The Title Page is a book review blog with a focus on YA Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, and Science Fiction.

I’m Back!

Or trying to be. Really busy with school so the reading has gone on the backburner, but I’m working on it! I should be posting some reviews shortly, as well as an update on my editing work.

Just wanted to give an update!

GatedGated by Amy Christine Parker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I received Gated as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Gated is a story of Lyla, a girl who was raised in a community, that (unbeknownst to her) is actually a cult. Since she was 5, she has been trained to protect herself, be a contributing part of the community, and was sworn to secrecy from the outside world.

This all changes when she meets Cody.

Picking up this novel, I was a bit weary because my type of read is normally of the sci-fi genre. I’m not really into anything that doesn’t involve magic, or dragons, or something along those lines. This book was very refreshing because, while it was all possible in the real world, it was still an extremely entertaining read.

One thing this book lacked was fitting character development.

Lyla’s character is bold and open minded. It’s a bit out of place, seeing as she has been raised in this community where they are essentially brainwashed their entire lives. It would make more sense for an outsider to have the thoughts and feelings she does, or even one of the adults who had entered the community at an older age.

Cody is sweet, but his character seemed a bit unnecessary. I felt like he was only in the novel to introduce the standard love triangle.

Pioneer just didn’t fit the bill. He was the leader of the cult, which (by definition) needs to have a religious or spiritual basis. I didn’t get this feeling from Pioneer. All I got from him was some guy who was really good at manipulating people who are vulnerable and wants to be in charge of a bunch of people.

(view spoiler)[By the end of the book, Pioneer reveals to Lyla that he wants to kill everyone in the community. He doesn’t want to “deliver them to heaven” or anything like that. He just honestly wants to murder a ton of people. This seems so out of place for a cult leader that I just couldn’t process it as reasonable. Pioneer turned out more like a mass murderer than a cult leader, and it didn’t make any sense. (hide spoiler)]

The plot was interesting, a cult-raised youth coming to terms with the outside world. It kind of reminded me of the TV show Breaking Amish. I liked the whole Lyla-coming-into-herself plot more than the Pioneer-murdering-everyone plot.

I do recommend the book for anyone who is willing to go into it with an open mind. There are some large character flaws, but I think it’s worth the read for the plot and setup alone.

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A Clockwork Heart (The Chronicle of Light and Shadow, #2)A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz

DISCLAIMER: I received A Clockwork Heart as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 2 Stars

A Conspiracy of Alchemists was a great novel, it set the standard for the Liesel Schwarz steam-punk series. It was exciting with some strange flaws, but I opted to like it anyways.

A Clockwork Heart sadly fell flat of my expectations. While it was more interesting to read, the story was dry and everything seemed to work out a bit too perfectly. Elle is a completely different character than she was in the first novel, she’s far too dependant on Marsh and seems incapable of functioning once he disappears from the novel, about 20% in.

The dialogue was filled with old-tymey banter, it gives you the feeling that the author was trying way too hard. There was a scene where I swore they said the term “ever so slightly” at least 18 times.

The new protagonist was too good to be true. An evil (but gorgeous) witch lady who can control the weather and wants Marsh for her own? And then, of course, her death comes by far too easily. The climax battle was overly confusing. It goes from a civil conversation between enemies to a battle of air balloons in a matter of seconds.

The ending seemed harsh to me. I got the feeling that Schwarz was just trying way too hard to have an unhappy ending. The book went on way too long as well, it should have ended chapters before it did.

All in all, I was extremely disappointed with the novel, but because I liked the first one so much I will give Schwarz the benefit of the doubt and read the third when it comes out.

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Rating: 2 Stars

I was really disappointed with this book. I heard this was such a great novel, the next big thing, better than the Hunger Games! But, no.

It was predictable, overdone, and quite honestly, horribly written. The main character annoyed me, the plot annoyed me, and the writing annoyed me.

Everything annoyed me.

From reading this novel alone, I will avoid all other Rick Yancey novels, because he seems to lack the general knowledge it takes to write a good book. Like how to speak in persons, or how not to have the corniest dialogue on the face of the earth. “I love you… my mayfly.” Really? Save me the insta-love-spew-fest.

I heard this book was great. I must have only read the reviews that the publisher paid to have written, because this book deserves a max of 3 stars. I’ve read better self-published YA dystopian fiction.

Okay, just to get all of my thoughts in one place, let me break it down (with pictures!)

The Plot

The plot of The 5th Wave is that of an alien apocalypse. The aliens attack in 5 waves to wipe out humankind. They do the whole EMP thing, the disease thing, the whole taking-over-human-bodies thing. All been said and done.

Then they start training kids to take out other humans… ummm okay? Tell me, if you are a giant alien army who has wiped out so much of humankind already, why do you feel the need to TRAIN human children to do the rest for you? That’s just so freaking stupid!

The Romance

Now, romance is normally an extremely difficult hurdle to jump when writing a YA novel. Partially because it’s so hard to stay away from the insta-love-do-anything-for-the-girl-I-just-met piece, and partially because if you avoid romance completely, it makes for a very boring novel. (Don’t deny it readers, you may roll your eyes at the romance, but you’d be bored without it.)

But one of the worst things an author can do it try to merge a powerful love story with a powerful plot. There just simply ins’t enough room in a single book for both. If the plot is overpowering, we get The Hunger Games: Mockingbird where no one, not even the main characters, give a shit about what happens in the romantic plot. If the romance is too overpowering you get so many crappy YA novels that I can’t even single it down to one example.

I digress. In this book, they introduce an insta-love romance plot, and then just kinda disregard it.

Let me tell you, if (view spoiler)[I was so deeply in love with someone as Cassie was written to be with Evan, I wouldn’t be kissing other guys right after he dies, I’d be all:

(hide spoiler)]

The Writing

I don’t have much to say about the writing except that it was awful. Absolute shit.

As I mentioned in one of my updates, the author switches from first to third person and back, which is the #1 do not do of writing. I wanted to stop right then, but I paid for this book, so I’ll be damned if I don’t finish it.

Also, the book is insanely repetitive. I wish I had counted how many times the author states not to trust anyone, or that the alien’s genius plan was to have the humans unknowingly kill themselves (which, as I said before, is fucking stupid).

I need to stop now or I’m gonna over-do it with the GIFs, but as you can see, I wasn’t a big fan of the book.

P.S. Whenever I am with someone in a bookstore, and they see this book, they go “What’s the five wave… I don’t get it.”

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Fragments

Fragments (Partials, #2)Fragments by Dan Wells

Rating: 2 Stars

So, we have a really popular book. Great reception, awesome cover, everyone seemed to love it. What do we do to boost the fame? Write a mediocre sequel, but here’s the kicker….. USE THE SAME EXACT COVER! Woah! Amazing! I mean, of course, we can’t use the EXACT SAME THING, so lets add another person in there, and change up the skyline a bit. WINNING!

This book was so badly thought out and researched, I want to cry out in anger… “Why, Dan Wells? Why take a great read like Partials and continue it like this?!”
I hate it when sequels ruin the first novel of a series. It happened in Rot and Ruin, it happened in Delirium, and it happened here.

This book is Boring (with a capital B). I wanted to rip my hair out reading it. The only thing that kept me going was pointing out every little inconsistency in my head. I want to make a prediciton. Dan Wells lives/lived in or near Manhattan. He has traveled to Chicago… hmm… maybe, once?

This book follows Kira and Samm and some other empty shells of people on their journey to Chicago from Manhattan, and then on to Denver. They ride horse. Yes, horses! A topic that so many YA authors and readers are super interested in and have tons of knowledge about. So maybe, Dan, maybe could you have researched the topic a bit? Too much trouble? Oh, ok. So they ride these horse (which apparently don’t act or require sustenance like present day horses) and eventually end up in a flooded Chicago, looking for one single database on one single computer in one single office in one single building in one single gigantic city. And what powers computers? Go figure. There hasn’t been power on the grid in 10 years, but, hey, they’ll figure it out as they go. Oh, and apparently you can extend walkie-talkie distance a thousand miles just by connecting some solar panels to some radio antennae! Woe is me, that’s just golly amazing!

I digress. I hated this book, because I hated what it did to the series. I don’t believe it’s a truly awful book, it just ruined so many things from me. Also, I have bald spots from pulling my own hair out throughout the novel.

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Scare MeScare Me by Richard Jay Parker

DISCLAIMER: I received Scare Me as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 2 Stars

Before you read my review, I want you to know something about me. I am a very technical person. Things that don’t matter to other people mean a lot to me. A lot of the negatives in this review will reflect the technical issues in this book.

It should be mentioned before you read this book that the protagonist and his family live in the UK. It isn’t mentioned until about 80% through the book, and it threw me off completely.

Scare Me is a genius idea. If serial killing wasn’t a horrible crime, I’d say the author has quite a talent for it. (Kidding, of course, it takes a lot more to kill someone than coming up with a murder-filled scavenger hunt).
The way the plot for Scare Me was planned out was incredibly interesting, and what drew me to the book in the first place.

The things that brought the book down are (again) the technical aspects of it. Mostly, the phone calls and internet access that the protagonist seemed to have an unlimited supply of. He travels across continents, ditches and purchased phones, and keeps track of mobile devices through GPS, all without losing an internet connection or phone service. This is just completely unrealistic.

The author uses many different POVs to the point where it gets hard to follow. Throughout the book, we are following 6 different people at any given time. It’s thoroughly confusing and obnoxious, you can’t get more than a few pages before being thrown into another story-line.

Maybe that’s how mystery novels are supposed to be, and maybe that’s why I tend to stay away from the genre, but it took a 4 star book down a few notches, and that’s always sad to see.

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This Spring, the reviewers at The Title Page will be reading and reviewing the Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare.

The reviews will be posted as the books are read, be prepared!

Also, one lucky winner will win a copy of the first of the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Angel.

(you must have a Facebook account to enter this giveaway)

Enter our Clockwork Angel giveaway here!

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