2015 Book #106 – Wendy Darling by Colleen Oakes

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Title: Wendy Darling
Author: Colleen Oakes
Date finished: 10/10/15
Genre: YA
Publisher: SparkPress
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Pages in book: 324
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Wendy Darling series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Wendy Darling has a perfectly agreeable life with her parents and brothers in wealthy London, as well as a budding romance with Booth, the neighborhood bookseller’s son. But one night, while their parents are at a ball, the charmingly beautiful Peter Pan comes to the Darling children’s nursery, and—dazzled by this flying boy with god-like powers—they follow him out of the window and straight on to morning into Neverland, an intoxicating island of freedom.
As time passes in Neverland, Wendy realizes that this Lost Boy’s paradise of turquoise seas, mermaids, and pirates holds terrible secrets rooted in blood and greed. As Peter’s grasp on her heart tightens, she struggles to remember where she came from—and begins to suspect that this island of dreams, and the boy who desires her, have the potential to transform into an everlasting nightmare.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Wendy Darling, a name familiar to many as the girl from the tale of Peter Pan. This book is the first in a series delving into Wendy’s life and her adventures and travels in London and Neverland. Wendy and her two brothers, John and Michael, live with their parents in London, England. Wendy is in love with the book seller’s son, Booth, from down the street. Once night a strange young man appears at the Darling childrens’ bedroom window, a young man who can fly and promises them a world of adventure if they will come on a journey with him. And he promises that their parents won’t even miss them, won’t even know they’re gone, and that they can return home whenever they wish.
And then the Darlings are in Neverland! Neverland is a magical place where all the landscapes are gorgeous, the sky is always blue, and you always feel right at home. After spending just one day in Neverland, Wendy can’t remember where it is she used to live, or who she used to live with. And whenever she kisses Peter, she can’t understand why she feels a pang of guilt. And then she meets the murderously jealous Tink, a fairy who is very possessive of Peter and will do whatever it takes to get Wendy out of the way.
Overall this was an ok book. It was a little wordy to me in some of the descriptions but the plot was interesting. Also, to be honest the story was a little dark/violent for me but I could definitely understand how people would get hooked on the story, especially with the cliffhanger at the end. I don’t know if I personally am interested enough to read the second book (again it was a little dark for my tastes) but I was hoping to find out what happens to Wendy and her family and Booth in the end so I might just have to continue with the series. I have to say though I wanted to freaking punch John in the face pretty badly, and I found it to be a little weak that Wendy was constantly apologizing to John when he was such an ass to her. Hopefully Wendy stands up for herself a little more in the next book in the series.

The bottom line: I didn’t particularly love this book. It was a little dark/violent for me, but it had a really interesting story line and I would recommend it to fans of Peter Pan who can handle the darkness.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #58

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The fifty-eighth book I read in 2014 was Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I finished this book on 7/14/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This is the first book in the Dangerous Creatures series (hopefully there will be more to come!) which is a spin-off from the Beautiful Creatures series. All the other books in the Beautiful Creatures series are reviewed on this blog as well. This first book in the Dangerous Creatures series tells the story of Lena’s cousin Ridley and Ethan’s best friend Link. Link heads off to New York to try and make it in the music business and Ridley decides to tag along. Unknown to Link though, Ridley has some motives of her own for heading up to the Big City. 

Over the summer, Ridley lost it big in a Underworld poker game. Now she owes a lot to a very scary (but handsome) man named Lennox Gates. The least of Ridley’s debts is that Lennox needs a drummer for the band that will play at his new club in New York. What really worries Rid though is the house marker that Gates currently holds over her, the one that can make her do anything he wants whenever he asks for it. Getting Link to New York and getting him into the band is the easy part, avoiding Gates turns out to be not quite so simple. 

Things start going from bad to worse and Ridley finds herself alone on the street after her and Link have a falling out. And when Lennox takes her in (out of the goodness of his heart I’m sure) Ridley finds herself uncovering a lot more questions than answers about Lennox Gates. 

Overall I thought this was a great book. It was a good continuation from the Beautiful Creatures series and the novella published before this (Dangerous Dream) is a great lead in to this spin-off series. I was very interested in Ridley’s story and I am glad we got to see her grow as a character in this novel. I found myself empathizing alot with Ridley and wishing I could help her. 

Link to other blog reviews of Beautiful Creatures series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/beautiful-creatures/

Link to authors’ website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Creatures-Kami-Garcia/dp/0316370312/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405473024&sr=1-1&keywords=dangerous+creatures

2014 – Book #28

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The twenty-eighth book I read in 2014 was Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I finished this book on 4/21/14. This is the fourth (and last) book in the Beautiful Creatures series by these authors. The first three books in the series were discussed in my previous three blog posts. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up where the third left off, right after Ethan jumps off the water tower. As I said in the previous post, if you haven’t read the other books yet and you plan to, then I would avoid reading this review as some items mentioned might reveal plot twists from both the first three books in the series.

Unfortunately, Ethan sacrificed himself at the end of the third book so that a New Order could restore the Order that Lena broke when she claimed herself for both the Dark and the Light at the end of the second book. In the Otherworld he gets to see his mom which is sweet. His Aunt Prue though helps him figure out a way that he can get back to the land of the living. Turns out he was never supposed to die. One of the Keepers has been going rogue for hundreds of years and has apparently teamed up with Abraham Ravenwood to try and destroy all Mortals. Ethan was getting in his way so the Keeper got rid of him.

However, after Ethan finds out how he can get back to Lena he sets off on his journey to accomplish just that. Its a multi-step process that involves getting a lot of help from people along the way, including Lena, Amma, the Greats, his mom and friends he meets along the way. I thought it was interesting that this book had sections that were from Ethan’s point of view and then went to Lena’s and then back to Ethan’s. Especially with them at opposite ends of the universe it would have been hard to jump back and forth with every chapter so I liked that there were designated sections.

While I did like this book and I thought it was a great book to end the series, I did have some unanswered questions at the end of it and I hate having items that I can’t wrap up. For example, Ethan goes through this whole journey to come back to the land of the living. But the whole time he’s doing that, his human body is decaying in the ground. When he comes back to Lena’s world from the Otherworld, did he get a new body? Did his old body get magically fixed and transported? He jumps straight back to the water tower so did it just erase everything like his whole death never happened or did he come back after Lena had to live without him still for months? I just don’t fully follow how that whole thing went down and I feel like it could’ve been explained a little better. (I also wanted to know what happened to the whole business with Ethan’s fractured soul, did he get put back together?)

Other than a few open questions at the end of the story though, this book was quite fascinating. I loved the new world that Ethan got to experience as a dead guy, it was very interesting. Great read and what a great series. I would definitely recommend.

I’ve discovered by reviewing the author’s website too that there are 2 novellas connected with this series, one of which leads into the next series starter “Dangerous Creatures.” Stay tuned for reviews of these novellas, I’ll be reading those next!

Link to author website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Redemption-Creatures-Kami-Garcia/dp/0316123536/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1398170512

2014 – Book #27

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The twenty-seventh book I read in 2014 was Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I finished this book on 4/19/14. This is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures series by these authors. The first two books in the series were discussed in my previous two blog posts. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up where the second left off, after Lena’s Seventeenth Moon. As I said in the previous post, if you haven’t read the first book yet and you plan to, then I would avoid reading this review as soon items mentioned might reveal plot twists from both the first and second book.

So in the end of the second book Macon is resurrected and Lena and Ethan get back together. But as the summer turns to fall, things are turning apocalyptic in the small town of Gatlin. Locusts, extreme heat, and Ethan starts dreaming about rivers of blood. Amma is meeting with a black magic voodoo man for some reason that Ethan can’t figure out, and even worse Ethan is slowly losing pieces of his memory. Things are falling apart in Gatlin because Lena broke The Order when she claimed herself for both the dark and the light during her Seventeenth Moon. And with a best friend who is now a quarter Incubus, a wanna-be Siren trying to start trouble and find a way to get her powers back, and a 500 year old evil Blood Incubus trying to wipe out all of humanity, the End seems unavoidable.

As Lena and Ethan struggle not only through their daily high school lives but also the impending doom that grows stronger with the day, they look for a solution to the visions they’re experiencing and a way to save mankind. Abraham tears apart the town looking for John Breed, his science experiment, and after Lena and Ethan find him they try to use him to figure out what Abraham’s plans are. There were so many interesting magical twists and turns in this book, and I actually liked how the ending just left it all open. Doom and The End are coming and then it all just fades to black and we never find out what really happened.

This book was a great addition to the series. It was a little dry towards the middle but wow what a great cliffhanger ending, I can’t wait to read the next book. Great story with lots of interesting additions to the overall story over the series of books.

Link to author website: http://beautifulcreaturesauthors.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Chaos-Creatures-Kami-Garcia/dp/031612351X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397933779&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+chaos