I have to admit I was a teeny bit pissed off when I finished this one. Not that it wasn't excellent, but I missed one little word in the blurb...one word...and it nearly killed me. What word? First. From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding conclusion to the best-selling first Forever Evermore trilogy. I thought this was it. The End. Bye-bye. No more. Over with. Adios. Close the door on your way out. So when a few things didn't get wrapped up to my total satisfaction? Hulk sad. Hulk SMASH! 'Cause this series is in my top 5 favorites of all time. Yep, right up there with Moning's Fever series, and Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. So. If this was the end, then I wanted every little thing sorted out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The ending was good. But there was this BIG thread of the story that still wasn't FIXED. And the worst part was, I couldn't even stomp around like I wanted to! I mean, how would I explain that to my husband? See, there's this book about a sexy vampire and a hybrid shifter/vampire. They'loved each other, but it had to be all hush-hush, because it's against their laws to mix species. Also, they both happened to be the rulers of their particular species. There was this big war going on with the Coms (that means humans, Hon), and they'd both been mind-wiped as punishment for falling in love. Oh! And they had a baby! But she didn't know who the father was due to the mind-wipe. It all worked out, but I'm just pouting and throwing things, because there was still something that they needed to fix! And it's OVER! It's just OVER! And... Hey! Are you laughing at me? NO, this isn't like the time I thought Mac had killed Barrons. Seriously? How can you even bring that up right now?! Did you just mumble 'hormones' under your breath? I do not have PMS! In other words, I had to be mature. Damn it. But now that I've correctly read the blurb, it appears that there may be more books coming. If there's a first trilogy, then there must be a second trilogy, right? Right?! *soothing music plays in the background* Ahhhh. Much better.
Ezra. Give me a minute here.... ------- K, I'm back. He is hands-down one of the sexiest men in literature today. And for those of you who are just now discovering these books, don't even bother trying to add him into your book-boyfriend harem. He's MINE! ALL mine! Don't worry about what happened at the end of the last book, ladies. The author doesn't keep them apart for long, and she doesn't drag out the who-are-you thing for any longer than necessary. I'm not say they get their memories back, I'm just saying... Well. Read it. Ezra and Lily sizzle.
Alrighty. The war with the Coms is in full swing, but other than a few scenes, it mostly fades to the background of the story. Everything is mainly about Lily and Ezra trying to figure out...all the stuff they need to figure out. You know, there's not a lot I can tell you without spoiling the story. And it's a great story. These are books that I will definitely re-read again, and probably again-again. Like I said, these are a favorite.
So why not go whole hog, and give this 5 stars? Ehhhh. It kills me to say this. I mean that, but... The last 10% of the book was iffy. There was a time-travel thing that wasn't very well explained, and felt almost smooshed in there to...I don't know...include time-travel? I got nothin'. I, quite literally, made a WhatTheFuck Face throughout the whole scene. Yeah, it served a purpose, but it just didn't seem all that coherent or well planned. Almost like an afterthought?
Ok. I already whined about the untidy thread at the end, but I didn't knock any points off for it. But there BETTER be more books on the way.
The next thing on my ververyvery short Didn't-Like-It list, was the way Lily seemed to turn into a sadist. Sorry, but that turned me off. I absolutely love bad-ass heroines. And if they gotta kill a shit ton of villains to save the day? *shrugs* That's just fine by me. But this was something...else. Lily had been put through the ringer in every sense, so I totally get that she was hardened. But there was a line, and she crossed it several times. Torture for sport? To prove a point? Because it's fun? No. Kill who you gotta kill, and move on. And don't think I'm going easy on you, either, Ezra! Just because I have a shrine built to you in my closet, doesn't mean you get off scott free! I'm ashamed of you, young man!
Moving on. The last thing I wanna say isn't so much a complaint, as it is a 'preference'. Jack and Pearl were such a huge part of the first two books, that this one felt bare without them in it. They do show up, eventually, but I wanted more time with them. However, I will reluctantly concede that since I'm not the author of this book, my 'preference' counts for shit. Then again, I will also not-quite-so reluctantly, reiterate that there better be more books!
Even with those complaints, I still love these characters, love this world, and love this author. Fans of the previous books will love seeing the chemistry flare back to life between Ezra and Lily, and learning a few shocking secrets about some of the other characters in the series. I'm satisfied....for now.
I received a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
Charlaine Harris should give classes on how to bitch-slap fans. Really! It's like she looked at all of those one star reviews for that last turd in tCharlaine Harris should give classes on how to bitch-slap fans. Really! It's like she looked at all of those one star reviews for that last turd in the Sookie series, and said to herself: Ha! Those sorry fuckers wanna know what happened NEXT? Muhahahahahaha! I'll show 'em what happens next... And then she wrote the most laughable thing ever, and giggled all the way to the bank. See, if she were really trying to soothe all of the ruffled feathers, she would have offered this up as a FREEBIE on her website. After all, it's not a novella. Nope. It's an A-Z list of characters, and what happened to them. Most got a few sentences. Some got one line. And the lucky ones got a page. Thing is, I didn't know or care who most of the characters featured in this even were! Some neighbor? A bar patron? A cop? Somebody randomly mentioned 10 books ago? WHOTHEFUCKCARES?! Not me, that's for sure. And the characters I did care about... Their fates ranged from sad to boring. Although, I noticed a few characters that she gave some wiggle room to, just in case she wanted to milk them in the future. Sorry, but there's no way I'd ever invest my time in another one of her series. Why? Because I know she can write...when she wants to. And I might really like that series. But what happens when she gets sick of writing about those characters? Yeah. No thanks, Lady. This was nothing more than revenge on everyone who called her out for not giving these characters the send-off they deserved. It's an overpriced (Kindle version is $5.50) List...not a book. And to say this thing was illustrated is an insult to illustrated books. Drawing a picture around a letter of the alphabet is not my idea of an 'illustrated' novel.
If you're thinking of starting this series? Retreat! Retreat!
There's no reason not to go ahead and bite the bullet if (like me) you've already reaAlso reviewed for Addicted2Heroines
Why not finish the series out?
There's no reason not to go ahead and bite the bullet if (like me) you've already read all of the other TWELVE books. I waited a while, not because I was upset with who she was going to end up with, but because the low ratings for this one made me think it might be a chore to get through. And it was. I had forgotten how absolutely boring Sookie had become. BUT NOT FOR LONG! Yeah, after about 10 minutes of reading, all the memories started flooding back. The alternate title for this book was, Sookie Checks Her Mail, Mows Her Lawn, Goes Shopping, Brushes Her Hair, and Takes About 40 Showers. Evidently, Harris thinks we all give a shit what Sookie chops up and puts in her casseroles. Or maybe she's thinking of squeezing a little more money out of her cash cow? Perhaps Sookie's Knock 'Em Dead Southern Recipes is the next book to hit the shelves? I didn't know you could write in monotone, but apparently Harris' inner author sounds like this: Beuller? Beuller?
It's sad to see such a quirky and charming character turn into a lackluster chore to read about. However, if you've come this far with the series, you might as well see it to the bitter end.
(view spoiler)[I like Harris' reason for Sam and Sookie ending up together. The best relationships are built on friendships. Duh! But here's the thing, she should have given us readers the courtesy of making him into the love interest. At any point. Even though it was a little late in the game, she could have done something, anything, to make him into a swoon-worthy character. Like, all of a sudden, we realize that OHMYGODHEISPERECTFORSOOKIEHOWDIDWENOTSEEITBEFORE?!...or something? But no. Hey, I think I love you. Maybe I love you, too. Mkay. Wanna do it? Sure. Next, there's a massively boring sex scene that feels like it was tacked on to prove that they have chemistry. Although, to be fair, sex scenes have never been Harris' forte. I'm not sure why she had us fall for Eric, if her plan was to make him into a douche. He could have been a cameo love interest, like Bill. But to build him up for umpteen thousand books, then systematically tear him down? It was weird. Why spend the majority of a series focused on one character that doesn't have anything to do with...well, anything, by the end of the series? Give me some fireworks, please! But their breakup was as unspectacular as the Sookie/Sam sex scene. Ha! Say that three times really fast!(hide spoiler)] Then again, it seemed like she went after every character with a weed-wacker in this. I got the distinct feeling that Harris was sick to death of these guys. Like she hated the idea of even having to write one more word about any of them again. I'm probably wrong, but it seemed like she was giving her hardcore fans the finger when she wrote this.
I'm glad I waited and got this from the library, because the thought of putting money into her pocket after reading this would just piss me off. Two stars was generous, and given mostly out of my former love for this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Really interesting idea you have here, right? One girl. Two lives. Verrry cool. I think I would have rated it higher If I hadn't seen the ending coming from a mile away. Not that it's a bad ending! Far from it, but I just...knew it would happen. Exactly like it happened. So I'm thinking that maybe I've just read too many books? Is that possible? Nonsense! Sacrilege! Hear me out before you burn me at the stake, though. I mean, we've pretty much determined that I'm not smarter than the average bear, so it's not like I puzzled it out with my Sherlock-like deduction skills. The only possible explanation is that I've seen this plot in action before. So. The 'shocker' would work out well for any readers who are younger, haven't read a million books, or frequently have the wool pulled over their eyes while reading stuff. Otherwise, go into this knowing that you'll probably not get a GASP! moment out of it, and you'll be fine.
I also felt a little let down by the lack of explanation for Sabine's condition. I know that not everything has a nice and tidy answer, but I was hoping for something. Even an educated guess would have made me happy. Alas, no. The reason she lives two lives is because...she lives two lives.
The story revolves around Sabine, and whether or not she can (or should) pick one life to live. Which basically boils down to whether or not she should kill herself. The whole broken arm thing (see the blurb) leads her to believe that she can end it in one life, and still live happily ever after in the other. Ooooooh. Tricky. See, in both lives she has some reason to want to stay, but it's unbearably hard for her to keep switching back and forth. And for this reason alone, you kinda want her to be able kill herself in one life. Which was weird, 'cause I don't actually think suicide is a good idea. But at the same time, that whole switching back and forth thing sounded awful. Don't worry, though, the author doesn't seem to condone killing yourself either. Which is nice, considering this is a young adult title. Ok. So if she can make it so she only has one life, then the question naturally turns into which life she should choose. At first it seems pretty easy. Go with the life where your folks haven't stuffed you into a psyche ward, right? Ehhhh. Naturally, she meets and falls in love with Mr. Wonderful while she's stuck in the loony bin. And, of course, Mr. Wonderful is the only person who actually believes her about the whole Two-Life thing. But Mr. Wonderful has a SECRET! He repeatedly tells Sabine he doesn't want her to chose not to kill herself because of him, even though it's obvious they have feelings for each other. I'm pretty sure you'll figure out the SECRET if I give you any more information about the book, so I'm just going to shut up now... Anyhoo, he wants her to choose to keep both lives because it's a special opportunity.
I have to say, I was satisfied with the ending, even though I saw it coming. Also, this is a stand-alone novel, which made it quite a breath of fresh air for me. It was nice to be able to close a book and just be finished with it. All in all, not a bad way to pass the time.
Digital arc from NetGalley and the publisher....more
There's a really good concept underneath it all, but the execution was horrible. When I read the blurb, I got all excited because I love Grim1.5 stars
There's a really good concept underneath it all, but the execution was horrible. When I read the blurb, I got all excited because I love Grim Reaper stuff. And the idea that a bunch of kids work for some sort of Reaper Agency sounded phenomenal! But. Once I started reading? No. Not unreadably awful, but awful nonetheless.
First, you have the main character who has...what? Some sort of obnoxious personality disorder? I like MCs with a lot of piss and vinegar running through their veins, but this kid was just socially retarded. She bites people. For no reason! She punches, kicks, harasses, and bullies everyone around her for no discernible reason. Even she doesn't know why she does it! (view spoiler)[Supposedly, the anger issues stem from her super-power as a Grim. Uhhhhh? So, you're an asshole because you have to power to reap souls? Sorry, that was just stupid. (hide spoiler)] And it wasn't just her angry outbursts that annoyed me. Oh no, there's more. Evidently, she's emotionally about 7 years old, as well. She might be 16, but she's still thinking about things like...I shit you not...cooties!
Another problem I had was that nothing in the world-building made much sense, even once it was explained. It was all just... La-la-la-la-la! We all live in a quirky town, with quirky street names, and quirky shops! Wheeee! Everyone is happy! And the mystery was lame. A bunch of kids (once again) decide to not do the smart thing, and try to solve it by themselves. HUGE MISTAKE. Huge! There's obviously no good reason not to inform the adults that something is terribly wrong, but let's do it anyway!
The ending? It just stopped. Like, things started to get mildly interesting, the it was... Read the next book in the Croak series for more exciting adventures with Lex! Yeah, no thanks.
Lackluster plot, weird romance, and cringe-worthy main character. I'm not going back for more.
There are two ways I typically use the word creepy, and this book contains examples of both. A) Creepy: I'm in the house by myself, and I hear something thunking around upstairs. Veeery creepy! Honorable mention: You wake up in the middle of the night, and one of your little kids is there. Just staring at you. Watching you sleep. Creepy little bastard. Or B) Creepy: I went shopping with a friend. We ran into her brother, and she greeted him by giving him a kiss on the mouth. *shudder* Creepy! Honorable mention: You see a woman nursing her six year old child in public. I don't care what the La Leche Nazi's say...it's creepy. The kid has teeth. Toss an apple at 'em, and wait till you get home to permanently scar their psyche.
I said that to say this, All Those Broken Angels is full of creepy. You have the Ooooh-Woooo (that's my ghostly wail, in case you couldn't tell) moments when Richard's Shadow comes out to play, but then you also have quite a few Ewwwww? moments. Kind of like the examples from B, I wasn't totally sure how creeped out I should be by the Ewwwww? moments. Like, sure it's semi-weird for someone to kiss their brother on the mouth, but as long as they're not frenching him...it's not really wrong, is it? Maybe they just do things differently in their family? Or the nursing thing? My kids' old pediatrician always bragged about how she nursed her kids till they were 5 or 6. It's healthy, and gives them antibodies! *GAK* So yeah. Not wrong-wrong, just icky from my (and a lot of other fucking people's) standpoint. *GAAAAAAAK* Sorry. I just...uuuuuuh! The problem is, I can't thoroughly explain the parts that I thought were borderline gag-worthy, without spoiling the plot. And the plot is actually pretty good! So let's just say that Richard is a bit closer with his Shadow than I expected. In fact, the Shadow got close with the other Melanie, too. All that closeness gave me the heebie-jeebies. Especially when I found out the truth about the Shadow.
So you go into this not knowing whether the Shadow is good or evil. And there's a lot of grey area involved in finding your way to the end of the story. Some of what happened was fairly obvious, but some of it took me by surprise. There's also a serial killer angle to the story, and I really did not see some of it coming. Very well done! There's this one part where Melanie is drinking tea, and all of a sudden it hits you... Ahhhhhhh!
I may not have loved every part of it, but I finished it in one day, if that tells you anything. Also, I haven't read tons and tons of young adult horror. I've read some, but I wouldn't call myself an expert on the genre. I'm purely rating this on my enjoyment level, because I don't have a lot to compare it to. It was good, but there were too many times I did a WTF?/Facepalm for me to rate it any higher.
Digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
There's a somewhat decent plot under all the cheese, but it wasn'1.5 stars
I won this from a Goodreads giveaway thing.
Yay. I finally won a book. *cough*
There's a somewhat decent plot under all the cheese, but it wasn't strong enough. This was strictly a Paint-By-Numbers paranormal romance. Magic. Check. Sex. Check Danger. Check Magical Sex While In Danger. Check.
Marissa wakes up from a scary dream, and suddenly she has powers. So. She turns to her longtime crush/boss smexy P.I. Jack Slade (yeeees, that's really his name) to help her unearth the secrets of her past. Naturally, they both find each other irresistible. But. They've kept their feelings in check for several years, because they work with each other. Suddenly they can No Longer Resist. *insert tons of sex scenes that don't help move the plot forward* Please don't leave comments about how I 'Don't Get Paranormal Romance'. I do. No, it's not my favorite genre, but if it's done right, I like it. My personal opinion was that this was poorly written. Again. My Personal Opinion. Beyond that, there were things that struck me as odd or unlikely. For example: Marissa was wrapped in an embroidered baby blanket when she was left at the orphanage. No tags. No label. Slade (Master P.I.) thinks that they'll be able to track down the person who embroidered it... 30 years ago. And that this person might remember who ordered the blanket... 30 years ago. No. No, to that whole line of thinking. There's not a real private investigator who would even suggest something so stupid.
Some of the plot, while not terrible original, could have been interesting to me. I like witches, and I like mysteries. However, the writing felt amateur, and I had to force myself to finish. I would have DNF'ed it, but I felt guilty about the whole Winner-Winner-Chicken-Dinner thing. Anyway. I finished it.
This looks like the author's first book, so maybe the next one will be better?
First off, how fabulous is that cover?! Stunning! Beautiful, haunting, gorgeous. etc.. I seriously wish I had a hardback edition of this book, becauseFirst off, how fabulous is that cover?! Stunning! Beautiful, haunting, gorgeous. etc.. I seriously wish I had a hardback edition of this book, because I'd display the shit out of it.
I really enjoyed the writing, the pace, and the whodunnit murder-mystery aspect of it. I picked it up yesterday afternoon, and I finished it before bedtime. It's not a short book, so that says something right there. So, even with all of the flaws, I couldn't bring myself to 1 star this book for that reason alone.
Sadly, there were issues. Issues that simply cannot be overlooked and swept under the rug, regardless of how quickly I devoured it.
The magic. This was downright hokey. Her hands crack open, and water comes out? WTF?! As a plain mystery, this would have been a much better story, but whatever this 'elemental power' thing was, just kind of ruined it. It was campy, ill-explained, and ultimately mostly unnecessary.
The romance... Ok. And I'm being totally serious when I say this. It was such a calf-eyed insta-love, that I thought it was a red herring to throw us off the trail. I assumed that there was no way for this to be an actual romance worth taking seriously. The end would clear it out of the way, she would find someone else (or not), and I didn't need to worry that this bullshit was for real. Whoops. Ridiculous doesn't even begin to explain how awful it was. I just can't...
The ending. Did no one care enough to step up and tell the author that this was a wad of unbelievable nonsense? I have a hard time believing that anyone out there would be able to cheerfully swallow that down as a remotely reasonable explanation. I'm wrong. Of course I'm wrong, because I see several 4 and 5 star reviews for this, so, yeah. Some folks bought it. (view spoiler)[The whole thing hinges on your ability to believe that two tweenage girls could successfully swap lives. One girl is next in line to be a Duchess, and the other is her maid's daughter. They are half-sisters, not twins, but the author seems to think that a house full of staff members who have known them both (most since birth) wouldn't notice this. Why? Well, they went off to boarding school together. None of the adults charged with the future Duchess' safekeeping caught on, because she staying in her room when they first arrived. Riiiight. I guess the staff didn't meet her when she got there? Then they dyed their hair. Awesome disguise! They took 'lessons' from each other. Just like Parent Trap! Except they're not identical twins... And when they came back home a few years later, everyone just assumed that the 'subtle' changes in...oh, I don't know...BONE STRUCTURE was just due to growing up. Everyone? Even her best friend/boyfriend, and Oscar the observant family butler? WTF?! No. NO! Maybe, just maybe this could have worked if the 'maid' hadn't returned with the Duchess. But both girls under the same roof? The reasoning is that no one notices maids. Ok. Perhaps the other aristocrats might not have paid any attention to her, but the other servants in the house most certainly would have. Are you kidding me with this shit?! (hide spoiler)]
In the end, I'd say the writing is good, but the unbelievability of some of the plot elements really took its toll on me.
I received a digital arc from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
This was a weird one. At times, I would really be into it, flipping the pages all excited-like...and then all of a sudden POOF! All of my previous interest was just gone. At first I couldn't really figure it out, but after a while, I noticed my zone-outs seemed to be correlating with the two main characters getting all sappy with each other. Seperately, they're both very cool. Together, they're the perfect recipe for Boringsauce. I"ve been trying to put my finger on why I felt that way for days now, but I'm still not 100% sure. Something just felt off. My best guess is that the romance felt too young and silly for me. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it's a young adult title. And I'm a crusty old chick. So that probably means that the target audience will enjoy the angsty teen bits. 'Cause they're, you know, angsty teens.
The premise of the story isn't supah new, but I thought it was cool anyway. The basic idea is that there's a world that mirrors ours, except that it's Eeeevil. Well, sort of. It's been taken over by demons, and the warlocks on this side of the fence want to go back and reclaim their throne. But for now, it's all brimstoney and crumbling. It was never really explained, but I'm just assuming the general idea is that once the warlocks take control of it again, it won't smell like sulfur or be all flamey. Otherwise, I can't imagine why they'd want to go back.
Paige is like that kid who can See Dead People. She pushed a little boy out of the way of an oncoming bus, got smooshed, and died for a few minutes before being revived. When she woke up, Ta-da!, she had the world's most ostracizing superpower. She can't always tell the difference between the living and the dead, so she ends up looking like a mental patient when she strikes up a conversation with (what everyone else assumes is) a wall. So. Yeah. Not popular with her peers.
Logan is... Ok. I can't say much of anything about him without giving away spoilers. But I liked him. He's not an ass, and he had a really good backstory. Unfortunately for you, you don't find out what it is till the end of the book. Sorry.
Even though I wasn't blown away by it, I'm still interested enough to want to read the next book, so I think this will probably do well with the YA audience.
Digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
No, I'm not going to ruin it by rehashing what happens. You'll have to find that out for yourself. And you should... IThe final showdown! Good vs Evil!
No, I'm not going to ruin it by rehashing what happens. You'll have to find that out for yourself. And you should... I will say that there are unlikely (and even unlikable) heroes who step up to the plate in this volume. There are tragic deaths, unbelievable sacrifice, and gut-wrenching loss. But there's also forgiveness, understanding, and healing.
The thing that stands out to me about this entire series is that there are no throwaway characters. Not the friends, not the teachers, not the parents...not even the little bird. Everyone is significant. Everyone has a story. And everyone counts.
Yes, the story filled with supernatural terrors, but that's not really the thing that makes these books so special. It's the insightful look at a family coming together, while at the same time, falling apart. It's about the way unconditional love mixes with guilt and pain, and turns into something beautiful and strong.
It's the way it shows a boy coming of age. When the rage of rebellion gives way to the realization that his father had once been young, been selfish and flawed, been brave and kind...been human.
The end? Well, it ended the way it should. Highly recommended.
So this novella introduces us to Armentrout's new Dark Elements series. Going strictly off of the novella, I doubt I would be interested in re2.5 stars
So this novella introduces us to Armentrout's new Dark Elements series. Going strictly off of the novella, I doubt I would be interested in reading the first book. To me, this was horribly boring. No real action, no real plot, no characters that I really loved. With the exception of a smirking demon who showed up for a few minutes toward the end of the book... Jasmine and Dez were just kind of blah, and I had to make myself to keep reading about their not-very-interesting love story.
However, since I did find the demon-guy interesting, and the excerpt for the next book was included on this one... Read an excerpt for Armentrout's new book White Hot Kiss to find out more about Layla, Zayne, and the cute demon guy! Or something like that... So I read it. Now that book sounds like it might have some potential.
I snagged this when it was free on Amazon, but that's not the case anymore. My opinion says it's not worth spending money on. Skip to White Hot Kiss unless you're a completionist....more
Cute, bouncy, and waaaay more fun than I originally thought it would be!
First off, let's just get the iffy parts of the story out of the way. The villaCute, bouncy, and waaaay more fun than I originally thought it would be!
First off, let's just get the iffy parts of the story out of the way. The villain and his dangerous plot to take over the world? Eh. It was ok. And I'll admit that it wouldn't be a big stretch of the imagination to think that someone could use supah-cool cell phones as a medium to suck in teens and adults. But. I just wasn't feeling it for some reason. Saving the world seemed sort of secondary to some of the other stuff that was going on, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. So, don't go in this thinking you're getting a paranormal thriller, and you should be ok.
Alrighty, here's what I liked:
There was a good Parent/Child relationship. Sure, Dad was MIA, but Jillian's mom was an actual presence in her life. None of that weird absentee parenting shit that crops up over and over again in this genre. In YA literature, I expect that the main characters will eventually find a way to get around their guardians. Otherwise, you wouldn't have a story, 'cause they'd be safely tucked away in their rooms. Still, I do expect to find the occasional parental figure who isn't stupidly taking a business trip or vacation, and leaving their teen home alone. Or blindly believing their kid when they say...well, whatever they say. How dumb do you have to be!? As a parent, you have to assume that if your kid's mouth is moving, you have a 50% chance that a lie is pouring out of their cherubic lips. It doesn't mean they are bad, or that you have done a bad job raising them. All it means, is that they are following an inborn instinct we all have. I mean, my husband still lies to his parents. They live several hours away in another state, so they like it when he calls them to let them know we got back to our house safely after a visit. Nice, no? But my husband waits till we've been home for an hour before he picks up the phone. Why? So they won't know he was speeding. Liar! Me? I'm not Super-Mom. I love those little guys, but occasionally I have to sleep. And that's when they STRIKE. Like Demon-Ninjas. But believe it or not, I know where the hell my kids are at any given time, on any given day. Where are you going? Who are you with? Check in with me every *insert time limit here*, or I will find you. And you don't want me to have to find you... And then I discretely follow up to make sure they aren't lying.... Do my kids get away with mischief and mayhem every time I take my eyeballs off of them? Yes. I would be disappointed if they didn't at least try. But I guarantee you that I would not be blissfully unaware while they disappeared for days at a time into an alternate universe. Get real! Who are these adults in books that fall for that, "I'm spending the weekend at Suzy's house!", crap? As The Mom, the whole fascination with idiot grown-ups pisses me off. So. I appreciated the relationship Jillian had with her mother. Not the perfect mother, but she was there.
Another thing I appreciated was the lack of body dysmorphia as a plot device. As in, Jillian was satisfied with the way she looked. She didn't have goddess-like looks, but she was attractive. And she knew it. She also had self-confidence, and demanded to be treated with respect by potential dates. Here's the kicker: She was (and had been) pining over her male BFF, but instead of trying to make herself available to only him, she was aware that he might not return her feelings. So she dated other guys that she liked. What?! Don't you mean she dated other guys in order to get his attention? No. She dated guys that she thought were hot...and might have a chance of liking. Gasp! *FAINTS* It's true. Evidently, you don't have to waste away while you are waiting on Mr. Right to decide to notice you. Who would have thought such a groundbreaking idea was possible?!
There were also other fairly well-rounded characters in the book that added a good bit of diversity to the What's-Hot-What's-Not discussion. Jillian't best friend is described as an Amazon due to her towering height. Again, she's also considered beautiful. She doesn't hunch her shoulders or wear flats just because she's taller than most of the guys. She believes she's attractive, and that self-confidence makes it true. Sorta like real life. Speaking of height, the author didn't just make this about the girls. One of the hot guys that Jillian goes on a date with is really short. It plays into the story, but not in the normal Ha-Ha-You're-On-A Date-The-Keebler-Elf kind of way. Yes, he's shorter than Jillian, and it's brought up that he has a better than average view of her boobs, but he isn't a social pariah just because he's not 6 feet tall.
The tone of the story isn't dark and serious, and the dialogue is snappy and cute. It's not perfect by an stretch of the imagination, but I really enjoyed it. If you're looking for something that won't make your eyes roll out of your head, due to the idiotic ideas that usually permeate this genre, then you may want to give this one a shot.
I received a digital arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
If you've been following these books, then I think you'll be happy with the final installment. It's a good solid ending to the Blood of Eden trilogy.
WIf you've been following these books, then I think you'll be happy with the final installment. It's a good solid ending to the Blood of Eden trilogy.
Warning: Spoilers for the previous books on the way!
It keeps the theme of the other books, in that vampires are not cuddly or misunderstood. Allie has been struggling to keep her humanity throughout the first two books, and with the help of her mentor Kanin, she's managed to keep from sucking people dry. Of course, it helped that she was in love with a human. At the end of the last book, Sarren had captured Zeke, and left a video of Zeke being tortured to death just to screw with her. So it was no real surprise that when the story opens, Allie has gone a little off the deep end. She's still determined to stop Sarren from unleashing the virus that will wipe everyone off of the planet, but she's now on board with Jackal's version of how a vampire should act. Chomp, chomp, chompin' on the humans...
Unfortunately, I can't say much else without giving major spoilers. I can say that I was totally expecting most of what happened to, um...happen? But it didn't all play out exactly the way I thought it would.
My only complaint would be that I did occasionally get a tad annoyed by Allie's somewhat dry and crunchy inner thoughts. Sometimes (not always) her inner monologue seemed too formal. I mean, she's been traveling around with Kanin for a few books now, and yet she would still mentally refer to him as The Master Vampire. As in, The master vampire looked over the city with an unreadable expression on his face. *That's not a quote by the way, just an example.* I mean, it just seemed like she should have said something more like, Kanin had an unreadable expression on his face while he looked over the city. I don't think I'm explaining this right, but Allie used Kanin and Jackal's titles (the Raider King, the master vampire, my mentor, my brother) way too much for someone raised on the streets. This whole paragraph doesn't really makes sense, does it? I really probably should just delete it, since it's just pretty much one bullshit complaint in an otherwise decent book, but I've already spent a good hunk of my time trying to figure out how to say this. I feel like I'm locked into it now. Ugh. Don't you hate that?! Anyhoo. Feel free to disregard my above brain fart, 'cause I can't bring myself to use the backspace key.
Again, if you liked the first two books, you'll like this one. This is the only thing I've read by Kagawa so far, but I'm sorta tempted to check out her Iron Fey series now.
Thanks, NetGalley! I pinky swear this is an honest review. Blah, blah, blah...
It was a cute story about a group of kids who get telepathic abilities from a flu shot. It's a solid 3 star read, and I think it will do very well withIt was a cute story about a group of kids who get telepathic abilities from a flu shot. It's a solid 3 star read, and I think it will do very well with the younger readers. However, I doubt that this will crossover well into the adult market, or even into the older YA audiences. It's got a teeny bopper flavor to the story that kept me from fully caring what happened to the characters, but I'm not the target audience, so I'm not trying to be insulting. The closest I can come to describing the story is by comparing Mlynowski to Ally Carter. I thought Carter's books were cute, but too young for my taste. I think it's more for the 12-15 year old crowd?
There are some somewhat 'mature' subjects that are discussed, but I would feel comfortable letting my girls read this in a few years, especially since there isn't anything graphically portrayed. It seems like the author tried to deal with every imaginable problem that a young teen could be facing. Body image, popularity, parental abandonment issues, adultery (among parents), social anxiety, unrequited love, cheating, self-sabotaging behavior, etc.. And since there is a large group of kids to work with, every social group is pretty much represented. It's pretty cliche, but for someone younger (who hasn't been reading for decades), this could be a very good book.
I'd recommend this one for girls who are about to enter high school, or maybe who just started high school. The book has too much female flavor for me to think that a lot of boys are going to like this one, and it's too simple for me to recommend it to adults who like YA.
I received a digital arc from NetGalley in return for an honest review....more
This was (yet another) cute freebie I found from one of the many email lists I subscribe to. I highly recommend that you take advantage of some of thoThis was (yet another) cute freebie I found from one of the many email lists I subscribe to. I highly recommend that you take advantage of some of those suckers. It's a great way to try out authors that you may not otherwise hear about, without worrying about spending your money on a dud.
Goldie is a witch who works for the three Baehr brothers, as an endangered (magical) animal advocate. She basically investigates poaching and animal trafficking. She also takes in animals and raises them in her home. So when magical creatures start showing up all dismembered, the Baehr brothers call on Goldie to work with the ordinary police to find the person responsible. Of course, she has to keep all the magical stuff hush-hush. Except that the perp pretty much kills the cop she is working with...and she has to use her power to heal him. So. Yeah, it kind of blows her cover. But don't worry, he's not only grateful, but he kind of thinks she's hot. Awwww. I should mention that she was previously involved with baby Baehr, so when she (sort of) gets involved with Mr. Ordinary cop, we have a nice little love triangle.
Anyway, they soon realize that it's not just magical animals that are the target of this mysterious person, but magical people as well. In fact, it starts to look like Goldie might be the next target...
Cute, with a twist ending that leads into the next book. ...more
Snagged this one a little while back, because it's a retelling of Cinderella. Don't judge my obsessions! But3.5 stars
My quest for Freebies continues!
Snagged this one a little while back, because it's a retelling of Cinderella. Don't judge my obsessions! But I gotta say, the cover didn't really inspire confidence. Excuse me, Mrs. Hannah? Would you like some crackers with your cheese? At any rate, I wasn't expecting much. Why does it seem like a cover can make or break a book for women. I mean, haven't we always been told that men were the visual ones? Anyway, with my low expectations firmly in place, I started reading...
Guess what? It wasn't bad at all. In fact, this is a pretty good retelling! Well, considering Cinderella is a werewolf, and all. There was a lot more of the original story woven into the plot than I thought it would have. I've noticed quite a few books lately that are labeled 'retellings', but have little to no connection to the story they are retelling. In some cases, the only connection to Cinderella is that the girl has a stepmother, and her shoe falls off at some point in the story. Not exactly what I was hoping for in a reimagining, you know?
Yes, there were some corny PNR moments in this one. Loins are burning, and wombs are throbbing! But for the most part, Before Midnight is a pretty good book. Best part? It's still free on Amazon!
I've been searching for a book centering on witches for a while now, but nothing ever really clicked with me. Until Hexed. But hear me out before you run out and buy this one, because some of the things I absolutely loved about this sucker, might be the very same things that turn you off.
First, Indigo is not a heroine that you would normally cheer for. She's shallow, but not self-absorbed enough that she doesn't realize it. And not shallow in a cutesy way like Buffy, either. She's not worried that her hair is messed up, she's worried that bringing a nerd to a party will be the social death of her. In fact, it would have made more sense for the author to make Paige (the above mentioned nerd) the heroine. Paige is smart, kind, and bookish. And let's face it, most readers tend to gravitate toward a character they can relate to. Although, smart and kind are sort of a toss-up for me... Personally, I loved that Ms. Krys didn't go the easy route, and give us yet another cookie-cutter heroine that we all feel comfortable with. I mean, you've got to work at it to like Indigo, especially in the beginning of the book. She changes over the course of the book, but it happens slowly...just like it should. There is no huge moment when she realizes the error of ways, and then totally transforms. Even when she initially starts taking baby steps toward shedding her old ways, there is still a part of her that is mortified.
At a pivotal point in the book there's a death that rocks Indigo's world. In the middle of all of this, her relationship with Bishop is starting to morph into something more, as well. And I can hear the naysayers squeaking that 'at a time like that' Indigo would not be interested in pursuing a relationship. Bzzzt. Wrong! Having gone through the same person dying...at the same age as Indigo...I can most assuredly tell you that the things going through her head were written in a realistic light. Been there. Done that. Minus the magic.
Beyond the main characters, the secondary characters were thoroughly enjoyable. The bad guys were bad, and the good guys were...sort of bad too. In fact, there were lots of ambiguous individuals in the book. I'm also awarding bonus points for there being no insta-love in the book. Or for that matter, even insta-attraction, because it takes Indigo a while to start thinking of Bishop as a datable guy. I liked being able to take a break from the magical soulmates theme that tends to run through a lot of the paranormal stuff I read.
The magic itself was big and fun. Lots of spells flying around, and, for that matter, lots of flying in general. So if you prefer a more subtle brand of witchcraft, you may not be in love with Hexed. Me? I like the Harry Potter stuff. Go big or go home! I typically get bored with witches who have to sit around chanting and making potions... in order to get a seed to grow. Zap that shit with your wand or something! Hell, Miracle Grow works just as fast as the lame spell you're using... But that's just me. A lot of people prefer a more subdued approach.
Cliffhanger? Why, yes. Yes, there is. Nicely done, I might add. The story is wrapping up, everyone is smiling and in love, and I keep thinking that the author is forgetting about something. It wasn't a HUGE thing...but I was still annoyed that it wasn't being addressed. I mean, don't you just hate it when there's that teeny little thread that gets left out of the conclusion? Hey, whatever happened to so-n-so or such-n-such, you know? Then...BAM! So I guess the author didn't forget after all. Nice.
I received a digital arc from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
Anthologies are hard to rate, so this 4 star rating is for the book as a wThe links to the failytales are posted with this review at Addicted2Heroines
Anthologies are hard to rate, so this 4 star rating is for the book as a whole, and not the individual stories. I had fun with this one, because I was determined to find out what fairytales all of these stories were retelling. Let me say, it wasn't all that easy. I'm not sure I'm even right with quite a few of them, but after spending hours searching the web for clues, I think I've figured most of them out. However, if you think I'm wrong, please leave a comment and let me know what you think the story really was! M'kay. Here goes nothing...
The Key by Rachel Hawkins 4 stars Really short story about a girl with the ability to touch people and read their thoughts. It was very creepy and the ending left quite a bit to the imagination! I had an extremely hard time finding a fairytale that even remotely resembled this one, but finally settled on a story I found called The Golden Key. That fairytale is short, has a cliffhanger ending (albeit, a rather boring one), and, uh...they word key is also in the title. Anyone else got anything? *Edit* One of the many reasons I think Goodreads is spectacular is because when you ask a question, someone in the community will eventually come along and give you the answer. Although, you really need to prepare yourself to feel a bit stupid when they do. So. The (fairly obvious...now that I think about it) answer to What Fairytale is The Key has been found! Bluebeard. Duh. Thank you, FallingAngels!
Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready 3 stars Weird story about a good-luck charm that acts as sort of an imaginary friend. The story kinda grew on me, and I thought the ending was cute and sweet. This was one of the ones that I couldn't find anything on when I searched the Grimm library. I did find a story called Good Luck is Better Than Gold (by Juliana Horatia Ewing), but I don't really think it counts as a fairytale. It's not a story the Grimm brothers collected, and it's not really folklore. Is it? So...anybody have any other ideas about this one? *Edit* Ok. So thank you Autumn for pointing me in the right direction with this one! What we have here looks to be a retelling of Puss In Boots. I swear, I never even thought about that one, but it totally matches up. Loving the Goodreads community right now!
The Twelfth Girl by Malinda Lo 3 stars This is a pretty obvious (Finally! Thank God!) retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It's set in modern times at an elite boarding school. The main character wants to become part of the exclusive group of girls, who seem to come and go as they please on campus. Rumor has it they dance the night away... This one is darker, and the ending is left to the reader's imagination.
The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron 3.5 stars Ok. I'd never heard of The Raven, but at least this one wasn't hard to find. The short story closely mirrors the actual fairytale, with the exception of the ending. I liked the author's twist on things, and I enjoyed finding a new fairytale, but it didn't blow my mind. It gets the extra half star for introducing me to something new.
Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell 5 stars This story rocked my purple fuzzy socks off! It's a retelling of Donkeyskin...but served with a steaming cup of revenge! If you aren't familiar with the tale, it involves a king who wants to marry his daughter. Ewwww! The original story didn't quite end the same way, but I think most of you will love the way Mitchell's version goes down! This is definitely not a fairlytale for children.
Before the Rose Bloomed: A Retelling of the Snow Queen by Ellen Hopkins 2.5 stars As the title suggests, this was, um...a retelling of The Snow Queen. It stays fairly faithful to the original, which is fine, but it would have been cool to see something different.
Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton 4.5 stars This was a really good retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty had a wild edge to her, and the Beast was very mild-mannered. It focused on why the freedom to choose who you love means so much to us. Lovely ending!
The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa 4 stars This was a dark retelling of The Three Little Pigs. No, seriously! That ending is freaky! Loved Kagawa's creepy twist on the tale.
Untethered by Sonia Gensler 4 stars It's a ghost story with twist... Well played, Ms. Gensler. I didn't see it coming. Here was another one that had me burning up Google till the wee hours of the morning. What fairytale was this based on?! Well, I think I found it! Mwahahahaha! Ok, there's this obscure tale called, The Shroud. Has anyone heard of it? Yeah. Didn't think so. Anyone else got a better guess?
Better by Shaun Hutchinson 4 stars I love that this one had a sci-fi setting! A clone used for medical experiments on a spaceship falls in love with a boy. She's been told she's not real, but what actually makes us human? I'm guessing this one was Pinocchio. I'm a REAL boy! And by the way, does anybody know if Pinocchio is in the Grimm collection? I can't find anything definitive, and if not, it would go a long way toward my Good Luck is Better Than Gold theory! *Edit* Huh. Not Pinocchio at all. This one is actually based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Or at least that's what the author said (Thank you Shaun Hutchinson!). And I suppose he knows what he's talking about. There goes my Better Than Gold theory. Damn.
Light It Up by Kimberly Derting 4.5 stars Damn fine modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel! Nothing says 'I love my step-kids' quite like dumping them in the woods with a cannibalistic serial killer. But the real moral of the story is...you should always wear flame retardant clothing when you are preparing to cook children.
Sharper than a Serpent's Tongue by Christine Johnson 4 stars Cool twist on the classic Diamonds and Toads story. The good sister receives the blessing. Jewels and flowers that fall from her mouth with each word. And the bad sister receives the curse of snakes and toads falling from her mouth. But which is the good sister, and which is really cursed?
A Real Boy by Claudia Gray 3.5 stars Dystopian/sci-fi setting for what I'm guessing is Pinocchio. A human and an android fall in love, with a sweet Happily Ever After ending to it! Cute story.
Skin Trade by Myra McEntire 1.5 stars This entire story made very little sense to me as I read it. Creepy musicians who are in a band, like to take women home and skin them alive. So they can sell the skin. Uh... One of the guys fall for a woman in the crowd...and decides to change his ways. She loves him, so I guess they live happily ever after? Looks like this one is a retelling of The Robber Bridegroom. Gee, can't imagine why Disney hasn't made a movie out of this yet...
Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan 4 stars This story doesn't take itself seriously at all, so it's a really nice addition to this collection. Beauty lives in a fairytale-like reality, and the Beast (or The Chad) has been sucked into that world from ours. Beauty is honorable, and tries to take on her father's (alleged) debt to The Chad, by pretending to be a boy. Doesn't make sense? Don't worry, it totally does, Dude! Very cute Beauty and the Beast!
The Pink by Amanda Hocking 4 stars This was (yet another) story I hadn't heard of, but Hocking made it easy to find. The Pink is the actual name of the story she retold, so...yeah. Thank you! This one follows the original closely, with the exception of what happens to the Queen and King in the end. The gist is that a young prince, who has the gift of wishes, gets kidnapped by an evil palace cook. He wishes for a female BFF, and they eventually fall in love. Now all they need to do is get their HEA, right? I gave it an extra half star for telling me a new fairytale!
Sell Out by Jackson Pearce 3 stars Modern day retelling of Snow White, but from the perspective of the prince. Prince Charming is broke, has a crappy home life, and lots of bills. However, his kiss can raise the dead. Somehow, he works for an agency that sells services like his to the upper crust. He makes his living reviving dead rich folks and their kids. Guess it doesn't pay much, though. Enter the evil step-mother. Will he take her bribe and leave Snow dead? Eh. It was ok, and it was definitely a different take on the classic.
So. Some average stories, lots of good ones, a few stinkers, and a couple that blew me away. This is one of the better anthologies I've read, and I had a ton of fun reading this sucker! I'd highly recommend it to fans of this genre. Besides, I want you to read it, and let me know if you guys think I've got any of these stories wrong!
I received a digital arc of this book from NetGalley....more
I received a digital arc of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Alrighty. I want to mention upfront that Scintillate is gettingI received a digital arc of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Alrighty. I want to mention upfront that Scintillate is getting 4 stars from me solely for the mystery of what's going on with Cora and her new ability to see auras. The romance in this one is probably going to turn quite a few readers off to the book. Cora and Finn have an overly dramatic insta-love thing going on, and it bugged me. Also, Finn sounded less like an Irish teenager, and more like an older dude from one of those Highland Romance novels. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the teenage boys in Ireland all talk like old men, but I don't think so.
However, the aura thing was pretty cool. Cora gets sick, runs a super high fever, and ends up in the hospital. When she wakes up, she finds that she can see colors around everyone, including herself. At first, she thinks that she has brain damage or something, but after a little research, realizes that she's seeing people's emotions and energy. Her father seems to refuse to believe her, but Cora can tell that something is off about his reactions to her questioning. After some poking around, she discovers that her mother's disappearance years ago may have had something to do with the same thing Cora is experiencing now.
The whole 'changing the way we see humanity' mystery, kept me totally glued to the pages. And even when she gets some answers at the end, you can tell that it's only the tip of the iceberg. I'm hoping that the next book will tone down the star-crossed lovers theme, and focus on the mystery. If it does, I think this will be quite an interesting trilogy to follow. If not? Well, I have a limit to the amount of goofy teen-drama I can swallow. Untangle your lips and back away, cause there's more important things in life. Really. Like finding out who's trying to kill you for instance... ...more
I really loved the first book in the Demon's Gate series, but this one was a little harder for me to get into. Maybe I just had a lot of stuf3.5 stars
I really loved the first book in the Demon's Gate series, but this one was a little harder for me to get into. Maybe I just had a lot of stuff going on while I was trying to read it, but for some reason it took me longer to get through this one.
The vast majority of the story focuses on Amaranth, Dham, Cat, and Trick/Patrick's journey to Rome. Trick is the demon (or spirit) who is in possession of Amaranth's best friend Patrick's body. After a particularly nasty run-in with the Inquisition, Trick drops the bomb that he will have to let Patrick take back control of his body, in order to avoid being tracked by another demon. Sounds good, but the downside is they are not sure whether Patrick's mind has been damaged by the possession. Also, they're going to have to convince Patrick to let Trick take him over again, in order to complete their mission. Awkward!
I was a bit surprised by the people who bit the dust at the end, and I wonder how that will impact the next story. So even if this one didn't blow me away like the first, I'm still interested to see what happens in the next book.
All in all, this was a very good self-published novel.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This is a cute series that I'm glad I've been able to keep up with. I'm not claiming that it's mind-blowing, but the plot bounces along a t a nice pace.
This book opens with Becca getting ready to go to some sort of a snooty gala held by Holder purists. This group would love to add her father to their ranks, so they've been given an invite to the event. However, the only reason that they've agreed to attend is to be able to talk to a Seer who may know something about Darragh. It's too dangerous for anyone to find out about who and what Becca actually is, so she'll have to pretend to be a low-level mind reader while they are there. And since her bond with Alex would also give her away, they will have to mask it, and pretend to be nothing more than colleagues.
I usually don't like 'love triangles', but Scott did a good job with this one. It's not really a love triangle (for several spoilery reasons), but it appears that way to everyone else...including Alex. Of course, this adds a level of drama that Becca is blissfully unaware of, and gives the plot a little extra sumpin' sumpin'.
Be warned: There was some high schoolish drama with a mean girl that I thought was kind of stupid and unnecessary. There's a kind of dance-off at the end... Really. And I really wish the chemistry between Alex and Becca didn't feel so blah. Alex just seems pretty dull. But then again, it's not like Becca is a wild-child. So. Normally, those things are deal-breakers for me, but in this book it felt more like a minor annoyance. It started out a bit slow, but once the story got rolling, it was hard for me to put it down. The addition of the new characters was good for the overall story, and I'm hoping to see them in the next book.
Thanks to NetGalley for a digital arc in return for an honest review....more
This may sound silly to some of you, but there's one 'friend' I have here on Goodreads that I refuse to delete...only because their taste in4.5 stars
This may sound silly to some of you, but there's one 'friend' I have here on Goodreads that I refuse to delete...only because their taste in books is so awful. Or maybe I should say, awfully different from mine. Everything they sing the praises of goes directly to the bottom of my TBR pile. And, accordingly, anytime they trash a book that I'm potentially interested in, I immediately move it to the tippy-top of that same TBR pile. It may sound crazy, but one person's frivolous trash is another person's treasure. Woot Woot! I'm a literary dumpster-diver! Consequently, I avoided this book for quite a while due to their glowing review. I should also mention that several reviewers that I have the utmost respect for hated this sucker. My personal brand of logic dictated that this book would suck. Big time. Although, if you know me, then you also know that if it's a fairytale retelling, I'm eventually gonna break down and read it anyway. So. Now imagine the horror I'm feeling right now. I'm going to have to not only side with my friendly neighborhood Book-Snob, but against my pals! Sorry, but I loved this one.
I was totally glued to the pages while I was reading Cruel Beauty. For me, it was the right mix of mythology, fantasy, and a dark fairytale retelling. As an added bonus, I absolutely loved the perfectly flawed heroine and the semi-evil hero of the story!
I will admit that the author lost me at the very end of the book. Those last 30 pages or so were a tad bit much. (view spoiler)[That whole time-travel/alternate reality thing really killed my buzz. I thought it would have been better to end the stupid curse during the Big Showdown, and let the story end there. (hide spoiler)] In my humble opinion, dragging it out really did nothing to improve on the the story. But. As, I hope you've learned, my opinion is just that. An opinion. This is one of those books that you will probably either love or hate. Decide for yourself.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc of this book.
This was a witchy YA that kept me flipping the pages till the end of the book,Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc of this book.
This was a witchy YA that kept me flipping the pages till the end of the book, so it definitely deserves all 4 stars.
Penelope was a child when a demon broke into her home, killed her parents, and drained her magic. She should be dead, but for some reason...well, she's not. Wouldn't be much of a story if she was, right? She also shouldn't be able to borrow her family's magic to cover up the fact that she doesn't have any of her own. In her world, a witch without magic is called a Static, and those guys end up banished. Yep. The other witches just toss them out of their society. Nice, no? Her Grandparents and sister are the only ones who know her secret, and they've all worked hard to keep it safe. So far, it's worked. But Penelope isn't satisfied with just passing for a witch. She's found a ritual that will restore her magical essence, if she can only find the demon who took it. There's a hitch, though. There's always a hitch... The only way for her to find her demon (and a more detailed version of the ritual), is to become an Enforcer. See, only Enforcers have access to the library with all of that info in it that she needs. Of course, to become an Enforcer she's going to have to show off her magical abilities. Oops. That might be difficult. Never fear, our girl has it covered. She can pull from her sister, because their tests will be held at the same time. Except that there's a problem. After all her hard work over the years, some random witch pulled a muscle (or something) and now her Penelope's test date is getting moved to a different time slot. Time for plan B.
In the meantime, a chance encounter with a demon has left Penelope with a stalker. Sort of. At least, that's what Penelope thinks when Carter first starts popping up around every corner. He's annoying, cocky, and apparently obsessed with her. Or at the very least waaay too interested in her magical abilities. Why is she so freaked? Well, he was there when she managed to explode a demon in an alleyway. And since she has no idea how she managed to pull that one off without having any magic, she certainly doesn't want him poking his nose into it. Besides, he makes her sick to her stomach. Literally. A little nausea isn't enough to stop this guy, though. Nope. He's determined to figure Penelope out, because he needs her. No, not like that! God. You guys have such dirty minds.... He claims that his magic is more powerful and stable if she's around. If that wasn't interesting enough, it seems as though she can pull magic from him in the same way she can pull it from her family. Which would explain the alleyway full of exploded demon goo...
To make matters worse, the more Penelope digs into finding a way to restore her powers, the more it looks like she's onto something bigger than just finding her own magic. And it looks like her Grandma is hiding a pretty important piece of the puzzle. In fact, trusting Carter with her secret might be the only way to find out what she needs to know. But Carter has some pretty big secrets of his own, and once she finds out what he's hiding.... Well, let's just say she's a teeny bit upset.
I really enjoyed Salt! The pacing is good, the plot is interesting, and there were a couple of things I didn't see coming. So all in all, I'd have no problem recommending this one for fans of YA urban fantasy.
Ask yourself this question: Do I really want to read a book about pretentious teenagers who act like pretentious 40 year olds? If your answer is Yes, thAsk yourself this question: Do I really want to read a book about pretentious teenagers who act like pretentious 40 year olds? If your answer is Yes, then this is the book for you!
Shockingly, there's not much in the way of a plot. Unless you count the numerous references to music, art, books, and clothing. It opens with Celia getting into a car with a girl, and then heading to her new high school. There were quite a few things I found confusing, because nothing these kids in this group do is remotely realistic.
1. They ride to school in what appears to be a funeral procession. For some reason, they feel the need to arrive at school at the same time. So, one car picks up Celia, then drives to the next person's house, where they get into their car and follow the original car to the next house...and so on. Evidently it helps them cultivate an air of mystery about the group.
2. They have named their clique The Rosary. Do I need to say anything more about that? Probably not...but I will. These high school kids refer to themselves as The Rosary. What?! And apparently everyone else at the high school is so awed by their mysterious persona, that they somehow avoid the ass-beating that would await anyone else in high school stupid enough to do this.
3. They all go to this weird club on Friday nights. Hey, kids at a club! At least that's normal, right? Bzzzzt! Wrong! Not a normal club. Nope. You have to have discriminating taste to gain entrance to this place. In other words, if you listen to (God Forbid!) music on the radio, you just wouldn't understand how awesome this place is. Everyone and everything inside is amazing, eclectic, strange, and interesting!
4. The Leopard. It's what Celia calls the boy she meets at the club. Yeah, he's got a name, but referring to the boy of your dreams mentally as The Leopard is soooo cool and sophisticated. WTF?!
5. Insta-lurve between Celia and (gag) The Leopard. They stared at each other each Friday night for weeks, so I guess they really know each other, right? Then they met two more times (in real life!) before she realized that she was desperately and hopelessly in love with him. Hey, at least they took it slow...
6. The Rosary doesn't drink, studies come before anything else, and they all must have a job. Where the hell did these kids come from?! Were they part of some kind of a secret Stepford cloning project?
Unfortunately, the paranormal stuff had nothing to do with why Celia's friends were so freaking creepy and weird artsy-fartsy. In fact, it didn't have much to do with anything at all. It was boring. The whole book was filled with nonsense about how you can only be unique if you act a certain way, do certain things, listen to certain music. Mainstream friends, books, music, and clothes just don't cut it. Guess what? Now you're a unique asshole!
In the end, I found Celia to be a wannabe loser who couldn't think for herself, and The Rosary to be a group of dysfunctional dorks who thought they were better than everyone else. The paranormal mystery could have been interesting, but it moved too slowly to salvage this book for me. ...more
Reading King Cave has made me a better parent. You heard me, reading this has done more for my maternal skills than all of those Parenting books writt Reading King Cave has made me a better parent. You heard me, reading this has done more for my maternal skills than all of those Parenting books written by so-called 'experts'. Mainly because I've never read any of them. I meant to, I swear! But they just looked so boring... So how did a book about magical creatures make me a better mom? Well, I am now far more tolerant of my girls screeching, squealing, and crying every time one of those poofy-headed boy bands comes out with a new video. *shudder* I used to point out that the one in the middle is quite obviously gay and could care less about the panties being thrown at him. The one on the far right is going to blow all of his money and end up living in a trailer park. But that's still better than the one on the end, who's probably going to end up face-down in a pool of his own vomit in five years. That was the old me. Now? I just smile, pat my sweet babies on the head, and tell them that one of those guys might end up being a Justin. Why the change of heart? Because I had a similarly goofy reaction to getting King Cave. I did this embarrassing tappy dance, I grinned till my cheeks hurt, and I made giggly sounds. There were also rumors of a weird humming noise coming from my general vicinity while I was reading...but I think my kids were just trying to mess with my head. I'm not kidding. They do shit like that to me all of the time. Anyway, I was beyond excited to get my grubby little paws on this, because absolutely loved King Hall. If you haven't read it yet, you honestly don't know what you're missing. Read it! But then I got nervous. What if my expectations were too high? What if the first book was a fluke? I mean, I've got too much stuff to read as it is, so it's not very often that I actively stalk a book's release date. And I stalked this one. Oh God! The creeper hanging out in the bushes at Barnes & Noble?! It was me! Noooo! I thought it was all just a bad dream! But that does explain the sudden appearance of all of those kitschy new bookmarks... So. Now that we've established that I ramble, let's get on with this review.
King Cave picks up at the exact moment the last book left off. King Hall is under attack, Pearl and Jack are unconscious, and everything is going up in flames. Let me tell you something, this book takes off right out of the gate and never stops. It's packed full of twists, turns, and shocking revelations. Packed! It's also got something that was notably absent in the first book. Sex. Oh Ezra... Sweet lord, he is the smexiest thing ever! I'm totally calling dibs on him as my book-boyfriend, so the rest of you bitches can just back it up! See, I was wondering if maybe Ms. Dawn didn't write it into the last book because it wasn't her forte. Apparently that was not the reason. And in fact, it might actually be the cause of the mysterious humming noises. Just a theory... Alright, back to the twisty-turny stuff. Every time something BIG would happen I'd be like, Aha! So that's the THING! The BIG THING that happens in this story to change everything! Bzzzt! Wrong! Because then the next huge shocker would come outta nowhere and knock me on my ass. It never stopped! By the time I got to the end, I was shaking like a freaking leaf! Although, I've never actually seen a leaf shake. Quiver? Yes. But not really shake. However, it wouldn't really be PC of me to say I was shaking like a fat kid in a candy store, so we'll just go with the leaf analogy. Anyhoo, I don't like to give spoilers, but I've just got to give you guys a hint. Ezra and Lilly. EZRA and LILLY! And you know what, that's not even the tip of the iceberg! That's right, ladies and gentlemen!That is a teeny-tiny piece of crap spoiler that doesn't even begin to touch the scope of this amazing plot. Oh shit. The kids were right! I'm making this obnoxious humming noise. What the hell?!
So what have we learned here today? 1. These books are so awesome that they are going to be part of my exclusive Hardback collection. 2. I would leave my husband for Ezra. 3. I may need to see someone about the fact that I unconsciously make annoying noises. 4. If you haven't picked up on this series yet, you need to remedy that situation immediately! 5. Um. There's not really a 5, but the list just kinda looked like it needed an extra number.
But seriously, go get this book.
Huge thanks to NetGalley for a digital arc of this book in return for an honest review.
I thought this was total garbage, and I'm not really getting where all the 4 and 5 star reviews are coming from. At all. I will say that some1.5 stars
I thought this was total garbage, and I'm not really getting where all the 4 and 5 star reviews are coming from. At all. I will say that some of the lines were sort of funny, so maybe if the story had been a bit more coherent I would have like it a little more. I'm assuming Luce's character was supposed to be plucky and irreverent, but I just thought she was obnoxious and annoying. And the thing about harvesting organs to rid people of demonic possession? What? The only character I liked was Hitch. (view spoiler)[ And apparently he was evil. (hide spoiler)] Hmmm. Nope. Can't think of anyone I'd recommend this to.
I received a digital copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
There's lots of comparisons to the X-men in the reviews that others have written on this, and it's easy to see why. You have (basically) a school for children with mutations, only it's run by a shadow agency in the government instead of Professor X. These kids are trained to go out on missions to uncover crimes committed by other 'evil' mutants...er, Variants. So. Yeah, I can see the X-man angle.
Tessa's mutation allows her to absorb anyone's genetic code and turn herself into an exact replica of them. Hello, my name's Mystique, and I'll be your server this evening. Would you like to order an appetizer first? Tessa's variation makes her the perfect agent to take on the latest assignment. Someone is killing girls in a small town, and it looks like another Variant might be the culprit. His last victim is in a coma, and the doctors have said there's no way she's going to pull through. The plan is simple. Tessa absorbs her DNA while she is still alive, and when she dies, the agency will replace her with Tessa. Family and friends will believe that their prayers have been answered, and Tessa will be in place as the perfect undercover agent.
Tessa is a believable teen who struggles with the morality of pretending to be a dead girl. She feels horrible that this wonderful family is eventually going to be crushed when they find out that their daughter never really made a miraculous recovery. Yet, she understands that in order to catch the girl's killer, she has to continue with the charade. It's deep stuff, man...
I'm gonna be honest, I didn't care much for the romance in this. For some reason, it just never interested me. The short version is that she's in love with another Variant in the agency. Looking back on it, I think I fell for a few mutants when I was younger, too. He's not much older than her, but he's a full agent, and they really aren't supposed to be fraternizing. Oh. And he also has a girlfriend. A really really mean girlfriend. There's a lot of longing glances from her, and a lot of mixed messages from him. So, not my favorite part of the story.
This is one of those books that (even though it was good) didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I have a feeling that it will do well with the audience it is intended for, but it's not going to be one of those crossovers that grabs the attention of adult readers as well. Maybe I'm wrong? I'll definitely recommend it to the kids in the neighborhood, though.
Thanks to NetGally for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Witch Finder was another one of those that took me a while to get into it, but once the story got going it turned out to be pretty good.
It op3.5 stars
Witch Finder was another one of those that took me a while to get into it, but once the story got going it turned out to be pretty good.
It opens with Luke being initiated into a group of witch hunters, and drawing Rosa's name as his first kill. But there's a catch... If he doesn't complete his mission, then he will be the one that the brotherhood hunts down and kills. It sounds like these guys are hard-core assholes, but as the book goes on, you can see that they are probably just misguided. Especially Luke's uncle, who really loves and cares for Luke. As for Luke, he was a child when he witnessed a witch kill his parents, and he and his uncle have been fighting them ever since. Luke has the rare ability to see their magical aura, and has been working with the brotherhood for years to identify witches for assassination. Now that he's old enough, he's ready to become a full-fledged member of the Malleus Maleficorum.
Rosa is a 16 year old witch who comes from one of the most powerful families in London. Now that her loving father is dead, she's been left to the mercy of her cruel brother and social-climbing mother. Even though she's a powerful witch, she can't do much to stop the abuse they both heap on her. They have plans to marry her off to a powerful sociopathic warlock. He's wanted Rosa for years, but growing up with him has given Rosa a glimpse into his evil nature. The thought of being married to him terrifies her, but she's not sure what she can do to stop it.
Meanwhile, the brotherhood sets up a position in Rosa's house for Luke, and he prepares himself for the task of ridding the world of an evil creature. What he finds when he meets Rosa, however, confuses his notions of right and wrong. Over and over again, Luke witnesses Rosa's kindness to himself and others. At first, he's able to convince himself that it's some sort of trickery, but after a while he's not so sure. She even goes so far as to claim that (what she assumes was) a mistake he made with her saddle was her fault. And since he can see her magic, he can also see her use of it to cover up the bruises that her family gives her to keep her compliant. The last thing he wants is to feel pity for her, but he can't seem to stop himself.
I thought it was interesting that the author didn't pull out the insta-love and have him immediately stop trying to kill her. Because even though he wrestles with his conscience, his attempts on her life continue. I really almost couldn't believe that such a likable character could be so dense, and I found myself mentally screaming at him to Cut That Shit Out! more than once. In that sense, the author rocked this story. Because on one hand you just fall in love with Rosa, and on the other you really feel for Luke. I mean, she has no idea that someone is out to get her! And on top of that, her family life is so fucked up, that you can't imagine she needs anything else to make it worse. But Luke has all of that childhood trauma to deal with, and let's not forget that pesky death sentence waiting for him if he fails. Well done!
Like I mentioned, this one took me a while to truly get into, but the last half of the book was really good. It's a series that I'm definitely looking forward to continuing in the future. Besides, look at that cover! Beautiful!
I received a digital copy of this ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review....more
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I think Wild Card is a good start to (I'm assuming) a newThank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I think Wild Card is a good start to (I'm assuming) a new urban fantasy series. I don't see any other books in the works, but that's never stopped an author before!
Cat is an extremely skilled computer tech who lost her soul to Eris in a game of poker. The hows aren't explained till toward the end of the book, but it's not exactly what you think... Since then, she's been the goddess of Discord's unpaid lackey. Thanks to being on call 24/7, she has no social life, no love life, and no money. So when Eris announces that there may be a way for her to get her freedom, Cat jumps at the chance. Supposedly all she has to do is attend a party, but Cat's under no illusions that it will be that easy. When Eris insists that her obnoxious personal assistant Marius escort Cat to the gala, any leftover hope she had about a mundane evening flies right out the window. Cat's contempt for Marius is only rivaled by his disdain for her. Since they both work for Eris, they've had years to dig and poke at each others nerves. So at this point, they're both pretty raw. Such a cute couple!
At the party, Cat finds out from Coyote that Eris has put her soul up as a bargaining chip in the mother of all poker games. It seems that all of the trickster gods across mythology like to get together once in a while and test each other out. The party is being held so the other gods can decide whether Cat is worth it. Cat's job is to retrieve all of the chips from the other gods in order for Eris to free her. Now here's where the story fell a bit short for me. And possibly this is because of my limited knowledge of poker, or gambling in general... I didn't get why she had to run around trying to get all of the chips. Eris gave them the chips. They were supposed to give them to Cat if they found her an acceptable bargain. Just sit still and let them come to you, right? I also didn't understand why Cat thought Eris was going to free her. The instructions about getting all of the chips back didn't even make a whole lot of sense to start with, and the goddess lies for fun, so she had to know she was probably going to pull something at the last minute.
Other than the wonky plot holes, I really enjoyed the story. Marius and Cat were funny together, and after a while he grew on me. The author even managed to make him sexy, which is no small feat considering he's a satyr. Still not too sure about the goat legs, though. *shudder* It was interesting to read about some trickster gods that I hadn't heard of before, and I also liked the way the more familiar gods were painted in a different light. Loki is my new favorite!
If you're looking for a new urban fantasy that mixes things up with mythology, then this might be something you'll want to check out.
Poe is what I would classify as Horror-Lite. That's not a bad thing, I really like soft-core horror stories. I'm not one of those readers who seeks ouPoe is what I would classify as Horror-Lite. That's not a bad thing, I really like soft-core horror stories. I'm not one of those readers who seeks out books where the boogeyman jumps out of the shadows on the last page and devours the main character. I do enjoy spooky stories with interesting protagonists. For me, Poe was a total winner in both categories.
Dimitri isn't anything special. Or so he thinks. His parents both died unexpectedly a year ago, and since then he's been sort of drifting around in a fog. He lives in a boring little town, works at a crappy job, and lives in a tiny apartment. And instead of going out with friends, he goes home to write more of his Rasputin zombie novel. Yes, he knows it's a stupid premise...and about 500 pages too long. Thank you very much.
When his paper sends him out on a special Halloween assignment to the old Aspinwall Manson, his life takes a disturbing turn for the worse. Although, he does manage to finally get a girlfriend... Instead of just covering a hokey seance, he ends up accidentally waking up something evil. Things get a bit crazy in the mansion when the psychic breaks her ankle, and Dimitri ends up falling into a well. And then he wakes up in the morgue. At least he's not dead, right? And what other prizes do we have for this young man? That's right, folks! Waking up with a toe tag might seem like enough, but we're sending Dimitri home with some special parting gifts! Now he's got a freaky ghost who may or may not be trying to help him, and a sadistic demon who may or may not have possessed Lisa's brother. There's also the question of why he found a powerful manuscript hidden inside a stuffed animal from his childhood. Don't judge him. I have a ratty bunny in my closet named Pookey. And he doesn't belong to my kids.
Dimitri is the main reason I enjoyed this book so much. He's not a bad-ass, but he is decent, funny, and fairly sensible. For example, when the spooky spirit started leaving cryptic messages around his apartment, he didn't try to decipher their meanings. Nope, he just tossed some alphabet magnets on his fridge and told the ghost to 'use words'. Hilariously simple! And maybe that's why I had so much fun with this one. Dimitri accepts the strange new world that he's been introduced to, but he keeps his average Joe personality. He's not laugh-out-loud funny, but he has a naturally humorous voice that added something special to the story.
If you're in the mood for true love with a side of demon possession, give this book a try!
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this in return for an honest review....more