Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mini Reviews: Through the Zombie Glass & These Broken Stars

Title: Through the Zombie Glass (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #2)
Author: Gena Showalter
Published: September 24th 2013
Read: August 17 to 19, 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they've got mine...
Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong.
After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things.
She's never needed her team of zombie slayers more, but ultra bad-boy Cole Holland, the leader and her boyfriend, suddenly withdraws from her...from everyone. Now, with her best friend Kat at her side, Ali must kill the zombies, uncover Cole's secret and learn to fight the darkness.
But the clock is ticking...and if she fails at a single task, they're all doomed.

Alice in Zombieland was my first ever zombie book and I quite enjoyed it. When it comes to Gena Showalter's books, I always say this: she excels at chemistry and a fun, action-packed plot. And it's true! What lacked for me in the sequel though was unexpected twists and proper character growth throughout the entire novel. I haven’t formed big connections with any of the characters and the constant back and forth between Allie and Cole was more than a little frustrating. I mean, of course I understand why Cole would want to stay away from Allie to protect her and vice versa, but really? All the drama that came with this aka the awkward love square? Just.. no, thank you; I was not a happy camper. As for the character growth I previously mentioned, it did happen to all the characters, but not until the latter part of the novel. It took forever to reach that point. I love the zombies though and the added slight sci-fi elements. Also, Showalter’s writing style is mostly humorous and I could definitely point out her style in the sea of writing styles. Even though I didn’t find Through Zombie Glass as good as the first installment, it was a fairly enjoyable read and I can't wait to see how it all ends.

Overall rating: 3.4 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: December 10th 2013
Read: September 12 to 20, 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

I was really hesitant to try this, because sci-fi and I don’t match per se. I’m not sure what it is that often leaves me detached from a sci-fi story, but there definitely is something at play here. Anyhow, I saw one of Sue's graphics about TBS, and Sue and Danielle both couldn’t shut up about this book annnnd almost everyone else had loved it a whole lot so *shrugs* why not try, yeah? I must say that it was really good! Especially the first 50% of the book: I was ready to give it 5 stars! (The narrators of the audiobook were amazing btw!) But then came the second half and.. well? Things just fell apart, to put it mildly. As much as I love my romance, it was just too heavy for this kind of a book. I stopped getting butterflies in my stomach, waiting for another stolen moment etc because I knew it was coming—the anticipation was lost. Plus, more world building would have been appreciated. I know that Sue didn’t love #2 as much as TBS, but it’s a rare case where our opinions differ a little; based on Jess’s and Joy’s thoughts, I’d say that more world building is coming our way in the companion sequel, so I can’t wait to hug my pre-ordered copy of This Shattered World and devour the world out of it! While the world building was lacking in TBS and the second part dragged on forever, I’d still definitely recommend this series if you’re a fan of sci-fi or swoony romances!

Overall rating: 3.4 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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  1. I've missed your reviews!!!! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed them both :) I don't know how I feel about zombies though. And a love square? Hmmmm, no thank you. The world certainly sounds interesting and I hope you like the final installment better! TBS is on my tbr. Mostly because I keep hearing everyone gush about it hehe. I rarely read sci-fi (last I remember was The Host by Stephanie Meyer hehe) though, but I guess we'll see. Wonderful reviews, Siiri!!

  2. So the first zombie book gets the thumbs up? I've had it on my shelf for half a year but have just been put off because zombies. I don't like dead things coming back to life because they'd probably smell rank. Which should be the least of my problems and I don't know why disgusting smelling things concern me because it's not like I'm actually there. It's just...ugh, gross LOL But everyone says that these zombies are like ghosts or something or I think I can give that I go. I can do ghosts. What I can't do is a love square so ack to that.

    I LOVED THE FIRST HALF OF TBS AS WELL! And then the romance happened and I just couldn't take it. I think it was too much for me and everything was just being smushed in my face and I was like "no, I don't want this." But I still really liked the book! It was just a little heavy on the loving. I HOPE YOU LOVED SHATTERED WORLD THOUGHHHH!!

  3. The Ali/Cole situation in Through the Zombie Glass definitely frustrated me as well Siiri, especially since it was such a classic second book plot device. I did love how Ali handled it however, she didn't do anything to hurt Cole in return and make things worse, so I kind of wanted to hug her for that.

    And I'm starting This Shattered World this week, I'm excited to give it a try! The reviews seem largely mixed - some loving it more than the first and some saying it doesn't quite live up, so I'm curious to see what I'll think. Can't wait to compare notes!

  4. Yup, other people have mentioned the world building thing in TBS which is one of the reasons why I haven't jumped to read this book. I mean in this kind of sci fic book, I'd rather have minimal romance and more world building and interesting things! If this is a survival book, I want it to focus on the survival bits and the romance be in the background. I mean I WANT to read this book but because of these little thing, I feel like I'd end up being disappointed. :/

    Idk what to say about Through the Zombie Glass. I haven't read a lot of zombie books (the only ones I can remember reading are the first two ones in the Razorland series) in general so there is that but the romance has me a little vary. I am very picky about romantic drama (grovelling is acceptable :PPPP) but an awkward love square just doesn't have me pumped :P I'll have to see how you felt about book 3 before making the final decision *drum roll*

    Lovely minis, hon <333

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  5. Yes, there's so much more world building in TSW than in TBS. I do hope you love that one even more! Yeah, the first half of the book was definitely the strongest--the second half got a little weird, tbh, though still pretty awesome. I really want to read Alice in Zombieland--good to hear she excels at chemistry!

  6. I have to say I haven't read any zombie books myself and I have the first book on my shelf. I love Zombie movies and series so I really must add literature to the list, hehe. These Broken Stars, although I adore the cover, the whole premise of the book was great, I did find it hard to get through it though for some reason. It reminded me a lot of the Doctor Who episode, Voyage of the Damned and also Titanic. I will still give the sequel a go though! Great mini reviews, Sirri! :)

  7. It's always such a shame when the second half of a book isn't as good as the first half. Like.. what happened? Some books really need the right amount of details for world-building, it's a shame this book lacked of it. But I'm starting to get more into sci-fi and this sounds not too bad :)

  8. I love my zombies but for some reason Alice + zombies just doesn't appeal to me at all! I guess I'm more into the hardcore zombie thrillers (I'm watching The Walking Dead right now...heh, might be why...) so retellings mixed with zombies just sound odd to me. And I think love triangles are bad...but a love SQUARE. I would rage quit to be honest hehe.

    Yesss, I didn't really like TBS at all because the romance made me want to stab myself in the eye. But TSW. SO GOOD, SIIRI, SO GOOD!! I can't wait to see you hug your preorder and read it!!

  9. The Zombie books are not my favorite, but they are a lot of fun. The back and forth between Cole and Allie did get tiresome in the first two, but I will say their relationship definitely mature in the final book (thank God).

    Sorry you didn't love TBS as much as you expected to. D: The romance is a huge elemental, so if it's not working for you I can see why that would bring the whole thing down. This Shattered World puts the romance mostly in the background, and there's a lot more action/worldbuilding.

    Great review, hon!

  10. So sorry you didn't love both of these, but I'm glad you found something to like about them both. The drama in the zombie book was over the top in this one and Cole made me SO ANGRY. I don't like to think back to it. But then he tattooed Ali's name across his chest to make it all better. Hahahahahaha. I hope you enjoy the last one. It's a little over the top.

    I loved These Broken Stars - sorry the second half wasn't as strong for you. And I actually loved This Shattered World, though it's a little different. Hope you end up loving it to - definitely stronger world building. You also should try the novella This Night So Dark. Some more about the world and more swooonnnnnn between Tarver and Lilac.

    Hope you get a nice long break with lots of reading and relaxing. xo

  11. Nooo you didn't love These Broken Stars! I do think the romance was pretty heavy, but I went in expecting that and absolutely loved it. This one does turn a bit unexpectedly weird later on though, so I can see why you dropped your rating. This Shattered World is definitely AMAZING with lots of action and world building and an awesome ship, I hope you enjoy that one more!

    As for Alice in Zombieland, the more I read about this series the less I want to read it XD

    Lovely reviews Siiri <3