Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

cvr9781476743554_9781476743554_hrHopeless by Colleen Hoover

Release Date: December 19th, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 408
Price: $16.00

“Not everyone gets a happily ever after. Life is real and sometimes it’s ugly and you just have to learn how to cope.”

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

As a Colleen Hoover fan, this book was quite a disappointment. The plot was all over the place. First, I thought it would be a cute love story where Dean was a good guy with a bad boy past. Nothing about the book was as it seemed. Sky’s entire background was a hot mess. It was one reveal after another of things that, as I mentioned earlier, seemed to have nothing to do with the plot.

As Hoover novels go, this one was low on my list. I was missing the usual spark that her novels contain and that steamy sexual tension between the characters. There was some in the beginning, but when things got weird, I just did not understand what was happening. I really didn’t want to keep going, but I paid for the book, so I felt like I owed it to my money to trudge on until I finished. With all my disappointments, I can’t say that Hoover isn’t a good writer. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by her so far besides this one, so that’s saying something for her. I will still look forward to reading her other novels, but this one wasn’t her best.

Rating: 2 Stars

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I believe in the magic of books. I believe that during certain periods in our lives we are drawn to particular books–whether it’s strolling down the aisles of a bookshop with no idea whatsoever of what it is that we want to read and suddenly finding the most perfect, most wonderfully suitable book staring us right in the face. Unblinking. Or a chance meeting with a stranger or friend who recommends a book we would never ordinarily reach for. Books have the ability to find their own way into our lives.

~Cecelia Ahern

“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don’t read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways…It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.”

~John Connolly

Book Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Paper MagicianThe Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release Date: September 1st, 2014
Publisher: 47 North
Pages: 224
Price: $14.95

“Perhaps in a heart, knowledge was more stable than memory or thought.”

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

The story of Ceony and Thane was quite interesting. I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go initially, and that made it hard to focus. However, I did love the intricacies in how the paper magic was described. It was so lovely, and dare I say, magical. Ceony was a bit high strung in the beginning, having to give up her lifelong dream of working with metal. It was sweet how Thane taught her and took his time slowly revealing the magic to her. It gave Ceony an appreciation for the magic she was bound to, but also showed her the importance of the craft.

When the Exisioner arrives and things begin to pick up pace, I didn’t know what to expect. The portion of the story that comes after this was a little fuzzy for me to wrap my head around. It felt in a way, almost too simple of a solution. I realize that the book is part of a series, but I don’t feel compelled to run to the next book to find out what happens moving forward. It will be on my list, but I’m not in a hurry to get to it.

Rating: 3 Stars