so close to a 5 but the end was a bit to ambiguous for me. The meat of Thompson’s story, however, is truly a novel; a well-written one, that happened to be illustrated, and deserves respect.

This is an adult book for 17 and up, and here are a few reasons:

Implied molestation, child abuse, child negligence, scenes showing the difficulties of mental retardation and family life, drug use, violence, harsh language, nudity, frontal male gentials and topless females, and scenes discussing, inferring, and almost showing the act of masturbation.

So yeah. Adult stuff.

I would love to ask Craig why he felt he had to tell THIS story in THIS style, (why not just a real novel), but that question is kind of answered in the text. This is a story about finding our purpose in life; making decisions to live for others or ourselves or God. It also touches on how many of us felt growing up: awkward and wishing for acceptance and love. Some of us still feel that.

It’s a story loaded, and I mean freakin’; loaded with Christian guilt and hypocracies, showing how bad organized religion can be for a particular youth. And he backs up the claim of why he lost his faith in this novel. You’ll see. Oh, you’ll see literally. Or is it “graphically”?

Top 20 Most important graphic/illustrated novels of all time, I’d guess.

4/5

MH

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“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne: a book review

Simply put, this is one of those fablelike books that come around once a lifetime, filled with messages about humanity that serve as entertaining lessons for children, teens, adults, and the elderly. This is just good writing — just a book, not meant for any sub-genre category.

In this brief book, about 210 pages, big font and margins, you can fully absorb yourself in one day into a Holocaust story told in a way that is as unique as the title. Without ever saying “Holocaust” or “Auschwitz” and leaving out painful slangs and hyper-violence and sex, this still hits hard and will stir you deep. Through our collective culture’s global understanding and our personal interpretations of what happened in Poland and Germany in WWII, we’ve all been given a lifetime of details from our movies we’ve watched and our lessons from school and the stories we’ve heard from the elderly.

With this personal information we all carry, and our own relationship to it, the author shows us something fresh; he shows us this time in human history through the eyes of a naive nine-year old son of a Commandant who lives just outside of a “camp” and makes friends with a Jewish boy on the other side of the fence. Third-person, but mostly from Bruno’s perspective, we watch a German boy’s desire to be around others and find happiness through very specific cultural “lenses.” German lenses. Heavy stuff and easy to empathize to nearly all the characters.

(The movie adaptation was great, but I still recommend reading the book first.)

Staggeringly simple, short, and tightly written, this novel is equally harsh, inventive, artistic and important — while most importantly, being accessible to any age.

Worth owning and a Must-Read. One of the great “Holocaust” tales, just as important (if not more so) for kids to read than “Diary of Anne Frank.”

5/5

MH

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“Graceling” by Kristin Cashore: a YA book reaction and rant

My grade breakdown within the book, according to its own segmented “Parts”:

  • Part I: 10/10
  • Part II: 5/10
  • Part III: 7/10

 

Spolier rant and reaction:

Very little conflict in this book. More character and “world” driven. Great language and world and characters, even the plot was good, but very fatty in the middle. Would have liked a better “End of Leck” which was a cop-out scene and a death that happened to quickly, and still can’t believe Katsa’s Uncle didn’t chase her down or make more of a fuss when she left.

Don’t listen to the hype. This is a good book, nothing more. Why people gush over this?….. I’m in the minority, but with good reason.

I really wanna give a 4, but…. no.

She did keep me reading though, but I constantly wanted…. more.

I can’t give it a solid 4 from writing ability alone. And the writing rocks. It’s issues with story building and entertainment execution. The copy editor’s disappearance and the lack trimming left something to be desired, and the story’s 3/4 mark was just weak. Needed core rewrites, 50 pages shorter, too. You’ll enjoy it more if you’re a teen girl who hasn’t read a ton of fantasy, but I’m a bearded man and have read a lot, and other work is just better in this genre right now. This gets third place after two or three other books at least (i.e. “Grave Mercy”, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”, etc.) She’s an excellent writer though, and maybe Bitterblue is better (the sequel book).

Worth reading, so, yeah, I recommend it, but after you finish part one, which is flawless, take a break and imagine what a great book it could have evolved into. Imagine what you might read next. Salivate like I did for scenes and situations that may never come, cuz some don’t. Then continue reading the novel and be slightly dissapointed.

3.5/5
MH

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“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman: a book review (and a personal introspection)

“…Dying is easy. Living is hard.”

This is one of the best books I will ever read in YA. Read it in a day, by yourself, and then let this one simmer. Girl gets in horrific car accident in chapter one, most of family dies, she has an out of body experience following her body and loved ones around the hospital, and using a potent flashback device we relive with Mia the years leading up to this point.

Her choice is this: leave this world, or stay?

Wow.

It’s not with out minor faults, but when you read it cover to cover, you’ll understand the high rating. Forget the cover art, forget the stupid “Twilight” quote from USA today for marketing purposes… just read.

A heavy tale that exemplifies great modern meta-fiction done right to connect with its target audience. “If I Stay” (released in 2009) houses references to rock-and-roll magazines, CBGBs in NYC, a plethora of 70s and 80s figure heads like Patti Smith and Debbie Harry, and punk rock bands like Weezer, Nirvana, and the Ramones, Batman, television shows, celebrities, movie references, and Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, and Lord of the Flies. But ultimately, it’s about family, love, and why you should live your crazy life.

Yes, making too many modern pop-culture references in your story can often promise the novel will age poorly or just always hearken back to the time period in which it was written in, but when dealing with the Young Adult genre, it’s wise when doing realistic and dramatic teen fiction to put the characters firmly in the here-and-now; to force the reader to reflect and empathize with the characters in the novel who seem to be inhabiting their own familiar world. Yes, as the years pass, tales using this ploy may not be as affective or relatable for future generations, but in the case of “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman, not only is it crucial, but it’s done masterfully and balanced and graceful. It’s a book for today’s cultural environment and youth and makes no excuses or apologies for it. It’s done well.

Another book will be written by another author years from now for the next generation. This one is for the kids born roughly between 1980-2000. Awesome, awesome message of hope and love that never, ever feels forced. Gayle, fucking bravo, girl!

On the down side (and there is very little to criticize about this book): three issues. One: The early description of the car wreck and the graphic details are a bit much and not necessary. Two: the elitist, scene hipster character, Brooke Vega, though not in the story for long, was an unrealistic personification of the punk landscape, thrown in specifically for humor and stood as a cheap, lazy construction of a very dead part of early seventies era glam-punk. Young teens in Portland, Oregon would never have and don’t have rock gods like this anymore. The descriptions and the dialogue this character spouted pulled me out of the story and rang untrue.

Which leads us to the final complaint: in a story that is so short, there may be too much “insider-type” referential material, two or three too many call-back and shout-outs to obscure sub-cultures which most 15-23 year olds would never know about in any way, shape, or form unless they harbor very curious niche tastes or their parents were born in the seventies, grew up in the eighties, and pummeled their kids in the nineties with tons of rock trivia. I know about it because I’m a punk rock junkie, but not everyone might. I’m turning 27 soon, and I listen to punk from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s; I pride myself on being the person in my group of friends who knows everything about punk rock’s evolution. I even own some of the better documentaries on DVD on the subject, okay? Me. Dork.

Part of this story was very cathartic for me on a personal level. Yeah, I’m gonna get personal on you now. The dad of Mia and his story closely mirrors my own. The parents are in their thirties, and that’s where I’m headed in less than five years, and the dad’s whole back story (the localized popularity while never getting big famous, releasing the CDs, doing the summer tours, then giving up, putting on a tie, and getting a real job) is exactly what I am. Even down to the eerie detail of how the dad’s bands were somehow popular in Japan and fans offered up their houses if they would fly from America to play in Japan. This happened to my band “Flash Grenade” except with fans in London and, strangely, Australia. I honestly thought Gayle Forman read my diary.

 

circa 2006

circa 2007

circa 2006 again

To make it doubly freaky, I too have considered becoming a teacher since my wife and I are talking about having kids in a few years. Then Gramps says how Mia’s father wrote lyrics like poems and he thought he’d be a writer someday. I have a book on Amazon. I wrote lyrics for my band like short stories. Mind-fudged… that’s what I got. Never has a book done this to me. Page 152-160 shook my soul.

circa 2009

It was tricky to read some of these parts. I’m a push-over to begin with: I’m a hopeless romantic, I don’t shy away from sad thoughts or introspection, so when I saw what I could be in a few years, I was struck with a volley of contrasting and opposing ideas, stirring up long buried philosophies about my life and my choices. I still secretly breathe the punk scene. It made me think: would it be sadder to leave those hard decisions of “moving on” in the past, or is it sadder for a librarian and shoe salesman to reattempt slam dunks when he hasn’t touched a court for years?

From 2004-2010, during the reign of Flash Grenade, (yes, on iTunes) I was sure music would be my life, and then, suddenly, it couldn’t be and wasn’t for several reasons. We made thousands of dollars and hundreds of memories in a few short years. Now it’s over. One day, I was going to open for Green Day, right? Of course I was. Just a matter of time, right?

In the end, I guess I’m saying this book hit home on a personal note and made it really real for me – I could honestly relate to at least half the characters and empathize with them.

And then I continued to the final fifty pages of this novel and was blown away by how powerful and honest it was. This book is surely one of the best in recent years. Period.

This YA book for older teens (15+ I’d guess) is not even 200 pages long but pack a punch, keeps those pages turning, and has some wonderfully fleshed out and dimensional characters—further proof that size and page-count of the book isn’t everything when crafting excellent fiction. It’s haunting; it’s true to life, honest about punks and alternative culture (for the most part) and portrays self-doubt and first loves realistically.

The ending of this book is incredible. Must-Read, not just for girls, but for all. I will be reading the sequel, Where She Went (last year’s goodreads.com winner for best YA novel).

5/5
MH

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“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier: a book review

Because the style and emotional conveyance worked so effectively, “The Chocolate War” gets a 3.0 rather than a 2.5 star.

“What?” you say. “Only a 3? It’s a classic!”

Yeah, but age has worked against it, and being edgy and controversial doesn’t always make great art, and while this book could be great for kids in high school, it’s too damn bleak and bullyish. While argulably realistic, no one — not one character, students or teacher, bad guy or good guy or in-the-middle characters — got what they deserved. The good were punished, the bad guys never repented, and there was simply a lot of harsh language and sexuality here, all of which I was fine with, but given the plot and the story, I felt they were interesting character vignettes; powerful but little else.

It’s a book for boys. Girls are objects, don’t disturb the status quo, adults suck. If anything, it made me dislike organized religion, authority, and bullies more than I already do, and if that was the point, bravo.

But aren’t readers supposed to enjoy the books and lessons in them? Aren’t writer’s goals to give harsh reality checks in a way that make us want to keep reading? Fail.

I was never swept away, I could always find a place to put down the book and check my Facebook account, and the depth of the story honestly merited a short story, not a novel. You would have lost some of the brilliant character depth, yes, but that’s the trade-off, and I would have prefered it.

Robert Cormier was an incredible writer, and it does show it’s face here in “The Chocolate War.” But you can tell by how disjointed some parts are, how repetitious the second act was, and how confusing and unfocused the first few chapters were: this was a book he wrote off-and-on for three years while he was working a full-time job (which he admits in the back of the 30th Anninversy paperback edition).

I admire this author, but he has better stuff out there, and “The Chocolate War” came no where near the excitement and readability and appeal and execution that “I Am the Cheese” can tout.

Final words: Bland, not fun to read, not something you’ll be recommending to friends. You’ll hear about it because your school blabbers on and on about it or because it’s been on the banned book list for ages.

enjoyment at heart: 2.0/5

writing: 4.5/5

my sensible and critical grade: 3.0/5

MH

 

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“The Goats” by Brock Cole: a book review

We are all Goats at one time or another, usually in our early teens when we’re discovering what our identities truly are while the adults have laughable and incongruent perceptions of “us.”

Using themes of identity, friendship and trust, author Brock Cole’s “The Goats” illustrates a late 80s camp ground ritual where two thirteen-year olds deemed social outcasts are stripped naked and left for a whole day on Goat Island. So, what did Howie and Laura do next? And what happened when the kid’s and the counselors can’t find them the next day? Where have they gone and why do they not want to be found?

To begin, I must disclose I would not have read this book based on its previous covers. This book is about 24 years old. Yup. Third new cover right here. Clever, clever marketing to get new kids reading old books. I’m glad though, because this is worth reading for teens, and the premise and reviews I read for it are what got me. But not everyone puts that kind of time and energy into their information gathering. I was sold on the plot is my point, where other younger people would possibly hear the premise, think it was neat, then see an old cover and pass on it. What sillies.

It should here be mentioned that while the themes and ability to relate to the characters in “The Goats” are strong, the writing is far from award worthy, at times clunky and under-relished, and most of the threads come together in the last third or so of this book. That’s what books are supposed to do of course, but at times the reader will say “where is he going with this?” The part where the two protagonists are in the other camp of mostly black children felt very tagged on and screamed that the book was written in the eighties with lingering seventies social awareness. The middle 40-pages are a drag. It didn’t add much to the character development, which already left a little to be desired.

Having said this, the truth is, this is a good book. “The Goats” has a lot to say about simply being a kid where we don’t get much say and other powers rule what we do and who we are. Who can’t relate to that?

It was nice to have a Young Adult book told in the third-person past tense, which is simply how it was decades ago. Today, YA is frequently and abusively first-person present tense. I also enjoyed Brock Cole’s framing device of showing what Laura’s mother or the camp counselors were doing every few chapters, as they tries to reunite with the missing kids, all the while speculating about what they’ve done, etc. Again – further showing the reader how adults view kids, sometimes rightly, sometimes way off base.

All in all, this book illustrates what sexuality is and what we perceive it to be in young teens. What bullying is. What survival is. How kids silently hate their awkward years. How some decide to play in the system and some almost leave it—or do leave it. This book also makes a believable friendship blossom that will surely last a lifetime between the two main characters. You want to know if they stayed friends, dated in the following years, changed their ways, grew stronger, lost contact with each other, etc.

While I found the author’s decision to call Howie and Laura “the boy” and “the girl” for symbolic reasons understandable and reasonable, I didn’t think it was all that necessary and lead to some confusion and dull sentences. This could have almost been an awe-inspiring short story of 30-pages, but the author wrote a short novel, practically a teen novella. And he pulls it off. It’s good. I can say that, and middle-schoolers should read this book, often banned for mild language and nudity in the first two chapters, none of which is highly sexual or violent in any sense. It’s just an example of censors not liking kids being nude, but why are they nude—that what makes this book worth reading.

The book is likely worth more than a three, but it didn’t entertain me enough or do anything that hadn’t been done. It’s a better story than a three, but that’s what it got.

182 pages. 1987. SquareFish/Macmillan Press.

3/5

MH

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“The Search For Wondla” by Tony DiTerlizzi: a book review

Overall, excellent read for kids 10+ and even people into their late teens and early adulthood if they enjoy sci-fi and fantasy.

Be a kid again. Screw everyone else. Read what you like. Get taken away to another world with great art.

Author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Tony made a terrific book, but one that’s a bit too long and overly-described. Every moment is logged and it didn’t have to be. Some moments and sceneriers did not need to be so heavily described as it slowed down some action, and given the story it’s telling, well, 400 pages would have been more than enough, but this book is over 460+.
Still incredible art, though, and a clever blend of post-apocolyptic, future-dytopia, adventure/quest/coming of age Epic, a la: Star Wars, Never Ending Story, and the video game Fallout 3. You get a likeable female protagonist, all of 12 years old, trying to find another human being on a planet, surrounded by fantastic creatures and robots. But this planet has a history. Oh yes, it does.
And it also has a sequel book… and a movie in the works.
Of course.

 

4/5        

 MH

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“Clockwork Angel” by Cassandra Clare: a book review

*Yawn*

Unembellished, functional, utilitarian fantasy: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is cheese pizza: it’s good, but nothing’s on it. This series is the cheese pizza of Young Adult/Teen Pop Lit right now. Good, but, so what?

Its set-up and execution serves its purpose, nothing more. The depth is not there and the large cast of characters feels small or disposable from lack of character building in the first 100 pages. The reader can’t know anything beyond this: a teenage female protagonist is looking for her brother and gets mad or curious or happy when situation are present accordingly. Flat. There isn’t a whole lot to Tessa. The first 100 pages see little plot progress, which would be okay if we are getting world building, which is only so-so, or maybe character building, but there is very little of that. I don’t care how good the rest of ANY book becomes later, you’d better have me hooked by page 100, or, what the hell are you doing writing with such pacing? Something needs to fill in and merit such pacing. There’s so little here.

This continues in the second act. Good luck.

Plus the dialogue! Could no one in the publishing house weed it down a bit? Reel it in? Page 75 to 96 was nothing but walking around the building they live in establishing vague plot and predictable world-building and I was falling asleep. The first five chapters, almost entirely but not fully, are charged with creative manslaughter and dialogue abuse in the first degree: paragraphs of dialogue, pages of it, tiresome peripheral convos, and dizzying historical banters and babblings. Lazy, lazy, lazy. This could have been told in 75 pages, not 100.

So, let’s move away from the first half of the book.

Her popularity: let’s chat about that.

Again, she may not be as poor as I am making her sound, granted, but she is certainly “good” at best and is ASTOUDINGLY, INCREDIBLY over-rated. I can understand 3 and 3.5 stars. Really, I can. But, any other “hot author” from the past 12-months has her dead to rights in the “ability to tout the praise” area: including Suzanne Collins, Laini Taylor, and Veronica Roth.

About the characters: Will Herondale is the only character fleshed out, and the Dark Sisters are cool, though evil archetypes—and generic at that. Still enjoyable villains.

The Genre: Decent fantasy, poor attempt of “steam-punk.”

Serving as a prequel series to Cassandra Clare’s original “Mortal Instruments” series, I was told the first book in this “Infernal Devices” series, Clockwork Angel, was quality enough to stand on its own. Awesome stuff, I was promised. That statement is…. Ehhh….

City of Bones MUST be better than this, or I just won’t understand her popularity. However debatably good the ending of this might be, and it leaves a lot hanging, it doesn’t make up for the bad taste lingering in your mouth from the first half. Why do I have to pay 15 dollars three or more times for a serialized trilogy story so unworthy of fifty-ish dollars?

Stop with the filler, YA publishers and authors. Stop. Give us quality. A sequel if pertinent only. If I wanted magic and race-separatism and clever made-up words, I’d read “Harry Potter.”

If I wanted paranormal romance, I’d read “Paranormalcy” or “Twlight.”

If I wanted fable, myth, and consequences for not completing otherworldly tasks, I’d dig into “Daughter of Smoke & Bone.”

All of the above titles deliver better on their themes and tones than this novel, which tries to mash them all together. By not focusing on one thing, but rather talking at the reader through exposition about many shallow things, we’re left unsatisfied and unmotivated with drudgingly slow and mediocre plot. I’ll say it like this: reading to discover a frustrating, itching answer to a question or reading because your enthralled by a plot are two different things. Both will keep you reading, but in one of these instances, you’re made about it. You have to know the ending, right? I kept reading because I was pissed off and wanted answers. I wanted to find the brother, and maybe in the process, find out why this book was so damned popular.

Humph.

Get to the 100 page marks of both “Clockwork Angel”, and say, “Divergent”, and tell me which one earned it’s page count. Which one “moves and grabs.” Clare is just in need of a good copy editor. There is flat prose and style issues that could easily be improved by a knowledgeable team and a willing, open, non-egomaniacal author. Not that Clare is one, but I’m merely stating that great books come from a great team with an author who works with her criticisms pre-release, and I hope Clare is one of those level-headed non-control freaks. For every 100 pages of this book, 20 pages at least could have been chopped out.

This 480 page book could have been a well-paced 400-page novel, but, no.

So, disclaimer: I didn’t wanna hate this! I loved the first 50 pages! I really did!

I went into this title really amped up. My co-workers and friends said “rock on” and I heard nothing but praise for it. I genuinely feel bad that I’ve been left out of what seems to be a really exciting series for the majority of people who read this.

According to Goodreads.com, Cassandra Clare’s series’ (“the Mortal Instruments” and “the Infernal Devices”) both average over 70% of people who read it gave it a 4 or 5 star books. Amazin, right? I’m sorry that I’m not on the bandwagon, because I sure as hell would love to able to get into it and be excited for the film that is being made from her earlier title from the Mortal Instruments series: “City of Bones.”

Wrapping this up: Again, this is a “buy my sequel, buy my series, buy the next book in ten months” publishing ploy and I’m starting to really be irritated by that. Don’t abuse our wallets with your sham, publishers! Don’t make your authors fluff and fatten and filler their novels. We’re being used, fellow readers. Write one good book. Maybe two. Remember those days? I can’t.

This last bit may sound harsh, but there is just so much better stuff out right now between 2011’s Fall and 2012’s Spring publishing flood that this should be on the bottom of your list if it’s even on it. I’ll read “City of Bones” in the Fall, maybe, and make my final judgment on whether Cassandra Clare can live or not.

2.5/5

MH

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