Apr 28, 2011

Review | Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

Title: Future Imperfect
Author: K. Ryer Breese
Genre: YA - Paranormal/Fantasy
Publication: 04.26.2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320
Source: ARC for review from Star Book Tours

Summary: Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he's wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can't change the future, no matter how hard you try.
His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade's best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Ade knows he needs to straighten-out. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they're going to fall in love. It's just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only things are a bit more complicated. Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a a vision in which he sees Vauxhall's close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he's been told he can't.

The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.

Cover: I liked the ARC cover better because it was blue-ish and had both a guy and girl, but I didn't like that both had the train tracks, since it wasn't so important in the story.

Thoughts: It started off interesting enough to keep me wanting to find out what happens next. Ade Patience can see his future (and only his) if he is knocked out. Addicted to the "high" he gets after seeing the future, Ade spends countless days trying to look into the future. That means, throwing himself off buildings head first, getting beat up by anyone willing to fight him, car crashes, etc. It starts off with several painful scenes as Ade tries to get his next "high." I thought this idea was unique and very intriguing, but I was a little frustrated with Ade because of his constant need to hurt himself. He always had a bandaged head and was always looking for new ways to hurt himself. Not only that, but doctors constantly told him he could eventually become brain damaged or lose his memory complete. Sure of himself (because after all, he has seen his future) Ade continues his painful process until he meets Vauxhall.

Vaux is the girl of his dreams...literally. Ade saw her in his future and knew at once she was the one. Waiting for her for years, he knew exactly when she was going to show up in his life. What Ade didn't expect, but wasn't too surprised to learn was that Vaux, like him, had a secret that she's addicted to as well. Vauxhall was interesting, but I thought she was a little weak and I really couldn't understand what Ade exactly loved about her, other than her looks. Their relationship, although having a few connections, seemed sort of vague and was really...well, weird. Ade and his mother also have a weird relationship. His mother, in a strange way, is supportive of his actions; she always cares for him after he is hurt and writes down his visions. She seemed like a helpless woman, and she made me angry, because she never stopped Ade. He was constantly hurting himself, yet she stood by and sort of let things happen...because she thought its his calling from God. Really? We'll leave that one alone.

The Diviners were thrown in about halfway through the book, and I didn't like the idea of them too much. Ade has lived his whole life in his town, and he never noticed that there was a whole society of people like him? It doesn't make sense. Or maybe those concussions are getting to him. They are a mysterious group of people with "powers" like Ade's, and although somewhat interesting, they seemed like a knock-off version of X-Men to me. They seemed like an essential part of the story to sort of move it along, but I think it could've been developed better and really, except for one or two of them, there was not much point of them being involved.

Several other characters in the book were a lot more likable, I thought, although only had minor roles. Ade's best friend, Paige, had been watching him and supporting him for years. She hates what he does to himself (finally, a reasonable woman!) and constantly threatens him with never speaking to him if he doesn't stop, but never goes through with it cause she cares for him too much. Ade's psychiatrist is the only...well, fully educated person who doesn't think he's totally insane. Instead, he's very supportive, and although does not always agree, helps Ade along the way with his "addiction." Oh, and lets not forget Jimmy, a strange character who Ade sees in his visions, which then causes Ade to go against the rules to try and change the future which helps lead the story in a different direction.

After we are introduced to all the characters, which is about halfway I thought it got a little confusing and I sort of lost interest. Towards the last couple of chapters though, it picked up the pace and a lot more was happening, secrets revealed, and some action. I must admit, I was a little satisfied with how it ended, but didn't think it should've been such a nice-wrapped up conclusion.

Overall, this book is quite a ride. It has a few slow moments and at times can even be frustrating, if not confusing, but the story is definitely unique. I am hoping the author's future novels are just as different, with a better flow, but other than that I found myself enjoying the book. It is a little dark, edgy and fascinating, with several twists and an interesting ending. I recommend this book to other YA lovers and  paranormal/fantasy lovers, but the supernatural elements have a different spin to what we are used to seeing and may not be for everyone.

Favorite Quote: "Vaux bandaged face registers nothing. 'Aren't we all like that? All of us with this powerful person inside that we can hardly control but can't ever really let out. The consequences would be too great.'"

Apr 20, 2011

Blogoversary!



The day is almost over here on my side of the world and I just remembered its my two year blogoversary! How could I forget? It also happens to be my brother's birthday, and we spent the whole afternoon celebrating. I was just finishing up an assignment and ready to call it a night before I realized that I totally forgot to wish my blog a happy birthday (anniversary?)

Anyways, yay! It's been fun and I'm still loving it :)

Apr 10, 2011

Review | Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Title: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Series: N/A
Genre: Fiction/Paranormal
Publication: September 1, 2009 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: Sourcebooks Landmark, the leading publisher of Jane Austen-related fiction, is excited to announce a major release: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by international bestselling author Amanda Grange.

Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, gives us something completely new—a delightfully thrilling, paranormal Pride and Prejudice sequel, full of danger, darkness and deep romantic love...

Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.


Thoughts: I have loved the few Jane Austen books that I have read, but I must admit that I've had a hard time liking any of the fan fiction that I have read (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibilty and Seamonsters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.) I saw the audiobook of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre and I thought...well, why not? I must admit I did like it better than the other three adaptations that I have read, but I was a little disappointed that like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, there was not enough "vampyre" in the story to make it more interesting.

The book is told through Elizabeth's point of view and starts off on her wedding day. She and Darcy are to be married alongside Jane and Bingley and I really liked that the author added this part of the original novel. We continue to see that Elizabeth and Jane are close friends, we are reminded of their mother's nerves and their father's love. I've always wanted to know what happened next in Pride and Prejudice, so I find these sequels fun to read and I instantly liked the author's writing and her detailed descriptions of the settings. The story continues to unfold as Elizabeth and Darcy go on their wedding tour through Europe.

There are several unexpected turns of events, many different descriptions of the cities they visited and plenty of new characters to learn about...but yet, there were no real mentions of vampyres for a long while. Sure Elizabeth noticed that Darcy was acting a little distant and sometimes strange, but other than a few little mentions here and there, we could almost forget that vampyres were even involved in the story. I really expected Darcy's vampiric characteristics to be introduced a lot sooner, but there were only tidbits, and Elizabeth never suspected anything except that Darcy did not love her.

I can't deny that I enjoyed the descriptive scenes and the additions to both Elizabeth and Darcy's character, but I was really disappointed that it wasn't until disc 7 (out of 9) that anything exciting or vampire-like really starts to happen. There were a few suspenseful scenes that made it interesting enough to continue, but not much else until later in the book. And the conclusion seemed hastily put together. I wasn't satisfied with the way the book was wrapped up in such a short amount of time. Really, it was almost silly how easily things just seemed to come together and then just ended.

Overall, the book is enjoyable if you aren't expecting too much of the vampire aspect in the book (but with a title like that, what else can you expect?) If you are hoping for fangs, blood, deaths, and many vampires...you will be left disappointed because this book seems to lack a lot of that. It is quite different for a sequel of Pride and Prejudice, and I do recommend it for fans of historical fiction and Jane Austen fans, but maybe not too many paranormal fans will enjoy this as much.

Apr 7, 2011

Review | Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Series: N/A
Genre: Classic/YA
Publication: 1954 by Penguin Great Books of the 20th century
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★

Synopsis: William Golding's classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding's portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery.

Thoughts: I really expected to enjoy this a little more than what I actually did. I started it off a little cautious, but excited because I've always heard pretty good things about this. I never read it in school, but I had plenty of friends who did and it sounded like they thought well enough of it so I wanted to give it a try. But, I must say, I was pretty disappointed overall with what this book actually was.

It starts off with two boys, Ralph and Piggy, trying to figure out where they were, what happened and what they were going to do. Really, the idea seems interesting enough: boys crash land on an island and must fend for themselves, but eventually become wild and must struggle to survive against each other. After other introductions of boys and their attempt to figure out what they are going to do while waiting to be rescued, the story doesn't really pick up much. After several chapters, I knew it was going to move too slow for my liking.

It didn't help that the narrators voice was a little...boring. It was actually read by the author and although I usually prefer that, because only the author knows how they want each character to sound, listening to Golding was terribly boring. He pretty much read the book in an almost monotone voice and it took me several weeks to get through the whole thing ( I wasn't giving up!) I lost interest several chapters in though, but the story picked up a little bit more than halfway in. I really don't remember much from the beginning though and usually I rewind anything I miss, but with this book I had no urge to actually try and listen to the beginning because it wasn't too interesting.

The story, like I said, sounds good to me. I really like the idea of the stranded boys and how they change when creating their own "society" and "government." It is a bit of a twist when the boys start to change, become dangerous and wild, start plotting against each other and fighting for power. I really don't want to discuss my actual beliefs, if I believe this would actually happen if boys were stranded in an island because it seems like quite a debate. I can say that I liked the way the author changed the boys as we got farther into the story, and it becomes a little disturbing, shocking and thought provoking.

I would recommend this book to those who prefer "classics" although, this one is directed towards young adults of that time, I think adults will enjoy this one. I really wanted to enjoy this book more than what I did and despite the fact that I thought it was mostly slow and a little boring, the ending picks up, you just have to work a little to get through the first half. The ending is great, and everything that leads to the ending, will definitely leave you a bit shocked, if not a little unnerved.