**spoiler alert** Read from March 28 to 31, 2010 Reread July 2013
I didn't know what to expect with this series, honestly, and the first chapter didn't**spoiler alert** Read from March 28 to 31, 2010 Reread July 2013
I didn't know what to expect with this series, honestly, and the first chapter didn't grab me. The plot of this series isn't completely unique but the world is really interesting and cool. Angels, Demons, Downworlders, Shadowhunters. Needless to say, after Jace showed up at the poetry reading though, everything changed.
Jace. *dreamy eyes* I will be honest. I can't stand pompous, conceited, asshats. However, it is quite obvious that Jace acts this way to hide his true emotion. He wants to belong. I do believe he thinks he is hot shit (and, he is), but it is a complete defense mechanism IMO. He softens up after he becomes comfortable with Clary, and finds himself feeling an new emotion. Anyway, his witty banter about himself were some of the best lines of the book!
Clary didn't strike me as a very interesting character, but obviously her past is uncovered and she begins to grow on you, and grow herself. However, she takes her "real" existence like it was another day in the office. I wanted more shock and awe, more reality there. Her mother DID pound into her head that fairy tales aren't real. And then she finds out that all the stories are true, and she takes it like a champ. Really?
And while Valentine is a mean SOB, he wasn't dirty enough for me. Maybe we haven't seen his best work yet? I am having a REALLY hard time dealing with the ugly twist that was thrown into the mix at the end, and I hope that Valentine is truly a lying SOB on that one.
Lots of drama and action, some tension between characters, a possible love triangle, and a devastating twist at the end that may send your heart into palpitations. Now I have to wait to find out what happens with said twist and PRAY that is isn't true!...more
**spoiler alert** Originally read April 10-13, 2010
I've sped through this series like a bat out of hell. I couldn't put the books down. From the momen**spoiler alert** Originally read April 10-13, 2010
I've sped through this series like a bat out of hell. I couldn't put the books down. From the moment Jace showed up at the coffee shop to retrieve Clary, the world and story had me.
I knew, in my heart, that she and Jace couldn't be siblings. How could an author really do that to his/her readers anyway??? Their love is blinding, honestly. It is SO pure, so perfect, so untainted (well, tainted with Angel blood is a blessing!) I guessed Sebastian's true existence from the moment Clary laid eyes on him. It just fit, and it didn't take long to learn his evil ways. Valentine was a messed up individual, but he definitely created a monster in Sebastian/Jonathan. I was so proud of Izzy when she came to save Jace's life! The love the Lightwoods feel for each other is immeasurable. I am also beyond happy that after 3 books, Alec was finally able to get over his fear and let the world know who he loved. :)
This book was full of sorrow and betrayal, but it was the most glorious read of the series. Or is it? City of Fallen Angels is still looming. Sebastian/Jonathan isn't really dead...is he?...more
The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.
And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
I am not sure where to begin about the awesomeness that is this book! I devoured this young adult fantastical story in 24 hours. What a heartbreaking, emotional roller coaster of a story.
Mary is a young lady who lives in a village surrounded by fences strong enough to keep out the Unconsecrated - aka - flesh eaters! Her village has been around for many generations and the Sisterhood has taught the villagers that there is nothing beyond the fences but death. However, Mary dreams of what life has to offer outside the confines, constantly remembering the stories her mother told her of the ocean that existed before the Return. Mary has obligations to her family and her people, but she continues to long for something better, something more.
The Sisterhood, or the village's Godly body, created the laws the villagers live by. At times, these laws seemed so unfair, but if you are the last bit of humanity on earth, they are understandable. You either get married to procreate and rebuild humanity, or you become a Sister. Oddly enough, it seems as though the Holy Sisterhood has been keeping secrets from the villagers ...
After the walls to her village are breached by the Unconsecrated, Mary's curiosity, selfishness and determination lead her and her loved ones on one hellish, horrifying, emotional journey.
Carrie Ryan is a good writer, plain and simple. She developed Mary's character quite well, and it hard to think of her as a teenager because she was very mature throughout, but also terrified, hard-headed and selfish. Ryan also never describes what happened to create the Unconsecrated, which leaves the plot oddly interesting and mysterious.
The story is intense and exciting, full of betrayal, secrets and lots of danger. But most of all, it is full of hope - the hope that Mary carries with her until the end. A very compelling tale. Of course, there is a love story. It is heartbreaking and really draws you into an intense emotional relationship with the characters as they fight to survive in the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Interest in the book: I’ve wanted to read this book since last year, but being as it is not my normal go-to genre, I’ve kept it tucked away, waiting for the right moment. After meeting Gayle Forman and listening to her speak about the book, I knew I had to read the book soon. And, thanks to Amanda and her read-a-long, I finally read it.
Characters: These characters were standout. They leapt off the pages, into your heart, begging you to bear their torment and agony, along with their tears of joy. Mia, her boyfriend Adam, her best friend Kim, her parents, Kat and Denny, her younger brother Teddy and her grandparents. ALL of them make an impact on the story and more so, your heart. I love the journey they all take, and how this accident pulls some closer together, and pushes others further apart. This story is all about the characters.
Worldbuilding: The set up of this book was pretty magnificent, and one of the most enjoyable pieces of the story for me. As Mia watches helplessly as her world is transformed into a horror story, she reviews her life in memories over a 24 hour time period. One chapter is Mia in the present, watching over her body and her loved ones as they plead with her to pull through. Then the next chapter is a memory, Mia recalling how she met Adam, different snapshots of life with her parents and brother, her best friend, Kim. We get to know Mia through these memories, which tug at our heartstrings because present-day Mia struggles to survive.
Lasting Impressions: Honestly, I do not have words to appropriately describe how you feel after reading this story. You feel breathless as you are overtaken with intense emotions, as you question your own decisions about such scenarios. It really is a gorgeously written story about life, hope and destiny. Read the book.
“Please Mia," he implores. "Don't make me write a song.” ...more
What an amazing character Cas is! Cas is a brave, determined soul who feels he is responsible for the safety of mankind from maniacal ghosts. He starts off as a loner because he realizes that socialization does not come with the territory of his occupation. I felt his situation was so unfair. Cas feels like he does not have the option to ever settle down and have relationships. People need people! I admired his steadfast attitude and focus. He doesn’t find himself to be special in any way and takes his “job” seriously.
“I’m not a superhero,” I say. It’s an awful tag. It’s egotistical, and it doesn’t fit. I don’t parade around in spandex. I don’t do what I do and receive accolades and keys to cities. I work in the dark, killing what should have stayed dead. If people knew what I was up to, they’d probably try to stop me. The idiots would take Casper’s side, and then I’d have to kill Casper and them after Casper bit their throats out. I’m no superhero. If anything I’m Rorschach from Watchmen. I’m Grendel. I’m the survivor in Silent Hill.
SPOILER: However, Anna changes the rules of the game for Cas. She’s aware that she’s dead and therefore, has regret. Once Cas learns of this, his perspective changes and it forces him to accept others into his circle. /SPOILER: I loved watching him evolve throughout the story.
I adored Tybalt the cat, as well as Cas’ mother. And Anna. We can’t forget about Anna! Firstly, Anna is not to be messed with. Something right out of your worst nightmare. Anna will leave your bladder empty as she takes your head clean off. However, once you learn Anna’s story – right along with her! – you completely understand why she’s pissed and cannot “move on.” It’s a horrific scene that leaves your head spinning, and really adds to the dread and sadness of this book. However, it’s also a major turning point for Anna, and you begin to see a serious transformation in her. I loved the author’s ability to make us feel both horror and pity for Anna, as she is a character that will both scare the pants off you and make you want to hug her. The relationship that emerges between Cas and Anna is magnificent and really becomes the driving force of the story.
This book is not for the easily spooked. It’s a chilling tale of a young girl who finds her way back to humanity 50 years after her demise with the help of a young boy who is bound and determined to keep humanity safe. I was surprised by the language in this book. While it didn’t bother me, be aware that there is cursing throughout. In my opinion, it fit Cas’ personality, which is full of sarcasm. Win!...more
Smash: The Body Finder...love the title. Macabre, gritty, to the point. :)
Ashley: Duuuude, I got CHILLS just from the prologue... Right?
Smash: The prologue was wicked. It set the scene for a very intense, creepy story! The entire book was eerie as hell...but before we get creeped out, let’s talk about puppies and rainbows! Or rather, Violet and Jay. :)
Ashley: Oooh so you want to talk about sweet, sexy, dreamy... Jay??
Smash: Isn’t he fantastic? I met Kimberly Derting at a signing not long ago, and she gushed about Jay. I hadn’t yet read the book, but damn, she wrote herself an almost-perfect boy!
Ashley: Totally agree, he was WICKED hot! *sigh*
Ashley: Okay! Violet can sense the dead, sometimes it’s a smell, a color, or a taste in the back of her mouth...
Smash: Yea, she describes them like a beacon -or an echo- and they help her hone in on the...remains... :(
Ashley: These dead bodies don’t like TALK to her or anything though, they just send ‘signals’ to aid in her finding them!
Smash: It’s her sixth sense, I guess. Not a sense I’d like to have. I think Violet feels the same way, at first...
Ashley: Oooh! If you could have a sixth sense what would it be???
Smash: Does X-Ray vision count? I’d be quite happy seeing what’s underneath Jason Momoa or Joe Manganiello’s jeans. :) Oh wait, this is a YA book!
Ashley: Ha! You=Made of WIN. People know us... we’re too overly (what's a word for not filtered?)
Ashley:...honest for our own good!
Smash: yes...honesty is the best policy. *angel face*
Ashley: Okay... back to the review! What were we talking about? Whether Jay wears boxers or briefs? No?
Smash: Sounds like you want my sixth sense too!
Ashley: Dude, like I said- that idea is MADE of WIN!
Smash: Holla! Ok, back to Jay’s briefs. Oh, I mean. Wait. Let’s get our thoughts in order. *deep breath*
Ashley: *FOCUS* So Jay and Violet have been best friends for years.
Smash: Practically since elementary school. They know the ins and outs of each other’s lives and are bosom buds til the end.
Ashley: Only lately, Violet has been feeling much more than JUST friendly type feelings towards Jay. But so has damn near every other chick in school.
Smash: Seems as though Jay has filled out them briefs over Summer break. *wiggles eyebrows*
Ashley: You’re bad... I JUST got over the hot flashes from earlier. Now I must start the deep breathing ALL over again. #SmashFail ←- Yeah, I totally just rocked a hashtag in the middle of our review.
Smash: #TwittaWhoreFTW. Ok. Back to the story. I’ll be good. *puppy dog eyes*
Ashley: Uh huh... SURE! Okay! Violet is desperately trying to forget her new-found feelings for Jay, when Grady asks her to homecoming... and Jay gets ALL kinds of worked up about it!
Smash: THAT was a clear indicator to us readers, but they are both still so oblivious. I wanted to smack their heads together sometimes!
Ashley: Right? I’m pretty sure Jay KNEW he loved Violet, but Violet didn’t know he did!
Smash: Ahhh...the insecurities of teenage love...glad that shit is over with. :D
Ashley: Right? SO glad dating is over! Although... I still wouldn’t mind seeing Jay without pants on! *giggles*
Smash: YOU! Don’t you go off on the deep end now, too. We need to stay focused. Chant after me...Jay is delicious in his briefs.. I mean, Violet has a wicked, cool, scary sixth sense!
Ashley: UGH! Team ADHD... strikes again. Did we mention that Violet found a dead body at the lake? Or have we gotten there yet? Because several girls go missing and Violet makes it her personal mission to hunt the killer down.
Smash: You see, Violet can not only sense the dead, but she can also sense the death imprints on the killers!!!
Ashley: Yes! And every once in a few chapters we get a glimpse inside the killer’s perspective... Uuuum... it’s WICKED creepy! When the weird old guy grabs the girl and sticks her in his TRUNK, but whispers, “I promise not to hurt you.” I was thinking- WTF dude?!?!
Smash: Yea, in case you were wondering, don’t ever trust a guy that stuffs you in his trunk. #justsayin. I agree about the scenes from the killer’s perspective. They were so creeptastic! I can definitely tell that the author loves scary movies/books.
Ashley: Definitely. NEVER go willingly into some horrifyingly scary guy’s trunk. Not a good plan. So after, Violet decides to go looking for the killer... at least she called Jay first!
Smash: Yea, and he’s pretty unhappy with her attempts at being a hero, but you can just feel the love he has for her permeating the pages.
Ashley: Oh, I completely agree! They were absolutely ELECTRIFYING together... After Grady turns out to be the Worlds Biggest Jerk Face EVER (DOUCHEBAG!), ←- yeah, what she said! Jay rescues Violet from Grady, but another girl goes missing from the party they were both at! And now it feels wicked personal because it hits so close to home.
Smash: As Violet becomes more wrapped up in the game of cat and mouse, she helps to uncover the killer but not without some serious close calls! Jay, of course, is sincerely concerned for her throughout and risks it all. *swoon*
Ashley: I, for one, was wholly satisfied with the ending of the book... and the way everything wrapped up. I could not believe there was no cliffhanger- since they are so largely popular these days.
Smash: I agree. Great story, great romance, great villain, great mystery. It was just great all around. :)
Smash’s fav quote: “Sorry about that...I’ve been so worried about strange men following you around that I forgot how dangerous Homecoming Queens can be.” –Jay
Ash’s fav quote: “I can’t lose you, not now that I finally have you.” ~Jay (during a wicked make-out session, if I’m re-calling correctly.) (oh, those make out sessions!) *SWOON*...more
Interest in the book: Greek Mythology! Persephone and Hades! I also met Meg Cabot, which only increased my need to read this series. She was very entertaining, as most writers are. She doesn't write stories I'm typically drawn too, so I was happy to learn of this series. As a fan of Greek Mythology, I've been disappointed in some of the YA attempts. I'm happy to announce that this book entertained me from start to finish. I read it in two sittings.
First Impressions:"Once, I died." That opening line definitely grabs your attention. Pierce (LOVE this name for a chic by the way, and it's a great twist on Persephone) recalls the story of how she flat lined for an hour after drowning. You are given bits and pieces of her otherworldly journey throughout the story, but that first line hooked me.
Characters: Pierce Oliviera is having a bad year. Hell, a few bad years. Let's see...she died. Once revived, she was not the same Pierce. She had difficulties that resulted in her being expelled from her private school. Her mother moved them to her hometown of Isla Huesos in Florida, leaving her father behind in Connecticut. Mom blames dad for Pierce's accident, so there is definitely parental conflict. Pierce's grandmother is shrew-like, her cousin is all over her about the details of seeing "the light" and her uncle's recently been released from a long prison sentence and is quietly trying to acclimate back into society. Pierce gets a little crazy throughout the book, trying to figure out which way is which. She is a pretty strong but utterly confused. Does she love John or does she want to run away screaming? I get it. He's otherworldly and pops up every single time she gets into some kind of trouble, but really. Choose your path or move out-of-the-way and let me at 'em.
John Hayden. Um, hello sexy! John is very mysterious at first, as Pierce does not yet realize who and what he is. It may be obvious to the reader, but I enjoyed learning about him through Pierce's eyes, as well as her surprise and disbelief about him. I think John is drawn to Pierce because of her selflessness. He is constantly pointing out that she is always thinking about another animal or person, and forgetting to think about how her actions will affect herself. While I understand John's motives near the end, I definitely have beef with him over it. It obviously goes along with the myth so it was expected. It doesn't detract from my affection for the guy. He's been dealt a shitty hand and is only doing what he feels is the best thing for Pierce. A little selfishness may be involved, but hell, he's done his best to stand back and let the chic figure shit out on her own.
World-Building: The story is told in both past and present, so you have to pay attention. I actually loved this because we are given bits and pieces throughout the novel to piece together. The world is slowly built throughout this first installment, as we learn about the Underworld, John Hayden and the Furies right along with Pierce. I enjoyed the author's spin on the different mythological elements, especially the Underworld. We don't get a lot of time down there, so I am excited for book 2, Underworld.
Lasting Impressions: Color me impressed. I enjoyed the storytelling, the way it was told (flashbacks), the characters, the realizations, the emotions, the decisions. I especially loved the interactions between John and Piece. They are head-to-head through most of the novel because she is absolutely terrified of him, but there are touching moments via flashback and real-time. I am excited to see where this story leads.
"Because no life - if it was led by a decent person - should go unremembered. So if, for instance, a soldier was betrayed by people he thought were his friends, his body tossed from a ship and abandoned to the waves, his family left to winder forever what happened to him, never knowing if he was alive, if he was well...That is a certain kind of hell all its own."
It’s not often that you come across a book that is way more experience than plain ole reading. Before I even opened the book, my experience with Le Cirque des Rêves began…
It took me a month to read this novel. It was not for lack of interest, but because I would carefully read and absorb and experience the book in small doses so as not to miss anything. The layout of the book is extraordinarily creative and imaginative, and it is quite obvious that the author was intent on providing the reader with much more than just a book. And that she did.
All the characters in this book are magical, even the non-magical ones. You will find yourself wrapped in their histories and current situations, and you will laugh, cry and love right along with them. I am quite enamored with twins Poppet and Widget, who play integral roles in the Circus’ future. I am also quite fond of the author’s ability to turn the circus itself into a character. This circus does not “fake” magic, it is infused with it. No one knows when the circus will arrive in town, it just magically appears. It is is worldly, traveling across oceans with ease. It is its own entity, full of wonder and excitement. The circus is the stage for an enchanting competition between two incredibly talented and magical opponents who never expected the end result.
One scene I really enjoyed took place inside a tent that a character discovers. It is filled with hundreds of jars, bottles and boxes. When the boy opens a container, his senses are transported. In one container he experiences the ocean and sand, in another the desert heat and silk. One container takes him back to the holidays with his family. To me, this book was a container that transports you to the magical journey within its pages.
A group of people who become fascinated and infatuated with the circus’ magic join together as rêveurs. The rêveurs await word on the next location of the circus, and take off to enjoy the circus in its new setting. For those who have read and will read this book, I think it’s safe to say that you will join the rêveurs with me, put on your red scarf, and follow The Night Circus to the end....more
My heart hurts and my soul smiles as I relish in the magnificent beauty of this story...
Interest in the book: After reading If I Stay, I had no choice but to find out the fate of Mia and Adam. I dare you to ignore them.
Characters: In this book, Adam is our narrator and we are in his head for this agonizing, tumultuous journey. If you did not already love him, you will quickly fall as his apparent misery and longing for things lost will have you a sobbing mess. Adam is undeniably broken in this book, and struggles with the reality that Mia left for Julliard and never turned back. He has risen to rock star status and while music was once cathartic for him, he can no longer stand to be in the spotlight, much less out of his room. Adam’s depression is palpable, and through song lyrics at the beginning of every chapter, we get to see how he used music to emote. But it’s not enough anymore.
While I became instantly angry with Mia for leaving Adam behind without explanation, I knew she had good reason, in her mind. Whether or not I agreed with her decision is a moot point, but I respected her decision because it was how she chose to deal with the pain from If I Stay. However, the reason why she chose to leave him behind…is gut-wrenching, soul-ripping. Heartache on a page.
Worldbuilding: Much like If I Stay, this book is set over a 24 hour period. I really enjoyed the song lyrics at the beginning of every chapter, and it reinforces how much I believe that music, whether your write it, play it, sing it or listen to it, is cathartic and meaningful. The story is set in present tense, but just as we learned of Mia’s life through flashbacks, we are presented with Adam’s flashbacks to help fill in the past 3 years. It’s not a fun journey but it’s needed so the reader can understand Adam’s distress. The story is set in New York City, and once these two destined characters meet, we get to experience NYC as Mia takes Adam around to her favorite spots. The story culminates at Mia’s apartment, where heart and soul are delivered to you, a la Gayle Forman style.
Lasting Impressions: All in all, I enjoyed this book much better than If I Stay, but only because of how beautifully If I Stay set up the history and experiences that Mia and Adam endured. Adam’s POV was much more intense and interesting, but I mostly loved seeing Mia through his eyes. My favorite passage below is the perfect example of how much Adam loathed and loved Mia simultaneously, but in reality, his pain and rejection were clouding his undying, passionate love for her. He knew it. We knew it. Now it’s Mia’s turn to be enlightened.
I look at her there in the shadows of the shut-down city, her hair falling onto her face, and I can see her trying to figure out if I’ve lost it. And I have to fight the urge to take her by the shoulders and slam her against a shuttered building until we feel vibrations ringing through both of us. Because I suddenly want to hear her bones rattle. I want to feel the softness of her flesh give, to hear her gasp as my hip bone jams into her. I want to yank her head back until her neck is exposed. I want to rip my hands through her hair until her breath is labored. I want to make her cry and then lick up the tears. And then I want to take my mouth to hers, to devour her alive, to transmit all the things she can’t understand.
EDIT: I wanted to update this review and state that I listened to it on audio. It was, hands down, the best audio book I've ever heard! I was told thaEDIT: I wanted to update this review and state that I listened to it on audio. It was, hands down, the best audio book I've ever heard! I was told that Libba won an award, and she deserves a million of them. I HIGHLY recommend this book on aduio.
I knew this book was going to be amusing. The cover sorta leads to that assumption. What I did not expect, however, was the mockery and satire within the pages. This book is a breath of fresh air in a world so full of unattainable, ridiculous ideals, corporate pigs and malicious media asshats. The author pokes fun at the ludicrous parts of society in order to bring attention to just how ludicrous they are, and I’m hoping that the young women who have read this book "get it.”
For us older, jaded, in-the-know folk, this book is hella funny and sad at the same time. I laughed at so many things in this book, but my mind immediately went to why it was so laughable, which is not very funny at all.
Case in point:
“Last but not least, let’s welcome Tiara Swan, Miss Mississippi. Fun fact about Tiara: She thought you could get pregnant from swimming with a guy.” Adina shook her head. “Oh my goodness! Don’t you just love abstinence program? So not helpful.”
Amen for calling our abstinence-only sex education programs! I agree with Adina. They are quite worthless. I work with teens and let me tell you, they definitely know a lot more than you would ever imagine, but they are also severely misinformed about so much. Why we miss out on the perfect opportunity to give them proper information on a serious subject is beyond my comprehension. GLBT, Racism, Sexuality, Sexual Health, Mental Health, our absurd ideals on beauty, Corporate monsters, and so much more are mocked throughout the book, yet it really does make one think…and pisses one off, too.
There were a ton of characters in the story, but we got to spend time with each contestant and get in her head, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some are more memorable than others, but they each brought an integral piece to the overall point of the book. Of course, landing on a deserted island can really challenge a girl’s beauty rituals. It was damn fantastic to see how their world view changes throughout the book. Amen.
The set up of the book was fantastic. It opens with “A Word from your Sponsors” and it continues as though you are viewing a reality-tv-series-gone-seriously-wrong. I LOVED the author’s use of footnotes to explain her pop culture references. It was hysterical and I enjoyed figuring out the real-life person/product she was referring to. Oh, and serious Kudos to Libba, as I think there was a RENT reference in there. ♥
And in case you were wondering, I am most definitely a Lost Girl......more
Smashtastic Synopsis: Meet Jenny Morton, better known as Jenny Mittens in her small town of Fallen Oak. Jenny has a serious secret, and it’s one she has been suffering with her entire life. You see, one touch from Jenny will cause horrific boils, blisters and open sores to sprout on the infected area, and if she holds on a little too long, her plague will send you to an early grave. Eh. Not much different than the typical teenage worries, right?
Jenny has spent her entire short life being that weird girl who avoids human contact at all costs and wears long sleeves and gloves in the midst of a Southern summer. Jenny’s senior year of high school rolls around, and with it brings an event that sets Jenny’s life on a path she would never have dreamed possible. She discovers love via a young man named Seth, who is oddly able to withstand her diseased touch, but Jenny’s life has never been that simple. Seth is unfortunately smitten with his crazysauce girlfriend, aptly named Ashleigh, who possesses her own set of abnormal traits. As the three of them slowly learn of one another’s paranormal abilities, the story takes off into unheard of territory.
Jenny soon realizes that she may need to unleash her worst nightmare in order to save herself and the only man who is able to give her some semblance of normality. Oh, and sex! I mean, hello! Can you imagine life without human contact? Or sex, to be more exact. Jenny can’t either, so she grabs on to Sex Seth and doesn’t let go. Smart girl.
Interest in the book: Well, the premise is wicked cool. Plague-ridden Jenny meets Seth, the only human who doesn’t become infected by her touch. They fall in love, but not easily, as wackadoo Ashleigh has her claws in deep, and Seth is finding it difficult to separate himself from her holiness. Or is it slutiness? Oh wait. Ashleigh is a virgin. I keep forgetting that because it really doesn’t fit her personality. Shoot. I should be putting this in my Character section…
Characters: Jenny is a fairly normal teenage girl, minus the deadly touch and non-existent social life. She has a great father, who loves her unconditionally. Jenny’s mom is out of the picture, for reasons you shall uncover. I found Jenny to encompass many of the qualities I love in people: compassion, determination, loyalty. Seth surprises you. You don’t expect what you get from this young man, and I really found my self cheering for his victory throughout his dealings with the Devil Ashleigh. She isn’t really the devil, but we could debate her devilish qualities til the cows come home. Or the plague spreads. You pick.
Worldbuilding: Oh my. Just when you think this book is about three people with paranormal abilities, the author kicks up the lore and story into high gear, and presents the reader with a serious expansion of the world the likes of which will have your jaw hanging low. I really appreciated this amazing creative endeavor and was was pleased the story morphed into so much more than what we take at face value.
Lasting Impressions: All in all, this book really sent me on a joy ride through crazytown, but I loved the journey. The development of characters, the paranormal elements, the entertaining story that slaps you with surprise, the romance that makes your heart burst. It worked. It rocked. Read it.
Smashtastic Entertainment Scale
Damn near Perfect! Wicked Enjoyable Great Potential Mediocre Somewhat boring/confusing/lame Not very interesting Boo
“Will you keep me safe?” she whispered. ”I promise.” ”Then I’ll go anywhere with you.” ...more
My Synopsis: Meet Chase Williams, Demon Hunter Extraordinaire. Or not. You see, Chase ran into a little problem on his way to becoming a demon hunter. On his fifteenth birthday, his elemental powers decided to say a big “forget you!” and not show. In his world, this pretty much equates to a big fat L on your forehead, as his pompous father and the Circle confirm. Now, Chase finds himself exiled without the Circle’s protection, along with his devoted mother. And unfortunately for Chase, being the son of a feared demon hunter can be seriously detrimental to one’s health.
Living his entire life being told that demons are bad and must be killed, Chase’s beliefs are challenged when he encounters an innocent demon with a stutter named Willy. As the story progresses, Chase forms an unlikely alliance with a sassy witch named Rayna, whose secrets rock Chase’s world. They uncover that the Circle is not all what it seems, and they must work together to stop a hellish plan that could be the end of them all.
My interest in the book: The cover is what caught my eye, and once I read the synopsis, I was very interested in this magical world. I was especially drawn to the elemental magic, which is a favorite of mine.
Characters: One of the best parts of this books is the likeable characters. Chase is a pretty normal teenager, despite his otherworldly heritage. My heart immediately went out to him and his mother, and it only grew as the story progressed. Chase matured throughout the story and it was great to see that growth. I especially loved his mother. She was ridiculously protective and supportive of her son. Then there is Rayna! This sexy, sassy lady was a standout. She has secrets even she is unaware of, and she and Chase become quite the awesome team. You could not but help love Willy in all his “scaredy demon” glory. Tiki is a character we meet later in the story who also brought smiles to my face. We are also introduced to a really cool creature or two, and I am really hoping we get to see more of them!
Worldbuilding: I really enjoyed the development of this world. I loved reading scenes where magic was used. The author used great descriptive writing and it wasn’t overly detailed and boring. The fight scenes were also descriptively awesome, as were the different dimensions and use of portals.
Lasting Impressions: I was impressed by this debut book by M.R. Merrick. He provided a great backdrop, solid, likeable characters, an interesting, mysterious storyline and good writing. The ending of this book provided a great lead into book 2, which I thoroughly look forward to reading....more
World-building: WOW! I am wicked impressed with Kendall's world-building skills! The world she has created is intense and it took me a while to acclimate to it all. In this world, you have the Dreaming (dream world) and the Realis (real life). You also have Aers, Wæters, Fyres and Erthe elementals. These elementals have different functions and personalities, but we get a major dose of the Fyre elementals, whose personalities are exactly what you imagine: passionate, fierce, dangerous. The elementals feed off of the Wylding (humans) in the Realis, but need skin contact in order to absorb elements; their life force. In the Dreaming, it's an entirely different ballgame. However, elementals aren't supposed to be in the Dreaming. When they invade the Dreaming and mess with the Wyldlings therein, the seriously mess up the Balance. As Kendall states here: "Though the Dreaming is the collective unconscious of the human race, events that transpire there affect people in real ways." In other words, an elemental might suck the real life right out of a human! Therefore, Sentinels, beings with equal parts of water, air, fire and earth, have to guard the Dreaming and protect the vulnerable Wyldlings.
Confused yet? I was! But tell me that isn't damn interesting? It is seriously original and really sucks you in to the possibilities of it all. Wicked impressed, I tell you!
Characters: Gavin, our hero, is an Australian musician with tattoos and a lip ring. Rawr! I do love me some bloody fun Australian colloquial language. The use or arse and bloke had me smiling. Anywho, Gavin's conflicted about his past and struggling to go on with life when he meets our beloved heroine, Zoe, a whale biologist. Their encounters are anything but normal. Gavin is a Sentinel, and first meets Zoe in the Dreaming. Needless to say, their lives intertwine and their connection becomes undeniable. Gavin has lost his way and Zoe is just the spark to bring him back online. *waggles eyebrows* Note: See my favorite quote below. Gavin is full of protective spirit and when he regains his passion, his fire made me sweat! I absolutely loved watching his transformation. He has so much potential and I am excited to watch his growth. All of his growth. ;) Zoe is one hell of lady! She is fiercely passionate about her job, but her past experiences have taken a toll on her ego. She struggles to regain herself, though you would never be able to tell that from the outside. Zoe is admirable for standing up for her beliefs, regardless of the consequences.
There are other characters worth mentioning: Scarlet and Sinnder, Fyre elementals up to no damn good. Scarlet is one hell of a bitch, wrapped tightly in leather and fuck you. She is behind a master plan of which Zoe stands so firmly in the way. And of course, Scarlet has history with Gavin, but she is not yet ready for it to be considered history. She is out for blood. Scarlet is so easy to hate but she added such steam to this story. While I'm not a fan, I am totally digging her role and its effects.
SINNDER! Ha. Oh my. *fans self* Sinnder is Scarlet's lackey, or so she thinks. As Kendall described him here: "Sinnder’s an enigma. You just don’t know what the hell he’s about, what his goal is, or whose side he’s really on." I completely agree, as you never truly know his motives. His way of dealing with Scarlet and her unwanted advances towards him is sooooooo sexy. I love those scenes the most! Um, kitchen scene, anyone! Woot! He is just sexy without even trying. He bleeds sex. He is a Fyre, after all.
Whoa. Hot. The kind of hot that could make a woman feel like she needed a month-long vacation in a nunnery after one night with him.
Um. I have located my local nunnery. #JustSaying
Lasting Impressions: THE ENDING! THANK YOU FOR THAT ENDING, Kendall! And um, all the other in between stuff too. I cannot wait to pick up Exhale and continue on Zoe and Gavin's journey. And experience more Sinnder! And get scalded by Scarlet!
"I'm not finished with you yet," she whispered, dragging her hips up, down, squeezing her inner muscles around his cock. It was like fucking CPR. Brought him right back online.
I may have written this note in my Kindle: "That's what I'm fuckin talkin' bout, right there! #SmexyTime"...more
This turned out to be a really great read! It was a great mix of current and historical (Jack the Ripper). I love how it ended and look forward to booThis turned out to be a really great read! It was a great mix of current and historical (Jack the Ripper). I love how it ended and look forward to book 2. ...more
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. Humanity is rearing up for one hell of a bumpy ride!
Interest in the book: Rhiannon Frater invited me to be part of the blog tour, and being a major fangirl, I could not say no. After the cover reveal, I was even more excited to read the book. Isn't that cover ridiculously awesome? At first, I thought it was a series, but then she corrected me. I am actually glad it's a standalone. The ending works. It felt right.
First Impressions: In true Frater fashion, the prologue sets the scene and grips you tightly by the throat. Humanity is dangling by a thread because the last Bastion has been cut off from its food sources due to the Inferi Scourge breaking through a pretty impenetrable gate. The Bastion sets out on its final mission to save humanity, and as with any zombie book, they don't make it easy on you!
Characters: Vanguard Maria Martinez is a bad. ass. mama. jama. She is fierce, protective, loyal, inquisitive and compassionate. She is also broken, physically and mentally, but is not afraid to lay her ass on the line to save the last of mankind. Maria is in love with officer Dwayne Reichardt and their secret love affair is her only form of happiness. Maria was part of the last mission to rid the valley of Inferi Scourge, a mission that ends on a serious sour note. When she is contacted to be part of a secret mission as the final attempt to rid the world of the infected, Maria jumps at the chance to save humanity, even though it may cost her everything. She is such an admirable, courageous woman! She faces fears pretty damn personal throughout the mission but she always keeps her eye on the prize.
Dwayne surprised me with his dedication to Maria. He is left back home while Maria is in the field, but with the assistance of Maria's dear friend and tech geek, Lindsay, he is able assist Maria behind the scenes. You see, not all is what it seems in this game. Discovering the truth about everything, along with the characters, is incredible. You feel the intense feelings right along with them, and the deception and surprises will make you gasp!
World-Building: Ohhh. The world-building was rich in this book. It's set in the future, and a virus has infected most of the human population, turning them into mindless Inferi Scourge whose sole purpose is to spread the virus by biting their victims. In other words, they do not eat flesh. They merely bite your ass and welcome you to the family. These zombie-like creatures do not decompose, so their human-like appearance plays psychological havoc with the military personnel sent to destroy them.
The Last Bastion is the final safe place for humanity, and it is surrounded by millions of Inferi Scourge. The Bastion is slowly dying because the Inferi Scourge has cut them off from all renewable resources and food. The future is bleak, the current living conditions are poor, the ammunition is running low, but the government officials have something up their sleeve. The government's super secret mission is their last hurrah before humanity dies out, and it is full of devious, treacherous, scandalous twists and turns. But as is typical with zombies and viruses, in general, they deliver a set of surprises all their own. Booyah!
Lasting Impressions: The ending worked. I was expecting something different, as I am sure others will, but I'm glad Frater decided to surprise us. I finished the book with hope and a smile on my face. And trust me, there is no time for smiles with the Inferi Scourge breathing down your neck! Frater lights up the plot with conspiracies, treachery, coups and a bucket load of political fucktards to last through a nuclear explosion (since, you know, they are like roaches). She also delivers a touching love story that stands strong through a milieu of WTFckery!...more
Interest in the book: After being introduced to Kendall's first book, Inhale, and devouring its wicked world-building aCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads.
Interest in the book: After being introduced to Kendall's first book, Inhale, and devouring its wicked world-building awesomeness, I knew I had to continue on the journey with Zoe and Gavin. Their story is one that you want to finish. I want to see them safely through the end of their struggles. I NEED THEM TO BE OK! Ok?
First Impressions: The book leaves off exactly where Inhale ends, which I personally enjoy. We are catapulted back into the situation at hand, which is as hairy as your Uncle Mo's back. Emotions are raw and confused, and hellions are back on the loose to make life hell for Zoe and Gavin.
Characters: Zoe and Gavin are back with their stellar personalities, insecurities, yearning to experience life, passion for their respective jobs (and each other!) and compassion for others. Zoe is great and I really enjoy her voice in the story. She's insecure but her stubborn nature will not allow others in very easily. She is tough at her core but crumbles under the passion and adoration of Gavin. I think we'd all crumble. Gavin is a stand up guy. He's oozing with sex and definitely makes you want to take a cold shower, but the guy is just plain ole tender-hearted and good-natured. I frakking love experiencing Zoe and Gavin from the other's perspective. Aside from the serious intimacy of it all, I love knowing their thoughts in the moment, their insecurities and confidence, their happy and sad memories. I LOVE being inside their head. They balance each other but also challenge and push each other.
God, she was instant relief from all the shit flying around in his head. Her touch grounded him, put things in perspective.
Plus, their moments together never disappoint. Their encounters don't always end happily but their passion and adoration for the other pours off the pages.
He'd always viewed kissing as the path of least resistance to achieving the goal of bedding women. But Jesus, this wasn't a kiss. It was a fucking experience. Like discovering a new world. And the intoxicating atmosphere in Zoeland turned his bones to jelly.
And the HEAT they produce together is steamy. Kendall's use of phrasing always bring home a win.
He leaned in for a kiss, but she avoided his lips by dropping to her knees. She sucked his dick stupid.
Of course, Scarlet and Sinnder are never to far behind where Zoe and Gavin are concerned. Sinnder was so perplexing throughout the entire book. I love his mysterious nature. He constantly has me guessing where his loyalties lie and if his heart is as fiery as it's supposed to be. He is my favorite character in the series, and his role in this whole clusterfuck is becoming more and more interesting! Scarlet really upped the ante in this installment and bitch took psycho to ultimate levels of crazy. As much as I want her to go out in an everlasting flame of good riddance, I LOVE her character. She is seriously one of the best villains I've come across in a long while.
Fuck. If she'd been an ordinary human, Scarlet would have been classified as dangerous, but the Fyre Elemental label upgraded her psycho status to platinum deadly.
World-Building: You want world-building? You got it. Rich, intense and interesting world-building. Characters that jump off the pages and sear you with their interesting, engaging and sometimes down-right scary personalities. Two different parallel worlds that affect the other in tragic ways. And whales! YAY!
Lasting Impressions: Kendall Grey has talent and a beautiful heart. Did you know she was donating all proceeds of this trilogy to whale education? That, to me, is pure heart and compassion and a cherry on top. I wanted to be a marine biologist throughout my entire childhood, and dolphins were my passion. I completely get where she is coming from, and also love how she weaves them into her storytelling....more