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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Thursday 23 April 2015

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

Title: The Mime Order
Author: Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season
Book #: 2
Pages: 510
Reading Level: Adult
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.24
Published: January 27th, 2015
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.
Taschima's POV:
"Until next time, Paige Mahoney.
Next time would be now."
I went through the Mime Order as slowly as I could because I knew that once it was over I would be devastated. And I was, because I have to wait a WHOLE other year in order to read the sequel. The Bone Season was fantastic, but if anything Mime Order is twice as complicated and even better for it. A lot of the decisions Paige has to take in this novel... Well, I don't envy the girl. I am so very glad we still have five more titles in the series! The possibilities are endless.
"He wanted me to forget. The Rephaim were dangerous and they were out there, lying in wait, and I seemed to be the only one who gave a damn about it."
We picked up right where we left off on The Bone Season. Paige managed to raise a rebellion and escape Scion with some of her fellow voyants. Once in London she has to make a choice, go back to Jaxon and act as his mollisher or try to make it on her own. Paige is pretty much stuck between a shit situation and a shittier one still. She has to play her cards right if she wants to accomplish her goals, and fight back. No one will listen to her because of how little power she possesses, so her only option is to find a way to make herself heard. Even if she has to go against people she has known and loved for the better part of her life.

Sometimes a lot of information was provided, and I just felt as confused as Paige did. It turns out Paige doesn't know just HOW corrupted her city is, but soon enough she will learn just how fucked up her syndicate is. Sometimes the war between Rephaim and humans seems too huge, it is like humans going agaisnt Kryptonians, and the only thing they have to defend themselves is a pretty flower. The flower is their kryptonite. Mass produce that shit and then they wont have an issue.
"His eyes were growing brighter. They flooded me with the stranger memories of my imprisonment. A gramophone's black-listed music, telling lovers' stories to the gloom. A butterfly held out inside caged fingers. His lips on mine in the Guildhall, hands gliding over my hips, my waist."
I love the romance in The Mime Order, the intimate moments are so few and far between. You really get the sense that in the next five books anything could happen between Paige and Warden, I wouldn't put it past Samantha Shannon to kill him off (or even both of them). He is immortal, and she is not. This is not a vampire situation, where Paige can just turn and have her HEA. You get the real sense that things might not actually turn out for the best with them, they know it, and yet they are still going for it. Eeeks!!

 When you get past the halfway mark in the book so many things are happening that it is almost impossible to put down the book. A lot of things change, friends become enemies, and all goes to shit. It is intense, and the fight scene by the very end kept me on the edge of my seat (much like when Paige pulled off the rebellion). The book is a solid 500 pages of awesomeness.
"Isn't hope just another form of naivete?""Hope is the lifeblood of revolution. Without it, we are nothing but ash, waiting for the wind to take us."
I do not quite know what will happen in the third book, which is something Samantha Shannon probably worked hard to do. Anything can happen, everyone is in danger, and the stakes will be higher than ever. This is the kind of author you pay the full price of a hard back for on the first release day. Without discounts. Definite must read.

ENDING: [spoiler] The guy with the gloves has GOT to be Jaxon, I bet everything it is him. I believe he is one of the two people who managed to escape the colony 20 years back and that is why he didnt want to get involved with the Rephaim, also the reason why he spent almost the whole book drunk off his ass.[/spoiler]

PS; There are a LOT of characters in The Mime Order, a lot of leaders and voyants, and sometimes I just couldn't remember who this or that person was. It would have been nice if the glossary would have included a list of the most important characters from the last book, just as a reminder. I found that the glossary wasn't really helpful in that when I actually needed to look for something I forgot it wasn't provided. A hierarchy of the people was provided, but not who they were and what role they played. For a series with as many characters as this one (and side characters, etc) a list with description would help (much like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series does); who are they, what is their power, etc.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Recent YA Releases: Week of April 21st-April 27th (4 NEW Titles!)

Here are four (4!) titles that are going to be released within the next week:

If you are looking for sequels...

The Remedy (The Program, #0.5) Invisible Monsters (Talker 25, #2)
 THE REMEDY! Such a gorgeous cover. The Remedy is the full fledged prequel novel to The Program, the heart wrecking tale of a world that is trying to deal with a suicide epidemic. It might sound a little too tragic, but it is totally worth it. The author is such a great writer, it hits you right in the feels.

If you are looking for a stand alone title...

Finding Paris Every Last Promise
 Contemporary titles for days! Not my cup of tea, but definitely worth a read if you are into contemporary.

If you are looking to start a brand new series...

N/A; Better luck next week!

Currently Reading:

The Replaced (The Taking, #2) Tether (Many-Worlds, #2)

Recently Read:

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

For even MORE upcoming releases please visit my Pinterest at: TaschimaCullen.

In it I have individual boards dedicated to YA Releases from 2014- onward by month of release. I update it daily :)

Thursday 16 April 2015

YA Review: Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle
Book #: 1
Pages: 352
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
Published: April 8th, 2014
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. 
Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth. 
With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.
Taschima's POV:

"So, Harper Jane Price. Are you ready to accept your destiny?"
I withdrew my hand. "No, thank you."

I don't know about Legally Blonde meets Terminator, but it is definitively Legally Blonde meets Buffy which kicks so much ass I can't even contain my giddiness for the sequel. I read it in like a day, it is one of those books.

"Five minutes ago my main concern had been whether Salmon Fantasy would clash with my pink dress. Now I was cradling a dying man on the bathroom floor while some crazy person pounded on the door."

Harper, or Per as her friends call her, is definitely a different sort of heroine. She is confident, straight A student, a little extra controlling, fashionable, the kind of girl who aims to be the best of the best in every category. She is a lot self centered, and this is something she battles with throughout the novel. However, she is also very likable. The author keeps a balance in her character that keeps her on this side of the line before she crosses into bitchy territory. I had so much fun reading from her POV! She tries to fight her "destiny" with all she's got, but she also can't just look away when someone clearly needs help (whether it be bodily defending someone, or giving them a wake up call on their fashion choices). She is the perfect blend of sugar, spice, and everything nice, which is why I loved her.

There is a lot of character development in this book. At the beginning I thought the book was going to be set in another decade, but no it is set in the 21st century. They discuss throughout the title various southern traditions, how outdated some people find them and how others cling to them for dear life. I really liked the world development because even though it was set in our time the author really took extra care to create that southern flare, so much so that I felt like I had dived right into the book and landed smack dab in the South.

I also enjoyed Per's relationships. She is a committed friend, and while she has to hide things from her best friend she certainly takes the time to make her feel included and cared for. At the beginning of the title Per has a boyfriend, the most popular boy in school of course, but as the title progress you get to see how strained their relationship becomes due to Per having to hide so much of herself from him. Again, it is written just right.

David Stark, the boy Per has to protect, is not your typical male romantic lead. He is not a bad boy, he is a reporter who keeps poking fun at Per and all she does. He is charming, but not a charmer. I get the feel he is the boy who likes to keep to the sidelines, in his hipster glasses, observing and occasionally wondering what is wrong with the universe. His relationship with Per is love/hate, which is why it is so difficult for her when she finds out she has to protect HIM.

The first chapter kicks ass, a great beginning to a fun lovable read. While I do not like the cover for Miss Mayhem I shall buy the book as soon as I get the chance and start reading it. This is a series that is too good to pass up.

Monday 13 April 2015

Recent YA Releases: Week of April 14th-April 20th (3 NEW Titles!)

Here are four (3!) titles that are going to be released within the next week:

If you are looking for sequels...

Forged (Taken, #3) The Wondrous and the Wicked (The Dispossessed, #3)
I love the Taken series covers, they are always so cool looking with complementary colors! I also enjoy reading the series so that is a definite plus. I don't exactly have the same feelings towards The Wondrous and the Wicked cover, but I've heard nothing but good things about the series overall so it is on my "To-Do" list.

If you are looking for a stand alone title...

Where the Staircase Ends
 A girl is betrayed by her best friend, and she must uncover the truth to said betrayal by looking through her past memories. Also, the MC is dead and has to climb the stairway to heaven, which is why she gets to look at all her past memories. Contemporary, for fans of Lauren Oliver's debut novel Before I Fall.

If you are looking to start a brand new series...

N/A; Better luck next week!

Currently Reading:

Prudence (The Custard Protocol, #1)

I'm only 20 pages in and I already love Prudence and Prim as young adults!

Recently Read:

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1) The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1) Solitaire

For even MORE upcoming releases please visit my Pinterest at: TaschimaCullen.

In it I have individual boards dedicated to YA Releases from 2014- onward by month of release. I update it daily :)

Friday 10 April 2015

YA Review: Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)

Title: Sea of Shadows
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Age of Legends
Book #: 1
Pages: 406
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.73
Published: April 8th, 2014

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

Taschima's POV:

 So I guess this book can be boring for some... or not. I enjoyed it! I liked the world Kelley Armstrong built, and I didn't find the book mind numbing. I thought the characters were interesting, all of them. Both the boys and the girls. Sea of Shadows may a an acquired taste for some but I say give it a shot and KEEP READING. It is good from the beginning but it might get a bit slow towards the middle... but I am good with slow sometimes as long as it still progresses the story and/or romance, which it does.
"As I was saying, everyone comes back," Moria said. "Every Seeker. Every hound. Every volunteer. Every guard. They do their duty and they return, and all is well. You can't tell me that every Seeker has been perfect. They must make mistakes. It doesn't matter. I'm not even sure if the rituals matter at all. It is a kindness to the spirits of the damned, but would they truly rise up and attack? If it's never happened before, I'll wager it can't."
"Don't be blasphemous, Rya."
"If you don't fret, I'll not say scandalous things." Moria paused. "Which would be rather difficult, but since I'm quite certain you'll never stop fretting, I do believe I'm safe."
Ashyn threw her arms around her sister so abruptly that Moria let out a yip of surprise. Ashyn smiled and hugged her until that rigid steel melted and Moria embraced her, whispering, "You're ready, Ash. I know you are."
Moria and Ashyn sisterly relationship takes front and center during the events of Sea of Shadows. They are both special, and both uniquely their own. They complement each other, each girl making up for what the other one lacks. Moria is strong spirited and isn't afraid to make a scene and get her point across...
"Before he could finish the sentence, her blade tip was digging into the bottom of his jaw.
"I am the Keeper of the Forest, boy," she said. "Do you think those pretty patterns on your arms give you the right to threaten me? They do not. Even if your father was still marshal, they would not. I will take your glowers. I will take your insults. I will take your warnings that you'll abandon me by the roadside if I do not keep pace. But you will not call me a liar. And you will not threaten me."
... while Ashyn is more gentle, and a dreamer. She is a romantic, yet at the same time she is not naive nor an idiot. She is kind and more easy spoken than Moira, with a leveled head on her shoulders. This is a little piece of Ashyn:
"It made a romantic tale. The young rogue, cheating death, returning to his grieving lover. But in reality...Ashyn had always known that life did not resemble one of her book stories or Moria's bard tales, and yet there'd been part of her that hoped it did. The more she saw, the more she realized she was wrong. People made up those stories because it's what they wanted from their world. A place where goodness, kindness, and honor were rewarded. They were not rewarded."
Both voices are easy to tell apart so you will not be confused when reading since the tale is told from the two girl's POVs. Even though there is a name at the beginning of the title for which girl's turn it is to tell the tale, it is hardly ever needed. The writing is so good, and the situations are realistic yet infused with magic.

The boys of the tale... both are exquisite. Gavril can be a pain, but you soon learn to understand him, as does Moria. He is also the 18 year old buy that DOESN'T act like an 18 year old buy, more like a full grown adult. Ronan is a thief, sent to the Forest of the Dead to well, die. But he escapes and helps Ashyn in her journey to find her sister as well as the rest of the community which was kidnapped. Their interactions with the sisters make the novel that much more enjoyable and interesting. Personally, I go for Gavril.

So yes, I enjoyed Sea of Shadows and I am waiting very eagerly for the next one in the series.

Thursday 9 April 2015

Hot YA/NA Cover Reveal: Every Last Breath (by Jennifer Armentrout) Gets a Brand New Cover... As well as the rest of the series.

 Hello, and welcome to the rage section. Today was supposed to be a happy day, because they released the cover of Every Last Breath, the third and final installment of the Dark Elements trilogy (and one I have been eagerly waiting for). On the one hand they did release the cover of Every Last Breath, on the other hand they went trigger happy and they also decided to recreate the covers of the first two books...

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)9781460323687_whitehotkiss_ebook

Original - New Cover to be released
Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)9781460330524_stonecoldtouch_ebook

Original - New Cover to be Released

Now, this is not the first time, nor the last, that something like this has happened. But I can honestly say I am extremely bummed. First of the original covers have more color to them, the new covers are super bright and only feature the male protagonist of each book (even though the series has a female main character). I just find the new covers extremely.... boring (the guys are hot sure whatevs).

Also, not a fan of the font.

I had gotten attached to the original covers, and I figured this far into the game there wouldn't be a cover change. I was so wrong. Here is the cover for Every Last Breath:


Again, snooze. It didn't get me excited. I am thrilled the book is coming out, but honestly I may just buy this one in e-book version and move on with my life. Because, as you may have noticed, this new cover will not match the rest of the series I already own #BookGeekIssues

...and that rubs me the wrong way. I hate when they do this, and you never quite see it coming. I don't see how someone would be attracted to the new covers without having been a Jennifer L. Armentrout fan to begin with. To each his/her own I guess.

To summarize, new covers suck. Will be buying e-book, but not print copy. Don't need the clutter, don't want to see the covers clash.

Monday 6 April 2015

Recent YA Releases: Week of April 7th-April 13th (4 NEW Titles!)

Here are four (4!) titles that are going to be released within the next week:

If you are looking for sequels...

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2) Empire of Night (Age of Legends, #2)

I am actually currently reading Miss Mayhem, and it is as light and fun as it's first title was. I am having some issues getting acclimated to the new romantic relationship, but overall I feel like I am back on Sunnydale with a brand new gang. I have Empire of Night on my reading queue and I cannot wait to start it! Specially after that ending from Sea of Shadows. Not everybody was a fan of Sea of Shadows, but I totally was! I loved the characters most of all, and the world was also very dark and magical (just like the Empire of Night cover). I totally recommend both these series.

If you are looking for a stand alone title...

 Zeroboxer may or may not be a stand alone. Right now I have heard no plans for a sequel, but I've also heard that the ending would allow for one to come to fruition if necessary. Zeroboxer is described as a sci fi thriller, and I am all into that, and this is why I want to read it:
As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.
The Earth has fallen behind, we have prosperous colonies in the far reaches of the galaxy, conspiracy, danger, maybe space fights? Sign me up!

If you are looking to start a brand new series...

Lies I Told
I actually already read Lies I Told, the story of a con family and what happens when the jig is up. I adored the easy dialogue that the main character Grace provides. I loved reading about the con and the ways that they planned to pull it off, I also loved the whole undercover side of the story. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the romance, I just didn't feel sparks for the main romantic boy (he was way too vanilla, not interesting enough) but everything else makes up for it! Would definitely recommend (and the review will be up soon!).

Currently Reading:

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle, #2) Run to You Part Four: Fourth Shadow

Reading Queue (list of books I WISH I could read at the same time):

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5) An Ember in the Ashes Empire of Night (Age of Legends, #2) Apprentice (The Black Mage, #2)

For even MORE upcoming releases please visit my Pinterest at: TaschimaCullen.

In it I have individual boards dedicated to YA Releases from 2014- onward by month of release. I update it daily :)


Saturday 4 April 2015

YA Review: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)

Title: Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen
Book #: 1
Pages: 400
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 4.10
Published: March 10th, 2015
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
Taschima's POV:
"I was Julianna, a general, and occasionally the orphaned Princess of Aecor. I was anyone I needed to be."
I like many other bloggers received an e-copy of this title for reviewing purposes months ago, only to find out the e-copy was just an excerpt. I am glad I didn't read the excerpt because it does not do justice to the book as a whole. The first part of the Orphan Queen is the least exciting part, the part that almost feels like every single other YA fantasy title out there. After Part two is that it starts getting real good.
"When the Indigo Army invaded Aecor almost ten years ago, every adult living in the palace was slaughtered, and the highborn children were brought to Skyvale, the capital of the Indigo Kingdom. We escaped the orphanage a year later and named ourselves after the national animal of our conquered homeland.
The Ospreys, these children, were my life. Without them, I had nothing.But with them...
With them, I would take back my kingdom."
What makes Orphan Queen special is its brand of magic, the conflict between the kingdoms (because there is no black and white easy answer, it is very complicated and everybody is a little at fault), the vigilante that takes it upon himself to cleanse the kingdom of its problems, and the one girl who is supposed to save a kingdom and a world from the plague of magic with the help of a small group of orphans.
"Regardless, they're our way into society. Try to be polite."
"I'm always polite."
[Wil] always eyeing people's valuables. That's hardly polite."
Wil is the orphan daughter to the King and Queen of the Aecor kingdom. When the rival kingdom attacked her home she was spared, but only because she pretended to be someone she was not. Now she is just a kid trying to survive and keep those under protection alive. Her and the Ospreys have trained in order to be formidable when trying to get their kingdom back. She goes into the rival kingdom's palace under the identity of another dead royal in order to get valuable information that might help her save her kingdom. She also harbors the secret of her magic. She commands inanimate things, tells them what to do, and they do it (like for example she would tell a rope to untie itself). She might be future queen, but she is not the leader of their group. Because of this she doesn't feel worthy of the crown and is willing to do anything in order to earn her throne. She is likable and under the circumstances a very real character. I liked her immensely, specially since she was willing to do things nobody else was in order to save not only herself and hers but the entire world. Also she has snark, and I love myself some snark.
"Magic was forbidden in the Indigo Kindgom, and Black Knife didn't care how it was used."
At the beginning Black Knife was a little too black and white on his approach. Magic is what brought forth the Wraith, the toxic by product of magic which warps whatever it takes over, so Black Knife figures everyone who even dares to use magic must be in the wrong because they are putting their individual needs before the entire world. So he bags and tags them like any other criminal. After he meets Wil, and she asks him the hard questions, he starts to realize not everyone is bad and some just use whatever tools they have at their disposal to survive. Black Knife is interesting, and kick ass, and awesome, and charming... I am a little in love with him myself. He and Wil have this connection, this spark between them, that cannot be denied, and their chemistry sizzles off the page. Also he always wears a mask so no one finds out his real identity, how very super hero of him (and hot, definitely).

I enjoyed how the writer treated the conflict between the kingdoms. Nobody is inherently evil or good, they all have their reasons for doing what they did (even though some went a little too far with their choices). There is no evil King who just WANTS to take over every single part of the world, there is no time for that with the threat of Wraith in the horizon. The only real enemy is the left over magic and what it is doing to the world. I am curious to see how this "Wraith" came to be, and I am really hoping we get answers regarding it on the next book.

Because I am totally picking up a sequel, and I sure recommend this one. If you only read the excerpt I say give it another shot, get into the story, really into it, and then it shall be worth it. Recommend for fans of Throne of Glass and A Darker Shade of Magic.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

YA Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman


Title: Solitaire
Author: Alice Oseman
Series: n/a
Book #: 1
Pages: 368
Reading Level: YA
Book Rating: Photobucket
Goodreads Rating: 3.95
Published: March 30th, 2015
In case you're wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that's all over now.

Now there's Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don't know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don't care about Michael Holden.

I really don't.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.
Taschima's POV:

**DISCLAIMER; Yes I gave this book two stars, but that doesn't mean anything. This is one of those books that is not for ME, but it is still a good book. For me it might have been an pretty fine read, but for you it might be a 4-5 star read.
"All this time, I've just been sitting around, moaning about how shit everything is, not bothering to try and make things better. I hate myself for that."
What can I say about Solitaire, other than it was figuratively a roller coaster ride. I spent the first 25% of the book bored out of my mind, just passing the time wishing the plot or whatever would move a little faster, that something interesting would happen. But then interesting things did start to happen, and I thought that would save the book, certainly give it a 3 star, but after another 25% I was bored again, and so on. Down, UP, down, UP. 50% of the book was interesting and dealt with interesting thoughts and things, the other 50% was full of teen angst and melodrama and bullshit. Is the good 50% worth it? Well, you be the judge...
"My name is Victoria Spring. I think you should know that I made up a lot of stuff in my head and then get sad about it. I like to sleep and I like to blog. I am going to die someday."
Victoria, or Tori as she likes to refer to herself, is a huge downer. Everybody around her knows this, her best friend knows it, and even SHE knows it. This girl has some serious issues going on all around, and to be honest she almost made me want to put the book down. She is a sad girl who is all sad and alone and emo, and judges everyone around her. She thinks people are just wasting their time, going through the social motions, and she doesn't understand this. I sympathize with her on this aspect because I have often times also believed this, but still to read such pessimistic thoughts from your main character and have nothing to justify it (in the beginning) makes it hard to  want to continue to read the title (specially when she just keeps repeating herself).
"I can't think of anything to say because that is what my answer would be, really. Nothing. I am a vacuum. I am void. I am nothing."
People try to be friends with Tori, but she just pushes them away. She is flawed, she is a teenager who doesn't know any better and is dealing with some heavy issues at home. At one point things are revealed about her home life that help shine some light into why Tori is the way she is, this helped me sympathize with her because if I had gone through what she went through I may be a bit broken inside as well. I understand her stance and her character, but that doesn't mean I have to love her.

One aspect I really enjoyed about Solitaire was how its characters were never stereotypical. They all have so many layers to them, it is a little baffling.
"It's weird how you see someone who smiles all the time and you assume that they are happy all the time. It's weird how someone is nice to you and you assume that they're a wholly "good person." I did not think Michael would be so serious about something, or so angry."
All the characters have something. Michael is trying to become Tori's friend, he really really tries. He is weird and doesn't fit inside a box. He is sporty, but is not that much into sports as a whole. You don't know if he is straight, or gay, or bi. He doesn't put much value to labels. He has a lot of interests, he is hyperactive, weird, some might say insane. I liked him because of this, he has many facets to his personality, he is authentic, and perfectly flawed. Even the other characters, like Becky (who is Tori's best friend) and Lucas (who is Tori's old best friend) are like that. You may want to say something particular about any of them, but then they turn around and prove you wrong.

The whole "Solitaire" situation (Solitaire is this online blog that does pranks at Tori's school) gave the book a much needed distraction from Tori's ongoing self deprecating state of mind. While the mystery of "who created Solitaire?" is very easy to figure out, the reasoning behind creating Solitaire is one that makes you appreciate the book more and all its characters.

Solitaire is like that indie teenage story. It kind of reminds me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, only way more melodramatic. Tori often finds herself thinking deep thoughts about human nature, societal rules, suicide and depression. Solitaire was very well written (even though it has one of the longest run on sentences I've ever read--which I liked), has a nice eclectic cast of characters, and it is an "edgy" read. Maybe Solitaire is not my cup of tea, but that doesn't mean it can't be yours.
"As far as I am concerned, I came out of the womb spouting cynicism and wishing for rain."
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