My only complaint is that it's disgusting how well Caisey can write. When I found out this novel was a NaNoWriMo project, I figured I had to become fr...moreMy only complaint is that it's disgusting how well Caisey can write. When I found out this novel was a NaNoWriMo project, I figured I had to become friends with Caisey or else I'd hate her guts from jealousy. Fortunately, she's also a lovely person, as well as being a talented writer.
Kylie Ryans has nothing, which means she has nothing to lose, so when she gets the chance to tour with troubled, formerly platinum selling star, Trace Corbin, it's her one shot at achieving her dreams. The problem? Trace is in the process of drinking himself to oblivion and destroying his career, so Kylie will do whatever it takes to prevent him from taking her down with him.
I absolutely love Kylie, her spunk and her strength. I loved the way she stood up to Trace, spoke her mind, and demanded control over her own destiny. Strong women are a popular trope these days, but they are often just women who are mouthy and irascible. Kylie's the real deal. Tempered by family tragedy and driven by her love of music, she makes increasingly difficult choices to remove every roadblock between her and success.
It'd be easy for this story to just be about her facing down Trace, but the third act takes the story to a whole new level. In the end of the day, Kylie's biggest obstacle is herself and her big mouth. Overcoming that shows the true strength of her character. I can't recommend this highly enough. A few days ago I got to meet Abbi Glines briefly. She and I talked about her career and mine, and I had the chance to hand her a book. I could have handed her one of mine. I handed her this one instead.
I just hope the cover I designed doesn't hold it back! (less)
My only real issue was that the climax was told in flashback. The dragons are flying and doing cool stuff, and then we cut to Althea and Brashen and A...moreMy only real issue was that the climax was told in flashback. The dragons are flying and doing cool stuff, and then we cut to Althea and Brashen and Alise summarizing it! But I love these books and devour them every time a new one comes out.(less)
I didn't know how this one ended (I live abroad, don't watch television, and my contact with the author tends to be of the 140 character tweet variety...moreI didn't know how this one ended (I live abroad, don't watch television, and my contact with the author tends to be of the 140 character tweet variety), and I'm glad I didn't because I love the way Shubaly sets up a story and controls the flow of information. His prose is noticeably stronger and smoother - it's been getting that way with each piece he writes.
Not to spoil the story, but suffice it to say, it's clear why CBS did not want to let him write about his experience. He sees straight through the strange and sick phenomenon that is reality television, and he does so as a self described 35 year old adolescent. I confess, I've often wondered if people just forget schoolyard cruelty, or just fall for it when it's dolled up as entertainment for grown ups.
As with all of Shubaly's Kindle Singles, I highly recommend this one.(less)
For those who prefer books without sex/premarital sex, avoid this one, obviously. It leaves nothing to the imagination. The story isn't about the sex,...moreFor those who prefer books without sex/premarital sex, avoid this one, obviously. It leaves nothing to the imagination. The story isn't about the sex, though, but rather love, acceptance of others' mistakes, and finding your one true love (though let me be clear to my more conservative readers, there is a lot of skin and cavorting around). I geekily took notes about how far Abbi could have the characters go while still maintaining the romantic suspense, took note of how much the relationship progressed as the percentage-read display ticked upwards, and mulled over the pacing and story inertia.
And yes, enjoyed the story too ;-) I don't have as much of an emotional connection to the characters who are more physical, which explains why I approach love stories the way I do, but for an example of a love story that uses physical acts to demonstrate devotion and attachment, few write them better than Abbi.(less)
I had the opportunity to beta read this novel. The aptly titled DROWNING IN YOU opens in a hospital where Charlee's father lies near death. Her mother...moreI had the opportunity to beta read this novel. The aptly titled DROWNING IN YOU opens in a hospital where Charlee's father lies near death. Her mother is already deceased. They were both victims of a ski lift accident, and the lift operator was none other than Charlee's high school crush, Dexter. The two of them have long been attracted to each other, and this tragedy simultaneously brings them together and drives a wedge between them. Everyone in town blames Dexter for the accident, so there will be no sympathy for Charlee if the two get together. And then there's the sweet, mild mannered Eliot, who works in a nearby restaurant and wouldn't mind getting to know Charlee better.
All in all and angsty set up that develops into a story that's by turns steamy, tragic, and suspenseful. Highly recommend!(less)
I wrote this story for The Dragon and the Stars, an anthology of writers from the Chinese diaspora. In this story you'll see a lot of me - the half-Chinese main character, the homage to linguistic anthropology (the field of my beta reader, Char Peery), a tribute to the Athabaskan people (of which there are several in New Mexico, along with Tanoan and other language groups), and fun science fiction/fantasy. There is no steam power in this one, so it's not steampunk. I guess it'd be powder punk (gunpowder).(less)
Shows what kind of reader I am. I wanted the paranormal stuff to be resolved. All this present day stuff about who's in love with whom and people havi...moreShows what kind of reader I am. I wanted the paranormal stuff to be resolved. All this present day stuff about who's in love with whom and people having it in for each other and trying to destroy lives was no doubt important, but I should forewarn anyone who is like me, you never fully learn what happened to the Ninth :-( I wanted to know if they met a mortal demise or a supernatural one.(less)
Begin with a curse to make men live as if dead, unfeeling, insensate, devoid of emotion, and unable to die as the years and ages pass. Add a girl whos...moreBegin with a curse to make men live as if dead, unfeeling, insensate, devoid of emotion, and unable to die as the years and ages pass. Add a girl whose ancient bloodlines could tear the immortals free of their plight, and watch the sparks fly. Some of the cursed yearn to live again, while others enjoy their retreat into unliving immortality. While the premise of a girl who is the one and only for an immortal, cursed man will be familiar to us all, what I loved about this book was the depth of story. No long passages with the couple mooning over each other; this book is chock full of subplots and backstory, woven together so that you dare not miss a page. The perspective shifts between modern day and 18th century Scotland, with perspective shifting from first to third person, and yet it's all very easy to follow, comes together in a satisfying climax, and ends with a clever twist that promises a sequel (I hope.)
I know a little about the origins of this book. The author, Emily Bold, is an indie author who has seen quite a bit of success in her native Germany and specializes in historical romance. Her expertise shows in the details: the Scottish clan politics, the mythic history, and even details such as the layout of a period castle and how a battle would be fought in it (and how someone might escape.) This is the first book of Bold's to be translated into English, which is no mean feat because the book is set in Delaware and the Scottish Highlands. Bold was wise with a translator who could translate the Scots dialect in a way that would sound authentic and at the same time be comprehensible to the broader English speaking audience. The American English is weaker, but I can't imagine how much it would cost to find either a translator fluent in both dialects or two translators, as I suspect a professional publisher might use.
The quality of the plot and depth of story make me hope to see a lot more from Emily Bold. Everyone go buy this so she can afford to hire translators for her other books! (less)
The four stars rather than five is just a signal to people with my reading tastes that you'll probably like this one but not love it. I'm outside the...moreThe four stars rather than five is just a signal to people with my reading tastes that you'll probably like this one but not love it. I'm outside the target audience, but am also a former lawyer and former editor of the UCLA Women's Law Journal, so I do recommend this book because of the subject matter, specifically rape and violence against women, and the fact that it affects us all regardless of our gender.
This book examines the emotional side of it more than the legal or philosophical, and tells one story. I guess I've seen enough that I know a lot of other stories and couldn't help but notice how this one differed. I wouldn't know if that makes it unrealistic. I'm one of the lucky ones, a woman who has never faced an attempted rape (so far). I've also done the self defense class described in this book, learning from one of the creators of that system of fighting, no less. I've known a lot of rape victims, including two violent gang rape victims, and no, I don't hang with a very tough crowd. It really is that common. Actually, I probably know more than two, I should rather say that I know two who will talk about it. I've been the random stranger who found a young woman bewildered on the day after her rape by her (now former) best friend and sat down to talk to her.
Speaking to anyone who has faced a rape or rape attempt, can I just say, if you don't come out with enough self confidence that you are able to let it go and move on to a committed sexual relationship (or are comfortable with the idea of one) with someone else in a matter of weeks or months, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. But you can get to where this main character gets in the end. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Rape is one of the most personal of crimes, and there is no wrong reaction to it, other than acceptance. That one's unforgivable.
But if you want a book that will take you through this issue and give you food for thought on the subject, this is one that is well written and deserving of its ranking on the sales charts. I wouldn't consider "defense of rape" to be a great way to meet men, though, and that's why I wasn't 100% on board with the story. I don't mean to say Webber is advocating it by any means; I'm talking about emotional reaction. Emotionally, I didn't follow the main character, but it was a great way to open up the male lead's backstory.(less)
As I said in my last review, I'm busy reading everyone who's popped up on the "also bought" links for Fairytale. Obviously, Slammed will appear an a *...moreAs I said in my last review, I'm busy reading everyone who's popped up on the "also bought" links for Fairytale. Obviously, Slammed will appear an a *lot* of books' "also bought" links. It's been bought many, many, many times.
When I began to read it, my first reaction was dread. Girl (Layken) moves to a new town across the street from cute guy (Will). Within a few paragraphs they're flirting up a storm, and giving each other long passionate, post-date kisses. Please, I thought, please don't have this be a whole novel devoted to watching these two cavort like this. That is so not my thing.
But then Layken goes to her first day at school. Guess who's slightly older than the average senior? Old enough to be mistaken for a college student. Guess who's slightly young to be a teacher? Will and Layken cross paths in the hallway outside of his classroom, where she's a student. The subject? Poetry. The final assignment, perform at a poetry slam.
I picked up this book as I've seen Abbi Glines name on my Amazon page over and over again. I gather we share a lot of fans, and I was overdue to read...moreI picked up this book as I've seen Abbi Glines name on my Amazon page over and over again. I gather we share a lot of fans, and I was overdue to read her work. This was a fun ride, with a straightforward plot and great characters. Willow is the beloved girl next door to Cage York, only she and Cage don't live next door to each other anymore. He's got his own apartment, and she's got nowhere to live. He's desperate to always be there for her and believes he'll marry her one day. In the meantime, though, he's got a lot of promiscuity to get out of his system (or he tells himself he's getting it out of his system.) Nevertheless, Low remains the only person he'll drop everything for so that he can be a hero.
Marcus is Cage's new roommate, and he's smitten with Low at first sight. He can't stand her spending the night (chastely) in Cage's bedroom. That synopsis, by the way, doesn't set up the main conflict in the book. Things are more complicated than just a simple rivalry between Cage and Marcus, but I won't give spoilers.
Definitely more "mature" than what I write, but I do see why fans of mine also love her. It's safe to say, this won't be the last book by her I pick up.(less)
A forensic scientist directed me to this book while I did research for the next novel in my Fairytale series. It was a good place to start and gave a...moreA forensic scientist directed me to this book while I did research for the next novel in my Fairytale series. It was a good place to start and gave a good overview of the criminal investigation process.(less)
Salaam's a true master of the craft; I read her to learn as much as to enjoy. Her plots are delicately constructed, but I think of them in jeweler's t...moreSalaam's a true master of the craft; I read her to learn as much as to enjoy. Her plots are delicately constructed, but I think of them in jeweler's terms. They are the setting for the gems that are her scenes that ooze passion, emotion, and sensuality. With clever formatting, she achieves cinematic intercut scenes, modulates the voice of characters to let us see them from the inside, and shows the scene from different such perspectives, your head spin if it wasn't all so enthralling.
People who know my work should note, Salaam writes with an unabashed sexuality. If you prefer my LDS chick lit, this is *definitely* different. Be ready to check preconceptions and inhibitions at the door. In Salaam's world, the depths of one man's shame are as expansive as our universe and the fall of an angel from a religion older than time evokes a soft pain washed away by morning. A former student of Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson, Kiini Ibura Salaam takes the genre in new and mind blowing directions.(less)
A clever mix of the modern day world and Norse mythology, this book begins with an Englishwoman being lost in the Icelandic highlands, only to return...moreA clever mix of the modern day world and Norse mythology, this book begins with an Englishwoman being lost in the Icelandic highlands, only to return with a very strange story to tell. While the fantasy aspects of the book are as magical as one would expect, the storyline in modern day Iceland is every bit as fascinating and well drawn. This book has a huge cast of characters who are spread across multiple locations, both real and mythical, and while the plot is driven by scientifically explained climate and volcanic activity, the real story involves alfar, trolls, disowned gods, a family of mixed human and alfar blood, and, as the title suggests, the End of All Worlds. This is a book that will take you on a journey both cultural and mythical. Highly recommended!(less)
Tris and the rest of the refugees from Dauntless have escaped Chicago after enduring a horrific night in which they were forced to murder defenseless...moreTris and the rest of the refugees from Dauntless have escaped Chicago after enduring a horrific night in which they were forced to murder defenseless civilians. Now they're in the Amity compound and safe, right?
Wrong. The forces that led up to the disturbing end of the last book are still in play, and even worse, it's hard to know who's on which side. The one thing you do know is that being Divergent means you're marked for death, and Tris and Tobias are still Divergent. This, plus their troubled relationships with their families should make their relationship stronger, right?
Wrong. The stress of being hunted takes its toll on these two, and they're still teenagers in their first relationship after all. As the story unfolds, you're left wondering whether these two will pull through, or will they come apart just like the world around them.
It's just disgusting that a writer this young writes this well. Veronica Roth's sequel is spectacular, in my opinion, because it avoids so many pitfalls that sequels can fall into. It has a story and isn't just the same beloved characters wandering around without much plot. Things get complicated and people we care about get hurt, and by the end, Roth has raised the stakes yet again.
In this book prepare to:
1) see another side to Tobias and learn more about his past. It's much more complicated than you'd think. 2) watch the main character suffer and struggle and even screw up in some heartbreaking ways. That's what makes her ultimate triumph all the more satisfying. 3) see the setting from entirely different perspectives. You spend some time with Amity, overhear Faction leaders discuss politics, and infiltrate the ranks of the factionless. And then there's the ending, which changes everything, but I'm not giving that away.
It's a well crafted book when all the elements have depth and become more interesting upon closer examination. I highly recommend this one!(less)