Tag Archives: bad boy character

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

15 Dec

Series: Hush Hush, book #2

Published: October 19th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Details: Hardcover, 432 pages

Rating: 3/5

My Summary:

I loved Hush Hush, mostly because of the dangerous and intriguing character Patch. Unfortunately he is absent for most part of this sequel, and Nora has turned into an irrational, angry, whiny and weak heroine. I’m sad to say that this book was a disappointment. Still an easy read, and I remain curious to read the conclusion to the series in Silence, out next year.

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A few chapters in:

Ever since I read Hush Hush some time ago, I have been eagerly waiting to read this sequel. Fitzpatrick has a way with words that make me feel as if I’m watching the story unfold from the front row of a cinema theatre. It’s that vivid. Consequently, I just know that the sequel will be as entertaining as Hush Hush was. Plus, it has got great reviews.

I’m now a few chapters into Crescendo, and Fitzpatrick does not disappoint. I’m pulled into the story immediately as I follow Nora’s father during the last terrifying hours of his life (in the prologue).

Fast forward to present day and the troublesome relationship of Nora and Patch. It’s been two months since Patch saved Nora’s life and was given back his wings and a place as a guardian angel. You would have thought that this achievement would put a stop to any doubts regarding Patch’s intentions, seeing as he is now clearly working for the good guys. Or is he? Nora is still doubting pretty much everything about him – primarily his feelings for her.  All doubts are of course stemming from the fact that she still doesn’t know much about him. Patch isn’t (as we know by now), the most talkative guy out there.

When Patch appears to have secretly visited Nora’s archenemy Marcie Millar, and refuses to explain it upon Nora’s confrontation, it all becomes too much and Nora breaks up with him.

As much as I love the bad boy character in Patch, I have to say I rejoiced when that happened, because from what I saw, that did not seem like a healthy balanced relationship to me, Nora being way too attached to a seemingly distracted/busy/arrogant Patch. So way to go Nora!

I know there may be ulterior motives behind Patch’s actions (angels stuff that we are yet unaware of), but he has to start including Nora into his thoughts, or else how is she ever going to be able to trust him? As it is now, she’s better off without him.

At the same time, Scott, an old childhood friend moves back to town. At first, I expected him to immediately throw himself over Nora, creating that love triangle we love so much in young adult fiction these days. But, that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, Scott – all though good-looking, is almost rivaling Patch with his grumpy attitude and shady past. It’ll be interesting to see how he will fit into the story, because at the moment I have no idea.

From the prologue, I am also guessing that Nora will start investigating her father’s death, hopefully casting some light on the events that led up to it, including her link to the Nephilim.

All in all, I’m guessing I’m in for an exciting read! 

 

 

After finishing the book:

It started out so great, with so much potential. We had the charismatic Patch, and his dramatic relationship with Nora. Throw in a new boy in town with secrets of his own – Scott. While underneath it all an outwordly and dangerous angel and Nephilim world is lurking.

Instead, what did we get?

An absent Patch, who made an appearence here and there occasionally, mostly to save Nora or Marcie from various situations. But certainly not enough apearences to keep me interested. The new guy Scott turned out to be a joke. Rude, strange, weak. A side character just like Elliot in Hush Hush. I was simply not  interested in him. Of the nephilim / angel world we only got glimpses here and there, except for the last three chapters when some of it is explained.

So, if nothing of the above, then what was the plot about?

To tell you the truth, I am still not completely sure of that myself. At the beginning Nora broke up with Patch, because she doubted his feelings for her (which I could understand). The rest of the book is mainly about Nora’s emotional turmoil following that break-up. It was quite confusing to read. It felt like listening to a confused friend going on and on about an ex-boyfriend post break up. That oh, she loves him, but they can’t be together, but he is a jerk, yet he is the best that ever happened to her, and she wants him, but it would never work out between them, and either way he is a jerk.. and so on and so forth.

I did understand the emotions Nora went through (break-ups are tough), especially seeing as she is young, and Patch was her first love. Yet, it’s hard to sympathize with such an irrational and whiny heroine. She keeps making stupid decisions, and as such ends up in the most ridiculous scenarios, breaking into numerous bedrooms/flats/cars, sneaking, stealing and lying.

After seeing her behaving this way for a while I started to feel that she wasn’t much better than her archenemy Marcie herself. Worse still, I was beginning to wonder what the heck Patch ever saw in her. And that can’t be good. Because Patch’s and Nora’s relationship was the driving force behind me turning pages in Hush Hush.

The Bottom Line:

So to sum it up, my hopes for Crescendo were that it was going to take a step forward, delving more into Patch’s background, character growth, the world of angels and nephilim and more about Nora’s part in the whole scheme of things.

Instead it felt as if the plot got stuck stomping at the very same spot, where we left off in Hush Hush. There was yet again a stalker attempting to harm Nora, there were the same trust issues regarding Patch, and Nora kept making the same stupid decisions putting herself in numerous dangerous situations, again.

As if nothing had been learnt from the events in Hush Hush. At the end of it, I was starting to lose interest, and frankly couldn’t care less about Nora – whether she was going to make it or not and who the bad guy was.

All that said, I still read it quickly, as it is very well written. I haven’t changed my mind regarding Fitzpatrick’s writing. She knows how to write, no question about that. I am also still curious to see what will happen next, (curious but no longer dying to know) and I will probably read the final installment Silence, to be released in the fall next year. My expectations however have now been lowered. Which may not always be a bad thing. I might enjoy Silence more. Let’s hope so.

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Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

29 Sep

Series: Perfect Chemistry, book #2

Published: April 27th 2010 by Walker & Company

Details: Paperback, 324 pages

My rating: 3.5/5

My Summary:

Sequel to Perfect Chemistry which I loved!!! Following Carlos, the brother of Alex, who after some troubles moves into a professor’s house, where he meets the daughter Kiara. This book follows same plotline as Perfect Chemistry, but does not live up to the same standard. Good fun read but not fantastic.

My Full Review:

This is the sequel of Perfect Chemistry, following Carlos Fuentes, the little brother of Alex. Perfect Chemistry blew me away, with characters so alive and real that I kept thinking about them long after I turned the last page. So I can’t deny my expectations were pretty high when I started reading this sequel.

Ever since the traumatic end of Perfect Chemistry, Carlos, his little brother and his mom have been living in Mexico. Following some troubles at Carlos work in Mexico, he is sent to stay with his brother Alex in Colorado and go to school there. It doesn’t take long until he ends up into more trouble as a drug lord sets him up and he gets caught with drugs. Alex arranges for Carlos to stay at a his former professor’s home with his family to keep him out of jail. Kiara is the professor’s daughter who also happens to go to the same school as Carlos. They get off on the wrong foot at first but soon the attraction starts to grow.

Well, what can I say. Maybe if I hadn’t read Perfect Chemistry I would have loved this book. I couldn’t help but think that it was trying to be a new Perfect Chemistry but didn’t succeed. It’s still a fun easy read, but it didn’t touch me the way Perfect Chemistry did.

First of all I think it was because Carlos was so similar to Alex, that it felt as if I was reading about Alex again. Yet, while I totally understood where Alex came from and why he felt the need to shield himself from the world, as he had a bad-ass reputation to protect and was a member of the Latin Bloods in the area, I didn’t understand it with Carlos. He was plain rude and arrogant most of the time and I couldn’t grasp why he felt the need to be that way.  Insecurities sure, and feelings of not belonging maybe, but it was not as clear to me as it was with Alex.

Kiara was a sweet girl but in my opinion a bit bland. Apart from her tomboy persona and her stuttering there was not much else that made her stand out. Brittany in Perfect Chemistry had a more complex and interesting persona, what with being miss popular who carried a family secret.

The attraction between Kiara and Carlos was well portrayed and steamy at places but I felt it came from out of nowhere. One moment they were bickering at each other and the next they were having an almost-kiss. In Perfect Chemistry I understood their mutual attraction better as both Alex and Brittany let each other in, revealing secrets they hadn’t told anyone about. That didn’t happen here and so it wasn’t clear to me why they felt drawn to each other.  They suddenly just were.

Finally the climax at the end felt a bit forced, as if it was thrown in just for the sake of some action. In Perfect Chemistry it has more of a natural flow as if the whole story is leading that way, towards the climax. In Rules of attraction, not only did the gang member plot feel a bit forced, it also felt too unrealistic what with the professor helping out the way he did, putting himself in danger for the sake of Carlos who he has known barely a couple of months. It just felt a bit too “cookie butter sweet” for me. I love a happy ending but there are limits (even for me) to how cheesy it can be.

The Bottom Line:

So, final verdict? Well, having read Perfect Chemistry it is impossible not to compare it with that book as they are so similar plotwise. And I’m sorry to say Rules of Attraction does not come up to the same level. That being said, I still enjoyed reading it, and boy did I read it fast. So it is an easy fun yet somewhat fluffy read. But it’s not a book that will blow you away. A third book in the series will be released following the youngest Fuentes brother Luis, which I plan to read. My expections however have now been lowered as I expect a similar read there.

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

9 Aug

Series: Fallen, book #1

Published: December 8th 2009 by Delacorte Press

Details: Hardcover, 452 pages

My Rating: 2.5 /5

My Summary:

Luce is a girl with some unusual problems, who is sent to reform school by her parents. There she meets two mysterious guys, Daniel – who she feels she knows from before, and Cam. Who can she trust? Plot involves fallen angels. Well written, but very slow pace and too many question marks left hanging at the end. Overall, just OK.  Sequel Torment out soon.

My Full Review:

This book has got some mixed reviews, but is generally recommended by Twilight fans, so I decided to read it and see for myself.

Synopsis:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My thoughts:

I liked the premise of this book as it was a bit different. Luce is a girl who’s been having some unusual problems for the last couple of years (explained in the book), culminating in a terrible accident involving the death of a boy in her school the previous summer. Consequently she is sent to Swords and Cross, a reform school for troubled kids. And this is where we are introduced into the story.

Along with Luce we get to discover the strict rules of the school, the strange atmosphere lingering at the school grounds as if there are secrets lurking around. We also learn more about the other troubled kids. Luce gets to know two seemingly nice girls, acquires one girl enemy for reasons unknown to her, and attracts the attention of two mysterious and good-looking boys, Cam and Daniel.

Luce is unsettled by quite a few things. She is still dealing with guilt from what happened the previous summer, and she is also trying to get used to the idea of having been sent to this reform school. However, Daniel is what unsettles her the most. His behaviour is strange, to say the least, yet she can’t shake off the feeling that she has known him before, and she is intrigued to find out more about him.

This very premise goes on for most part of the book. As a reader, you are left with the feeling that no one can really be trusted, and that there is something more going on, something supernatural. Somehow this involves Luce and Daniel, and possibly someone else, but who?

All though the book is really well written, I found the pace a bit too slow. It is slowly building up towards the big finale, but it just takes ages to get there and I struggled to keep up my interest as I was reading. Especially since I saw what was coming miles ahead.

I know this book has been compared a lot with Hush Hush seeing as they both share the same theme. However, even though Hush Hush was not as beautifully written as Fallen, the former grabbed me more. I literally could not stop reading it. With Fallen, I had no problems whatsoever leaving it for a few days, even towards the end. It just didn’t stick with me the same way. I believe it was because of combination of two things: the pace was too slow and I could see things coming from miles away. The latter meant that I had to wait for ages for our heroine to figure out the same things I had known all along. It made it slightly..boring..for lack of a better word.

The Bottom Line:

So, would I recommend Fallen?

Well, it wasn’t all bad. But it is very “putdownable”. Not a book that will sweep you away. Yet sort of enjoyable because of the atmosphere Kate has created. However, the ending dragged the grade down, as there were to many loose ends left hanging. I felt like I was taken through all that slow suspense and build up only to end at..oh get the next book and you’ll find out. Speakin of which, there is a sequel Torment out soon, which I may read..or not.

Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

5 Aug

Series: The Dark Divine, book #1

Published: December 22nd 2009 by EgmontUSA

Details: Hardcover, 372 pages

My rating: 3.5/5

My summary:

About Grace, a dutiful pastor’s daughter who is drawn towards bad boy Daniel, a childhood friend who has suddenly come back after mysteriously dissappearing 3 years ago. What happened then and what is the deal with Daniel?

I really thought I would devour this. Instead I found it slow. Only after about 200 pages or so things start happening and I found myself glued to the last part. Sequel out this year.

See my full review here:

Synopsis:

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible

happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel’s returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

My thoughts:

I have mixed feelings regarding this book. It was pretty slow, and I was actually struggling a bit to keep up my interest. Then, in the last few chapters it redeemed itself, and ended with a big bang that really makes me want to read the sequel.

So where does that leave this book, in terms of grading I mean? Hmm..still deciding.

The story revolves around Grace, a dutiful pastor’s daughter, who is drawn towards bad boy Daniel. Daniel is a childhood friend who mysteriously disappeared three years ago after an accident (or was it an accident?) involving Grace’s brother Jude.  Daniel and Jude are since then not on speaking terms, to say the least. Daniel is now back, and even though Grace knows she better stay away from him – for loyalty to Jude, of course she can’t help but do the opposite.

Daniel is clearly a bad boy, and at the start of the book I was a bit irritated at the way he treated Grace. She’s going out of her way to help him and gets nothing in return. Like, what’s your problem? Then, that changes and he seems all right. Yet, we are still wondering through most part of the book what exactly is going on with him. Something is clearly not right.

Grace and Daniel also fall in love with each other, and this may be where it fell short for me  in the first part of the book. I just didn’t really feel that. It felt as if she just saw him and boom, she was in love. Then again, Daniel is a childhood friend, and Grace did have a crush on him already back then, so it really isn’t surprising that those feelings resurfaced so quickly again. Still, for me as a reader I didn’t feel it. I think I would have needed more background story of how it was back then, before Daniel disappeared, to see them as just friends. That would have made the “falling in love” feel more real.

By the end of the book, it is finally explained what exactly happened three years ago, and what the deal is with Daniel. If you haven’t guessed it already, there are some supernatural elements here. I won’t say what exactly as it is best if you discover those as you read. The ending is great, and like I said before, it promises a great sequel.

Overall though, the plot was so slow and weak at first, that I won’t give it a 4. However, my hopes are up for a better read in the sequel The Lost Saint, out in December this year.

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

5 Aug

Series: Perfect Chemistry, book #1

Published: January 1st 2008 by Walker Books for Young Readers

Details: Paperback, 360 pages

My rating: 5/5

My summary:

A story about two teenagers, she rich from north side of town and he a gang member from the south side of town, who are reluctantly paired up in chemistry class, then end up falling in love. All though there are no paranormal elements here, this is a wonderful read.  I was practically glued to the pages, reading it in one sitting. The love story blew me away!

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My Full Review:

Synopsis:

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

My thoughts:

Simply put, amazing book. I knew from all the rave reviews that this was a WOW-sort of book, and I had high expectations. Amazingly, it still exceeded those expectations. I was blown away!

Simon Elkeles has created a wonderful story that will get under your skin and stay with you for a while. I don’t know how she did it. The story is not that original, far from actually. In fact,  when I first read the summary, it felt sort of cliché. Cheerleader gets teamed up with bad boy in chemistry class and finds out that well, they have a lot of chemistry going on. And the book cover doesn’t really help. Let me just say, it’s not the sort of book I would want to be caught reading on the subway.

So what then makes it so special?

It is essentially the writing, and the character development.  You can literally feel the two main characters falling in love as they get to know each other better. It’s so real you feel and breath with them, you feel the pain of each obstacle as if it were your own and the joy when they start understanding each other.

The book is told in alternating POV’s which is great, as you get an insight in both characters thoughts, thus realising what they are both struggling with, and the perception they have of each other, and how that changes over time. Alternating POV’s is not always great, and I often find that authors don’t distinguish the voices enough. They end up blurring into each other, making the story somewhat confusing for the reader. For instance, I felt this problem with Shiver.

In Perfect Chemistry however, the voices of Alex and Brittany are so clearly different that not once did I stop and wonder who was who. One aspect which helped, and also made the story telling more authentic, was the Spanish phrases thrown in here and there into the POV of Alex. I loved that. It made him feel even more real. Brittany felt very real as well, and I completely bought the troubles she had, despite being rich, beautiful and the most popular girl in school.

All in all, this is a great book about a great love story where you really root for the main characters, I think I dare say as much as I rooted for Bella and Edward in Twilight. There is a sequel called Rules of Attraction, which follows Alex’s little brother Carlos in quest for happiness in his life. Apparently, this includes a great love story too. Needless to say, I am very eager to get my hands on this book!

Review: Hush Hush by by Becca Fitzpatrick

5 Aug

Series: Hush Hush, book #1

Published: October 13th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Details: Hardcover, 391 pages

My rating: 4/5

My summary:

About a human girl who meets an handsome and seemingly paranormal/dangerous boy in school. Despite the fact that this boy is far from an Edward, definitely more dangerous than trustworthy – I loved this book. Well written, it felt like I was inside the story and I couldn’t let the book go. The only downside was a rushed ending with a few logical gaps. Sequel Crescendo out later this year.

See my full review below:

Synopsis:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends.

She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My thoughts:

Read or not to read..? That’s how I went for quite some time with Hush Hush. I was reluctant since the love interest Patch seemed like such a psychopath, yet I was intrigued because it fit the type of book I like, paranormal romance. I read lots of reviews, which just told me that people either hated or loved this book, not really making my decision any easier.

Then finally, I’d become  so curious that I had to read it anyway!

And well..I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. This was far better than I thought! I was thinking that I would find Nora boring, Path a psychopath and Vee unbelievably  stupid. While I can understand these views (there is definitely some truth in them) it was still a very enjoyable read.

The story centers around Nora Grey, a 16-year old girl who lives in small town in Maine, mostly hanging out with her best friend Vee. Nora and Vee are pretty much the opposite of one another, Nora being the responsible always-doing-her-homework kind of girl  while Vee wants nothing but party and talk about guys.

The book starts when Nora gets teamed up with this new and mysterious boy Patch in biology class. Patch seems to know everything about her, which is a bit unsettling (to say the least). Not only that, as soon as he enters her life, she seems to have gotten herself a stalker, someone bent on hurting her. Has Patch anything to do with that or is it all just pure coincidence? Through most of the book you’re left wondering along with Nora, who Patch is and what his motives are.

To make things even more complicated, Nora finds herself attracted to Patch, so even though she feels he is not good for her, she can’t help but feeling drawn towards him.

I thought the book was well written, and very easy to get into. All the characters were well-developed and believable, and I completely bought Nora’s confusion regarding Patch. The one thing I didn’t believe in was the ending. It felt like there were too many things thrown in there so that it got a bit messy, as in too many villains with motives that weren’t properly explained. It was as if Fitzpatrick just needed to create some suspense at the end, but hadn’t quite thought things through. Apart from those final pages though,  it was a great read.

There are a lot of question marks left hanging after finishing this book, mostly regarding Patch and his motives. I’m still not entirely sure of what he is up to with Nora. But then, I suppose this is also what is keeping my interest.

In short, Fitzpatrick has certainly managed to create a really fascinating bad boy character in Patch and I’m eagerly looking forward to continue the story of him and Nora in the next installment of the series Crescendo, due out in October this year.