Til Death by Kate Evangelista

9781622662333Title: Til Death

Author: Kate Evangelista

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: March 2014

Pages: 358

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.

Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?

When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.

Review

I was really excited when I received this book in my email *cough* last night. I hadn’t intended to stay up late to read it. Nope. I had many other things to do. Instead, I had to find out what happened. So I was up a bit late. That should tell you right there that I enjoyed the book.

Selena and Dillan are interesting characters and I enjoyed reading about them. The world that Evangelista has created is smooth and believable, and you can tell she has her details worked out. The relationship between characters is good, and as someone who has lived in a small town for awhile, it was pretty accurate in its portrayal. Selena is a great character, and Penny and Kyle are great supporting acts. They’re likeable and they have their own personalities. I wish Selena’s abilities were a little more defined and “played up,” just because it sometimes seemed like it got lost. Then again, I wonder if that was done on purpose. I get the impression her abilities are something that will grow with her character in future books, and I’m interested to see where that leads.

Dillan’s character, by the end, was one I liked. But I must admit that the cocky, abrasive personality has me struggling to like him in the beginning. When you finally figure out why he’s been sent to Wyoming, it makes a little more sense. I like that Dillan has an inner struggle going on and how that affects him and the way he deals with things. I just wish he’d stop being so prickly a little faster. I like that the characters have separate “issues” going on, outside of what is happening at the moment. The author has given all her characters a story, and it shows. Most of them have hints that they might intertwine and be important later, but it isn’t distracting or frustrating. 

The relationship between Selena and Dillan I enjoyed at the end, but it was another case where the characters are at each other’s throats, insulting each other and getting angry, and then they finally realize its because they like each other. It’s a personal preference, but I don’t enjoy that – if I get that angry at someone, the last thing I’m thinking about is dating them! In this case, they do eventually tone it down, and the relationship takes a more even and enjoyable tone. (again, this is a personal preference. I’m sure some people will love the interaction!) I also like that Selena doesn’t allow Dillan (or anyone else around her) to walk all over her. She might not fully understand what’s going on, but she’s not going to let them fight her battles for her.

The ending is great, and while the villain is predicable and easily identified in both cases, I wasn’t bothered by it. I’m very interested to see where this goes, especially with Dillan’s… past issues coming back to haunt him there at the end.

If you enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal, then you’ll enjoy this. Definitely pick it up and take a read!

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16129271-til-death

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Fractured-Souls-Kate-Evangelista-ebook/dp/B00EBRKW1U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Book was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

10637748Title: The Pledge

Author: Kimberly Derting

Publisher: McElderry Books

Publication Date: November 2011

Pages: 323

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Review

I had a hard time rating this book. Not because its bad. No, its a good read. My problem is that I wanted it to be something more than it was. I loved the fact that Derting has taken the ideas of a fantasy world and a dystopian world and melded them together into something really unique. I loved that. I also loved the idea of Sabara’s succession and how that works. The possibilities for that to be complicated and really dramatic are fantastic. I even loved Charlie and Brook and Angelina. My problem was that when I got to the end, something was missing.

The beginning of the novel starts well enough. When the languages change, it takes some getting used to to understand that they’re speaking the Vendor language when its italics, and Englaise when it wasn’t. But you get used to it and move on. There were a few times when I had to remind myself that it was part fantasy world and part dystopian, which I really enjoyed. The interaction between characters was good, and I liked the relationship that Charlie, Brook, and Aron all had. I just wished there had been more. Charlie’s relationship with Aron wasn’t well defined enough for me. He’s important, and yet there’s nothing that happens between them to make you really believe that. With Brook its more concrete and defined, though she accepts the revelations about Brook at the end a little too smoothly for my taste.

What really troubled me was Max. Her romance with Max is swift, complete, and sort of out of left field. She has feelings, she flirts a little, but spends most of her time running and being afraid of his motives, then suddenly they are deeply in love. I wish there had been more to it than that.

Also, while I realize this is part of a series, I found myself when I neared the end, wondering how they would resolve the conflict with the queen in such a short span. And the whole scene was rather anticlimactic. They make a huge fuss over everything and how strong the Queen is and her will, but it doesn’t seem to take more than three pages to defeat her. Maybe in subsequent books (and its hinted at in the epilogue) this will be explained. I hope so, because it was a little too easy for me.

I’m interested to see where this goes, but I’m not sure I’m interested enough to run out and get the next books right away.

All the same, it was a good read, and fans of fantasy and dystopian fiction will enjoy it. Try it out!

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10637748-the-pledge?from_search=true

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1442422017?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1442422017&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pledge-kimberly-derting/1101914796?ean=9781442422018&itm=1&usri=9781442422018&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

Book was purchased by reviewer.