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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Temporary Hiatus

Hi guys, Michelle here! I'll be taking a temporary hiatus from book blogging, because I have my thesis and finals to worry about. I will be back in March, when I am certain that I will be marching for graduation, yay! 

Nicole, I think, is taking a two week hiatus too because of her thesis, so there won't be any posts for a short while. 

We'll be back soon, and do wish us luck! :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Liberator by Victoria Scott

Title: The Liberator
Author: Victoria Scott
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publishing House: Entangled Teen
ISBN: 9781622660162
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he's got this. But Aspen reminds him on the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude's been a playboy for far too long... and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he'd return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he's been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


(You can find my review for the first book, The Collector, here.)

Dante might be free from Boss Man, his boss literally from hell (You know. That guy.) but that doesn't mean he's a free man. In fact, he only exchanged his cuff for a cuff from the Big Guy (Yes. Him.) because of Charlie, his mission-turned-girlfriend. Dante's new mission as a liberator means that he has to save Aspen's life, all the while learning to get used to his new role (as well as learning how to budget, which he positively loathes). Aspen reminds him of the old Dante, the Dante who parties hard and is slicked in designer duds and fast cars... the Dante he sometimes misses. This new mission he has doesn't seem to suck that bad aside from the fact that he's miles away from his lady love, until he finds out that the salvation of his new mission is intertwined with his girlfriend's soul.

Ah, Dante. What I do like about Scott's writing is that she's consistent. Just because Dante's a liberator now doesn't mean he automatically loses the attitude (Budgets? Cost-cutting? Alien language, yo. Dude doesn't know those words.) Dante's a bit unsure of what his new role entails, since he's spent years honing his diabolical prowess working for the other team. Why be good when being bad was so much easier? Dante thinks that the sooner he finishes the mission, the faster he can get back to Charlie's arms since he's kind of a mess without her. And the quickest way to get a girl to do what he wants? It's to turn on the Dante charm. But when that plan backfires straight into his face, it's hard not to be amused to watch him getting taken down a peg or two. And while he's still technically the same guy, I like how readers get to know a different Dante in this one; a Dante who lets down his bravado sometimes and gets insecure and jealous. (But don't tell him I said that.) While Dante gets reminded of his old life, and boy, is it so much easier to fall back into that lifestyle, he is also reminded of how much more he's getting out of his new life now.

Aspen, the new character, I found a trifle too generous, to the point of her coming off a bit absurd at times. On one hand, she's doing all these "bad" things because she's rich and bored, but not because she's mean or anything. She just wants to feel things. She's the type of friend who would nonchalantly give you the shirt off her back, if needed be. Aspen's only become friends with Dante for a short time, yet she already bends backwards - and sidewards - for him. Maybe it's because she thinks that Dante's one of the few who doesn't want something from her, but I thought that this was rather naive, coming from a character who's been hurt a few times.

I don't know why, but like in the first book I'm still not super convinced of Charlie and Dante's relationship. It's probably because we're looking at Charlie from Dante's lovesick moony eyes that Charlie appears too perfect and clean, and - dare I say it? - boring. Not that's she's changed much from the first book anyway. 

The Liberator is a consistent follow-up to The Collector, and I do like trying to figure out Dante Walker. Maybe I'm not the biggest fan of the romance, but who knows? Charlie might finally grow on me in the next book.



Monday, February 3, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Pulse by Patrick Carman

Title: Pulse
Author: Patrick Carman
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: February 26 2013
Publishing House: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062085764
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


In the year 2051, who has a pulse?

With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a "pulse", and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters who are so powerful they can flatten their enemies by uprooting streetlights, throwing boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with her unusual talent, the mind - and the heart - can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she'll have to harness the power of both.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


You know how this book promised riveting action scenes as stated on the flap of the book jacket? Yeah. That's probably what drew me in along with the promise of telekinesis and flying boulders and general chaos all around. I mean, bad guys that can throw people and objects around like a rag doll? Count me in yo.

Did I get what I was promised? Nope. Not at all. This was a total downer, my friends.

Let's start with the characters - Faith, the protagonist, is an airhead. She's bratty and I don't like her and I really wouldn't trust her to be able to save a life, much less the whole world. She falls instantly in love with this jerk named Wade. At least the book admits its love at first sight, quote "They were having a moment, both of them instantly attracted to each other."  On page 21. I don't exactly hate love at first sight in books because sometimes its actually kind of cute, but this? Just no.

And aside from Wade there's also Dylan who I wanted to like but he just had to go and do the watching-people-sleep thing which is unbearably creepy. I get that he was watching over her but come on Dylan, stop being such a creeper. 

What I also didn't like about Faith was how she treated Hawk, one of the guys at her new school. I mean he's a little forward but she's never actually talked with the guy and she's already pegged him as the crown prince of dorks. He's a geek and a great hacker for one but there's no need to call him a stalker just because he wanted to strike up conversation. (Why are you so full of yourself, Faith? You're nothing special. Not to me.) And you know how they became friends? I don't, but I'm betting it involved him buying her clothes.

Obviously I'm not a fan of the relationships in this book, they're all so messed up I can't even. If I could, I'd slap Faith because I don't get why she's so special. I can't wrap my head around why people fawn over her.

I also don't understand why it took so long for Faith's powers to manifest and until they did, it was a boring trek through Faith's everyday life of hanging with her friend, boys and clothes and Dylan and Wade plus a not on her table with the words YOU MOVED ME which I still don't understand and won't even try to.

Now let's move on to that thing where I was promised "riveting action scenes". It wasn't until the second half of the book where all the action started happening and it was very, very boring. Come on guys, tossing around cars with the power of your mind should be fun. And the world building? Poor. The education system is a strange, if everyone's using tablets to study why even bother going to school? It isn't like as if the teachers there actually administer tests or anything.

I guess my favorite parts in the book were when Faith got hurt and things weren't going her way. Like that part when she and Dylan were training and he tossed things at her face and she got hit. That was a definite highlight of this book. I hope she gets hurt more often.

With its poor world building, slow pace and unlikable characters, you can bet that I won't even bother with the second book. You guys are better off looking for your fix of dystopian books elsewhere.