Friday, September 30, 2016

Night School Resistance

Night School: Resistance

This one starts off with a bang- literally. After fleeing the academy in the last book Allie and Rachel are in the south of France, at Sylvain's estate. They are taking shelter there, having moved between safe houses, but trouble soon catches up. Judging that she can no longer be protected on the run, the decision is made to send Allie back to Cimmeria academy, where security has been greatly increased. Her and Rachel have enjoyed their time in France and Allie feels closer to Sylvain, but once they get back to Cimmeria things change again.

The identity of the spy has still not been revealed but Isabelle and Lucinda have taken steps to not only increase security but to mislead the spy as well. The rest of the book concerns itself with the changes at the academy, including the reduced student population, and the upcoming final struggle with Nathaniel. One thing I liked was the relationship between Allie and Katie- they're finally getting along now that everything is so dangerous. Katie is actually part of the group in this one, and along with Zoe and Nicole forms a pretty good support structure. And of course Allie is unsure of her feelings and still struggling to discover who she loves- Sylvain or Carter.

The good news is by the end we get some resolution of that. It's not all wrapped up but you can see where it's going, and I liked the direction it took. There's a confrontation that takes place, a few surprises, and then just when you think maybe everything will shake out- the cliffhanger. And it's a doozy. Things look bad at this point and I'm very curious to see how things play out in the final book. If I have any complaints about this one, it's that the book- like the previous three- hits a lot of the same beats. Nathaniel is a threat, there's a spy, who can you trust, who does Allie love. This book is more of the same, and at times I wondered about some of the decisions made. Not everything entirely adds up plot wise, but it's still an enjoyable read. At this point Cimmeria feels comfortable, the characters are compelling and it's just a fun place to read about.

 And more good news. The spy is finally revealed. You can see the building blocks for the conclusion of the series, and while I think this could have been three tighter books instead of five, I'm enjoying it and will miss it when the books are finished. The spy is exactly who I thought it was, which I thought obvious after the hint given in the first book, but it's nice to get that out of the way and see the ramifications. We get a little more insight also into the family issues at play here between Allie, Lucinda and Nathaniel. And Zoe and Nicole are a lot of fun here also.

So on balance I think a lot of this could have been skipped if the series had been shorter, a lot of angst- and Allie does go through a lot here, coming to terms with her grief over someone she lost and her conflicting feelings- but this is a fun story and I'll miss these books when I'm done. 

Bookcover Spotlight #68

This one's not bad... and I like that tagline.

Thursday, September 29, 2016



Nerve is a game of dares. The bigger the dare, the greater the reward. Vee is a theater geek who decides to play after some fallout between her and her best friend Sydney. The dares start out fairly harmless, although embarassing, but as you would expect they quickly morph into something else altogether. I like the idea of this in general and have read similar books such as Need by Joelle Charbonneau and Panic by Lauren Oliver. So I guess I'm predisposed to like this sort of thing. The problem with Nerve was that I just didn't feel a connection with the story. 

Nerve is also a movie and that's frankly how I know about the book. I thought the movie looked good and I always like to read the book first if I can. Plus again the premise. Vee's not bad, other than the fact that she feels like she's in the shadow of Sydney, who is of course hotter and more popular. Why did she pick me to be her friend, Vee wonders at one point. Seen that before? But other than that Vee is not a bad character, and I felt for her a bit. Something happened in her past that has everyone really cautious around her, and it's basically a misunderstanding. That was an intriguing angle, but the decisions Vee made I just couldn't wrap my head around. 

Her reasons for playing are pretty selfish and even though I know this is a teen protagonist, I just couldn't get behind her choices. And when everything goes wrong over and over she keeps thinking why did I do this, what a bad decision. Then shortly thereafter she goes for it again. So that lost me. I also had a hard time suspending disbelief- which was not a problem for me with Need or Panic. For some reason this one just didn't seem as compelling to me, I don't even know why.And this is not to say Nerve is a bad book- I think the writing is fine and plenty of people will probably love it, it just wasn't for me. 

The supporting players were pretty good. We have Tommy the geeky guy who has a thing for Vee (and she's totally oblivious), and then Ian the hot guy who she gets paired with (are uber- prominent cheekbones that much of a thing???) and I felt genuinely nervous for the characters as they went about their dares- so in that sense the writing is effective. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #32


This one looks intriguing, and I like a good lycanthrope story. Bonus points: it's set in Michigan and the setting is a small town stripped of resources by a company called Dutch Chem. I couldn't help but wonder if this is a veiled reference to Dow Chemical in mid- Michigan. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted. Everyone is welcome to join. Link back to The Broke and the Bookish so everyone can check out other bloggers' lists. It's a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers.

NerveThe Wanderers (The Wanderers, #1)Starflight (Starflight, #1)Replica (Replica, #1)Dead Girls SocietyFear the Drowning DeepGemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)  


The Wanderers (The Wanderers, #1)

Why do I never seem to get to this book? Oh yeah I've bought it TWICE and both times got the wrong book- Amazon had another book with the same title. So I got burned twice, and haven't ordered a physical copy yet... 

Starflight (Starflight, #1)

Replica (Replica, #1)

Dead Girls Society

Fear the Drowning Deep

Tuesday Tagline

Radio Silence

This tagline along with that cover image of a road at night has a melancholy air to it or a sense of desperation. I definitely want to know more. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cover Characteristics CYOA

Cover Characteristics is a meme by Sugar and Snark- every week a characteristic is selected and we post 5 books with that week's theme.  

This week's pick- Choose Your Own Adventure 

This week is another rogue topic as the official topics are on hiatus. So I decided to go with the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I was actually doing last weeks post and used a few of the CYOA books, and it got me thinking- why not highlight some of the best covers? Best being subjective of course- here are my picks for favorite CYOA covers. Enjoy! 

Image result for choose your own adventure booksImage result for choose your own adventure booksImage result for space and beyond choose your own adventureImage result for choose your own adventure books Image result for underground kingdom choose your own adventure imageImage result for choose your own adventure books Image result for choose your own adventure booksImage result for lost on the amazonThe Phantom Submarine (Choose Your Own Adventure, #26)Image result for choose your own adventure books

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Time travel right off the bat and I wish I had some fun anecdotes to share but I hardly remember it... 

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I never read this one. 

Image result for space and beyond choose your own adventure

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Image result for underground kingdom choose your own adventure image

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This one could be fun. 

The Phantom Submarine (Choose Your Own Adventure, #26)

I like this cover a lot, it may even be my favorite.  

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I don't think I ever read this one either, but it looks fun. 


This post over at Quirk books from a couple years ago had some great suggestions for books that would make a great CYOA. Here are a few. 

Fandom Mashup

Fandom Mashups

Fandom Mashups is an original feature hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. Every week she proposes a fictional scenario and then we build our own dream team of five characters from five different fandoms to complete the task.  

You've discovered the Sword in the Stone! Who do you want to help you free it?  

King Arthur

We have to have Arthur since he is the only one who can free the sword.


Image result for gandalf images

Luke Skywalker

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As a new Jedi knight Luke would certainly know about special swords.

Black Canary 

The best thing about Arrow.

Dr. Who

Because with a situation like this we may need his talents. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sunday Post #161

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Another hot week, sunny and warm- it's supposed to cool off this weekend. Summer is hanging on but autumn is almost here.  Actually Thursday was the first day  of fall. Man that was a quick summer. In other news I got sick this week. Stuff's going around and I caught it somewhere. But other than that it was a good week. I read some stuff and returned to Netflix (my preciousss) so all is good. 

Heather at Random Redheaded Ramblings was talking Omnia and her, La La in the Library and I are doing a triple review of it in October. So that should be fun. Omnia was super cheap on Amazon last I checked. 

I read Nerve this week and will be reviewing it on Thursday. I also posted my thoughts on The Girl From The Sea here

The Girl from the SeaNerve

This is very well done and worth a look. It's about three stormtroopers right before they go into battle- no explosions, just three guys talking about why they're doing it. Check it out- what do you think? 

And I'm listening to



Replica (Replica, #1)Dead Girls Society


The difference between elves and fairies explained.  

These two songs go together very well and play back to back on a compilation I have.  It's good mood music for reading, especially dark fantasy. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Night School Fracture

Night School: Fracture

Night School Fracture picks up where the second book left off- Allie is in a dark place after the events of the last book and she is lashing out at those around her, even if she doesn't realize it yet. Furious and heartbroken over the loss of someone close to her, she decides to set out on her own to achieve vengeance- and sneaks away from the academy to go her own path. Of course this is not the best idea in the world, and since this is a Night School book it's probably not a spoiler to say she ends up back there- but this is an Allie that's very troubled in this one.

This was my least favorite of the three Night School books I've read so far- and yet I still enjoyed it. The problem is right from the beginning- Allie makes questionable choices, puts others at risk, and leaves behind those who can help her. For someone who has settled into life at Cimmeria academy and come to grips with her heritage, it seems kind of dumb. Yes she is grieving, but she's also been seriously injured in the last book- so how far was she going to go anyway? I felt like the author was trying to paint Allie's grief and angst so strongly that she went overboard a bit. Once Allie gets back to the school and back in with her friends it starts to feel like a Night School book again.

Which is not to say the author should always play it safe. In fact this one deson't seem to add much to the plot- the students have to step up when it seems like the intructors have dropped the ball- and Nathaniel is still preparing to strike, but really wasn't that the premise of the first two books, more or less? I was expecting more here. Other than some revelations about the organization behind Night School this was another three hundred plus pages of life at the academy, with the usual skulking around and plotting. Not that that's a bad thing- I like Cimmeria and all the skulking. It seems like each book is more or less covering a school term- this one starts after the disastrous Winter ball from last time and takes us into the spring.

The other issue here is the spy. I was pretty sure we would find out the spy's identity in this one- but no. I'm pretty sure I know who it is, based on a clue from book one- yes that far back and still no resolution. Since this is a five book series I can see that this is maybe getting stretched out a bit, but still the opportunities were there in this one to reveal the spy with a splash- instead this feels somewhat like a retread of the second book. I think a little more needed to happen here. Still, I enjoyed this. The academy feels comfortable now, and frankly I enjoy the camaraderie between the students and the scheming and plotting.

It's a fun place to spend time. As I've noted before, the only thing this series needs is magic or the paranormal. It's got everything else going on for a boarding school book. The place has atmosphere and I love the students. Katie the mean girl gets a bit of nuance in this one- you want to like her but she's so nasty to Allie it isn't even funny. Zoe is back and steals most of the scenes she's in- don't let anything happen to Zoe!!!- and Carter and Sylvain continue to vie for Allie's attentions. Although the love triangle is seriously getting tedious- Allie is more or less with Sylvain now and Carter is with Jules, but she's so unsure of her feelings and we see this seesaw back and forth between the two. It's getting annoying.

So I think the love angst needs to go away or get reasonably tamped down going forward. It grated in this one- did Allie regress- she was so tough and confident in the first two books and here she's a mess- I know the author is probably trying to develop her but this is the first book where I felt like I didn't click with Allie. Everything else is fine other than the slow moving plot. But the setting and the interactions between students still makes me turn pages. I like that Nicole stepped up in this one and became part of the group. And Cimmeria's vaunted security as usual is not up to the task of keeping the students safe! So much for the best security in the world- but I guess if they were we wouldn't have a story!