Saturday, December 20, 2014

Year End Mini-Reviews - E-Galleys

Well, hello again! Since there are only 11 days left in the year, I'd better say a few words about some of the 2014 review books I've read this year in e-Galley that I haven't gotten to yet. Shall we?

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

In 1900, Olivia befriends a hypnotist hired by her father to cure her of her of having her own opinion so she can accept a woman's "true calling". Winters once again provides great historical detail and a touch of the paranormal to support her inspiring story of suffragettes. Loved it!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

197 is the fourth most valuable surrogate in the latest royal auction. She is bought by the conniving Duchess to bear a daughter worthy of marrying the king’s son – but in one-third the time of a normal gestation. Ewing seamlessly integrates world building and magical rules into the action. For example, in an early scene, 197 is permitted an evening visit to her family after years apart. To show both 197’s love for her family and her magical power, Ewing has 197 touch a barren lemon tree in the backyard and make it produce a perfect lemon in a matter of seconds. An interesting read!

That Night by Chevy Stevens

As a teen, Toni Murphy was bullied mercilessly and then sentenced to prison for killing her sister in collusion with her boyfriend, Ryan. 15 years later, Toni is out on parole and wants to find out the truth of her sister's murder. But this means facing her former bullies. Stevens puts Toni in impossible situations -- this novel made me so angry on behalf of Toni that I wanted to go into the book and help Toni get revenge. Highly emotional. 

The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

Shiloh and Gideon live inside the Haven where everyone is monitored and drugged, basically a dystopian nightmare. This very much reminded me of a less complex version of a well-known adult dystopian book, and so I figured out what was going on as soon as they talked about "terminals" vs "wholes".  A diverting enough novel that suffers the comparison to this other book (which I won't name because spoilers).

Killer Instinct by SE Green

In this teen homage to the TV show Dexter, Lane is fascinated by serial killers. She's also highly unsympathetic (especially bc she slut-shames her sister at every opportunity). Still, I was on board with Lane's adventures in serial killing until the very bizarre twist near the end left me scratching my head in disbelief. 

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Darcy is living the dream! Right out of high school and she's already sold a YA novel, moved to NYC, and started up a romance with a popular YA author. In alternating chapters, we get Darcy's journey as well as her "novel": Afterworlds. Since I enjoy both afterlife books and books about the writing scene, I was very entertained by this one, even though it was super, super lengthy.

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

When Lainey's boyfriend Jason breaks up with her, she uses techniques from the Art of War to win him back, including having co-worker Micah pose as her new boyfriend. Even though Micah is leagues different from Lainey, she finds herself really falling in love with him. A fun YA romance!

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

Del is a walker in parallel worlds who keeps running across the echo of her longtime crush in different worlds. O'Rourke combines science and music theory in her intricate world-building. I am excited to read the sequel to find out what happens next!


Brooke DelVecchio said...

I didn't love The Jewel. I really wanted to but I felt it was actually lacking in world building. And the romance was annoying and to unbelievable for me. I did love The Art of Laney. It was refreshing and fun. I read it on a car ride coming home from vacation. There's a novella that she also wrote that comes before it if you want to check it out. I love Stokes' writing. Have a great week!

Carina Olsen said...

Yay :D Great short reviews Lenore. <3 Thank you for sharing about these books :) I have only read The Cure for Dreaming, but I loved it so so much. <3 glad you did too :)