Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick
Nora’s new biology partner, Patch, is as dangerous as he is good-looking (and possessive). She gets caught in a feud that stretches back hundreds of years between immortal Nephilim and fallen angels.
My rating: ★★★★
Nora is far too passive for my taste, and she doesn’t have much of a personality. Fortunately, her best friend Vee makes up for what she lacks. As for the love interest, Patch, there’s no denying that he’s sexy. I especially liked the fact that he (spoiler alert) tries to kill Nora throughout most of the novel (sometimes a little part of me wishes he had succeeded). Who doesn’t like homicidal bad boys? On the other hand, I don’t think he’s book boyfriend material and cannot add him to my list.
I’m starting to notice I’ll give four stars to books that I read quickly even if I don’t think they’re that great. Hush, hush didn’t rock my socks or anything, but it kept me up until 1 AM. I can’t ask for more than that.
We Are The Ants – Shaun David Hutchinson
To say Henry Denton has a lot on his plate is an understatement. He’s secretly fooling around with one of his bullies, his grandma is suffering from Alzheimer’s, his boyfriend recently committed suicide, and he’s periodically abducted by aliens. The Sluggers, as he calls them, give him a choice: Press the red button and save the world. Or don’t, and end life as we know it.
My rating: ★★★★1/2
This kid. I love him. He’s such a snarky bastard and he has the same outlook on life that I have. I mean, what’s the point if we’re all going to die anyway? He also thinks babies are parasites. I cannot agree more. With all the shit he puts up with, you just want to hug him and pet his head, assuring him everything will be all right. Even if it is a bald-faced lie.
My only issue is that Henry gets so hung up on his boyfriend Jesse’s death. I get it. It’s traumatic and heartbreaking, but it started to become redundant. He kept asking the same questions over and over. Why did Jesse do it? Was it Henry’s fault? You want to scream at him to move on.
Asking For It – Louise O’Neill
After going to a party, Emma wakes on the front porch of her house, bloodied and bruised. She doesn’t remember what happened, but when explicit pictures of her surface online, she and her small Irish town are shaken by a criminal investigation.
My rating: ★★★★
I don’t like the main character. She steals, she lies, she becomes jealous if she thinks anyone is even the slightest bit prettier than her, and she’s manipulative. She’s the beautiful, popular girl who everyone envies yet wants to be friends with. None of that matters though. The reason I disliked her has to do with the fact that when her friend confides to her that she’s been raped, Emma tells her not to make a fuss about it because she doesn’t want things to change. When Emma herself is gang raped, she tries to pull the same thing and ignore it. Only, she can’t because everyone has seen the pictures.
The astonishing thing is that even with the photos, people blame her for it happening. Despite the fact that she’s clearly unresponsive in the photos, they think it was consensual. When she claims it’s rape, they blame her for ruining the boys’ lives. It’s infuriating that people think this way, that they can blame the victims. “Well, she was drinking, what did she expect? So what if the boys were drinking? How can you hold it against them?”
O’Neill doesn’t hold anything back. It’s gritty and it’s effed up and there is no neat, happy ending. It’s as realistic as it gets. Asking For It should absolutely be required reading in every high school.
Paper Princess – Erin Watt
To keep her independence after her mother passes away from cancer, Ella supports herself through high school by stripping at a local club. That is, until the day the millionaire best friend of her recently deceased father convinces her to live with him and his five sons. The Royal boys hate her on principle, and they will do anything to see her gone.
My rating: ★★★★
In the beginning, I was leery. I knew it was self-published, so I pushed through the bad formatting–srsly, the text was in two different fonts and there were some paragraphs that weren’t properly indented–and I’m glad I did. Again, this is another 4 star rating that isn’t based on the writing itself, but on how it kept me up past my bedtime. The story is strangely compelling. Perhaps it’s all the smut? It also helps that Ella doesn’t take anyone’s crap and will up and punch the most popular bish in school.
Though none of them are book boyfriend material (alas, the search to complete my harem continues), the brothers are kinda hot. They’re complete dickheads, sure, but there’s something charming about each of them. Could be the money. Could be the dark hair and ripped bods. My favorite is Easton, the one who is the same age as Ella (she unfortunately has the hots for Reed who is a year older and is a complete twit). East refers to her as “lil sis” and I find it oddly cute even though he calls her this after making out with her.
Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
Liesl’s music draws the attention of the Goblin King, who she used to play with as a child but has since forgotten. He kidnaps her sister, forcing her to journey Underground where she bargains for her sister’s life with her hand in marriage.
My rating: ★★★1/2
Jae-Jones writing is as beautiful as I am, which is to say gorgeous. From the first page, I was super excited. I thought I had finally found something akin to Naomi Novik’s Uprooted.
Unfortunately, the search still continues.
I immediately wanted to give Wintersong five stars. The writing and the story sucked me in (I’m all about devilish kings who make innocent maidens marry them). The Goblin King was, of course, dreamy. But about halfway through, the plot began to drag and Liesl got on my nerves. She talked way too much in her head. Like, how many feelings do you need to analyze? Who even has that many feelings? There just wasn’t enough actually happening and, towards the end, I had to fight to get to the last page. It stretched on too long and there wasn’t enough tension to keep me invested. I especially didn’t care for the ending.
As well-written as it is, especially for a debut, I don’t want to dissuade people from reading it. It just wasn’t for me. I needed a quicker pace and less flighty romance, but that’s not to say someone else won’t love it.
This Month’s Haul:
Among this month’s haul is Empress of a Thousand Skies, which I won from a Goodreads giveaway. The Edge of Everything, This Side of Home, and Scarlet were all part of a YA quarterly box that I subscribe to. Also pictured is Resistance by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, who is one of my immensely talented writing group buddies.
Did you read anything exceptionally good or sucky in February?