Review: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Series: Heart of Dread, #1
Genre(s): Dystopian, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic
Synopsis from Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic. Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows. At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light. But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

Special thanks to Orchard Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

I was really disappointed in Frozen. This is one of the first books that I actually thought about DNFing. At first I wasn’t sure if it was just me, because I wasn’t in the perfect mood for this book. But normally books categorized as either dystopian, post-apocalyptic, even paranormal, I can read whenever, it just takes me some time to get into it. But Frozen wasn’t like that at all. I ended up putting it down a little under half-way and read two other books in between, finally picking it back up and finishing. So, it took me quite a while to read. I’m pretty sure the only thing that was driving me to finish it was because I got this as a review copy.

My first problem with the book is that there is SO much going on genre wise. First you think it’s post-apocalyptic, then dystopian, then paranormal…there’s even pirate type people in this book! I mean, come on, stick to one, at most two, things! For this reason I felt like the development was way lacking. The authors focused on the wrong things to put detail into.

It had such a promising first few chapters, but it went kind of downhill from there. The character’s relationships were way underdeveloped, there was no sense of time, and it got kind of boring for me, especially since there were so many ways that the book could have gone with all the different genres it attempts to fit into.

Ugh, and then the romance. Toward the end it got a little better but it was pretty much your typical scenario: bad boy plots against pretty girl who has powers, bad boy starts to question morals because of feelings for pretty girl, pretty girl tells him about powers, they fall in love. The end. There were some parts that were definitely cute, but it was all too rushed despite the slowness of the middle. It was one of those romances that came out of nowhere, but you were expecting, if you know what I mean?

Then there was the fact that it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. That’s not the book’s fault, more the cover. In both covers, new and old, there were dragon aspects. I wanted dragons! The dragon idea is only a part of the last few chapters of Frozen, much to my dismay.

I get the feeling that as this is the first book in a series, Frozen served as the book to set the stage for a bigger storyline. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with the series to see what that bigger storyline is. It was a good idea, but the execution is what ruined the book for me.

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Update: I’m back from vacation!

Oh how I’ve missed typing blog posts, reading other blogs, and chatting with you guys! I had a lovely time on vacation, but taking that week off made me realize just how much blogging has become a part of my life and how much I love it. I’m so happy to be back and I’m ready to pick up with the blog right where I left off.


The Vacation

While away, I read less than I was hoping to (only about two and half books in total), but I did get to spend a lot of time with my friends from another country that I only see once a year, which was amazing. I started Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston but I just wasn’t feeling it so I put it down about halfway through. I visited the local indie store which I’ve come to know and love, and bought (after a HUGE recommendation from my friend), Stolen by Lucy Christopher and DEVOURED it. When I say I devoured it I mean I stayed up until 12 at night finishing it. I plan to post my review of it Monday and as soon as I write this post I plan to dive right in to writing my review. I have lots of love for that book, but you’ll find out why on Monday. 😉 Then, I still wasn’t in the mood for Frozen…I wanted something with a little more romance. SO, I read The One by Kiera Cass. EEEE! I really enjoyed the conclusion to the series and I cannot wait to review it for you guys! I had to hold in my giggles while reading. That’s all I’ll say at the moment.

I was trying to upload/embed pictures I took from Instagram while away, but WordPress is acting up… SO, you can visit my Instagram to see a few pics I took while away!


The Books

Although I only bought one book while away, I stumbled upon a few review copies that I just couldn’t resist…

  TheLegacyEbook

  • The Empress Chronicles by Suzy Vitello (Netgalley)
  • Zac & Mia by A. J. Betts (Netgalley)
  • The Legacy by Necole Ryse (blog tour)

In other news…

  1. WordPress – I was alerted by the wonderful Patty @ Imaginative Minds that WordPress is shutting down blogs that frequently post promotional posts such as guest posts, blog tours, book blasts, etc. I was really nervous although I’d only had 2 posts that fell into that category. I’ve since renamed them and/or put them on private, but I’m still nervous about what WordPress plans to do. As soon as I got home I exported all my blog’s content and looked a little more at what qualifies to be taken down. This link, if you scroll to the bottom, will show you the kinds of blogs that are subject to be taken down if WordPress is notified about your content. Here’s what is mentioned specifically about book blogs:

    Book tour blogs: Blogs that consist of scraped, pre-written content, as opposed to original book reviews, for the purpose of promoting books and driving traffic to other promotional and giveaway sites.

    I’m still not quite sure what my next move is. I’ve set up a Weebly account and snagged the domain of the same name here but .weebly.com instead. I’ve been trying things out there, and while I like it, I love WordPress, and I can’t see myself leaving anytime soon.

  2. Go “Behind the Blogger”! – The lovely Caroline is spotlighting Books & Cleverness and I on her blog, The Attic Reviews today! I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to her for giving me the opportunity to be featured on her blog! Go and check out her blog, too. You’ll love it! 😉
  3. Rachel @ Confessions of a Book Geek is “Sharing the Bloggy Love!” – She’s started writing these wonderful posts in which she features other blogs and bloggers she has come to love reading and telling her readers a little bit about them! I was featured, but I also discovered so many other awesome blogs thanks to her post! I love what you’re doing Rachel! ❤ Yvo @ It’s All About Books is doing something similar, too! Make sure to check out both of their posts and continue to spread the love!
  4. Blog Awards?! Oh my! – Yvo of It’s All About Books and Victoria of Coffee. Write. Repeat. both nominated me for the Liebster Award! I couldn’t be more grateful and I thank you both SOOOO much! ❤ Unfortunately, as I’ve been away I’m just trying to catch up on normal blog things, so I don’t think I’ll get to writing a post. But that doesn’t mean I’m at all ungrateful. I wish I could reach out and give you both a hug! 🙂
  5. “Renewing Excitement” – Alena @ AlenasLife wrote a wonderful post about how she was inspired by fellow bloggers to pick up some books that have been just sitting around, unread, for too long. I’m so happy that I’m one of those bloggers that inspired you to do so, Alena! I hope you find some gems in the forgotten depth of your bookshelf! 😉

How have YOU been?

I’ve felt so out of touch while I was away, and I want to know what’s been going on with you! I’d absolutely LOVE it if you linked me some of your favorite posts that either you wrote, or read from another blogger, that I’ve missed while  I took the week “off.”

I missed you all so much more than you could know and I am SO HAPPY to be back and blogging and reading my butt off! 😀

See you VERY soon!

xo, emily

Week in Review: July 6th

Week in Review

Week in Review is a weekly post in which I wrap up what’s happening in my life, in books, and in blogging (inspired by Anna @ Anna Reads)!

What I Did:

on the fence happinessTo all of my American readers out there – I hope you had/are having a great holiday weekend! I went to my local parade and ate delicious breakfast pizza and topped that off with mouthwatering fried dough. I love that stuff… My mom and I drove out to an indie we never visited, and while their selection was okay, we weren’t fond of the staff, who were somewhat pushy and rude. 😦 They were also selling old ARCs, which pretty much immediately put me off to the store. We were disappointed, but are planning more little excursions to other indies this summer, and my vacation is coming up so I’m very excited to visit the indie there that I know and love! After that I went to Barnes and Noble (as usual!) on Tuesday, and was sad to see that they didn’t have On the Fence by Kasie West, which was releasing that day. Eventually I went back later in the week and was triumphant in purchasing a copy!

Links I Loved:

  • Aimee and Dyan @ Deadly Darlings are looking for co-bloggers! If you’re interested blogging for the first time, or looking to blog with others, definitely check out their post and see if their blog may be the right fit for you!
  • Miguel @ The Quirky Reader posted a much better review and discussion of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo than mine.
  • Asma @ IceyBooks wrote an awesome gif-post about how she is becoming a lover of contemporary after preferring fantasy. The same thing happened to me, so naturally I love her post!
  • Christine from polandbananasBOOKS and Kat from Katytastic made a hilarious discussion video about the season 4 premiere of TEEN WOLF, which you all know I watch and obsess over. If you’ve seen the premiere episode you must watch this!

Books I Added to My Shelves:

IMG_4297Bought:

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – The cover. It glows in the dark. ❤
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – For school summer reading…yay…
On the Fence by Kasie West – SO. FREAKING. EXCITED. (I actually already read this now and my review will be up on Monday!)

  

For Review:

How We Fall by Kate Brauning (from Edelweiss) – You don’t know how excited I was when I saw I was accepted for this!
The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan (from Publisher) – I was contacted by the publisher and asked if I’d like to review this one. I’m also going to be a part of the blog tour (post up this Tues. with my review!). It’s more middle grade, but it’s being compared to adventure stories like Harry Potter and Narnia so I was like “Ummm YES!”
Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston (from NetGalley) – Been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it back when it was released. This was a “Read Now” on NetGalley so I jumped at the chance!

Recently Finished and Currently Reading:

I finished a 3 books this week: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, and On the Fence by Kasie West. Every single one of them was either really good or AMAZING so I was happy with my reading this week for sure! I’m currently reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (for school), and am starting The Fog of Forgetting by G.A. Morgan very soon!

On My Blog:

I hope you all had a wonderful week! Let me know all about it in the comments!

xo, emily