Shadeland

The cover is pretty interesting!

For my third review of five, I have decided to review an indie book that I got for free on Smashwords. Now if any of you have been on Smashwords looking for a good free book, you know that it’s pretty much a gamble. I really wasn’t expecting much from this book and I was actually pretty surprised to find myself getting interested in this book. Although there were a couple of parts that were a bit slow, the book was a surprisingly refreshing and interesting read.

The book starts one years after the massive “coming out” of the Eidolon (there are many different species) as we are introduced to our protagonist Liv and her best friend Luke. Liv has known about the eidolon for a while because Luke told her his secret a while back. After the “coming out” there were waves of protests and riots, but things are relatively calm present day. The biggest challenge that the Eidolon face is the discrimination and disgust that come from certain humans. After a girl that Luke dropped off the previous night is murdered, Luke is deemed a suspect in her murder and imprisoned (mostly because he is not human). As Liv tries to solve the mystery and help prove Luke’s innocence, she meets a hunky bounty hunter named Jared and finds herself on a surprising adventure.

The characters of this book were a little more than decent. I liked Liv just fine, but I wasn’t totally enamored with her like I would have been with an awesome protagonist. I like the fact that she stood up against Jared, Luke, and anyone else who tried to tell her what to do. I liked the fact that she really didn’t talk unless she had something important to add, and I also enjoyed the fact that when she voiced an opinion/thought/comment, she expected everyone to listen and not to brush her off. Liv and Luke’s relationship was a little weird, but cute! They really understood each other well and I liked the way they interacted. Jared was not totally sah-woon worthy, but he was a pretty good love interest. Although at times he was a little sexist, it wasn’t overbearing or pig-like. There is potential for a love triangle but as of right now it seems pretty straightforward.

I really liked the idea of this book. I liked the fact that the “coming out” was still pretty recent and that we got to see the world as it was going through this adjustment period. One thing that I didn’t really like was that this book occurred over such a short period of time so we didn’t really see as much growth and development with the characters. Another thing that bothered me was the scope of the book, as they pretty much just stayed in one area and didn’t travel beyond – I would’ve liked to see how another area interacted with the Eidolon. Although I liked the premise of this book, I believe there were some parts of it that could’ve been improved upon.

I don’t know if this book is available for free on Smashwords still, but if it is, I do think that it is worth the time. If this book had cost money, I think that it would be a different story. While it is not a bad book by any means, I don’t know if I would spend more than maybe $3 on it. If you like paranormals and are looking for a quick read, this might be a good book for you. If you are looking for something with a little more substance, I would check out another book. Now on another topic: THIS IS DAY THREE AND THE FIVE DAYS ARE ALMOST UP!!!! *does happy dance*. I hope that you all have been checking out my reviews because let me tell ya, these things are stressing me out. Until tomorrow guys!

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1…2…3…YA READY?!

Okay, so as we all know, I have been a very neglectful blogger lately. I’M SORRY. Summer makes me lazy thus my erratic posting. However, I am going to make it up to all of my faithful readers (do I even have those?) by posting five reviews in honor of the last week of summer. That’s right, I said it, FIVE REVIEWS. I feel like if I post this post I am obligated thus I cannot not do it. I have already decided what books I am going to review but I’ll surprise you guys!

So on the opposite side of the spectrum, I have really been thinking a lot about my reviews and if I go too easy/hard on certain books. I really have been thinking about what criterion a book has to meet in order for it to be “good” in my standards. When I am starring books on Goodreads (I can’t review EVERYTHING I read or else we’d be here for days) I sometimes ponder certain books a lot and sometimes I end up going back to them and changing their rating. So in order to help you all understand what my process is, I have decided to devise a short list (and by short I mean like really really short).

1. What is the book supposed to be? Obviously in YA we don’t have a lot of deep, hard hitting stories that really reach into your core and change something within you. On Goodreads there is a list called “The Greatest Books of All Time” and it honestly sickens me that Twilight is at the top of the list. As I scrolled down the list I saw classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn and honestly I can tell you that the majority of books on that list were classics. THERE IS A REASON THEY ARE CLASSICS! You can’t compare Twilight to a classic because there is LITERALLY NOTHING TO COMPARE! So what I am trying to get at is that you have to look at a book for what it is supposed to be. If it is supposed to be a cheesy-chick-lit YA book, don’t compare it to Jane Austen, compare it to others of it’s kind! So when a book gets a really good review from me, that means that I think it is good for what it is supposed to be, not in comparison to heavy duty reading!

2. How did I like the characters? Are they all relate-able? I think that the most important element of a book is the characters for sure. If I don’t even like the characters, how am I supposed to be interested in the novel? For a character to be interesting to me, I have to connect with them on multiple levels meaning that even if I have never been in their situation, I have to be able to understand why they make choices that they make. The secondary characters, to me, are just as important if not more important that the main ones. When a protagonist has a good supporting group, it makes me so much more interested and invested in them. Awesome examples of great protagonists and supporting characters can be found in Sarah Dessen novels, don’t ask me how she does it – SHE’S THE QUEEN.

3. Timing is EVERYTHING. If a book moves too fast, I absolutely cannot STAND it. However, if a book moves too slow, it can hurt it as well. A book that I’ve read recently that had pacing problems (it went WAY too fast) was Girl Possessed by Réussie Miliardario. I didn’t like the protagonist to start with but the plot was interesting enough for me to continue reading. However, what killed it was the pacing – TOO FAST. I can’t think of an example of a book that moved slow enough to kill it for me because slowness doesn’t bother me as much. At the end of the day the author must set the pace of the book correctly in order for me to not become uninterested/bored.

These are the three main things that really decide if I like a book or not, the most important being number one of course! YA is a genre filled with amazing books and then some not-so-amazing books, so in order for me to find the best ones, of course I’m going to stumble on a few bad apples and a few good ones. There will always be the unremarkable ones, the great ones, and the terrible ones, so I have to do my best to find the ones worth reading.

On a lighter note, tomorrow begins the “Five Days of Reviews” for you, and the “FIve Days of I-actually-have-to-do-stuff” for me. Until tomorrow lovely readers!

Obligatory Introductory Post

Hi guys, my name’s Gaby and I’m the best book reviewer you’ll ever find. Haha just kidding, but I am an avid reader who loves to give the lowdown on

every book I read. Books are like candy to me, sometimes you’re craving a crappy teen love story, sometimes a paranormal romance, sometimes a more manly book, etc. I am a person that reads them all. I love to curl up with a good book and get lost, but unfortunately some books are just NOT good. So in order to save people time and money, I’ve decided to start reviewing books and giving you the good, bad, and ugly of them all. If you’d like me to review a certain book or bite my head off for a review, please feel welcome to submit a comment. This blog is for teen book lovers everywhere and I hope that you find it useful!