Rummanah Aasi
  I wasn't sure what to review today so I decided upon doing some mini YA reviews. Below are the reviews for Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, and Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey.

Description: Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city, until she too becomes an immortal vampire. Forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls, she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

Review: I picked Immortal Rules up right away when I read glowing reviews and then I hesitated in reading it when my expectations grew. I put it off a bit longer when I read not so great reviews of the book. Immortal Rules is an okay book with a decent plot, but I didn't get pulled in like some other readers. I couldn't really separate this book from all the other paranormals that are out there. For the most part balances the dystopian and paranormal romance tropes are well done, but they take a long time to build. Unfortunately, I wasn't patient enough for the story or the secret unfoldings in the plot to unveil, instead I would read large chunks, get bored, and put it down for several days. The book is broken down to four parts, but it is the second part where Allie makes the transition between human to vampire that actually held my interest and make me think I was being a bit too harsh with the book except then Allison's mysterious mentor who stole the spotlight and drew me into the story leaves fairly quickly in the book and for me that was the last straw as his absence slowed down the pace of the book to a mere crawl. Even the romantic interest was bland. The book could have easily been cut in half especially where Allie wanders in the woods for over 200 pgs. I ended up skimming most of the book just to get it done. Needless to say I won't be continuing this series.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, strong violence, and a few disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen, Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Description (from Publisher): Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Review: Jackson Pearce takes the well known fairy tale of Red Riding Hood as her basis for a new story about sisterhood, loyalty, and love. What I loved most about the book is how complex the March sister's relationship is, exploring both the good and bad sides through alternating points of view. I will say that I liked Scarlet's adult voice who is driven and has a set plan in life, but I also enjoyed the vulnerability and sweetness of Rosie too. There is a nice, slow building romance in Sisters Red and a pretty good plot. I now wished I had read this book before diving into Sweetly by the author. I'd definitely recommend reading this book if you're interested in fairy tale retellings.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, strong violence, and a few disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: A Tale Dark and Grim by Adam Gidwitz, Bewitching by Alex Flinn, Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Description: It's one thing to find out you're a vampire princess. It's a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband's name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius's time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is-and whom she can trust-before it's too late?

Review: The first Jessica book, Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side, was a surprise find as it was funny and light. The second book, however, loses the charm of its predecessor. While there are a few good chuckles in the story, I found Jessica to be much more whiny and dense in this book. The plot wasn't all that exciting and it meanders. I also didn't care for how the book was structured by many short chapters that end abruptly only to be picked up by the next chapter (there are over 100 chapters in about 300 pages book). I definitely didn't enjoy this one as nearly as I liked the first one. I would skip this one and just read the first Jessica book instead.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and reference to drug use. Recommended for strong Grade 7 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Brennan, Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
10 Responses
  1. I have read Sweetly (and Fathomless) but not Sisters Red, which I get the impression that most people like the best. I really need to get to it.

  2. I've been putting off Immortal Rules for a while now for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I'm hoping that if I lower my expectations considerably, I'll be able to enjoy it.

  3. I loved Immortal Rules but I know people's reaction has varied widely. I agree the romance was bland. But I so loved the part with Kanin. I too was sad to see him go but I'm glad he's coming back.

  4. I liked Immortal Rules a bit better but I agree when her sire leaves the book gets a bit boring. I need to read Sisters Red it sounds really good. I personally liked book two in the Jessica series better, but overall I was really disappointed in the series and won't continue it. I so agree about the chapters I noted it in my review as well, so annoying!

  5. I enjoyed the Immortal Rules more than you did, but then I think I'm also expecting it to get better like her fae books got better...

    Hm... I've been on the fence about Sisters Red. I really may have to try it. I might have to see if the library has it available.

  6. I've seen mixed reviews for Jessica Rules the Dark Side which is why I haven't read it. I don't want to tarnish my enjoyment of Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side :)

    It's too bad you didn't enjoy The Immortal Rules, Rummanah. Though I liked it more, I found a large part of it to be really slow-paced too.

  7. So sorry you didn't like Immortal Rules. I love the Jackson Pearce that I've read. Haven't read the newer things. But love her sense of humor. Haven't read the last one, but will skip the it unless I just love Jessica's Guide.

  8. Candace Says:

    I loved Immortal Rules though I agree the romance wasn't the best. I didn't like Sisters Red that much but look forward to reading something else by her. I liked Jessica's Guide when I read it AGES ago but still haven't read this one. I guess I might not be missing much so maybe I never will.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Ohhh, bummer! I really loved the first Jessica book so I was looking forward to #2, but your like the 5th person who has said..meh...

    I did love Sisters Red and Immortal Rules....;) Great mini's Rummanah.

  10. Jenny Says:

    Awwww sorry the Immortal Rules didn't really work for you Rummanah! I'm glad you liked Sisters Red though, I really enjoyed that one and am greatly looking forward to her Little Mermaid retelling in Fathomless:) Her books are just really entertaining I think!

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