Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reviews: Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil and The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

Title: Get Dirty (Don't Get Mad #2)
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Donté is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.
Review by Nara

Get Dirty is the continuation and conclusion of the Don't Get Mad duology. After the massive cliffhanger at the end of Get Even, I was definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this book, if only to finally find out the identity of the killer.

I definitely feel like I enjoyed the first book more than this one. While the stakes are higher in this book, the first just felt a lot more realistic to me (which is saying something, because to be honest, book one, while not unbelievable, wasn't the most realistic contemporary). I feel like McNeil did a much better job of having the four points of view as intertwining, yet separate plotlines in Get Even. This book just felt a bit messy overall.

I feel like the culprit is pretty unpredictable. I remember when the villain's identity was revealed, I was sitting there thinking to myself wtf. But it's not the sort of surprise that was bad, because the killer's actions weren't out of character or anything like that. It was just that person wasn't someone I was even considering at all, to be quite frank. I keep wondering to myself whether I should go back and have a read to see if there are any big clues about the villain's identity, but at the same time there are probably better books out there that I could be reading.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend this duology to everyone. It's perhaps something that you should read if you like Pretty Little Liars style stories.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5

Title: The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy #3)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.
Oh my god, seriously, these covers. They kill me they're so epic. I think this last cover is actually the best of the three, maybe because DRAGONS. More specifically LIGHTNING DRAGONS.

Anyway, going on to reviewing the actual book- unfortunately, I feel like this series lost its momentum a little, with The Immortal Heights ending up being a somewhat satisfying conclusion that wasn't really up to the level of the previous books.

The writing was so medieval that it was kind of hard to read sometimes. I'm sure the writing style hasn't changed from the first two books, but for some reason it grated on me more in this one. Maybe I just wasn't concentrating enough while reading? I don't know, but I have to say, this was one of the big reasons the book got rated down compared to the previous ones. The other reason was that the plot wasn't as epic as I wanted, with the final conclusion not being the big conflict I expected it to be.

The romance was still as swoonworthy as I remembered, but I have to admit, I was still frustrated with how they kept things from each other to stop the other person "worrying". I feel like it's always better to know things than to be kept in the dark, as secrets have a way of getting out at the worst time.

All in all, the whole series was a pretty good one. I probably would still recommend it, although this third book wasn't quite as good as the others.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3.5/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5