Profile for Claire Mill > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Claire Mill
Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,650
Helpful Votes: 1066

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Claire Mill "Cem" (England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Some Girls are
Some Girls are
by Courtney Summers
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, heartbreaking, 13 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Some Girls are (Paperback)
I am so, so glad that I bought Some Girls Are despite not really enjoying Courtney's first book, Cracked Up To Be. I wasn't going to, but so many people talked about it and recommend it, and Courtney's new book, Fall For Anything, that I thought I'd get it and give it a try because I know that just because I don't like one book/series from an author, doesn't mean I'll dislike all their work. And this is one time where it's really paid off because Some Girls Are is a fantastic book!

Regina was one of the popular ones, one of those dreaded Mean Girls, best friend to the top of the tower, Anna. But now she's frozen out. Everything Regina's done to other students in the past is being done to her. She's caught between fear, a desire to fight back and the knowledge of just what those girls are capable of. What she's capable of.

I was hooked pretty much from page one of Some Girls Are. It just grabbed me and didn't let go, I finished it easily within a few hours. It's heart breaking really, very painful reading, for many reasons. Regina is such an odd character to me, not because she's not drawn realistically, because she is. But because I did feel very bad for her, the things she was going through, how she was suffering. And yet at the same time, I kind of hated her too. Because of some of the things she's done, how she handled certain situations (in the past more than what we actually see). There was this constant internal conflict going on in my head trying to figure out just how I felt about Regina. The winning emotion though was pain. It's such a painful journey for her. It's kind of hard to understand why she was as she was, one of that 'Fearsome Fivesome' and yet, completely simple as well. But if it can be considered as such, it's the only 'simple' thing about this book.

It's so complex, one thing after another, one twist, one action changing everything over and over. Regina attempting to figure out how to survive high school with people who really hate her, surrounding her, how to connect with those who she'd previously 'ruined' in a similar way. It's so real, and so emotional I was in tears repeatedly but I barely put it down because I needed to know what happened next. I needed to see if it could get worse, because surely it couldn't...but it did. Some Girls Are is an intense, thought provoking read. It captures the harsh realities of both sides of that popular/un-popular high school social structure extremely well and how bullying can destroy lives with a few well placed words. There were times when Regina was struggling to breathe through her panic, and I felt almost as bad. It was just that intense! There's a little romance involved, but it's every bit as conflicted and confusing as everything else going on. And I loved it. How Regina's relationships with those around her develops over the course of the book is just excellent. It's such a painful book, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this story. Fantastic work and now I'm really excited to get my hands on Fall For Anything and any future titles from Courtney. Just awesome.


One Hundred Candles (Harlequin Teen)
One Hundred Candles (Harlequin Teen)
by Mara Purnhagen
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Better than book 1, 13 Feb. 2011
One Hundred Candles is the second book in the Past Midnight series, picking up a couple months after the end of it. I really liked Past Midnight, despite a couple issues with the main character. I ended up enjoying One Hundred Candles much more!

Charlotte has grown up a bit I think, and she's gotten stronger, despite still not being particularly confident. She's not burying her head in the sand the way she was in Past Midnight and it made her much more likable for me. I loved seeing a little continuation on the side from various plots from book one, particularly relationship based and I like how the issues Avery and Jared face haven't been ignored, but also aren't over done. The snippets we see of what they're going through now fit in just nicely without excessive description. I actually found myself really enjoying how Charlotte's romantic life developed as well. I love Noah so much, I was a little disappointed at the idea of there being another love interest, but how everything plays out is actually very well done and it's a love triangle I don't hate for a change!

I really enjoyed the main plot in One Hundred Candles as well with the different disturbances and how they linked up with the game early in the book. I found myself getting in to it very quickly and I easily finished it within a few hours. It's not a particularly long book and it made for a good afternoons reading! I liked the twists and some of it I didn't see coming. I also really enjoyed the extension to the world building. I think there is still more to learn about Charlotte's world that she herself doesn't know right now. I really felt for Charlotte with certain events and particularly towards the end, there is a heartbreaking moment and I was tearing up a lot! Overall a really good read, well paced, some beautiful, moving moments and great characters. I'm really excited for book 3, Beyond The Grave (out Sept 2011), to see what happens next! I've never been the biggest fan of ghost stories, but I'm loving this series!


The Eternal Ones
The Eternal Ones
by Kirsten Miller
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Very irritating protag but great world building, 13 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Eternal Ones (Paperback)
I really wanted to like this book. I liked the ideas of it, it sounded a bit different to most of what I read and I thought it would make a nice change. It started out alright, although it took me several days to read about 60 pages because I was so sick, but then I started improving and was able to read more. And I realised just how slow it is to actually get anywhere to start with. Haven doesn't even meet Iain until halfway through the book, and then things start happening very quickly, but Haven can't make up her mind if things are good or bad and who the bad guys really are. Not to mention making a couple of very dumb decisions because Iain is hot and says the right things.

I don't mind books confusing me when it's hard to figure out what's going on. I do mind when it's because of a constant back/forth where things are one way, then they're the other but there isn't any real evidence of which way things really are. I got so tired of Haven that I almost didn't finish the book, and probably wouldn't have if not for having had 2 DNF's right before it (unheard of for me!) and not wanting to make it a third.

The thing is, this isn't a badly written book, nor are the ideas bad. I actually really enjoyed the premise and learning all about how reincarnation works in this story. How Haven discovers things and I really enjoyed the set up of her being in a small town and the issues involved there, along with the issues in her home life. Plus, I really loved her best friend Beau, and I also found myself really enjoying the small role Leah, a girl from Haven's school, plays as well. I enjoyed the flashbacks to Haven's previous life and seeing some of that play out and how it mirrored current events. But Haven and her attitude were too much for me. I didn't get on with her at all and once I was out of my flu haze, and paying attention to more than the words on the page, I was kind of annoyed that it took so long for Haven to actually get anywhere.

A lot of promise for sure, and a book I'm sure plenty could get on with very well. But it didn't work for me despite some very good moments, and some very interesting world building. I doubt I'll read book 2.


Shadowspell (Faeriewalker) (A Faeriewalker Novel)
Shadowspell (Faeriewalker) (A Faeriewalker Novel)
by Jenna Black
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So close to full marks!, 6 Feb. 2011
Glimmerglass was one of my favourite reads from last year. I'm not, or at least I certainly wasn't back then, a big fan of Fae centric books, but because I liked Jenna's adult books, I decided to give Glimmerglass a chance and I loved it! So I was really excited for book 2 and it didn't really disappoint. Dana is more sure of herself in Avalon now, with a little understanding of what's going on around her. Things aren't easy for her though, being kept in what is basically a cave and only being allowed out with at least one bodyguard. When the Erlking makes his interest in her known, things become more dangerous still. But Dana isn't very good at staying locked down as her father would like.

Shadowspell gets off to a great start and from chapter two never really lets up on the intensity. I feel so bad for Dana a lot of the time because she doesn't have many people she can count on, everyone seems to have their own objectives and uses for her. But she's a strong girl too and I love how Dana does everything she can for those she cares about, even if it means putting herself at bigger risk.

I really enjoyed the addition of the Erlking and the Wild Hunt to this book. I admit that before hand I wasn't certain I would because of the suggestion that he would be after Dana's heart rather than her life. But actually the role he plays in the book works extremely well and the tension level rose instantly just from the mention of his name. I love the mythology employed to this series and the mystery that surrounds it all. Because Dana knows very little about her heritage still, so learning alongside her works very well for me. There is plenty of intrigue and a lot of questions in need of answers. There are a few things left from Glimmerglass given answer here, which is good, but there is still plenty left unanswered.

However, while I did love Shadowspell and have a very hard time putting it down (had I not started it at midnight, (dumb I know!) I'd have read it in one sitting), there is one aspect to this series that makes me uneasy. The romantic sub-plot. Now, thankfully, it is (for the most part) a sub-plot and doesn't intrude too much on the rest of the story, which I do completely love. But I am not enjoying the romance side of things at all at this point. The love interest, Ethan, did something in book 1 which made me very uneasy with him and while he then did something to partially redeem himself at the end of Glimmerglass, I was left with the suspicion that I could well end up not enjoying the continuation of that romantic involvement in Shadowspell. Sadly, that came true. It's not often when reading that I get a slightly queasy feeling when reading a romantic plot, even if I'm not fully enjoying it. But that's exactly what I get here. I'm not a fan of Ethan and I'm not completely thrilled with Dana's handling of him either. I understand why Dana is the way she is with him, but that doesn't mean I like it. I also wasn't thrilled at potential romantic developments with two side characters (no names for spoilers sake) and add them together and any time the love subject came up, I wasn't happy and those uneasy feelings got worse as the book wore on, not better. I was left with a little, tiny bit of hope on one side at the end, and a lot of dread on the other. I'm hoping that Sirensong (book 3) clears things up some.

My issues with the romantic plot are enough to stop me giving the book completely full marks, but if you took that away, it'd be a damn near perfect read. Because there is so much tension, so much mystery and (again, taking away the romantic plots) very well drawn characters. I love the world building and how the overall arc is developing. Dana still faces massive odds and I'm really looking forward to seeing where book 3, Sirensong takes her. Just not where it takes her romantically speaking... Still, it's a fantastic read and I'd highly recommend the series.


Hate List
Hate List
by Jennifer Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Painful and Powerful, 6 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hate List (Paperback)
There is a comment from the author in the back of this book which states that while most would say that this is a book about a school shooting, for her it's about Valerie, it's Val's story. And, having just finished and still in tears, I read that and went 'no kidding!' because that's exactly how I felt about it. Yes, it starts off about the shooting, but within a couple of chapters it wasn't about that for me, it was about a girl who loved, who had something terrible happen to her, and is lost in a sea of confusion and desperately trying to find a way out, feeling unable to turn to anyone. I can relate to that, being lost in confusion. I felt so much for Valerie as she tried to deal with what happened, what it means for her, what is says about her and the role she played in it all.

There is no question this is a powerful, thought provoking, tear-jearker of a book. The descriptions, the power to the flashback scenes of the shooting itself actually made me flinch when the gun went off. I cried for Val as she realised what some people thought of her. I was proud of her as she took steps forward. I ached for her almost the whole way through the book. Val is far from perfect, but that just makes her all the more real. I like how she's so conflicted about events and herself; how she learns and grows through the book from her own views changing; the pressure and hurt from her broken family and the others in the school around her. Not to mention the therapist. I love all the adult involvement in this book! Not all of them are nice characters nor are they all trying to help Val, but they're there and play a very real role and add a presence so often wrongly missing from YA novels.

I found Hate List very hard to put down, and if not for certain issues, I think I'd have easily read it in a single day instead of two. It's paced perfectly, with such well drawn characters and descriptions of the mess of emotions and reactions that really got to me. I got kind of lost in Val's journey and I was sad to get to the end of it. But I do love where this story ends. I won't spoil it for those who've not read it, but I do love it. A heartfelt, powerful book. I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed reading it, because with something dealing with such raw, broken emotions, so much pain, it's hard to enjoy it. But it is excellent reading, and I love it. I'm so glad I read this book, and I think it's one that could maybe help teens who are struggling, or parents of teens who a struggling. With bullying, family issues, life in general as much as anyone who has had to face such a tragedy. And it's certainly a book I'd highly recommend.


Green-Eyed Demon: Sabina Kane: Book 3
Green-Eyed Demon: Sabina Kane: Book 3
by Jaye Wells
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than book 2!, 6 Feb. 2011
I liked the first book of this series, Red-Headed Stepchild, a lot. The second book, The Mage in Black, was also good but I didn't enjoy it as much. There was a heck of a cliff hanger in it though, which left me very much wanting to know what happened. Green-Eyed Demon did not disappoint and is easily the best of the series to date! I loved this book.

Green-Eyed Demon picks up a few days after the events of The Mage in Black with Sabina, Adam and Giguhl searching for Sabina's sister Maisie. There is plenty of action right from the start and it rarely lets up. It's a book full of twists, some seriously kick-ass fights, and a few awesome new characters. I loved the extension to the world building with more of a mages' power being explained and shown, along with some other aspects to various races we hadn't yet learnt about. Things always seemed so close to boiling point, ready to spill over and it created a tension that made the book very hard to put down!

But what I loved most about this book, was the development of Sabina. She's always been a loner. Working as an assassin it was something that worked for her. But now she has to learn to play with others and it's not been something she's been particularly good at. Here in Green-Eyed Demon though she takes a real step forward. I loved seeing her insecurities and how her relationships with both Adam and Gighul (who, by the way, is still as funny as ever, but so much more awesome in this book!!) develop as they work to find out where Maisie is being held and if they can possibly rescue her. It's heart breaking at times, but it's brilliantly played. I couldn't get enough of it!

The ending is seriously intense! It had me in tears (a couple of times, I confess) and wow! It packs the biggest punch. I had some issues with both the first two books, different issues and while they didn't ruin the books for me, they did stop me loving them as much as I could have. I had very few issues with this one and pretty much just loved it outright! It's fast and actioned packed, with a emotional background that kept tugging at me. It answers several questions and ties up a few plots while still leaving plenty to keep you guessing and wondering! Fantastic work! I can't wait for book 4, Silver-Tongued Devil to find out what's going to happen now after the big events of Green-Eyed Demon!


The Iron Queen (Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten)
The Iron Queen (Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten)
by Julie Kagawa
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Iron Fey book yet!!, 25 Jan. 2011
The Iron Queen picks up right where The Iron Daughter left off, with Ash and Meghan exiled from Faery and stuck in the mortal world. But the war hasn't stopped and neither of them are happy that they've had to walk away. And Meghan may just be the best person to help stop it. If she can figure out how.

This series has just gotten stronger and stronger. I couldn't put The Iron Queen down! It was one long, beautiful, painful emotional roller coaster. Romance, danger, darkness and action blend seamlessly together making a fantastic story. Like the two books before it, it's beautifully written and I got sucked straight in and it felt like I'd just put TID down moments before it. I loved how the story developed through this third book, so many twists I never saw coming!

The character growth is fantastic as well. Meghan has come so far from the girl who knew nothing of Faerie at the start of The Iron King (book #1). I was so proud of her for the tough decisions she had to make, and I was aching and crying for her at the same time. Grim and Puck are easily two of my favourite side characters from any book or series and they continue to give their humor to lighten the enclosing darkness for a moment or two! The world building has expanded and deepened with each book, and it continues to do so here. I loved seeing more of the world, so dark and creepy and yet completely beautiful and compelling as well!

Some books just come across as simple magic, and you can't explain the emotional attachment involved. This is one of those books. I just loved every moment of it! It tore at me, left me thinking for hours afterwards. And that ending...wow!! Very intense, it tore me apart over and over! I thought it'd gotten as bad as it could, then something worse would happen. I honestly had no idea what the outcome would be until I was done. And then I wanted more! An awesome addition to the Iron Fey series, the best one so far for sure. I cannot wait for The Iron Knight, Ash's story, later in the year!! A fantastic series that I'd highly recommend!


Shadowfever
Shadowfever
by Karen Marie Moning
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars Great End to the Series!, 21 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Shadowfever (Hardcover)
Shadowfever picks up right where Dreamfever left off, and for me there was no surprise at all to the discovery of the identity of the beast. From there we have a very different Mac to anything we've seen from her yet. And she has already changed a huge amount of the course of the series. Watching Mac grow up and develop from this very superficial 'barbie-girl' into someone who can kick ass, take the pain thrown her way and make the tough decisions she has to has been a fantastic journey. Likewise the world building has been some of my favourite. It's a dark, complex world with so many layers and so easy to get lost in. That hasn't changed for this final book.

Shadowfever is long, much longer than all the books before it. And while I never really felt like it was dragging as such, I do think it could have done with being a bit shorter. I think certain aspects were drawn out too far so that when they finally happened/were revealed, there was much less impact than there could have been. I was also a little surprised to find myself disappointed by the very last twist. Just something that got very suddenly tied up all neat and nice. It wasn't the biggest plot or anything, but it was just there then over and glossed over some at that. For the first time since Darkfever, where Mac's sunshiny, shallow personality grated on me, she irritated me again. It's late on in the book after one of many reveals and I just got very annoyed with her reaction and partly wanted her back to the Mac she'd been earlier in the book and also wishing the story would move on so I didn't need to put up with that Mac anymore. There were a couple other things I found myself a little bit disappointed with, but talking about them would be spoiler territory so I won't.

Really though, none of those little bits ruined the book for me. There is certainly a lot going on in Shadowfever and there are some real stand out moments which I loved. A few of the many twists were just fantastic and left me gaping, even when a couple had decidedly less impact. I read Shadowfever over a few days through a haze of flu, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and while I didn't find it as impossible to put down as books 1-4, it was still a very compelling read!

Final books are so tricky. They so easily fall in to the disaster category and taint those before it, and rarely it seems can they outdo what came before (or possibly I'm reading the wrong books!!). I know there are those who would possibly consider Shadowfever one of those disasters, and I'm not denying it's flawless. It's not my favourite of the series (that lies with Faefever and Dreamfever), but I do think it's a very strong ending. I have my little issues with it, but overall I'm very satisfied with the outcome. Most of the big questions are answered and those left unanswered, I can live with. I really enjoy this final adventure in to Mac's world and I'm happy to say this is still one of my favourite series ever! KMM would have been very hard pressed to please all her many fans with this book, but I for one am very happy. Great read, and a worthy final for a spectacular series!!


The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch Trilogy)
The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch Trilogy)
by Karen Mahoney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 20 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This 2011 debut novel on paper is not a book I'd love. It's centered on faeries (far from my favourite paranormal creatures), it's written in third person (I far prefer 1st), it's very rich in mythology/magic/alchemy (mix that with faeries and I tend to feel bogged down with information and don't enjoy it). And yet, I was very excited for The Iron Witch. Why? Because Karen has had two short stories published before (in The Eternal Kiss and Kiss Me Deadly anthologies) which I completely adored. They were about completely different characters, but I loved the writing so I was very excited for Karen's first novel despite all the potential factors against it. And I wasn't wrong, I did love The Iron Witch!

For those like me who prefer first person, Karen makes is much easier to connect with Donna by having the occasional 'excerpt' from Donna's journal. Those little glimpses, and there are only a few, gave me the extra insight in to Donna's mind and her past that I needed to connect with her better, and through her the rest of the story. I did sometimes feel a disconnect with her, but I've got a feeling that was me being very sick while I was reading the book, than the writing itself. Donna is someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of confidence outwardly, but internally has a strength I love! She's an outsider, with just her best friend Navin for company. But Navin knows nothing of her 'other' side, the faeries, the alchemy, or that her hands are literally laced with iron after a horrific event in her past. I adored the friendship between the two, the loyalty, trust and how it changed throughout the book with the new troubles thrown their way. Donna is fiercely loyal, willing to fight as hard as she needs to protect those she loves, and it's probably my favourite thing about her.

The story itself is dark, twisting and yes, very rich in mythology and magic. But instead of finding myself switching off as things were explained and described, I found myself wanting more. I needed more, I wanted to understand all the why's and how's of how Donna's world works. It's so complex, and believable and brilliant! Little things kept being revealed and added throughout the book so it's not all given at once, so there isn't an info overload at any point. It's a fairly intense read, particularly the second half, but there are the odd lighter moments as well. The occasional semblance of complete normalcy which made me smile. It only happens a couple times, but I loved it.

There is a romantic plot to the book as well, in the form of Xan. I enjoyed the relationship between him and Donna, how it grew and the way they connect with each other. It's sweet and cute and manages to be pretty hot most of the time as well. Except, I don't entirely like Xan. It took me a long while to really warm up to him. He's mysterious. It adds a tension to their scenes, for me at least, which I actually really enjoy. But I'm curious to see where things go in book 2, The Wood Queen.

Overall it's a really great debut! Some fantastic world building, great characters and a twisting story that really kept me guessing! It's dark, mysterious, rich in secrets and mythology, and above all brilliant!! The ending in particular really stood out to me and left me hungry for more. There isn't a cliff hanger to it, but there may as well have been. I could have happily jumped straight in to The Wood Queen to find out what happens next because while there is a lot wrapped up within this book, there is still plenty left to be explained and explored. I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a fan of Fey stories and/or those rich in mythology. And even if you're not, read it anyways because it's a fantastic story!


Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles)
Blood Feud (The Drake Chronicles)
by Alyxandra Harvey
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, but preferred book 1, 18 Jan. 2011
I really loved book one of this series, My Love Lies Bleeding (Hearts at Stake in the US), so despite this one being about different characters I was still really excited to read it. But I didn't end up enjoying it as much. Isabeau was met right at the end of My Love Lies Bleeding and takes center stage here. Like book 1 it's written with two different points of view, one being Isabeau, and the other Logan Drake. I loved all of Logan's POV, I really enjoyed getting to know him better. And when Isabeau's POV was in the present, I really enjoyed her as well.

But part of the story is Isabeau's past. There I had trouble. I have no problem admitting to the fact that I'm not a big historical fan, in fact it's something I rarely read. I don't think there was anything wrong with the writing of those past sections, or that they were particularly slow. They were fairly important to the overall plot, but I found them slow reading and they didn't really hold my interest. There was the odd good moment in them, but mostly I found myself wanting to get back to the present time and what was actually going on for Isabeau and Logan.

Aside from that, I did enjoy the story. I liked Isabeau and I found her to be a well drawn character, as was Logan. They certainly had chemistry together and I liked seeing the developments and changes through both of them as the story unfolded. But I think I was looking for more of Lucy's craziness (My Love Lies Bleeding) rather than the more centered, focused, quieter Isabeau. That didn't help my enjoyment of the book and it did take me a little while to warm to Isabeau and really like the story.

Plot wise it develops nicely, involving Isabeau's thirst for revenge while continuing the issues the Drake's have been facing, namely Solange being a target for the other powerful vampires around. I liked getting to see some of the characters through different eyes as well, noticing things that Lucy and Solange (narrators of My Love Lies Bleeding) didn't show. Overall I still liked this book, particularly Logan's parts and towards the end where things got a lot more intense, but I think a lot more of book 1. I'm sure there are plenty who think the opposite though. This one just didn't fully work for me. Really looking forward to book 3 and the rest of the series though!


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20