Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

I tried, I really really tried. I just couldn’t finish it. I’ve started and restarted this book a few times and each time I ended up having to put it down and say “Really? Are you kidding me?”  Let me go back to the beginning and how I got to this frustration with the book. I was walking through the books section in my local Target (it’s like a freaking black hole, I HAVE to buy a book every time I’m in there, it’s awful) and the cover of this book caught my attention. I pick it up, read the synopsis and wow, that caught my attention too.

I didn’t check reviews on Goodreads or Amazon on this book. This was my first mistake.

Get my book purchases home and I start reading. So far so good, the idea that a 17 yr old girl’s father would allow his only daughter to go hiking alone with only her girlfriend, in the mountains is pretty far fetched. But hey, this is fiction and anything can happen including poor parental decisions. Britt is pretty obnoxious, a liar, manipulative…so basically a typical teenager (oh how I hope my children end up not typical, please let some sort of body snatcher thing happen and they end up perfect) and hell bent on making her ex boyfriend Calvin jealous by hiking the Tetons with her best friend (who happens to be Calvin’s sister) for Spring Break.

Two stupid girls make stupid decisions and unfortunate events happen (I don’t want to give spoilers in case you actually want to read the book after I sit here and beg and plead with you NOT to waste your time) which lead the girls being held against their will. So you think, “Ok, the girls have to use their wits and get out of this. This could be good!” That was mistake number two that I made…being hopeful. No, no the girls do not.

Britt ends up trying to get away from her captors yet lusting after one of them all while feeling confused about her feelings for her exboyfriend who cheated on her. GET SOME SELF RESPECT! At this point as I’m reading, I’m killing her off. Each scenario that comes up, I’m making like one of those stories where you make the decision for the character. But my decision is always “Britt jumps off the cliff” or “Britt falls off the side of the mountain never to be seen again.”  Which is a sign that I need to stop reading.

I got farther then 1/2 way done and just had to stop. Britt is lusting after her captor. This is Stockholm Syndrome folks. Nothing to glamorize here. Ladies…if a man kidnaps you it’s not because he’s dreamy. IT’S BECAUSE HE’S PSYCHO. If a man allows his friend to kidnap you….again….IT’S BECAUSE HE’S PSYCHO. There is nothing sweet, romantic or cute about it.

So here I was thinking, I’ve tried reading this book twice. The weather is nice, maybe third times the charm right? I was wrong. I was wrong wrong wrong.  I literally threw my book. Which made me die a little bit inside because that’s book abuse. These were mistakes three and four.

I’m not making anymore mistakes, I’m going to place my book on my shelf never to be read again. Which is unfortunate, but those hours I spent trying…I’ll never get those back. And while it’s sort of fun killing off characters in my head. I could be doing that with my own characters in my own stories….and be productive with my writing.

Tomorrow I’m going to read a shifter romance to cleanse my reading palette. *fingers crossed no book abuse ensues*

Night!!

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

Mind Readers Review

Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth… that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.

I’ve read a few other paranormal romances by Lori Brighton and I’ve enjoyed her writing. So when this came up on Amazon as a freebie I was pretty excited. I don’t discriminate in my paranormal romances and welcome YA reads with arms wide open.  I will say that this was one of the better written young adult books I have read.  The plot and action move along pretty seamlessly, which I expected with having read her other works.

Cameron (Cam) Winters is a very likable heroine.  I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t give too much thought to the life she left behind (but then I think…how much of that is her fault and how much is Lewis’s fault). She thought of her Grandmother a few times but not as often as one would expect.  But she makes up (IMO) for it with how steadfast she is on doing the right thing, even when doing the right thing just really sucks. When Lewis comes around and he’s just like her, it’s like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. She and her Grandmother aren’t the only freaks!  Which brings me to Lewis, I want to punch him in the throat. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t spoil anything for you.

I do wish that there was more development with some of the secondary characters, but there are 2 more books and that may or may not happen in those. I am looking forward to reading the next 2 installments of this series. And for $2.99 each, that’s a steal.

The Mind Readers was a 4 out of 5 stars for me. I read it in less then a day (you know it’s good when you try to turn your Kindle off but you turn it back on because you need to know what happened). 🙂

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass book review

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Timesbestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments

My thoughts…

This was a bit better then the last book. Seems to be a trend with this series for me. I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with it, perhaps because it’s just not my cup of tea. I will say this…I DIDN’T HATE CLARY IN THIS BOOK! It’s a miracle! There was a whole lot less whining. It was still only a 3.5 out of 5 stars for me. But that’s a step up!  I didn’t have as hard of a time getting into this book as I did the others. It seemed that the action started right off (thank goodness!!) and kept on going.

There was some relationship drama going on, but finally, it did not over shadow the rest of the story like it did the last 2 books. I didn’t quite understand what was up with Sebastian. I was expecting Clary to be more involved with him by what I read in the synopsis. But she really didn’t turn to him as an ally. He helped her once and Clary was done with him. I didn’t like that even though he gave her reservations after he helped her that she still trusted him. But she’s not perfect.  She is only 16 and 16 yr old make stupid mistakes.

Simon…oh Simon. He seems to be adjusting to his new situation but it can’t be easy at all. Then he gets sucked in to Shadowhunter business. I am starting to wonder if Simon will ever NOT be involved in Shadowhunter business. I wish everything with him would have been resolved, but I suppose that is what book 4 is for.

If I don’t pick up the following books, I think I would be content. This was meant to be a trilogy and she wrapped it up nicely. An epilogue of Jocelyn and Luke’s wedding with whomever Simon has for a date would have wrapped it up indefinitely. But….money dictates actions and book 4 and 5 were born.

Fans of Harry Potter would like this series I think. I haven’t picked up that series and I really don’t have a desire to do so. I am a Twilight fanatic. So I’m a bit shocked I didn’t love this series. This is after all the love child of Twilight and Harry Potter.

SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER

Finally, we learn that Jace and Clary are NOT brother and sister. Finally, no squick feelings when they touch. I am happy they got their happily ever after. It was sort of gross when Jace made his big declaration of love, truly believing that Clary was his sister.  Thank goodness that we learned later on that they are not related because ugh, if they could make-out and make declarations of love while believing they are siblings….I don’t even want to KNOW where that would have gone.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes book review

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Let’s get into shall we?

I can’t get over the squick factor with that thing going on between Jace and Clary. It’s gross. I’m sorry but it is. I see all the hints for what is telling us that we shouldn’t feel all squicky because there is a game changer on the horizon. But the game changer isn’t here yet, so it’s squicky. Put that squick aside for a moment.  I enjoyed this one a bit more then City of Bones, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. It was another book that I didn’t love but didn’t hate either. Another 3 stars out of 5 for me. There was more action that helped move the book along and thankfully there was otherwise it might have gone on my ‘Do Not Finish’ shelf and never seen the light of day again.

Jace comes under scrutiny of both the Lightwoods and the Inquisitor.  No lack of drama there. BUT…the drama DOES NOT end there folks! Oh no. There is crap brewing between Jace and Clary (remember….squick!), Clary and Simon, Alec and Magnus, Jace and Valentine, Simon and Maia, Jace and Alec, Luke and, hmmmm…Luke is like Switzerland. Nobody has an issue with Luke (thank goodness!).  It’s like a big dramafest with whine on the side. I can’t handle whining in my books. If I wanted to listen to whining I’d stop reading and tell my kids they can’t have another cookie.

At least Valentine is keeping things interesting by trying to create an army of demons, kidnapping, world domination, murder. Without that, I don’t know what would have kept this story afloat. We do learn a little something something about Clary that makes my ears perk up like a Lab eyeing a bone. Perhaps this can get better!!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

city of bones book review

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

I wasn’t sure if I should start this series or not. On one hand I am glad that I have and on the other I’m not. I liked City of Bones, but when I finished it I just sat there and didn’t know what to feel. Normally when I finish a book there are definite feelings I have towards the characters of the book. This one, just a jumbled mess going on in that heart of mine.  While I don’t hate it, I don’t love it either. I will be reading the rest of the books in the series and I hope that things pick up (because we all know that book 1 of a series isn’t always the best). With this book I did find my brain taking mental walks through the park and I’d have to refocus.

Some Of The Characters:
Clary. Clary, Clary, Clary *shakes my head*. Where do I start? She is frustrating to me, at times infuriating…and I don’t know why!!! I keep thinking the word immature in regards to Clary. But she’s only 16, so of course she is immature. I will give her credit for handling being thrown into the Shadowhunters world and the curve balls that were thrown at her as well as she did.  She does need training if she is going to live in this world that she has been thrust into. Freezing up isn’t going to work for her anymore if she wants to keep moving ahead with this life that has chosen her.

Simon, I believe is one of my favorite characters from this book.  I kept thinking of him as one of Clary’s redeeming qualities as I was reading.  Very witty young man he is.  Even though he’s a “mundie” he brings some skills to the table. I’m really hoping that we see more of him in this series. Even if it’s only to bring strife and frustration to Jace’s life…he’s so funny when it’s teasing that boy.

Now for the other man in Clary’s life, Jace. I’ve read some reviews where people thought he was an asshole. I didn’t think that at all. I found his sense of humor pretty refreshing. And the small part of the book from Jace’s POV…was GREAT! I wish Cassandra Clare would have had more then that 1 snippet. He seems very loyal to those he feels that are under his protection, very quick to throw himself first into danger. Because of that, I got the sense that he was the “leader” of their small group of Shadowhunters. With that said, it was very frustrating that he would be so trusting in the scene with Valentine. That part was driving me batty. I kept saying out loud, “Seriously?! You are NOT that naive!!”  Plus in my opinion he had one of the best lines from the entire book, “The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.” Well, to be honest I think all of the best lines were from Jace 🙂

Overall:

I will continue this series and I’d even recommend it to a friend who enjoys the YA Fantasy genre. Cassandra Clare did a fine job with creating this world that she is sharing with us.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS

As the book is moving along and Clary is finding herself drawn to Jace, and Jace to Clary…it’s cute. Young love you know? I was hoping that they would end up together but NOT that way. Finding out that Jace is Clary’s brother was horrible! Very “Star Wars” if you know what I mean. I’m hoping that later on in the series we find that Valentine was lying to win Jace’s loyalty (because he seemed pretty gosh darn loyal to him at the end there!!!) I understand that Clary can’t just shut off those emotions when it comes to Jace, but it still gives me that squicky feeling reading about it.