Flying Kick-a-pow!

Hi people! I'm Brigid, a college student and lover of all things book-related--writing them, reading them, reviewing them, biting them ... Yeah. I mostly read YA but I'm open to pretty much everything.
The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater After reading:AGGGH this was so good. Like ... so good. I loved the first book, but I loved this one even more.~ Review coming soon! ~Before reading:OH MY GOD, I GOT AN ARC. THANK YOU NETGALLEY! THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I MUST DROP EVERYTHING AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW. GAHHH!!!! I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW I CAN'T EVEN .... AHHHHH.----------OH LORD THE COVER AND THE TITLE CAME OUT! The Dream Thieves ... I love it. So intriguing and an awesome title.And that cover ... THAT COVER. HOLY MOLY IT'S GORGEOUS.The Raven Boys was my favorite Maggie Stiefvater book so far, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel. Too bad I have to wait until September 17th. I swear, all the books I'm dying to read don't come out until September ... What's up with that.
Undivided (Unwind, #4) - Neal Shusterman Four books? Whaaaat?!
My Name is Dee - Robin Wyatt Dunn See comment below.
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern 2.5 StarsInitial reaction:Accck. I'm so torn about this book, because I adored the concept of it and I wanted to fall in love with it ... but it fell short for me in a lot of ways. The atmosphere of it was really engaging, but I found the characters bland, and about halfway through I got a bit bored and I felt like I had to start forcing my way through it. I liked parts of it, but ... in the end, I felt like it was one of those books where a brilliant concept kind of went to waste, which is a shame.~ Full review coming soon! ~
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri I've actually already read some of the stories in this collection already, but I should probably read the whole thing at some point.
The Bone Season  - Samantha Shannon Hmm, there seems to be a lot of hype around this one. And it sounds interesting ...
Cress - Marissa Meyer AHHH I hadn't seen the cover of this yet ... It's really cool. Also I want this book right now.
Untitled (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) - Kat Zhang No title or cover yet. *Pouts* I know, I know ... It's probably too early for that. Well anyway ... can't wait!
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman 3.5 Stars Very creepy! I liked it. Review coming soon.
Untitled (The Fifth Wave #2) - Rick Yancey The first book was pretty disappointing for me. (I love [b:The Monstrumologist|6457229|The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)|Rick Yancey||6647553] series, which Rick Yancey also wrote, but ... The 5th Wave was just not that good or original, in my opinion.) However, I'm hoping the series will improve somehow because I still think the ideas have potential, and I know that Yancey is capable of writing amazing books. Also I see that this isn't coming out until August 2014, so hopefully a bit more time/effort is going into it ... ? So, fingers crossed.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel - Carol Rifka Brunt This sounds really cool. Also that cover is amazing, damn.
Indelible - Dawn Metcalf I've heard mixed things about this, but I might still give it a shot. ... Also is it just me, or does anyone else keep reading the title as "Inedible"? :P
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.” This review will be pretty short (by my standards, anyway) because ... 1) I've been on a reviewing hiatus for a while, because I've been too lazy/busy to review things and now my to-review pile is getting overwhelming, and 2) honestly I don't have much to complain about.Wait what, Brigid doesn't have much to complain about?Yes I know, so shocking!Anyway, everyone and their dog was recommending this book to me for the last couple of years. And well, I was curious because a lot of my friends were reading it (or watching the TV show). But I was also pretty reluctant because I'm not the biggest fan of epic fantasy. I like a little of it every once in a while, but ... usually I tend to find really high-fantasy books pretty boring and disappointing. So even with all the positive things I was hearing about this series, I was a little wary––especially because of the length of all the books. Time to read Game of Thrones! ... Oh, shit.But, I finally found a copy at a thrift store for like $3 so I was like, "You know what? Why not. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna read this."So I did.I got pretty wrapped up in it right away. What this book succeeded in doing (for me, anyway) where so many other epic fantasy books have failed, is that a) the world is really cool without the author filling the pages with heavy info dumps, and b) the characters are actually interesting.For a book that was like 800 pages, I was impressed that it didn't really slow down. There were occasional patches where it got a little dull/confusing, but for the most part I found it to be quite fast-paced and compelling. And I think this is because it does a good job of constantly rotating the story from one character to another. Which brings me to my next point ...A book with so many characters––especially ones that are important ones––could easily get very messy and hard to follow. And yeah, I did have some trouble with telling all the minor characters apart from each other. (Good thing there's that huge-ass glossary at the back of the book.) But I found all the main characters to be quite easy to distinguish from each other, and I felt that each of them was very well-developed and complex.This is also one of those books where a lot of the characters are not really "good" people and yet you're able to enjoy them a lot as characters despite their personal flaws. For the most part there aren't really "good" and "bad" characters; I think most of the characters have complicated personalities, their "good" moments and their mistakes. That said, Joffrey is just a horrible person and as Jon put it, "truly a little shit." … But part of me still loves to hate him. It takes a lot for me to feel like I literally want to reach into the book and punch a character in the face. I'm reading the second book right now! (It's been taking me like two months but I will finish it eventually … I just keep getting distracted by other things.) Anyway, to sum it up: I'm not typically an epic-fantasy fan, but this book surprised me in a good way. It's good stuff.
Darkhouse - Karina Halle You can also read this review on Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews.Summary:Perry Palomino is having trouble finding purpose in her life. Her job sucks, she doesn't fit in with her family, and she suffers terrible, vivid nightmares. While trying to escape her family one night, Perry decides to investigate a haunted lighthouse––where she meets Dex Foray, an amateur ghost hunter. Soon, the two of them decide to work together to start a ghost-hunting blog. But Perry isn't entirely sure she can trust Dex, and the two of them seem to be getting themselves deeper into danger. My thoughts:I had mixed feelings about Darkhouse. I thought the idea had promise, and I was interested in reading a good story about ghost-hunting, because I think the concept of it is intriguing but I haven't actually read that many ghost-related stories that I enjoyed. This book was mostly just okay for me, but it didn't really live up to my expectations. I thought Perry was a relatable character––although she could come off as being really annoying, and the relationship between her and Dex was entertaining for the most part. But, I had some issues with the plot and the way the book was written.What I liked:- Darkhouse is a fun story. It doesn't have a lot of depth or substance or anything, but I still mostly enjoyed the experience of reading it. It has a humorous tone, it's not too complicated, it has some good thrills in it … So, you know, it's the type of addicting book you could read in just a day or two. - I liked that Perry was different from most YA heroines. (Actually I'm not sure whether this book qualifies as YA … maybe it was NA? I don't really know.) She's Italian, she has curves … she's not the typical white/skinny protagonist, and I thought that was cool. There were times when I kind of felt like the author was beating the reader over the head with it, like, "LOOK. I'M NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS. NEED I REMIND YOU AGAIN?" But anyway, I liked that it was a bit more realistic in that sense. - I also felt like Perry was pretty easy to relate to. She's funny and has a bit of an attitude, which gives her an edge and makes her feel more like a real person. Sometimes her sense of humor kind of fell flat for me, but most of the time I enjoyed her narrative voice. - The dynamic between Perry and Dex is interesting. I'm still not sure how I feel about Dex, but I did like how Perry refused to take crap from him. I felt like he was kind of an asshole sometimes, but instead of just taking the abuse, Perry always confronted him about it. I don't know if it's really a healthy relationship, but I was at least happy to see that Perry could stand up for herself.What didn't work for me:- As I already mentioned, sometimes I felt like the author was constantly reminding us that Perry ISN'T LIKE OTHER GIRLZ. And like I said, while I was happy she wasn't the typical white-and-skinny female protagonist, I didn't need to be reminded of it all the time. In addition to that, I felt like sometimes the portrayal of Italian people was kind of stereotypical.- Kind of related to that, there were times when Perry would find the weirdest opportunities to describe what she looked like. And since it was in first person, it seemed really odd. For instance:"The sun teased the freckles across my nose and the lightest breeze tossed my hair so I could see the shades of violet dye in the black strands."Well, I guess the hair thing isn't that weird, although I think it's still kind of an awkward place to describe what your own hair looks like. But like, how can she see the freckles on her own nose? Even if I stare cross-eyed at my nose all I see is … a blurry thing that I know is my nose, but yeah. I don't think that's possible.- I had trouble suspending my disbelief a lot of the time. You're probably like, "But Brigid, it's a book about ghosts and stuff, it's not supposed to be realistic!" But it's actually not that stuff that I found hard to believe … it was the more everyday stuff. Mostly what I found hard to believe was that Perry's ghost-hunting blog thing became so ridiculously popular. Basically what happens is that Perry's sister asks her to update her uber-popular fashion blog or whatever, and Perry decides to write some post about ghost-hunting. And apparently all these people who read a fashion blog are suddenly fascinated with ghost-hunting and don't get pissed about it. In fact, it draws in like a billion new readers overnight. Errm okay. I really don't see why these people would think Perry had any more credibility than all the other crazy ghost-hunter people on the internet. Just … yeah, I couldn't get myself to believe that.- The excessive swearing. Look, I really don't think there's anything morally wrong with swearing, and I swear like a sailor. (Not so much in my reviews, but you know … in my day-to-day life.) But there's such a thing as overkill. According to a search in the ebook version, variations of the word "fuck" occur in this book 64 times. (Variations of "shit" also occurs 57 times––including in the context "shiteous" which I'm 99% sure isn't a word.) And considering it's not too long of a book … that's quite a lot. Sure, an author has freedom of speech and all that, but I felt like this constant unnecessary use of f-bombs was some kind of forced effort to make the characters sound "cool." But yeah, it just didn't work for me.- There were some moments I found a little … cringe-worthy. Firstly, rape jokes. I'm not saying these were a constant thing, because I think they only popped up once or twice. But, yeah. I don't think they should ever occur. Ever. There's this part at the beginning where Perry is exploring the creepy haunted lighthouse, and she keeps being like, "Oh no, what if there's some crazy guy who lives here and this is his 'rape palace'? Haha RAPE PALACE, I'm just going to keep saying RAPE PALACE." I … just … God, no. Then she runs into someone (Dex) and: "I squinted uncomfortably and felt a pair of hands on my head. One felt gingerly along my neck, another brushed against my forehead. Rapists are gentle these days, I thought absently.… Haha wow hilarious. Good one. #SarcasmDex also had a tendency to say some offensive things. For example, referring to other ghost-hunters as "tards" (also saying things like "Do you think I'm a tard?") and saying that going to the gym was "the gayest shit ever." Nice. So, yeah. I didn't think these moments happened too often, but there were enough little offensive things here and there that it still rubbed me the wrong way on occasion. - I just didn't find the story that scary. With the series being called "An Experiment in Terror" I was expecting … well, terror. I wanted it to be something a bit darker. And even though there were some creepy moments, it wasn't enough for me. Maybe it's just that I'm a fan of scary stories so I was hoping for something that would scare my pants off. But I felt that too much of the story was dedicated to "witty banter" between Perry and Dex, the two of them stumbling around with cameras, etc. Sometimes there were actual scary supernatural occurrences, but … I just wish there had been more of those, because in the end the book felt more like humor/romance rather than horror. The final word:Mostly, this book was just okay for me. I thought the narrative voice was pretty strong, and the dynamic between the main characters was intriguing. I just wanted it to be scarier, plus some things about it felt forced and/or offensive. I might give the rest of the series a shot, though. ~ Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews ~
Viral Nation - Shaunta Grimes Hmm, this sounds pretty cool.The description kind of bothers me, though, since it describes the main character as being "brilliant but autistic" as if being autistic is some horrible, shameful trait to have. Can't someone be brilliant and autistic? The way it was worded, it kind of makes it sound like the two can't go hand-in-hand. I'm sure it wasn't really intentional, but ... it still kind of rubs me the wrong way.
Reboot - Amy Tintera You can also read this review on Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews.2.5 StarsI wrapped the leash around my hand and ignored her protests as I hauled her to her feet and dragged her down the street past the crumbling wooden shacks."It wasn't me! I didn't kill nobody!" Her movements became wild, almost convulsive, and I turned to glare at her."There's something human left in you, ain't there?" she asked, craning her neck to look at the number above the bar code on my wrist.She froze. Her eyes flew from the 178 printed on my skin to my face and she let out another shriek.No. There was no human left in me.Summary:17-year-old Wren Connolly died five years ago when she was shot in the chest three times. But after 178 minutes, she came back to life as a Reboot––a superhuman being with unnatural abilities of strength, speed, and healing. The longer it takes a Reboot to come back from the dead, the less human and emotional they become. Since it took Wren so long to Reboot, she has completely let go of who she used to be before she died. Now her duty is to be a ruthless soldier for HARC (the Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation). Part of Wren's job is training new Reboots, which is something she usually enjoys. But when newbie Callum Reyes is put under her training, she finds it to be her most difficult challenge yet. As only a 22, Callum is basically still human. And when his emotions cause him to refuse orders, Wren is given only one more chance to break him. If she doesn't, she'll have to be the one to kill him. But suddenly, Wren is starting to question HARC and her position as a soldier––and to complicate things even more, she's starting to feel truly alive for the first time since she Rebooted.My thoughts:Damn it, this book really let me down. I don't know why, but for some reason––despite the negative reviews I'd seen––I had really high hopes. I thought the idea of Reboots sounded like it could be really interesting. Plus I'm kind of a sucker for tough-girl/clueless-guy pairings.On top of that, I really enjoyed this book when it first started out. Agh, it just had so much potential … and then, once it got into the second half, it went way downhill. God, I hate it so much when a book does this to me. Nothing's worse than a story that has such a great set-up and then fails at following through. I feel like going all Tyra Banks on this book.But anyway, I guess it's time to get into the specifics.What I liked:- The actual idea of Reboots had some intriguing aspects. I liked the idea of a Reboot being more powerful the longer it took them to come back to life. - I also liked the idea of Reboots having to go through this brutal training, getting horribly injured over and over again so that they would lose all emotion and get used to their unnatural healing abilities. I mean, you have all this messed up stuff with new Reboots constantly getting their arms broken by their trainers, getting shot over and over again, etc. It's a very dark concept––in a good way. It intrigued me.- As I said before, I'm a fan of the whole badass-girl/clueless-guy romance trope. And while I wasn't a big fan of the romance in this book as a whole, I did at least like the set-up for it. I liked the idea of this hardcore girl having to train this guy who had no idea what he was doing.What didn't work for me:- Probably the biggest disappointment for me was the romance. As I was just saying, I really liked the idea of it––and for about the first half of the book, I enjoyed it for the most part. There was chemistry between Wren and Callum without it being overbearing, there was an interesting dynamic between them, etc. And then … it just started to get ridiculous.For that first half of the book or so, Wren was all emotionless and tough, wasn't going to take any nonsense, so on and so forth. Then out of nowhere, she turned into a total sap. There wasn't really any development or in-between stage. One day it was like, "Ugh that stupid Callum I'm gonna punch that smile off his face that little bitch." And the next day it was, "OMG Callum that hottie I just wanna make out with him he's so cute a;kdjs;fj." I just had such high hopes for the romance in this book, because it started off so well. I was hoping it would continue to go slowly and take some time to develop … ya know? But then out of nowhere, Wren and Callum start making out halfway through the book … and from then on out it's pretty much just one big kiss-fest. I mean, there was some action and violence here and there and all that jazz, but the corny romance kind of overshadowed the whole thing. Seriously, Wren and Callum spent so much freaking time kissing in this book, I swear to God. It may sound like a weird complaint, but like … I started to feel like it was every other sentence. At some point I was ready to start shaking my Kindle and scream, "STOP. KISSING."I thought the first half was pretty exciting, but I got really bored in the second half. The romance was pretty poorly paced, and it just got too overbearing and mushy-gushy.- So yes, I liked the basic concept of Reboots. But I didn't really like all the details. First of all, I was annoyed that there wasn't much of a good explanation as to why Reboots even existed in the first place. It was just kind of like, "Well, I dunno … one day people just started coming back from the dead like this. Because of … a virus. When you can't think of something just blame a virus, right? That's how science fiction works. So yeah, whatever." … Soooo, not much effort in that area.There was also the fact that, when Reboots come back from the dead, for some reason they're more attractive than they were before. It was true that all Reboots were attractive, in a way. After death, when the virus took hold and the body Rebooted, the skin cleared, the body sharpened, the eyes glowed.Uhhhh okay. How that would work on a scientific level … I don't even know. It just seemed a) too convenient, b) illogical, and c) unnecessary. I mean, why would you have to be more attractive in order to be a ruthless soldier … ? Beats me. There was even a part where Wren saw a picture of Callum before he died and she was like, "Hahaha I like you better as a sexy Reboot."I just … Never mind, I don't have anything else to say about that.- There was this rather contrived subplot in which scientists were experimenting on the newest Reboots, and these experiments were turning them into … crazy cannibals, I guess. It didn't make sense to me why these experiments were being done; I think it was just thrown in there to add something to the plot. But it didn't do much … besides make me smack myself in the forehead. It just came off as being rather silly, in my opinion.- There was this one part that particularly pissed me off. To preface … Wren still has the scars from when she was killed. So basically, she still has these bullet wound marks all over her chest. She's really self-conscious about it––and therefore, she doesn't want anyone to see her shirtless. When Callum finds out about this, is he kind and understanding about it? Ummm…"When we do have sex, there will be none of this keeping-your-shirt-on nonsense.""But––""Nope, sorry. I don't care about the scars and neither should you. All or nothing."[Long silence]Oh lord, where to even begin here?I have a feeling the author thought this was supposed to be sweet and romantic … and that's what disturbs me the most about it. And sure, if Callum had said something like, "Aww Wren, there's nothing wrong with your scars and I think you're beautiful," that would have been an improvement. But something rubs me the wrong way about him phrasing it the way he does, saying he "doesn't care" and "neither should you." So … you "don't care" that your girlfriend was brutally shot to death and still bears the scars from it? And moreover, you're telling her she shouldn't care? She shouldn't care that the scars are a horrible reminder of a traumatic memory in which she and her parents were murdered? She shouldn't care? You do realize this is about way more than just what she looks like, right? And even if it was, so freaking what? IT'S HER BODY, GOD DAMN IT.But what disgusts me even more is him calling her anxiety "nonsense" and saying that he'll refuse to have sex with her unless she agrees to take her shirt off. Just … wow, what a sick and douchey thing to say. If she is uncomfortable showing her scars, that's her damn business. Maybe someday, she'll learn to accept and love her scars and be comfortable with uncovering them––but if she doesn't want to, that's also fine. Need I repeat myself? IT. IS. HER. BODY.I could go on and on about that one quote, but I'll just stop there.- The writing itself was … iffy. Most of the time I didn't have much of a problem with it, but there were a lot of oddly/badly structured sentences. He slid the door open and we marched out into the dark, a soft breeze ruffling my ponytail.Errm so yeah, I think the subject of that sentence went missing somewhere … ?Twenty-two stared, his lips parted, his neck pulsing strangely.His neck did … what?His eyes were big and round, like a puppy begging for a treat.The way this sentence is constructed, it is saying that the puppy is big and round. Gosh, it's like some of these sentences came off the SATs … like, you know, those "Choose the correct sentence" things? Except these would be the incorrect ones. The final word:I really wanted to like Reboot––and I did like it, in the beginning. But it totally lost me somewhere along the way. What with the choppy pacing and poorly-developed romance, it failed to hook me in the end. I thought it was just okay, and I doubt I'll be picking up the sequel unless I hear really good things about it.~ Flying Kick-a-pow! Reviews ~

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