I’m a huge fan of the contemporary series Someone Else’s Fairytale. Chloe and Jason are a great couple and her career path as a forensic scientist addI’m a huge fan of the contemporary series Someone Else’s Fairytale. Chloe and Jason are a great couple and her career path as a forensic scientist adds a bit of mystery and suspense to the story. I love how it doesn’t revolve around Jason’s acting career and the paparazzi drama, but those definitely play a role because of the nature of Chloe’s work. The series combines the best of contemporary romance with the suspense of a crime novel and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book.
I really liked The Hunt for the Big Bad Wolf, but I had my reservations about it when I saw the cover. If I’m being honest, I hate the cover. I was glad the book was kind of short so I didn’t have to take the book out in public because I hated the cover that much. Fortunately, the cover was misleading and the book was just as good as Someone Else’s Fairytale and Nobody’s Damsel.
I loved the plot and the conflicts in the book. Chloe was part of a serious investigation and she kept seeing similar details on Jason’s crime show on TV. She was trying to track down the source of the leak since her department was blaming her for the leak. But talking to the writers led to drama since one of them was dating Vicki, Jason’s partner in the show and ex. She, being the drama queen that she was, blamed Chloe for causing problems by talking to the writer. Everything was sort of interconnected and I liked watching it all unfold. Chloe is such a relatable character and her fears and concerns seemed completely legitimate. I loved seeing her relationship get a little stronger between her and her mom, too, since the other books focused a bit more on Jason’s family.
I definitely recommend the series and The Hunt for the Big Bad Wolf was another entertaining addition to the series. I can’t wait for more! ...more
Into the Still Blue was AMAZING! The trilogy got better and better with each book and the finale was definitely the best book. It was full of adventurInto the Still Blue was AMAZING! The trilogy got better and better with each book and the finale was definitely the best book. It was full of adventure, conflict, hope, death, and love. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time because there was so much that needed to happen.
Aria, as part of her quest to save Talon and her shaky alliance with Soren, was able to gather the remaining people left in the crumbling Reverie. But they had to move in with the Tides, which is difficult. The Dwellers and Outsiders did NOT trust each other at all and were pretty vocal about their disgust of Aria and Perry’s relationship. Roar was a mess after the events of Through the Ever Night. Perry was stressed more than ever, and Sable definitely had Cinder, who was the secret to unlocked the Aether wall at the the entrance to the Still Blue.
I loved Into the Still Blue because it explored all of the crazy tension between the Dwellers and Outsiders and I knew the characters had to figure out a way to beat Sable, which was difficult because he always seemed to be a step ahead. It had me on the edge of me seat so many times. It was obvious that the author wasn’t afraid to kill off characters, so I think a lot of my emotions had to do with not knowing who would perish or if they wouldn’t even make it into the Still Blue. I was terrified that they’d die somehow, attack each other due to differences, or Sable would just execute them all.
My only criticism is that I wanted more from the ending. There was still so much that could have happened and I wanted to see the characters who were left figure out how to get along, how to build a civilization, and basically explore the area a bit more. I mean, how did they even know if the Still Blue was safe just because it didn’t have the aether storms? I saw so much room for more storylines so I just wish it wasn’t just a trilogy. However, so many authors tend to beat a dead horse and have endless series, so I guess part of me is happy I don’t have to wait for more books and that I can just sit and let my mind wander and think about the fate of the characters left in the Still Blue.
I highly recommend the trilogy. It was such an unexpected amazing book. I didn’t like the covers, didn’t think it would be worth my time, and basically just thought it was another forgettable YA dystopian trilogy and I am very happy that I was proven wrong. Not only did Under the Never Sky wow me, but the sequel and finale were so much better and made for a pretty amazing trilogy. Don’t let this trilogy collect dust on your shelf. It’s totally worth the read. ...more
The Martian was an incredible story of survival with just enough sarcasm and black humor to make it one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read so far tThe Martian was an incredible story of survival with just enough sarcasm and black humor to make it one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read so far this year. I was on the fence about this book because I knew it was about one guy who was stranded on Mars. I thought it would be dramatic and ridiculous. But when I saw the blurb from Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One, which was one of the most fun books I read last year, I knew I was wrong about The Martian being dull. True to his quote, The Martian was funny in a way I never would have expected and it made all the difference in the world.
The summary/synopsis for the book is so incredibly misleading and way too serious. The Martian was funny and brilliant and not quite the dramatic and serious survival thriller described.
Mark Watney was left for dead when a sandstorm caused problems during his manned mission on Mars. His crew left, thinking he was dead. But convenient circumstances led to Watney surviving. He was the crew’s botanist and engineer and had to rig up the few supplies left to help keep him alive. He knew the next manned mission would take 4 years. So he just had to make it that long.
The Martian wasn’t a heartwarming and serious story of survival.. thankfully. It wasn’t depressing or tough, even though times were difficult and shit went wrong. Watney approached every problem with a sarcastic attitude and his personality made for an entertaining book. Who else could go through the details of how he would create a potato farm without boring the reader? He made it so much fun. And anyone who is familiar with engineering and being hands on knows the struggle of doing things the way that makes sense versus doing things the way a handful of guys in suits at a table says it should be done, so Watney’s “go F yourself attitude towards NASA cracked me up.
Seriously, The Martian was incredible. Mark Watney was a character the world was rooting for. I loved the way he handled his situation. He could narrate his whole boring life anywhere and it would be the funniest shit I’ve ever read. But I do love that the story took place on Mars, as any lover of science fiction has a certain fondness for the planet. It’s where we’ve always imagined our astronauts going. The Martian was refreshing science fiction and I highly recommend it to any fan of the genre or even fans of humorous narratives. Still, regardless of how you feel about science fiction, Mars, or space, I think The Martian is enjoyable all around. I had so much fun reading it.
I’m not conveying my love of Mark Watney enough. To get an idea of what made him such a likable character, I’m posting a handful of quotes. He tops the list of my favorite male characters ever. The first line of the book is, “I’m pretty much fucked.”
“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”
“The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”
“I need to ask myself, 'What would an Apollo astronaut do?' He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.”
“What must it be like?” he pondered. “He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.” LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”
“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonized’ it. So technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!” “
I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying a potato. And by ‘enjoying’ I mean ‘hating so much I want to kill people.’”
“In other news, It’s seven sols till the harvest, and I still haven’t prepared. For starters, I need to make a hoe. Also, I need to make an outdoor shed for the potatoes. I can’t just pile them up outside. The next major storm would cause The Great Martian Potato Migration.” ...more
Let the Sky Fall had a unique premise that piqued my interest. I didn’t realize that, despite being a romantic novel, it was primarily from Vane’s poiLet the Sky Fall had a unique premise that piqued my interest. I didn’t realize that, despite being a romantic novel, it was primarily from Vane’s point of view. Vane was the one who didn’t realize he was special or anything other than human. Audra was the unique and otherworldly being who protected Vane and tried to get him to come into his powers. I like Vane and I thought it was refreshing to read something from a guy’s perspective since that’s something I don’t often come across in romantic YA fiction. Vane was snarky, sarcastic, and enjoyable as a character. I liked that Audra was the mysterious character and had the upper hand.
Let the Sky Fall dealt with sylphs, who were essentially air elementals and can walk in and talk to the wind, controlling it to some degree. Some sylphs were obsessed with learning all the types of winds in order to be powerful, but Vane was the last living relative of his line and was the only person who would potentially know how to talk to/control his kind of wind. Guardians like Audra protected him from the power hungry air elementals. I enjoyed the plot and the role reversal a lot because I thought both were refreshing. It’s not often I come across elementals in paranormal YA romance, so it was something new.
However, Let the Sky Fall was extremely predictable. Vane was the ignorant plain character who was suddenly the entire key to saving the universe because of some repressed ability he had, which is the most widely used trope in paranormal fiction. And with just days worth of training, he was able to unlock said ability without realizing it and save the day. Vane and Audra started to develop feelings, but couldn’t actually act on that because apparently one kiss from Vane would bond him to whoever he kissed. Which is another terribly overused trop in YA. The “twist” at the end was something I saw coming from the first moment I met the character involved because it was one of the most obvious conclusions. I was terribly disappointed. These predictable moments and overused tropes negated the refreshing perspective and premise completely. Also, I didn’t like that the main character’s name was VANE and he was able to control wind. I just thought that was super cheesy.
It looks like most people enjoyed Let the Sky Fall, so I’d still recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, read in one afternoon, easy to read paranormal romance. I enjoyed reading it, but it failed to bring anything new to the table and didn’t live up to my expectations....more
Never Knowing was an incredible book that had me on the edge of my seat. It was written from Sara’s point of view during her visits with her psychologNever Knowing was an incredible book that had me on the edge of my seat. It was written from Sara’s point of view during her visits with her psychologist. She began searching for her birth parents, found out some very disturbing information about her birth father, and became wrapped up in an investigation to track him down.
Never Knowing was not your typical crime/thriller novel. It explored many aspects of Sara’s life and her emotions. Her childhood and the way she felt in her adopted family prompted her to finally decide to search for her birth parents. There were family tensions because her mother was able to have biological children after adopting Sara and was evident there was some unfair treatment and strain going on. Sara was planning a wedding, had a child of her own, and was coping with all of those elements.
What made Never Knowing a captivating book was that the author decided to explore the emotions Sara was feeling during the insane and life altering manhunt for her father once the story got out and police became involved. It wasn’t as easy as luring a killer in and having the police catch him. Sara had to deal with how it affected her life, her kid, her fiancé, her family, and her work. She had to deal with the complex emotions of having a serial killer for a father and questioned her own mind after having had to visit a psychologist for a violent outburst in her past. Sara was stretched far beyond her normal breaking point and it was compelling to read.
The book was long, but I think it had to be and it had to have lulls and have a roller coaster type of pace because it demonstrated the stress and the agony of Sara’s situation. There were times I just wanted a conclusion or for Sara to just decide to help the police, but I knew that it was a legitimately tough decision to make and that’s why Sara was back and forth about it.
One issue I had with Never Knowing was that it was written exactly the same way as Still Missing. The unique structure of Still Missing reeled me in. I had never before read a series of monologues in a psychologist's office from the main character describing the events that happened her to leading up to her visits and I was hooked. But opening up Never Knowing and seeing that it was in the same exact format disappointed me because I was hoping for the author to use a similar type of situation but format it differently in a newer book. Most importantly, Sara’s circumstances were less of a fit to the that type of format, whereas the main character in Still Missing could accurately tell her story in that way and have it make more sense instead of just being a set up for the author to write. Figuring out the format of Steven’s other books will be a major deciding factor as to whether or not I’ll continue to read her books, despite absolutely loving the plot. I praised her unique story structure in the first book, but seeing it appear again was just kind of lame.
I also wished for a less neat and tidy ending with Sara’s family. I guess the way that Sara’s adoptive family treated her bothered me a lot, as well as how her fiancé fit right in with them and wasn’t supportive of her in many situations. I liked that once everything was out in the open, they set aside their issues with one another, but I honestly thought that they were more damaging to Sara than the serial killer father many times and I hated that Sara never really got to talk to them about it and just had to keep her mouth shut to appease her controlling dad. Despite John’s temper, he seemed to legitimately care about creating a connection with her and I wish more of that was explored and that the author would have been a little more brave in writing about a less than ideal connection between them.
I do recommend the book and I think in some ways it was better than Still Missing because the relationship between Sara and her real father was very complex and the finale was not very predictable at all. I can honestly say that I didn't see it ending the way that it did. It is definitely worth reading....more
Island of Lost Girls was a strange and twisted story about a missing girl. The main character, Rhonda, witnessed a person in a rabbit costume kidnap aIsland of Lost Girls was a strange and twisted story about a missing girl. The main character, Rhonda, witnessed a person in a rabbit costume kidnap a young girl. She was too stunned to help, but it made her jump in and help find the girl. The circumstances made her think about her childhood, the people around her, and her version of events.
I loved not knowing what was happening. In the present, I was trying to figure out who on earth would kidnap the girl and do it in a rabbit suit. Was it someone Rhonda knew? Someone in town? A random coincidence? As Rhonda reminisced, I wondered what was going on with the people in her life. What happened to Daniel and Lizzy? What was going on that weird summer?
There were connections that were slowly uncovered and Rhonda had an unhealthy attachment to Peter. In the past, it was obvious they were becoming close to a couple, but in the present, he was with a person that Rhonda had no objection to him being with. It wasn’t until pieces of the puzzle came together that the full picture was obvious.
Jennifer McMahon writes such compelling fiction. It’s a mash up of small towns, secrets, being a kid and not necessarily understanding the world around you, and something dangerous, whether that be murder, missing people, supernatural elements, or something else.
I loved Island of Lost Girls. It’s hard to go into details about the story because there were so many twists, secrets, and different pieces that were uncovered, I wouldn’t want to spoil a single thing. I definitely recommend the book. It was one of the more confusing and hard to predict books that I’ve read from the author, which was nice and I liked the way it all came together at the end. ...more
Still Missing was an exciting book that kept me turning the pages in order to find out what happened to Annie. It was written from Annie’s point of viStill Missing was an exciting book that kept me turning the pages in order to find out what happened to Annie. It was written from Annie’s point of view as a giant monologue of her conversation with her shrink. She talks about what happened to her while she was abducted and she also talks about what has happened since she was found, and what happened since her last session. I liked the format because it unraveled all three periods of time and gave me insight into Annie’s character.
Annie was abducted at an open house as a realtor and spent a year in a remote cabin with her crazy captor. It left her psychologically damaged and she was trying to rebuild her life afterwards. She was constantly scared, pushing her friends away, and still living part of the routine she was held accountable for during her time in captivity.
I started the book with low expectations. Typically when I see such a promising novel at a used bookstore, I can’t help but wonder why I’ve never heard of it and why it was there in the first place. I shop at used bookstores often, but I’d say about half of the books I get and have never otherwise heard of tend to be disappointing (which is why I haven’t heard of it and why it’s at the store to begin with). Every once in while, I find true gems that are better than I imagined and Still Missing is one of them.
I wasn’t sure where the story was going and what the main point was when I first began, so it was anything but predictable. Were we trying to find out who did that to Annie or was it more about how she would cope afterward? I loved that Still Missing was about everything. It wasn’t just about what happened or what was currently happening to her. It wasn’t necessarily about healing or just about closure. It was about both and everything in between.
I found out who Annie was before, during, and after her abduction. And best of all, it was kind of a fucked up book, which is always awesome to read.
I couldn’t put the book down. I loved finding out what happened to her. Her time with her captor was insane and terrifying. I also enjoyed seeing how she was coping and watching her heal a little bit more each day. I liked figuring out her family and friends and how screwed up they could be. I loved that the author had so many different aspects of Annie’s life wrapped up in this novel and it made for such a compelling novel.
Still Missing was horrifying, eye opening, compelling, full of secrets, mystery, and coping, and was shocking. I will definitely read more of her books in the future and a highly recommend this one....more
Promise Not To Tell was great! I’m a huge fan of the author and I love how her books are full of secrets, small towns, and otherworldly aspects that aPromise Not To Tell was great! I’m a huge fan of the author and I love how her books are full of secrets, small towns, and otherworldly aspects that add in just the right amount of weirdness. The combination makes for an exciting book because there are just as many human motives for things and it could easily be a story just about secrets, but the added mystery of whatever otherworldly element throws enough of a curve into the story that you don’t quite know what to expect. In Promise Not To Tell, the strange happenings in the small town have to do with ghosts. More importantly, the ghost is that of Kate’s friend from her childhood, Del.
Del was the Potato Girl. She was bullied, weird, hated, and had a complicated life. Kate was her friend, but pretended not to be in order to not commit social suicide. She felt a lot of guilt as an adult about the way she treated Del and I was anxious to watch that story unfold throughout the book. I wanted to know what exactly happened to Del and what Kate’s role in her death or her embarrassment that day was. In the present, Kate’s mom, who still lived in the same town, was losing her memories. Kate came back to her hometown to help her mother and find a good place for long term care. But going back to her hometown opened up a can of worms as people and memories started flooding in. Another girl was hurt, extra secrets were uncovered, and something very weird was happening. People kept blaming the ghost of the Potato Girl, but everyone should know better, right?
I’m not going to give anything away, but I loved the characters and the plot of the book. I enjoyed seeing everything unfold. I didn’t know who the true killer was, if the same person who killed Del was responsible for the death of Opal’s friend, or if there was really any ghost stuff happening. the conclusion left me satisfied and it was one I really didn’t see coming. I bounced back and forth between who I thought was the killer in the present day and the past multiple times, which was kind of fun. I hate predictable mystery novels and I loved that Promise Not To Tell kept me guessing.
I highly recommend Promise Not To Tell and other books by Jennifer McMahon. This one isn’t my favorite, but it’s not my least favorite of hers, either. If you like mysteries, small towns, legends, ghost stories, and secrets, you can’t go wrong with any of McMahon’s books....more
Black Ice was an enjoyable read, full of adventure and tough decisions, but was ultimately too predictable to become one of my favorites. Despite theBlack Ice was an enjoyable read, full of adventure and tough decisions, but was ultimately too predictable to become one of my favorites. Despite the negative reviews, it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought it would be, but it did fall short of my expectations overall.
In the novel, Brit was hung up on her best friend’s brother. They had broken up when he went to college, but Brit was determined to win him back by planning a trip to backpack in a familiar area with her best friend in hopes that her brother would tag along. The set up screamed B horror movie, especially after the prologue, but I hoped the characters would carry the otherwise obvious plot. I knew that the girls would somehow find themselves around or near the cabin and at least one of the guys from the prologue. Perhaps if the prologue didn’t exist, it would have been far less obvious as to what was happening.
Reviews have mentioned the whole Stockholm syndrome love plot and how horrible it is to read about a heroine who starts to develop feelings for her captor, but that didn’t bother me at all because I knew that the guy she was developing feelings for was not a bad guy. It was 100% obvious to me who the bad guy(s) were in the story and Mason was not one of them. It came as no surprise when the story revealed what was really happening.
Brit wasn’t a bad character and she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders and seemed to be a great judge of character (at least as far as meeting NEW people, since her current friends were absolutely terrible). However, her family and friends treated her like she was incapable of succeeding at anything that required hard work and I think she settled into that role. She disgusting me at the beginning because she was one of those Daddy’s girls who always got her way. Her best friend was a million times worse and I have no idea why the author would give us a best friend like that when Brit clearly needed a better one. Her friend was shallow, competitive, rude, and snobby. And was a terrible judge of character.
Once Brit broke away from her friend, I couldn’t help but feel relieved, even if her best friend was possibly starving to death in a cabin. I really didn’t care. The next person on my list of characters that Brit needed to dump was her best friend’s obviously terrible brother. The more Brit reminisced about their relationship and how Cal kept their relationship secret from everyone and treated her like a whore in front of his friends so they wouldn’t know he was actually his girlfriend, the more I cringed and hoped she would wake up and realize he was a terrible person. So the fact that Brit was developing feelings for the guy dragging her throughout the mountain area was not a problem to me. I felt like she had better luck with that guy than anyone else in her life.
Even though I knew who the bad and good guys were and frustrated that I knew that information, I still kept reading because I wanted to find out why. I wanted to know how Mason got himself involved with Shawn, what Shawn was actually guilty of, and why the killer killed the girls in the first place. It didn’t matter that I knew who he was, I was waiting for the aha! moment and for Brit to finally get it.
Black Ice was kind of a waste of time, but it was fun if you like B horror movie kind of plots. It wasn’t really mysterious or sexy, but it was interesting. I’m glad I’m a fast reader because it didn’t take me long to get through it and I think I enjoyed it more because it was such a quick read. It wasn’t nearly as bad as people made it out to be. It was nothing like the kidnapper love stories of adult romance at all, so I am not sure why, of all the things I thought were bad about the story, people fixated on that portion of it. ...more