Tag Archives: Amulet Books

Book Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

Amulet Books To Be Published Sept. 6, 2016 352 Pages
Amulet Books
To Be Published Sept. 6, 2016
352 Pages

The Graces are famous and River wants to be a part of them. After moving to the small town with her mother, River wants to start over and feel wanted. She will do anything to be around the Graces but are they everything the rumors say they are?

I didn’t expect much from this book. I didn’t because those first chapters didn’t catch me. But I kept reading and I got hooked.

River didn’t catch me. I felt that she was dull and when everything was said and done, she was still dull to me. What got me was the Graces and their mystery and how amazingly the story was written; that was what my attention was on. They were perfect characters that I am not even sure if I hate them.

There was a lot of moving parts within this story with slight predictability. River was predictable and I believe this was intended because there were hints about her outcome all over the book from the very beginning. I am not totally upset about this. I’m not because the pace of the novel was on point. The need to know what happens next was predominant and the mystery of these Graces was so enticing that once I got over the hump of the first few chapters, I couldn’t stop reading it.

I would have liked more of a backstory for the Graces. Maybe some family history and more parent interaction? I wouldn’t mind the book being longer if that was added. I also do not agree with the ending. In my eyes, why would there be a book two? What else can be done other than River doing her thing. The ending reminded me of how much River is a high school student/brat because what I think she is going to do is unnecessary. She is just angry things didn’t turn in her favor. I can’t blame her but still….

Overall, I am happy with this read.

4 Pickles

NetGalley Review: The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Amulet Books To Be Published April 2016
Amulet Books
To Be Published April 2016

Wes and his best friend Corey thought jazz camp would be the ultimate experience. But no. . , it turned out to be a lame waste of time and a sausage fest.

But that is until they hear a unusual sound coming from a girl named Ash. The duo instantly becomes a trio and for a while jazz camp is what Wes and Corey hoped it would be.

But Ash decides that jazz camp isn’t enough and decides they need to hit the road. Wes and Corey do not think twice before jumping into her SUV and embarking on “The Haters Summer of Hate Tour.”

I requested this because it was Jesse Andrews. I mean I haven’t read “Earl, Me and the Dying Girl” mainly because I don’t know if I should read the book and then see the movie or watch the movie and then read the book. But none the less, I picked up this book and for so much hype over the author, this was a disappointing and rather annoying read.

Andrews writing comes off like the Uncle that is trying to stay current; the Uncle that is trying to stay cool. It was too obvious in this book and he was trying way too hard. Granted this book is about Andrews own experiences in jazz camp, so it may have had happened exactly like this. But the way that the book is written it was reaching. I say this as an adult that reads a lot of YA books.

Oddly enough though I liked Corey. I believe I liked him much more than Wes because of his blunt no-nonsense attitude. Corey just didn’t care to waste time; if he wasn’t okay with something or someone than it would be known. I guess I respected him more for that. But I kind of got the feeling that Corey was written not exactly to balance out Wes’s personality but to also show a lack of class.

As much as I liked Corey he got annoying very fast just as much as Wes did. Ash wasn’t the best character either. I didn’t feel as if any of the character were actually themselves at any point. It felt like they were all posers and yes, I am aware this is a coming of age novel but I am really just pointing this out as I have this feeling throughout the entire book.

I did enjoy the flow of the novel, despite the huge issues I had. Ultimately I expected something so much greater from the author that almost everyone has been talking about.

1 Pickle

Book Review: Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G. Howard

        Amulet Books    Published Jan. 1, 2013            371 Pages
Amulet Books
Published Jan. 1, 2013
371 Pages

Alyssa Gardner is the great-great-great daughter of Alice Liddell, the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll. It is known that the women in the family are crazy but so far Alyssa has been able to contain that craziness.

That is until a routine visit with her mom (who is at an asylum) takes a turn for the worst and Alyssa discovers that not only is the family cursed but there is more to the story then what Lewis Carroll told and there is a way to break the curse on her family.

So down the rabbit hole Alyssa goes but wonderland is a lot creepier than she once read and in order to survive she needs her crush Jeb and a former childhood friend Morpheus, who is all grown up.

This story was creepy. Kudos goes to the author for freaking me out. The story was an awesome read. I was heavily invested into this story and I loved every minute of it. The details was perfect. The suspense and drama came towards the middle of the book, which was no problem at all.

However, I was pissed off. Jeb is controlling and Alyssa is an idiot. The only character that made sense was Morpheus. Alyssa is in love with Jeb. Jeb loves Alyssa but decides to baby her considering that her mother is in an asylum and Alyssa is emotional. Alyssa allows Jeb to control her every move when they are in wonderland. She doesn’t stand up for herself and she is constantly looking for Jeb to save her. Seriously! THE ENTIRE BOOK SHE REFUSES TO GROW A PAIR TO JEB.

I couldn’t stand their relationship and to be honest still don’t understand why the heck Jeb was in wonderland with her anyway. The only time Alyssa stands up for herself is when Jeb has been gone for about three chapters. My issue with this is Jeb is the one she should have stood up to. I couldn’t stand their relationship.

Morpheus was my man! Loved everything about his character; even though he was being portrayed as a villain in the middle and towards the end he was the most loveable character in the story. Everything he did had a purpose which is exactly how it should be.

One other thing I didn’t like about the book was this love triangle/final decision. Why can’t we get a story in which the female lead doesn’t have it both ways? It bothered me that Alyssa was able to get exactly what she wanted because to be honest she,one, didn’t deserve it and two, has responsibilities to take care of. This is why there is always a second book . . . because she’s not taking care of home.

Despite all of this I loved this book and it receives a 8 out of 10, which is pretty high considering I hated the main characters.

Love, Tanya

Book Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

It is 1918 and the world is at war with the Germans and the Spanish

        Amulet Books  Published April 2, 2013             387 Pages
Amulet Books
Published April 2, 2013
387 Pages

Influenza is killing everyone that was shipped in the draft. Mary Shelley Black, named after the author Mary Shelley, is sent to stay with her Aunt in San Diego, California while her father awaits a trial for his crimes regarding the war.

In San Diego, Mary watches as people go to spirit photographers in search of seeing their deceased loved ones one more time. Mary doesn’t believe in ghost even though she has a photograph with one. She doesn’t begin to believe until the ghost of the boy she loves shows in one of her photographs.

Unable to shake the fact that something is completely wrong, Mary begins to ask questions to find out what really happened to her beloved.

I couldn’t stand Mary. She was a brat and for most of the book she was rude to her Aunt. She wasn’t rude to her because she was living with her but she was rude because she was rude. Mary had an odd sense of entitlement and I really have no idea where that came from.

Despite Mary, the story itself was very creative and a really good read. There wasn’t much suspense in the book; danger wasn’t lurking at every corner. However, Winters made me want to keep reading not because I wanted to crap on the book but because I wanted to know what happened to Mary’s love. Is Mary crazy? Is Stephen still alive? The author left a lot of questions in a good way. Winters wrote the book so well that I am giving her a pass on Mary.

I also enjoyed the history in the book which includes photographs from that time period.  You don’t get too much regarding the war because yes it is what causes pretty much everything but the book is not about the war. It isn’t even completely about the flu going around  the point of this book is Mary lost the man that she loves but he cannot rest and she needs to know why.

The ending of the book was enjoyable and surprisingly enough not as predictable as I suspected. There was a big decision that needed to be made and Mary didn’t take it, which I thought was very interesting.

Overall the book gets 8 out of 10. If the story poorly written then it wouldn’t have gotten the grade that got.