Mixed feelings about Mercy by Rebecca Lim

mercyMercy (Mercy #1) by Rebecca Lim

Genre: YA, paranormal (angels)

Published: October, 2010 by Angus&Robertson

Format: Paperback

My rating: Sweetly soft. 3 Birdies. 

Mercy ′wakes′ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else′s business — or thinks they do. But they will never guess the secret Mercy is hiding ….

As an angel exiled from heaven and doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, Mercy is never sure whose life and body she will share each time. And her mind is filled with the desperate pleas of her beloved, Luc, who can only approach her in her dreams.

In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is now presumed dead. When another girl disappears, Mercy and Ryan know they must act before time runs out. But a host of angels are out for Mercy′s blood and they won′t rest until they find her and punish her — for a crime she doesn′t remember committing …

I don’t know what to think about Mercy. It was a quick, enjoyable read – yet it was lacking something.

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I’m in two minds about Mercy. I really liked it, but I didn’t at the same time. Mercy is obviously a story about Angels. However, Mercy is almost ignorant to this aspect of herself. Like she has amnesia. All she knows is that her soul travels between person to person, where she has a job to carry out – such as preventing the person from dying or self destruction.

I like how Mercy doesn’t really know who she is. Normally things like that are annoying, but I like the layer of mystery it presents. If she was aware, we would just have all the knowledge and wouldn’t really feel like reading. Overall, the plot was well paced and present throughout the story. It was never pushed back, paused or put aside for another event. The plot just kept rolling, making it somewhat enjoyable and non-difficult to read.

I really liked Mercy’s character as well. Despite making me frustrated at her naïve-ness, she was straight forward, no – nonsense kind of girl. She doesn’t completely understand human emotions and that is clearly portrayed in her blunt nature – which she shows despite being present in another person’s body. I was actually surprised that I liked this, even though it makes her unrelatable. But, I think Mercy was a good comparison against Ryan, the human boy character who is consumed with emotions by his missing sister.

I didn’t really believe in the romance that sort-of came about in this book. This hindered my opinion of the book a little. I also couldn’t connect with the characters to an emotional level, which is also important in a book for me. Though one big problem I had was the lack of description!

The writing style in Mercy is short and to the point. Some people may love this, but, I am a description lover. I love flowing sentences and paragraphs filled with imagery. This is a very personal thing, but I am not a fan of short and snappy stories.

Despite my dislike at this, the ending was left at such a cliff hanger with so many unanswered questions and so many possibilities that I have to continue with the series! Overall, Mercy was an enjoyable read that I had a few, personal disagreements with.

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Outcast by Adrienne Kress = lots of tears, lots of snot, and a broken heart

Outcast by Adrienne Kress

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Published: June 4th 2013 by Diversion Books

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“After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or … not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy. A really hot alive and breathing guy. Oh, and he’s totally naked.

Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is. 

He thinks it’s 1956.

Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass”

 

You know those books that just fill you with such emotion, such feels, you have to put the book down at the end, go outside, go for a walk, anything just to find your own reality again. Because if you don’t, you will forget yourself altogether?

This is how I felt when I finished Outcast. I actually cried. And I don’t mean the little sneaky tear, I mean full on snotty sobbing. It was just awful. I had to get out of bed at 11pm and take a backyard stroll in my jammies to calm down.

How many books can do this to me? Well, I’m certainly a crier, but not an all-out sobber. So not many. Which makes this book so special. Though the plot was fairly simple and easy to follow, I became so invested into the characters. I actually love them and cannot contemplate why this is a standalone.

Why, Kress? Why do this to me?

Maybe I should just get to the review, before I start crying again.

inabreeze

Absolute captivating brilliance! Amazing layered plot and character development. I fell in love with everything from the relationships formed to our MC’s inner voice. The writing was intriguing – it had me at first sentence. Practically love at first chapter.

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I was absolutely captivated by the first chapter of this book. It was simply setting the scene – no action. But it was so wonderfully written and engaging; which can be said for the entirety of the book.

I really liked the setting of Outcast, and how it is never forgotten and incorporated into the plot. Our MC, Riley, lives in a small, tight knot community where everyone knows everyone’s business. This town is, uh “blessed” to be chosen by the Angels, who come every year to take people, who are never seen again. He story starts the year after her best friend and almost-boyfriend is taken by the angles. Riley rebels the next year, by shooting one of the Angels in the face.

One of the best things about Outcast is that Riley has such an engaging mental voice. She has this habit of thinking everything she wants and wishes she could say, but then says something else entirely. She’s so well developed; I feel like she gives voice to the quiet girl – she doesn’t have a huge amount of friends, she’s not considered popular, or fashionable. She’s not outgoing. She is close to her family and focusses on school. But she’s not the bore that everyone thinks, which is why I think Kress’ writing style works so well in this book.

I completely fell in love with Riley; she is so relatable but filled with depth and complexity. But I loved Gabe even more; the gorgeous bad boy.

Gabe. Gabe Gabe, Gabe! I think Gabe is just so utterly gorgeous. He’s the bad boy, but think 50’s bad boy. Think modernised/realistic Greece and Dirty Dancing – but better! Even though he has a reputation, we really get to see the other side of Gabe that only Riley can bring out of him. I just love his character.  He is all easy-going with his situation, but underneath, he is really complex. I love his drive to try and make the best of everything, no matter how tragic his situation is.

What I love even more is how these two character complement each other. Quiet, serious Riley and popular, fun Gabe. Gabe has never really known what it’s like to be loved and trusted. Riley has never really been able to trust herself and push over her quiet mental barrier. These two question what the other has always believed themselves to be. Their growing friendship is undeniably cute and I loved every single moment of it.

But Gabe truly is a heart breaker. Right to the very end.

What’s great though? This relationship is not all-consuming. It adds depth to the plot, which was really layered and well thought out, but romance does not control it. Riley’s goal is to discover the truth about the angels and find out what happened to her best friend. This made it really easy to follow. Even though there were always mysteries, and sometimes there wasn’t a lot going on, I was never bored for a single moment. Kress keeps it interesting through the flowing style, Riley, character tension and includes some pretty outlandish things.

Like, you know, freakish angels, naked boys, kidnapping, motorcycles, singing, shotguns, ect.

Overall, I found Outcast to be an amazing and really enjoyable read. There was a layered plot that included young love, second chances, growing up, discovery and sacrifice. There was the awesome character development and growth. There was Riley’s mental voice giving the book that extra something. I was intrigued, saddened, overjoyed, excited, torn and heartbroken. Without a single bad word from me, Outcast gets the gold on a very special place in my shelf.

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Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn of the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy

Published: May 2011, by Feral Dream 

My Rating: 4 thumbs up! 

I bought my own personal e-copy of Angelfall

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It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts

I’ve been told so many times to read Angelfall – So. Many. Times. Why did I not listen earlier? It was brilliant! I love the setting. I love the characters. I love the plot. The pace. The tension. The mystery. The writing. I just loved it all.

The dystopia setting for Angelfall is so original! It mixes up so many genres! When I started reading, I was really wondering how angels fitted into all of it. Then when it finally became clear, I had an OMG moment. So clever!

Another great aspect of Angelfall was the amount of interesting characters. From the blunt Penryn to mysterious, cocky Raffe to whacky, insane mum to red head spy twins that for some reason remind me of the Weasely twins. Not only were they interesting, but the important characters were developed to a standard that suited the book. We were never told anything – simply shown in the odd light Susan gives her story.

I loved the way Susan told her story. It’s slightly humorous and witty, but still has a serious, helpless undertone throughout. It was also really easy to read – I find that some books are difficult to read; they give you a headache, it’s boring, disjointed, clumsy, overly descripted/not descriptive enough, to fast, to slow – you get the point. There wasn’t a single second where I felt these emotions in Angelfall. Susan Ee has the simple, easy to read, balanced writing that is so close to perfection – I can’t recall the last time a story has captured and held me, simple because I could dip straight into the writing as if it were a warm, bubbled spa in winter.

Even though it was easy to read, I did have a moment of confusion in the first chapter or two. I had a little trouble adjusting to the world in this book. I think it may be because it was so original and different. But I soon adjusted and was fine.

Everyone was right about Raffe. He is so completely swoon worthy. He was mysterious, witty, withdrawn though still let his emotions control him. I just really liked him. And Penryn – she was the most developed and understandable character in the whole story. I love how they both have goals that pushes the story and helps us understand them.

Which leads to my one major problem in Angelfall – Raffe was not developed enough for me. I feel like we were only just beginning to get an idea of who is towards the end. His actions are still confusing and he has way too much mystery surrounding him. I think I have a pretty good idea of why he acts like he does, but it needs more evidence before the clouds disappear.

I guess that means one thing – I have to read Worldafter. I have to read it soon. I have to understand Raffe or I might go crazy. He has to give me something that makes me love him more, because I really want to. I recommend Angelfall 100%!

4 thumbs up

Book Series Review – The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

Author: Lauren Kate

Genre: Romance, Fiction, YA

Series Titles:

1. Fallen (December, 2009)

2. Torment (January, 2010)

3. Passion (January, 2011)

4. Rapture (January, 2012)

My Rating: 4 thumbs up!

Kate Lauren FALLEN series composite

4 thumbs up

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
Fallen
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.
Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.”

Goodreads

The best thing about this is that if I were reviewing each book separately, the ratings would be low for most of them (around 3 thumbs up for each). However, after putting each individual book together, I realized what a terrific story it was! Meaning I get to write a good review! Yay!

I feel like banging my head against a wall. I should have read this sooner! The only reason I didn’t is because by the second book I had lost motivation and wasn’t into it. My opinion was that Daniel and Luce’s relationship was depthless and quick. I was also so confused about what was happening, frustrated with Luce’s lack of knowledge, wanting to kick Daniel in the head for not just telling her.

Then about 2 weeks ago I finally decided to pick up the third book. And geez, Passion could not have been a more perfect title. I finally, finally saw the depth of Luce’s and Daniels relationship. Their love was finally real. A week later, and I was balling like a baby. Rapture gave the most devastatingly beautiful ending. I did not see it coming. But then, I realized that it could not have ended differently, no matter how much it broke my heart.

So to why I gave the Fallen Series four and not five thumbs? Well, the first and second book were not exciting enough. If they had more oomph, then I would have read the series sooner. Looking back though, the way Fallen and Torment were written is actually really fitting. The vagueness that I was so frustrated at was actually perfect. If it wasn’t vague, then I would not have grasped Luce’s transformation and the meaning of the story would be lost.

Another thing I loved about the Fallen Series is the comic relief Lauren has utilized. The story is so intense and morbid at times, that it is great that she wrote in characters that have humor. Pennyweather Van Syckle Lockwood, AKA Penn (I just love her name), Arriane, Roland, Gargoyle version of Lucifer, Mike and Shelby, Dee – they all have their moments of light heartedness and slightly impossible, disbelieving actions and dialogue that break the intensity. She stayed true with this to the very end as well, having the angels and Mike and Shelby watch Luce and Daniel again as if they were watching a movie. Which was good, because the previous last two chapters had me wet eyed. But then that last line… Yeah. Let’s just say I had to relive the funny moments again to keep me sane.

So overall, the portrayal of Angels in the Fallen series makes it one of my favorites. And I usually don’t like these kind of loves stories; I prefer more realistic ones. But Lauren Kate has made me a believer in soul mates and true love. So I say “Amazing” to Lauren and “Farewell” to Daniel and Luce, and may they enjoy their mortal love for all eternity.

Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

51Up7C1dIZL__SS500_Author: Alexandra Adornetto

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult

Published: 31st August, 2010.

An angel is sent to Earth on a mission.

But falling in love is not part of the plan.

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her? – Goodreads.

I had heard such great things about this novel and I had really high expectations. I’m sorry to say I was sorely disappointed.

I think the story line is good – angel Bethany becomes too human for her own good, falls in love, oversteps her earthy purpose and causes all sorts of rebellious trouble. However, I believe that character dynamic and tension building was not at the level I was expecting.

The biggest let down for me was Xavier and Bethany’s relationship. I think a good love story is built upon with character growth and experiences. I simply hate the ones that are “love at first sight” without any reasoning or building. I just couldn’t gauge any depth in their love or relationship. It got better towards the end, because they had spent time and experiences together. But just jumping straight into it? Didn’t work for me at all.

Maybe I put too much value on the love side of things. But I think it is an important component of the plot that the story relies on. Is their love not what drives the majority of Beth’s decisions? What she risks herself for? Why she becomes so entirely human; more so than any other angel? I think there is great importance on their relationship – and honestly, I just didn’t believe in it. This weak link brought the effectiveness of the story down a notch.

Tension was also nonexistent. It was almost predictable. All the problems that occurred generally had a neat, all too convenient solution. Heroes and villains were also predictable. I guess that’s kind of a given though; angels and demons, durh Brea?

I did however, like the descriptions and simple, easy to follow writing style – lazy reader heaven! It greatly appealed to me, and I loved the descriptions. The book was paced well and I didn’t find it too slow or too fast. It had a nice, straightforward flow and was pleasant to read.

I will also acknowledge that Alexandra was only 17 when she wrote Halo. This doesn’t change my opinion of the book, but I will recognize that Alexandra is very talented and a very promising author in years to come. The level this was written at 17? My age? Incredible. I would never be able to do such a thing.

My final rating is 3 thumbs up! Better character development, and it would have been a four.

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