I usually gives 3 stars to books when I like them enough to finish them, but I didn't love them (i.e. 4 or 5 stars) nor was I infuriated or offended by them (i.e. 1 or 2 stars). Getting 3 stars from me is like getting second place at the Olympics.
I'm also categorizing this in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The Ugly is just something random - either a quote from the book or a random thought. Ugly is good.
Not A Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Good: Great, atmospheric writing that is gritty and perfect for the setting (a barren post-apocalyptic USA where water is in short supply.)
The Bad: A little slow in the middle, but overall a great read.
The Ugly: First line of the novel -
Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond, the sweet smell of water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink.The Taking by Kimberly Derting (Book #1 in The Taking series)
The Good: The wtf-beginning & first half of the novel when the main heroine, Kyra, is trying to figure out what happened to her (she fainted on the side of the road only to wake up behind a dumpster at a gas station. 5 years have passed....yet she hasn't aged a day).
The Bad: She falls in crush with her boyfriend's kid-brother who's now aged in the years since she's been missing (from 12 to 17). I actually got over this pretty quick, although some people on goodreads were creeped out. Also, this is a first book in a series, so there's the worst cliffhanger, ever.
The Ugly: There's a legit kissing in the rain scene. Like they're fighting...then it starts pouring...and then they start making out.
Neither of us moved, or flinched even, as we were drenched, drowned by the sudden downpour. I blinked the rain away so I could keep looking at his perfect, beautiful face. ‘If I hadn’t vanished that night, then I wouldn’t have come back, and I wouldn’t have had the chance to know you now. Not like this.’ And like that his lips found me.Throat by R. A. Nelson
The Good: That cover. Gorgeous. This novel is about a girl who's Grand Mal seizure saves her during a vampire attack. She becomes a half-vampire, able to live in daylight & existing without the thirst for blood. The book follows her as she runs from the vampire who attacked her, finding shelter on a NASA research center.
The Bad: The book is way too long for its story, clocking in at a total of 464 pages in small text, no less. Still, a very unique spin on the vampire tale.
The Ugly: I'm spamming this post with one of the best introductions to a villain EVER.
Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Book #1 in The Interment Chronicles)
Hello,” a voice behind me said.I have never been the skittish type, but I jumped about three feet and even let out a tiny bit of a shriek. It was a deep, deep man’s voice […].I spun around, fist raised; there was no one there. But the door, the big wooden door with the pattern like a Z, was gone. There was nothing there but a tall black rectangle in front of me. It’s open […].The voice was coming from the black rectangle inside the house. I pointed the flashlight. I could see at least twelve feet of empty space beyond the open door, the flashlight beam tacking a spot on the far wall with a nail of light […].“What are you thinking?” the voice said. “I cannot read thoughts, but I would dearly love to know yours.” Now the voice was behind me. I whirled around in panic, saw nothing but the bones of more trees […].“Here,” the deep voice said, “I am.”I looked straight up. A towering black figure stood on narrow branches directly above me. His eyes were black. He dropped, and I felt the world come down on top of me.
The Good: It's a utopia in the sky. Combined with DeStefano's beautiful writing.
The Bad: The characters themselves don't feel completely pieced together yet. This book was like an investment. I have to read the second to see if it was worth my time.
The Ugly: Beautiful.
The train speeds past the apartment, rattling the walls, and I dream that I'm riding it in my theater dress. I'm on my way to meet my betrothed waiting for me on the platform. I dream about the other passengers, and I wonder who's waiting for them. I wonder what keeps the conductor conscious as he navigates through the night. I dream about the murderer, out there somewhere, and wonder where he is when the train passes him by.Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore (Book #1 in the Dark Metropolis series)
The Good: So very unique. Zombies. 1930's alt-Germany. War?
The Bad: Can something be too unique? No. But the world building in this book felt whole and real in some places (the introduction in the telephone club is phenomenal), and then strangely lacking in others. For example, towards the end, this girl forms "balls of light from thin air" and I was like...whaatt??? MAGIC?!
“It’s just—it makes me hungry all the time, the magic. Gerik says it eats away at people, and so sorcerers are always eating away at something else. Magic does things to a person. It turns hair silver, too”