Lila is a thief and she enjoys it, because she is a very good thief. She’s quick, smart and agile. In Cloudburst Falls where monsters roam the streets and mob families fueled by magic control everything, being quick, smart and agile can save your life. Especially, if you keep your head down. Lila is a pro at keeping her head down. She has no friends and she has no family. Chances are, you wouldn’t even remember being in a room with her. She’s that good at keeping a low profile. She minds her own business and stays out of trouble.
That is until she sees Devon Sinclair get attacked. She tries to stay out of it. But, she just can’t stand by and watch him killed while she does nothing. So, she helps and her life changes drastically. Suddenly, people know who she is and have an idea of what she can do. The Sinclair’s want her to join their family as a bodyguard, the very last thing Lila wants as her mother doing that very job, but now that she’s stuck her neck out she has no recourse. She is on the radar of powerful people and needs the protection of the Sinclair’s name as much as they need the protection of her magic.
And, so begins a topsy turvy, magic filled adventure. This book is fun. It literally has everything I could need: organized crime, reluctant romance, action, intrigue and magic. Always magic. This book is very Urban Fantasy. It has all the elements of things like Kate Daniels and Charley Davidson. It’s dark and action packed with a heroine that kicks so much ass. The only difference is that Lila is a minor.
The lore of COLD BURN OF MAGIC is very interesting. It’s very fairy tale with paying trolls to cross bridges and not speaking the name of certain creatures. But, then it has mutant abilities where someone has the skill of compulsion, someone else can have strength and speed or the ability to use glamour and change their appearance.
This world is dangerous. You can either be killed by monsters or taken down by a rival family. It’s The Godfather meets X-Men meets the brother’s Grimm and yet has it’s own unique flair.
Then there is Lila. She is confident and independent and loyal, even though she tries to hide that part. The last time I enjoyed being in the head of a badass teenager this much her name was Rose Hathaway. They both just have this sort of I can do it all by myself, cuz I’m that awesome, but if you must help I’ll allow it, vibe. Lila is funny and filled with all these secrets. She’s got things inside her that she has carried alone for so long she doesn’t know how to share it with Devon and the other friends she gains in this book. Reading as she goes from loner to belonging to this makeshift, dangerous family adds heart and emotions to an action packed story.
Jennifer Estep does an amazing job of building the world and setting up what I anticipate as being a wildly entertaining series. There’s all this mystery surrounding Devon and his father’s death. Devon is a powerful young man from the second most powerful magic family and has no power. Because of this, he’s being hunted. He works hard on his body, on his physical skill, but without the use of magic he’s a sitting duck and needs protection, which he hates. But, Devon has secrets of his own and someone has discovered his secrets and wants to rip it out of him. Literally.
There’s a lot of intrigue in this book as Lila tries to figure out who is on her side and who can be trusted. When you’re dealing with power and money, everyone is up for grabs and anyone could be a potential enemy.
I liked this one. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
Recommended for fans of urban fantasy and paranormal YA....more
Scarlett is smart. As in, has graduated from high school two years early and spends her days working as a Private Detective for clients that no one else will listen to. Like a middle school kid who is pretty sure her older brother is responsible for the suicide of a local teenager. Other people would say, “of course he’s acting weird, kid, his best friend just jumped off of a bridge,” but Scarlett is good at reading people and she sees that her new client is afraid. So, like any 16-year old private detective with to much time on her hands, Scarlett takes the case.
The first time I saw the cover of this book I had to read it. Diversity is a huge deal for me, especially in YA. And, here we have a story about a Muslim American girl who is a young, competent and a badass Gumshoe. Picking up SCARLETT UNDERCOVER, I expected a cool Veronica Marsesque story. I got that and so much more.
On the surface her case seems to be about a bunch of rich kids, with too much time on their hands, but Scarlett quickly stumbles into a danger where her culture, her religion and her family are mixed in the middle. Not only does this case lead back to people in her life, but it is also a major lead on the case she’s been on for years….who killed her father.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s engaging, smart and action packed. Without giving anything away or spoiling the book, this book does a really good job of mixing detective story with myth and legend. Something like Maltese Falcon or the Da Vinci Code. Scarlett goes from investigating the death of a teenager to dealing with legends and stories from Islam.
I know more about the muslim religion from reading this book than anything I learned in school. Jennifer Latham does a great job of explaining aspects of Scarlett’s culture without ever seeming like textbook or like I’m sitting in a class. It seamlessly mixes in with the mystery that Scarlett uncovers.
This is going to sound like a left field reference, but my favorite show is Breaking Bad. What I love most about Breaking Bad is that Walt’s brother in law Hank isn’t a DEA agent just because Walt is a drug dealer as a cool aha twist. No, Walt is a drug dealer, because Hank is a DEA agent. Walt gets the idea from Hank’s job. Scarlett’s story is similar. Her background and religion make her unknowingly the best possible detective for the case. And, that’s why this book works. It’s one of the best integration of a character’s culture, I’ve come across. It’s super cool.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that Scarlett doesn’t really know what she believes. I liked that, because I think that’s true of most teenagers who grow up in religious families. When I was a teenager I had no idea how I felt about Christianity, even though I would acknowledge myself as a Christian, because that’s how I was raised. Scarlett is figuring it all out. It was really smart of the author to not bang it into our head that “look I’m writing diversity. Look, my character is muslim, look she’s got brown skin, etc etc.” Because, yes, Scarlett is of color and she’s muslim, but first she’s just a girl. And, she’s got a crush and she worries about her family and she wants to hunt down the people who killed her father.
The reason this book isn’t 5 stars is a personal thing. I am not a huge fan of the film noir in modern day adaptations. I liked Scarlett, but at times she had that kind of like too cool, I’m setting up the scene in a certain way just to fit the genre and my observations are super smart, because I’m a detective. I personally am not a fan of that. It’s a bit too stylized for me and often took me out of the story.
Add to that the fact that the story doesn’t seem done and yet is a stand alone, I had some issues. Done for me would have been a 100% confirmation of whether or not the legends were true. To be honest as a fan of fantasy I wanted them to be true. There’s talk about luck, but luck is a tricky thing. Luck doesn’t have to be magic it could be right place, right time. I wanted a Jin to jump out of a bottle and start doing magic. Perhaps it could have happened. Perhaps not. The story isn’t about whether or not these things are true. It’s about who believes it and what they are willing to do for that belief. Which is fine and is done very well.
I just personally would have preferred an ending that involved wishes and magic.
Loudly, before a single note about the book, the synopsis for The Bourbon Kings says “from the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series” and I get it. BDB is a popular series of 13 published books, a spin-off on the way and a rabid fandom that included myself. But, the truth of the matter is that fans of BDB this book was not written for us.
The Bourbon Kings reminds me of that TV show from the 80s that my grandmother and mom used to watch about a rich and powerful oil family from Texas. Basically, it’s a soup opera. With over the top situations and twists seen from up the block, around the corner and through the bend. This book is convoluted, melodramatic, and at parts, offensive.
Lane made a mistake, he married the wrong woman. It takes him a few years, an accident of his beloved black servant and a couple glasses of bourbon for him to finally get off his ass and do something about it. He returns home to see his beloved Miss Aurora and to finally set things right. It’s been many years since he’s touched foot on his family estate, the entirety of his marriage really and he’s unsurprised to find nothing changed. His mother is still reclusive, his father is still a douche, his sister a caricature and his wife a bitch. His Gardner, and spurned lover Lizzie is still working for his family despite the fact that he told her he loved her the day before his wedding was announced in the papers.
I found myself doing the unthinkable and skimming through this book. I just wanted to see if all my predictions came true in the end. It did. There is not an original thought or storyline in this book. Like most books by this author The Bourbon Kings is long. Too long. Why was it so long?
This book lacks some important aspects that Ward is famous for. 1. Sexy men who you want to take care of but hide behind when danger comes cuz they are bad as fuck. 2. Strong female characters who are comfortable in their sexuality but not over the top and manage to be feminine even as they are tough. 3. A complex story with twists and turns where you understand both characters even as they miscommunicate.
The only thing I will say that TBK has over Ward’s popular vampire series is that the characters speak like adult males and not pubescent teenage boys that don’t understand that hip hop isn’t just a way of dress.
I did not like the characters. I didn’t like Lane for being a douche and taking too long to fix his issues. I didn’t like Lizzie, because she was dumb enough to still love him after he stomped all over her heart. I didn’t like Gin because she used her body to manipulate people. I didn’t like Samuel T because he used his body to manipulate people.
These two also have the sickest ever relationship where they one-up each other in an attempt to hurt the other. If Samuel has sex with Gin’a friend, Gin will have sex with Samuel’s brother and make sure that Samuel sees. They will seduce innocent bystanders in the game between them and then they hurt each other just for the pure pleasure of having the last laugh…But, they’re like in love and are meant for each other………
And of course then there is Miss Aurora the only character of color in this book who spends her days cooking for this white family and her nights praying for this white family with no sign of having a life or family of her own. It wasn’t enough for JR Ward to appropriate black culture with her hip hop loving, slang speaking brothers in the BDB series, now she has written a veritable Aunt Jemima whose entire life is lived for and in service to her white masters.
Why are white authors still writing characters like this? Is this how you view us? Are we just here to serve, protect and love you?
This book is so bad it ruined The Black Dagger Brotherhood series for me. I’ve been struggling through the series for the last few years as it got long winded. But, after reading this book I’ve decided not not waste my time on her books anymore. I’m just not impressed by her writing, by how predictable her stories are, how she appropriates black culture, and how she keeps going and going just because she can. ...more
I loved this. I was skeptical, I admit. But, I loved every second of this. I have a new book boyfriend. His name is Oz. He's 18, but he seems to the tI loved this. I was skeptical, I admit. But, I loved every second of this. I have a new book boyfriend. His name is Oz. He's 18, but he seems to the type to be into older women.
The synopsis of this book doesn’t give a clear summary of what this book is about. Like, at all. MAKING PRETTY is about one of the most messed up families I have ever encountered. Which is a feat considering there is no drugs or obvious abuse. Montana wasn’t raped and isn’t hiding in closets from her father, but still calling this family dysfunctional is putting it lightly.
Montana and Arizona are two years apart in age, but have done everything together. Except, for College. Being two years younger Montana just can’t go off to university like her older sister. She’s left behind in New York with her useless father. Their father loves them and he provides for them, but he is one of the worst dads I’ve ever read, because he’s a horrible parent. He’s the kind of guy who brings work home, literally. As a plastic surgeon he spends his time making people “more beautiful” and he doesn’t stop at the office. He looks at every woman around him and sees flaws he can fix. Even on his own daughters. For their 13 birthdays, their dad gave them gift certificates for plastic surgery! Way to tell your child that they are not good enough or beautiful.
The other horrible thing about their dad is that he can never be alone. Never. Which has lead to dozens of girlfriends and 4 ex-wives. Think about that. Montana is 17 and her father has already been divorced 4 times. The selfishness of a parent who brings that many people for his impressionable daughters to lose is beyond my comprehension. It’s disgusting and rage inducing.
Rage inducing is a good description for my relationship with MAKING PRETTY. I hated so many characters. Hated all the things they said and all the things Montana didn’t say to them. Especially, after her dad tells her that he’s in love again and that it’s different this time! The moment we meet the new girlfriend, someone that Montana knows intimately, the book spirals into an uncomfortable coming of age family drama that kept me on a roller coaster of anger and pity.
Corey Ann Haydu is a talented author. Her style is smart and rhythmic and pulls you into every detail of the story. I was pulled in. I felt for these characters as if they were real. As if Montana was my friend telling me the story. The author pulled emotions out of me like a puppet master.
The problem is that I believe that I hate this book. Not in the way that I hate offensive or condescending books. It’s not bad. The characters are developed and the story clear. There is the small problem that Montana does not sound 17. She sounds 15. She doesn’t have the voice of someone who has the pressure of SAT’s and the big choices ahead of her. 17 year olds have to decide on colleges and begin the path of who they want to be and what they want to do. Nothing about Montana tells me she has that kind of stress. I say 15, because by then you’ve been through a year of high school which is a life of its own. You’ve had some life experience and some struggles, but the hard choices are still ahead of you. Montana was an immature 17 which worked for the dysfunction of the book.
I hate this book because it pulled emotions out of me and then left me hanging. The ending is no ending at all. One of those pretentious books where the ending is all open ended and nothing is resolved and nothing is concluded.
It’s not that I need things wrapped up in a pretty bow (though that would be nice). No, it’s that Montana doesn’t get to grow. I don’t have any idea what will happen to her on the other side of the last chapter. I have no idea how she will deal with the choices she’s made. I have no idea if her and the boy she falls in love with, will stay together for awhile or if they will break up. Then there’s the fact that no one changes. In the beginning of the book, Montana thinks “I should tell him this. I should say that. I should voice my opinions for once in my life.” At the end of the book, Montana thinks “I should tell him this. I should say that. I should voice my opinions for once in my life.”
That is what I found most frustrating. This is a girl who received such bad parenting she literally doesn’t know what it means to be in a family. She doesn’t know what it means to love. Her parents have screwed her up and she never gets a chance to express herself! When there are small moments of arguments it’s never completed.
I guess that’s supposed to mimic real life, but really it’s b.s. Why did I read a book where people make the same choices. Then, Montana and Arizona begin a journey at the end of the book which is just a cheap ending for me, because I have no idea where it’s leading them or how it will help them. I don’t think it will help them. I think it will break them and the author gave me no clues that their world will have any kind of satisfying or happy conclusion. In fact, their journey probably will make a better story than the one I got.
I can’t quite figure out what the message behind this book is. Here is a girl who doesn’t have a real family life. Who has been left behind and abandoned more times than she can count. Understandably, she latches on to people like her boyfriend or Karissa the young woman she idolizes. But, she never learns what it means to be in a family besides the glimpses she sees of other families. Beyond her sister, she never grabs on to a healthy relationship. In all honesty, I think Montana is going to get knocked up a few times, divorced a few times and still search for a place to belong, because the author gave me no concrete evidence that it will end any other way.
A very weak ending. Disappointing, because I sincerely believe you should read her other book Life by Committee. ...more
There are two different types of comedy. There’s the type where situations are presented to us in a humorous light and we all laugh together in amusement. Then there’s the type where people and lifestyles are put on display and we laugh at the display, not with it, not together, but at it. THE VIRGIN ROMANCE NOVELIST is the latter. The author puts everyone from virgins and fans of historical romance to cat lovers on display and makes them something we laugh at. If I am being honest, this is one of the most condescending books I have ever read.
Rosie Bloom (of course her name is Rose Bloom, because Rose needs to be deflowered and of course she’s a late bloomer, how clever) is dissatisfied with her job. Rosie wears glasses. Rosie is uncomfortable in her own skin. Rosie is completely ignorant of male anatomy. Rosie is so prudish she cannot say the word vagina. Rosie doesn’t try new things. And Rosie is a virgin.
Obviously, because to be over the age of 21 and a virgin, you have to be an uncomfortable, ignorant and prudish failure.
Rosie is the kind of female character that has ruined the once great movie rom-com. You know, the girl who walks around all day with tissue at the bottom of her shoe or splits her pants at the slightest bit of activity. She’s the kind of girl who can’t play sports, who kicks guys in the crotch when she dances and puts soooo much baby powder on her vagina she causes powder storms when she walks. The kind of girl where all the embarrassing things from our nightmares happens to her in a 48 hour period. In short, this is the kind of book where a woman literally has to completely demean herself to be funny.
Rosie is one of the most annoying characters I have ever read, because she is willfully ignorant. I don’t care that she’s a virgin or if she has self-esteem issues or if she’s been secretly in love with one man for so long, she hasn’t put herself out there.
I care that in the first few chapters Rosie got a vibrator stuck in her vagina. I don’t know the vibrator accident rate or how often women get sex toys stuck inside their bodies. No, I care that Rosie got hers stuck, because she’s an idiot. She finds a bullet vibrator, a gift from her straight male roommate (because that’s not weird at all). He unpackaged it and left it without instructions. She has no idea what kind of sex toy it is. She doesn’t know if it’s for insertion or for stimulus, but she uses it. She has never seen porn or explored her body in anyway, but for some reason she doesn’t think hmm let me google this. Nope. Rosie inserts a bullet in her vagina. She thinks, “oh this should be bigger!” And then continues to push it inside and then is SHOCKED when it gets stuck!
I guess that’s funny to some people. Like, yes of course a virgin would get a vibrator stuck haha. So, what if she is a college graduate and living on her own and paying her own way, virgins are so silly, they don’t know not to stick something up your vag that doesn’t have a way of getting out. She wears tampons and it doesn’t even occur to her that tampons have strings for a reason!!!!!
Some shining examples of Rosie’s intellect:
When given instruction on blow jobs with the help of a banana: "Dear God, where do you guys stuff them?" "We just tape them down to our legs." "Seriously?" I asked, as my gaze swung up to his. No you imbecile!!! Not seriously. She’s 23, how does she not know about erections!!!!???
On sticking pencils up someone’s ass. "I don’t know," I shrugged and laughed. "I just learned how to suck a dick on a banana the other day. How am I supposed to know that people aren’t supposed to stick things in buttholes?" Really?! I wish she would dig a sharpened number 2 pencil up her butthole.
Also, ladies, when you decide that you are ready to lose your virginity men will fall from the sky. That’s right. You will run into men at work. Yup, you’ve worked there for years and haven’t noticed a single man anywhere, but once you decide to lose your virginity they’ll be all over the place. You will literally be climbing over the opposite sex on your way to lunch, because suddenly you are a magnet for penis. And, if you are dumb as nails? Doesn’t matter, because just deciding to lose your virginity makes you an instant knock out. And, the men may be different, but they’ll talk and flirt exactly the same so the minute you figure out how to flirt with one, you’ll be great, because every guy on the planet flirts exactly the same with the same level of intelligence and intensity.
Yes. This book is so stupid. You know how some books have so much sadness it in it, it becomes melodrama? That’s THE VIRGIN ROMANCE NOVELIST. It has soo much ridiculous in it, I can’t even call it a comedy. It’s like the melodrama of comedy.
Then to top it off, the main love interest is her male roommate and best friend, Henry. Henry is a cliche. A man whore, who gets all the girls. Usually, the guy doesn’t recognize that he wants his bff until she has a makeover. No makeover needed. He learns she’s a virgin and BAM he wants her. The book charmingly dubs him a “cherry chaser.”
He begins training her in the art of lovemaking, hands off of course and then loses his mind when he finds out that she has dates and may use her new “knowledge” on other guys. He turns into a total stalker, showing up at her dates, etc.
He’s also an asshole.
"Charlene? No, she’s just fuckable. No substance to her." My God!!!!! How can you dig someone who talks about other human beings that way? Oh and let’s not forget his insistence on calling a character named Alejandro “taco man.”
I kept pushing myself and pushing myself, because early reviews of this book are sooo good. But, this is just not for me. What a ridiculous waste of e-ink.
So, a lot of people asked me why I couldn't finish the book and so I jotted down a few thoughts..... It became kind of a mini review of the parts of tSo, a lot of people asked me why I couldn't finish the book and so I jotted down a few thoughts..... It became kind of a mini review of the parts of the book I read. I gave up really really early though.
In the midst of my book burnout, I wondered if the books were the ones that were burnt out and not me. I quickly realized that no, it was me. So, you'll believe me when I say "sorry Solitaire, but I have to quit and it's you not me."
I am beginning to believe in YA by numbers. Publishers give authors a set of numbers to be put together.
1. A pretty girl who is a loner and doesn't belong even though she has a good group of friends.
2. A new guy who is quirky and is all seize the day! Or has no problem talking to strangers as if they are best friends. Literally, this guy walks into a room where the heroine is and her entire life changes.
3. Kids from a nice middle class neighborhood always complaining about the lack of excitement seemingly unaware that in other neighborhoods kids are dealing with poverty, hunger and violence.
4.Some kind of Internet social media connection. Blogs and groups pushing people to seize the day and do things they normally wouldn't is popular right now. Probably because of Tumblr,blogger and wordpress' presence in the world, especially in the book community.
Still, I would suggest you guys pick up any of the other books with a similar theme. I highly recommend Life by Committee instead of this.
From page one the writing seemed to slap me in the face. The author was a little too heavy handed with Tori's voice.
By chapter 2, I decided that Tori was a bitch. Not in the Before I Fall, The DUFF, Life By Comittee way where you are dealing with a heroine who is not the cookie cutter, straightlaced or virginal. With lines like "I very much disapprove" when referring to classmates or "these girls sadden me greatly, because often I feel like they could be very normal if they put in some efforts," there is no denying that I would never want to hang out with this girl, never mind be inside her head.
Tori's feelings feel more like the author on a soap box and less like the authentic musings of her character. Don't get me wrong, because I was an awful teenager. I thought I was smarter than everyone in the room, but Tori's view on life is a little to outside looking in. Like respecting her best friend for being a virgin and judging everyone else for wanting or having boyfriends, but not in a jealous way. She's very much like "there's time for all of this later." As if she were a teacher looking at her students.
That's what's problematic. Not only does the book judge the very audience it's written for, it also decides what is normal and what's not.
I also question the choice to add references to High School Musical and Juno into books. Do authors not want their books to be read in 10 years? 20? People probably won't remember those films. They'll have to do a google search to find obscure posts on something their parents used to be obsessed with called Tumblr. (Admittedly Juno did win a screenwriting Oscar, maybe that one will be known, but do you know what Father Goose or Tender Mercies is? Probably not.)
The writing made this book kind of impossible. I kept rolling my eyes and just hated everything I read. ...more
Everyone knows Sage. Not, because she’s the most popular girl or the prettiest or the one with the worst reputation. No, everyone knows Sage, because she is a nice and good person and she likes to pay it forward. At the worst and most embarrassing moment of a classmates high school life, Sage can be relied upon to step in and lift their spirits. Even if it’s just a little. Because, Sage is the post-it Princess. Did the cheerleaders make fun of you today? That’s ok, your clothes may not be stylish, but Sage will leave a post-it on your locker reminding you and the world that you have the best hair. Sage does this kind of charity daily, because she is the queen of bright and shiny things and it is all a lie.
THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS is simple and sweet story about high school, secrets and how important it is to have people in your life that understand you. It’s about a girl who hides her darkness behind a veneer of positivity and kindness who meets a boy who wears his darkness heavily on his sleeve.
Shane walks into Sage’s classroom so intent on being invisible, she can’t help but notice him. His grungy clothes, the way he consumes free food and the fact that he is the most talented musician she has ever heard. Not only does Shane need a friend, he appears in her life just at the moment where her carefully structured world wobbles and she needs a friend as well.
The truth is that Sage has secrets. She had a life before she moved to her town small enough that all she needs is a bike to get from one end of it to the other. She had a life before she stuck that first positive note to that first locker. She had a past filled with pain and heartache. She had a world that she ruthlessly suppressed under her smiles, positivity, and her green projects.
I liked the slow unraveling of Sage’s secrets. She’s the narrator and we’re in her head and she kept it from us. That’s how good she is at hiding.
I found the character dynamics in this book to be interesting if strange. There’s the girl who just up and decides that she’s going to be bffs with Sage and then becomes just that. There’s Sage’s long term BFF who has been lying to her about himself and their relationship for months. Even her relationship with the story’s main antagonist is complex.
The love story just kind of happens to Sage and Shane. They didn’t expect each other and they really didn’t know what to do once they’d entangled themselves in each other’s lives, but they couldn’t help it. They couldn’t resist each other and it makes for a sweetly intense first love between two young people. The kind of love that seems like forever and makes two characters who have ruthlessly structured their lives, do crazy and risky things.
At the end of the day this is a pretty good read. It was fun and quick and had likeable characters.
Recommended for fans of The Beginning of Everything and Life by Committee....more
This book made me think about one of my favorite quotes. It comes from Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."
Theodore Finch saves Violet Markey’s life. They stand on top of the bell tower on either side at their lowest moments. They both have the idea of ending it, but another person ending it at the same time? Completely ruins the moment and makes them think…wait, do I really want to do this? They help each other off the literal ledge then lead each other off the emotional ledge.
Having saved her life Finch feels responsible for Violet. He wants to know her. He wants to know more of her secrets. He wants to know who she was before the accident with the aftermath that sent her up to that ledge. He wants to know who she is after and if she can be halfway between the two versions of herself.
Violet Markey serves as a distraction. A distraction to the fact that he’s afraid of not being asleep and is struggling to stay awake.
I hate doing this, because I try and like both male and female characters equally. And I liked Violet, I liked her a lot. Violet is a fantastic, layered and beautiful character, but it’s all about Theodore Finch. It just is. Even in the note the publisher sent to go with the review copy goes on and on about Finch. I knew his name before I even read the book. There’s just something about a guy who is named Theodore Finch or Augustus Waters. It’s like their name fits their personality like Beyonce or Kanye West, with names like that how could they be anything, but extraordinary?
Sometimes I wish it was Theodora Finch or Augusta Waters, but these characters are almost always male. (Except for Cassidy Thorpe from the amazing novel THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robyn Schneider) There’s just something about a loud personality meeting a great, but average personality and adding color to their life that intrigues me.
It’s like Dante enlivening Aristotle or Adrian getting past Sydney’s barriers. It’s just one of those things that explodes off a page …except when it’s a manic pixie dream girl, because that’s overdone.
In truth Violet and Theodore are a lot like me. Violet is a writer, she wants to go to NYU and spends her days writing narratives about life. I am a writer, I went to NYU and I spend my days writing narratives about life. Theodore is loud, he doesn’t care when people call him a freak (or at least never lets them know if it does), he changes his style often hoping to change his life and he’s smarter than most people realize.
The story of Theodore and Violent is crazy entertaining. They meet on the roof and he saves her, but the story that goes around is that Violet talked Theodore off the ledge. So, the entire school is talking about a moment in her life she wants to forget. But, she can’t forget it, because Finch won’t go away. He pushes his way into becoming her partner in a class project to discover their state’s wonders.
They go on adventures that bonds them and unites them beyond being on the tower. Beyond that moment where they wanted to end it, they connect through their differences, through the secrets they keep from the world and the simple knowledge that someone wants to truly get to know them. I liked that despite their over the top meeting, their relationship was simple. Two kids getting to know each other.
That being said, this book destroyed me. Absolutely destroyed me. It destroyed me, because of the many people, not teenagers, but people that these characters represent. Violet is living through the aftermath of death. Everyone wants her to be who she was before. The girl before the tragedy and she simply is not that. She’s someone new and she has to discover who that person is and what she wants. Dealing with grief is always difficult in books like this but Jennifer Niven manages to be honest and real about what it means to be the survivor. The one that is left.
As I read this book I recognized myself in Theodore. From page 1, he was just me. His loud personality, his zeal for life and the darkness that raged inside him. I knew his highs and his lows. I knew the demon that fought inside him, because it’s the same one that fights inside me. When the word is finally said and the label is finally thrown out, I fell into tears. Because he was me, is me and I have never come across that before.
I have to thank Jennifer Niven for that. Because, this is the book I wish I had when I was 16 and I am pleased that 16 year olds who struggle with the high and lows and the struggle that is mental illness may see themselves in Theodore and hopefully they’ll get help.
This book reminds me of my great YA contemporary loves…Pushing the Limits, The Sea of Tranquility and the behemoth itself The Fault in Our Stars. Where two broken teenagers (in TFIOS it’s sick) attempt to put each other back together again.
“‘Let me worry about what I want.’ And then she kisses me.”
"She is oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. The same elements that are inside the rest of us, but I can’t help thinking she’s more than that and she’s got other elements going on that no one’s ever heard of, ones that make her stand apart from everybody else.”
"It’s also me exactly—buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then falling deep into mud, so deep I can’t breathe. The Asleeps and Awakes, no in-betweens.” (Quoting Virginia Woolf)
“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”
“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
There’s more, but those are my faves.
Read this book. I cannot stress it enough. I just can’t....more
Richard Kenworthy has a secret. And, that secret has him on the marriage mart searching for a wife. As is only right, Richard finds himself at the Smythe-Smith's annual concert. And, while the unmarried ladies kill classical music, Richard notices the one who's not. Iris, the only girl in the quartet that has an ounce of talent and of course is the one that everyone looks over.
Iris disappears in rooms and she knows it. Eyes wonder over her as if she doesn't exist. Which hurts, but ultimately works out, because Iris likes to people watch. From her place beside the wallflowers, Iris studies the ton and the different scandals and politics of England's upper class
She watches, she is not watched. Which makes Richard's nonstop attention during the musical so, unsettling. She knows that she's not beautiful or interesting, so what could he possibly want with her?
What ensues is horrible music, a fumbling attempt at courtship and secrets. Well, a secret. The behemoth of secrets.
This isn't my favorite Julia Quinn book. In fact it's probably my least favorite. The problem is that I figured out the secret pretty early on and it tainted the book for me. I couldn't forgive Richard for what he was doing. For what he was going to do. That's the thing about secrets it changes people's opinions of you and what the world knows about you.
Lots of historical romance novels are about arranged marriages where the characters learn they are in love post marriage, but this entire situation was abhorrent to me. He married her out of necessity and then was like oh wait! I like you!!
Julia Quinn is my favorite historical romance author, but this time that's just not enough for me and frankly Ms. Quinn can and has done better. There's just something about this story that says "I love you, because you are there," that I can't get into. And, "no one else will have me, so you'll do," stories are not much better. I read romance to be swept away. I love that emotions run high and actions are over the top. People falling placidly into love is just boring.
This story has Julia Quinn's normal whit and charisma it's well written with funny scenes, but the story just isn't believable. Richard has no real plan and character motivations make absolutely no sense and how they possibly thought they'd get away with it is beyond me. I don't like books a out idiots.
I recommend every other Julia Quinn novel, but this one. Honestly, she is great. This was just a dud....more
What just happened? Charley Davidson’s story comes to a head in EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK and I have to admit that it all happens kind of fast. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so this review is going to be written very different from the rest of my reviews. What I liked. What I didn’t like and What had me scratching my head!
What I Liked:
Having the whole gang together. Who would have thought that being forced to live in an old church on hollowed ground could be so fun. This book is filled with the normal humor, male rivalry and ridiculous Charley wit.
We got to face the villain. Yup, you finally meet Reyes dear old dad Satan in this book and it happens in a very interesting not to be expected way. Let’s just say the king of hell is pretty evil.
The arrival of Charley’s baby. I was really happy that we didn’t have to wait another couple of books. Dealing with a pregnant heroine of an urban fantasy novel is not the best, because we’re used to them being in danger and no one wants to hear about a pregnant woman getting hurt.
The Lore. Charley Davidson’s lore started very simple and then sort of just exploded halfway through the series. We learn more about Charley’s destiny, her past and what exactly she is.
What I didn’t Like:
That we completely missed out on Bob and Cookie’s relationship. I feel like they went on one date in the last episode and now they’re married.
Reyes and Charley. Ok, here me out…. they never change. She’s still hiding things from him and he’s still hiding things from her. What was the point of them getting married if they weren’t going to be partners in life and in evil fighting?
Also, she literally talks about him like he's a piece of meat. Does she love this guy or does she just love having sex with him?
Charley’s desire for martyrdom. I wont say what she does, cuz it’s a spoiler. But, she takes the biggest risk ever in this book and it really really pissed me off. She’s a mother now. She can’t do that kind of stuff and yet there she was ready to endanger her life for yet another case.
The glimpse we get into Charley’s baby’s future. Charley kind of has a premonition about her daughter’s love life that I found disturbing and also kind of a spoiler.
That this story can’t come to an end with Charley. Charley is basically Mary mother of Christ in this world. Meaning her daughter is the actual savior. So, we’re probably going to have to read a spin-off series to see how it truly ends.
What Had Me Scratching My Head:
So, we spend the entire book kind of like on vacation and then all this really, really earth shattering life changing stuff happens in the last 30 pages. I just didn’t understand why it couldn’t have been spread out a bit more. It was like calm, calm, EARTHQUAKE! The rise in tension just didn’t work for me.
Reyes always grabbing Charley’s throat. IS HE CHOKING HER? Why does he always do that. It’s weird and it’s threatening and I don’t like it.
Besides that another solid installment in the series.
Recommended for fans of the Charley Davidson series.
I like flawed heroines. You will almost never read me calling a heroine whiney, because I like heroines with obsessions. I like when they obsess over the death of a loved one or when they don’t easily fall in to the arms of the hero. That being said, I hated Shannon. Despised her on almost every page of the book and it made the story difficult for me.
Shannon has some traumatic things in her past that does garner sympathy, but it’s not enough to like her. The problem is that Shannon lives on a soap box. She is judgy mcjudge judge. She takes one look at Cole and decides he’s a bad boy. Why is he a bad boy? Because he works in a tattoo shop, is goodlooking and has tattoos. That’s it.
Perhaps if he was any other character, it would have been easier to deal with, but this was Cole Walker. We know his back story. We know about his sister Jo and the alcoholic mother and the deadbeat dad. He’s older and hotter, but we know Cole. So having this girl come out of nowhere and talk down to him and think negatively of him for absolutely no reason was difficult to swallow. And, Shannon doesn’t get better. Even after she discovered the fault in her thinking, I still couldn’t stand her. I am sorry that she was Cole’s heroine.
I cannot stress how much I disliked this character. It’s just one of those things…I mean how dare she misjudge Cole Walker?!!!! And, how dare he fall for someone who treats him like crap.
I am sincerely tired of books and movies misinterpreting bitches as independent women. Being mean to someone for no reason doesn’t make you brave. Being stubborn doesn’t make you strong. Judging others doesn’t make you wise. It makes you a nasty know it all.
Also, can I just remark on the ridiculous nature of romance. There is a scene where Shannon meets everyone from earlier books. That’s right, Joss and Braden are there, Olivia and Nate are there and Ellie and Adam and from couple to couple Shannon thinks how good-looking, how attractive, how beautiful, how stunning etc. Now think about the last party you went to…how many ridiculously attractive people were there?’
Yea, exactly. I would sincerely like to read more books with people who are not all gorgeous and people who fall in love because they are just amazing people.
Recommended for fans of Samantha Young, come on guys it’s Cole’s book. You’re going to read it no matter what I say.
*ARC Provided by PENGUIN GROUP Berkley Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014...more
The Hollows was one of the first series I read when I first made the jump into urban fantasy. It’s a flag ship series for me and has literally everything I love about the genre. Shifters, vamps, witches and a slow burn romance books in the making. I have cried with Rachel, laughed with her, rejoiced with her and buried favorite characters with her. Knowing that the series is over fills me with melancholy, because on one hand Ms. Morgan deserves a break, she deserves to be happy and settled, but I am going to miss going on adventures with her. I’ll miss the foul mouth of Jenks, the shifty anti-hero that is Trent, the fierce Ivy (the Ivy from the 1st few books not the annoying emo Ivy we’ve been getting lately) and of course the deliciously demonic Al.
Still, all good things must come to an end and Kim Harrison does a pretty good job of wrapping it up.
I should preface this review by saying that I did not read the end of this book, as the final chapter of the book was cut from the ARC. So, this review is of the book without knowing the actual very end of the story.
The resident vampire master of the hollows wants his soul and he will do anything to get it. Even of it means killing Ivy and forcing Rachel to try and find her friends soul. This storyline has been going on for a few books, but in The Witch with No Name, Rynn Cormel ups the ante. He’s tired of waiting and he wants his soul now!
Due to the vampires forced involvement in Rachel’s life The Witch With No Name hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until the end.
Rachel is a powerful witch/day walking demon. With Trent, her Elf boyfriend beside her, she’s even more powerful. Because he brings his knowledge of wild magic and the history of relationships between the demons and elves into the equation.
Together they figure out a possible solution to getting the vampires their souls back, but that could prove problematic. There is a reason that the soul leaves the body when it becomes the undead. The body might need the soul, but can it withstand the soul? That is the question of the story and it drives a strong message through out. What is a soul? What is it’s purpose and can the soul handle all the evil the undead have done?
The Hollows is once again in uproar. The demons blame the elves, the elves play the vampires against each other and everyone is looking to Rachel to fix it.
Honestly, Rachel Morgan may just be the most exhausted character in literature. People always want these world shattering magic tricks from her without knowing the consequences or the price.
Just about everyone makes an appearance in this book, the good guys and the bad. Her enemies, allies and friends and it was great to see the usual suspects mucking it up one last time. Something should be clear also, Trent is in every scene. Almost, literally. He is entrenched in the story as the new Jenks and Ivy. His devotion to Rachel is really intense. He refuses to leave her side no matter the cost. Which is all good and well, but he has a child and responsibilities. His obsession with Rachel seemed ridiculous, selfish and over the top. I’m not sure how true to his character it was.
But, now here’s my problem with this book, it all seems a bit easy. Rachel spends book after book yelling from the rooftops that she doesn’t know how to capture a soul and affix it to the body. She doesn’t even know how to go about searching for the souls of vampires! She has absolutely no idea where to even start! Then within like 10 pages possible answers all fall into her lap. The answers may not all be out of the blue and even makes sense, but Kim Harrison should have spent more of Ever After and The Undead Pool, setting this up so that I wasn’t so taken aback by how easy it all seemed.
Something that Kim Harrison does really well is ask the question just because you have it, does that mean you should use it? And I kind of want to ask her that question about the finale of this book. Just because you have this cosmic deity, does that mean you should use it?
The final climatic scene happens on a cosmic level and really upset me. I like final books that connect to the first book. Obviously, a series will change and evolve over years and 13 installments, but I wanted the Hollows to return back to it’s roots of being the story of witches, vamps, elves and demons. I wanted it to end in a way where we know things will go back to relative normal. Well, as normal as the Hollows can be, but Harrison brought back the convoluted a bit too big for this one book storyline.
And like I said, Rachel’s final battle isn’t about her skill with the leylines and her spell magic. It’s this up in the stars, power of wills where she simply has to survive or hide or whatever happens in that sort of all over the place battle that ensued.
Then it’s over. Quickly. One of those impromptu actions of one character fixes everything and puts everything in place with literally a half a page, finales.
No, I have not read the final chapter. But the chapter apparently is 10 pages. Which kind of breaks my heart. 10 pages to not only wrap up this book but also wrap up years of story? I don’t have a lot of hope for those final pages.
All in all, this is not my favorite Hallows book, but it’s not the worst. And, let’s face it you have to read it. Just like I’ll be off to read the final ten pages on Tuesday....more
If I had to describe my relationship to Dissonance in one word that word would be vague. I had a vague interest in why Simon’s echoes seemed connected to Del and I had a vague interest in what the consort was up to and I had a vague interest in Monty’s motivations, but that’s it. Which is why I was able to get distracted by bunch of other books and was able to put this aside again and again.
The idea is interesting. In fact, I really loved the idea of Dissonance. The pivots, the idea that you can cleave a damaged world and just the very basis that there are other worlds out there filled with the choices we didn’t go with. Like when I decide to get off the train at 42nd street and catch the local, a version of me decides to get off at 14st and walk. That version would be my echo and she will go on to live a completely different life. Fascinating.
Parallel universes is one of my favorite science fiction concepts, because it’s enormous! There is a range of how drastically different worlds could be! I mean in a parallel universe the nazi’s won, the confederate south separated from the US and the Twin Towers are still standing! But, how does the author choose to show us the differences? By how a teenaged boy is living his life! If Simon is wearing a leather jacket and cutting school, well then the world is drastically different, because original Simon is clean cut and plays basketball! What a waste of an excellent idea.
Also, what a waste of a great character! Delancey is a rebel. She’s smart, doesn’t care much for the rules and has a real talent. Her grandfather trained her to be a Walker and it’s all she’s wanted her entire life, but when it all hits the fan and her future is in doubt, what does she do? She risks it all to make moon eyes at some boy. Literally, she is banned from walking, they could strip her of the right to go between worlds and she risks it all, not to figure out what the anomalies are, not in search of her missing grandma…nope, she risks her entire future to hang out with the echoes of a boy who barely notices her in the key world!!!!
The tension does not build at a steady pace. It’s just kind of like oh something strange is going on! Then repetitive scene, repetitive scene, repetitive scene. Then a weak confrontation at the end. The amount of times it’s made clear that Addie is Ms. Perfect, that Monty used to be the best and is now and addled old man or that Del’s parents are not around, was so repetitive it became monotonous. Just boring.
This book also suffers from the fact that the author was desperate to make the romance epic, but the truth is it’s so superficial. Del has a crush on Simon. She doesn’t actually know him. She watches him for a far, just like every other girl. The fact that so much time is spent on this boy annoyed me. It was clear early on that he was some kind of anomaly, but it just takes too long to set up and Del’s obsession with him despite all the drama in her life was very hard to swallow. Also, the fact that the other possible boy in her life is her bff who everyone else knows likes her, but Del is blind to… So cliche, not even worth discussing longer.
This book could have been more. It should have been more, instead it pushes the idea that boys are everything. That nothing matters as much as having a boyfriend or romance. What a waste of some cool ideas....more
For Revenant's entire existence he believed he was evil to his core. He was abused and tortured in hell, before being raised up by Satan himself intoFor Revenant's entire existence he believed he was evil to his core. He was abused and tortured in hell, before being raised up by Satan himself into power, violence and wickedness. In a flash, everything changes. Revenant learns that he has been lied to. He's not a fallen angel, but an angel that heaven abandoned and forgot while his twin brother Reaver was raised up in heaven as a beloved son.
Revenant doesn't know how to feel about this. So, he bitches and moans and lament's it for 368 pages. Don't get me wrong. Revenant's life sucked. He had every right to his confusion, his hurt and his rage. But, the world is falling apart and it's all we hear about. After five books in the Lord of Deliverance series I hoped for more with book 6 which is supposed to be the final book in the series. I waited years for the apocalypse, but instead got emo styled complaints.
Blaspheme has a secret. She is a strain of angel that I'd never heard of before. Not from the 11 demonica books or anything else in this world that I have read. But, ok, fine. Blaspheme (what a horrible and ridiculous name) is the type of angel that is hunted down, because of a power no one understands and no one has taken the time to investigate. So, she has hidden her abilities, but now her shield is running out.
She has all that to deal with and on top of that Revenant who is obsessed with her and stalks her, wants her to treat the mother of Lucifer. In this version of heaven and hell, Lucifer is not an alternate name for Satan, he is the son of Satan and his birth is not only draining from his demonic and angelic siblings, he is also killing his mother who may die, before he comes to term.
If that's not convoluted enough, we still have to deal with the so-called apocalypse and the havoc that Lucifer's birth will release on the universe. And then, it's all settled. In around 5 pages, give or take, the entire apocalypse is stopped. Revenant has a last minute plan that is quickly and easily acted out and boom all is saved….
Not only that, after about 360 or so pages of hating Reaver, all of a sudden Revenant's like that guy, my brother, he's not bad.
It's all really ridiculous. Honestly, the most anti-climactic apocalypse ever. I expected so much more from Larissa Ione. So MUCH MORE.
Last, but not least, I must discuss the relationship between Revenant and Blaspheme. She spends most of this book telling him no. Pushing him away and hiding from him, but homeboy does not take no for an answers. He basically stalks her until she is so hurt she cannot fight him when he takes her off somewhere. They apparently fall in love at this point, which I some how completely missed. There's no romance. They both just have sob stories and cry and cry to each other for 300 pages. Even though he is the second big boss of hell and he's a stalker, Larissa Ione also wants us to believe that he's old fashioned and follows rules…yea, sure. Whatever. But, Blaspheme finds this completely ridiculous aspect of his character intriguing, which is obviously why Larissa Ione added these traits.
Paranormal Romance is becoming a recycle of the same characters. Every single male character has some deep dark past that they cannot stop talking about. Every female character has a secret trauma that they keep hidden until they risk it all by letting the hero know about it. They basically stress and whine and complain and then have lots of sex.
I am hoping and praying for a PNR to surprise me. To wow me. We don't need the same sad characters over and over. We just need paranormal and romance. Why can't they be too people in fantasy drama that fall in love? ...more
I won't go into how this is a glaring rip off of Dexter, because this is obvious (especially if you've seen season 1). I will not talk about the improI won't go into how this is a glaring rip off of Dexter, because this is obvious (especially if you've seen season 1). I will not talk about the improbability of most of the situations that Lane finds herself in. No, all those things can be easily excused and pushed aside as "suspending disbelief" and questions like "well what did you expect when you read the synopsis?"
No. My review will focus on two weaknesses of this book. 1. How easily things fall into place and 2. How boring the main character is.
Lane is boring. There is no getting around it. She spends a lot of time thinking about how abnormal she is and how she should pretend to be normal. The problem is that the only interesting thing there is about her is all plot. She has no hobbies, no interests, very few friends, no desire and no dreams. She has a crush on one of the vets she volunteers with, but that has very few layers and no real tension. Mostly, because Lane spends so much time disregarding it, the crush doesn't seem important. Then it goes nowhere.
Lane has family she loves, a sister who is a frenemy and a boy who is suddenly interested in her. Those characters are more interesting, but have no depth. For someone who apparently gets off on observing ppl and studying the intricacies of human behavior, homegirl knows very little about the people around her. She is unable to pick up clues or mannerisms that would give us a deeper view into the other characters. She's aloof and so we are aloof. Everyone is at arms length. We are not giving a chance to relate or emphasize with a single person in this book. Makes for uninteresting reading.
Add to that the lack of tension and honestly boring. Lane does not hunt for ppl to make pay. It all just falls into her lap wrapped in a neat bow. A classmate is killed by a drunk driver who inexplicably gets off without even a trial, so Lane is on the case. The house of her little brothers friend was burned down, and the cops have no idea how (because all the cops are useless and don't know the smallest thing about solving cases) so, Lane is on the case. Her house keeper's, who there is no mention of before the reveal or after, brother goes missing without a trace and the FBI doesn't have time to look into it, so Lane is on the case.
Seriously! The police, the FBI, etc can't figure things out so teenage future serial killer Lane can. What has Ms. Lane done to prepare for this skill? Well, her mom is an FBI agent, she's taken some martial arts classes and she has google. Oh, and by the way, she just happens to have a best friend who is a super hacker.
I'm sorry to be harsh, but this is b.s/sloppy writing. Situations cannot just fall into this girls lap like mana from heaven. Lane seriously did not have to search or exert herself in the search for people to punish. Bad people and their horrendous murderous actions just happen to be in Lane's every day life. I mean I can understand you know one arsonist or rapist, but two or three and all in the same month? Seems unlikely.
Also, this is the worst case of foreshadowing I have ever come across. Seriously, Lane will be like "here is a question that I have about this. Oh, and this just happened, but don't worry that's unrelated." Really? Really, is it unrelated? Cuz, I don't think so! I think you just told me the identity of the serial killer. ...more
I don’t have much to say about Fan Art. I liked it. It’s a very simple story about Jamie a teenage boy who is in love with his best friend. The thingI don’t have much to say about Fan Art. I liked it. It’s a very simple story about Jamie a teenage boy who is in love with his best friend. The thing to know about Jamie is that he is really like able. You follow him as he struggles with telling his bff that he’s gay and he’s in love with him.
We also follow Jamie as he finds his voice and finds something to believe in. Jamie works for the school literary magazine. He’s not the editor, but he’s an artist and does the most work. A graphic short is submitted to him, it’s about two boys finding each other and falling in love. The rest of the literary magazine staff don’t want to add it. They think it doesn’t have much plot, that it’s too gay or that they’ll lose funding. Jamie is filled with zeal, this comic must be added to the magazine, no matter what.
I think that Jamie finding his voice and fighting for what he believes in makes this book worth reading. He’s extremely scared, but really brave and I loved his character for it.
This book is filled with diversity, Latino families, lgbt teens, etc. which is great and I am glad to see a major publisher getting behind the book.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time spent with Jamie’s best friend . He’s always on Jamie’s mind and he has a very amazing family dynamic, but there isn’t enough and Jamie. In the few scenes they do have together it’s pretty obvious how he feels. That’s my major critique of this novel…not enough tension.
I also felt that kids were a little too ready to out each other. The amount of times I read “aren’t you gay?” Or some such like, blew my mind! I think that most American teenagers know that outing someone is a big deal. You would not just come out and say that unless homeboy was making out with his boyfriend moments before.
I just can't. Stories about guys who cheat on their obviously mentally unstable girlfriends, because she is mentally unstable are a major pet peeve ofI just can't. Stories about guys who cheat on their obviously mentally unstable girlfriends, because she is mentally unstable are a major pet peeve of mine. Girls, who mess around with guys because the mess between him and his girlfriend is not her problem, is a major pet peeve of mine. Mental illness is a serious thing. It's just not ok for this author to use it as a plot point to excuse a cheating boyfriend or to make the girlfriend do insane things.
I prefer infidelity stories where no one is an obvious villain. Or, where the cheating person is excused due to their lovers behavior. None of these characters are like able. The prologue where Lila and Carter first date is so much more interesting than the first night of his trust with Jules. It makes Carter look fake. Initially, I forgot the synopsis and so loved the prologue. I rooted for them, but both of their actions is just too much for me.
Add to that the fact that the conversations are not natural. These teens just don't sound like anyone. It doesn't seem planned. It's not stylized. I just don't think the author read the dialogue out loud.
Mental illness is very serious. I think that Solon wants Lila to suffer from bipolar disorder, manic depression or schizophrenia, but it's not being handled well and is quite frankly offending me.
This book is filled with cliches and stereotypes and I didn't even get halfway. I think a lot of ppl will be drawn into the Pretty Little Liars/Gossip Girlesque drama, but it's not for me....more
Spoilers: You should be at least up to River Marked in the Mercy Thompson series.
I notoriously dislike short stories, because when I reach the end I always crave more. I am never satisfied with them, but when Patricia Briggs comes out with a collection of short stories that gives me insight into favorite characters and a glimpse into the epic past of her world, I CANNOT resist. Just can’t. I am only going to review the four new shorts, but I want to go on the record and declare very loudly that I would read a complete novel of every single story in this book. Every story has interesting characters, diabolical villains and the ever consistently talented voice of Patricia Briggs. The stories were creepy, sad and even sexy in the case of Alpha & Omega. I really enjoyed this and very happily could have read a lot more.
For a long time it was understood by readers of the Mercedes Thompson series that Samuel Cornick, loved Mercy. They had a broken love affair in her youth and he came to town in order to rekindle that love. When Mercy fell in love with the alpha (and amazing) Adam, it seemed that Samuel the age old werewolf had finally lost enough. Then out of the shadows, a fae woman named Arina stepped into the light as Adam’s true love.
As a long fan of the series I was like, who the hell is this? Arina seemed like a cop out and easy save for the end of a love triangle. All of a sudden Samuel didn’t really love Mercy and he was pining over this fae woman. Silver gives us the back story into the ill-fated love affair between Samuel and Arina. Probably the most depressing installment in the collection, Silver is the story of hurt, and abuse, captaivity, hope and heartbreak. The happy ending comes centuries later and it really gives us a look into what it means to be a werewolf. They are not immortal, but they might as well be, as they are extremely long lived if they could survive the violence of their lifestyle.
My favorite part of Shiver is the much desired look into who Bran is and history. Bran is one of those characters so engimatic and mysterious, that I just want to crawl inside his head and learn his secrets. I don’t understand him, even as I love him and seeing the history of Bran and how he became a werewolf really is the icing on the cake of this collection.
Roses in Winter
Roses in Winter is the story of two fan favorite werewolves. Kara, the youngest known person (well to me) to survive the change into a werewolf and Asil, a werewolf who is so old he feels he’s lived long enough. He is the legendary Moor and he has come to join Bran’s pack, because Asil feels it’s his time to die and only the Marrock is strong enough to take him out. Really, both Asil and Kara are on the edge. Kara, because she is incapable of controlling her wolf and Asil, because he fears that he will lose all control and succumb to the madness that can only arise with age.
Naturally, Bran decides to throw them together. He tells Asil that the old wolf must help the child, because if Kara cannot control her wolf within weeks, Bran will have no choice but to kill her. It’s the law.
Besides, giving us a sweet and action packed story of a old man who thought he was beyond caring, love a child who needs all the caring she can get, Roses in Winter gives us another look at the brutality of the pack. Sometimes, with Adam being so dreamy and Charles being so protective and the Vampires being so crazy, it’s easy to forget how incredibly brutal and violent the werewolves are. Here is this kid, who was brutally attacked and turned into a werewolf. She does the impossible and survives the change and grown ups are calling for her death just, because that’s the way things are.
It’s really frustrating an rage inducing, but Patricia Briggs is a master of giving us a well rounded and entertaining story that stays within the realm of the world she’s built. It was short, but it left me at the edge of my seat and it was sweet.
I love Ben, which is why Redemption is the most disappointing story in the collection. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But, when I heard that women hating, foul mouthed, can’t help but be a hero, Ben, was getting a story I was threw the roof! When I interviewed Ms. Briggs on my blog, the one thing I begged her for was more info on Asil, Bran and Ben. When she mentioned this collection, I thought that the heaven’s had opened up to give me my biggest wish. My problem with Redepemption is that as fun as it is, I don’t really know that much more about Ben. A lot of his back story has been hinted about through out the series and I got it. I put 2 and 2 together and unerstood all that he has survived and faced.
I expected to get more than confirmation of my assumptions. I expected a new and unique look at this character who understood Mercy so beautifully after her attack.
Still, it was funny and getting a glimpse of Mercy through Ben’s eyes was a lot of fun. It was also fun to see him be a hero in a realm that was completely outside of the pack. We see Ben in the human world and as you can guess, he absolutely hates it.
Can there be a Mercy Thompson universe story collection without a Mercy Thompson story? I think not!
Hollow is a short version of everything I expect from a Mercy book. Our favorite Cayote shifter, stumbles into a paranormal situation that is over her head and that she didn’t ask for. There’s supernatural bad guys, a mystery, comedic moments, danger and of course, Adam coming in at exactly the right moment. It really was the cherry on top.
I really enjoyed this anthology and wish I had some kind of power over time so that I could gift Ms. Briggs with the time to expand every single pone of these stories.
I highly recommend this for Mercy fans it will hold us over until Dead Head (Alpha & Omega #4) and the yet to be titled Mercy #9
The Biggest problem with Ilona Andrews is that they write these amazing books and then I have to wait months and months for the next installment. The wait between every installment of the KATE DANIELS SERIES is always painful. Physically painful and I have to admit that the wait for the next book to in the Hidden Legacy series is going to be just as bad.
That’s right, I LOVED this book.
Nevada Baylor has been put between a rock and a hard place. The rock is a case that she doesn’t have the experience to pull off and the hard place is the powerful family who technically owns her family business. Nevada has to find Adam Pierce before the cops do or her family will be without a company, a home or a dime to their name. The Pierce family and Nevada’s bosses the Montgomery’s don’t care that Adam is a Prime aka an elite power user who can burn Nevada alive with a flick of his wrist. They don’t care that he’s a terrorist with no conscience and they don’t care that he’s so good at hiding, the police have been incapable of finding him.
With no choice Nevada starts the hunt for the notorious Adam Pierce and picks up Mad Rogan on the way. Mad Rogan is also looking for Adam and he will walk over anyone and anything in order to get to him. It does’t matter if that anyone is Nevada and that anything is her family’s business.
Burn for Me works, because writing team that is Ilona Andrews are geniuses when it comes to world building and fantasy. Magic isn’t only real in their books. Magic breathes, it lives and exsists. They weave their lore into every aspect of their world. It’s not just elite groups who hide or fight secrets wars that others cannot see. No, everyone knows about the Primes and the magic users and magic abilities Those with the most magic have money, power and fame. These magic users are the primes and they live in the world like royalty. They plan their marriages strategically so that it’s not only political gain, but also they want to ensure that their power remains in the family. And, hopefully, their children will be even more powerful.
The world building in this novel is spectacular. The authors were able to vividly paint a world without slowing down the plot or having sections of info dumps. Everything is organic and flows on the page like magic itself.
In the midst of the search for Adam, the authors gives us a story filled with interesting supporting characters, scenes that will have you at the edge or your seat and character actions so well depicted it’s like you’re watching a movie or standing beside Nevada on the street. I love that Andrews decided to go a different route from Kate Daniels, because Kate is my absolute favorite. I reread those books when I’m burnt out or sad or just need some entertainment. It would have been feasible for me to see Kate everywhere in this novel, but I didn’t. Nevada is not just physically different from Kate, she is also at a completely different emotional and psychological place. Nevada has people in her life who she is willing to sacrifice for. She has family, she has love and she has a purpose beyond simple survival.
And then there is Conner “Mad” Rogan. What I love about him is that he is a fixer upper. He is handsome and smart and rich, which is usually the mold of a perfect man. But, Mad Rogan is also extremely powerful. That power isolates him and puts him in a completely different head space than the people around him. Rogan has no regard for human life, he lacks empathy and yet knows how to incite loyalty in the people around him. He’s a great leader and a hero and yet he lacks some of the emotional range that the rest of us are born with.
It’s going to be interesting watching Conner and Nevada evolve over this series. Rogan must learn empathy and to care more, while Nevada must learn to care less and focus on her own happiness. In Burn for Me, their chemistry is undeniable, but their meeting is rough. They need to work on themseleves and work toward a relationship that makes sense and will fit their own personalities. I’m glad that this is not paranormal romance, because this relationship needs the slow burn of Urban Fantasy to really make it stand out. And, it will stand out, because no one knows how to make two stubborn strong and powerful people fall in love like Ilona Andrews.
Once Nevada and Rogan get their claws into you, they will have you until you have to read the final page. My final thought about this book is…. MORE PLEASE!
Recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy, fans of the Kate Daniels series and anyone who likes Barrons from the Fever series, Trent from the Hollows and of course CURRAN from Kate Daniels!
Forever Evermore is a series packed with entertainment. It’s funny and sexy with unique magical sequences and lore. King Tomb has all that, but it some how drops the ball.
Lily is the Queen of the Shifters, she’s in the midst of a war and she’s pregnant. That alone would be enough to make any woman stress, but Lily doesn’t know who her child’s father is. His identity and their time together has been completely wiped out. All she has is a blank memory, a mans t-shirt, a ring and a pregnant belly to tell her that she loved and had been loved by a man from another mystic fraction.
The premise of King Tomb is interesting, because it’s new for me. I’ve started a series where two people learn that they have a past they can’t remember, but I have never watched two people fall in love only to be physically and mentally ripped away from each other. It was entertaining but painful to watch Ezra and Lilly maneuver around each other without knowing or understanding what they meant to each other. That was all fun and well done.
What wasn’t fun? Everything else. These characters are in the middle of the war which they forget about for 90% of the book. Scarlett Dawn is just not very good at balancing her story lines. There’s just a lack of tension that should come with being at war and being the leaders of a war. Their subjects are barely ever seen and the characters don’t do a single kingly or queenly act. The kings and queens are like children and the elders are like parents running after them to stop them from dirtying their hands.
King Hall and King Cave have a similar “in a bubble” tone, but in those books the characters are supposed to be isolated, hiding or learning. In King Tomb, they are supposed to be in the thick of it. But they are still in this weird cocoon surrounded by only the same few characters.
All of that was manageable until the end, because Lily and Ezra’s chemistry is so fun even when they are strangers or hate each other. But then in the final act new characters are introduced and Ezra and Lily go on this whirlwind trip through time. It’s ridiculous, it is literally only a few pages and had no basis in the world that was set up in the first two books and 75% of King Tomb. Literally out of nowhere the genre changed and I was suddenly on a trip through time and one of the side characters I can’t remember from earlier books is pushed up to be like this grand master strategist who can see the future and arranges people like pawns on a chessboard.
As a fan of the series I can’t say that I hated all of it. I enjoyed the character dynamics and the few romantic surprises and twists, but as a whole this wasn’t a very good book and the ending is supposed to wrap up Lilly’s story but it doesn’t. I’m disappointed.
Liked a lot about it, but there is a 10 page adventure wity new characters that makes very little sense to me. Very little sense. Brought the book down. Also, the absence of Jack and Pearl. Besides that, entertaining and fun as ever. Review to come. ...more