I’ve lost hope in the YA reading community…

You know what? I think I’ve just lost all hope in the YA reading community. Too many times, I’ve read books and I squint at them and wonder who the hell allowed for this book to be published. And then I remember – right, other adult human beings who have jobs and are making decent amounts of money from this.

It’s books like Maze Runner and Fallen that really get to me. They’re popular (in fact, so much that Maze Runner has a movie out now, and Fallen is about to get a movie) but the writing is awful. The prose is bad, the story line mediocre. Plot-holes appear all over the place. Mary Sue characters everywhere. But people still love these books for some reason. I don’t see the appeal.

Recently, to my amusement, I was called a “stupid, dumb hater” because I claimed that I thought Maze Runner was a piece of crap and Dashner’s other book The Eye of Minds, a piece of crap as well.

dumbIt’s immature people like these that really let me down. I mean, seriously? You are going to call me stupid and dumb because I insulted one of your top three authors, who for the record, is a pretty awful author?

I’m not a hater. A hater by definition is someone who contributes negatively to the community for reasons that aren’t for the greater good of others. I don’t hate James Dashner because I’m a shallow ass and I think he’s ugly. No. I strongly dislike his books because they are bad.

It’s not even like I personally insulted anyone and called them dumb and stupid for liking the Maze Runner. In fact, be proud of me. I refrained from commenting on the fact that James Dashner is one of their top 3 authors in a list of 100 for best authors. Obviously someone hasn’t introduced this kid to Rainbow Rowell. Or Rick Riordan. Or John Green. Or anyone who writes novels that don’t completely undermine and insult the intelligence of human beings in general and super extremely intelligent teenagers, to be more specific.

It’s the fact that these books have such a rabid fan base that makes me even more upset. WAKE UP PEOPLE! STOP READING CRAPPY BOOKS!

Jesus.

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Review: Chimera Book One

Chimera Book One
Chimera Book One by Phil Gomm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say, I really like this book. It’s definitely written for a younger audience, but the idea is pretty cool in terms of a bizarre world where inanimate objects. This book kind of reminded me of Phantom Tollbooth. In fact the two worlds are very similar.

That being said, I found to writing to be just a tad bit dull and the pacing to be a little rushed. Granted this is the first book of a series, but there’s still a bit too much telling in comparison to showing.

But interesting start. I’m looking forward to the other books.

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Review: Between

Between
Between by Dora Hilburn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC vis Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Aggghhh. This is another one of those books where I feel kind of awful saying how much this book sucked because it seemed like the author really did tried, but at the same time, this book kind of sucked.

The writing in this book was no bad, it was a solid read, but there were many things that were way too rushed and quite awfully corny.

1. WTF world building?
I think the biggest issue with this book is it’s lack of worldbuilding. There isn’t even all that much world to build, but just a bit more explanation about how the weird energy world works and why there’s evil and what the heck this portal thing is would have help anchor the whole story down a lot more. The first time this “evil” was introduced, I was wtfing so hard, because, what the hell? Where did any of this come from?

I can understand the whole ghost and chill thing because that’s pretty much common knowledge. This whole portal and evil ghost wants to kill you thing was just a little too much. Not only so, we never quite find out why it had to be Anna the evil thing wanted to go after.

2. Insta-love-triangle?
I can kind of understand the insta love between Wyatt and Anna if we just completely push it off as paranormal romance. That being said, I still thought it was awful. Insta-love is never a good idea.

At one point, Anna was sporting a love triangle, being in love with Wyatt and Eric in love with her. Somehow she’s strangely fascinating. I, however, cannot agree to such “fascinating”.

The love is also so corny. Multiple times, I’ve had to stop and stare and try to remind myself that I was reading the same book that moments ago was perfectly un-cringe worthy at all.

3. The Dialogue
I could not deal with the back and forths between most of the characters. Wyatt is just constantly sad, but somehow sarcastic, but then he feels awfully out of character and such… Anna is supposedly a fascinating person, but I’m not sure how. She certainly talks and acts like a normal person. Eric… is just Eric. Something about him is weird. He’s too happy go lucky, too unrealistic and way too insta-love.

It’s hard to explain but dialogue just feels like a jumbled mess of corny.

4. The Characters
I usually complain about the characters first, but for this book… I’m not sure what I feel about the characters since their dialogues’ been botched so badly. I have to say though, Wyatt is technically at least 50 years old (I forget when he died, but doesn’t matter, he’s old). Even if he lurked around the house for that many years, he should at least have the maturity of a whatever years he’s been around year old. Not a 19 insta-love boy.

Conclusion
I would not recommend this book. Unfortunately, there’s too much corny, a little too cliche. That being said, I think the author definitely has the potential to write better books and I’m interested in reading more of her books in the future.

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Teardrop: Chapter 2

Eureka arrives back at her car which is this really nice Jeep Cherokee she named Magda.

It was too new and too red to suit Eureka. With the windows rolled up, you couldn’t hear anything outside, and this made Eureka imagine she was driving a tomb.

Isn’t… not hearing anything outside the whole point of having the windows rolled up? And just because it’s silent doesn’t mean you’re in a fucking tomb. You could also be driving a live yoga session and it’d be just as quiet.

She used to be super punk DJ, but since the death, we have to be told once again that all color has drained from her once oh so perfect life. She continues to mope because she can’t imagine playing guitar without her mom either.

FUCK, CAN YOU DO ANYTHING WITHOUT YOUR MOM? WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE?

She wants to seek vengeance on the wave, which is pretty stupid. You can’t seek vengeance on an inanimate object. It’s not going to feel pain or guilt or whatever for whatever it did which defeats the whole purpose of seeking vengeance.

She continues to mope, this time about how misunderstood she is. BUT YOU DON’T EVER FUCKING SAY ANYTHING. BITCH, HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO BE UNDERSTOOD IF YOU DON’T EVER COMMUNICATE? YOU’RE STEPMOTHER FUCKING CALLS YOU “DISTANT” BECAUSE YOU DON’T EVER FUCKING TELL HER ANYTHING. OBVIOUSLY YOU’RE THE PROBLEM HERE, NOT EVERYONE ELSE.

As she drives, she starts moping so much about how much her life fucking sucks with all the pitying and no mother life that she actually can’t breathe. She stops at an intersection and studies her arm so that you can get a glimpse of her cut arm just for even more fucking pity points – except some dude crashes her from behind.

She sees Mister Sexy (presumbably Ander) yells at him to help her and then proceeds to get super pissed at him for hitting her car.

Did you even try to stop?”

“I didn’t see—”

“Didn’t see the large red car directly in front of you?”

Excuses never got so lame.

“What do I expect?” She approached the boy. “I expect to be able to get in a car without having my life threatened. I expect the people on the road around me to have some rudimentary sense of traffic laws. I expect the dude who rear-ends me not to act so smug.”

Wow…. Bitch alert… You know girl, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Had this been any other jock, they would’ve smacked you until you cried and then drove off without another word, because what the fuck, this boy was not smug at all, you stopped in the middle of the fucking road at an intersection (you weren’t even pulled over), and don’t you want to die? What. An. Asshole.

“But I guess I expected too much. Your dumb ass doesn’t even have insurance.”

OH MY GOD. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HIT THIS GIRL FOR ME NOW? WHERE ARE YOUR FUCKING MANNERS?

The boy just grins like a creepy idiot and tells her everything’ll be OK. Eureka tries to call her parents and neither dad nor step-mom pick up. She almost cries, the sky rumbles ominously and the boy grabs her tear before it rolls down her cheek.

1. Creepy.

2. Not subtle foreshadowing at all.

Review: Catch Me When I Fall

Catch Me When I Fall
Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via Net Galley in return for an honest review

This book was a solid read. The writing, overall, was pretty good (with a couple exceptions I’ll mention later). The storyline was interesting. The concept was pretty cool. However, this book failed to take in a few very important elements, which causes the entire story to self implode on itself logic-wise.

One of the biggest issues? It’s worldbuilding.

1. Buggers, I should be 200 years in age!
I’m going to say right now, the biggest problem with this book isn’t even the rather quick and badly done insta-love, but the fact that these Catchers are 200 years old and have experienced multiple lifetimes through other people, yet still act like they’re goddamn immature teenagers. If there’s one thing that’s most wrong about this book, that would be it.

I would have understood slightly more it if their brains stayed in a biologically underdeveloped stage, but 1. the author never states that and from the idea of being not physically alive, I don’t think brain development really is all that important anymore and 2. that still gives no excuse to acting and talking like a teenager and unnecessary insta-love that could only happen to an inexperienced teenager. Fuck, they all act like teenagers. I would never want the fate of my dreams to be rested in the hands of a bunch of immortal not-quite-dead teenagers.

2. Insta-Love!
That being said, the insta-love was awful and probably just one of the many “typical YA” features that appear in this book. Others include Mary Sue characters (though, thankfully, they aren’t as blatantly bad in this book as compared to most others. They do still exist in this book, unfortunately.)

3. Flawed worldbuilding
The worldbuilding in this book is flawed. There’s nothing to be said about that. When every person in the world has a dreamcatcher and a weaver plus the catchers have understudies, that’s a shitload of people who need to sacrifice themselves. In fact, that’s saying that at least 2/3 of the human population would have to have sacrificed themselves to others, which obviously isn’t the case.

Not only so, we have Catchers killed off left and right and other than the typical, “Oh, so-and-so died, I’m so sad.” there’s nothing else. No “fuck, we’re going to have a shortage of catchers.” or “who’s going to catch [person’s] dreams now?”

Apparently Daniel’s the best fighter they’ve got, so I’m assuming that most of the people before him are dead. So, where are the abundance of Catchers coming from?

The Catcher idea was cool, but once the Magus got introduced, I was a little eh about the worldbuilding. The Magus aren’t portrayed enough and they make Catchers look like weak little shits. Kayla is super OP even though “I can’t control my magic! I’m going to kill someone!”. We’re not quite informed of the mechanics behind Magus and their magic other than that one very short and skimpy lesson which we learn about nothing.

4. Fight Scenes
The writing was good. Until the fight scenes.

I’ll admit, as someone who does creative writing in my free time, writing a good fight scene is hard and some authors just aren’t good at it. The fight scenes in this book weren’t necessarily complete pieces of shit – they were decent reads – but after the first few, the rest all sound almost the same. Daniel hits this Nightmare, dodges the other, throws a knife and then gets hit. Curses in pain but continues to fight. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Not good enough.

Conclusion
This book is not awful. But I can’t forgive it’s gaping flaws in worldbuilding. I actually would recommend this book. It’s a decent read. Just, not the type of book I would ever read and then obsess over for the next 6 months and be warned of it’s plot holes.

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Teardrop: Chapter 1

We start with Eureka sitting, massaging her bad ear, which she hurt in the wave. She’s in a waiting room with an empty but really really loud fish tank. She’s at the therapist’s, which her dad made her go to so that she would be able to get over her mom’s death. Except all of the therapists somehow just suck.

Sometimes I really worry. Why are psychiatrists always portrayed as stupid dumb butts who never actually understand the angsty teenager’s problems?

Eureka noted her new therapist’s taupe leather slip-ons. She’d sat on the couch across from many similar pairs of shoes. Female doctors did this little trick: they slipped off their flats at the beginning of a session, slid their feet back into them to signal the end. They all must have read the same dull article about the Shoe Method being gentler on the patient than simply saying time was up.

I… don’t know how to react to that… Ew? Stinky feet?

After a very detailed description her therapist taking off her shoes (maroon toenails, if you cared to know), we find out that the therapist’s name is Landry. Really. I swear, did Ms. Kate just look up, see a laundry basket and then go “oh goody, a name!”.

Landry tries to initiate conversation, but all Eureka wants to do is escape reality.

But Landry looked sensible, interested in the reality from which Eureka yearned to escape.

Uhhh…. girl, just because she looks sensible doesn’t mean she is sensible.

Apparently she’s missing a cross country meet for this. She also recently tried to kill herself. And ended up surviving and thrown in a psychiatric ward with a schizo and emo Asians. What’s awful though, is that it’s described at if “oh poor little Eureka going through all that horror!” but fuck, bitch, you just tried to kill yourself. You’re just as bad as the emo Asian boy. You need to stop thinking you’re normal and then also try to kill yourself.

She’s all upset because the place was really far and also her hometown, which would make her unable to attend her cross country meet and it was a really important meet. But, she’s the one driving to this place. Why couldn’t she just skip the appointment? If the meet is that important, skip the fucking appointment.

The meet’s importation because ever since her mother’s death, she’s been doing awful and this was her last chance to redeem herself.

Landry asks a bunch of questions that Eureka thinks the answer too, but doesn’t say anything. She spends to whole time moping about good times with her dead mother and how much life sucks now because she’s dead. And she still wants to kill herself.

I can tell, this book is going to be a blast.

Eureka just wants pills. Landry says that’s not going to help her problem. Eureka storms out pissed.

Girl, why didn’t you just skip the entire appointment? Stupid stupid stupid.

Review: Puppet

Puppet
Puppet by Pauline C. Harris

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, I feel awful for giving this book such a low rating because I could really tell that the author was trying so hard to write a good book, but the unfortunate truth is, this book is not a good book and I would not recommend it to anyone.

1. Not Pinocchio related.
The most glaring issue here was that I walked into the book with the misconception that this would be a clever Pinocchio re-telling that Cinder was of Cinderella. Unfortunately, it seems that only actual relationship between the two stories shrinks down to two minimal facts – 1. the book contains marionettes and 2. the MC of the book, Pen, wants to become “real” (which isn’t all that related because other than having superpower abilities, Pen isn’t actually any less “real” than anyone else, she’s just different).

Not only so, the whole book seemed to have completely missed the moral of the story for Pinocchio – to be a responsible kid – which just made them even less related to each other.

This story is NOT a Pinocchio retelling. It’s a book about the future and marionettes.

2. Awful Characters
One of the biggest problems with this book that it’s characters are pretty awful. Most specifically Pen. Even after finishing the book, I still had no clue what kind of person she is and whether she would be the type of person I would like to be friends with or not.

She’s randomly sarcastic at times, randomly mopey at times. Sometimes she acts like a 12 year old, sometimes a 22 year old. There were many times where I had to remind myself that, oh right, this kid is suppose to be my age. And then I wonder if anyone I knew or just anyone in general would act like this. Realistically saying, probably not.

In fact, she feels just like an emotionless robot the way she narrates everything.

The sad fact is that the secondary characters have more of a defining personality than Pen does. At least we know that James is that “normal” teenage kid. Jed is the over obsessed scientist. Eledin is the typical evil guy. While none of these are very well created original characters, they fare better than Pen. At least I know I would like to be friends with James and probably stay away from Eledin.

I don’t even know what to say about Pen.

3. The prose.
Is no good.

Honestly, there’s way too much telling rather than showing. Multiple times we’re told that Pen was trying to be sarcastic. Rather, it would have been many times better if we were just told “I smirked” or “I sneered”, both which portray sarcasm perfectly.

The plotline was not paced out very well either. The story was slow in the beginning and it almost was as if the author got really tired towards the end and just tossed the ending out in one sitting. It’s too much to ask the reader to be able to swallow the whole plot twist in such a short amount of time, especially when the book just ends less than 30 pages after with not enough explanation. Instead of going “oh shit”, I went “what the fuck?” and then rage quitted for a day.

There was no character development and the romance was probably thrown in there because typical YA.

And, it was totally insta-love.

Conclusion
The author really tried with this book, but it just really is not good. This would be a nice example of a book that should have gotten a few more beta readers.

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Review: Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Is it bad that this book has made me want to do drugs just to prove that the main character of the story is just a hopeless idiot rather than prevent me from doing drugs?

God, this book was god awful.

1. THIS IS NOT A DIARY
If you go back to the book and stop at any point and think for a moment, you’ll realize that no actual living teenager would write 90% of the contents in this book in a diary. No teenager would run away from home, think “hmmm, I should write shit down”, write it down on fucking brown paper bags and then bring it home.

Just. No.

You know that message at the beginning of the book that tells you that this was taken from a real diary? Well, that’s a piece of bullshit.

2. THE GIRL MISSED THE FUCKING POINT
You know why the fuck we aren’t allowed to do drugs? Because drugs fucking screw over the brain and we don’t want half the population of the country to be a bunch of flaming retards who got their brains destroyed by smoking. It would also be hella dangerous if half the population of the country was high more than 90% of the time.

NO ONE EVER TOLD YOU THAT DRUGS WOULDN’T BE ENJOYABLE. IF THEY WEREN’T WHO WOULD EVER GET TRIPPED? DO YOU HAVE A GODDAMN BRAIN?

Conclusion
DON’T EVER READ THIS BOOK EVER

If you want a good no drug book, don’t go for this one.

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Teardrop: Prologue

Ah, tis time for a new book! The cover of this book proves to be gorgeous. The insides, not so much.

—-

We start out with a sunset against the Seven Mile Bridge. There’s a boy sitting in a stolen fishing boot a hundred yards away from the bridge. There are construction workers on the bridge and both the workers and the boy are so called “Seedbearers”. They’re about to kill “the girl and the mother”.

But, of course, the boy (who’s name is Ander) is in wuv with the girl.

Ander had a choice: fulfill his obligations to his family, or–

No

The choice was simpler than that:

Save the world, or save the girl.

OHMAHGERD THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!!!! I TOTALLY CAN’T TELL WHICH ONE HE’LL PICK!!! -rolls off a cliff-

The plan for killing the girl is to created a huge wave that washes them off the bridge.

They could even get away with it. No one could prosecute a crime he didn’t know had been committed.

No shit. What, we’re gonna start prosecuting people because a tsunami hit wherever?

So it turns out these Seedbearers are manipulators of the wind, which in turn, they were going to use to push up a huge wave to wash the car away. Wouldn’t it be simpler… if they just created a tornado? Or something more wind related? Or stab the girl with a knife? Or just something more straightforward than huge tsunami wave which seems to described as rather complicated?

For months they had spoken only of their certainty that the right wind under the right water would be powerful enough to kill the right girl.

Shouldn’t it be the right water under the right wind? Also, when you say kill the right girl, does that mean this girl is in particularly hard to kill? Yes? No? Maybe?

Turns out Ander had to stalk the girl… because that’ll help shit with killing her? Maybe for a week just to figure out when they’ll come down the bridge, but 24/7? Honestly? In any case, he knows everything about this girl, is deeply infatuated with her because she’s just so perfect and thus comes to the conclusion that he’s in wuv with her. Creepy.

He muses for two whole pages about whether he should save her. He’s misunderstood in his family like any typical teenager. His aunt thinks he wants a normal life. Who would’ve know he fell in love with the girl he was suppose to stalk 24/7? Don’t these people have some brains? You’re sending out an imbalanced teenager who probably wants a fuck more than he wants to save the world. It never crossed anyone’s mind that he might grow attached to her? Seriously?

There’s some not too subtle hinting at the fact that this girl comes from something before “the flood”. Probably the flood associated with Noah’s ark.

In any case, the wave crashes down, it’s perfect, everything goes as planned but Ander goes for girl. He can’t save mother as well. Boo hoo.

The girl’s name is Eureka. God this name is awful.