Kristen Otte

Finding Love and Laughter through Story

October 2014 Book Reviews

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October was a packed reading month. Three of the books I read were brand new releases that I was excited to read right away. They didn’t disappoint! Check out the video or the reviews below for more details on the books I read. What have you read recently?


Balanced on the Blade’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker – Balanced on the Blade’s Edge is so much fun to read. The novel is a steampunk romance with a heavy dose of adventure. I love the witty dialogue and narration throughout the book. It made me laugh out loud several times. The characters develop nicely, despite it being a shorter book. The action scenes keep the pace moving, and I even liked the steamy romance sections. I am excited to keep reading this series by a great indie author! 6 out of 7 stars

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – The Throne of Glass series evolves in this third installment. The first two books were action packed and fast paced with some character development along the way. In this third book, the structure changes. The story focuses on character development and world building with very little action, especially compared to the first two books. This makes the book seem slow at parts, especially in the first half. I knew the story was building to something greater, so I didn’t mind, but I could see how the slow pace could turn off readers. However, the last third of the book was great. I couldn’t put it down at that point. The POV chapters from Manon (a witch) also feel misplaced and disconnected, but I am confident it will make sense in the greater story arc of the next book. I think this is morphing from a light young adult fantasy to a high fantasy series. I like it. 6 out of 7 stars

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – I loved The Sky is Everywhere, Jandy Nelson’s debut novel, so I was excited to read this one. It didn’t disappoint. The story is stunning. I adored the dual point of views from the varying time periods. I also liked the element of mystery to the novel and figuring out exactly what happened to Noah and Jude. But most of all, I loved the story of Noah and Jude. It was so good. I did feel a little bogged down with the long chapter lengths (especially since it’s YA), and some of the quirky language. I also wonder if teens are truly the target audience of the book. It just didn’t sit with me as a novel teens will flock to reading. Maybe too literary? Either way, I liked it. You probably will too. 6 out of 7 stars

Unstrung by Kendra C. Highley – Unstrung is the first in a new YA series from Kendra Highley. Unstrung is a sci-fi, dystopian novel where artificial humans were created to be a new workforce. As the technology increases, these artificial humans or “Bolts” have become more and more human. Lexa, the main character, is on a crusade to free these bolts from their slavery. I enjoyed this novel. The pacing of this story was great–it really kept the plot moving. I found myself intrigued at the greater story arc about the bolts and this society. With so many dystopian novels these days, I am curious how Highley plans to differentiate Unstrung. I did want a little more character development and backstory, but I hear there is a prequel on the way to address it. Overall, Unstrung is a fun, enjoyable ya novel, and I’m looking forward to more in the series. 6 out of 7 stars

 

The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp – The Girl In Between is an intriguing young adult novel. Bryn, the main character, suffers from a condition that causes her to sleep for days or weeks at a time in a coma-like state. She starts having vivid dreams during this state, and meets a boy named Rowan in this dream. The dreams cause her to search for him when she’s awake while she meets with doctors searching for a cure. We also learn about her family, friends, and school for Bryn. On the positive side, I loved the unique concept of the story. It caught my interest, and I am intrigued to see where the story goes, especially with the cliffhanger at the end. I did find the pacing a little slow for my liking, but I’m not a reader who likes extra fluff and exposition.  5 out of 7 stars

 

 

Rating System Guide

7 stars = Phenomenal book – one of the  best books I’ve read

6 stars = Great book – worth your time to read

5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up

4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story

3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.

1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.

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One thought on “October 2014 Book Reviews

  1. Pingback: Author Spotlight with Laekan Zea Kemp | Kristen Otte

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