Sunday, May 12, 2013

Double Review Sunday: the Keepers by J.L. Block and Arabelle's Shadows by Fleur Gaskin

I'm quite pleased with myself for finally sitting down to do these two reviews. I have a super annoying to-do list app on my phone that keeps nagging and nagging me about this, so I figured I might as well do it now. I'm booked all next week, so here it goes.

By the way, I have a headache. Appreciate this.

The Keepers by J.L. Block
YA Fantasy 
Published March 19, 2013
Publisher: Self Published 
My Rating: 7.5/10

Ava's ordinary life is shattered when she is attacked and becomes involved in a secret society of magic.

Alongside the Keepers, Ava needs to mediate as the magics collide and are becoming out of control. She must Keep the increasing amount of secrets safe - even from her family. But there's a rising tension within this group as Ava replaces a fallen Keeper, and it becomes an issue of trust. The Rogues, betrayers to this creed, threaten to devastate the Keepers, who think themselves safe.

It will take both Ava’s inner and outer strength to overcome the chaos, or as she now knows, the Visma and by extension, the mysterious Rogues that surround her.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Keepers, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I was intrigued by the concept of the story (Keep in mind that I received a synopsis a little different from the one above.) The beginning of the story drew me in. I don't think this counts as a spoiler, (but just in case, SPOILER ALERT!)  Ava was attacked by a person on her way out of work. Well, not attacked, more like startled. The funny thing about Ava is she's not really brave, which makes her sort of an unlikely hero. I liked how through the story, we're just waiting for Ava to prove herself and discover the abilities she possesses. I can't say that ever really happens, but by the end, Ava does have more understanding of herself, and that's good enough for me. 

Throughout the story, we learn of a bunch of different "groups" with different powers. This got me a little confused. There were a variety of groups, and I definitely couldn't keep track of them all. I did manage to remember the good guys and bad guys, which is all you pretty much need to know. But if you want to thoroughly understand the world created in the book, this might be a problem for you. 

I did like the story. There were a few things that surprised me and almost made me cry. There were other things where I was biting my fingernails, trying to figure out how Ava was going to get out of whatever predicament she was in. So needless to say, the plot was well formed. Heck, the plot was excellent. 

The only thing I didn't like was the lack of romance in the book. Ahem, SPOILER ALERT, again, but normally when someone has a best friend of the opposite sex, and fake dates someone, then their best guy friend gets jealous, its a perfect recipe for romance. So when that didn't happen, I was like, "What the heck?" I think the author was extremely capable of creating a good romance scene and she shouldn't have let it slip by. 

Okay, so that's it. I did like the Keepers, and I choose to keep it on my shelves. I would be interested in reading whatever J.L. Block has to offer next. I just hope she takes advantage of her abilities and decides to put a romantic aspect in there.

One down. One to go. 

The next book I'll be reviewing is Arabelle's Shadows. I was supposed to do this last month, so sorry to the author. I don't blame you if you say mean things about me on Twitter. 

Arabelle's Shadows by Fleur Gaskin
NA Fiction
Published November 19, 2012
Publisher: Self Published
My Rating: 7/10

Everything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn't as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

I have just a sliver of experience in "the industry" so I was more than happy to read about a character trying to get her feet off the ground. Our main character appears to be just a thriving young girl, but in actuality  she suffers from depression and confusion. She never has money, and a lot of time she's drinking or partying, only to crash the next day. 
I wasn't sure if I would like the book because it started off slow. It's written in the format of a diary entries.    The reason I don't like reading books set up like this is I know how real diaries are set up, and they're not as deep and lengthy as what I see in books. These aspects kind of turned me off. Then, the narrative would switch up between the past and the present, and it was extremely hard to figure out if things were happening now or had already happened. That made reading it a pain.
But I liked how "real" the book was. I like how it dealt with Arabelle's confusion and disappointment in herself. I never had a read a book with "shadows" so it was pretty interesting to see how Arabelle would shoot herself down, only to shoot herself up the next day. This is something everyone, including me, experiences. It was cool to finally see it in words.
Isn't the cover art cool? I never really talk about covers because that's kind of petty, but I like the meaning within it. 
I liked Arabelle's Shadows, but I don't think the format of it was executed well. Maybe had it been, I'd give it a higher rating. I liked what Fleur tried to do in the book and the message she tried to send. I definitely took something out of it. 

Learn more about "The Shadows".

*Sigh*. Okay I'm finished. I've cleared my conscience.

Remember to enter my SHUCKED giveaway here. IDK when it ends, but it's soon, so get a move on!

1 comment:

  1. what interesting books ty for the post I may check them out