Tag Archives: Sophia S. ’15

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (review by Sophia S. ’15)

Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A teenager manages to obtain a gun and uses that weapon in a public place, causing panic and terror, all of which is publicized in the media. Sound familiar? Jordan explores a world where violent behavior is spawned by the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS). And the country representative of the free world is the leader of the international movement to oppress the doomed individuals who carry the HTS gene. But do genes define who you are? Davy Hamilton used to think so, at least before she tested positive for the HTS gene. Can a harmless, popular, Julliard-bound high school girl be the chillingly mindless killer society thinks she is? The only thing “chilling” about this novel is the possibility of this society arising from a government desperate to appease the terrified victims of violence. Jordan taps into the deep well that is speculation of societal behavior but shies away from that meaningful subject to lash together a rote chick flick. Select parts of the story are stimulating, but the majority of Uninvited is mind numbingly cliché. Recommended for readers in a mood for light reading. – Sophia S. ’15

View all my reviews

A Countess Below the Stairs by Eva Ibbotson (review by Sophia S. ’15)

A Countess Below StairsA Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although Eva Ibbotson’s matter-of-fact writing takes some getting used to, I wish more authors would adopt her unique style of frank writing. The narrator’s humor is understated – not unlike a terribly funny joke delivered with a poker face. A Countess Below the Stairs delves into a servant’s world in the early 1900’s and revolves around Anna, an impoverished Russian countess posing as a housemaid in household of an engaged English earl. Unsurprisingly, the earl and the countess fall in love. In the meantime, the inhabitants of Mersham Manor discover that the earl’s fiancée’s glamor is only skin deep. The gem of the book is the delightfully wicked plan a determined butler concocts to drive the shallow woman away. Although the plot is captivating, the romance is not. Anna and Rupert’s love blooms from so astonishingly few meaningful encounters as to render it unreal. While it’s unlikely Ibbotson’s title will resonate for long, readers will enjoy the story. – Sophia S. ‘15

View all my reviews

Altered by Jennifer Rush (review by Sophia S. ’15)

Altered (Altered, #1)Altered by Jennifer Rush
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The plot of a romance between genetically enhanced, mentally and physically, super-human boy and a girl whose memories have been altered without her knowledge vs. the secret organization that experiments medically on human subjects has so much potential, but this book simply does not measure up. I understand what the author is trying to accomplish in the scenes where characters discover hidden truths about their lives, truths that impact their views of their place in the world, but as a reader, I am unaffected. This book also is unsuccessful in the romance department. The subtleties between the protagonists are so understated and nuanced as to be negligible. The style is similar yet inferior to Lauren Kate’s writing. All in all, not recommend except for fans devoted to supernatural romance. – Sophia S. ‘15

View all my reviews

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (review by Sophia S. ’15)

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I admit I was drawn to this book due to its mysterious cover. Who doesn’t love female spies? I had hoped that Etiquette and Espionage would enliven the female spy character utilized by some authors – it has been rendered trite by many. Unfortunately, this book does not overcome that particular banality. Carriger’s sophisticated writing, however, is appealing, especially in tandem with the snort-out-loud sass that the main character Sophronia produces. In the midst of the espionage is a science fictional backdrop of steam punk Britain, which provides interesting fodder for adventure. The sequel should be an interesting read, and I am looking forward to the emotional development of the young female protagonist. A light novel; readers of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series will enjoy this sci-spy title. – Sophia S. ‘15

View all my reviews

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (review by Sophia S. ’15)

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although this book’s plot is the worn out story line of a secret princess-assassin fighting a hidden evil with the help of a handsome prince and a captivating guard, the author inserts just enough originality to captivate the reader’s attention. The saving graces include perfectly timed and honed humor scattered throughout the dialogue, surprisingly sophisticated character development, and only a brief flirtation with the cliche of the girl torn between the two male protagonists (the author expresses disinterest in that age-old struggle before the end of the book). Maas sets up a sequel perfectly, and I will definitely read the second novel. Overall, avid readers of Tamora Pierce and Cassandra Clare will enjoy this action-packed and light romance. – Sophia S. ’15

View all my reviews