In My Mailbox #13

June 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm (In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , )

Hello, fellow bookaholics. It’s Sunday, and you know what that means!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.

I haven’t been updating much, but I’ve been rather busy lately. I promise I’ll try to be better at updating.

Anyways, I’ve gotten my hands on quite a lot of books this week.

Bought:

Bought from The Book Depository

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

Imaginary Girls by Nova Rem Suma

Bought from a Borders sale

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Die for Me by Amy Plum

The Living Dead 2 by John Joseph Adams; Zombies + Short stories + a story by Cherie Priest = EPIC

Library:

The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell

Juicy Writing by Brigid Lowry

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Mortal Kiss by Alice Moss; With a tagline like “What would you sacrifice for a kiss?” I’m not expecting much out of this.

–  M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; I guess it’s about time I read this. Everyone and their grandmother has read this.

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley; After recently reading Chime by this author, I had to get my hands on her other work.

The Cup of the World by John Dickinson

A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson; I’m fairly sure this is set in Melbourne. How could I resist?

A Novel in a Year by Louise Doughty

That’s my haul for the week. What did you guys get in your mailboxes this week? Feel free to leave a link in the comments 🙂

Permalink 12 Comments

Review: Insatiable

April 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm (4 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Pages: 451, hardcover

ISBN: 9780061735066

Publisher: William Morrow

Date Released: June 8th, 2010

Genre: Adult / paranormal / urban fantasy / romance / chick-lit / vampires / satire

Source: library

Premise:

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one. (Taken from Goodreads)

Buy it now from: The Book Depository / Amazon

I am such a major Meg Cabot fan. I grew up reading the Princess Diaries series, and almost annually, I return to them. So, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book. And to be honest? It didn’t disappoint.

Meena, the main character, is a dialogue writer for the hit soap opera, Insatiable. In a time where the vampire craze is spreading, the big bosses feel that Insatiable needs a change, and that vamps should be introduced in order to lure in the younger viewers. This bothers Meena. She hates vampires and what it’s done to society’s younger generation. Also, a small bit of info: she has this weird ability to tell how people are going to die.

I loved Meena for the most part, up until she met Lucien, the sexy vamp prince. Because of his powers, he makes her feel as if she’s in love with him, which in the beginning is a bit funny (apart from the whole mind-rape and control thing; but as this is a sort of satirical work made to mock most of the books being brought out in the vamp craze, I’ll let it slide), but it gets annoying and hard to tell if she really means it.

One major plot point that I detested was when Vampire-hunter Alaric breaks into Meena’s home to interrogate her about the whereabouts of Lucian. He holds a sword up to her. He insults her. When her brother Jon walks in, Jon ends up siding with Alaric for some stupid reason. None of this part flows or makes sense and makes the characters act out of characters.

Otherwise, I found the characters were well-developed to an extent. There certainly were moments when they didn’t act like they were supposed to, and in certain parts, Meena acts TSTL, but most of the time, they felt real enough.

I didn’t think much of the love triangle. It felt a bit weak and underdeveloped, showing a weakness to the character’s relationships with one another.

What I absolutely loved about this book were the cute one-liners and the dialogue. For example:

Meena: You seem REALLY interested in me at the moment.

Alaric: That? That’s just my scabbard.

Man, it’s stuff like that that gave the book this light feel to it.

I recommend this to everyone who a) likes Meg Cabot or b) dislikes the Twilight craze. It’s full of sexy, funny moments, with  a fairly cool heroine and awesome story.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 4
Characters: 3
Writing: 3
Level of Interest: 4

Total: 4/5

Permalink Leave a Comment

Review: Original Sin

March 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm (1 star, review, Uncategorized) (, , )

Original Sin by Allison Brennan

Pages: 453, paperback

ISBN: 9781741668773

Publisher: Random House Australia

Date Released: February 10th, 2010

Genre/ themes: Paranormal romance / mystery / religion

Source: library

Premise:

Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small Californian town that’s about to become hell on earth.

Tormented by his own terrifying past and driven by powers he can’t explain, ex-seminarian Rafe Cooper joins Moira’s dangerous quest. But Fiona is one devilish step ahead. Hungry for greater power, eternal youth, and stunning beauty, the sorceress is unleashing upon the mortal world the living incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Together with a demonologist, a tough female cop, and a pair of star-crossed teenagers, Moira and Rafe are humanity’s last chance to snatch salvation from the howling jaws of damnation. (Taken from blurb)

Okay, so I was incredibly excited to read this book. The basic idea of the Seven Deadly Sins is always and exciting one, but it can get tricky, what with the religious influences and all. And when encorporating religion into a book as a main theme, you have to be careful, because some people could get offended, and others, like me,  mightn’t be able to get into the story because they mightn’t be religious.

Usually, I have no qualms with reading books that make a character or two religious, but this novel  basically had the theme of “Christianity = good, magic = bad”, and that bothered me. It was uncomfortable the amount of negativity there was towards the whole Wicca movement. It was slightly unnerving that the evil characters were only evil because of their Wiccanism. Now, I’m not religious or anything, but I do find it unsettling when someone attacks a religion (or a movement/lifestyle, such as paganism and Wicca).
That aside, I did enjoy how the concept of the Seven deadly sins were used in terms of them being seven fallen angels that had gotten loose and need to be recaptured. Other than that, though, the story wasn’t particularly interesting.

Moira O’Donnell was a fairly annoying main character. There was just something about her that made me groan. She has this way of being so completely convinced that she’s right, and tries so hard in proving to others that she’s right, and they’re wrong, when really, half the time she has no idea what she’s on about, and depends on the knowledge of others, the knowledge that she so declares is wrong. It was just very hard to identify with her, especially when she was acting all snarky and sassy, even when faced with demons.
The other characters were no better. They seemed to be paper-thin, and completely lacking in personality. Moira’s mother, Fiona, is the antagonist, though she really has no motive for trying to achieve world-domination, apart from her being a witch (again with the magic=bad theme… Ugh).
The love interest, Rafe Cooper was rarely around, it seemed, and had next to no relevant part in the book, apart from being involved in a rather odd and uninspiring sex scene with Moira. I wasn’t impressed with the relationship between the two of them, they didn’t really seem to react to each other the way normal people do if they fancy someone. I don’t know, it just seems to me that the romance between them was fake and forced.

The writing made me squirm for the most part. It was written in such a simplistic manner that it was somewhat embarassing. The writing didn’t flow, which completely killed the climax of the novel. There was little description, but when it was used, it was over the top and usually unclear.
What annoyed me the most in this novel was the use of italics, which were used for something different each time they were used. From what I could tell, the italics switched from being thoughts to flashbacks, to what was happening at the same time in another place, and even dream sequences and visions. It was quite confusing and irritating. It caused me to reread most pages a few times just to grasp what was happening.

Overall, this book disappointed me. Three chapters (and an unnecessary prologue) in, and I was already having thoughts of just ditching the book. But, I forced myself to keep reading, mainly to see if it would improve. Unfortunately, it didn’t. A disappointing read, despite the interesting premise. I really don’t think that I’m going to check out the second book in the series, titled Carnal Sin, out sometime later this month.

Cover Art: 3
Plot: 3
Characters: 1
Writing: 1
Level of Interest: 0

Total Rating: 1/5 stars

Permalink Leave a Comment