Kiss Me, Kill You is Larissa C. Hardesty’s debut novel and is an enjoyable paranormal tale that is perfect for those looking for a sharp, romantic and entertaining YA with plenty of supernatural elements.
Fifteen year old closet romantic Emmy Duivel has always dreamed of her first kiss, but she certainly never expected it would end with her date being taken to hospital. A few weeks before her sixteenth birthday, everything changes when Emmy learns she’s a succubus and that she’ll need to feed on the life force of men to be able to survive. The idea of seducing unsuspecting victims is hard enough but add to the fact Emmy can’t seem to stop thinking about her classmate Paul, being a succubus sucks. Relationships aren’t an option when you have to kiss a different boy every day, but with Paul making her heart race and her soul sing, staying away from him just doesn’t seem to be an option. Paul Andinn had one job; watch over Emmy as she came into her abilities and make sure she didn’t hurt anyone. Taking his eyes of the ball for one second was all it took for an accident to occur, but as he struggles with his own growing feelings for Emmy and what he must do as part of his job, Paul must decide how far he’s willing to go to to be with the girl he loves, even if it means going against a powerful enemy that will stop at nothing to protect its way of life.
In the vein of the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent and featuring a similar feel as a whole, Kiss Me, Kill You is a romantic and entertaining paranormal tale that is fun and easy to read. A quick tale, Kiss Me, Kill You introduces readers to teens Emmy and Paul who find themselves falling for one another as the story unfolds. Told through both their alternating POV’s, Kiss Me, Kill You featured aspects of supernatural including, succubus, incubus, demons, sizzling romance with some electric kissing scenes and unexpected betrayals.
Overall I did like the characters; Emmy was a normal teenager girl whose whole world had just been turned upside down, and Paul was really appealing as a true and honourable young man. I admit, I struggled occasionally as Emmy tried to adjust to her new reality and wasn’t too fond of the way Hardesty wrote some of the other succubus’s in Emmy’s life, but overall I liked the way the characters interacted, especially Emmy and Paul who had a great relationship in my eyes.
I have to admit though I was somewhat unsatisfied with the ending of Kiss Me, Kill You. At this point in time, I’m not sure if this book will be a standalone tale or a part of a larger series, but seeing how abrupt the ending was and the amount of large events that occurred, I feel like Larissa C. Hardesty still has a lot more she needs to answer. And if this is a standalone tale she hasn’t successfully done that. That being said, I do hope to see more of Emmy and Paul in a sequel and see what happens next. ...more
Fate’s Fables by T. Rae Mitchell is an entertaining and adventure riddled fantasy tale that is brimming with magical creatures, powerful individuals and mysterious discoveries.
Fate Floyd has always enjoyed fantasy over reality, but her love of all things fictional is put to the test when Fate finds herself sucked into a book of unfortunate fairy tales alongside a mysterious young man names Finn who is eerily familiar and the only way for them to escape the Book of Fables is for Fate and Finn to change the endings of each of the eight tales into happily-ever-afters. Each tale is more dangerous than the next and with plenty of unexpected forces determined to keep Fate and Finn from altering the tales, Fate and Finn will find themselves on a life changing journey where happiness is far from guaranteed….
T. Rae Mitchell has created a fun and adventure filled fantasy tale with Fates Fables, kicking off the Fate’s Journey series. Unfolding mainly through Fate and Finn’s POV, with an occasional different character thrown into the mix, Fate’s Fables takes you into the heart of eight very different fairy-tales, all sporting the trademark traits that make fairy-tales what they are; good versus evil, romance, monsters, magic and of course good triumphing over evil in the end.
Fate’s Fables focuses on a decent bunch of characters. Fate and Finn were easy to follow and Sithias made me smile on more than one occasion. That snakeman was certainly unique and although he had his own form of a happily ever after in Fate’s Fables, I would love to see him again down the track as his personality really shone as a highlight in the story for me.
I have to say I was surprised by the level of growth the main two characters undertake in Fate’s Fables. Fate and Finn become almost completely different people throughout the story; most especially Fate, who goes from normal teenage girl to a sword wielding, battle capable warrior from what seems like one moment to the next. Don’t get me wrong; I understand these developments within the story and seeing as large levels of time often pass throughout the novel (weeks, sometimes months are jumped) it makes sense that Fate would be drastically altered, but I still couldn’t help but feel it was a lot of change for one novel. It was the kind of growth I’d expected over the course of a series, not just the first book. That being said, Fate and Finn both go through a lot so it’s understandable they would develop because of this.
Overall Fate’s Fables was an entertaining read, perfect for anyone who loves fairy-tales and wants to jump straight into the story. I look forward to seeing what T. Rae Mitchell has in store for Fate and Finn in the next instalment! ...more
Birthright is the first novel in Jessica Ruddick’s Legacy series and is an utterly addictive read that kicks off a promising series in a tale full of sass, humour and sensational character chemistry that left me completely entranced from the opening page and dying for more!
Ava Parks is a seeker; a gift she received on her sixteenth birthday when her mother finally explained their family history. Able to see the auras that surround people, its Ava’s job to seek out those with white auras, the purest and best of humanity, and provide their names to Grim Reapers so that these individuals may have a shot at becoming angels. Giving these souls such an opportunity should seem like a blessing, but when you’re ultimately sentencing someone to death, how do you live with yourself? This question becomes increasingly clear with Ava’s latest assignment; where the white aura she finds belongs to arrogant, moody, too-charming-for-his-own-good classmate Cole Fowler who suddenly seems to be rescuing Ava left right and centre. Struggling with having to give up Cole’s name, Ava sets out to beat the system, but with Cole’s own secrets catching up to him, will Ava be able to protect the boy she’s coming to care about? Or will the grim reaper get their man after all?
Wow! Having just finished Birthright, can I just say how absolutely I LOVED this book? Seriously. I really adored this! From the very opening chapter the story completely sucked me in. Ava was a strong voiced character who had the perfect balance of heart and vulnerability while also managing to be sassy and full of sharp wit. In many aspects Birthright is perfect if you’ve enjoyed Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamer series and will keep you very much entranced by the delectable chemistry and budding relationship that develops between Ava and Cole as the novel unfolds.
There’s a really good (pardon the pun) aura to Birthright that becomes clear from very early on in the story. Jessica Ruddick sets the pace well; letting us just get a glimpse into the world of seeker’s and aura as our main character Ava and her love interest/protector Cole get to know one another. I still feel like there's so much to this world to learn and that Ruddick has only let us see the tip of the iceberg.
Ava and Cole will of course steal your heart with their strong, likeable personalities and electric dynamic together. It was highly entertaining, and at times endearing seeing them get to know one another. There's some great dialogue and witty, flirty banter as they fight the inevitable. Ava has some serious difficulties to face if she wants to protect Cole and as she faces her demons, Jessica Ruddick will have you wondering how this smart, sharp and feisty teenager will save Cole from certain death.
Fast paced and oh so good Birthright was a brilliant read and leaves me dying to see what is in store for Ava and Cole next after the shocking ending of this first instalment. I can't wait to read the sequel and I highly recommend Birthright if you're looking for a YA with a likeable heroine, wonderful romance and perfect chemistry! ...more
All the Stars Left Behind is Ashley Graham’s debut novel and is a rich intergalactic sci-fi novel that will appeal to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series with its romance, action and characterisation.
After the recent loss of her father, Leda Lindgren finds herself relocating to Norway to live with her estranged uncle and grandmother. Starting over in a new country would be hard for anyone, but with Leda suffering from spina bifida and a chip on her shoulder, this icy Arctic is far from a winter wonderland. Miserable and still grieving, everything changes for Leda when she meets her uncle’s gorgeous and mysterious employee, Roar. Entranced by Roar’s moving tattoos and drawn to him for reasons she can’t understand, Leda knows there’s more to Roar than meets the eye. Roar knows the last thing he should be thinking about is the beautiful but sad human girl he can’t seem to get out of his head. Part of a small group sent from his home planet of Aurelis to Earth in an effort to find a weapon capable of saving his people from a relentless enemy, Roar has a duty to his crew and his mission to find the weapon whatever the cost. Yet when it comes to light that Leda is the weapon Roar has been searching for, will his desire to be with her stop him from doing what has to be done? And Leda be able to accept her destiny to save an entire alien race?
Launching readers into a sci-fi YA full of aliens, romance and action, All the Stars Left Behind was an easy to read tale that unfolded well and managed to tick all the boxes. Ashley Graham won me over with the intriguing space world she created and the way she wove the characters and their relationships with each together.
I liked the characters within the story from Leda and Roar to Leda’s uncle and grandmother to Roar’s teammates Oline, Petrus and Stein. They complimented each other well and supported the story. Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say I was really surprised and intrigued by one revelation revolving one of Roar’s teammates and am keen to see what Ashley Graham does with this in the future.
Admittedly I did struggle early on with the fast, intense way that Leda and Roar fell for one another and the power behind their feelings. It just seemed to come on too fast, too strong for my likings to be believable. That being said, there was a reason behind this intensity that was explained by Graham as the novel progressed. Who and what they were had an impact on the attraction they felt and as such it went a long way to support the intensity of their feelings. Personally I’m just over insta-love and can’t stand to see these in books nowadays as I feel it cheapens and lessens the romance.
The ending of All the Stars Let Behind seemed a little anti-climactic and forced for my taste—too easy if I’m being honest. I’m not sure if this tale is meant to be a standalone or part of a series as All the Stars Left Behind ended in a way that could have been either. Personally I think Ashley Graham should explore the world a bit more and I’ll be looking for updates on future books.
Overall, for a few issues I had with All the Stars Left Behind, I did enjoy it. It was a solid read with a beautiful cover that entranced and entertained. I’m keen to see what Ashley Graham does next and will be keeping my eye out! ...more
All Her Secrets is a standalone tale from author Kate Avery Ellison and is a mysterious tale of survival set in an alternate futuristic world that keeps you guessing until the very end.
Set in the not too distant future, All Her Secrets introduces readers to eighteen year old Victoria whose father is the world famous genius and inventor Bill Faraday known for his robotic inventions that now litter the world all around us. Victoria is a survivor, having survived an attempted murder four years before, but nothing could have prepared her to find herself kidnapped from her home and taken out into the wilderness by a group of individuals who plan to ransom her to her rich and powerful father. Sam’s just a hard working young man who grew up in a ruined city and is just hoping to put his younger sister through school and pay for is ailing grandmas stay in a medical facility. He never planned to get drawn into his cousin Craig’s kidnapping of Victoria or find himself a victim too when Craig turns on him. Imprisoned together in a deserted cabin, Victoria and Sam will have to work together if they have any hope of escaping, but with both teens keeping secrets, will their secrets be their downfall?
Having deeply enjoyed Kate Avery Ellison’s Secrets of Itlantis series, I was excited to dive straight into her latest release All Her Secrets and was very happy with the story I found. Perfect for fans of Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, All Her Secrets is a well told tale of survival that mixes romance with mystery, secrets and the unexpected.
Unfolding through short, sharp chapters that bounce back and forth between Victoria and Sam’s POV, All Her Secrets introduces readers to a slightly futuristic world where robots have taken the majority of jobs from everyday people and are a fixture in everyday life, although they are vehemently opposed by certain groups of people. Personally I enjoyed that the world within All Her Secrets is very close to our current would but was tinged with advancements. If I was being picky I think I would have liked to get to know Ellison’s world a little bit more, but at the same time I appreciated that she focused around Victoria and Sam’s fight for survival more and that survival in the elements aura that surrounded the story.
I thought Victoria and Sam were personable characters, especially Sam who won me over with his kind-hearted desire to do the best for his family. Discovering that he works to put his sister through school and keep his unwell grandmother in the care made me love him even more. He really was just in a bad situation and fighting to do the best he could.
Imprisoned in a cabin in the woods, Victoria and Sam do bond very quickly as they realise they’ll need to rely on one another if they have any hope to escape. At first they’re both not sure if they should trust the other or if they should fake a sense of camaraderie to get what they want, but there is an honest connection there between them and I liked seeing Kate Avery Ellison build their relationship up as they shared details about themselves with each other to pass the time.
There’s this burning sense of desperation to Victoria and Sam’s plight as they fight to survive and escape. Readers will never expect the twist at the end when Ellison reveals the motivations and true natures of some characters. Unexpected and surprising, the ending was sufficient enough to wrap up the tale, but still left me with questions.
Overall All Her Secrets is an engaging tale of survival and the power of secrets that is well worth a read if you love survivalist tales with a twist or are after something guaranteed to keep you wondering until the final page. ...more
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano is a highly engaging and deeply entertaining novel that wonderfully mingles haunting supernatural elements with important themes, historical mystery and budding romance.
Victoria “Tori” Burns has just moved with her family to the small town of Chaptico, Maryland after surprisingly inheriting a house from a complete stranger under mysterious circumstances. Though the Burns are hoping for a fresh start after a hard year, Chaptico is a close knit town and the Burns find themselves outsiders, especially with the Slaughter family adamant that the Burns have no right to the land and home they occupy. Brimming with influence in Chaptico, they’re adamant that the land rightfully belongs to the Slaughter’s. Depressed and alone, everything begins to change when Tori witnesses a young man literally claw his way out of the ground from under a tree in the graveyard in her new backyard. Nathaniel Bishop doesn’t know what brought him back to the land of the living centuries after his harrowing life came to a brutal end, but when it becomes clear that Nathaniel’s past is connected to Tori’s present, only by discovering what connects Tori to the Slaughters will Tori and Nathaniel be able to stop the curse that is overshadowing the Slaughter people and save innocent lives from being lost.
Having recently finished The Suffering Tree, I’m surprised to see all the negative responses to the novel, as I personally found myself enjoying it from the moment I began reading. As far as I’m concerned, Elle Cosimano has detailed a wonderfully woven story that mixes history with entertainment and hints of the supernatural, as well as strong themes including self-harm and the abuse and treatment of slaves and servants during the Plantation era. As far as I’m concerned, it was a good blend and was well executed.
Supernatural to a part, The Suffering Tree features a very beautiful atmospheric and haunting feel reminiscent of ghostly tales as it bridges the gap between past and present. Unfolding through Tori’s eyes and Nathanial’s memories of his time as an indentured servant, The Suffering Tree is true to its name as we witness the horror of both Tori’s and Nathanial’s life. Tori’s experiences with self-harm is a large part of the story and will make you feel for her; this girl that feels like she doesn’t belong.
There a small hint of romance within The Suffering Tree, but don’t expect it to be such a large feature as Tori and Nathanial’s relationship if often only a backdrop to the supernatural and human dangers within Tori’s life. That being said, I thought they were sweet and I really enjoyed how Nathanial’s past with Emmeline was interwoven with who Tori was.
If I’m being picky, I only had two issues with this novel, one being that I felt Tori was a bit too quick to accept Nathanial. I mean the guy clawed his way out of the ground and next thing you know she’s hiding him in her barn, and the second thing was that I don’t think Tori’s issues with self-harm were correctly addressed. Yes, Cosimano gives us closure with this issue at the end of the story as we learn Tori has plans to begin to heal, but seeing how large an issue it is, I feel like Cosimano should maybe have expanded on this resolution a little bit more. But that’s just me, I guess.
Haunting, but really entertaining, The Suffering Tree encompassed it all for and had all the fixtures I look for in a unique supernatural YA that dares to offer us something different. I’ll definitely read more by Elle Cosimano in the future and look forward to seeing what she releases next. ...more
Audrey Grey’s debut novel Shadow Fall is a dangerously alluring dystopian tale that mixes elements of sci-fi, fantasy and plenty of danger with romance, action and edge of your seat suspense and deception.
Maia Greystone lives in world where the majority of society lives on borrowed time--a massive asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and those unlucky enough not to be a part of the Emperor’s Gold Court won’t be granted a seat on their space station when it finally makes contact. A lowly Bronze, Maia is the daughter of a traitor and someone who knows her place in life, locked in society’s most dangerous prison, the pit. Until a mysterious man offers Maia a chance to participate in the Trials and possibly win a highly coveted seat on the space station for her and her brother. Agreeing, Maia finds herself being altered and taking on a new appearance to take part in the trials, but with all the dangers clear as day, is the biggest danger to Maia falling for her fellow pit survivor Riser, a disturbing dark horse who is beginning to make Maia feel for the first time in years…..
Having caught my attention with its absolutely stunning cover, I can honestly say I highly enjoyed Shadow Fall. I know there are a lot of people who have compared it to The Hunger Games, and yes, I guess I can see that a bit of THG in Shadow Fall, especially in the second part of the book, but Shadow Fall also has its very own unique storyline. Audrey Grey introduces her readers to a very dangerous, destroyed world that I loved, with tangible characters who felt well fleshed out and who were insanely likable.
Featuring an Earth set to be destroyed by an asteroid, there’s an edge of desperation and hopelessness that encompasses the people of Shadow Fall. The dark, gritty aspects of Shadow Fall really appealed to me and I liked seeing two different classes of society mingle—the haves and have nots. The class structure and society within Shadow Fall was interesting to me and I liked the intricacy of it, even if the various groups of individuals confused me at times. I found it difficult to wrap my head around all the different rebel groups, but for the most part I was able to follow the storyline without getting too confused.
Heroine Maia was one of those main characters that starts out in a weakened state and in a hopeless situation and continually grows. She’s in a no-win situation unless she manages to successfully complete the trials and she fights for that. Personally, I quite liked her. I thought she was a well-balanced main character who has growth possibilities, but also manages to be a strong personality and individual when we meet her. Basically I’m very happy to follow her throughout Shadow Fall.
I found I really loved the characters that dotted Shadow Fall. Everyone from Maia, Flame, Caspian, Merida, Rhydian and especially Riser really struck a cord with me. They were tangible and full of personality and really brought the story to life. I’m absolutely addicted to Riser—he is such a surprising contradiction and I’m a real fan of his. Cheeky but darkly scarred, Riser is someone who lures you in and makes you want to know every secret he has.
Author Audrey Grey writes some wonderful chemistry between Maia and Riser and I thought they were perfect together. I’m definitely going to be on Team Riser, even if I am suspicious of a love triangle appearing within the series. Yet that being said, strangely enough I also really liked Caspian who is the second possible love interest for Maia. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed Maia’s heart and affections remain squarely in Risers hands, but only time will tell....
The last few chapters of Shadow Fall are especially action packed with developments and revelations that set the stage for the next novel. Audrey Grey leaves her readers at a highly climactic moment and guarantee’s you’ll be dying for the next book’s release to discover what is in store for Maia next! Highly recommend if you love fast paced and well developed dystopians! ...more
Quanta Reset by Lola Dodge is the third novel in The Shadow Raven’s series—the second to feature seer Quanta—and picks up where the last book concluded, taking readers on an exhilarating journey from beginning to end.
Having managed to escape Doctor Nagi’s lab, Quanta and Tair are currently safe; hidden away in the Shadow Ravens compound. However life in the compound isn’t easy for Quanta whose timeghosts haunt her now more than ever as she struggles to rein in her abilities and adapt to life outside the lab. Watching the woman he cares about deteriorate is a nightmare for Altair Orpheus, but just as Lady Eva wants to train Quanta, all Tair wants to do it keep her safe. Their pairing a bright light in dark times, Quanta and Tair will once again have to face off against Doctor Nagi and his unexpected experiments if they have any hope of staying alive.
Picking up not far after the last book left off, Quanta Reset is another deeply enjoyable and fast paced story that readers are sure to love. Exploring new dimensions of the series and new aspects of Quanta herself, Lola Dodge does a great job capitalising on what we already know and throwing in more twists. Plus, it was super fun to see Cipher and Knight again!
Having gotten to know Quanta in the first book, I found it really interesting seeing her attempt to adjust and struggle in this novel. The ramifications of all she’d been through had taken its toll and Lola Dodge doesn’t shy away from this fact—instead highlighting and showing the difficulties faced by Quanta. Our heroine has a lot of tough times ahead of her, but I love the strength she embraces as she faces them.
If I’m being honest and a little sappy, I really missed seeing a stronger amount of romance between Quanta and Tair in this instalment, although I did enjoy seeing them develop further as companions and confidants in Quanta Reset. Tair really is at a point where he’ll do anything for Quanta and its beautiful seeing the love he clearly has for her develop and shine through. All I’m saying is a little more kissing and snuggling will be definitely appreciated in the next book.
There’s tonnes of developments in this novel as Quanta and Tair face off against an unexpected enemy who is a replica of Quanta. I’m really keen to see what happens in the next book Quanta Rewind and I’m curious as to whether Devan will have a larger role in the series. Perhaps she will be our next heroine following Quanta?
Either way, I’m happy with how Quanta Reset played out and am looking forward to discovering what happens to Quanta, Tair and the rest of the Ravens when the next book releases in the new year!
Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean is Hush, Hush meets The Da Vinci Code in this fun and enjoyable YA read perfect for those who love adventure, romance and mystery.
Seventeen year old Maren Hamilton’s mother has just died, and having no other relatives, Maren finds herself moving from her home in Missouri, USA to Scotland to live with the parents of the father who died before her birth. Heartbroken and alone, Maren struggles to get over her recent loss when she receives an encrypted journal from her late mother full of clues only Maren can understand. Piecing together the clues confirm that both her parents worked for a secret organisation tied to the supernatural and both their deaths were not the accidents they appeared. Along with the mysterious and swoon-worthy Gavin who sets her heart on fire, Maren sets out to find out the truth about her mother’s death, but with Gavin hiding his own secrets, Maren is about to discover that nothing is what it seems and there’s a battle going on between good and evil that will change her world forever.
Lurching her readers straight into the thick of things, Heather Maclean details Toward a Secret Sky through the eyes of Maren, a likable and easy to follow character who has a strong backbone and a thirst for the truth. Set in the beautiful Scottish countryside, Toward a Secret Sky features a lush setting and adorable cast of characters who bring Maclean’s world to life. Personally I loved that this story was set in Scotland—I’m a lover of all things Scottish and Irish, and enjoyed being able to get a taste of Scotland through Maren’s eyes.
Without giving away spoilers, I have to say I thought it was a sweet and interesting take on the supernatural beings featured in Toward a Secret Sky. Heather Maclean features beings we’ve all doubt seen before and gives them a roguish and Scottish twist as well as giving them a nice family base with the villages and individuals we get to meet. I’m hoping this is only the first of many interactions with them and we’ll get to explore their world and hierarchy’s the in future. Seeing as how the novel ended, I can only imagine we’ll have a chance get to uncover and experience the Abbey in the next novel as well as Gavin’s people.
Full of forbidden romance and chemistry thanks to Maren’s love interest in the form of the cheeky, but sexy Gavin, Toward a Secret Sky is good solid YA reading that will entertain readers and leaving them excited to see how Heather Maclean plans to expand on the series after the thrilling ending of this first stellar instalment. ...more
The Gender Game is Bella Forrest’s latest release and is an absolutely brilliant and addictive dystopian read that will lure readers with its intense, intriguing world, strong protagonist and promising romance!
Nineteen year old Violet Bates lives in a world where a toxic river divides two different gender based societies; Matrus and Patrus. In Violet’s home of Matrus any violence is frowned upon and men have little to no social standing, while in Patrus women are expected to submit completely to their husbands and are considered little more than property. Having been caught attempting to help someone she loves escape Matrus in the past, Violet is already a prisoner when she commits two different acts of womanslaughter, an act punishable by death. Faced with choosing between death and an unexpected proposition, Violet finds herself agreeing to a mission that will see her forced to journey into the heart of Patrus. Living in Patrus sees Violet forced to go against her very nature but as Violet makes sacrifices in order to see out her mission she begins to consider the possibility of finding the one thing she never expected to find in Patrus; love.
Wow! What a read! When I first began reading The Gender Game, I had planned to read only a few chapters to bide some time, but quickly found myself devouring the book—in one sitting! And I very rarely finish books in one sitting. I loved The Gender Game; loved it. I adored the characters, the setting, the very feel of the novel---everything was just spot on!
Bella Forrest completely captured my attention with The Gender Game the moment I began reading. With descriptive writing, Forrest writes a really entertaining story in the vein of Divergent and The Hunger Games. I thought the world Bella Forrest created was so very clever and loved the part of it she allowed us to explore. I can only envision where she plans to take this series and what more she plans to do with it, especially considering the shocking ending of The Gender Game that readers most likely didn’t see coming.
The Gender Game followed a strong and personable main character. Violet has taken chances in the past for family and faced the consequences, but that doesn’t mean she’s shy about standing up for the underdogs, because as we quickly learn in the story, she’s not. Violet finds herself between a rock and a hard place when she agrees to go under cover in Patrus to get something back that was stolen from Matrus. This means Violet is forced to actually marry a double agent from Patrus and act the role of submissive wife in public—something that goes against her very nature. I genuinely liked Violet. She was a balanced individual who was easy to follow and had personality.
No story would be complete without a hint of romance and Bella Forrest gives us this in Viggo Croft. Ahhhh; Viggo, Viggo, Viggo. Viggo is a warden in Patrus and someone Violet and her husband set out to use as part of their mission. Viggo reminds me of Dimitri Belikov from The Vampire Academy series in the sense that he has shoulder length hair, wears a trench coat and is pretty damn bad-ass. Someone who has a past that makes him symphonize with and be intrigued by Violet, Viggo is a fierce fighter, but a quiet individual, whose relationship with Violet develops over time. Right now Forrest has only allowed the bare minimum to develop between Viggo and Violet, but I really enjoyed their chemistry and the connection they seemed to share.
Completely unassuming and with plenty of twists, turns and developments, The Gender Game is a wonderful read that races towards an explosive ending! I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good dystopian tale and can’t wait for Bella Forrest to release the sequel The Gender Secret so I can once more follow Violet and get to know more about this imaginative world! ...more
Flame in the Mist is Reneé Ahdieh’s latest novel and is a lusciously vivid and rich fantasy tale set in feudal Japan that sweeps its reader into a story of magic, adventure and unexpected discoveries.
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko is on her way to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed—the Emperors second son--when her convoy is set upon by a group of bandits and she barely escapes with her life. The sole survivor of the violent attack, Mariko thirsts for revenge and the opportunity to prove to her family that she is more than just a bride to be sold. Intelligent and cunning, Mariko disguises herself as a boy and sets out to infiltrate the group who attacked her convoy, an infamous group known as the Black Clan. Whispers and stories of the Black Clan paint a brutal, cruel band of thieves, but as Mariko slips between their ranks, she begins to see another side to the feared traitors. Torn between what she knows and her heart, Mariko finds herself delving deeper into the Black Clan, but as she begins to fall in love with a boy as deadly as a wolf and mysterious as they come, will Mariko be able to achieve what she set out to do? Or will the truth change everything she thought she knew?
Initially Flame in the Mist wasn’t an easy novel for me to sink my teeth into. Thrust straight into Mariko’s story, I found it hard to connect in the beginning but after the first few chapters I found myself effortlessly slipping into the story as I began to fall in love with the characters and their fire. Paying homage to the classic tale of Mulan, Reneé Ahdieh weaves classical Japanese history with magic and enticing character relationships to create a tale that had me eagerly reading along and keen to see what comes next.
Similar to Mulan, Flame in the Mist’s heroine Mariko disguises herself as a boy—only in this tale it’s a band of thieves she infiltrates, not an army. There was something so addictive in watching Mariko become a part of the Black Clan. Pampered and privileged, Mariko hasn’t had to work a hard day in her life, but even tempered, clever and cunning, she quickly takes to life within the Clan, refusing to let those who would see her fail get her down. I liked Mariko. She was actually kind and I thought Ahdieh wrote her well. She very much fills her role in the story.
And many of the other characters were very beguiling too, including the devilish and cheeky members of the Black Clan and Mariko’s twin brother Kenshin. Ranmaru, Yoshi Ren and of course the most important of them all, the mysterious but swoon-worthy Okami all won me over and I adored the different dynamics they all had together. They brought such life and fire to the story; I loved that.
Reneé Ahdieh writes an effortless romance within the story that while electric and burning, doesn’t take anything away from the other aspects of the story. I still found myself completely bewitched however by the growing relationship that I just knew was heading in the direction it was. Flame in the Mist features some intriguing mythology and hints of magic too that I’m hoping Ahdieh explores further in the next novel. It was just enough to entice you and make you intrigued without explaining too much.
Mysterious, magical and entertaining, Flame in the Mist is full of adventure, development and budding betrayals. There is something sinister going on within the royal family and with Reneé Ahdieh setting things up to completely bewitch her reader, I for one am highly anticipating the release of the next novel so I can join Mariko once more after the climactic ending of this wonderful fantasy tale!...more
Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy is a fun and flirty contemporary read, perfect if you’re looking for that summer romance tale that is endearing, sweet and an honestly good read.
Sixteen year told Annie McFarland has only ever been known as a good girl….and she’s sick of it! Tired of never being noticed and being known as shy and quiet, Annie decides to take advantage of going to camp for the summer to reinvent herself. And after a few days in, Annie is already making new friends and has set her eye on the hottest camper there, Kyle. If only she could work up the courage to face her fear of water to spend time with Kyle. Enter Jacob Fazio, bad boy and camp councilor. After a run in with the law, Jake has been sent to work at his uncle’s camp for the summer in the hopes that it’ll straighten him out and keep him out of juvie. Jake just wants to get though his punishment, but when a game of Truth or Dare turns dangerous, Jake saves Annie, somehow getting convinced to teach her to swim in the process. There’s a rule about no relationships between campers and councilors, but when Jake’s teaching lessons see Annie and Jake begin to fall for one another, will the resident bad boy be willing to break the most important rule yet?
I’ll admit, the concept within Daring the Bad Boy isn’t something that hasn’t been done before; girl meets boy, boy meets girl, girl likes someone else, boy helps girl and ultimately boy and girl fall for one another……but that doesn’t mean Daring the Bad Boy wasn’t a good read, because it was! Daring the Bad Boy was one of those feel-good YA romances that are simply plain fun to read.
Told through both main characters Annie and Jake’s alternating POV, Daring the Bad Boy had a great vibe, wonderful characters and a really lovely romance. I easily read this book in a couple of sittings and found it easy to follow both main characters. Annie was a real sweetie, and Jake turned out to be a genuine guy too; he didn’t have an attitude and wasn’t too “bad”. He was actually a really funny, cheeky guy who quickly wanted to spend time with Annie.
Monica Murphy creates a great camp environment in this book and wonderfully develops Annie and Jake’s romance. What starts out as blackmailed swimming lessons soon turns into a sweet friendship that hints at something more. Both teens are attracted to each other and as they become stronger friends who trust each other, their feelings for each other develop into a very adorable, yet electric romance with shared kisses and stolen moments.
Sweet and enjoyable, Daring the Bad Boy is a fun YA read perfect for those looking for a light and easy contemporary tale full of teen romance, fun and friendship. ...more
Katrina Snow’s debut novel Forbidden is a simply brilliant fantasy tale that is addictive with its delectable dialogue, page-sizzling chemistry and romance to die for! One of the best books I’ve read this year!
Lady Katherine Durant has been under her Uncle’s control since her parents both tragically died and she became his ward. Both blessed, and cursed, with unimaginable powers, Kate has mastered the ability to keep her Gifts hidden in a world where sorcery is forbidden and punishable by death. When her Uncle gives her to another man who in turn binds her to him, Kate flees, desperately seeking out her cousin and joining her on a journey across the land so her cousin can participate in contest to win the hand of a prince. Attempting to hide in plain sight as a maid, Kate isn’t prepared to find herself thrust in the spotlight when she herself in entered into the contest. Going barb for barb against an intelligent and daring prince who makes her burn, Kate must try to protect her heart as she continues to discover that maybe running is no longer the answer; especially when she might have found something worth fighting for….love.
Having recently devoured Forbidden, I have no qualms in saying that this book is one of the best I’ve read all year, easily keeping me up until all hours of the morning—something that doesn’t happen very often. Considering I was unsure what to expect heading into the story, Snow absolutely blew me away and sucked me in with Kate and Bregovi’s sensational chemistry and sharp, witty banter. Their’s was some of the best chemistry I have read in a novel in a long time, if ever and I ate up every shared moment, touch, kiss and sentence shared between them.
Katrina Snow has simply outdone herself with the chemistry and connection she has written into the story between Kate and Bregovi. This alone could have easily made me adore the story with so much wit and sizzle written into their developing relationship. I loved the push and pull, the determination Bregovi had to be with Kate—it made me swoon. Yet, at its base Forbidden also features a very vivid storyline that weaves all the best elements of fantasy combined. Magic, sorcery, romance, humour, friendship, family…everything blends together with fire, flair and sensational dialogue that is pretty much perfect.
Even the characters I couldn’t fault, especially the leads. Kate was a sensational heroine to follow; strong willed, intelligent and vocal—refusing to bend for anyone. She had fire inside her and personality and I loved that Snow wrote her so likable. You were one hundred percent behind Kate all the way. Bregovi was charming and dashing, and really, really sexy. He was cheeky and adventurous and adored his sister Rachel too, something that won points with me.
Forbidden was well written; Katrina Snow’s writing painting a lovely fantasy world that unfolds through alternating POV’s between Kate and Bregovi and a few minor characters too. I loved the cast of characters Snow littered Forbidden with. Bregovi’s sister Rachel was a true sweetheart, as was her love interest who was simply perfect for her. Bregovi’s friend Wolfe intrigues me with his cheeky personality, as does Kate’s cousin Victoria who seemed to go back and forth between helpful and kind, and well….not.
I’m highly intrigued by the world of sorcery and genies Snow has created. Underneath Kate’s plight, there seems to be another sub-story brewing that makes me excited for possibilities with future books and the chance to follow other characters in future tales, some of which I’ve mentioned.
Deeply delicious, I cannot praise Forbidden enough! Katrina Snow has seriously impressed me with her debut and I cannot wait to see what she has in store next with the second novel, Fractured. If it’s anything like Forbidden I have no doubt it’ll be brilliant!
Into Aether is the first novel in L.M. Fry’s Trinity Key Trilogy and is a well written start to what looks like a promising YA steampunk series.
When Colorado teen Theodora’s mum mysteriously disappears, Theo has no idea that everything she knows is about to change. Desperate to find her mum, Theo is willing to do anything, including following the mysterious man that has been following her into the Victorian world of Aether. Once in Aetherland, Theo finds herself in the middle of a decades old feud, having to rely on the honesty and honour of the people she’s staying with, even as it becomes clear Aetherland holds its own secrets and the key to Theo’s future....
I’ll admit, Into Aether started out as a slow read for me, but it quickly gained momentum, managing to draw me into a fast paced and enjoyable steampunk tale. L.M. Fry introduces readers to a whimsical mechanical and steampunk world of Aether. Filled with plenty of 19th century gizmos and gadgets and rich in description, Aetherland was a really vivid and eccentric place. I loved the vast array of colourful characters Fry litters amongst the story as she puts her protagonist to the test.
I thought the mythology within Into Aether was really interesting. Weaving some Celtic history into her mythology, L.M. Fry creates a really potent and vivid steampunk world. It’s clear she put a lot of through into creating her backstory, and as such the history of Aetherland and its three subdivisions are something I really hope to learn more about, especially the Trinity Key and what it all means.
After getting off to a rocky start, Theo did grow on me. Once she was in Aetherland I found her character to be a lot more likable and easy to follow. I enjoyed seeing Theo get to know the Corvus-Stein siblings and loved that L.M Fry wove friendship and romance into the action packed story. Theo’s budding friendship with Valera was quaint as was the bond she developed with sweet and bubbly six-year old Vivian, Vivi for short. And as for Theo’s chemistry with Victor—well let’s just say I was won over and happy with their romance.
Wonderfully setting up the next book, Into Aether does end on somewhat of a cliffhanger, but one that sets up the next instalment perfectly. A great start to L.M. Fry’s YA steampunk series, Into Aether has left me ready to read more! ...more
Destiny Soria’s debut novel Iron Cast is a delightfully lush and captivating tale of magic and mayhem set in a vivid world of gangsters, dames and opulent parties where con-men and mobsters linger and no one is as they seem.
Iron Cast introduces readers to Boston in 1919 where Prohibition is about to come into effect and individuals with special abilities known as hemopaths work their magic in seedy underground clubs and behind the closed doors of popular establishments. Able to weave illustrious illusions and affect the emotions of their victims thanks to an affliction in their blood, hemopaths are hunted by government agency’s hoping to quell their abilities and study what makes them do what they’re able to do. For best friends Ada and Corinne, this world, and the Iron Cast club is home. Being hemopaths means living largely secretive lives, but at the Iron Cast Ada and Corinne are part of a family thanks to infamous gangster who Johnny Dervish took them in and made them a part of his inner circle. Yet when a job goes wrong, Ada and Corinne quickly realise that not everyone can be trusted and betrayal is just around the corner.
From the opening page of Iron Cast, I knew I was in for a really good read and Destiny Soria doesn’t disappoint. Reminding me of The Diviners by Libba Bray (which I love!) Iron Cast was a well fleshed out tale that seemed to come alive as we followed two strong and promising main characters. Boston came alive in Iron Cast and I loved the vibrancy Soria brought to the book—the setting, the characters, the plotline; all of it managed to keep me highly entertained and on my toes.
I was really impressed by the hemopathy Destiny Soria wove into Iron Cast. At their base hemopaths are individuals with magic-like abilities that give them the ability to weave illusions, affect emotions, change shape and a whole sleuth of other things. Weakened and affected by iron, hemopaths hide what they can do, lest they be discovered by those who would see them sent to asylums or experimented on.
Iron Cast unfolds through the back and forth POV’s of best friends and hemopaths, Ada and Corinne. Both girls couldn’t be more different, with Ada of coloured skin and Corinne from a powerful and wealthy family, but the bond they share really shines throughout the novel. Ada is a songsmith—able to affect emotions with the help of music and her violin, while Corinne is a wordsmith—able to make you see and believe anything she wants as she quotes poems and tells a powerful tale.
The strength of Ada and Corinne’s friendship was wonderful to read about and I have to commend Destiny Soria for writing two lavishly likable heroines. Corinne had pluck and flair, while Ada though kinder of the two managed to hold her own. In such a vibrant world, they complimented each other.
Fast paced and weaving strong friendship, romance and betrayal into the mix, Iron Cast was an entrancing read that seemed to have it all. Plenty of twists, discoveries and haunting betrayals kept me on my toes and with the ending leaving me wanting to know what happens to Ada and Corinne next, Destiny Soria has won a fan in me.
Reminiscent of Libba Bray’s The Diviners, Iron Cast is a wonderful way to kick start a promising new period series that I highly recommend to those looking to kick up their heels and get lost in a world of hemopathy and gangsters. ...more
One Last Kiss is the second novel in Ally Broadfield’s It’s In His Kiss series and is a deeply enjoyable historical romance featuring a wonderful love story, plenty of chemistry and delectable characters.
Set in London in 1812, One Last Kiss introduces readers to Princess Anna Tarasova and Captain Mikhail Abromovich and detailing their vivid romance. The cousin of the Russian Tsar, Princess Anna Tarasova has been living in England with some relatives as the possibility of France invading Russia escalates every day. Thanks to her heritage and her family’s wealth, Anna is a highly eligible marriage prospect, something that brings suitor after suitor to try and win her heart. Yet, Anna has only ever loved one man; the childhood friend she still yeans for; the childhood friend who has just reappeared in her life….
Captain Mikhail Abromovich has been sent to England to secure an alliance between Britain and Russia on a mission that must remain the securest of secrets. In order to keep up appearances, Misha must court Anna. Considering he has been in love with her for years, spending time with Anna is no hardship but when his deceptions are revealed will Misha loose the woman who owns his heart?
I’ve never been the biggest historical romance fan, but when Ally Broadfield is involved all bets are off! There hasn’t been a novel of hers that I haven’t whole heartedly adored and One Last Kiss is no exception! Well written and paced, One Last Kiss unfolds through the eyes of both main characters and details a really lovely romance. Broadfield depicts a vivid and richly historical 1800’s England that feels authentic and easily draws you back in time to opulent parties and lush balls.
I enjoyed following Anna and Misha as characters. Anna was poised and sweet and very kind but also had spunk. She was the type of girl you couldn’t help but like and Mischa was definitely a swoon worthy Russian solider. I loved that he had built himself up for her and that he never stopped caring about her.
Anna and Misha’s romance was very endearing and so very sweet. Set in the 1812 as the novel is, I appreciated the sexual tension and fire Ally Broadfield wrote into their relationship and love that they were childhood friends. It added an extra layer and added depth to their romance.
One Last Kiss is filled with fantastic characters and I loved being able to see Charlotte and Sebastian again. They’re as fabulous as ever and still so perfect together. I’m really excited to see who Ally Broadfield focuses on next; personally I really liked Anna’s sister Natalya and Charlotte’s cousin Amelia—they’d make fantastic leading ladies. I’m also intrigued by Lord Ashton; he was charming and kind and I wonder if maybe he might get a HEA down the track too!
Charming and endearing, One Last Kiss is a delectable historical read and I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading whatever Ally Broadfield releases next! ...more
Pieces by T. Aleo’s is the first book in the Patchworks series and is rich in mythology and full of different paranormal creatures. Fast paced and with plenty of twists, Pieces has left me highly eager to discover more of Aleo’s world!
Pieces introduces readers to nineteen year old Rebekah von Stein, whose father heads an underground society of supernatural creatures known as the Works. Made up of five different factions of supernatural creatures including vampires, werewolves, shifters, witches and the Patchwork who are the descendants of Dr Frankenstein, the Works are led and governed by Rebekah’s father in a very mobster-esque manner. As a member of the Patchwork clan, Rebekah is used to her father controlling her life as he attempts to make his youngest child immortal, but when a mysterious vampire named Killian makes an appearance and makes Rebekah’s heart flutter, nothing prepares her for the manner in which her father and her brothers react. Quickly realising there’s more to Killian than meets the eye, Rebekah soon finds herself having to face ugly truths and making a decision that may change her future forever.
The moment I read the description about Pieces, I knew I had to read it. Lucky I was able to obtain an eARC from Netgalley and quickly lost myself in Rebekah’s tale. This book was really fast paced and very addictive to read. Something I loved so much about the novel was how T. Aleo focused around the mythology and descendants of Dr Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Monster—I haven’t seen this enough in fiction and have loved seeing it explored in Pieces.
T. Aleo weaves together a very intriguing world of supernatural creatures overseen by Rebekah’s father William. I loved the mobster-like feeling surrounding the Patchwork family. There’s still so much I’d love to learn about the witches, werewolves, shifters and vampires and can only hope that Aleo explores other aspects of the world further in future books.
Told through the eyes of Rebekah, Pieces features a protagonist who has a very strong voice. Rebekah was capable and funny and quite eager to prove herself. T. Aleo backs Rebekah up with a great cast of characters who gave the novel some real substance, while setting up a lot of future possibilities. The whole thing felt well thought out with a lot going on in the lives of the other characters, not just Rebekah.
Personally I was really won over by Rebekah’s brothers Oceanus and Cyrus and would love to explore them if the chance ever arose. Oceanus has been struggling with his own forbidden romance and with Pieces ending so abruptly, T. Aleo has a lot of options as to what she may focus on next. Whether the next novel follows Rebekah once more or allows another character to shine, I’m intrigued to see what happens next.
Forward moving and well written, Pieces is a very detailed novel that ends abruptly, but leaves me never-the-less interested to see what author T. Aleo has planned for the series next! ...more
Between the Bleeding Willows by D.A. Roach is a fast paced and exciting start to a promising new paranormal series that easily left me raring for more!
Cassidy Cavannagh has experienced a lot of loss in her eighteen years. First her long-time boyfriend Jace was killed in a car accident and then her grandmother--the woman who raised her--her died of a heart attack a short time later. Heartbroken and lonely, everything changes for Cassidy when she follows the ghost of her lost love through a cemetery and finds herself then falling through a gateway to another world; a world of demonic creatures and demon hunters who are the only thing standing between hell on earth.
Between the Bleeding Willows was actually a really enjoyable book to read. I sped through it in two days and found myself quite enjoying it. Reminding me of Kacey Vanderkarr’s Refection Pond series in overall feel, Between the Bleeding Willows is told through the POV's of both Cassidy and Killian, the demon hunter she meets in the demon world.
I really liked the great cast of characters D.A Roach has introduced in this novel, especially those of the Clan. Cassidy was a likable main character. Normal and easy to follow and someone with real potential. Killian was a brilliant love interest and male lead. I’m very much won over by him and those within his Clan. Reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments in some ways, these demon hunters are characters I’m really looking forward to getting to know. I loved their dynamic together.
The inclusion of the bond between Cass and Killian was fantastic and I’m really curious to discover if the draw they felt towards one another was because of the bond or irrespective of it. I love the potential of a strong relationship between them, but I felt considering she had recently lost her boyfriend, Cass’s response to Killian seemed a bit too fast. Don’t get me wrong—I’m totally hankering to see something develop, but I want to see a bigger build up and some more resolution to Cassidy’s love for Jace.
Having read this book via Netgalley, I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was reading an ARC, but my copy of Between the Bleeding Willows had a few grammar mistakes and sentence errors. I’m going to give the book the benefit of the doubt as it truly was exciting to read with excellent character chemistry, plenty of mystery and tones of potential.
Perfect for fans of The Mortal Instruments who can look past the similarities, Between the Bleeding Willows has kicked off a bright new series full of magic, adventure and even romance. I look forward to reading the next book! ...more
The Dragon’s Price is the absolutely sensational latest release by Bethany Wiggins and is an incredibly addictive romantic adventure that will steal your heart from the opening chapter and not let it go! This story will leave you breathless!
Princess Sorrowlyn has just turned sixteen and in her in family that means making a choice; offering herself in marriage to the heir of a neighbouring kingdom or offering herself as sacrifice to a fire breathing dragon instead. Centuries before, Sorrowlyn’s ancestor and the Antharian King united to stop a deadly enemy that was attacking both their lands with the warring Kings vowing to marry their heirs in order to keep the dragon imprisoned. Generations later, this tradition that continued with the offer being made on the day of every Faodarian princess’s sixteenth birthday. Until sheltered princess Sorrowlyn shocks everyone by choosing death by the dragon over a forced marriage to a barbarian prince. Lowered down into the dragons cave, Sorrowlyn prepares for death until the young prince she spurned chooses to join her instead, beginning a journey neither Sorrowlyn nor prince Golmarr could have ever predicted…..
I absolutely adored The Dragon’s Price. Adored it! I honestly can’t say it enough. Bethany Wiggins has always thrilled me in the past and The Dragon’s Price is no exception with this fantastic tale capturing my total attention and imagination as soon as I begun reading it. The Dragon’s Price really does have it all--dragons, magic, battles, adventure, dashing, swoon worthy romance….there’s nothing this story doesn’t have!
Well written and in the vein of The Princess Bride, The Dragon’s Price is such a thrilling read. Featuring a heroine who starts out sheltered and innocent, a product of having spent her life hidden away, The Dragon’s Price features a wonderful character dynamic, especially the blossoming relationship between main character Sorrowlyn and her love interest Golmarr.
Sorrowlyn is a lovely young woman who, as a princess, is used to having people waiting on her. She’s been taught a woman’s place is to be seen not heard, and certain actions and desires are not proper, but there’s a fire (no pun intended) inside Sorrow that makes it evident that she is stronger than her station has made her feel, something Wiggins explores beautifully throughout the novel. Personally, I really loved Sorrowlyn. She was a sweetheart who was actually very strong and brave. She made choices and took chances in The Dragon’s Price that paid off. She grows a lot it only one instalment and brought a smile to my face repeatedly as she struggled to reconcile what she’d been taught with what she was coming to feel and believe. I loved the changes in her and can only imagine where Bethany Wiggins plans to take her still!
There were a lot of fantastic moments between Sorrowlyn and Golmarr. I mean, can I just say that Golmarr may be the perfect man? Fierce prince, but kind-hearted individual with a cheeky nature and protective and nurturing side where Sorrowlyn is concerned. I love the closeness that developed between Sorrowlyn and Golmarr over time. The innocent touches for comfort and the easy way they began to lean on and support the other was so sweet. Oh, and I loved the passionate moments and cheeky way Golmarr would interact with Sorrowlyn too—it was the perfect balance of cocky teasing with a purpose that didn’t come on sleazy in any way.
One of my favourite books of 2017 so far, A Dragon’s Price features an amazing storyline and a wonderful romance. Don’t let the deceptive cover fool you—it doesn’t do the story justice with an incredible gem inside it. I highly recommend The Dragon’s Price and am dying to get my hands on the next book in this brand new series from Bethany Wiggins that couldn’t have been any more perfect!
Claire Kells debut novel Girl Underwater is a tale of survival and endurance in the face of tragedy and the difficulty of moving on when the past remains a haunting memory.
Avery Delacorte is on her way home for Thanksgiving when the plane she’s travelling on crashes in the water near the Rocky Mountains. A talented swimmer, Avery is one of the few survivors of the disastrous crash alongside a classmate Colin Shea; fellow swim team member and all round mystery. Rescuing three little boys and making it to shore, Avery and Colin are determined to keep their innocent charges alive. Yet with temperatures dropping, supplies dwindling and unexpected dangers mounting, rescue seems to be slipping away, meaning Avery and Colin must do everything in their power to keep their little group alive as long as they can if they have any hope of getting off the mountain alive.
Though I was unsure what to expect when heading into this novel, I did enjoy reading Girl Underwater very much. Though the description doesn’t convey it, this novel actually takes place over the course of two different time periods—during the plane crash and some months after as Avery struggles to move on and reconcile her time on the mountain. Girl Underwater is very much a tale of survival, but is also one of acceptance and mourning. It’s about Avery accepting who she was, and who she now is after this terrible tragedy that left her deeply affected and struggling.
Personally I thought Girl Underwater was decently written and well-paced. There were plenty of moments I enjoyed and I felt the romance aspect fell nicely in line with the other themes Kells explored. Having survived a major airline disaster, the bond that forms between Avery, Colin, Tim, Liam and Aayu during their time in the wilderness was deeply moving. The three boys were too cute for words and Kells writes some adorable scenes between them, Avery and Colin as the two adults attempt to keep spirits up and everyone alive.
The fact this novel explored during and after the plane crash wasn’t lost on me. We see so many movies and TV shows where the characters are happily rescued at the end, but how often do we stop and think what happens afterwards? How do people go on with their lives having survived against such tremendous odds? Do they struggle? Do they breeze through everything? What happens?
In Girl Underwater, our heroine Avery is faced with moving forward. Through a number of different moments we see how strong and affecting survivor’s guilt and PTSD can be on a young person who has witnessed and been through something traumatic……it was intriguing and emotional at times. Avery struggled and fought herself; especially considering how deeply her feelings changed after her time on the mountain. Her wants and desires weren’t the same and her fears weren’t something she could easily overcome.
I felt the ending was a tad abrupt for my liking. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled with the choice Avery made in the end regarding her future, but I would have liked to see her get to that future a little bit more.
Featuring an adorable relationship between the characters and the perfect amount of romance, Girl Underwater is a decent debut by Claire Kells that I enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Definitely recommend if you're looking for an easy but riveting read.
Frostblood is Elly Blake's debut novel and is a deeply thrilling fantasy story that is wonderfully written and deliciously addictive with action, adventure and romance woven into it's pages!
Seventeen year old Ruby is a Fireblood and someone who has spent her life hiding her powers of heat and flame. Living in a land of ruling Frostbloods and a brutal Frostblood king who is known for his cruelty and malice, Ruby knows she would be killed if her powers are ever discovered. So when her mother is murdered at the hands of a Frostblood captain as she tries to protect Ruby, Ruby's whole world changes. Imprisoned and heartbroken, Ruby agrees to work with a group of Frostblood rebels who rescue her and want to use her powers of fire to destroy the King. Agreeing to kill the rampaging King seems like an easy decision, but as Ruby grapples with her unreliable powers and her unexpected attraction to one of the rebels, a mysterious and infuriating young man named Arcus, Ruby will need to embrace all that she is if her has any hope of saving herself and her people from a tyranical King whose powers aren't what they seem....
Frostblood was a highly impressive debut novel! Elly Blake sets the pace well and weaves an effortless fantasy tale that is exciting, romantic and delicious from beginning to end. Introducing a vivid and compelling world I'm seriously looking forward to seeing more of, Frostblood features a strong and likable protagonist in Ruby who is well rounded, fiery (pun totally intended) and compelling.
Blake supports Ruby with a great cast of characters and personalities who brought life to the story and made me want more. The relationship between Ruby and Arcus is an understandably highlight of the novel, as the two feature a delectable chemistry. It was wonderfully seeing Elly Blake build their connection naturally over time. I was addicted to the stolen moments between them that were electric and promising.
Considering all the developments in this novel, Elly Blake really has set the stage well for the rest of the series. There are plenty of developments and revelations in the final few chapters of the story to set up the next installment and following tales. Personally I think Frostblood finishes really well and whether we follow Ruby and Arcus again in the next novel, or have the chance to explore some of the other characters (maybe Marella?) Blake has definitely found a fan in me.
A stellar debut that thoroughly entertains and satisfies, Frostblood is a fantasy tale that I highly recommend and leaves me ready to see what Elly Blake writes next! ...more
Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker is a fast paced contemporary read that is a delicious blend of Ally Carter’s Heist Society and Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry and will thrill you until the very final page.
Wealthy high school student and adrenaline junkie Lexi’s life comes crashing down around her when her banker father is arrested for fraud and her family’s assets are frozen. Setting out to prove her father wasn’t in it alone, Lexi goes undercover as an intern at the bank where he works. With the help of her brother and a close group of friends, Lexi hopes to discover some evidence that might prove that her father wasn't in it alone. Christian is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, determined to protect his family. Blackmailed and forced to participate in a number of bank heists by the ruling gang in his neighbourhood, Christian is desperate for a way out that doesn’t end in bloodshed. When the gang boss promises freedom in exchange for Christian leading the biggest heist he’s ever conducted, Christian reluctantly agrees. But when a chance encounter between Christian and Lexi ups the stakes, the two teens discover that they may have to combine their individual heists if they have any hope of pulling either heist off……
Smash & Grab is one of those novels you read that is a little unrealistic, but you enjoy nonetheless. Do I really believe a bunch of high school students could infiltrate a bank and then participate in a multi-million dollar robbery? Um, no. But it was really fun to read regardless. If not simply for the entertainment factor and the romance.
Nicely paced and continually picking up speed, Smash & Grab has been well thought out by author Amy Christine Parker. If you’ve ever enjoyed heist tales, Smash & Grab is sure to please. Personally I think Parker put all the elements of the heist together well, and I enjoyed seeing the characters undertake different roles to bring things together. Ultimately when the heist is carried out is the most exciting part of the novel, but Parker still managed to keep me entertained with the connection between Lexi and Christian and all the developments that see the heist set up.
I enjoyed the basic rich girl/boy from the wrong side of the tracks element Parker adds into the story. Throw in the fact that Christian really is a good guy just wanting to take care of his family, and this Mexican bank robber quickly won me over.
Easy to read and definitely worth the time, Smash & Grab will bring a smile to your face as two teens from opposite sides of the spectrum attempt to pull of different heists. What starts out as a way to get what they want by using the other turns into an endearing romance that will leave you satisfied with its ending.