Epic Fail Is More Like It: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by FC Yee

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Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

Source: GoodReads

Once upon a time, a blogger was at the targeted YA age at the height of YA paranormal.  Although, Twilight was admittedly gross.  There were a lot of YA series released in the mid to late 2000’s that I liked even loved.  And admittedly the market got over saturated.  There were just so many books.

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Okay, way over saturated.  There was a lot of trash out there and eventually dystopia took over the market.  I understood and welcomed it at the time, but I’ll admit in October I’m usually nostalgic for this sort of shit which was why when YA paranormal does make an appearance in the market the book is likely to interest me.

I’ve had The Epic Crush of Genie Lo on my shelf for awhile.  It interested me because it featured a diverse heroine, Chinese mythology, and the blurb made genie sound bad ass.  Unfortunately, I ended up throwing the book against my wall after about 60 pages.

I don’t plan on this being a super long review, I’m just going to note the reasons why I DNF’D it.

  1. Forced Love Interest: I FUCKING hate this trope.  If the MC finds the guy obnoxious her family and friends shouldn’t push him on her.  Period.  This trope annoys me across genres.  I hate how the heroine is suppose to fall in love with douchiness and change her supposed high strong ways.  It just doesn’t work for me.  This is a personal preference thing, so if you like it you might be able to handle it better than me.
  2. The Big Reveal: The Obnoxious Hero of course explains the heroine her destiny.  I hate how dependent it is on the Douche Hero.  I long for a book where this is not the case.
  3. Info Dumping: Enough Said.  It’s even worse in this one since the book is written in first person and the entire book shifts for a chapter or so.

As you can see it’s pretty easy to see why I DNF’d it.  If you don’t hate two the tropes that I listed you might be able to finish the book.  Hell, you might like it. I however can’t tolerate this sort of shit so I threw it in the giveaway box.

Admittedly, it’s a shame.  There were a lot of things about this book that I should like.  However, at the end of the day the book and I just did not mehs.

Overall Rating: DNF

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Evil Ending: The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

One spark will rise.

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice. 

Source: GoodReads

The Stars Never Rise was a surprise read for me in 2o15.   But I really shouldn’t be that surprised.  Every Rachel Vincent book I’ve read has been solid for the most part (grant it, up till that point I only read one).  So after I read it and saw that there was a sequel.  I hit the pre-order button and then sort of forgot about it until it showed up in my PO box a  few weeks ago.

In fact, I sort of forgot about the entire book so I felt a disconnect to a lot of the characters when I first started reading the book.  That didn’t mean the book was bad though.

To the contrary, it was solidly written.  And I oddly liked the ending even though it was more or less a bit of a cliff hanger that will never get resolved because the book is a duology.

Still though, while a part of me didn’t like the way the book ended, a part of me liked the way it left things.  It felt realistic.  I feel like with a lot of the post apocalyptic series the endings just sort of ridiculous in how everything resolves itself so I liked that this ended on a note where everything wasn’t bunny rabbits and roses.  At the same time though.

Grrrr…

The main character, Nina, is still pretty decent.  There are times I wanted to shake her for being a little too moony eyed over Finn, but she is a teenage girl.  I did feel that some of the more emotional bits of this book were glossed over.  There were some conversations that I wanted developed further, but overall it was solid.

Finn isn’t as prevalent in this one as much as he was in the last book.  Again, this is okay, but seeing how he was such a driving force in the last book I expected him to have more of a role here.

Overall,  it is a decent book.  A solid book.  A good book, but it’s not going to stick with me in the future.  I am a Rachel Vincent fan though.  I think I might try to read all her Soul Screamers series next year-it’s like an eight or nine book series, so getting me interested in making a series commitment is quite impressive.

Overall Rating: B+

Get the Vote On: Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout

And I’m back from Blogger Blackout.  Well, I was here.  Just prolonging posting these reviews.  To be honest, I sort of needed a calm week emotionally.  And I think it was good to take a quasi break from the blogging world.  As for this review, I think the actual voting process is over (it was originally going to be posted last Sunday), but I still kept the title only because I couldn’t think of a better title and maybe some uninformed voter will actually think that they’re voting for a hot gargoyle and demon on election day.

And while I can understand how they think some politicians are the devil…I don’t see how they could think they’re hot.  But whatever.

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Source: GoodReads

Dear lord I needed this.

When I read this book it was a  horrible week for the blogging world and for me on a personal level as well.  Luckily, I had this book.  Okay, I’ll admit it had some of the typical YA cliches that if I’m going to be more critical I would totally call them out, but there’s some days I need cliche. And when Armentrout is on (and boy is she on in this series) she can write them to be quite enjoyable.

But yeah, I’ll be the first to admit this series is kind of like fast food good at the time and sometimes needed, but it’s not exactly something you’d want to read everyday.

And it doesn’t help that Layla can be really annoying at times.

Though, I tend to ignore this since the side characters and plot more than make up for it.  Honestly, this series reminds me of the days when the CW was the WB and shows like Charmed and Buffy were on the air.  Though Layla, is nowhere near as awesome as Buffy-just saying.

Though points to her and her friends for making a Buffy reference.

I think what I liked about this book was the twist and turns that the triangle made it.

Yes, you’re hearing that.  I ,MJ, cranky pants of cranky pants, actually like a cliche trope such as a love triangle.

Well, it wasn’t the triangle part so much than the character development for one of the guys in this book.

I have to say I was impressed with the big turn around that Armentrout did on my head in this book.  After the first book, I was Team Roth mainly because there was so much more development with the character in White Hot Kiss, but in Stone Cold Touch Armentrout does a 180 and develops Zayne.  And she didn’t even (excuse the pun) demonize Roth that much to do it.

You just got to see another side of the character.  The less appealing side.  Same could be said about the Zayne character in the previous book-though I think the trope of the unreliable narrator is used quite efficiently here.

So, in the end it wasn’t so much the romance I cared about but the character development.  Odd as it sounds.

However, it wasn’t the pining for either guy that kept me intrigued in the book.  It was that it actually had a relatively interesting plot.

That’s the thing about Armentrout books, I never read them just for the romance.  If they focus just on the romance the book and I probably arent’ going to get along (see her New Adult titles).  But her YA paranormals and contemporaries I usually like them a lot if they’re more plot heavy.  And Stone Cold Touch is.  Plot heavy that is. Well, plot heavy for Amentrout.

While the gargoyle mythology still hasn’t gone into the depth I’d like, I did like how Armentrout dived more into the demonic activity that occurred in the book.  So, that’s a plus.

But again, the plot isn’t that heavy.  Just like an episode of Charmed it’s mostly inconsequential but makes way for some fast pace and fun action sequences.

So, who did I end up voting for?

Well, I’m not telling.  But I did end up making a decision after reading it and it made more of an impact on me than any of the midterm election stuff (which is sad, because I should be concern in voting in an election that actually means something but since I live in a blood red state…)

Okay, I’m digressing.

Overall Rating: Borderline B+ it’s a fun book.  But I have to be in the right mood for it.  Overall, I think The Dark Elements series is one of Armentrout’s strongest.