Friday, 31 January 2014

Book Reviews: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia, Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian & Eternity by Elizabeth Miles.



 When twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart storm into her life with tales of vengeful spirits and secret societies, Kennedy Waters is really not all that interested. After all, her mother, the only person who has ever really been there for her, has just died. Kennedy is all alone in her grief - and that’s exactly the way she wants it to be. But Jared and Lukas won’t take no for an answer. According to them, Kennedy’s life is in danger. According to them, a vengeful spirit killed Kennedy’s mom, and, if she’s not careful, Kennedy might be next.         

The first in a new series from Beautiful Creatures author Kami Garcia, Unbreakable may be fast paced, and it may be creepy good fun at times but, though it is heavily blurbed and obviously loved by a wealth of best-selling authors, (Richelle Mead, Rachael Caine, Ally Condie et al.) Unbreakable failed to hit the mark for me. This was due, at least in part, to the break-neck speed at which the story moves which meant that I never really got to connect with the characters or their plight as they battled with paranormal ghouls. Also, I had a problem with the love story. By which I mean the, ahem, love triangle. But first, I have to mention the insta-love: because this book has possibly the worst case of insta-love that I have ever encountered in a book EVER. Both Jared and Lukas fall head over heels for Kennedy and seriously their fascination with her comes out of nowhere. I didn’t get it. And I never bought it.

While I haven’t read Beautiful Creatures, I have heard a lot of good things, and so I was expecting more –a whole lot more – from Unbreakable. I can’t say that I ever really connect with or cared about the characters, and so my journey with Kennedy and the love struck Lockhart brothers ends here. I’ll leave them fight it out amongst themselves.

In short: Read it only if you live for insta-love.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia. Series: Legion #1 Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.  Released: October 2013. Ages: 12+.   Rating:  2½ out of 5.   Source: Received from publisher for review.  

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 An eye for an eye – and someone must die.

So, we’re back with our not-so-favourite girls, Lilia, Kat and Mary as they continue their twisted ‘revengenda’ against Mary’s obsession former star-quarterback Reeve. And if their motivations for targeting Reeve in the first book were clear; here they are less so. OK, the guy gave Mary a hard time when they were kids; but now the girls have pretty much ruined his promising football career due to their revenge hi-jinks in Burn for Burn. Think they might leave it at that? No chance. Reeve is nursing a broken leg thanks to the girls, so why not go one better and just break his heart. Phase Two of the ultimate plan for revenge is underway…

But why? Why do Lilia and Kat want to help out scary Mary? That’s why I don’t get. And Mary is pretty scary. She was a little strange in Burn for Burn, but here she’s really rocking the Carrie vibe and is a whole lot of weird. Just what is her story? Well, Fire with Fire takes its sweet time in getting where it wants to go (seriously, this book is over five hundred pages long), but when it finally does get to the reveal, all I can say is, WOW! I almost gave up on this book a couple times, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I really, really liked its twisted ending, and now I can’t wait to see how things turn out when Ashes to Ashes the third and final book in this trilogy releases next year.

p.s: Major props to Lindy for being one of these sweetest guys in YA. I hope he gets his happy ending with Lilia, because he is so into her. You know what they say, though: nice guys finish last; and in a romantic twist of fate, Lilia may just have her eye on one hell of a bad boy!

In short: This book is too long; but it does have one hell of a killer ending.

Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. Series: Burn for Burn #2. Other Books in Series: Burn for Burn. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.  Released: September 2013. Ages: 14+.   Rating:  3 out of 5.   Source: Received from publisher for review.  

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Picking up in the immediate aftermath of events in Envy (Fury #2) – which said goodbye to Drea, saw Skyler scarred for life, and left JD as lovelorn as ever – the Furies are back for one last hurrah in Eternity and, if you hadn’t guessed it, they’re planning on revenge.

Oh, those Furies. They are full of their fun. Or maybe not. Despite having enjoyed the first two books in this series, this time, I wasn’t really feeling it. It’s been quite a while since I read Envy (and the recapping isn’t quite there with this one) so that may have detracted from my enjoyment a little, but, I dunno, from start to finish I felt totally disconnected from the characters here.  Case in point: Em. Her life is at stake. I mean, the Furies are literally threatening to take over her life; heart and soul. But I never really felt it. I never felt like the stakes were all that high in this book at all. Em and Crow half-heartedly search for a solution to the Fury problem (and go nowhere fast) while JD, who for the most part, is totally clueless to what is going on around him, finds the answer without ever really looking at all. The characters – you have to remember that JD and Em are in (unrequited) love - barely interact here – at least not until the final act. And Crow, the mysterious bad boy of Envy, well he now acts as the (permanently inebriated) third-wheel in a rather lackluster attempt at a late-inclusion love triangle.

This trilogy, though, was never really about love. Rather, it’s all about revenge. The Furies, so menacing in the first two books, pretty much exist as pretty props here. They don’t do very much at all, and rather than galloping towards it’s promised gripping conclusion, Eternity (very slowly, because this is a book where not a whole lot happens) limps towards the finish line.  Readers will have to wait until the final chapters of the book for a little action to kick off, and while the conclusion is pretty satisfactory, in that certain questions get answered, it’s not enough to raise this book above ‘pretty forgettable’ status.

In short: Did they call it Eternity because it takes SO LONG for anything to happen?!


Eternity by Elizabeth Miles. Series: Fury #3. Other Books in Series: Fury, Envy. Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.  Released: October 2013. Ages: 14+.   Rating:  2½ out of 5. Overall Series Rating: 3 out of 5.    Source: Received from publisher for review.   

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2 comments :

  1. ChristinaBookAddict31 January 2014 at 13:01

    I wasn't the biggest fan of Beautiful Creatures, so I was definitely going to skip Unbreakable. Plus, you say there is insta-love? No thanks! So, you know I love Jenny Han, but Burn for Burn was just ok for me. Sadly, I probably won't stick with the series. However, I am dying to get my hands on her latest novel. Thanks for the honest reviews, Leanna!

    ReplyDelete
  2. MAJOR insta-love in Unbreakable - it just didn't make any sense to me. The Burn for Burn series is just ok for me too, but after the ending of the latest book I want to see how things wrap up!

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