Book review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini


Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

picadillypink
I wanted to like you so badly. Greek mythology? Tempting fate and destiny? High school? Small town? Sounds great right?

Nope.

What I get instead is a character named Helen, who is so different from everyone else. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s athletic, freakishly fast and strong. She’s an outcast, the product of a single parent household. She has an overbearing father who wants her to take pills for agoraphobia, a best friend named Giggles and she’s tall.

Whoa, hold up, tall female alert.

I’m sorry. I read this. I really wish I hadn’t. I wish I had listened to my better senses and put it down, to take it back to the library. The writing is really hard to swallow, it shifts between juvenile prose, and something that’s trying entirely too hard. Helen is so hard to get attached to, and I see shades of various other ‘heroines’ in her. There’s nods to Twilight, and The Mortal Instruments series (don’t get me started on the ending), and a few other characters that I know I’ve seen before. Within the first thirty pages she’s going on a tirade about how she hopes “she doesn’t have to breathe the same air as the Delos family”. And that’s my thing right there. Helen is melodramatic one moment and emotionless the next. And I’m not going to get into her reincarnation, or the ‘insta-love’ between her and Lucas. I skimmed the last 100 pages, and even that was too much.

Overall: pink2 Don’t bother. I should have listened to the reviews on goodreads.

Book Review: Half Bad by Sally Green


Title: Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Published: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

picadillypink
Oh, Half Bad, I wanted so very much to like you. So many people talked about you, you have glowing reviews, and normally you’d be something that I would reach for. I only finished you because I have completion issues. My major problem with this book is it takes SO LONG for anything to happen, that by the time it does I was bored and wanting to put it away. I felt no connection to Nathan at all. I don’t know if that’s from the first few chapters being written in second persona narration, or if he’s just that flat.

And there’s the other kicker. Nathan is half white witch, half black witch, hence the ‘Half-bad’ title of the book and his branding. He doesn’t distinguish himself from anything else. There’s no swaying to either side, he’s staunchly in the middle, with a supreme (though rightfully earned) hatred of the white witches. I do think it’s a cleaver play that while the black witches are traditionally portrayed as evil–the white side, the traditionally good witches, are vile and disturbing on so many levels. I guess it’s a perspective thing. The best thing about this book for me was Gabriel. He was a breath of fresh air and lightened things up a bit. It’s irritating when the secondary characters are more rounded out and have more of a personality than the main character.

There’s insta-forbidden-love without any context, and fulfillment, and the ‘love interest’ is missing for three-quarters of the novel only to come back in the last few chapters as a pawn/bargaining piece. I wanted so much more from this book, I really did. There’s so much violence and hatred toward the main character, and there’s so little development/action that I find it incredibly frustrating.

Overall: pink2 Don’t buy into the hype. Seriously not sure if I’m going to pick up the second in the series.

Book Review: Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann


Title: Cryer’s Cross
Author: Lisa McMann
Published: February 8th 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a Did not finish

Summary:
Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer’s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she’s not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world’s sweetest boyfriend, behind.

But when Cryer’s Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn’t get close to… the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.

Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she’s always loved, Kendall keeps up the search–and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can’t stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried….

picadillypink This book had some potential. A main character with OCD? Sounds interesting. Mystery and scary stuff going down in a small town? All for it. Unfortunately this book just gave me a lot of frustration and it didn’t live up to what it was promising. I couldn’t get through it. I got eight chapters in and started skimming the rest of it. The actual culprit behind the evil going on in the town, while ridiculous can work. Spirits, could essentially attach themselves to inanimate objects. However, the way people are dying is absolutely laughable. I’m really glad I got this as a library book, because I would have been really upset if I had paid for this. The tenses change non stop, and the narration tone shifts from Kendall to something else. Just not for me.

Overall: pinkdnf Bad writing, bad plot and a terrible misrepresentation of OCD. Skip this book please.