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Smashwords book reviews by Bailee
- Whirl (Ondine Quartet Book 1)
on Nov. 07, 2011
After processing through my different thoughts on Whirl by Emma Raveling, I decided to repost my review with greater detail to what I liked and disliked.
I actually went into this without any idea of what this story was about other than it was about the Ondine, a creature that in my mind seemed to be connected to mermaids. It was after reading that I realized that the Ondine and their world was so much more than just another tale about a mermaid.
This debut novel by Emma Raveling is an addicting read once you get into it and comes with an intriguing plot to match. This novel got off to a slow start filling my mind with terms/creatures that I was not familiar with and Kendra was hard for me to connect with right away. After the prologue, this story and it's intriguing plot swept me into a place I never knew could exist.
Kendra, the main character, is an ondine and a chosen one for her people with a destiny to free her people from their only enemy. Her sarcasm, her dialog, and her actions matched what I can see myself doing in her situation. In fact, I can see a lot of myself and my friends in the things she says and does. She is one of my favorite lead female characters of all time. But Kendra alone wouldn't be as great as Kendra with all of her handy dandy sidekicks and love interests.
Needless to say, I love the characters both big and small.
The storyline, although it is overused in YA fiction, Emma Raveling's take on it was refreshing and I believe you'll enjoy it just as much as I did.
A definite re-read on my list and I am pleased that it is now a part of my personal collection. I have no doubts that you will be pleased too!
- Dark Before Dawn
on Nov. 26, 2011
Dark Before Dawn was a great read, perfect to take my mind off things and slip into the world that centered around Dawn. I loved the plot and the idea of a sixth sense.
From the first page I was excited to see the lifelike quality around the relationship between Dawn and her mother. It is definitely something that any teen age girl could sympathize with.
The feelings that Candance and Elaine had towards the boys they like are very much like crushes I've had. Even though I wouldn't have killed over it, I can definitely understand. On the flip side of that, when I started the book, I thought that there would be a lot more romance to the novel. So I was sad when everything stopped at the crush stage.
There are a lot of surprises and twists that kept me interested and kept the pace of the novel just how I like it.
I enjoyed the fact that you got to understand where Elaine was coming from as well as Candance because so many novels out there don't give a reason behind why their bad guys are bad. No one just is bad, they become bad by choices they make and others make. So, I was excited to learn about their characters.
Over all, this was a great read and a worthwhile read for everyone!
- Finding Fiona
on Nov. 26, 2011
Finding Fiona by Emily Ward was a fast paced, exciting, and amazing read. This is one book that I will read again and again just for the simple fact of how AMAZING it was. I can't tell you how many things I liked about it! It is the best book I've read in awhile and it was only a novella.
First as I said, it was fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I never got bored of it because of how unique the plot was and surprising the twists were.
Fiona was a strong female character that made me want to read more about her and her relationship with James was simple in its beauty. I liked that romance was just a side note, not the center of the story.
I loved the bad guys (like I always do) and it was awesome that they weren't bad guys just to be bad guys like they are sometimes. No one is a bad person just for no reason and they weren't murderers for no reason in their mind either.
This was an epic read and I loved it. Highly recommended to everyone!
- Venture Untamed
on Dec. 04, 2011
I absolutely loved this novel! It surprised me because when I first read the synopsis, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it. Boy, did I change my mind. It was a wonderful story about a boy determined to rise from his situation and become what he always dreamed of.
Although it started slow for me, I can't deny that I was drawn in by the story and it's characters. The world was incredibly well built, I honestly believed that I was there even though I don't know everything about it, the author brought it to life. The characters, even the lesser ones, are so relate able and you can't help but fall in love their stories and their struggles.
The fighting was epic! I can't even tell you how captivated I was by each move and how the author described it. Honestly, I have never been one to read books about fighting but this has completely changed my mind and my opinion.
If you think that the fighting isn't something you're into, trust me, the story is bigger than that. The love story between Jade and Venture is wonderful, the relationship between Venture and his elder brother is sadly captivating, and his relationship with fighting is different than I would've thought.
I recommend that everyone read this wonderful book! It's captivating and I loved it!
- Angel Evolution
on Jan. 05, 2013
Unlike most stories where the light is good and dark is bad, the lines are blurred within the story that causes you to question everything you find ethical. I thought that the idea and story behind it was unique, definitely different than what I expected. While the idea was special, the writing wasn't quite what I would have wanted especially when there was such a story that needed it's backing. I loved the idea though, sometimes enough to look over the flaws.
The characters were interesting and enjoyable as well as their relationships. It was nice that to see a main character that didn't quite fit into a specific stereotype even though she sometimes came off as more of a child than an adult. The quick changes made in the relationship between Gabriel and Taylor felt unrealistic. I feel that a relationship takes time to progress to a certain point and I felt that a lot of key things were missed because of that. My favorite couple and characters were those that were minor and so it depressed me to find that her family had such a tiny part.
It's greatest attribute was one simple factor--there was no love triangle which has become all too common in the YA genre and maybe in most genres as well. The best love story is a simple one without all the complications that are added by another person. This is not to say that love triangles are any less interesting than a normal relationship but sometimes it takes away from the story and makes you focus more on the relationships. I liked that I could focus more easily on the plot in this story.
- Not Quite Ordinary
on Jan. 05, 2013
I really liked reading this novel despite the fact that there were a few things that caught my attention, it makes me excited to read the rest of the novels that follow this one and hopefully after I finish my review books, I will be able to get the rest of the books. It makes me excited to post this review for the fact that I enjoyed this story.
The main character of this novel, Sarah, is a great asset with all of her flaws but can be also a hindrance to the story. Her greatest flaw as a person in this story is the fact that she believes that she is ordinary because of how everyone views her and what everyone tells her. This is what makes her relatable and lovable because everyone can see themselves in her throughout her struggles. But in writing, the main character is supposed to be larger than life and in that, take you away from all of your problems that surround you. So, honestly, it depends on the reader and I honestly enjoy a bit of both.
Secondly, I enjoyed the minor characters including the bad guys and people like her best friends. I start with the bad guys. The way that they are portrayed within the story is uniquely interesting because unlike in most stories where the bad guys are obviously bad, you are forced to call into question everyone and every relationship she has. Now with the minor characters, I enjoyed the diversity in their attitudes and attributes. I liked that her best friends were so completely different and that not everyone got along.
The dialog was lacking though. It was at times hard to follow and seemed disjointed from the narrative, making some of it seem childish. What the dialog lacked, the narrative made up for it.
Now, I am a sucker for a good family life within a novel whether it gets better through out the novel or starts that way and ends differently. So when I began this story I was saddened to find another family who is broken, another teen mistreated by the parents who swore to protect her at birth. As the story progressed, I was glad to see a growing relationship between her father and herself because it is rare to find any story in the YA genre with that ingredient.
Lastly, this is not really a bad thing because I really wish that this story was longer because I felt that some key parts were barely grazed. The thing I really wished had been put into greater detail was the time spent with her grandma because I would’ve loved to read what she learned about. Like what was it like when she did her first potion or when she first did something wrong?
All and all, a great read. Worthwhile for anyone who likes the YA genre.
- Tempest (#1 Destroyers Series)
on Jan. 05, 2013
Tempest by Holly Hook. Even the name sounds intriguing and intense. Of course, those two words correctly describe this book. I went into this novel, thinking that it would be an interesting read though it probably would be just like any other young adult book out there. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, they live happily ever after. That idea creates a certain amount of comfort in the back of my mind as I start any book. It caught me off guard how much more than romance this story was.
Janelle is a fun character to read with all of her characteristics that make her truly a YA main character. I like that there is a certain pattern they follow but I wish that there was something that made her more unique and standalone. A quality that perhaps other books lack in their characters. But I loved her nonetheless. Her relationship with her father is admirable. Her relationship with her mother can be summed up in one word: frightening. Her whole story is great, I liked it.
The idea behind the plot is different, there are no vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mermaids, or any of that sort treading through these pages. I think that's what really captures your attention is that it touches on something I don't think I've ever considered or read about. My desire to read is fueled by things that I don't know and want to know more about. This book brought up a new type of creature or human and made me look at "tempests" in a whole new light.
I really liked this book. I think anyone who likes these sort of paranormal stories will enjoy this.
on Jan. 06, 2013
Frost by Kate Avery Ellison brings to life a beautiful world with a complex history, full of secrets, betrayal, and hope. She captures the world with vivid descriptions that bring this place to life in your mind. You can picture yourself walking with Lia and experiencing her fear, her stubbornness, and her loss as the story progresses.
Lia is a wonderful main character with her strength in hardships and loyalty to her family. I don't think that I would be as open to raising my flaky sister and brother who can't walk. This isn't to be mean but I think I am probably more selfish which makes Lia all the more admirable. Her selflessness is continually proved throughout the story as she gives up everything for her siblings. It makes me want to cry when she gives up her chance at love and happiness to make sure that her siblings will always be taken care of.
The Watchers were intimidating but not as scary as I expected. They have more history behind them and mystery seems to cling to their character so I wish I would've learned more about them then I did. Now, I am not into horror stories or anything but I think that the Watchers definitely could've been amped up more and their history should've been expanded on. History could've either made them more relatable or scary.
The Farthers are an interesting element to the story that kind of appears out of nowhere in the story. If there is any real bad guys in the story, it would definitely be this group of people. They have a lot of evil that is more than perceived like with the Watchers. It's really cool to shift between which one was a bad guy.
I love this book and it's an awesome read with a lot of great pieces to the story.
- Elemental: The First
on Jan. 21, 2013
Elemental: The First is the beginning of the Primord series by Alexandra May and from the beginning, it draws the reader in. It tells the story of Rose, a girl who constantly moves because of her father's job, as she discovers just who she is meant to be. From the moment she was born, it was clear that she was different and when she grew up, her differences became more real. She had a gift -- to heal and to kill -- and no one claims to know why. It is set in a period of Rose's life when she is being separated from her family for the first time and she is moving in with a grandma that her parents had cut ties with. The novel is full of betrayal, romance, mystery, and a little bit of action.
The plot was a different kind of reincarnation than previously explored in any books I've read. It is and it isn't reincarnation at the same time. Okay, to be honest, I'm not quite sure how to categorize it until the second book comes out. There was several surprises and twists that caught me off guard such as what characters were chosen to play a big part and which took smaller parts despite how they were introduced. I loved all of the history used throughout the book as well as the different myths and stories told throughout the story. The whole story held a lot of mystery and left a lot of unanswered questions that I expected will be answered in the sequel. It didn't leave me angry because of the unanswered questions but rather, I knew that there was more to be answered.
Rose was an interesting main character at the beginning because I didn't know how to read her. A lot of the first few chapters displayed her weaknesses as a character and her uncertainty in herself. Not that there is anything wrong with that, for I don't expect every character I read to to be cocky or self obsessed. I think it was refreshing but I had a hard time grasping her personalities when it began. The ties between her and Halíka Dacomé was cool even though it wasn't as explored as I would've liked it to be. I loved that despite the fact that she was physically strong, her greatest strength was her courage, hope, and trust. Although they are often thought of as naive, I thought that these were the best qualities of her.
Now onto the two lovely men who are vying for Rose's affections (sort of):
Aiden was the bad boy love interest for Rose with his violent past and unsavory character that everyone isn't afraid to warn her about. I think that the way he was raised had a lot to do with how he treated people and the way he acted. I've dealt with kids who based on their background have become traumatized to the point where they display their trauma by doing it to other kids. I gained both respect (which I am sure many of you think is undeserved) and hope for this character that no one seemed to like. Sometimes, I think it the people that are screwed up and aren't perfect that make the best love interests because it requires to main character to give a lot. A broken person needs only help to heal.
Morgan was the golden boy of the story, the 'everybody's choice' love interest for Rose. From the moment the story begins, it was all about how perfect he would be for her and how she needs to just trust him. It made me extremely wary because it seems like the greatest guys always have the darkest intentions -- even though Aiden most certainly has dark intentions but that's expected. To me, he felt comfortable and easy for her to be with and the relationship wouldn't require growth for either character. He was so sweet though, he cared a lot about Rose especially when I questioned other people's motives. I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes for his character as whole that I would love to know more about.
Basically, I don't know who she is ending up with and yeah... Stupid love triangles, always making me wait to find out who is better for the character.
I adore all of her friends, okay that's not entirely true. I loved Hannah, Jez, and Mira but I can't decide of that's because they play the biggest parts or what. Can we discuss the cutest couple in the whole story? Hannah and Jez are undeniable the most adorable side couple ever. I can't wait to see it grow into something more. Honestly, I can't wait to watch all of the characters grow and mature throughout the books. Her grandma Daisy is another awesome character to watch out for with all of her fun qualities and interesting dialog. She keeps you on your toes during the book and was one of the most likable characters from the beginning of the story.
Overall, it was awesome. I am dying to read the next book. Check it out for yourself, you won't be sorry.