Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Zero & ACOTAR: The thief and the village girl

Zero by Morgan Dark book cover
TITLE: Zero (Zero #1)
AUTHOR: Morgan Dark
GENRE: YA Thriller
PUBLICATION DATE: June 28, 2016 by Rubiños, 1860

A baffling robber.

A mystery hidden for years.

And an elite boarding school where no one is who they say they are.

Kyle Bradford is the envy of Drayton College, but everything takes a turn when a dangerous shadow, hidden in the darkness, starts to stalk him. From then on, his life falls apart. Unjustly accused of being the main suspect behind the robberies terrifying high society, he is forced to prove his innocence. And to do so, he has to find the real culprit: Zero, an infallible criminal who keeps his identity hidden under a silver mask. What Kyle does not know is that his enemy is keeping a secret. A secret he would sacrifice everything for.

A dizzying, heart-stopping thriller you won’t be able to put down.


I received a free ecopy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Zero surprisingly reminded me of the times when I was new to reading fiction novels on the internet. The writing style was simple and very easy to comprehend, despite its length. Though I did find some scenes a bit predictable, it took me a while before I figured out Zero’s real identity because of the unexpected plot twist.

As for the plot, it was definitely well thought-of. I liked how everything was connected together and made sense as I neared the end.

About the characters, I guess I expected them to be more fleshed-out. I felt like they needed more depth, because even though I did connect with Kyle from time to time, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about anyone else, especially his friends in high school (more thoughts on that later). I did grow fond of Len, though. That guy’s just being a good friend.

All right, so now let’s talk about the things I disliked in this book. First is the attitude of Kyle’s friends in high school. Sure, they’re filthy rich kids. Sure, they’re in this prestige school and whatnot. But, that doesn’t give them an excuse to be selfish, stubborn and rude. Their attitude annoyed me a lot in this book, but I just tended to ignore them as I read because I’m pretty sure they were intentionally written that way by the author. I just personally don’t like those kinds of people – “filthy rich bitches,” as I like to call them.

The second thing I didn’t like was the numerous times Zero’s plans were revealed by he himself to Kyle. Like, can’t I just figure it out on my own as a reader? That’s sort of the whole point of a thriller, right? Why does Zero need to divulge his plans every single time?!


Zero was a simple thriller that I enjoyed reading during the summer. I guess I expected a bit more thrill because, well, it’s a thriller (obviously), but I did like it nonetheless. Just don’t bring your expectations up too high because this book might be the type you’ve never read in a long while – or at all.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas book cover
TITLE: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
AUTHOR: Sarah J Maas
GENRE: YA High Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
PUBLICATION DATE: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

She stole a life. Now she must pay with her heart.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead.
Alright, I’m going to be straight-up honest here: I couldn’t help but compare this a lot with the Throne of Glass series, because I read that first before this one. I tried – I REALLY DID! – to stop comparing it with the other, because ACOTAR is a completely different book, but I just couldn’t help it. My apologies, it was a failure on my part.

Here are some of the similarities that I found:
“What was that?” I asked, brushing the tears from my face.

Lucien’s face was still pale. “You don’t want to know.”

“Please. Was it that... Suriel you mentioned?”

Lucien’s russet eye was dark as he answered hoarsely. “No. It was a creature that should not be in these lands. We call it the Bogge. You cannot hunt it, you cannot kill it. Even with your beloved ash arrows."
The scene above reminded me of those spirit things (I forgot the name) Aelin and Rowan found (and ran from) in the forest in Wendlyn while they were training in Heir of Fire. It might be just me, but the way the Bogge was described was all too similar with those creatures in HoF.
“Lucien fell in love with a faerie whom his father considered to be grossly inappropriate for someone of his bloodline. Lucien said he didn’t care that she wasn’t one of the High Fae, that he was certain the mating bond would snap into place soon and that he was going to marry her and leave his father’s court to his scheming brothers.” A tight sigh. “His father had her put down. Executed, in front of Lucien, as his two eldest brothers held him and made him watch.”
Um, Sorscha, Dorian, is that you? PLEASE don’t tell me this isn’t close to what happened near the end of Heir of Fire.
Lucien interrupted, “What do you know about anything? You’re just Amarantha’s whore.”
HEY NOBODY STEALS AEDION’S NICKNAME, OKAY? OKAY. Yes, not even you, Rhysand. I love you, but no.

Okay, maybe I’m just being to overly analytical here, or maybe I just love the Throne of Glass series too much, but COME ON.

Alright, I swear this is a legit review. I just wanted to put those things in here so I’d know if there’s even at least one person out there who figured out those similarities as much as I did. (Please? ANYONE?)

Now onto the actual review.

As for the plot, I liked how Sarah J Maas put some twists into the classical story of Beauty and the Beast to make a retelling of her own (yes, other than the fact that there are tall and beautiful fey). Though I did find some parts a bit boring, which I skimmed. I think the part where I finally thought something was finally happening was when Feyre went back to Tamlin’s court to find it empty, which is bad because if I remember correctly, that happened during around 50% of the book already.

For the romance, well, I can’t say I rooted for Tamlin and Feyre’s relationship. There was just nothing about those two that made me feel even a little giddy, nor do I find any of their, err, intimate moments very sweet. It’s not like I’m not used to the romance that ACOTAR has, but it’s just that I don’t see any chemistry between the two main characters (in my opinion).

As for the characters, I didn’t really feel a lot of love for them other than for Rhysand and Lucien. Not a lot of the characters were lovable for me. I can’t exactly explain why, but I just couldn’t connect with them.


As much as I hate to say this, I didn’t like ACOTAR all that much. Only a few parts really gripped me (mostly the one where Feyre was supposed to answer the riddle and was given challenges). Since this book focuses a lot on romance, considering the fact that I didn’t like Tamlin and Feyre’s relationship in the first place, well, I guess I can understand why.

I wouldn’t label this book as a non-recommend, since it might appeal to a lot of NA fans (also because – seeing other reviews – this got tons of high ratings from other readers). But if you don’t like cheesy romances with semi-heated sexual scenes here and there, as well as retellings, then you might want to give this one a miss.
author image

Mara @ Mara Was Here

*Pops confetti* Congratulations, you've reached 'till the end of this post! I'm Mara, 15, and I love anything bookish and graphic designing. I also spend 90% of my life fawning over fictional boyfriends and smelling books. Thanks for hanging out at my blog! (And yes, that's me sniffing Six of Crows in our car.)

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