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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Review: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Series: Lies Beneath
Book #: 1
Pages: 303
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.74
Published: June 12th, 2012

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge.

They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practise using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Taschima's POV:

Lies Beneath was, for me, a roller coaster of emotions. At one point I was having all sorts of doubts about it, and the next thing I know I was glued to the page.

When I first started reading Lies Beneath me I have to admit it took me a little to get into the novel. The beginning was slow to kick off and it didn't really take a hold of me. Mermaids in this book are killers, they feed off the emotions of humans. THIS IS THE COOL PART; they are not your garden variety mermaids. Now, having said that, it was hard for me at the beginning to like the main character. He was ... kind of creepy and hard to like. He self contained from "feeding" not because he thought it was wrong for him to kill people but because for him it was a sort of game. I wanted to smack him. Some of the things he did, and thought about, were revolting. Though I could also understand because you know he was raised as a freaking mermaid, and mermaids are natural killers. I got the memo half way through the novel. I was able to forgive, but I'll never forget the hilarious/terrifying image of Cal hiding in the bushes listening in to the girl's sleep over party. Yeah, amigo, that is a no no in human society. He manages to redeem himself, barely by the end, but I still wouldn't bring him over to meet the folks. I'm telling you, a love/hate relationship.

On the other hand I liked the girl he is supposed to be stalking and getting to know. Her name is Lily. She is artsy and a poet at heart. Not only that but she is ballsy and has a "don't screw with me" attitude, she doesn't take any BS. AND she confronted Cal about being stalky and creepy! That's my favourite part. She was all like, "dude, why are you stalking me?!" and I wanted to get into the book and give her a high five. You go girl. By the end though her whole character seemed to make a 360 and she got all complacent and dramatic. Lily, I still have hope for you girl.

One of my big problems with this novel was the 1 POV. I would have liked it if I was able to get inside Lily's head and see things from her perspective. Some decisions she took, and some realities she took in strive, left me wanting more from her. I wanted to see things through her eyes, instead of only Cal's.

The whole mermaid myth was pretty cool to read about. I can tell the author really took her time creating the world of the mermaids, at least the world of the mermaids (Can and his sisters) we read about. We don't know much about mermaid society, but we get to learn a lot about them as a species. I wouldn't like them as friends, and that is a good thing cause I am pretty sure if they met me they would just like me as a tasty emotion meal. They are terrifying and alluring, just as any good predator should be, and they are sort of electric? Blame it on the DNA.

Lies Beneath was a combination of the creepy with exhilarating. Reading about these mermaids is totally worth it, even if it took me a while to get into it at first. It is difficult to get over the whole mermaid nature in Cal, I don't know if I am ever going to be over it, but at the end of the day he turned out to be a guy I could understand if not love.

Lies Beneath has a sequel, which I thought was a bit much since this book could have easily been a stand alone, but I am curious to see what comes next in Cal and Lily's life. Specially since it's written from Lily's POV.

Sunday 28 December 2014

So I started reading Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown...

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)

Pavati drew closer, putting her arm around my 
my shoulders. "Get invited to the huse, Cal." Her breath was still warm from the Mississippi Delta, and her full lips brushed my ear as she said, "Meet the parents. Be the boyfriend."
I nodded. The proposed seduction played out in my mind like a movie —the fake smiles, the deceitful kiss...
 "Get Jason Hancock to trust you," Pavati continued. "Tell him you've never been fishing. Let him invite you out on the lake."
 I closed my eyes.
 "Then we'll show up," she said brightly.
 I pictured the three of them transformed, circling the boat like sharks, their lithe bodies cutting through the water, then slinking over the rail.
 "Then what?"
 "He'll beg for mercy. He'll ask us why," Tallulah said, her voice ringing.
 "And then we'll take him down." Tallaluah leaned her head agaisnt my shoulder.
 "Slowly," Maris added." We'll let him come up for air, and then we'll drag him down again."

Killer mermaids!! These mermaids are not your garden variety mermaids, they are creepy and vengeful. Which is actually one of the things I like about this book. They are just so screwed up.
On the other hand there are things that I don't really like, like for example the one lonesome POV. We read the book from Cal's POV, but I think the story would have been better with the girl's POV as well, Lily's. That's the daughter Cal is supposed to get close to in order to kill the man they want to kill. It's a pretty sick plan, and I am not sure if I am going to be able to go along with the obvious romantic relationship that is going to bloom between Cal and Lily. One thing is for a guy to be a predator that falls in love with the prey, another thing is for a guy to be a predator that falls in love with the prey when he is stalking and learning everything about in order to lure her father into the water and kill him.
That is just sick, and maybe a bit too much for me to swallow.


Friday 26 December 2014

Review: Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

Title: Waiting
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Series: n/a
Book #: 1
Pages: 337
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.77
Published: May 1st, 2012.

After her brother’s death, a teen struggles to rediscover love and find redemption in this gripping novel.

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.

Taschima's POV:

"Maybe I'll never get better from Zach's leaving us.
Maybe I'll carry all that around with me forever,
hearing him, finding him,
moving too slow,
moving away too s l o w.

Maybe my curse will be memory forever."

I wasn't able to put down this book. I got it about two days ago in the mail and just picked it up to read the first page and then move along. I read the first page and I couldn't stop.

Waiting has the whole package, the characters, the emotion, the writing... Oh the writing. It is so good. It's like a mixture of poetry and normal paragraphs. All together make up a completely captivating, emotional, enchanting read. My legs wouldn't move, my eyes wouldn't leave the page. I just had to know the whole story of London, Zach, and the family who fell apart.

Waiting is about London, and her family. London and Zach are inseparable, brother and sister, best friends, then again that is what happens when your father is a missionary that goes across the globe spreading the word of God. With an ever changing life style the only constant they have is each other. That is, until Zach dies. This is a story of what happens to a family when the one person who kept everybody together stops breathing. The story revolves around the questions of how did Zach die? And most importantly, why?

I am not a contemporary girl usually. I would read a vampire book over a "normal" book every day of the week. That is, unless the author's name is Carol Lynch Willams. Then I would really find me in a compromising situation. But she is that good. The last book I read by Carol Williams was Glimpse, and that one also rocked my world. From what I can tell this is an author who isn't afraid to show you the grittiest and ugliest parts of life in the most beautiful imaginable form of writing.

The characters were all very interesting. London, Lili, Jesse, Taylor, even Queen Suck Face. But specially London. Her pain became my pain. Some of the decisions she made not everybody will feel comfortable with, but for the story they worked. It is such a sad, emotional read. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It really makes you re reevaluate your life and your relationships with the people around you. The ending made me tear up, but then again the whole book did that.

I read it in a matter of hours, and will probably re read it again and again.

Now if you excuse me I am going to go ahead and buy every single YA book written by Carol Lynch Williams. I strongly suggest you do the same.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Title: Altered
Author: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered
Book #: 1
Pages: 336
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating:Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.17
T.B.Published: Jan. 2nd, 2013.

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Taschima's POV:

Now THAT was good and original with a hint of  Maximum Ride (by James Patterson) to give it some good measure. And when I mention Maximum Ride I am talking about the series' glory days and not about the last few horrid adds.

Anyways, I dived into Altered with no expectations what so ever. I mean, the summary seemed cool but the cover made my stomach turn over on itself. It is just not pleasant. UPDATE They updated the cover and now it looks much much better!  The story line is fun and engaging and ever moving along, barely stopping to take a breath, and full of mysteries with clues and EVERYTHING!

Ever since she was a little girl Anna has known about them. The boys that live in her secret basement lab. The boys are Sam, Nick, Trev and Cas. Sam is the leader, Nick is the asshole, Trev is the smart one, and Cas is the funny one with the bottomless stomach. Anna considers them friends, family. That is until one day when the Branch decides to take the boys away from the lab and the boys come out of their cages, escaping and killing every single one who dares to block their path. Anna's father begs the boys to take Anna with them, and so the mystery begins. Sam is determined to uncover his past, and he is taking everybody along for the ride.

The characters were all very endearing. Specially Cas and Trev. I just really liked them. Sam was all broody and obsessed with discovering his hidden memories, Anna was pretty much just along for the ride. She was pretty cool too, artistic and at times unexpected.  The romance in this novel is a little, hard to believe? Though not really? It's like yeah this girl has a crush on this guy, but said guy doesn't seem very into this girl, but then they are kissing and you are supposed to believe he digs her? The L word was never explicitly exchanged between the guilty parties, thank god because that would have been ridiculous. But this is a series so the hopes for a more elaborate romantic story line are still high!

The twists and turns? Unexpected and entertaining. I didn't uncover anything before the time was due. Every time a secret was revealed was like a bomb was dropped on us and you just go "wow! No way!", but as a matter of fact, way.

As to the second novel, the end was pretty tight up with no unresolved issues, not really. Though I could see where a second novel could develop I think the author didn't want to leave too many things unexplained just in case the second novel didn't happen. I think it should happen. Heck I'd definitely read it!

This is one I recommend. Full of originality which is sorely lacking in other YA novels these days, and definitely worth every cent.

Sunday 21 December 2014

To Keep or not to Keep

That is the question. Right now I'm looking at my 'read' shelf and I'm thinking to myself, why do I feel the need to keep all these books after I have already read them? Well, I answer to myself, there are lots of reasons why. Like for example...

Reason number 1, To Re-Read. When you have nothing else to do, if you are bored, or maybe only because you have forgotten something important of the plot. Seems like a great reason to me. I want to re-read Harry Potter so badly. But I have all this other books to read so, it's kind of difficult. So, If you are not going to re-read them, why keep them?

Which leads us to reason number 2, Sentimental Value. Some books you have had since you were a toddler and you just don't want to let them go. Or some remind you of some part of your life that you just can't let go. Want and need. Need and want. You get the drill.

But what if you don't want them for any of these two reasons? Which could possibly be another reason to keep all these books?

Aesthetics. This is reason number 3. They just look so pretty! And whenever you are doing nothing you just can turn your head in the direction of your bookcase and just by the spine remember the story that is inside. Kind of cool. I do this exercise all the time. That way I won't forget what each story is about. Or get confused with the stories. Cause there are a whole bunch of stories and only one gal.

So people, to keep or not to keep? I say to keep! I love having my books. For all these 3 reasons. Call me book greedy, I do not care. I loves my books! ^^

Thursday 18 December 2014

YA Review: The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Title: The Dark Divine
Series: I Don't Know
Book #: 1
Author: Bree Despain
Pages: 372
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Reading Level: Young Adult
To Be Released: December 22, 2009.
Rating: Photobucket

"True Loves First Kill"

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school.

Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes. The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

Taschima's POV:

This story has some intriguing elements. The whole mystery factor and the ending I think were my favorite parts of the story.

Grace Divine is the daughter of the pastor. She is what you would classify as the perfect daughter. But she can only be tainted by one thing. And that is Daniel. Daniel is the family's bis secret, a secret everyone seems to know about Grace. Daniel had been missing for about 3 years but now he's back. Back into town. And back into Grace's life.

Grace was an okay character, until the end when she was faced with some decisions that made her go up a notch on my scale. Daniel didn't hold an attraction to me, maybe I'm finally getting out of the whole bad boy thing... I think not. I just didn't find myself into him. Grace's brother came out to me as being less than fair. He wanted Grace to be on his side, but he didn't even trust her enough to give her the whole story.

The plot was normal, until the ending where Despain pulled a twist on us. It was a nice one, though I think she could have gotten a little bit farther in the dark department. Not everything was tied up all nice and pretty, but it felt like it. Oh and I liked the whole 'True loves first kill' thing, it has a kind of dark irony that I just love.

Oh the ending was awesome! The action and the consequences, loved them. I think that if the story for some reason doesn't deliver it for you the ending will redeem the whole book.

All in all I liked it, and hope to see either more on this story or more from Bree Despain.

Monday 15 December 2014

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath
Book #: 1
Pages: 370
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
Published: Jan. 24th, 2012
by Harper Collins

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Taschima's POV:

The first thought that came to my mind after finishing this book was "Please god let there be a sequel". Not that the book couldn't stand on its own, but I just need a sequel so that my heart will stop aching. This book literately made me tear up, I am pretty sure that if my friends weren't right next to me when I finished it I would have cried a little. It was just that emotional and powerful and pretty much awesome.

How can anybody read this book and not like it? It's like nothing that is out there these days, it's so different and refreshing! It's loosely based on Greek Mythology; I say loosely because at first I thought the author was going to play with the Fae mythology, but no, she surprised me by taking a page out of the myth mythology by the middle of the story.

Everneath is addicting. Once you start it... you can't help but end it. The way the story is written, with it starting in the future and looking at the past and putting the pieces of the puzzle together... It was just right. The main character, Nikki, is someone to love. She will certainly bother you at times because of the bad decisions she made in the past, but she develops through the story and manages to redeem herself. She also, in her happy times, leans towards sarcasm and that is pretty good with me. Jack and Cole. Yes there are two guys in the story, but it isn't a love triangle guys! The two guys just have a part to play in the story. Cole is the supernatural creature who is all sorts of bad for her (think Damon in the first season of Vampire Diaries before he turned on his emotions; interesting, and there will probably be more to the character in the next books, maybe he will be redeemed as well? Or will he become the true villain?) and Jack (think of no one because Jack is just himself and you have to get to know him cause I am positive you will fall in love with him; he is broken but hopeful; loving but unable to forgive).

What I think the future of the series will bring: Possibly more time spent on the mythology of the story certainly, this first book was the introduction to the intricacies of the system and the characters. Hopefully more Jack, and more Nikki, and more Cole (why is the name Cole always used for evil? Charmed anybody? Though I absolutely loved that Cole...).

I really cannot wait for the next book. Brodi Ashton, you officially got a fan in me.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Status Update: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Jack: "Okay. Friends talk. Friends help each other."
Nikki: I nodded.
Jack: "Friends don't eat friend's souls."
Nikki: I smiled. "Got it."
Oh Jack, my heart beats for you... but there is one piece missing in the puzzle, the piece that fucked it all up, and I am sure that piece has your name all over it.

Can't wait!!

Friday 12 December 2014

I started reading Everneath by Brodi Ashton

"I reached for his hand , then hesitated as I remembered that face. The one with the brown eyes. The boy with the hands that fit mine just right. I'm not sure how, but I knew if I went with Cole, I'd never see that face again. The boy with that face was not an Everliving. 
He was a human, and he was on the Surface. Where I'd left him. I knew it like I knew I needed air to live. 
"No," I said. I pushed away from him and stood up on my own. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I had another choice. "I'm going home."
"I closed my eyes and pictured the boy with the brown hair, and as I took in my first really deep breath of Surface air, a name to math the face came to me. A name I'd been trying to cling to for a century."
What am I liking about this book? I like that the story starts by the end of the story and then we have to work our way back to see why the main character did what she did and how was her life in the past while still moving on in the future. It's pretty awesome, and the boy with the brown hair? He seems so dreamy!

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Bookish Question: Do you continue books that bore you to death?

Okay guys. Answer me honestly, do you continue books that bore you to death? Books that should have taken you nothing to finish, but every single time you set yourself to read them you just abhor the thought of digging into them again? I am reading a book right now that I have been reading for days, it is only 157 pages but it is not enjoyable. It has made me chuckle like 2-3 times, but that is about it. My question is, should I continue it? I feel like I should, but I really don't want to. If I do finish it is to see if there are any redeeming qualities, and to write a review that can say "I read this entire book, and it sucked", but I just as well could write "I tried to finish this book, and couldn't because it was just boring".

Sunday 7 December 2014

So I Started Reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman...

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)

... and I can honestly say that I don't see what the fuzz is all about. I am only halfway but I've already wished on several occasions that I could put the book down and just read something else. Throughout the story there is little to no real conflict and that makes me oh so very bored. I guess the Magicians is supposed to be "Harry Potter for grown ups" but really, what fun is it? Harry Potter needs no help being accepted by any age group, there is no necessity for an appropriate age adaptation. So The Magicians is not Harry Potter for grown ups. The Magicians turns out to be just a coming of age story which happens to center around a magical preppy college for geniuses. It is at times very depressing, there is little to no dialogue, and you don't really get to enjoy the time spent at said college. If anything The Magicians tries to take the magic away and turn what should have been an escape into just another ordinary setting. The characters are dull, the world is underdeveloped... and I am only halfway through!

Here's to hoping this gets slightly more interesting...


Friday 5 December 2014

Blogging Question: When Blogspot Messes With Your Work...

...What do you do? Do you want to throw the computer out the window? Renounce Blogspot for ever and ever? I do. These past few days, hell for as long as I can remember really but it's really been bothering for the past few days, Blogspot keeps messing with my posts! And it angers me because I write them exactly as I want them, with the exact amount of spaces, and to have Blogspot add or delete or just screw up my perfectly well organized posts ... well I have definitely screamed at this thing once or twice.

Am I the only one that this keeps happening too? If I'm not, isn't it infuriating? Why can't the people who run Blogspot fix this thing? HTML is HTML and I just don't understand how this blogging thing can mess up with the HTML.

So if you see some of my posts all messed up it's because of Blogspot. You can scream at it to your hearts desire. I know I do.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

YA Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City

Title: The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Series: n/a
Book #: 1
Pages: 432
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.97
Published: Nov, 4th, 2014
730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

Taschima's POV:
"...the Hak Nam Walled City. A recipe of humanity's darkest ingredients--thieves, whores, murderers, addicts--all mashed into six and a half acres. Hell on earth, he called it. A place so ruthless even the sunlight won't enter."
"City of Darkness. That's what the people of Seng Ngoi calls this place when they glimpse it from their penthouse apartments and high-rise offices. A black spot of slum and crime in their shining city. A better name, would be City of Pain."
The Walled City is perhaps one of the grittiest YA novels out there this year. It pulls no punches. Here kids are getting killed, sold for money, put into brothels, condemned like adults by adults... It is strong, maybe for a more mature YA crowd. Overall I really liked it and the pages just flew right on by. I was intrigued by all the characters, they all had an equally important part of the story to tell. The Walled City is full of sibling love, loyalty, darkness, broken dreams, and traumatic childhoods. One heck of a ride.
"I was always stronger than Mei Yee. I knew I wasn't beautiful. My feet were tough with calluses, my skin dark, my nose too large. whenever out mother wound my hair back into a bun and sent me to the pond for water, I saw a boy's face staring back at me.
Sometimes I wish it were true."
Jin is inspirational. Two years ago her sister was sold by their drunken father to one of the baddest gang leaders in the Walled City. Two years ago Jin left her life behind in search of her sister. She changed, adjusted to her new reality. She is the fastest runner in the Walled City, and everyone thinks she is a boy. It is her best bet at staying alive. Girls are just taken advantage of in every step of the way. Jin is a likable character, strong, relentless, a tigress. She is a badass who just doesn't give up or walk away. If she says she is going to help you you must shut up and let her. She is my favorite character in the book, head strong and kind and just a great role model.
"... I remember the way Jin Ling made her wishes. How she said I wish we could be together forever with the bite of a tigress. Nothing would be impossible enough to keep her wishes from being fulfilled. Not even the Walled City."
"I'm one of the lucky ones. Girls like Yin YU are forced to take in three, four men a night. The ambassador is my only client. He pays our master dearly for the favor--to have me all to himself. I don't know why he chose me out of all the girls. I  just know that one day he stopped seeing the rest of them, and stopped the rest of the men from seeing me.
I'm exclusively his--cornered and prized."

The Walled City pulls no punches. Mei Yee, Jin's dear sister, was sold into the brothel and thus her line of work is prostitution. Of course she didn't choose it for herself, but the world of the City of Darkness is a scary one where no one is safe. Mei at the beginning is soft and not strong willed. Until she meets Dai and hangs on to his promise of freedom. She then starts rethinking her approach to life, and how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to see her sister again.
"The suffering is everywhere here. Crouching inside the steel workshops and weaving mills, where workers hunch over their machines for fourteen hours every single day. Threading through the corridors of strung-out prostitutes and knife-scarred youths. Lurking around the tables where drunken men toss money at one another and curse at the speed of their betting pigeons.Usually I can ignore it, look the other way, keep walking.Not this time."
Dai is the ex-rich kid who committed a terrible mistake. In order to escape his nightmare Dai dives into the Walled City in look of some redemption. He spends months and months thinking up plans but nothing seems to come together until he meets Jin, the fastest person in the Walled City. Together with Jin, Dai might have a chance to redeem himself and go back home.

I liked the point POV. Each character brought something to the table and it just kept the story going at a fast pace. It also had an overall countdown which made it that much more exciting feeling that time was running out. I liked the characters, the plot, the pace... pretty much everything. The only thing I couldn't quite put my head around was how this scary ass city is supposed to only cover 6.5 acres. That is not a lot of space, but because of Ryan Graudin's constant description of the city I could very well picture this desolate place, I just somehow picture it being a tad bigger? This is however inconsequential to the overall enjoyment of the story.

I am glad this is a stand alone. While the world was incredibly well done I felt like it was perfectly done and didn't need to be overstretched. Now we get to look forward to Ryan Graudin's next book!

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