"If I Stay" was Mia's story and "Where She Went" is Adam's. I'd had my fears about this audio book, and had put off my listening for way too long. But...more"If I Stay" was Mia's story and "Where She Went" is Adam's. I'd had my fears about this audio book, and had put off my listening for way too long. But once I started listening I couldn't stop. In fact, I'm letting the last disc repeat because I don't want the experience to end just yet. The reader is part of the wonder of this audiobook. He's the perfect voice, one that you could imagine a young rockstar having.
Anyway, some of the story does have elements of "I see what you did there." But for the most part it is the cause of good imagery and to make the story more compelling. The details really make this story great. (less)
Samhain LaCroix is just existing post-high school. He has a crappy fast food job, but good friends and a supportive mom and sister. One otherwise norm...moreSamhain LaCroix is just existing post-high school. He has a crappy fast food job, but good friends and a supportive mom and sister. One otherwise normal day an encounter with a bad customer changes Sam's life forever. The customer, Douglas, is a local necromancer and one of the most powerful paranormal people in Seattle. No one dares cross him. He recognizes that Sam has a small necromancy power and from that point on makes Sam's life hell. When threats don't work Douglas actually kidnaps Sam. In captivity Sam meets Brid, a female were-fae hybrid roughly his age. Despite the awful circumstances sparks fly between them and being held together helps make the situation more bearable for both. The hijinks are wacky but the non-stop wisecracking is broken by moments scary, sad, and touching. The characters, especially Sam and co. (especially his best friend, Ramon), are quickly but expertly developed. Actual character motivations drive actions, which is refreshing in the paranormal YA genre (which is often plagued by characters only reacting in ways to drive the plot, no matter how against character the reactions seem.) Characters are added in through-out the story, including a sassy 10 year old ghost and Brid's protective family, setting up for future sequels while helping to wrap this adventure up nicely. (less)
I loved this Romance! It was the perfect balance of strong but flawed heroine and strong but flawed hero who don't seem like they should mesh...but do...moreI loved this Romance! It was the perfect balance of strong but flawed heroine and strong but flawed hero who don't seem like they should mesh...but do. What I liked so much about romance was that her belief in him made him a better person. She'd been content with her lot in life before he came, and even finding out his true intentions never really alters that belief...and it is that belief that allows him to let go of hurts and those evil intentions, even if he doesn't ever quite succumb to her rather flakey way of thinking. Compelling characters, a lovely countryside setting, and lots of intrigue make this one of my favorite historical romances yet. My only complaint is that I'd have liked more of the hero's pov and more character development from the brothers. Otherwise, good stuff.(less)
This book is trying really hard to be Twilight and not be Twilight at the same time. It succeeds in being marginally less awful than Twilight. Margina...moreThis book is trying really hard to be Twilight and not be Twilight at the same time. It succeeds in being marginally less awful than Twilight. Marginally. Mostly because it is shorter and more stuff actually happens.(less)
Katarina Bishop is kicked out of the Colgan academy, framed for a crime that this one time, she actually didn't commit. Before she's even off school g...moreKatarina Bishop is kicked out of the Colgan academy, framed for a crime that this one time, she actually didn't commit. Before she's even off school grounds the real reason she's been kicked out becomes apparent in the form of billionaire heartthrob and burgeoning teen thief W.W. Hale the somethingth. Hale is the bearer of bad news. Her dad is in trouble and he's refusing to try believe that situation is as bad as it is. It is up to Hale and Katarina and their junior thief friends to work one of the most difficult heists in the world to keep her dad safe.
Katarina has been gone from "the world" and "the family" for three months, and her confidence is shot. Add to the mix a new boy who is...interesting and who Hale is jealous of and doesn't trust and you have what could be an explosive time.
I was underwhelmed by this book after really enjoying the Gallagher Girls books. Katarina didn't engage me very well and I liked every other character much more than her, I think because despite the specific description and background, Ally Carter was trying for that "everygirl" sort of character that we can all identify with and it didn't work for me. I found the love triangle a little predictable.
I wasn't a huge fan of the audiobook reader either. She wasn't bad, but I wasn't drawn into the story through her voice. That has a big impact on how I like the book. At no point did I feel the tension that should have been inherent in the scenes where Katarina and her loved ones are being threatened or in the scenes where they are pulling off a huge and impossible con job.
But in concept and secondary characters this book shines. It was one of those escapes where, even though hackneyed a bit, I did feel like I was a part of a criminal underworld I would never even glimpse in real life. I don't want to be an art thief, but it was kind of fun to think "what if." Could be a younger read-a-like to some of Jennifer Cruisie's books, like "Bet Me.' (less)
The Romance genre study through ARRT put J.D. Robb on the list of authors for Romantic Suspense subgenre....more**spoiler alert** Why I picked up this book:
The Romance genre study through ARRT put J.D. Robb on the list of authors for Romantic Suspense subgenre. I get a lot of requests for this series at mpow so I thought I'd check into it and see what I thought.
Why I finished listening: The romance in this book was almost completely incidental to me. I kind of wanted both Roarke and Eve to stop with the contrived tension already, we get it. Also, I felt like the whole "I don't know why I like you" thing from both of them was ridiculous. You articulate repeatedly what it is you like about the other character and then expect me to feel tension about your relationship? No.
Despite that, I liked both their characters and wanted them to get together. And, the fast-moving plot rife with suspense kept my interest. A senator's grand-daughter has been killed, a lot of heavy hitters are involved in the case, and more people are dying. The pressure is really on Eve Dallas and she doesn't have much in the way of backup or suppport...plus she's falling heart first into bed with one of the prime suspects. The futuristic setting oddly out-dated already (laser weapons and flying cars, yes, okay, The Future,; electronic memos, seperate electronic communicators, databooks, etc., and all data stored on "discs" not so much The Future.)
Two notes about this book which may or may not be spoilers: 1) The book is really political. I would not say feminist though the the undertones are there, but the way rape and prostitution are handled undermine any feminist leanings. Still, it is pretty left-leaning, mostly in a good way. 2)This one is pretty spoilery.**** I actually laughed out loud when the villian did the classic blunder of telling his supposed last victim (Eve) about his crimes. He actually says that he wants to gloat to her! I just pictured Dr. Evil telling Austin Powers all about his plans as Austin works on escaping. I cannot believe anyone outside of a superhero comic seriously used this plot device. **********
The reader, Susan Ericksen, was MOST EXCELLENT. Sometimes that's quite hard to find. Also, the production values were high, and many times that is not the case.(less)
Skimming was the only way I could get through this book. The characters were flat and more like caricatures and none of them likeable. The "mystery" o...moreSkimming was the only way I could get through this book. The characters were flat and more like caricatures and none of them likeable. The "mystery" of the author not revealing any of what was really going on went on for FAR, FAR, FAR too long. And amnesia, despite being an awful plot device, also needed to be researched a whole lot more before Sandra Brown decided to use it in ways that make no sense.
This book is everything I want in a Victorian steampunk paranormal Romance. Oddly enough, I hadn't realized until I read it that a book encompassing a...moreThis book is everything I want in a Victorian steampunk paranormal Romance. Oddly enough, I hadn't realized until I read it that a book encompassing all these genres with the added benefit of a funny/sassy female hero w/out a soul and a surly powerful shapeshifting Duke. Those two do some verbal sparring that will make your head turn round.
Also, I love that this book is most certainly steampunk but the word "airship" was not bandied about like it was going out of style. For some reason it seems most steampunk books feel like they have to through those airships in right away and keep throwing them in so we remember that this is a steampunk book! No, the world building is much more sophisticated and wonderful than I was even hoping to see.
The plot is sufficiently complicated and twisty, the society suffocating and dry (except Alexia's best friend who is also a girl and who she talks to about Things Other Than Boys--thus this book passes the Bechdel test!) The world building (as I mentioned)is fantastic, the suspense is tightly strung, the paranormal bits are seamlessly woven into the story.
My only star-stealing gripe is that for all her awesomeness Alexia can't take a compliment about her appearance. There is a reason behind it, but it does grow thin after awhile, much as it does when you try to compliment a friend and they always deflect instead of just shutting up and saying thank you. Also, her family is just so atrocious. They remind me of the Featheringtons in Julia Quinn's Bridgertons' series, but so much worse. Mostly I just think the compliment thing was overused a bit, is all. A bit Mary Sue-ish, if you will. I can't wait to read "Changeless" and wish that I had a weaponized parasol of my very own. (less)
Wrath, Rhage, Tohrment, even these character's NAMES make them sound like pro-wrestlers and the descriptions in the book "giant, towering, intimidatin...moreWrath, Rhage, Tohrment, even these character's NAMES make them sound like pro-wrestlers and the descriptions in the book "giant, towering, intimidating, scary, scarred, muscled, mountainous" don't help much. In fact, I kept picturing all of the Brotherhood as the pro-wrestler "The Undertaker" and all of the "lessers" as that kid in "Powder." That isn't even the worst problem with this book, but it certainly didn't help me get into the story at all.
So, basically Darius, an important Vampire/member of the Brotherhood (protectors of vampires from some arbitrary war with the vampire hunters known as "lessers") is killed by the lessers. As luck would have it, he'd just asked the leader of the Brotherhood/future king of Vamps, Wrath, to watch out for his half-human daughter, Beth. Darius never bothered to introduce himself to Beth, but we are supposed to believe he's always watched out for her and cared for her. Evidently daddy dearest watched her from afar as she went from foster home to foster home like a creepy stalker. In Ward's world vampires don't mature until their 20s when they become vampires...a transition which they may not survive. Her world building is pretty intricate and even involves a glossary at the front of the book (thank goodness.)
Things are complicated by the fact that Vampires only really get much nutrition from feeding from the opposite sex of their own species (which must be unpleasantly intimate for the gay vamps.) Most vamps have some sort of relationship with their feeding partner, but our kingy, Wrath, he just has never been much interested in his partner Marissa. Of course, his disinterest means Marissa is totes in lurve with his beefy self. But, Wrath meets Beth, Darius's neglected urchin of an intrepid reporter (of course) and he's instantly all hot in the pants for her. She's instantly all hot in the pants for him. They basically explode from overwrought metaphor. It is pretty gross and not sexy. Also the fact that Wrath is so damn intimidating that scariness roils off of him like tangible waves in all directions scaring Beth to bits just before they hit the sack the first time makes me cringe. And I'm not really sure why, but the Vamps are kind of wussy and die easily so why am I supposed to be all gushy about them in the first place? Way to ruin the appeal, J.R.
For some reason though I really liked the servant character Fritz though. I guess because he kept trying to help Beth make sense of the crazy-storm around her, which not a whole lot of anyone else did.
Seriously, do yourself a favor, skip this book and read "Soulless" by Gail Carringer or anything by Kelley Armstrong or early"Anita Blake" stuff by Hamilton instead.(less)
**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about th...more**spoiler alert** Good, not my favorite Quinn, but enjoyable and fast paced with likeable characters.
***SPOILER ALERT*** I was less than happy about the epilogue. The Lost Duke didn't want to be duke through the ENTIRE book and nothing in his training or character seemed to point at him making a good duke whereas the displaced duke was very good at it. Yet in the epilogue Jack takes over the role and it just happens that he's awesome at it. What? I feel like that whole ducal issue is one that should have been written slightly differently. (less)
There was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well d...moreThere was a lot of natural circumstantial and character tension that this book could have built upon. The historical and physical settings were well done and layed a solid foundation. But, instead of using the background and the natural tension to create the conflict, the author went back to the old infuriating technique in romance novels of having the characters make a bunch of assumptions about the other characters thoughts and feelings and then never talking about how they actually feel. A big pet peeve for me is inconsistencies in characters in a romance novel and this novel's characters didn't know if they were coming or going. One minute he loves her the next his eyes are glittering and cold and the next he's kissing her again without anything much transpiring to create the shifts. Also, the ending was so ridiculous, even for Victorian times, that I lost my suspension of disbelief.
Read for the setting and the background of railroads and Christmas in Victorian times, don't expect much in the way of satisfying plot or characterizations. (less)
It took me a few discs to get into this story, but once I was in, I was hooked and didn't want to get out of my car to go into the Library...or into m...moreIt took me a few discs to get into this story, but once I was in, I was hooked and didn't want to get out of my car to go into the Library...or into my house. The full cast audio recording of "Graceling" is wonderful. Katsa is graced--she has two different colored eyes and special powers--she is rare, a girl graced with killing. Her uncle Randa, king of the Midlands, uses her as his own personal attack dog. She hurts people so they obey him. She hates him, and herself for doing his bidding and so together with her cousin and some guards of Randa's, she starts a council to do good around the seven kingdoms. When she rescues the father of the king of one of the far away peaceful kingdoms she doesn't know what a can of worms she is opening. Nor does she realize she'll be opening her heart to the old man's grandson. (less)
**spoiler alert** 17-year-old Kelley is the red-headed understudy for role of Titania in an off-off-off-off Broadway production of Mid-summer Night's...more**spoiler alert** 17-year-old Kelley is the red-headed understudy for role of Titania in an off-off-off-off Broadway production of Mid-summer Night's Dream who gets the literal lucky break. The leading lady "busts an ankle" and joy of joys she has the part. Hooray, great story about alternative career paths and following your dreams.
Except not, at all. This is yet another story about an ordinary girl who finds out she's a fairy princess, specifically Irish and with all the fun trappings and problems. After reading Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, or any of the numerous American Urban Fantasy takes on the exact same theme I'm actually pretty done and pretty bored. Which isn't to say that the book isn't readable, and it makes a pretty good read-alike to all the Cassandra Clare/Holly Black/Melissa Marr/and even yes, Laurell K. Hamilton for your older audience. And there are some unique elements that sets the story apart: I like that this book pays homage to The Bard. I like the changeling storyline and the human guards of the fairy realm, The Janus Guards, some of whom are ass-kicking ladies. I like the Central Park central location and a certain kelpie who moves into a bathtub.
Unfortunately all of that which I liked, and which fans of the Irish-specific mythology as Urban Fantasy genre will also like doesn't lead to a great book. The discovery of Lucky the kelpie and the fact that she's a fairy princess takes up too much time and the actual battle and conflict is rushed into the last few pages of the book. I did not believe the romance between Sonny Flannery, Janus Guard, and Kelley Winslow, mediocre actress/fairy princess. And by not believe I mean I'm completely unsure when he went from being creepy stalker dude to love interest but it happened somehow without ever actually convincing me that her character would actually not see him as a creepy stalker anymore. Also, despite all the time spent on her discovery of fairy princess powers it is just so ho-hum. Her reaction didn't jump off the page or do anything new, she just came around after a short time. Which might be better than pages and pages of ranting and railing and disbelief, which also would have been terrible, but still...boring.