Review for Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles by Alex Flinn

Bewitching by Alex Flinn

TITLE: Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles
AUTHOR: Alex Flinn
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 336 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Library
RATING: 5 stars

Remember Kendra, the witch who cursed Kyle in Beastly? Well, not it’s time we hear more from her. Bewitching gives you a peak at the life she had before all the witchy stuff started and tells you several different stories where she uses magic to help. And there is the big surprise, she actually wants to help people, not punish them, but you know what they say about an angry witch, she’ll get her revenge and Kendra is as guilty of wanting people to get their comeuppance as anyone else. Within this volume, we get 3 of Kendra’s lost causes. The main one is the story of Emma and Lisette, a new twist on Cinderella, then we get Louis and his search for a bride via a The Princess and The Pea retelling, and finally a version of The Little Mermaid that I don’t know how to categorize. All these go on with a little bit of commentary from Kendra from time to time.

What I was expecting from this novel was to follow Kendra’s perspective as she curses and helps people and while we do get a bit from her, all of the beginning and then small pieces after that, the main story is told via Emma. The way this is set up is you get Kendra’s background and then it transitions into Emma & Lisette where we see the twos first meeting and then at random points, the tale stops for Kendra’s commentary and a few tales to showcase her failures so we can see why she isn’t jumping in to help until she is sure of what to do.

With Emma and Lisette, we get a taste of what Cinderella might have been like if the stepsister was actually the one being duped. Emma is a sweet, smart, overly trusting eighth grader when her dad (who is technically her stepdad, but they have the normal father-daughter relationship) tells her that he’s first wife has died and that his biological daughter is coming to live with them. Nervous and excited at the prospect of getting a sister, Emma is tentatively optimists about this and when she meets Lisette, her hopes soar because she is sweet and kind and actually wants to spend time with Emma….or does she? Some things just don’t add up. Like how Emma’s things go missing and Lisette just happens to have identical things or how Emma is suddenly left behind on all the father-daughter trips because she overslept even though she knows she set an alarm. I found this particular tale quite engrossing. I wanted to keep reading and I ended up using time I was supposed to use reading some eARCs from Netgalley to finish this, but it was worth it.

Emma was that heroine that you sympathize with while wishes she’d speak up. The situation with Lisette doesn’t improve, it just gets worse, and I think we can tell definitively that had Emma just said something instead of keeping quiet, things would have turned out completely different. Emma was also someone that I identified with (not because I have evil siblings) but because she was a bit odd and most days wanted nothing more than to curl up on her bed with a good book. Lisette, on the other hand, was the girl I just wanted to punch. She’s that girl that can charm her way out of anything, that conniving girl who has all the males in her life fooled into thinking she’s sweet and kind but really she’s a backstabbing bitch who will fuck over the entire planet to get what she wants.

As for the two other small tales, I found Louis tale endearing and Doria’s (the mermaid) tale boring. Louis gained my sympathy, but Doria just annoyed me. Either way, with both tales, all I could really think was “Can I please get back to Emma?” I did like the bits of commentary we got from Kendra, but with these I just wanted more of what was happening with Emma. I think that might have been the point, to build suspense or whatever, but really it just annoyed me.

It was all worth it in the end though, because Emma does get her happily ever after, maybe just not in the way she was expecting. If you are looking for more of Alex Flinn’s magic, or just a great fairy tale retelling that doesn’t take you exactly where you were expecting to go, this is it. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

Review for Dark Seraphine (Seraphine Trilogy #1) by KaSonndra Leigh

Dark Seraphine by KaSonndra Leigh

TITLE: Dark Seraphine
SERIES: Dark Seraphine #1
AUTHOR: KaSonndra Leigh
PUBLICATION DATE: October 21, 2012
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 230 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 2 stars

Caleb Wood has always been able to see the Walkers. He doesn’t know what they are; he just knows that no one can see them except him. Then one decides to strike up a conversation with him and become corporeal and he can’t help but obsess over her. Then creepier Walkers start turning up and everything gets out of hand.

I feel like I have really missed something in this novel. My sister absolutely adored it and I have read several other reviews of people raving about its awesome-ness, but I just don’t see it. It took me a record amount of time to read this rather small book (almost a month) and the entire time I was forcing myself to go on and truly gearing up to write an overly insulting review and give the book a single star rating. I gave it 2 because right at the end (in the last 30 or so pages) the story truly got interesting. Reading this really made me consider starting a “did not finish” shelf because it was so fucking hard to get through.

The truth? I’m just too tired and frustrated to write a bitchy review. Yes, I want to warn people that this book has major issues and they might be better off staying away, but my usual fire is gone. I think this novel had many problems, the writing, the characters, the stop and go plot, the whole enchilada basically. I start with the characters because that’s what I ‘m best at.

First off, we have our main man, Caleb. The entire novel is told via his perspective and let me tell you that for the first time I would have rather it been in third person. Caleb’s personality fell beyond flat and his voice felt very much like a woman desperately trying to be masculine. This is not just because the lack of swear words or his overly censoring of his naughty thoughts (though it probably contributed just a bit), the way he processed things and the fact that he was always on the brink of tears just felt feminine to me. And seriously dude, learn to say fuck because “oh snap!” just doesn’t cut it. Seriously, those words were on every other goddamn page and it was about as believable as Zoey Redbird saying “bull-poop” all the time.

Then there were the female interests. Yep, I said interests, so love triangle land it is. Gia, the Walker/Angel/Whatever, so is all over the place that you can’t tell what the hell she wants. One minute she is saving Caleb and then next she is avoiding him, telling him that he needs to leave her alone. She makes me wanna sing Katy Perry ::sings:: ‘Cause your hot then your cold, you’re yes then you’re no::stops:: I hate Katy Perry. For being the main love interest, she sure was flaky as hell and I couldn’t bring myself to root for them at all. I honestly wanted Caleb to just forget about her and be happy with Erica, if for no other reason than so I could stop listening to his inner monologue of “why can’t I being with Gia? Why doesn’t Gia love me? Whine whine whine.” As you can guess, Erica is the other love interest. In the beginning, I really thought she was going to be the only one, but damn was I wrong. She’s that popular girl with a sweet side, you know the caring cheerleader. Her character was a bit to clingy, trying to force Caleb to like her when it was clear that he was hung up on someone else. I gotta give her props for being patient, but she would have been better off with someone else.

Almost all the rest of the characters felt one dimensional and didn’t really add much to the story. Caleb’s friends, the other Walkers, the bad guy, all feel very flat to me, so I’m not even going to bother with talking about them. The writing style in this was choppy and the plot was slow. I felt like none of it flowed well. You’ll get 200 pages of Caleb and Gia doing the whole on again off again dance that drove me absolutely bonkers, with Gia not revealing any real information about herself (so really, what is the attraction? Just because she’s hot? Dude, stop being so shallow) and Caleb panting after her, while keeping Erica waiting on the sidelines. Then after that, we get just a little bit of stop and go action and then it ends with your typical cliffhanger.

Okay, so maybe I got a little rantey, but really, it’s what I do. This novel was a big downer for me and I can’t say that I’ll recommend it to anyone. Those out there in interweb land, enter at your own risk. Maybe I missed something, but I really just didn’t enjoy this and I definitely won’t be reading the sequel.

Review for Wrecked by Anna Davies

Wrecked by Anna Davies

TITLE: Wrecked
AUTHOR: Anna Davies
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, a division of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 336 pages
RATING: 1 star


This whole ranty review is written on the presumption that this novel is a standalone. If I find out that it has a sequel, I **might*** bump the star rating up one, but that won’t be much improvement. On the whole, I was disappointed in this novel. The gorgeous cover promised a good mermaid story and it just didn’t deliver. Miranda has a wonderful life on the island of Whym until a tragic boating accident kills four of her friends and leaves her boyfriend in a coma. After this accident, everyone turns against her. They all blame her because it was her boat and she was driving. This was hard to believe. When I say everyone, I do mean the entire town save her grandmother and her little brother. It’s like they had secret town meetings on how best to humiliate her. I just find it hard to believe that so many rational adults would shun a teenager who is by all rights recovering from her own injuries and grieving the loss of her friends.

Putting that aside, Miranda is saved during the accident by Christian, a betwixted man (a form of merman), who sees her drowning and is so drawn to her that he can’t let her die. After this, the ruler of the merpeople, Sephie, claims that she wanted all the souls and demands Christian kill Miranda and bring back her soul. As you can guess, enter the starcrossed lovers scenario. Christian goes Up Above to attempt to kill Miranda, but just can’t bring himself to do it. The two are instantly attracted to one another and Miranda spends every possible moment with him. This whole thing culminates with Sephie luring the town to her boat for a gala where she plans on killing Miranda and Christian as well as the other survivors from the wreck. Somehow Miranda manages to light Sephie’s boat on fire and the sea witch supposedly burns to death.

This all powerful sea witch is taken down by a miniscule teenager? I don’t buy it. Beyond that, Miranda’s grandmother has staged an intervention where they basically tell her that she has gotten out of control and they are shipping her to boarding school. Seriously? Give the girl some time to breathe and heal! All the relationships just seem twisted and unrealistic to me. I was very disappointed.

To make matters worse, it has a terrible ending. Christian was only allowed to roam freely on land to claim Miranda’s soul for Sephie and now must return to the ocean or die. So that’s how it ends, Christian returns to the water and Miranda is off to boarding school in Arizona…far away from the ocean. The fucking end. Yeah, see this face? It’s not a happy gnome face!

Review for Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

TITLE: Lies Beneath
SERIES: Lies Beneath #1
AUTHOR: Anne Greenwood Brown
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc
PAGES: 303 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 2 stars

I really wanted to like this novel….but I didn’t. It’s not bad. Nothing really jumped out and captured my attention. It’s well written and easy to understand. It gets bonus points for being written in a first person male perspective. This was one of those books where I was vaguely interested in seeing how the story turned out but I wasn’t very invested in it. I really enjoyed this take on merpeople and the author’s take on the lure behind them. It was an interest and unique spin on a fairly common storyline. I think my main issue was that it was pretty predictable. I knew after reading 30 pages exactly where the story was going. I knew that Calder was going to fall for the daughter and that would cause major issues. And even though I wanted Calder to end up with Lily, I found myself becoming more and more annoyed at the highly predictable way it unfolds. Apparently there is going to be a sequel and while I’ll probably read it, it’s not something that I am desperate to get my hands on. It’ll be more of I came across it cheap at a thrift store and wanna give it another shot.

Good points:
-I loved the hero’s name, Calder. It’s so different.
-No love triangle
-No cliffhanger
-Interesting take on the mermaid lure
-first person male perspective

Bad points:
-Very predictable
-A bit boring
-I didn’t like most of the characters
-It lacks humor. I don’t think it made me laugh once.

Sadly, this novel just isn’t for me.

****Thank you to Random House Children’s Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****