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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

"I will be with her again, or I will die.
There aren't any other options."
-Ash, The Iron Knight

"If I let myself love you I won't throw myself in front of her.
I'll throw myself in front of you."
-Dimitri Belikov, Vampire Academy

Thursday, 21 August 2014

YA Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath
Title: The Aftermath
Author: Jen Alexander
Series: The Aftermath
Book #: 1
Pages: 288
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.86
Published: August 26th, 2014

Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.

Taschima's POV:
"There was no end of the world. There's only a game called The Aftermath, and I feel stupid for just realizing this."
The Aftermath was quite honestly a really cool idea that wasn't executed as well as I hoped it would be. There wasn't enough action for my taste (the whole idea being a video game-esque scenario), and for the most part the novel went by very slowly. I never felt like the main character was in any real danger, the sense of urgency was just not there for me. Still, the novel is full of fascinating ideas. What if the character you play in your RPG game were real? What if the game you are playing is their reality?

The beginning is confusing as hell, because you don't really know what is going on with this reality. Is the MC a character in a game, or is she a real human being? What is she? What is this place? And who is the girl who seems to be controlling her? I had a lot of questions, tons, and for the most part a lot of these were answered. The world of the Aftermath was well developed (as well as a devastated waste land CAN be developed anyhow) but the world outside The Aftermath is still mostly just a mystery. I don't exactly want to give any of the story away but I still have questions that were not answered about the country's history, questions that could have been easily answered here.
"I am not just some virtual person stuck in a reality that was created by computers. I am something else. Something called a character. A human trapped inside an intentional hell that's been created by designers--other humans."
The character of Claudia was okay. It felt kind of weird she had supposedly been sentient for years but then she just ignored all the weird stuff coming out of her mouth? And the weird shit she would do? She just brushed it off... Yeah, if I felt like my body was doing things without my consent I would FREAK OUT. It would have made more sense for her to have had the mentality of a prisoner inside her own mind, but this is not the case. One day she is just... fully sentient, realizing all the weird shit she has done or said through the years wasn't her. Again, interesting concept, little sketchy execution.

Also the "gamer" that was in charge of Claudia, Olivia, was a complete and total bitch. I absolutely hated her, and I hope to god that was the point. I couldn't sympathize with her at all, not even with her forbidden love scenario because of how ridiculously bad she treated her "boyfriend". Claudia on the other hand was more relatable, and after being under the thumb of Olivia you just wanted her to escape and be free.

Romance between Olivia and her boyfriend is just, blah. I couldn't exactly believe how he could stick by her, or why. She didn't make anything easy. As for Claudia and her romantic interests I thought it was rushed. I am not in awe of the boy she feels the butterflies for. I don't feel butterflies for him at all so... Also the objective of the boy in the game was very unsurprising.

I don't know what is on hold for the future of the series, but I think I would pick up the sequel if only to see what exactly comes next for Claudia. She was the only character I really liked in this book, I also kind of want to see Olivia burn (or at least seriously explain her behavior). Overall not a bad novel, it was just slow and it lacked some much needed action (specially for being in the video game genre).

PS; If you liked The Aftermath then you must try RUSH as well. Much more action, and better romance overall.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

YA Review: Rain by Amanda Sun

Rain (Paper Gods, #2)
Title: Rain
Author: Amanda Sun
Series: Ink
Book #: 2
Pages: 304
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket.5
Goodreads Rating: 4.06
Published: June 24th, 2014

American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She's started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can't imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she's fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She's flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.

When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo's dark ancestry, as well as Katie's, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.

Taschima's POV:

Rain had many of the aspects I loved from Ink. Rich Japanese culture, likable characters, high drama... maybe too much drama. While Ink felt almost effortless Rain seemed to be trying to hard to keep us at the edge of our seat when it came to the romance side of things. So I wasn't a big fan of the romance in Rain but everything else was still golden.

Katie Green made the decision to stay in Japan. She says it is because she would miss her friends, her aunt, because she can't give up on the whole Kami thing... but really, she didn't leave because of Tomohiro. We all know this, but let the girl lie to herself if she must. Katie's staying in Japan isn't without it's complications. She is falling behind on her Kanji, she is not at the same level as her classmates in school because of the language barrier and she refuses to go to English school (even though it would make life 10 times easier for her). Not only is she falling behind in school but she seems to be making Tomohiro worse. She doesn't know where her Kami powers are coming from, but she is sure about to find out.

Katie is still as likable as she was in Ink, though a bit gullible. She does spend a lot of time trying to solve the mystery of her Kami abilities and ways to help Tomohiro control his darker side. She is selfless, and doesn't give up. She also spends a lot of her time putting her foot in her mouth due to cultural differences. It is hilarious.

The one thing that dragged the story down for me was the love triangle that was fed to us. It was just unnatural really. It wasn't necessary to keep the story interesting, and the more page time it was given the more I wanted to put the book down. Or at least hit Katie very squarely upside her head. There are times where a good love triangle is justified but just not this time. It took away from the overall story, plus it deviated our attention from the romance that gave us so much joy in Ink.

Tomohiro is worst than ever. He decided to stop drawing, which is ridiculously stupid of him. The Ink needs to come out somehow. The inheritance of the Kami in him is dragging him over the edge, he is drowning in ink. Katie seems to be making it worse, but nobody knows why. Which is why she spends so much time apart from Tomohiro in this title, but doesn't mean I have to like it. Tomohiro is just as dark and irresistible as he was in Ink, though Katie seems to be having a hard time of getting to him so she spends a lot of time with Jun which I did not enjoy.

The mythology behind the Kami is interesting as well as very intricate. It is complicated and there are a lot of characters playing a role; both old as dirt and present. We still have a lot to uncover about the Kami, but so far it has been a solid fun-filled ride. We definitely dwell deeper into the Kami past and how Katie and Tomohiro are connected to them. The answer may surprise you...

Rain was not a sophomore slump which I am SO happy for. It was entertaining and it answer a lot of questions while posing many many more. Getting to revisit the characters was just what I needed. I can't wait to read the third book in the series, specially since a love triangle isn't something I see in this series future anymore. No to love triangle, yes to Katie and Tomohiro!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

YA Review: Run To You, Part I (Run To You #1) by Clara Kensie

Run to You Part One: First Sight
Title: Run To You, Part I
Author: Clara Kensie
Series: Run To You
Book #: 1
Pages: 99
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.91
Published: Feb. 1st, 2014

Part One in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker�after all, she can't even tell him her real name. But Tristan won't be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss….

Taschima's POV:

Run to You started out really fast and it instantly captures your attention. Soon enough you want to know everything there is to know about this family with super powers. Why are they running? Who are they running from? I can honestly say it got me interested from the get go and I will definitely be buying the second instalment in this weirdly fascinating set of stories. The 100 pages or so just flew by...

A story about a superpower family who is constantly hiding, running, from a mysterious man who wishes to do them harm. Part one of this story is all about getting to know the family, their powers, and their situation. The main character's name is Tessa, and she is the ONLY one in the family who seems to have no super powers what so ever and because of this everybody in her family has always babyed her. Though she does needs to be babied a bit giving that the guy who is chasing them has powers that make me think of him as Sylar The Second (Heroes). Tessa has a big sister, Jillian, who actually acts like a big sister and is there for her. Her little brother Logan acts like if he WAS Tessa's big brother, he is controlled and strong and loves Tessa to pieces. They all love and protect each other to the best of their abilities making this one of the few families that stick together in the YA universe.

I loved the family dynamic, and I sympathised with Tessa. She is the one ordinary among the extraordinary, which makes her stand out among the sea of YA super heroines. She is a normal girl in a supernatural life, and it sucks to be her. She is the one person in her family who would be fine having a normal life, and yet she can't have it. She pushes everyone away because she doesn't find the point in making friends when she is just going to leave. Until Tristan tripped into her. Tristan, the broad shouldered ray of sunshine. He is the one person who has tried to really get to know Tessa, so far we don't exactly know if this is a genuine attraction or if he is incognito... I can't wait to read the rest of the parts to find out.

The ending was a little sad. The last line made me want to hit Tessa right upside the head, and yet I still sympathise with her (even though what she did could potentially had been ridiculously stupid and the very reason her parents are against her dating Tristan). She only wants someone to know her true self, even though she knows she can never let anyone truly in. I need to know who is bad guy is, and why he is chasing them. He really reminds me of Sylar from Heroes... we haven't even seen him but by the way Tessa and her family react to just his name you know he is a nightmare.

Buying part two know, need to keep reading!

PS; I like this whole dividing the novel into parts. It lets people put their pinky toe into the waters, see if they like the book before continuing it. At the same time it means the book needs to capture your attention within 100 pages, and sometimes some books only really get real good after those 100 pages. It is a toss up.

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