The Dark World is the first novel in the demonic new series by Cara Lynn Shultz that sees a strapping teenage girl discover a dark but seductive alternate world that lies parallel to our own in this smart and sassy start to a promising new series!
Heading into this novel, The Dark World held such promise for me. And while I certainly enjoyed this novel and found it a very enjoyable read, I don’t think it exactly met my expectations either. It got close, although there was just that something extra that was missing in my eyes during certain parts of the book.
Set in New York City and following Paige Kelly, a smart mouthed and sassy teenager who happens to see the dead and has a tenancy to talk to them, thus earning herself a bit of a reputation for having a few screws loose, The Dark World was richly written and depicted. Personally, I think it was a nice introduction to a new series and find myself eager for more after this installment.
The Dark World sees Paige discover a dark and alluring alternate world that exists on another dimension to ours. This world tends to mirror ours, but is also home to a vast array of horrendous creatures and powerful demons who want nothing more than to take control over our world and will stop at nothing to find a portal into our world, even if it means using Paige.
Blending the evils of men with otherworldly politics, Shultz introduces us to many different characters including ghosts, warlocks and demons that mingle with humans in The Dark World. Leading lady Paige is sharp and daring but isolated due to her social pariah status and finds an unexpected ally in new boy Logan who is as mysterious as he is shy and alluring. Shultz includes some bubbly and personable characters in the form of Dottie, Paige’s best friend who died in the 1950’s and Ajax, a arrogant and sarcastic demon who I’m dying to know more about!
The plotline of The Dark World seemed a bit odd to me, although not necessarily in a bad way. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of action and excitement and the story has a wonderful overall pace, but I didn’t feel like a lot was happening in terms of story movement at times. There was plenty going on, and the story certainly kept me entertained as our heroine began to learn of this world behind hers, but it wasn’t until almost the end of the book that Shultz began to heavily evolve the storyline.
The Dark World explores an interesting concept and I was really pleased with some of the twists Shultz included that I wasn’t expectibng, but find extremely interesting. I have a lot of hope for the next book and feel this was a satisfying start to a promising new series by Cara Lynn Shultz. The Dark World races to a climactic ending that has me ready to read the next book pronto! (less)
Take Me on is the fourth installment in Katie McGarry’s tremendously written and deeply satisfying Pushing the Limits series and is without a doubt another killer story by one of the prime contemporary authors of this genre—McGarry will make you smile, laugh and cry.....then beg for more!
I can say in all honesty that Katie McGarry is one of the reasons I enjoy contemporary fiction as I do. Prior to reading her debut novel, Pushing the Limits, the contemporary genre wasn’t something I read a lot of, but thanks to the delicious characters and incredible romantic connections McGarry and those like her write, I’m very much falling in love with these kinds of stories. And Take Me On only helps cement my love of contemporary novels!
Though not the best book in the series in my opinion—Crash Into You holds that reign for me---Take Me on was still an absolutely sensational read! Following West Young, the older brother of Crash Into You protagonist Rachel and introducing us to Hayley Williams, a young fighter dealing with a lot of difficulties, Take Me On is an exhilarating story of love, friendship and finding the strength to fight for what you really want!
Expertly written, Take Me On is told in the dual POV’s of West and Hayley; something that only enhances the reading experience as far as I'm concerned. Varying chapters told by each character allows you as the reader to really see into the hearts and minds of West and Hayley; we learn what makes them tick, and see their struggles--something that truly helps you understand the journey they're on.
West and Hayley were really great characters to follow in this book. I always enjoy meeting a new couple written by Katie McGarry and have to applaud her for always managing to give them originality and yet making them real and relatable. It's impossible not to love her characters; from the feature two in each book to the other minor characters we meet along the way and yet whom I'm really hoping to hear stories about--characters that include Abby, Ethan, Logan, Jax and more.
Having briefly met West in the previous book, I was very excited for the chance to follow him in Take Me On, but found I was pleasantly surprised to see how different he was than what I was expecting when heading into the book. West is a very conflicting character. He's a rich boy and has had nothing but opportunity after opportunity. He's never gone for anything in his life, but he's also never felt like he belonged. Acting out and getting into fights have been a normality's in West's life for a long time, a result of his struggling relationship with his father and his inability to really connect with his family; bar his sister Rachel and brother Ethan.
West harbors a lot of guilt over what happened to his sister at the end of Crash into You and honestly believes it was his fault. This is something he carries around and it's not until he meets Hayley does he begin to let something good into his life. West comes a long way over the course of this book. I won't go into too many details, but some harsh decisions by his father force West to be on his own and he slowly learns what he has to do to survive and be a man. McGarry knocks West and the entire Young family around the ring with some surprising revelations that change everything West thought he knew about himself! Personally, I adored seeing West grow in this book and think McGarry did a great job giving West the tools to grow and allow him to find his feet!
Hayley is a delightful match for West in Take Me On. A fighter by nature, the destruction of her family's life has left Hayley a shadow of who she used to be. Shouldering so much on her own Hayley doesn't really let people in and in so many ways has given up on her hopes and dreams and all that she loves. Hayley really just struggles day by day. And she doesn't even know she's let herself get so low until West walks into her life and makes her feel something real. Hayley is a really great character. She's smart and quick thinking and keeps West on his toes, but she's also gone through a lot. And it shows. Take Me On really highlights Hayley's journey to being in a good place after so much difficulty and I enjoyed seeing Hayley take back some control of her life.
Despite their social differences Hayley and West really become the others strength in Take Me On. Both are in hard places with their own issues, and it's something that bonds them. Raging attraction aside, McGarry gives their relationship a lovely foundation of comradeship that sees them only help strengthen and assist the other. West and Hayley have a great dynamic; they're both attracted to the only and have great chemistry, so seeing the electric part of their relationship blend with the deeper side was beautiful.
Choc-full of exhilarating romance and shocking family revelations, Katie McGarry explores her standardly flawed and struggling, but incredibly beautiful characters amongst stunning romance and addicting chemistry in Take Me On--trust me this is one series that will leave you begging for more with each and every book! (less)
Captivate is a delightful debut by Aussie author Vanessa Garden and a lovely start to what promises to be an interesting series set in a magical underworld world full of love, danger and secrets!
Having read the premise of this story—an Australian teenager, kidnapped and swept up into an underwater world—my first thought was quite understandably "mermaids!" I experienced both disappointment and delight to discover that this wasn’t actually the case. Choosing not to go down this path, Vanessa Garden has penned an intriguing story with Captivate.
Whilst I’m being honest, Captivate wasn’t quite as addictive and beguiling as I’d hoped but it did make for an enjoyable read. Set in the lush, underwater world of Marin, Captivate follows Miranda Sun after she is kidnapped and brought to a land deep under the sea for mysterious and questionable reasons. Reasons we discover as the book progresses that intertwine with the history of those who call it home.
I liked the world Vanessa Garden has created in Captivate. It’s beautiful and lush, with the origins of these underwater people and how they came to live under the sea, in this dome like enclosure so sufficiently, different from what I’d read before. The characters, including heroine Miranda were likable and easy to read about, even if they were basic and their relationships predictable. Marko was alright as the king of Marin and Miranda’s main love interest and Robbie as Marko’s guard, friend and Miranda’s kidnapper/friend.
Miranda and Marko’s romance came on swiftly, but with both characters going into it with their eyes more or less open to the others motive and feelings this didn’t bother me too much. And yet I wasn’t blown away by their romance. It just was.
Don’t get me wrong, the characters were in no way lacking personality or likeability, but at times I felt disconnected from their plight. Captivate was just missing that something more for me. That special, often unnamable quality that takes a book from good and okay to brilliant and beyond.
That being said, I did like this story. There were a number of different story developments and revelations that kept me on my toes and I truly do want to see what decisions Miranda will make and whether she will return to Marin. I foresee a love triangle in the future between Miranda and the two men in her life, and though personally I’m over them myself, I think Vanessa Garden will explore this avenue.
With an interesting plotline and a lavish setting, Captivate was enough to whet my appetite and leave me wanting me. I look forward to what trouble’s await Miranda with her possible return to Marin and wonder what Vanessa Garden has in store for her heroine next! (less)
Crash Into You is the sensational third installment in Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits series and with it's riveting story, striking characters and incredibly intense and powerful romance, is quite possibly the best book in the series yet! Crash Into You encompasses everything that makes this series so great and will thrill readers from the very first page until the last!
Okay. So. I'm in love....with this book! Really, I am. Katie McGarry managed to capture my attention with Pushing The Limits, steal my heart with Dare You To, and after reading Crash Into You, pretty much owns my soul. Crash Into You was brilliant. Simply brilliant. I almost don't know how to write a review that will do this story justice--it's just that good!
From the very opening chapter, this story was riveting...and completely addictive! I didn't want to put the book down and as the story progressed, I became more and more absorbed in Isaiah and Rachel's tale. Crash Into You is incredibly intense and piercing; so well written and well told, with characters so rich in personality and energy that they come to life within it's pages. Told in the dual POV that allows this series to be so well rounded, Crash Into You couldn't have been a better read. Honestly, Katie McGarry has outdone herself with this one!
Finally telling Isaiah's tale, Crash Into You was pretty much what I've come to expect from Katie McGarry; rich, powerful and emotional....and yet so much more! If you think you knew Isaiah after Pushing The Limits and Dare You To, think again! Katie McGarry opens him up in this book and bares Isaiah's soul. Finally allowing readers to see into the deepest part of Isaiah's head and heart, Crash Into You showcases Isaiah like never before.
Wow. Isaiah. Just wow. I've loved Noah and I've loved Ryan, but I'll say it here and I'll say it now.....Isaiah is the best leading man to come out of this series to date! Seriously. With his shaved head, tattoo's and piercings it's understandable that people mistake Isaiah for a thug, and yet he in no way is. He's raw and harsh, and fierce when need be, but Isaiah has honor and kindness and so much depth. Katie McGarry is so good at writing raw, fractured individual's and Isaiah with his pain, loneliness and desire to keep everyone at arms length is a perfect example of this.
Honestly, my heart broke for Isaiah in this book. Broke. Experiencing things through his eyes and seeing how hard his life was ripped me apart. I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him it would be alright. Seeing him struggle through life, but wanting to do the right thing by those around him was very powerfully. Haunting, but powerful. And that being said, seeing him experience the good things in life was also lovely to behold. Friendship, love....respect---these just managed to fill me with so much joy as I read this book.
As Isaiah's leading lady and love interest in Crash Into You, I adored Rachel. And it had nothing to do with her name either, ha! Here was a girl with issues. A girl hiding who she really was from those closest to her in the hopes of keeping them happy. Someone keeping up pretenses and doing what was expected of her, but who was really dying inside, hiding how she really felt. Rachel was wounded. This kind, sweet young woman was wounded. Haunted by her family, and this loss of a child she could never live up to, Rachel was brave, selfless at times and beautiful.
I have to be honest, I was quite a bit devastated when I learned that Isaiah and Beth weren't going to be paired together after Pushing The Limits, but having read Dare You To and now Crash Into You, I think that this was the right choice by Katie McGarry. I don't doubt she could have written a brilliant book pairing them together, and while I'll admit the chance to have two books rather than one is something I love, I don't feel Beth and Isaiah could have found the same kind of happiness together as they do with their respectable others. Ryan is the light in Beth's darkness and in Crash Into You, we discover that Rachel is the same for Isaiah.
The relationship between Isaiah and Rachel is spectacular! My favourite to date! From the moment they meet it's clear that Isaiah and Rachel have an undeniable attraction. They're drawn to each other and despite their differences, find something in the other they'd never found before. The angst and sexual tension is through the roof with these two, and as Katie McGarry takes her time setting up a strong foundation for their relationship based on a mutual love of cars and friendship, the chemistry they share only gets better and better.
Isaiah and Rachel are electric together...and endearingly so. Their romance is intense but is also very deep. There's more to them than physical attraction and as Isaiah slowly lets Rachel in and he makes her stronger, it's impossible not to become lost in their love story. From different places in society, there's an undeniable aspect of forbidden love that shines through in this novel and as you see everything that threatens to stand in their way and keep them apart, you can't help but love them more!
All the characters from the two pervious books make appearances, but Katie McGarry also introduces us to more fabulous characters in the form of Rachel's many brothers and Isaiah's friend Abby, who only help enhance the story. I have a feeling Katie McGarry has more stories up her sleeve and I'm excited to see who we'll hear from next!
Featuring a beautiful and riveting love story, Crash Into You is thrilling in it's storyline and addictive in it's emotion. There's so much beauty to be found in it's pages and it's powerful romance will steal your breath away. Crash Into You takes this series to another level and is without a doubt a story you do not want to miss!
Banish by Aussie author Nicola Marsh is a mysterious thriller with just a hint of the supernatural that will have you guessing who's behind the strange goings on in our heroine Alyssa's life until the very end!
Heading into Banish, I must be honest....I had high expectations. The cover was stunning and the premise looked promising, so I was anticipating a thrilling read, but unfortunately this book was a bit of a mixed basket for me. In Banish, Nicola Marsh introduces us to Alyssa Wood, a teenager who has moved to New York to live with her Wiccan aunt after losing her boyfriend and on the back of her mothers mental deterioration but who ultimately finds the past won't the past.
I really wanted to like Banish, I did. However, I struggled from the very beginning to get into this story. Banish's storyline had real possibility, especially when coupled with a witchy element woven into it, but while Banish did ultimately pick up just after halfway I still felt it fell flat.
For the most part, I didn't feel one way or another over our main character and protagonist, Alyssa. I neither loved her nor did I outright her but I did have my problems with her. Considering she grew up in a household where Wicca was such a fixture and magic played such a big role in her mothers, and aunts life, I felt author Nicola Marsh made too big a deal over Alyssa's inability to believe. Don't get me wrong--I understood the purpose of knowing Alyssa was a non-believer to the storyline, but after the first half of the story, I felt as though this fact was really being shoved down my throat. And I came to resent this.
Nicola Marsh's inclusion of Roman in the form of Alyssa's love interest really confounded me. Taking into consideration that these two already know each other when Banish opens up, their relationship came across as lacking and inconsequential. I almost felt Marsh added it in simply to have a relationship in the story. Don't get me wrong, I loved Roman. He was likable and quite sexy in his geeky, suave way and a delightful enigma in the story with his different musical inclinations. In fact, I would have liked to have seen more of him, but from what I saw he and Alyssa's chemistry was a fine simmer--it didn't really go anywhere and to me seemed unnecessary.
The mystery of this novel I did like and the way everything made sense in the end when the mystery surrounding the strange occurrences in Alyssa's life is revealed. Everything tied in well and even I was questioning who and/or what could be behind it all.
Overall, Banish wasn't a bad read, it just wasn't necessarily for me. However, if you're a fan of mystery and thrillers with just the perfect splash of magic and supernatural thrown in then Banish may just be for you. (less)
The Iron Traitor is the highly anticipated, but immensely shocking follow up to The Iron Prince and is an unpredictable story of adventure, magic and romance. The lush world of fae, danger and heartbreak is as tantalizing as ever in this latest installment!
Julie Kagawa is a master of words; plain and simple. Even though at times The Iron Traitor read more like a "filler novel" than I expected, it was still a very deliciously well told and adventurous read! Continuing to draw readers into her magical world of the Nevernever, Kagawa continues her exploration and development of her characters as Ethan, Keirran, and Kenzie delve back into the lands of Faery in the search of a way to save Keirran's love with the help of a few friends, both old and new!
I adore Julie Kagawa's writing and her ability as a storyteller never fails to captivate me. The Iron Traitor wasn't quite as fast paced as some of her previous books; rather plodding along nicely, with plenty of different hurdle's and difficulties arising for the characters though minor in comparison to others in the series.
The world Kagawa has created within this series, and the previous one is a wondrous one and I continually find myself getting lost in her world and writing. Lush, rich and harshly magical, I never know what to expect and what Julie Kagawa is going to weave into the story.
Ethan is quite likable as the main character and I enjoyed seeing things progress through his eyes. When I first began this series I was unsure how the change of protagonists from Megan to Ethan from the other books would work, but oddly I don't find myself comparing the two as much as I expected. Considering his early introduction into the world of Faery, Ethan is very capable and this becomes abundantly clear with each book.
In The Iron Traitor, Ethan's relationships with the other characters continue to develop in interesting ways. I like Ethan and Kenzie together; I'm intrigued to see what happens considering her health situation--I'm looking forward to seeing how that all unfolds in future books. Kerrian is a complete mystery to me and I'm still working out his loyalties and motives--he and Ethan could potentially have a strong friendship but right now plot twists could derail that.
It's a blast from the past with Megan, Ash and Puck all making appearances. Plus Razor continues to be an adorable addition to the story with his mannerisms and cuteness. Featuring a shocking betrayal and jaw-dropping ending that takes cliff hanger endings to another level, The Iron Traitor races towards a climactic ending that will leave readers shaking their heads and praying for more even as they turn the final page!
Julie Kagawa must have something big up her sleeve if The Iron Traitor is anything to go by and I for one will be marking my calendar for the release of the next book!(less)
Countdown by Michelle Rowen is an exciting, heart racing story in the tradition of The Hunger Games but featuring its very own unique, and addictive storyline. It's The Hunger Games meets Saw in this fantastic read that blends dystopian with sci-fi and that is sure to please from the get go!
Heading into Countdown, I was really excited. It's my first book by Michelle Rowen, but it sounded so good. I hoped it would live up to my expectations.....and you know what? It totally did! From the very opening pages, I was glued to this story. The stakes were always immensely high; leaving me no choice but to keep reading. I had to know what was going to happen next. And as the story progressed, this stayed the same; Countdown held my complete and utter attention all the way through!
I was really impressed with this story. In a way there's something very simply about the idea, but Rowen's execution is perfect; her writing flawless, lending so much to a really exhilarating story. I liked the way Rowen brought to light little twists and developments over the course of the book that impacted on the story and drove it.
In Countdown, main characters, Kira and Rogan find themselves in an unexpected and shocking situation when they wake up and discover they are in the middle of Countdown; a horrendous game where contestants compete for their very lives over a course of death defying levels to the delight of a group of underground Subscribers who enjoy watching the game. Complete the task on each level and you move on, or fail it and be killed. What ensues is a lot of danger, excitement and shocking revelations as Kira and Rogan must learn to trust each other amidst a game where nothing is as it seems!
I seriously loved Kira! Admittedly, there is a real vulnerable side to her that we get to discover throughout the book, but she really was one brave and feisty heroine. Amidst a bad situation, Kira learns so much about herself and does what she has to do to survive, while still staying true to herself and her morals--I admire this! Basically, she was just one really likable character to follow throughout the story.
As Kira's partner in crime, Rogan proved to be a real conundrum. In the beginning of the book it's clear that there's so much more to this notorious criminal than meets the eye, but it's unclear what. As the reader, I found it thrilling seeing Kira discover the unexpected truth behind Rogan Ellis. Rogan was dark and sexy and a real diamond in the rough. He and Kira form an unexpected bond over the course of the book that had me very satisfied, and often giddy, with their chemistry and connection. Me likey!
From beginning to end Countdown is a thrilling read. There's plenty of story developments to keep things progressing nicely amidst the danger and high stakes that is the game of Countdown. My only issue with this book is that I feel there is so much left to explore about Rowen's world, most importantly Kira's ability and where they've come from. After reading this fantastic story, I find myself crossing my fingers that Michelle Rowen will allow us readers to visit Kira and Rogan once more with a sequel! (less)
Through The Zombie Glass is the action packed, edge of your seat sensational follow up to Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland and is as good, if not better than it's predecessor. Featuring a kick-ass heroine, swoon worthy characters and a story line that just gets curiouser and curiouser, Through The Zombie Glass is without a doubt a must read!
All I have to say is wow. Just wow! Gena Showalter is a legend. Pure and simple! I mean, as a fan and having read dozens of her books by now, she's long ago proved to me that she's incapable of writing a bad book but Through The Zombie Glass is at another level! This book is ensnaring from the opening chapter and only gets better with the turn of every page.
If Alice in Zombieland introduced us to this invigorating and exciting world, then Through The Zombie Glass makes us fall in love with it all over again--there's nothing about this book I can fault! Perfectly paced and exciting, there's more than enough tension, passion and sensuality that blends exceptionally well with fast paced action and excellent fight sequences. Showalter's witty dialogue is once more at it's best and her trademark humor and fire runs rampant in Through The Zombie Glass.
The characters of this series have such a thrilling chemistry! I loved the entire gang in Alice In Zombieland and though I didn't think it was possible......I think I love them even more having now read it's sequel! Gena Showalter has real knack for writing perfectly flawed individuals with so much depth and grace and that's the case with this series. Her characters are exceedingly well rounded and fit perfectly together. Each compliments one another with their different personalities, and their exceedingly brilliant interactions with one another make for some exciting moments.
Main heroine Alice "Ali" Bell shines like never before in this book! She's even more daring and brave in Through The Zombie Glass, even as she faces danger like never before, both within herself and out. Ali is a seriously kick-ass heroine. She deserves to be right up there with the greats and Gena continued to put her through the wringer time and time again in this book. As she fights the darkness inside her, Ali never gives up and it's her ability to keep up the fight that I love so much. Really, I just love this girl!
And if Ali is kick-ass, there's no words to describe Cole Holland's fire. Fierce, brave and courageous, Cole is a stunning male lead. He's definitely swoon worthy, but it's the whole package that makes him the great lead he is. You've gotta love a guy like Cole!
The relationship shared between Ali and Cole is electric and passionate; beguiling and addictive. Individually they're excellent, but together they're a whole other ball game and I just adore seeing these two interact and connect with each book. Now I don't want to spoil too much, but ordinarily I hate it when authors break couples up or make them separate for strange reasons, but in Through The Zombie Glass, Gena Showalter manages to take Ali and Cole on an emotional ride that is as difficult to read as it is addictive. These two simply cannot stay away from one another. Their chemistry is off the charts and they're drawn to each other constantly. There's an endless amount of sensual, snarky and cheeky moments shared by these two but there's also a lot of tender, love filled ones and I think seeing so much of both just makes them all that more excellent to read about.
The plotline in this book is driven, mysterious and uncertain. Showalter blends different elements of the traditional Alice in Wonderland tale together with zombies in such a fun, fresh and captivating story. There's so much going on and with one disaster/excitement blending into the next, I find myself very satisfied with how this story finished yet eager for the next one. This series is evolving nicely and I'm dying to see what Gena Showalter has up her sleeve next!(less)
Ink is Amanda Sun’s debut novel and tells a unique tale of romance, mystery and Japanese folklore!
Honestly, I’m not completely sure how to wrap my mind around Ink by Amanda Sun. The premise of this story is straight away catching and Amanda Sun does a good job of telling this unique story. Featuring the fantastically vivid setting that is Japan, Ink had the potential to be a knock out book, but in my eyes kind of fell flat at times. Now, I’m not in any way saying that it was bad book, it certainly wasn’t, but for some unknown reason Ink failed to live up to my expectations and capture me like I hoped it would.
I have to give Sun props for thinking outside of the box with her mythology and setting for this book. Showcasing plenty of mystery and quirky Japanese tradition, Ink blends together impressive Japanese mythology with all the fun, colour and flair that is uniquely Japanese pop culture. Featuring a fish-out-of-water feel, and considering our heroine is an American teen living in Japan, Ink braves a turbulent and exciting culture.
I did like this book. I feel I have to say that. While I wasn’t “sucked in” in the same manner I was expecting, Ink was well told and did manage to hold my attention throughout the majority of the book. I found it to be a pleasant read; the characters likable enough and the story mysterious.
I liked the main character Katie, although I admittedly struggled to connect with her at times; feeling disconnected and unsure about some of her decisions and reactions. Again, she was nice enough to read and I admired her spirit, although I’ll be the first to say me and her had our moments.
I enjoyed the way Katie interacted with some of the characters in this book her different relationships with them, from her aunt Dianne to her friends Yuki and Tanaka to her love interest, the mysterious and often conflicting Tomohiro. Again I liked Tomohiro “Tomo”; he and Katie had an intriguing and usually enjoyable connection, but I found myself unendingly frustrated by his up and down actions. I understood the place for his confliction within the story but that didn’t make it any less annoying at times.
Overall, Ink was a striking beginning to this new series by Amanda Sun and considering how much I enjoyed the different setting and unique elements in the book, I may just be persuaded to pick up its sequel…..
Having previously read Jordan Dane’s debut novel In the Arms of Stone Angels, I must admit I had high expectations for this book. The synopsis caught me and considering it was well written, it had all the potential to be a brilliant read. Yet, unfortunately for me, it just fell flat.
As a storyteller, Jordan Dane is very talented. Her writing is flowing and deep and very detailed. Indigo Awakening had all the elements I was looking for; interesting storyline, possibly intriguing characters and plenty of action, but in the end I struggled to connect with the characters and the story and for all her brilliance as a storyteller, in this one instance, Jordan Dane struggled to make me care.
There were times with this book when I would see a little spark that had the potential to flame brighter but ultimately burned out. The mystery and high stakes were there but I felt disconnected from the characters and their plight. The idea of the Indigo children was lost on me and even though the idea was interesting there wasn’t enough explanation and detail to really have me enticed.
The connection shared by the characters was one I liked and even though I emphasized with them throughout the book I never really felt invested in their story. I also didn’t feel the connection and chemistry between them that I wanted to see. Told in various POV’s Indigo Awakening introduces us to various characters that we follow throughout the book. Featuring Lucas Darby an Indigo child and his sister Rayne, as well as Kendra, Raphael and Gabriel other Indigo children the various perspectives did allow us a broad view of the story as well as POV’s from the ‘bad guys” but I never loved the characters.
That’s not to say I didn’t want to, because I did. I really did. I waited to find a moment when I would fall into a rhythm with a character I was reading about but it never came. Rayne was feisty and Gabe was quite interesting, but their relationship and connection came on too strong, too fast and that deterred me. Kendra I could see had incredibly good intensions, but there was just something about her that I couldn’t connect with and Lucas…..well, unfortunately he just did nothing for me.
If I had to pick a character I liked the best, I think I would have to say Raphael. He and his ‘little man’ Benny were insanely sweet and even though they weren’t brother by blood the bond between them was a strong as. They were worth reading about.
Unfortunately this book was just a major disappointment for me. I was hoping for something fierce and brilliant like I know Dane is capable of writing, but this just wasn’t the case with Indigo Awakening. I’ll definitely read more by Jordan Dane, simply because I know of the incredible books she can write, but this one just wasn’t for me…… (less)
Hooked was a fun, romantic debut that truly did have me hooked.
As someone only just beginning to find their feet with contemporary novels, I’m pleased to say Hooked was a very enjoyable read! Liz Fichera’s debut novel is perfectly written and beautifully told.
Told in dual POV, the story of a golden boy and Native American girl who have a very unlikely romance as they bond over their shared love of golf was really nice to read about. Told against the stunning backdrop of the Estrella Mountains and the desert that surrounds it, Hooked sees Fredericka “Fred” Oday join the boy’s golf team thanks to her natural talent and ambition, ruffling a few feathers as she does. When Ryan Bergener’s best friend loses his spot on the team for Fred, Ryan expects to hate Fred forever. Neither expects to fall for the other.
I must say I’m not the biggest sport fan, and golf doesn’t really do anything for me in particular, however I admit I certainly appreciated its place within Hooked. It’s a really refreshing thing to see a sport like this be explored throughout a YA novel. With football or basketball usually our focus in books and movies, author Liz Fichera thought outside the box and took a chance with golf. And you know what, it really worked!
The setting of this book was really beautiful and really different. The idea of the harshness and wildness of the desert was perfect within this book and fit in perfectly with Fred’s heritage and upbringing. It was a nice touch to the story. I enjoyed how Fichera looked at the social standing of the Native Americans, especially when we compared it to the world that Ryan lived in, but I would have loved to have seen it explored just a teeny bit more.
The characters within this book were perfect within the story. Admittedly they are what I’ve come to expect from YA contemporary romance novels- the nasty girl/ex-girlfriend, jerk best friend and standout golden boy—but that didn’t mean I liked reading about them any less.
Fred was a solid main character to read about. She was likable and I really did want the best for her. I liked how Fichera explored Fred’s sad, and difficult home life, making everything she was doing to better herself all that more meaningful. Her inner strength and determination, especially when people were treating her as they were, was admirable. At her base, Fred was a good main character to read about; she was likable but also showed traits that everyone should have.
Ryan too was a likable male lead, although I sometimes found myself frustrated by his choices, before and after he’d met and was falling for Fred. Admittedly, this made me appreciate his growth all the more as the book progressed, but that didn’t leave me any less frustrated with him at times.
As a couple Fred and Ryan were sweet. Their relationship wasn’t overly electric or anything, but was a rather endearing undertone to the book. Building from an unexpected friendship at first even though they did “like” one another too, their romance wasn’t too much within the book; fitting in with the feel of the book instead.
Overall, I was quite satisfied with this book. Hooked was a great debut and though it was my first Liz Fichera book, the fact that I’m already counting down the day’s until it’s sequel featuring Ryan’s sister Riley and Sam Tracey, I can definitely guarantee it won’t me my last! (less)
Dare You To is the sensational follow up to Kate McGarry’s debut novel Pushing The Limits and is as good as, if not better than its predecessor. Filled with nothing but pure emotion, desire and harsh, raw characters, Dare You To will made you feel and feel everything!
Kate McGarry is a literacy genius! Plain and simple. With a talent for creating real, believable characters that are easy to empathize with and with a talent for creating storylines that draw you in and never let you go, my goodness does this woman know how to break my heart!
It’s a beautiful thing to read a book like Dare You To. And a very rare thing too. In a time where one YA book flows into the next and storylines seem so similar, there’s something so spectacular about discovering a book, and series, that can rip you apart in its emotion. From start to finish, Beth’s story made me bleed. That’s the only way to describe it. Thanks in part to Pushing The Limit, I felt I already knew what kind of life Beth had, but as the events of this Dare You To unfolded, it became clear that things were worse than I expected.
Kate McGarry ripped every possible emotion from as I read this book. Told in dual POV, McGarry details the lives of Beth Risk and Ryan Stone, the skater girl and golden boy. Two very unexpected young lovers who connect so deeply, that every moment of their story held me captivated—in fact, I tore through the book in less than a day. One of the shining aspects of this book for me is that Kate McGarry in no way shys away from the harsh critical aspects of Beth’s life. She explores the impacts drugs can have on the relationship between mother and daughter, where the roles are reversed and the one meant to be doing the protecting is in need of protection themselves. When a sad individual needs their child to protect them, and deal with the beatings/and consequenses, simply because they aren’t strong eough to deal with it themselves. This is real. This is something I don’t doubt people deal with every day and McGarry makes you face it in Dare You To. And she makes you see.
As with the previous book, the characters in Dare You To were perfect. They were real and believable and incredible to read about. McGarry has created a great cast of characters in this series, all so different, all so flawed and yet that work together. Each one from Beth and Ryan to their friends Noah, Isaiah, Chris, Logan and Lacy, to the parental figures of Beth’s uncle Scott and Ryans mum and dad….they gave the book an authenticity that it really needed.
As the male lead Ryan is a fantastic character. He’s got a real personality, unlike many golden boys of YA literature and he’s actually quite strong in himself. He obviously has his issues, but together with Beth he begins to deal with them as he falls for the rough-around-the-edges skater girl who’s so much for than she seems. And speaking of…..
Beth. Beth Risk. Stop me if I’m wrong, but to me, Beth is one of the most incredibly portrayed characters I’ve read about. Ever. Beth is broken. That’s the only way I can put it. It’s very rare to come across a character so incredibly broken, and yet is unconditionally real. I know girls like Beth. I’ve never been one, but I’ve seen them. Girls from broken homes, where alcoholism and drugs run rampant. Girls who are labeled because of the bad choices they’ve made regarding boys and relationships….all in an effect to be loved. And feel loved. Yes. I liked Beth. Yes. I felt for her. Yes…..my heart bled for this girl as I read Dare You To. Kate McGarry has done a beautiful thing in writing Beth. Writing someone so flawed and afraid, and rightly so. The pain of a life lived like Bath could break anyone, so that’s way seeing things begin to slowly get better; seeing Beth start to trust, and love, felt so rewarding.
And as for Beth and Ryan together, well….I’ll be honest, when I heard that Beth wasn’t going to be paired with Isaiah, I was a little bit surprised. And disappointed. But you know what? After reading this book…I get it. I get it. I completely understand why McGarry wrote the series the way she did. Isaiah was…is Beth’s best friend, and they have a very deep connection. He was always there for her; the one she turned to when life was hard. He may have helped make the pain go away from a while, but he never fixed it. Being with him didn’t make the pain go away for Beth. Only Ryan, as surprising as it sounds, could do that. The love he had for her and the way he felt about her was the only thing that could make her feel worthy, that could make her feel good enough.
In all honestly I’m not sure my review does this book justice. Dare You To is perfect. It really is. There’s so much raw emotion and pain that litters the pages, and yet as the story unfolds and Kate McGarry allows her characters to find strength and happiness in one another, this book couldn’t be more of a pleasure to read.
Dare You To is an incredible deep, emotional read, yet fun and romantic too. The chemistry between the main characters burns and the story is electric. This is one contemporary romance you’ll regret missing out on. Trust me….. (less)
Brimming with heart tugging emotion and sizzling romance, Pushing The Limits is a beautifully written debut that will steal your heart, mind and soul with its depth and honesty. Katie McGarry is a stunning new voice in the contemporary scene with this debut!
Have you ever started a book simply to pass a little bit of time, not expecting anything special, only to have your mind, and heart, blown with its unexpected depth and beauty? Well, if you have you’ll understand how I feel after reading Pushing The Limits. This book....wow, just wow! Now, normally I’m not one for contemporary novels and it has to be something really special for me to enjoy a book void of the supernatural or paranormal, but Pushing The Limit quite possibly has me reconsidering my reading tastes.
From the very first chapter I knew this book was going to be something special. With mystery surrounding our heroine Echo’s past and so much anguish surrounding her and male lead Noah from the beginning, this book was always going to be one that pulled at my heart strings. For a debut novelist, author Katie McGarry tells her story with such flair and talent. Her writing is beautiful; effortless and flowing and never too much. She entices you in from the beginning and takes you on a whirlwind of emotions throughout the course of the book.
When good girl and, somewhat fractured Echo Emerson meets bad boy yet so-much-more-than-he-seems Noah Huctchins in her new therapists office neither one has any idea just what the other is about to do to them. When these two very different individuals team up due to their shred desire to know what their new therapist has on them in their files, they embark on a journey full of love, pain and understanding; allowing them to finally find the answers and closure that they seek.
The amazing characters that litter the pages are well rounded and so very deep. Everyone has a real story and McGarry manages to mix real, important issues with romance and friendship. There was so much emotion behind this book and while the storyline is very basic; good girl meets bad boy and so on, this book is so much more; focusing on hard hitting issues but allowing us to see both the characters imperfections (and our own) that we may not have otherwise seen.
Featuring such a powerful plot and dealing with so much emotion, Katie McGarry needed two very story main characters and she certainly wrote them in Echo and Noah! As our female lead Echo Emerson starts out as a traumatised, self conscious young woman who for all her pain and anguish has no recollection of the night that left her scarred and forever changed. With her father about to have a baby with his new wife and having never felt more alone Echo is a true emotional wreck. And yet what a work of art she is! Written perfectly, Echo is real, so incredible real. As the reader my heart bled for Echo but it also soared for her too as she faced her demons throughout this novel. Echo is someone you can emphasise with; her emotions and her feelings are something understandable but her strength to keep going, to keep fighting is what I loved so much about her.
I adored how Katie McGarry wrote Noah’s characterisation. While he is undoubtedly a good guy underneath everything, McGarry showed the true harsh aspects of Noah’s life and nature. There were drugs, violence and just plain attitude that marked him for who he was, but throughout the book, the sweet honourable traits of his shone through and made him such a fantastic, well rounded character with so much depth and vulnerability. I know Noah is supposed to be the “bad boy” but I never really saw him that way. Yes, he may have had a bit of an attitude, but I never saw any cruelty to him or nastiness. All he wanted was his brothers back and he really was just misunderstood.
The main basis of this novel is the connection between Echo and Noah and what that connection means for both of them and that is something that repeatedly shines throughout Pushing the Limits. As the two of them learn to trust again, Echo and Noah had such chemistry together. Katie McGarry pens their relationship perfectly; together these two were electric, sweet and endearing. They were enough to make me swoon. Repeatedly. And yet, I never saw that forbidden/bad for each other aspect of their relationship that I expected. And for that, I’m glad. Hopefully I’m not the only one, but in my eyes Noah and Echo were actually good for each other. Yes, they both have histories and their own flaws (who doesn’t?) but throughout the novel they never once treated each other in a malicious way. They were only kind towards each other, sparking the healing they both needed but had never found before. Their only issues stemmed from their different social standings; something I was thrilled McGarry explored.
Aside from Echo and Noah, there were quite a few characters that also stole their way into my heart. Mrs. Collins was a guardian angel in disguise to both Echo and Noah in the form of their therapist and both Isaiah and Beth, Noah’s stoner friends were beautifully written and intriguing; filled with depth and realty.
As Pushing the Limits was coming to a close, I truly didn’t want the book to end. Katie McGarry knew exactly how to get my blood pumping and my heart breaking with this novel; swallowing me up with emotion and love. As both characters find their answers, and themselves in the progress, I was very satisfied with the ending McGarry gave us however I find myself eager to discover the stories of the other characters, starting with Beth, in the next book, Dare You To. With a brilliant new voice and exceptional talent, Katie McGarry has guaranteed I’ll read whatever she puts out next! (less)
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Inside Out is an amazingly captivating...more**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Inside Out is an amazingly captivating read by Maria V. Snyder! A fantastic story by one of the queens of fantasy, this book marks the start of a fantastic sci-fi series that will have you glued to the pages and unable to let go!
I love Maria V. Snyder. She’s one of my favourite authors and I never fail to adore her books, but for some strange reason I’ve put off reading this series. Honestly, I don’t quite know why, but after reading this all I can think is, “What the hell was I thinking?” Inside Out is quite possibly my favourite sci-fi books I’ve read in recent times, if not of all time. From the very first page I was addicted to the story and swept off my feet by the brilliance of the characters and world. Not that I should have ever expected differently!
The incredibly intricate world Snyder has so masterfully created within Inside Out is fantastic. The complicated world and life within the Inside is one that I found to be both engaging and entertaining. While I’ve read books with similarities, most of which I must point out have been published after Inside Out, I still thoroughly believe that Snyder tells the story of a society living in such a way so much BETTER than any of these. Her writing is much more engaging and flows so much more. Even when she went off in her descriptions and explanations of the workings of her world, I was never once bored, nor was my attention diverted. Inside Out held me. Totally. Completely. So much so, I devoured the book in one day; in one sitting.
This book shone thanks to its characters. In typical Snyder fashion, each character was so wonderfully developed and so full of life, regardless of their place within the story. As we followed our main character and heroine Trella, each person she met along the way and helped her in secrecy added to the story so much. I admired their bravery and desire to protect one of their own and their reasons helped build the foundation of such a strong society. Everything they were went together beautifully and I couldn’t help but love that. From Trella’s Care Members and fellow scrubs, to the uppers that risked themselves to bring about change; Riley, Logan, Anne-Jade, Cogon, Domotor, Jacy—you’ll love them all!
Trella was such a likeable character and it was impossible not to become so invested in her mission. Essentially she is a scrub; one of the lowest ranking individuals within Inside, but Trella is so incredibly brave and self sufficient. She can take care of herself and it’s the strength that develops throughout the novel, as the stakes become higher, that have you cheering for her so. Personally, I think she’s brilliant from the very first page, but the growth she undertakes throughout the book is still exceptional. As a reader it was so nice to see her reasons deepen and see her begin to care for the people that she had long ago fought to escape; spending her times in the vents and shafts.
Another of the things that caught me with this book so much is the atmosphere and the adrenaline that pumps with each page. There’s so much at stake and so much danger that you feel the trepidation the characters must be feeling, the secrecy that taints their every action and the danger that coats their mission. It seems like at any moment they’re going to be caught and discovered; that they're about to see everything unravel and you keep reading, unable to let go, simply to see what will happen next. It’s addictive and heart racing.
Inside Out will catch you....and won’t let you go, even after the final page. Maria V. Snyder’s incredible storytelling will leave you so immersed in this world you’ll want to dive into the next book straight away---I know I do! With amazingly vivid characters, a fantastic world and a storyline that gets more exciting and daring with each page, this is one you don’t want to miss! (less)
Julie Kagawa’s delicious storytelling is once more at its best with her latest enchanting tale that kicks off her new Iron Fey spinoff and takes us readers right back into the heart of The Iron Fey in the newest chapter of this mesmerising world, The Lost Prince!
The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten is the latest Kagawa series to hit shelves; a richly descriptive Iron Fey spin-off featuring Ethan Chase, the younger brother of our previous heroine, and showcasing a new cast of characters as they begin a whole new adventure!
Julie Kagawa continues to cement her Queen of Fantasy title with The Lost Prince! Written in the beautiful way that is purely Kagawa, The Lost Prince is what all Iron Fey fans have been waiting for—a chance to get back into this incredible world! Being back in this captivating world once more is a lot like coming home after a long journey. After the ending of The Iron Knight, it was so relaxing to slip back onto this place of magic and fey; action and romance; where danger lurks around every corner and the beauty of the world is only challenged by the darkness and motivations of the ones that call it home.
Blending old with new, Kagawa introduces new characters, including Megan and Ash’s son Kerrian and his gremlin buddy Razor and Ethan’s lady love......stubborn, intelligent and beautiful Mackenzie (Kenzie), while bringing back all the characters we fell in love with during the first series, Megan, Ash and Puck for small cameos. There’s a whole new danger affecting the Nevernever and a brand new plotline to follow!
My goodness, this book was so exciting! Little Ethan is all grown up and no longer the sweet, little boy we first met back in The Iron King. Now seventeen and facing his own adventure, he is hardened and jaded from years spent avoiding the fey, often unsuccessfully I might add. I was actually surprised to discover how much I loved reading this book from Ethan’s POV! Of course, I loved all the Iron Fey books from Megan’s eyes and The Iron Knight in Ash’s POV was a excellent treat, but Julie Kagawa’s writing is so effortless, so purely magical, that she easily manages to enthral you....no matter whose POV you’re reading from.
And Ethan certainly was enjoyable to read about! Considering everything he’s been through, he’s grown in to a very strong, capable young man. Ethan certainly was the reluctant hero for the majority of this book, but he easily settles into his role of “hero” as the book progresses. I found I saw a lot of his sister in him, with his desire to protect those he loved and his inability to give up. I look forward to seeing how Julie Kagawa writes the budding friendship between Ethan and Keirran as well as whatever mystery surrounds these two; Keirran in particular whom everyone seems determined to keep a secret from. Hints from past Iron Fey books came to mind and I’m sure there’s something huge just around the corner involving Keirrran and his abilities.
Ethan also develops a very sweet, however intense relationship and friendship with Kenzie. These two are very sweet together and as things build between them it’s clear that we have a new duo of young lovers to drive the series. I enjoyed the hint of romance from these two; it was sweet and wove perfectly with the fantasy element of the story.
Exciting and engaging from the very beginning, The Iron Prince is guaranteed to lock onto your imagination and never let go! The stunning world created by Kagawa never fails to entertain with it’s vivid beauty and adventure and one thing’s for sure, The Lost Prince offers more excitement and more adventure with every page and will leave you asking, no, begging, for the next instalment, pronto! (less)
Thank-you to HarlequinTEEN Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review
Rachel Vincent’s Before I Wake kicks off the 6th instalment of her Soul Screamers series and proves once and for all that this series just gets better and better with every book!
As I was reading Before I Wake it was hard for me to believe that I ever had issues with this series. Back when I first began it I struggled to stay interested at times and there were moments when some of the characters got on my nerves. Now I wonder what I was ever thinking! Rachel Vincent had me completely captivated from start to finish and considering that the wait from Before I Die to this one was excruciating, I couldn’t devour this book fast enough. I had to keep reading, simply because I needed more--it was addicting!
It was easy to get engrossed in this book as there was so much going on, with Avari continuing to cause his normal heart-ache for Kaylee and the rest of the main characters. Rachel Vincent sure knows how to add in plenty of twists and turns while still managing to keep the suspense and mystery flowing as she weaves her tale of Kaylee’s life. There’s that perfect balance of romance, high drama, humour and danger that makes the whole novel exciting and interesting. As usual, there's an almost stand-alone plot, so very different from the previous books, but still incorporating aspects already seen throughout the rest of the series.
I admit I was really excited to see what Vincent would do with Kaylee after the events of the last book and I’m pleased to say I found Before I Wake to be as exciting, if not more so, than the last book. As always Kaylee was the great self-sacrificing character she always is, but it was nice to see her struggle adjusting to her new status as a living-non-alive being. It made it seem so much more realistic that not everything was perfect for her and that she didn’t just flow into her new state of being without some necessarily issues. It wasn’t a smooth transition and instead she struggled with her feelings and emotions and more importantly the lack there of at times.
Of course the relationship Kaylee has with all the other characters continues to remain strong and for some, Nash mainly, those relationships begin to slowly rebuild, but none are as brilliant and as intense as the one she has with Tod. After everything they went through in the previous book, they’re in a really wonderful place during Before I Wake and their relationship just continues to strengthen as the series continues to progress. The intensity and electricity is there in abundance and the desperation and power behind the way they feel about each other is enough to make a girl swoon. Tod is hot, sexy and the type of guy any girl would want to have feel about her the way Tod feels about Kaylee. He’s fiercely protective and incredibly devoted and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her. She’s his whole world, as he’s hers and as they look at eternity together it’s obvious that nothing will come between them, especially as Tod begins to win over her father in a very un-sarcastic Tod like manner.
However even as things look good for Kaylee and Tod, Avari continues to drive the plotline in the story and this time he’s back in a way that threatens the very world. Vincent once more sets our main characters up as the heroes and yet still throws plenty of pain and dire circumstances their way. There’s certainly a lot of surprises and as the series is set to come to a close with the next, and final book, With All My Soul, fans of the series can rest assured that Rachel Vincent will not disappoint with what I’m sure will be the most explosive and exciting book yet!
Please excuse me while I go and cry in a corner about having to wait so long for this book. Those who loved the first should totally understand how I...morePlease excuse me while I go and cry in a corner about having to wait so long for this book. Those who loved the first should totally understand how I feel.....
*goes and wails pitifully*
UPDATE: *stares zombie-like at the cover* Ooooooh. Purdy!!!(less)
The Girl In The Clockwork Collar is the 2nd instalment in Kady Cross’s addictive Steampunk Chronicles and takes the series to the next level in a thrilling tale that mixes high flying adventure with action, romance and all the beauty that makes this series so fabulous!
After the steller debut that was The Girl In The Steel Corset, to say I had high expectations for The Girl In The Clockwork Collar would be an understatement. Regretfully, it’s taken in a little while to actually get around to reading this book, but I’m thrilled to say that as far as sequel go, The Girl In The Clockwork Collar stands out brilliantly on it’s own!
Cross’s writing is additive; once you begin one of her books it’s virtually impossible to put it down. With her descriptive writing painting a lyrical picture of this steampunk world, it’s impossible not to bet swept away by Cross’s masterful storytelling. From picturesque descriptions of clockwork machinery to the dazzling gowns and parties of the higher societies well-to-do Cross’s talent to depict this world is unparallel. This book is pure delight. In fact, this whole series is!
Kady Cross has crafted such an alluring clockwork world. There’s isn’t an element of it that does not dazzle as the novel progresses and as Cross takes us from the gritty and elegant world of London to the heart of New York, we embark on the next chapter of this series. Exploring the rough streets of Manhattan and the darker sides of New York, Kady Cross introduces us to new characters and new developments as she builds on her already steady setting.
I honestly believe that the biggest draw of this spectacular series is without a doubt its characters. Yes, the world is knock-your-socks-off enchanting, but Kady Cross has written such a brilliant cast of characters, that with the turn of every page in fall deeper and deeper in love with them! Finley Jane and Griffin King sparkle once more, and join Emily, Sam and Jasper who I just adore. The story shines in the first person; allowing us to really get to know the characters we follow and making it next to impossible not to become invested in the lives of each and every one of them!
As our heroine and our main protagonist Finley Jane is someone I just adore! There are so many layers to her characterisation and her personality, and Kady Cross writes her with such a loveable voice. Finley is strong and independent. She has a serious dark side as fans of the series will be well aware, and is more than capable of taking care of herself, but she also has a very touching, vulnerable side. The complexities make her a joy to read about. One moment she is kicking butt and the next she’s finding joy in simple things and marvelling over her newfound friendship with Emily or someone else. How is that not endearing? It’s rare to find a character such as Finley and she’s such a prominent feature of this series....one that makes it so much more enjoyable!
Oh. And FYI, I’m just in love with Griffin King! Honestly, if he was real I’d be dragging him to the alter right this second (ha!). Here is a male lead who doesn’t have to be a “bad boy” to be appealing and who just oozes sexy without having to try too hard. Cross writes him perfectly; the perfect picture of an elegant Duke, but a rugged, real man with honour and a good heart. Who loves the people in his life and fights for the things that are right—seriously, who doesn’t love this guy?!? How can anyone no.
I just adore the romance between Finley and Griffin. Seeing the two of them slowly fall for one another is such awesome. The slow development of their romance, from friendship to more as they slowly rely on and trust one another is beautiful—these are the kinds of romances I love the most. Together these two are electric and the chemistry is smoking! I eat up every heated moment and stolen glance from these two. Social class be damned, they’re perfect for one another!
The evolution of the series characters throughout the first two books is quite remarkable. Even though it’s only been two books, they’re all grown quite a lot and yet realistically. Their growth seem paramount to the series and the developments of their relationships and friendships are endearing to read about. Finley and Griff have found something beautiful in each other. At the base they have a stunning friendship and they’re both growing and changing themselves thanks to the other. Emily and Sam are just plain cute! From Ems fire, to Sam’s broody but loveable nature, they’re fabulous characters.
I quite enjoyed getting to know Jasper in this book too. He had a smaller role in the previous book but in The Girl In The Clockwork Collar we see a new side to Jasper and I’m certainly loving him even more. I’m also intrigued by the new character, outlaw Wildcat and the possibility that she may be a new love interest for Jasper. Cat looks like a really interesting character and I’m eager to learn more about both her as an individual and the history she shares with Jasper!
With a fast paced plotline that’s never lacking in excitement and action, The Girl In The Clockwork Collar runs rampant with betrayal and deception. There are twists and turns you won’t expect and the possibilities for the next instalment will have you begging for the next book. The Girl In The Clockwork Collar is one you don’t wanna miss! (less)
**spoiler alert** Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review!
Melissa Darnell’s debut novel Crave...more**spoiler alert** Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review!
Melissa Darnell’s debut novel Crave is a tantalizing read full of passion and forbidden romance!
When going into this book I think it’s important to look at it for what it is. The storyline focuses mainly around our two main characters, Savannah and Tristan, and their desire to be with one another. There didn’t seemed to be a larger purpose to the story at times and there weren’t many other things going on it the book other than Savannah’s learning of what she is and her discoveries since learning of her heritage. And yet, I don’t feel that this lessened the brilliance of the book. I admit at times I felt like it dragged on and it seemed like the majority of the book was spend on Savannah's and Tristan’s conflicting feelings for one another and Savannah’s desire to forget about Tristan, but for the most part this was an enjoyable and captivating read.
Darnell’s writing is descriptive and flows easily, and while I enjoyed the world that Darnell has created within Crave, I don’t feel like we learnt enough about it. Personally, I would have liked a little bit more explanation and to have seen a larger aspect of this supernatural world within the book. All the hints and little snips into this magical world or witches, vampires and seemingly other creatures intrigued me and I was itching to learn more, but never did. The brief moments we got to experience the vampires and vampire council towards the end of the book was interesting, but again, I felt this could have been expanded on some more. Fingers crossed Melissa Darnell expands on this part of her world in the next book!
Savannah and Tristan are both easy characters to read about. With the book told in duel perspective, I felt the change in POV’s really added to the enjoyment I experienced when reading Crave. Darnell switched POV at the perfect moments and seemed to know exactly when I wanted to be in either Tristan or Savannah’s head! I love this and felt it allowed me to emphasise with and understand both characters more.
As our heroine, Savannah’s voice was easy to read. She was fresh and kind, but also strong in herself as she learnt about who she truly was. I felt that she was a very normal teenager and I understood her desire to be a part of the Charmers, even as I agreed with some of the comments Tristan made about them. I truly enjoyed reading about Savannah and watching her adjust to the changes within herself. I also really loved Anne! While many of the other characters proved to be delightful editions to the story, none appealed to me more so than Savannah’s best friend Anne. The friendship they shared was awesome and the way in which Anne acted, both in general and towards Tristan had me smiling on plenty of occasions.
Now as for Tristan....boy is that boy a hottie. And not just physically, but the way he acted and his attitude...I’m definitely a fan! As a male character, I found it surprisingly easy to slip into his head. The transitions from him to Savannah flowed as he was a generally good guy and his head was a nice place to be. I found his actions endearing and endlessly sweet and enjoyed the time’s he secretly rebelled! There’s nothing better than a character fighting for what they believe and going against those who would otherwise disagree with them!
There is a strong sense of instant attraction and connection between our young couple, but when you look deeper you can see how the author has cleverly written the foundation for their relationship into their history and childhood. The hints and unseen moments between them all weave together to make their almost instant love seem plausible and make sense. They’ve always shared a connection, albeit one that was broken by their families, and considering that they grew up together, playing together as children and were basically best friends, is it really that strange that they would fall for one another? As a couple they’re very sweet and what can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic and am always a supporter of the forbidden.
Crave proves to be a very delightful, romantic read. It may not be for everyone wishing to be blown off their feet, but the attraction and desire shared by out two young love birds is sure to captivate readers! (less)
Brimming with tantalizing romance, delicious humour and edge of your seat action, Alice in Zombieland proves once and for all that Gena Showalter is a literacy master! With a fresh new take on zombies, this book is sure to have you begging for more. I promise you’ve never seen zombie’s like this before!
It wouldn’t be fair to start this review without noting that I am a HUGE Gena Showalter fan. Her books never fail to captivate me, and Alice in Zombieland is no exception what so ever! From the moment I turned the first page, this book had my attention. Wars could have broken out and I wouldn’t have noticed. Gena’s effortless writing and amazing ability to create intricate storylines is at it’s best in Alice in Zombieland, and her fresh take on a paranormal creature we’ve all seen a hundred times is masterful. I guarantee you; there isn’t a book out there with this take on zombies and I loved that! Add in the oh, so awesome inspiration of and reference to Alice in Wonderland that dances throughout the book and this fresh look at zombies is an absolute delight!
As far as heroines go, Alice Bell just plain out rocks! Despite the pain she feels due to her recent family tragedy, Ali, as she likes to be known, is a perfect example of a strong female lead. The resourcefulness, stubbornness and intelligence she demonstrates throughout the book make her fantastic to follow. She’s quick thinking and not afraid to say what she feels. Her sharp tongue and attitude, especially where Cole is concerned, make her a joy to read about and you can’t help but love her. Honestly, this is my kind of girl; one who knows the dangers but fights anyway simply because it’s what she knows is right and what she has to do. Written with the kind of spark and flair that make a great heroine, Ali is going to be one hell of a character to follow throughout the rest of the series!
Now, you will have to excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin before I talk about a little guy named Cole Holland. Not that he’s anyone special, not that he’s anyone worth noting. He’s only one of the sexiest guys I’ve seen in YA fiction lately! And with his violet eyes, tattoos, and nipple ring (yes, nipple ring) he’s not exactly traditional, but my goodness does this boy know how to make a girl swoon. I can certainly see why he has Ali turning to mush. Gena Showalter certainly knows how to write tough, fierce, and gorgeous male leads with all the sensitivity, kindness and wit that us female readers love. Cole is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Really, I’m ready to start the Cole Holland fan club. With his dark good looks and protective nature, Cole is the perfect match for Ali.
It’s so evident from the very beginning that Ali and Cole are going to have something. It’s undeniable. The moment they see each other, they’re gone, but not in the way you’d expect. The best part about the romance Showalter so masterfully weaves between Ali and Cole is the chemistry. It’s a gradual thing that intensifies over time, but the sexual tension the two of them share is no less electrifying. It sizzles through the pages and enhances every shared moment between them. From heated kisses to hilarious dialogue, these two have it in spades and will are guaranteed to have you smiling, laughing and shaking your head. All in the best way, of course.
One of the best parts about this book, and really any Gena Showalter book in general, are the characters. Showalter has a fantastic ability of creating vibrant characters, different in personality, but all perfect to the storyline. Every single one of the characters in Alice in Zombieland was captivating in their personalities, sense of humour and the way in which they interacted with one another. From the chemistry shared between our two lovebirds to the fabulous friendships and relationships shown between the other characters, every one of them complimented each other so brilliantly. Apart from Ali and Cole, the other characters stole my heart also. From the cold Mackenzie, who I think isn’t what she seems to the awesome, I-wish-she-was-my-best-friend Kat and her on again/of again boyfriend Frosty; they all had my heart. I admit, I had a feeling about what Kat’s secret was for quite a while, but that didn’t lessen the sadness when we did find out for ourselves.
And yet, you know the worst part about this book; the only thing that makes me want to hide under a rock and bawl? The fact that, since this book doesn’t officially hit stores until October, I have to wait over a year for the next instalment of The While Rabbit Chronicles! Now that just isn’t flair. Considering all the brilliancy that is Alice in Zombieland, I want to be able to dive into the next book A.S.A.P, but alas that’s just not possible *sigh*
Featuring a fast paced and addictive storyline, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Gena Showalter manages to create a fantastic zombie tale with no apocalypse needed and take zombies straight into the modern world. With an exhilarating and revealing ending and with all the hints thrown about, I’m sure Gena Showalter has plenty of twists and turns up her sleeve yet to be dished out. Alice in Zombieland sets the stage for what looks to be a fantastic, engaging new series and I for one cannot wait to discover what’s in store for Alice next! (less)
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review!**
Spellbound is a fun, bewitching tale t...more**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review!**
Spellbound is a fun, bewitching tale that will lure you in with its magic and mystery and steal your heart with its romance and action!
Ordinarily, I’m not really a fan of reincarnation tales. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of past lives and two souls being meant for each other, but for some reason I always find the books I read that feature this idea lacklustre and boring. Authors can’t seem to get it “right” and in turn I find myself detached from the tale. I’ve read a fair amount of these kinds of books, but I can truly say Spellbound is not one of those—I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was actually a tad surprised by how much I adored it, only having so many expectations when I began.
Cara Lynn Schultz blends together a fantastic paranormal tale with normal teen drama in a way that will capture you from the very first chapter! Her writing flows perfectly and her well set out plot and back-story had me itching to know more the entire way through. Schultz reveals the details of the past our two main characters share steadily throughout the book and the dreams and flashbacks witnessed by our heroine were the perfect tool to have me more intrigued with the turn of each page.
One of the appeals held by Spellbound is its heroine. I’m not sure I can adequately describe how much I liked Emma Connor. Her voice was so real. Schultz hasn’t written her as a rebel, or a shy girl, or a closeted pretty girl, but rather a character with bits of everything thrown in. Set in a very believable high school situation, Emma dealt with all the problems everyday teenagers face.....cruelty, jealousy, unwanted rumours and she acted just how I’d expect people I know to react. She had her fears and her flaws, and her insecurities were something she had to overcome, but throughout it all she faced it with strength, fire and a normalcy that made her oh, so easy to read about.
Cast with a fantastic array of characters, indulging her Aunt Christine and her cousin Ashley, Emma navigates the perils of her new school, Vincent Academy, meeting a range of quirky characters along the way including her gay friend Cisco and her witchy friend Angelique. Emma quickly finds herself drawn to her new classmate Brendan and soon strange occurrences set in motion the events of the book. I generally liked Brendan. He was intelligent, sweet and extremely protective. He’s not fooled by the pettiness of most of the students at his school and he wasn’t affected by his wealth or his family’s position. He was a nice guy, funny who was more than happy to defend Emma when she needed it. I liked how protective he was of her and how deeply he came to care about her.
With the impact of their shared past lives on their current romance, Emma and Brendan’s relationship was always going to come on fast, but Cara Lynn Schultz sets such a good foundation for it in the early interactions the two share that this doesn’t actually seem to be the case. Despite the lives they’re shared, I never felt like what they had was based on this. Everything was set very much in the present, other than the initial attraction between the two. Theirs was a very sweet romance, tinged with passion and it was lovely to read about.
With so much going on it this book, much of the ending was a surprise. It was very dramatic and heart racing. I think that even though this chapter of Emma and Brendan’s story is over, there are a lot of places the author could go and things she could explore, especially considering Emma’s heritage and history.
A fun, fantastic read, Spellbound is bound to leave you, well....spellbound! (less)
**spoiler alert** Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending and ARC of this
Touch of Power will touch the deepest part of you and draw...more**spoiler alert** Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending and ARC of this
Touch of Power will touch the deepest part of you and draw you deep within the world and magic that lingers in its pages! It’ll leave you immersed in the world and characters long after you’ve turned the last page and you’ll be dreading the moment when you have to leave!
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Maria V. Snyder any more than I already do....she goes and writes this! Set in the tradition of her brilliant Study series, Touch of Power marks the start of the captivating new Healers Trilogy by one of the queen’s of fantasy writing! I loved it---loooooved it. Honestly I can’t say it enough. The world within this book is vivid and magical—fantastic in its adventure and action and vibrant in the rich, mythical realm so beautifully crafted by Snyder. Everything I love about Snyder’s writing comes to life once more in this book and couldn’t get enough of it! This thrilling new series will appeal to fans of Poison Study and proves once more why Maria V. Snyder is the best at what she does. The storyline will catch you from the first page and each and every individual you meet as you read the story will endear it to you even more.
In Touch of Power, Snyder introduces us to Avry, a strong willed heroine who can heal anyone with the touch of her hand, drawing their injuries and diseases into herself. Avry is one of those heroines you itch to come across in fiction. She’s outspoken, with a sharp tongue and is unequivocally brave. Despite being on the run, she knows who she is and what she stands for. You can’t help but admire her as you follow her on her thrilling adventure. Avry is a young woman with spirit and fight and you’ll root for her as she faces danger, pain, anguish and must ultimately decide who she trusts and whose side she is on.
I can never fault Snyder’s characterisation. Never! She has an incredible way of creating well-rounded, well thought out characters. The main characters, the ones you’d expect to be full of life and flair practically jump off the page, but the vast array of minor characters also shine as each and every one of them has personality and depth, even at such an early stage in the trilogy. The interactions between Avry and the men who protect and support her on her journey will leave you grinning and chuckling, as Belen, Vinn, Quainn and even Flea all prove to be worthy allies of Avry both verbally and physically. You’ll want more of them, there’s no doubt about that.
Now, I cannot talk about this book or its characters without discussing our leading man and love interest—that just wouldn’t be right of me. And.....Kerrick rocks! I admit it took an ittie bitie bit of time to endear him to me, due to a single indiscretion he makes at the very beginning of the book, but as the novel progressed and our heroes faced even more danger, I fell in love with Kerrick. He’s the kind of male lead that always steals my heart. Strong and brave with a heart somewhat pained; he didn’t let anyone in and was content giving orders and following the mission. He was guarded and didn’t care about anything but saving his prince. Stone cold and stoic, the last thing he was expecting to find was Avry, a feisty Healer who met him order for order, comment and comment. I loved watching them spar together and fight verbally. Their bickering and then slow descent into friendship and ultimately something more was a high point in the story for me. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic and Snyder does romance within her books so well. It’s never overbearing; rather a gentle undertone to what is an incredible tale.
Fans of fantasy and Maria V. Snyder alike will devour this book. There isn’t a single moment where this stunning tale doesn’t shine and when you eventually do finish you’ll be praying for more, even as you turn the final page......