The Wicked Girls was an interesting contemporary mystery set in England. It features AmbeReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
The Wicked Girls was an interesting contemporary mystery set in England. It features Amber, a cleaner at an amusement park in a small town, and Kirsty, a journalist. A string of murders placed Kirsty in the same town as Amber to report the crime and interview the town citizens. It was clear that the two women had two very different lives. Certain chapters of the book took place in the past where two young girls, Bel and Jade, were charged with the murder of another little girl.
Amber and Kirsty are Bel and Jade. I wasn't sure which one was which, but it was obvious that they both changed their names to protect their identities and had not told a soul about their pasts. They did not know each other in the present, but met coincidently while Kirsty was investigating the crimes and trying to get the story.
The Wicked Girls was sort of screwed up and weird, but it was supposed to be. There was a stalker who was bothering one of Amber's coworkers and I thought his obsession would eventually lead to the two women being associated with one another. Different characters could have been the killer who was killing young girls and leaving them near the amusement park for Amber to find. And it was obvious that something terrible happened to Amber and Kirsty, but we didn't really know what it was or how they ended up being charged with murder. Who died? How? Were the girls guilty?
I liked the book and I enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery and trying to figure out how it was all connected. None of the characters were particularly likeable, but I'm used to that in a lot of mystery novels these days, so it didn't bother me. I liked the way the characters were all flawed and kind of terrible.
However, The Wicked Girls was also slightly disappointing. I was dying to find out what happened to Bel and Jade in the past, but the actual events were kind of lame and it was all anticlimactic. And really, the author was writing a book that hard more to do with journalism than anything else. He had his characters view themselves and others how a journalist would. The stalker kept wanting to get his two cents in and be respected by the papers. The other news outlets were twisting the facts. Kirsty was trying to get a story and still manage to be there for her family. The amusement park employees knew the rise in business had to do with the news attention. So much of the focus was about the newspapers and journalists.
I felt like the book had so much potential to explore different aspects of the novel, but didn't really explore any of them. It didn't delve deep into anything and I never truly connected with anyone. It was an interesting plot, but it felt kind of bland when it was all over. Maybe I have read too much amazing contemporary mysteries involving crime, guilt, and secrets. ...more
Fire is the companion novel to Graceling. It's not a sequel and does not require reading Graceling in order to understand anything. It is merely set in the same world, but in a different region with completely new characters with the exception of one person. You could even read Fire first, if you were so inclined to. I always love reading a series that doesn't require reading every one in order immediately.
Fire was absolutely awesome. Much like Graceling, it took a bit for me to get into it and get used to the world the people in it, but once I did, I was completely addicted. Like I said, Fire is set in the same world, but in a different part of it. There were monster versions of everything, typically with bright colors and fierce attitudes. Fire herself was a monster, the last remaining human monster. Like some Gracelings in the first book, she had the power to enter the minds of people around her and access thoughts, make them listen to hers as if they were their own, and speak to them. Her appearance, including her fiery hair, could distract even the most concentrated person. Men frequently went mad and attacked her, whether the attack be violent or sexual. She covered up her hair to prevent distracting people and never used her powers if she could avoid it. Fire's story was intriguing. Her father was the opposite of her. He was mad with power, cruel to most animals and people, and terrible. She both loved and feared him. The book touched on the past with Fire's father, who was dead in the present.
Fire was close with some members of the royal family in the North. She was eventually escorted to King City where she could help interrogate prisoners to help win the war. She was scared to use her power, but was determined to use it well, if she decided to at all. Once in the new city, she had to get used to being around more people, being the object of attention, and form friendships with people.
I loved watching Fire grow as a character. By using her powers, she struggled with turning into her father, but also wanted to help the fate of the kingdom. The young King's brother, the commander, was wary of her, but they both formed a shaky friendship based on respect for one another and I kept hoping for that small nugget of respect to grow into love between them. I appreciated any character who could talk to and treat Fire like a person and not as an object to be used or protected. Even her best friend from home, Archer, treated her like that and I hated him for it.
The novel, like Graceling, is a fantasy novel with a hint of romance and not like other YA fantasies that can be more like romances with a hint of fantasy. I loved that aspect. It was wordy in some areas, complicated in others, but completely enthralling, enchanting, and amazing. I flew threw the pages and grew to love every character! I highly recommend it. I recommend reading Graceling as well. I'm not sure if I'll pick up Bitterblue at this point, since the people who highly recommended both Graceling and Fire to me have not said anything about Bitterblue at all. But if it even half as good as the other two books, I'm sure it will be amazing. ...more
Trial by Fire was a book about witches in a parallel world. The parallel world aspect is what sets it apart from other witchy YA books and is the coolest aspect of the novel.
Lily, a sickly and awkward girl, had a huge crush on her best friend, Tristan. She finally got invited to go with him to a high school party and ended up walking in on him and another girl. When contacted by a voice asking her if she was willing to leave the world and become more powerful than she ever imagined, she decided to go ahead and try it out. The new world was one without science, with witches, and terrifying creatures.
In some ways, Trial by Fire was awesome. I loved the fact that it explored the possibility of parallel worlds and talked about the consequences of choices we make in our worlds. I love that Lily grew in the new world and how quickly she grew into her powers. She was powerful in the new world and the things that made her sick in her old world was part of her witchy powers.
In other ways, Trial by Fire was exactly as disappointing as so many paranormal witch YA books out there. The beginning didn't make much sense. Whatever was happening between Lily and Tristan wasn't exclusive, but she acted like it was. Then she decided to run away to another world just to get away from her problems, which isn't exactly healthy. I'm not sure what would possess her to just agree to that. Once in the new world, she realized that her parallel self is the person who took her and is cruel and terrible. So she just decided to run away, knowing nothing about the new world at all.
I could probably make excuses for the main character, but it just bothers me how often I come across the TSTL heroine who makes terrible choices but somehow hones this amazing power and knows exactly what to do with it.
Trial by Fire was a cool idea with a decent execution, but it didn't really deliver overall. I'm still left with tons of questions, I feel like there are large gaps in my knowledge about the world, and I don't really like Lily at all as a person. I think it was risky for the author to impose such fierce opinions onto her main character. She was all anti-nuke, save the whales, doesn't eat meat kind of person and it just didn't work (or really even matter that much to the plot, so it just irked me). I probably won't read the sequels, but I do recommend the book if you enjoy witch YA novels and aren't bothered by gaps in the story and some typical YA tropes. ...more
Losing It was a light and fluffy contemporary romance that was published at the beginningReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
Losing It was a light and fluffy contemporary romance that was published at the beginning of the whole New Adult craze and fits quite well into that category.
My feelings are mixed. I enjoyed the book and liked the characters and the plot. But I can't help but compare it to two other New Adult books with similar plots. Losing It involved a college student who was a virgin and almost had a one night stand with a gorgeous British guy at a bar. She backed out at the last minute, embarrassed but quite sure she'd never see him again. Until he walked into her theatre class as the professor.
So here's the thing. Not only do I dislike teacher student romances, but there are two other books that have changed my mind about the issue and are amazing and it's hard to top either of them. There's the racy and far from virginal Unteachable by Leah Raeder and then there is the heart wrenching and amazing contemporary Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Losing It wasn't bad at all, but it's nowhere near as amazing as either of those books and it's tough to sing praises when it's such a similar plot to both of those books.
I liked Bliss. Even though she was a bit naïve and analytical, I could relate to her control freak and analytical nature because I'm very much the same. I was even with her on the whole not having sex thing because I was the same way in high school. I just... didn't ever seem to want to get that far with people and Bliss was the same. There wasn't some virtuous reason for saving herself, she just... did. She connected with Garrick and they formed a shaky friendship and ended up jumping into a secretive relationship with each other, which is expected, but I hated how clueless Bliss was about her friends and how immature she was in a relationship.
Losing It isn't going to break a mold or shine in the New Adult category, but it's not a bad read and it's kind of fun. It was a cute story and I recommend it to fans of New Adult contemporary books. It's a bit unfair for me to rate it just 3 stars because I know the two other books are the biggest reason for me not enjoying this one as much as I'd hoped, but it's honest. Also, the cover is TERRIBLE.. lol ...more
I avoided this book for awhile when everyone was raving about it. Not only am I trying toReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
I avoided this book for awhile when everyone was raving about it. Not only am I trying to avoid purchased pretty hardcovers that I'm unsure about, but I actually kind of hate The Wizard of Oz and most spin offs, retellings, and other similar type of things. So I thought that I knew this book was NOT for me. When the paperbacks showed up at Barnes and Noble and I didn't have much in my hand to buy, I opened the book and read the first few pages.
Dorothy Must Die intrigued me from page 1. The main character was basically trailer trash (or so she described) with a tough life and I enjoyed her cynical attitude. The reason this stuck out at me was because one of the things I hate about The Wizard of Oz is Dorothy and her sweet little naïve Kansas attitude. Amy Gumm was a breath of fresh air. I figured I'd be open minded.
I'm so glad I picked up Dorothy Must Die. Even though I didn't enjoy Wicked, part of my problem was that it was just so wordy and boring (sorry, rest of the world.) I liked the idea of Wicked, but not the execution. And I think the Wicked Witch of the West is also kind of boring and lacked dimension, so I wasn't as interested in getting her side of the story necessarily. Dorothy Must Die took place after the events of The Wizard of Oz, in Dorothy's Oz. Which meant no Wicked Witch of the West since she melted and completely different kind of story.
To my surprise, the Oz after Dorothy was terrifying and insane. I love when I read retellings of fairy tales and there's something disturbing and violent about them, so I loved this aspect of Dorothy Must Die. The Tin Woodsman was something out of a horror movie. So was Scarecrow and his terrifying experiments in the lab. And Dorothy was sickeningly sweet, perfect, and she forced all of Oz to be happy and cheery all of the time, while subjected them to manual labor and magic mining. I was SOLD by this world. Everything I hate about the original story was morphed into this grotesque and horrible version and it was up to Amy to kill Dorothy and fix Oz.
The book has mixed reviews and it did get a lot of hype, which typically means that the reviews will always be mixed. Also, it's a retelling of something that is near and dear to a lot of people's hearts. I think it was an intelligent twist, but I understand that lovers of Oz might have some issues. Also, the first book left a lot to be desired. I was frantically adding book two to my cart online before I realized that it will probably leave me equally dissatisfied and it'll just keep doing that until the finale. It isn't that bad of a cliffhanger, but it is obvious that this is a story meant to be longer and book one is just the build up.
Dorothy Must Die is YA. Amy is a teenager with annoying habits, the ability to blindly trust and blindly distrust people. She doesn't do the right things, she develops feelings quickly, and she misses and hates her mom at the same time. These things don't bother me too much, but I think it's worth mentioning that Dorothy Must Die, while being smart about the execution of Oz and it's inhabitants, is also a YA novel that will suffer from YA tropes. But it was a hell of a fun read and I highly recommend it. ...more
I began this book feeling eager and excited to start. It sounded really awesome. It was kind of slow and I wasn't sure how I felt about Quin or John aI began this book feeling eager and excited to start. It sounded really awesome. It was kind of slow and I wasn't sure how I felt about Quin or John as characters and I felt like the characters were sort of dumbed down or immature, but I kept reading. I got to a part where John was asking a question and he used a word that isn't common. The author decided to specify the pronunciation in the dialogue, which was a major problem for me because it showed me that any expectations I had that the story would grow into a smart and well written book would be fruitless. I tried to continue, but the writing wasn't strong enough for me to overlook what I consider a terrible mistake in a published novel. Most fantasies contain glossaries to specify definitions and pronunciations of words and it's embarrassing to have someone try to explain it in the story itself. That may sound harsh, but I just could not finish....more
Nowhere But Here was such an addicting book. I started out feeling vaguely interested, buReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
Nowhere But Here was such an addicting book. I started out feeling vaguely interested, but unsure about reading a book involving a motorcycle club. I don't know, I guess I just don't find bikers all that attractive or interesting. I like motorcycles, but not MCs in general. But I should have known that Katie McGarry would have me glued to my seat, unable to stop reading. At one point, I was so engrossed that I somehow dropped my Kindle in surprise during one of the scenes. I was in public. It was embarrassing.
The book was simply amazing. Not only was I totally engrossed in the characters and the way they went from disliking each other to falling for each other, but I loved the plot. Emily was the kind of character who needed to learn about herself. She had some issues with change and I didn't want to see her end up boring, bland, and not really happy. And when her mom gasped at the obituary of her biological father's mom and made Emily attend the funeral, I knew that it was a pivotal moment for Emily. Oz was a difficult character. He was probably the complete opposite of Emily, yet somehow almost exactly the same. They both needed to find themselves, stand up for themselves, and take risks, despite those risks being completely different for both of them. Watching them grow together and accidentally fall for each other was just the icing on the cake.
I knew Emily's mom and adoptive father were lying to her about something. It was quite obvious that her biological father's family and motorcycle club were keeping her in the dark. Olivia was the only person willing to drop hints, but it was up to Emily to figure it out. I thought I knew what the big secrets were, but the author really surprised me. The hidden secrets weren't as simple as I originally thought and I found myself dropping my jaw multiple times.
Katie McGarry switched things up with this series, but I found myself addicted and I kept wanting more. I can't wait to read more from the author in this new series. I didn't think I would like the whole motorcycle club angle, but I was proven wrong and I crave stories from many of the club members. Who are they? What are their fears and wants? I love that the author took my original hesitance and turned it into curiosity!
I highly recommend Nowhere But Here, especially if you're a fan of Katie McGarry. It's a contemporary romance with some darkness, secrets, and character growth, much like the author's other novels. It's a must read for any contemporary romance fan! Despite being the first in a series, it can also be read as a stand alone, as the next book will feature a side character. (I swear, that's my favorite thing about contemporary novels!) ...more
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet was awesome. Charley was suffering from some major issues afReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet was awesome. Charley was suffering from some major issues after her terrible encounter with Earl Walker in her apartment at the end of the previous book, but she wasn't necessarily able to admit that. Instead, she developed a major problem of watching infomercials and buying nearly everything, letting the boxes pile up on The Spot in her living room where she almost lost her life.
What I liked so much about Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is realizing just how many people care about Charley and her wellbeing. Even her father, despite the things he did to her in the last book. Maybe even, (gasp!) Denise. Even Reyes helped her out with the stress she was experiencing.. in more ways than one.
I also really liked Charley's case in this installment because I honestly didn't know who on earth was to blame and I liked watching her figure the case out. Also, with each book, I find out more and more information about Reyes, his past, and what exactly his connection to Charley is. I love how they come together, but make each other mad and exasperated, too.
This series is so awesome. It's funny, vibrant, entertaining, romantic, mysterious, and thrilling to read. I definitely recommend it and I think that each book gets better and better. It's a great urban fantasy for lovers of anything paranormal, weird, or slightly mysterious. ...more
Third Grave Dead Ahead was awesome. I feel like Charley is becoming more powerful and reaReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
Third Grave Dead Ahead was awesome. I feel like Charley is becoming more powerful and realizing just how otherworldly she really is. She had a million cases in this installment to figure out, was experiencing pressure from her family, and wasn't able to get any sleep. When she bound Reyes to his body, she didn't realize that he would haunt her every time she fell asleep.
I love that there's not just one plot in the series. In each book, Charley is overloaded with cases and things to figure out, while also trying to help Reyes and figure him out as a person. I love the chaos of it all. In this book, Charley was also severely sleep deprived and living more off of a caffeine than she had been in previous books.
Third Grave Dead Ahead was even more dangerous because Charley was in the middle of so many perilous situations. And what sucks is that people close to her tend to refuse to tell her things to prepare her for dangerous situations, which happened frequently this time. But despite her frustrations, she tends to maintain a carefree façade and manages to crack me up in the meantime.
I highly recommend the series, especially if you're looking for a fun paranormal without all of the dramatic seriousness. Charley can be a bit much at times and super cheesy, but there's something awesome about all of it! I read this book waiting in a hospital waiting room for like 4 hours and it was the perfect book because it kept me entertained and in a good mood. This is definitely an awesome series....more
I sometimes read terrible billionaire romances for no reason. I’m trying to stop reviewinReview originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason
I sometimes read terrible billionaire romances for no reason. I’m trying to stop reviewing them because I almost always hate them. I downloaded Fixed on You because it was free and I was in the mood for a quick and somewhat shallow romance novel. I vowed that if it was terrible, I would just not review it. Fixed on You was actually pretty good! I don’t know if it was because my expectations were as low as the price or if it was genuinely better than the popular romance novels I’ve been reading, like Fifty Shades or Bared to You. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
Alayna was a troubled girl with an obsessive past. She wanted to move up in the club business and had her sights set on a management position. When Hudson Pierce walked in, she had no idea he was even a big deal, let alone the owner of her place of business. Hudson wanted two things from her. First, he wanted her to be his fake girlfriend to convince his family that he wasn’t incapable of love so they’d stop trying to marry him off. Second, he wanted to sleep with her. Knowing her obsessive past, she warned him that it was a bad idea, but took his offer in order to get her loans paid off. She wasn’t being paid for the second act, only the first. Obviously, I knew that they would fall for each other. I didn’t like Hudson very much because he was just so crisp and callous, but I realized that was exactly part of the reason why he was considered to be incapable of love. I knew Alayna would be in above her head with him, but I wanted to watch it all unfold.
Fixed on You wasn’t really a billionaire meets plain ordinary girl kind of romance. Hudson was very aware of Alayna’s past and her stalking charges. He didn’t pick her because she was different from the normal girls he dated or because she was plain. He picked her because she was crazy and somehow righted herself and seemed functional. I kind of liked that aspect because it made it a tad more believable for me. Alayna was kind of awesome. She told Hudson’s mom off on multiple occasions. She made all sorts of mistakes, and wasn’t really afraid to be herself. And unlike many billionaire asshole romance novel characters, Hudson actually seemed to encourage that.
The book was a bit rough around the edges, but no more so than the $10 traditionally published bullshit romances that are on the shelves right now. In fact, that’s my biggest complaint about them is that they are so terribly edited and executed. Fixed on You was free and I probably would have paid for it and been happy to do so. I’m not completely sold on the genre, but I’m glad that I was able to read one of these books without wanting to pull my hair out the entire time, so I consider that a success. ...more