Posted in Reviews

Review: Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

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The Book: Branded (Sinners #1)
The Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
The Publisher: Abi and Missy Books
The Pages: 314
My Rating:  2/5

Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.
To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.
Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.
Constant darkness.
Brutal and savage violence.
Excruciating pain.
Every day is a fight for survival.
But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Review
I was super excited to read this. I mean come on, the blurb does make it sound pretty dramatic right? The storyline was pretty exciting and I thought to myself ‘Im really going to love this Lexi girl.’, plus I may have heard that the main guy was book boyfriend material. So yeah I was hopeful.

It started off okay. The story drew me in and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. But oh my oh my, by about a third of the way in I was still reading but there was a lot of eye rolling going on.

I cant work Lexi out. She’s been through terrible ordeals in her life and gets stuck in this Hole, full of murderes and rapists etc etc. She’s already attempted suicide once right at the beginning of the book, yet here she is still fighting to stay alive. Pretty admirable. Right? She keeps saying how yeah she’s scared but she can overcome anything short of death, (her fathers words). Im like:
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thumbs-upYEAH GO GIRL! You’re so tough and brave and smart what a fab heroine! Im going to love this book!

Then I carried on reading…

I think the author tried to develop her as a character but oh god she did not succeed. One second Lexi is all tough and independent, then she’s weak and pathetic, then she’s angry and all I WONT STAND FOR THIS I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE (I’m paraphrasing). Then she’s a damsel in distress from a bad horror movie. For example:

Lexi knows that everyone views her as a target for rape and the only thing stopping that from happening is her protectors. The protectors tell her to stay here where its safe. What does Lexi do? She runs off to some abandoned stairway on her own and gets attacked.

COME ON! Get a grip girl.

I’m going to move on before I have a breakdown.

So then there’s Cole, Lexi’s guard/protector/love-interest. He’s a nice guy (which in this book is defined by ‘he doesn’t try to rape her’). He genuinely seems like a great, interesting character. I want to know more about his story, more about him, but unfortunately we don’t really get it. He protects Lexi, and that’s about all we know.

As for the romance… I wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t quite insta-love but it was pretty close. There was no detail of them falling for eachother, just a lot of staring and eventually kissing. I just didn’t feel it. Which is super sad cause I’m a big fan of the strong emotions in a ‘forbidden love’ storyline. 😦

The world-building was shaky. I have a vague idea of what’s happening but it was if the author just made the world up as they went along to fit in with the plot. I need the world a book is set in to have a little more thought to it.

At points the writing was good, and that’s what kept me going to the end, but at other times it was just poor. It wasn’t drawing me in at all, it wasn’t creating fantastic imagery, connecting me to the character or giving me super FEELS.

I’m going to wrap this up because I’m still a little confused myself about how I feel. There are some major faults with this book which seriously dragged it down when it had so much potential to be fab. But something kept me reading to the end and there’s a part of me that is hoping the next book will be an improvement.

If anyone has read this, Id be super interested to know how you felt about it. Let me know in the comments! x x

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Posted in Reviews

Series Review: Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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The Books: Shatter Me(#1), Unravel Me(#2), Ignite Me(#3), Destroy Me(#1.5), Fracture Me(#2.5)
The Author: Tahereh Mafi
The Publisher: Harper Collins
My Rating: 3.5/5

Shatter Me: No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

Destroy Me: Set after Shatter Me and before Unravel Me, the spellbinding sequel, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

Unravel Me: Juliette is still haunted by her deadly touch. But now that she has teamed up with other rebels with powers of their own, she’ll be able to fight back against The Reestablishment to save her broken world. With the help of these new allies, she’ll also finally learn the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

Fracture Me: In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective.

Ignite Me: With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

Review:

First of all I absolutely have to mention… THE COVERS. Oh my eyes. They are so so so beautiful. Hats off to whoever designed these beauties. The books are worth buying just to have such gorgeousness on my bookshelf. *swoon*

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I remember when I first read Shatter Me I was intrigued by the idea but a little put of by Tahereh Mafi’s writing style. It was too much for me, too poetic and struck me as trying too hard and failing. It was distracting me from the story. Some of the lines had me stopping like really?! Why oh why? That makes no sense and is actually quite disturbing.

“My words wear no parachutes as they fall out of my mouth”

“The sky is raining bricks right into my skull.”

“My eyes break open. Two shattered windows filling my mouth with glass.”

“He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces that ricochet around the room, capturing a million snapshots, a million moments in time. Flickering images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariously in dead space, a whirlwind of memories that slice through my soul.”

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Ugh, Its like that all the way through, constantly. It really grates on my nerves. It’s just unneeded and quite frankly annoying.

Despite this I pushed on through the book. I’d heard some good reviews that advised me to just get used to the writing style and keep going. So I did. Eventually you just sort of get used to the over use of metaphors that barely make sense.

The world its set in isn’t too bad but it isn’t focused on enough, or else we missed it in-between the personifications of the sun and metaphors about breathing. Its a typical dystopia, world gone wrong little group of rebels out to save everything. Except this group of rebels all have magical powers.

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It’s very X-Men gone wrong. They keep saying they have some big plan but really they don’t seem to be doing much. From what I gathered there aren’t very many of them and they plan to attack someone or someplace in Sector 45 where they live and win (plausible), then they’re gonna somehow use this victory to save everyone across the entire country… (not plausible). It struck me as badly thought out.

And Omega Point (rebels really cool little hideout) just seems to be used as a stage for Juliette and Adams relationship (if you can even call it that) drama. I mean come on! So much potential to make me fall in love and be dying to go to Omega Point and its just tarnished by stupid arguments. This at least is pointed out by the fantastic Kenji, who straight up lets them know that they are being dumb. (Kenji is fab btw).

In the first book Juliette is annoying whiny and childish. I get that she’d been locked up for ages on her own so she was bound to be less than her best but ugh seriously, I just wanted someone to put her back in her cell.

Adam has the personality of a potato. An especially bland potato. He is boring and dull and all he has going for him is his ridiculous insta-love for Juliette. I HATE INSTA-LOVE. They tried to play it off as childhood sweethearts but seriously she let someone cheat off her when she was nine and suddenly Adam thinks she’s gods gift. He treats her like some kind sweet innocent little flower that he needs to protect. She’s a kind person, that doesn’t make her an endangered species Adam, jeez. Juliette is tough under all her whining, anyone could see that. She needs to be pushed and challenged to wake up the real Juliette inside, not coddled.

I get Juliette instant attraction to Adam, first person to be able to touch her her whole life? Shes gonna feel something. That something however is not love, if anything its lust and the first taste of friendship she’s ever had all mushed up. And that’s being generous to Mr Dull Potato Adam. The only redeeming quality to Adam is his love for is brother James. I do love it when YA shows some good sibling relationships.

As for the other characters; James is adorable and funny, loved him. Kenji is fantastic, seriously fantastic. Id give him his own book. I want him as my new best friend, loved loved loved him. Castle was not so great although I did like his and Kenji’s relationship.

Finally, Warner. My oh my oh my.
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What a character. I think hes responsible for at least 3 stars of my review. Without him I would not have been able to read on. He is amazing, fanastic, brilliant, perfect… AAAGH, there are no words for him…

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He is exactly what I needed Juliette needed. He brings out the best in her even when he’s not with her. And so by the end of the series Juliette becomes a kickass main character who knows what she wants, all thanks to my boyfriend Warner.

The first two books are mediocre, 2 stars for Shatter Me and 3 for Unravel Me. Ignite me is by far the best of the triology, 4 stars. Destroy Me gets 3.5 and Fracture Me gets a measly 1.5 stars because Adam is just so BORING.

Overall I give the series as a whole 3.5 stars. If you can power through the first book then well done! and keep going!

Let me know your thoughts!