June 26, 2015

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (a bit of a rant)

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope #1
Source: Kindle copy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 6th 2009
Age Group: Young Adult
Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

So, I'm going to be totally honest - I've been meaning to get 13 Little Blue Envelopes for a while now. I was always curious about this book, but I just... I really, really don't like the covers for this book. At all. So, being the shallow human being that I am, I pushed it back until... well, until it was on a kindle sale.

I will start with the good - the story is very cutesy. It's fun. It's a fast read. You'll be smiling with the characters. You'll be waiting to see what Aunt Peg's next task for Ginny will be. You'll be enjoying this trip as you cross countries and locations alongside Ginny. Plus, Richard is great. I wish we got to see more of the guy! (and I totally called the last "twist" with him the moment we met him)

Now, to the less good - Ginny is just so damn clueless and naive, I couldn't deal with it. She's supposed to be a 17 years old girl, right? But she reads much much younger to me in the way she acts. Case in point: 

 - She doesn't know what to do with the ticket for the Tube. Even if you've never been on one, logic dictates you at least keep your ticket in case of an inspection, right??

-She goes with a guy she doesn't know to his sister's apartment just because he tells her his sister will like her. Where is your self preservation instincts, woman?! You've literally just met him, in a foreign country no less! He might be a serial killer for all you know, or...
I have been looking for a chance to use this gif forEVER!
 -She let's another family "adopt" her for five days, going with them everywhere without question. Say that wasn't weird on it's own (which it totally was. It creeped me out), you just... let them pay for everything, never even asking for the prices? 

Umm, girl, money does not grow on trees and you do NOT have a limitless supply of it!  At the very least you should be aware of how much you've got and how much you'll have to repay, and put your feet down if it's too much, because that is also your only way to get back home!

I couldn't deal with all this! It's pretty much a miracle she doesn't get murdered on this trip...

Than, there is the fact she has no phone on her. I know, I know, Aunt Peg said no phones. But what kind of an idiot would go to a foreign country(ies) without a means to communicate with his family/the police if something were to happen? Take a phone, keep it closed the whole trip unless something happens, but at least have the option to call for help!

Maybe these things were supposed to make the story special. Maybe they do. But to me, they were too farfetched and too frustrating. I don't know if I'll read the next book; maybe I will, but probably not unless there is a sale.


June 23, 2015

Which TBR Matters?

We, the book people, all have something we refer to as our "To Be Read" pile. We always say "our TBR". But recently, when thinking about it, I realized something. We don't have a TBR. We have TBRs.

What do I mean?

1. Physical TBR
This one consists of all your unread books on your physical shelves at home, in your personal library. This is the most visible of TBRs, the one people actually see if you invite them over.

Currently, I have around 70 books on this TBR.

This is the TBR that really matters to me, and is the one I work the hardest on minimizing. Why? Because this is the one I feel obligated to excuse. If someone walks into my room, sees a book and asks me how it is, I am unable to just say "I haven't read it yet". I feel obligated to give a very detailed explanation why, because I feel almost ashamed that it's still unread (and that I'm buying more books despite of this fact).
2. The Series TBR
This TBR is mostly compiled of sequels we intended to one day read. All bookworms love their series. All bookworms know waiting for the next book to publish/to get your hands on is torture. And all bookworms know sometimes, in the wait, you end up... forgetting you wanted to read the next book so badly.
So this TBR tends to grow and grow and grow until it's a monster (like all TBRs, when you think of it...).

I'm "Currently Reading" 117 series. That means 117 immediate sequels, not to include all the trilogies, sagas, etc... That's A LOT of books.

This one is also high on my list, as I'd like to really narrow it down, especially when it comes to finished book series.
3. the Electronic TBR
Nowadays, almost everyone has an electronic TBR, compiled of all the electronic books we've got.

Mine is split into two:
a) freebie purchases (which currently stand on 902. I know, I've got a problem).
b) my paid for purchases (73, but I've read a big number of them).

This TBR, to me, is on lower priority. I still go to great lengths to clean it up and reduce my unread titles (especially in the Paid For department), but no one actually sees these books. They're hidden inside this small device, so I don't have to excuse anything.
4. Goodreads/Leafmarks/Booklikes TBR.
This one is made from all the thousand books we mark "To Read" on these sites. Those tend to be the biggest of TBRs, for the sole reason you're not obligated to anything on it. Marking "To Read' is marking interest, not committing to marriage.

To me, this TBR is of the lowest priority. I mark things that look interesting, but more often than not I forget about them. The books on my GR TBR that I do end up reading are books that ended up standing out of the rest, be it because my friends talked about them all the time, they sounded exceptionally intriguing or were just plain beautiful (yes, I'm shallow. Get over it).

Every once in a while I'll go to my GoodReads TBR and clean it up a little, erasing those books I can't even remember why I added, but it never seems to grow any smaller...

Those are just four types of TBRs. I'm sure there are more, and that every one of us has different versions of TBRs.

Which TBR is the most important to you? The one you pick from the most and care the most about reducing? 


June 19, 2015

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Source: paperback
Publisher: Black Swan
Publication Date: January 30th 2014
Age Genre: Young Adult

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


It's a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.

The Book Thief has been reviewed many times over. I bet everything that could be said about it, already has been. But... as a Jew, reading this book, I feel obligated to add in my two cents. So bear with me. This is going to be a very personal review. In fact, it's going to speak largely about things surrounding the book instead of the book itself.

Originally, I never intended to read the Book Thief. As a general rule, I don't read Holocaust based novels. In Israel, we study the Holocaust extensively (in relations to Jews mostly, for obvious reasons) from the first grade to the twelfth. We annually mention and mourn the 6 million lost on a special day. And, honestly, every damn holocaust book I read brings me to a sobbing mess, and I don't enjoy that.

I always tell my grandma, who made it her mission to read as many of those testimonies as possible, that one day, I'll probably start seeking those stories, but right now, I am too overcome by the darkness that engulfs me when I read of it.

So, again, I wasn't planning on reading this. But then the movie was coming out, and the book was on sale, and I found out Death was narrating the story, and that it's about a young German girl in the holocaust and I became curious. So I started it.

I was almost immediately disappointed (wait, let me explain, both why and how come this is a four star despite this). I did not like the narration, even though it was the thing I was most looking forward to. Death's voice felt a bit choppy to me, and I did not like how he felt the need to end every chapter (or what felt like) on these ambiguous notes. It took a long while to get used to It's voice.

I was feeling very dejected (even though I was loving Lisel and her Papa), when Max came into the picture. And from that moment on, I was hooked. I didn't know (and maybe I should've), that this book tells the story of what we call khassidey umot ha-olam, and in English is apparently referred to as: "Righteous Among the Nations".

I've always loved those stories. The stories that show there were people who resisted the brainwashing; resisted the propaganda; kept their humanity intact; saw through the veil over their eyes. That's what always been the hardest to swallow, for me; how people were able to boycott and humiliate and demean people who have been their neighbors, their friends, their partners. And yet it happened, on a massive scale.

Hans Hubermann did not forget his friends, though. He wasn't fooled. I loved that. I loved Max. I loved the relationships that bloomed between the Hubermanns and Max. I loved everything that had to do with that.

And, I'll admit, I loved reading of the Holocaust from a different perspective. Not from the direct victims, but from the eyes of a little German girl. How her life was affected by it all. What the war did to her. To them.

Like death, I still pity those in the concentration camps a lot more than the Germans. I still pity the families broken or obliterated far more. I can't deny that--nor do I feel the need to. But this story was still powerful, and served to show everyone gets hurt in a war. 

And, yes, I admit it: I cried. I was quietly sobbing in my room from part ten on. It was heartbreaking. In a different way than most of the holocaust books I've read before, but not any less powerful.

(BTW, anyone else shipping Max and Lisel despite the ten-year age gap?)


June 18, 2015

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

So as you guys know, I wasn't always part of The Book Babe's Reads. I had my own personal blog before - which now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here! (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Source: Bought paperback copy
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Publication Date: November 3rd 2011
Age Genre: New Adult
Original Review: May 22, 2013
Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.
In the meantime, Charley's dealing with a being more powerful - and definitely sexier - than any spectre she's ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn't nearly as dangerous as falling in love.
When it comes to New Adult books (or really, any age genre), it's hard to come across unique, interesting voices. From the cluster of NA I've read since the label was invented, few have stood up amongst the rest. Charley Davidson's voice, however, shines like a bacon

Charley is a grim reaper, but there is nothing grim about her. In fact, how do the departed know to find her? she freakin' glows. Yes, folks - glows. Like looking at the sun full on. She's sarcastic, hilarious and has a big case of ADD, is easily distracted, kind of silly and is so quotable I can't even! 
"Maybe if I hovered over the pot, it would develop an inferiority complex and brew faster just to prove it could."
And even though she is possibly the funniest character I've ever read of, her story had some dark undertones. The way she views herself made me tear up, and was so shocking considering the positive person that she is, showing how human nature really is complex and layered.

But Charley is not the only shining star of this production. Oh no, we've got a huge, colorful and unique cast of characters, all who are important to the plot. From uncle Bob (or Ubie), to sexy Swoops, to mysterious Reyes, to Angel, Cookie, the Lawyers and more!
“Maybe I needed sensitivity training. I once signed up for an anger management class, but the instructor pissed me off.”
A small part of the book has to do with Charley's romance with Reyes. The two have been engaging in a physical relationship for a while... via dreams. Yes, I know... whaa? Don't expect me to explain that one. Let's just say it's... a unique relationship. It's also a bit of insta love ish, but the upside of paranormal series like these is that there are a lot of room for the romance to grow and base itself throughout the books, so I have faith!

As for Reyes himself... we don't get to see much of him, yet, but I liked what I saw. (And no, him being sexy had nothing to do with that. Humph!)
“My fore-parts, as you so eloquently put it, have names." I pointed to my right breast. "This is Danger." Then my left. "And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.” 
The story had many angles and directions, all of which flowed together perfectly. The pace was perfect: not too fast, but with no dull moments either. The worldbuilding was subtle, happened throughout the story, and didn't overshadow or empower it. At the same time, you know Jones isn't done with showing you this world. There is a lot more hidden, for us to find out in the next books.

And I don't know about you, but I am ready for that ride!

June 16, 2015

Now YOU See It #1 - Carmilla

Now YOU See It is a new feature on the blog where we're going to recommend Web Series, shows and movies to you guys! The feature will not have a set pub date, but rather will be posted as the inspiration strikes
For the first episode of Now YOU See It, I've been wondering what show to talk about. I knew from the moment I thought of this feature that I'm going to start with a Web Series, probably one loosely based on a novel of some sorts, but I didn't want to start with the obvious ones.

Luckily, Season 2 of Carmilla has started streaming, which pretty much decided things for me.
If you're asking this question (about Carmilla, I mean), Carmilla is a web-show loosely based on a J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella of the same name. Every one of the thirty six episodes is around the three minutes mark, produced by the YouTube channel Vervegirl TV and told through the eyes of Laura, a student in Silas University that is investigating her best friend's mysterious disappearance and the appearance of the weird Carmilla right after.

A little note: when I say loosely based, I do mean... Loosely based. In the best way possible; the message of the series is just about the opposite of the novella, and basically just uses the premise of a lesbian vampire. 

Yep, thats right. LESBIAN VAMPIRE.
If you're like "Um, okay, I'm out of here" because of it please don't. I know it might sound uncomfortable or daunting if you're straight, like I am, or... even you're not. It's surprisingly... not. You don't have to be a big gay lover to watch this series. 

Heck, some of my best friends are gay but I've never been big on "Gay Shows", and yet this one is just amazing

My favorite part of this series is actually how Lesbiasm is protrayed. Its a show that really speaks equality because not for one second does somebody ask "oh, you're a lesbian?". There is no big revelation of this fact. They're all just 100% accepting of this fact and embracing them, from episode 1, even the straight guys. No one's discussing it because there is nothing weird, or out of the ordinary, or brave or anything about being gay. It's an acceptable part of society, which means it is true equality, and it's delightful! 

The show has got an amazing kickass female-centered cast, who are all great actors (and highly attractive, too). They play their characters believably, like they are them. You'll never once think "oh, that sounded fake" or "that's so scripted". In other words, the acting is top-notch and every character is very different from one another, and is important to the plot. No one is there for no reason!!
The amazing cast, in all their glory!
As for the plot, it's like nothing out there in the web-series world. It's fantasy, and has some unbelievable shit going down in this show and yet... well, you believe it. You'll be sitting at the edge of your seat, waiting to figure out what happened and what are they gonna do next and HOLLY HELL DID YOU JUST SAY THE BOOKS TRIED TO EAT YOU?!

So, yeah. Crazy stuff. But all done so amazingly.
Being Kick Ass. Being Surprising. Being unexpected. Being WTf. 
And the best part about this show? Probably the shipping, of which you've got in abundance so your shipper heart will have a problem to go on. And it's not going to bother you one bit that they're all girls!

First up, we've got Dani x Laura 
Cute, right?
Then we have Carmilla x Laura 
Possibly cuter?!
Aaaand... Perry x LaFontaine
It pretty much doesn't matter who's on screen, at a certain point you're going to be going KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS all the time, between the NO NO NO WHAT'S GOING ON WHAT WHAT WHAT parts.

Basically - it's GREAT FUN! It's definitely one of those underrated web series than needs more viewership, so get on with it! You can now binge watch the entire first season (which I just did again while writing this post), and then get caught up on the second one!


June 15, 2015

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. He’d give anything to have just one more glimpse of her. But when Cam visits the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees an apparition. Her name is Nina, and she’s a girl from a parallel world. When Cam follows her there and makes an unbelievable discovery, it’s as if all his wildest dreams have come true. But things are very different in this other world. Nina is hiding a secret, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with the truth, he’s forced to make a choice that will change his life forever.

Viv has been dead for two long months, but she's still everywhere.
And nowhere.

Through to You started out as an ok kind of read. I wasn't immediately impressed and begging for more, but I was doing alright. But by the end of the first chapter, I was really just engrossed in the idea of a parallel world. I was just salivating at the very idea, really. And I really can't say that it dissapointed me. I enjoyed the surrealism of stepping out of one world and into another that was just nearly identical. I loved seeing how one choice could effect the entire world - one person's choice could change the choices of all of those around them.

I find that butterfly effect to be truly amazing. The logistics of a parallel universe all at once seem to baffle and excite me. I truly love the idea. And I was glad to see it carried out so well. The parallels seemed very close, but also fairly different, which adds a certain level of believability to a fantasy type subject.

Now that I've rambled on about my love of the philosophy behind parallel universes, I believe it's only fair that I talk about the main character, Cam. I found Cam to be a well developed character, as far as sorrow and sadness. I don't feel like his character ever really communicated happiness, even when he was supposedly happy. It's like he hid himself. Not only from everyone who loved him, but from the reader as well. We never truly get to crack into that hard shell of a human being. And I think Cam was comfortable shutting us all out. I will say one thing for him though, he's at a college level of maturity. I spent a couple chapters wondering how old these kids were, that's for sure.

I can only assume that Cam was so mature because of the sorrow that he experienced.

When Cam enters the parallel though, it's like an entirely different character shining through. And not necessarily in a good way. Cam spends most of his time in the parallel trying to replace the other him. To straight up be him, really. And although there are similarities, I can't say that they're that much alike. They made very different decisions in life, and turned into completely different people.

I will say that I like the "love triangle" that I was seeing - you never see a love triangle with one boy and two girls. It just doesn't happen, and it's a totally different dynamic. I do have a favorite I was rooting for (go, Nina!) but I won't spoil who he ends up going for.

Speaking of the girls, I'll start with Viv - the dead girlfriend. I'll be completely honest, and I hate to speak ill of the dead, but I hated that bitch.

She was sneaky. She was conniving. And worst of all she hid it. I didn't like the way she constantly put herself above others, or the fact that she was always after Nina. Viv is truly a very disturbed girl, and a psycho killer level of crazy in my book.

Then we have sweet Nina. Who I'll admit, isn't completely innocent in anything. She may have done a little bit of her own conniving, but I found her to be more endearing than Viv, and all around more caring to Cam. She supported him, and helped him, and always tried to be there for him. I really liked that. That's definitely the kind of thing that men should be looking for in a girl.

The plot may not get an A+ score, but I'd say it was alright. Kind of predictable, but nothing we here at TBBR couldn't handle. All in all, I'd say it was a solid read. Worth the pages if you're interested in parallel universes.

June 12, 2015

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Source: Bought Paperback
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: March 1st 2011
Age Genre: Young Adult

Magic is dangerous — but love is more dangerous still
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by — and torn between — two best friends and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
Yep, you're reading this right. A mere three and a half stars. I thought Clockwork Angel might be a different reading experience to me than TMI--pretty much everyone agrees it is the better of the two series. I desperately wanted it to be. I wanted to be swept into Clare's world like so many other do. But alas, such was not the case.

I think the main issue I have with Clare's books is that they just fail to properly grab me. I always end up reading them really slowly, unable to consume large quantities at once. It tires me. In this particular story, I kept flipping to the end, in the hope of peaking my interest. It mostly didn't help, aside for spoiling the Big Bad for me, which in turn made me upset about the lack of hinting in his direction (that I could note).

Then there was the romance. In TMI (first trilogy), I was kind of onboard. I liked Jace, and I liked that there was never really a love triangle. I was looking forward to the romance in TID, seeing as everyone freakin' loves Will and Jem.

Did I get what I was hoping for? Nope. Aside for the fact I did not swoon for Will (he was kind of too inconsistent for me, hot than cold and over again, and while I'm sure we're going to explore his past and get his redemption, that's not done in this book), I did not understand why Tessa was falling for him.

The few decent interaction they had ended poorly. It was insta love, from start to finish. Jem, at the very least, was very sweet to our MC. Falling for him, especially at this point, would've made much more sense.

To be completely honest, I was way more interested in the side characters, such as Charlotte & Henry, and Sophie. I kept looking forward to their scenes, wanted to see how their stories would play out. If I read on (which will probably happen as I already own the third book), it will be mostly for these guys. Sorry!

June 11, 2015

Oldie Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassins #1
Source: Bought Hardcover
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Original Post: April 3rd, 2013
Age Genre: Young Adult
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
When Grave Mercy came out, everyone were going gaga over the idea of assassin nuns. However, I wasn't planning on reading it. While the idea is superbly cool, I had my doubts on whether the book could live up to such an intriguing hype.

But one day, when I was cruising a site called Libbo (that has since stopped operating), I saw Robin LaFevers put the book up for grabs for those who publicate the book. So I did, not expecting to win. But then did win, and now I had an e-book copy of this book everyone is talking about. So... I read it. And loved it. And bought it. Twice.
This book was unlike what I expected, but in a good way. It has it's flaws, but at the end of the day, I really enjoyed this mammoth of a book (the hardcover is HUGE. It could double as a lethal weapon, easy).

Grave Mercy is not really about assassin nuns. It's about blind faith, making your own choices and understanding "god's will". Understanding there is no such thing is absolute truth, or even a true truth.

The first installment of the trilogy tells the story of Ismae, a farmer's daughter who was sired by Death itself. Being Death's own, she ends up in the Covenant; a place that worships Death and carries His Will. In other words: Assassination.

She's brave and strong, and she grows and matures through the book as she takes off the wool over her eyes and starts thinking for herself and questioning what she is told, instead of blindly trying to prove her worth and loyalty to the Covenant.

The uncovering is set into motion by Duval, a man she is sent to keep an eye on for the suspicion of treason. But instead of a traitor, she finds the most loyal man. A man filled with compassion, care, kindness, strength and duty. A man she grows to care for, trust, and love. And if the covenant is so wrong about him--what else might they be wrong about?

And the romance between these two?
That pretty much sums it up, thanks! Slow burn. 
And the both of them are well suited, covering for each other's weakness and creating one whole together.

That said, I did feel it was lacking in the process of falling in love, especially on Duval's part (since we are not in his head). It was all rather sudden, missing those small moments that would have convinced me he loved her.

This book is pretty unique. I haven't read many historical YA novels before, and none that were also a cross with fantasy and mythology like this one. The mixture creates a delightfully fresh and complex story that you can't help but devour.

I do feel obligated to warn you: yes, they are assassin nuns. It does not mean that the book is fast paced though. The book starts slow and features many political intrigues; schemes; betrayals; as opposed to flat-out action, with the action meter going up slowly as we get farther into the story.

One of the greatest thing about this book is the realism of it. And yes, a fantasy YA novel can and needs to be realistic; in terms of making the reader believe that, were all these things possible, this is how it would've went down.

As for the writing itself... I did not like it. Yep, I know; WTF. This is the main reason the book is a four star; I just didn't connect with the writing style. It took me a long while to get into it and get used to the sound of it.

The other minus of this book is the character's names. They were just so distracting. I kept stopping and trying out different pronunciations, trying to figure out how the heck LaFevers meant for them to sound. And it wasn't just one or two names; it was all the names.

June 1, 2015

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Series: Angelfire, #1
Source: Bought
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.
Today I'm doing something different than I used to. As you guys know, it's been a while since I've written a review, and I guess my mind has kind of forgotten how to do it. So what I'm going to do is use a bullet-point format to just kind of outline the thoughts that I had while reading this book. I'm hoping that's okay with y'all.
  • Ellie is kind of a flat character. When I read from her point of view, I feel like there's too much explaining going on, like the author is trying to make her believable and a deep character, but she's only making her flat by not making her feel enough. It's too much mechanical thinking rather than emotional thinking.
  • Will is the typical paranormal love interest, and I really don't buy this "in love for centuries" shit. It is the most overused and cliched storyline in young adult paranormals.
  • The writing is a little stilted, but it still manages to be enjoyable, if you're not putting much stock into this being a life changing read. It would probably make a good movie, because I feel like it has a movie level of character growth. Just enough to get by, but not enough to really make it anything special.
  • From what I've seen so far (page 94), the  plot appears to be a little bit simplistic, or in other words it's a bit cliche.
  • I feel like there's too much detail, but at the same time not enough. It's hard to explain.
  • I'm sick if every single ya book having a love triangle. Is it too much to ask for just one love interest? In real life not every single girl has magical powers and multiple love interests. So step up your game, ya authors!
  • Ellie is prettyy girly and it doesn't really fit the badass she's supposed to be.
  • I appreciate the fact that Ellie tries to reason Will into thinking that just because they were born of that doesn't mean they're evil or that they're good... That they probably have a choice.
  • None of the characters have any depth to speak of. If you looked at thier facial expressions it'd be like looking at a plain brick wall.
  • I think it's unrealistic that every time Ellie's Audi gets totaled, there's always a way of getting it easily repaired. Insurance claims work out and everything is fine and fixed.
  • There is absolutely no way whatsoever they could plan this big world saving trip on a thanksgiving holiday. You can't make last minute plane trip rides for the Wednesday before thanksgiving and a ride back on Black Friday - it doesn't happen. And even if you could, there are way too many people to risk it.
  • The villains are very one dimensional and cheesy in their dialogue. They don't have enough depth or the right motivation to even be good villains. There's no good backgrounds.
  • I'm having to push my way through Angelfire which makes me think that I won't be continuing this series. The plot has no depth, the characters have no life,and don't even let me bring up the cardboard cutout villains.
  • Towards the end Angelfire got a little bit better, and I'll give it two stars for that, but it definitely won't be going on my favorites shelf. In fact, I think it's going on my "get this book out of my site" box.
  • All in all, I'm going to go ahead and let you all know that I won't be recommending this one - it didn't work for me, in any stretch of the word. The plot made me want to bang my head on walls, and the characters made me want to go on a mad stabbing/killing spree. This one just wasn't for me.