Frostfire is the first novel in Amanda Hocking’s Kanin Chronicles and catapults readers back into her intricate and beautiful world of the Trylle. Exploring a brand new branch of this dynamic world, Frostfire introduces readers to a kick-ass new heroine and a brand new tale to sink their teeth into!
After enjoying the Trylle series, I was very excited to head back into Amanda Hocking’s world, and not only did I enjoy myself, but I actually found myself loving Frostfire more! Throughout Trylle we followed Wendy who was a changeling, whereas in Frostfire our main character is actually a tracker; tasked with finding and returning changelings to the Kanin. We’ve reversed roles and now get to see the other side of the fence, which when added to the new tribe we’re getting to know, makes for some awesome reading.
Frostfire follows Bryn Aven, a blonde haired, blue eyed tracker from the Kanin tribe. As a half-breed, Bryn has spent her years fighting for a place in Kanin’s elite Hogdragen guard and has had to prove herself time and time again thanks to her mixed blood. Despite this, Bryn is one of the best trackers the Kanin have, and when a traitor by the name of Konstantin Black resurfaces and starts attempting to kidnap changelings Bryn finds herself setting out to discover what Konstantin is up to. Sporting a history with Konstantin, Bryn has a vested interest in bringing Konstantin down, but quickly begins to questions whether everything is as it seems……
Though I really loved the Switched books, there’s something about Frostfire that captivated me in a stronger manner than Switched did. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of Richelle Mead’s wildly popular Vampire Academy series in some aspects (a series I highly adore, I might add!) but the aura, setting and feel of Frostfire just caught my absolute attention from the opening page and refused to let go.
Frostfire is fast paced and exciting and blends everything I loved about the Trylle world with the new world of the Kanin. Set around six years after the first series, Frostfire incorporates old characters with new; Ember and Flynn make appearances within the story as do Tove and Bain towards the end, with Ember the best friend of our now heroine Bryn. I loved being introduced to new and vivid characters, and found myself really liking the Kanin world. Though it’s not too different from the Trylle world we saw with Wendy, following Bryn allows you as the reader to see a whole new side of their society. And I’m even more excited to discover more of it.
Bryn isn’t a changeling and she isn’t wealthy; she’s just hard working and a real fighter. As a tracker, it’s Bryn’s job to find changelings and bring them home; something she’s very good at. Bryn comes across as a strong individual and is actually quite kick-ass. She has a strength in her personality Wendy didn’t have at the start in the last series, and as someone who adores fierce heroine’s, Bryn really appealed to me. I really appreciated that Amanda Hocking gave her a soft and feminine side too, but still ensured she stayed that fighter she first appears to be. I honestly can only envision where Hocking plans to take her as a character and a woman as the series progresses….
The romance within this story is very different than that within Switched and I have to say I’m liking what I see so far. Bryn finds herself in a position where she begins to find herself attracted to her boss Ridley and it soon becomes clear to her that her feelings for him are very real. Bryn and Ridley have been friends for a long time, and from this comradeship seems to be a lot of sexual tension. Ridley clearly feels about Bryn the way she does for him, and it’s a slow simmer that burns between every shared moment between them; something they are neither ready to face or act on in the beginning of the story. I’m really looking forward to seeing them develop and hopefully become a couple; fingers crossed Hocking doesn’t turn them into a love triangle though because I'm very over them.
My only issue with this novel was the ending. I didn’t feel like we’d had a resolution to the conflict going on within the story. Perhaps that is because everything that is currently happening is part of a bigger picture, but I still would have liked some sort or closure on this part of Bryn’s story from Hocking. Still, mystery, unknown and plenty of occurrences keep me eager to find out what will happen next!
Rich, exciting and really addictive, Frostfire is a promising start to the Kanin Chronicles that leaves me eager to pick up the next book pronto!
Wild Hearts is the fourth instalment in the If Only series and is this time written by author Jessica Burkhart. Launching readers into another contemporary romance adventure for young adults, Wild Hearts is an enjoyable read set against a mountain backdrop in a small country town.
Even after four books, the If Only series is still going strong and I’m oh so glad. With each novel written by a different author to date, each story is a complete standalone but features the continuing themes of first love, teen angst and stellar romance. Nicely written, Wild Hearts may not be my favourite book so far, but it is still a great addition to the series.
Wild Hearts follows seventeen year old Brie Carter, the daughter of a land developer who has spent her life entire travelling from place to place with her parents as part of her father’s work. When his latest project brings the family to the small country town of Lost Springs, Wyoming Brie is startled to discover the outrage that has accompanied their arrival. The residents of Lost Springs are rallying against her father’s company whose latest job will see the local mustang herd forced the leave the plains and fields they call home. With Brie attracted to a local cowboy named Logan whose passion for the horses is like nothing she’s ever seen, Brie slowly begins to discover the beauty and power of the horses herself and soon she finds she’s willing to stop at nothing to protect them also; even if it means going against her father………
In all honesty, I think Wild Hearts is going to appeal to the little girl in all of us who secretly dreamed of having a pony growing up. As someone who is still a horse lover myself, Wild Hearts was a sweet contemporary romance that managed weave horsemanship and the animals themselves into the story. Personally I think Wild Hearts read a tiny bit younger than the previous three novels in the series, but not too much to make it overly noticeable.
Though she is a new author to me, I am aware that Jessica Burkhart is known for her other books featuring strong, horse-loving young women and I think her passion for the animals comes across in the story. Brie’s voice was sweet and likable, although at times I almost found things too sickly sweet, but that’s just me……
Brie experiences a lot during this tale and I liked the elements Burkhart throws in. Along with Brie’s attempts to rescue the wild mustangs, her relationship with Logan McCoy, the sexy cowboy she meets whilst in Lost Springs is a central point in the story. And really, Brie and Logan were sweet. It was a tale of star-crossed young love with their dad’s apparent enemies, but as you’d expect, Brie and Logan defy it all to be together. Personally I thought they were cute and complimented the fun story nicely. Not too over the top, but just enough to give the storyline that romantic hit us romance junkies are looking for.
Fun, romantic and adventurous, Wild Hearts takes readers on a passionate ride that is very enjoyable and definitely worth a read!
The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex is a story that sees the lives of four very different individuals intertwine and explores different aspects of human nature in this latest novel by Gabrielle Williams.
I want to be honest here; despite my lower rating, The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex wasn’t in any way a bad book….it’s just not my exact kind of read. Yet in saying that, I have made a pact with myself to read more Australian fiction by Australian authors this year so I don’t regret reading this.
Set in Melbourne, Australia in the 1980’s, The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex is told through the eyes of four different people. Seventeen year old Guy, a teenage boy who is just looking to finish school without disappointing his parents, seventeen year old Rafi, a Spanish teenager who struggles to take care of her mother, mentally affected by the loss of her young son years before and struggling with reality, Luke a promising and rebellious artist who has been involved with one of the art thefts of the decade and Penny, Luke’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his child who is attempting to move on with her life.
Unbeknown to the foursome, all their lives are about to intersect over the course of one disastrous night that will change them all forever, where hard choices are made and lives are on the line.
The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex is a solid fiction novel. While it didn’t blow me away I can certainly see what author Gabrielle Williams was going for with this story and for the most part I found it entertaining….I simply found myself not as invested as I would have liked. And yet, I think William’s did a fantastic job weaving the characters’ lives together the way she did in such a simple, natural way. All four voices were different and unique and the everyday feel of the novel went well with the idea that Picasso’s Weeping Woman painting has been stolen by one of the main characters and people he knows.
Personally I wasn’t impressed by Luke and his attitude towards everything in general, not to mention how he treated his ex and his son, but I genuinely liked Guy, Rafi and Penny. They were easy enough to follow and I was hoping for the best possible outcomes for their stories.
Easily written and woven together beautifully, The Guy, The Girl, The Artist and His Ex is a readable novel, that whilst it didn’t blow me away would be a sure hit with a lot of Aussie fiction lovers and most readers in general. Try it—you may just find you love it! ...more
Love Bomb is the second book in the Ladybugs series by Jenny McLachlan and this time follows quirky and unique Betty in yet another smile inducing and enjoyable tale.
Betty Plum is turning fifteen, an important day in any teenage girl’s life. Not only that but she’s just caught the eye of the new boy at her school Toby and finally finds herself liking a boy. With her mum having died when Betty was a baby, Betty has become used to it being only her dad and her great friends, but suddenly Betty finds herself missing the woman she never knew more than ever. Luckily for Betty, her mum left her a series of letters about important stages in a girl’s life that she reads over the course of the book, getting to know her mother like never before and discovering just who is really important and the person she should really be giving her heart to.
I don't think I loved Love Bomb quite as much as I did the first novel, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Jenny McLachlan continues to write in her easy to read and follow style, and incorporates all the friendship, character development and humour I loved in Flirty Dancing. This series is just great wholesome fun.
Betty was quite the quirky young lady and actually quite crazy at times. I really liked that she wasn’t afraid to be outside the box and takes chances. Some of Betty’s decisions weren’t the best, but I’m striking that up to age and inexperience. People are meant to make mistakes and bad choices---it’s the growth in Betty that make everything she does worth it.
Betty plods through a lot of substantial moments in her life during this book. Her first crush, her first kiss……seeing her dad date someone for the first time etc., and it was really quite sweet to see Jenny McLachlan assist Betty through these moments with the help of her late mother. Through a series of adorable letters, Betty manages to really get to know her mum, and her mum helps her through so much. It was wonderful to read about and a great way to add something different to Betty’s story.
Sweet and easy to fall into, Betty’s story is another great instalment in this series. Love Bomb couldn’t have ended any better and leaves me endlessly happy with where Betty and her friends and family are now their story has been told. I’m very excited to read Kat and Pearl’s stories in the future and look forward to seeing what Jenny McLachlan has in store for these four gals next! ...more
Fan favourite and bestselling author Katie McGarry is back to prove she’s not just a one trick pony with Nowhere But Here, an incredibly captivating and arresting novel that kicks off a brand new series from this sensational writer and is guaranteed to bewitch readers all the way until the final page!
Securing a fan in me through her Pushing the Limits series, Katie McGarry cements her place as one of my all-time favourite YA writes with Nowhere But Here. Nowhere But Here is told through the back and forth POV’s of seventeen year old Emily, the biological daughter of one of the heads of a motorcycle club called the Reign of Terror and someone who has been protected from her estranged father’s world for her whole life, and Oz, an eighteen year old club hopeful and member of the biker community who finds himself looking after Emily when the prodigal daughter returns, causing a lot of hurt and pain for those Oz loves the most. Rife with secrets and mystery, both teens couldn’t be more different, but neither can deny the attraction that simmers between them in Nowhere But Here, even as Emily’s family history begins to come to light…..
Nowhere But Here is an absolutely delicious novel that I struggled to put down! Katie McGarry hits the nail on the head with stunning chemistry, electricity and fire within this story. As someone who has never read a MC novel before—though I know they’re becoming more and more popular in today’s adult and erotic genre—Nowhere But Here offered me my first real glimpse and taste of the biker community. And I loved what I read! Or at the very least how Katie McGarry wrote it.
Following two personable and headstrong characters, Nowhere But Here offers a great cast of characters, particularly our leads, Emily and Oz. Both had strong voices and their own individual quirks and personalities. I loved the depth McGarry gave to Oz and all the Reign of Terror members that we met! Oz was sexy, thrilling and dangerous; but he also had honour courage and came to really adore Emily.
Emily on the other hand was a very natural teenage girl whose world was altered drastically as she slowly discovered that almost everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie and that the relationship between her biological father and her mother hadn’t exactly ended the way either of them painted it to. Emily struggled, and fought and had to come to terms with all that she was learning. I enjoyed following her and thought her genuinely a good heroine.
Nowhere But Here is a YA novel and though McGarry hints at sexual innuendos and makes the occasional sexual comment, she generally keeps things quite clean and it’s the sexual tension and desire expressed by both main characters that heats things up. These are the kinds of attractions and connections I thrive on, and as usual I adored how McGarry developed her romance.
Katie McGarry has me incredibly excited with this new series! Thunder Road as the series is going to be known is the road on which most of the Reign of Terror members live or grew up on….and I’m very eager to learn all about them! McGarry gives Nowhere But Here so much life, depth and colour that the vivid minor characters—mainly those with affiliations to the biker club—bring so much to the story. Chevy, Violet. Stone, Razor, Olivia, Cyrus, Eli….I could go on and on. I’m thinking that the series is going to following the younger generation of the Reign of Terror, but I still look forward to seeing them all again and again.
Passionate, emotional and electrically romantic, Nowhere But Here is a fantastic read and a thrilling ride. Hold on to your hats guys, Katie McGarry is about to kick start a brilliant must read new series! ...more
Crown of Midnight is the superb sequel to Sarah J. Maas's riveting debut Throne of Glass and is another sensationally written story of political intrigue, fantasy and romance amongst a war torn backdrop.
Celaena Sardothien is back, deadlier than ever and ready to take back her freedom. Now the Kings Champion after the events of Throne of Glass, Celaena is continuing her journey to discover the truth about what is going on within the Kingdom, delving deep underground into long forgotten tunnels and tombs beneath the palace in search of answers. While serving as the kings assassin, for all her cunning and dare, Celeana is not willing to murder innocent people in the name of the King and instead chooses to fake deaths and tell lies to save those not deserving of the death she brings. Yet, as each lie brings her closer to discovery, dark forces within the palace make it clear that something even more dangerous is going on than Celaena can imagine. And then with the loss of someone she loves, Celaena is forever altered and soon on a mission to make those responsible pay......
Having enjoyed Throne of Glass immensely, it's a bit strange that it's taken me so long to continue on with the series, especially considering I have had both books in the series as well as a complication of all the short stories within the series, The Assassin's Blade, sitting on my shelf for a while now. So in saying that, I am glad I finally decided to delve back into this world.
There's no doubt in my mind that Sarah J. Maas is an extremely talented storyteller. As a debut novel, Throne of Glass made it clear that she was something special as a writer and in Crown of Midnight Maas only goes on to show just what she is capable of. Her world building and eye for detail paints a sensational picture of this fantasy world that completely draws the reader in. Weaving together danger and political intrigue, Maas manages to twist together a story where you never know what will happen next; drawing the reader on an emotionally charged journey where the adrenaline pumps the whole way through.
Told in the third person, Maas allows readers to witness the story unfold through the eyes of her numerous layered characters. Understandably Celaena, Dorian and Chaol are the most focal voices, although others pop up from time to time. Celaena continues to captivate readers with her dual nature and her contradictions; deadly assassin mingles with womanly innocence where Celaena is concerned, although a manner of startling developments within the story shake Celaena's foundation and drastically alter her desires within Crown of Midnight.
I honestly very much enjoy reading about Celaena's journey within this series, but boy does Sarah J. Maas know how to put her characters through the wringer at times. Crown of Midnight really is emotionally charged with Celaena experiencing so much joy, love and betrayal in this novel. Her pain leads her to make some drastic choices and Maas makes her readers feel every one, especially those who have a pertinent for Chaol, as he and Celaena's relationship takes a shocking turn.
Dorian and Chaol continue to stand by Celaena's side, the Crown Prince and the Captian of the Guard, two best friends who both love the same woman. Personally, I adore Chaol and Maas had me wanting to throw the book across the room at times with her developments, but there's no denying some of them make for sensationally emotional reading. As for Dorian, he is proving time and time again why he would make an amazing King should he get the chance and there's no doubt in my mind that should he take power he would change things forever. I can only hope this is something we see from Maas in one of the future novels.
Painful at times, heartbreaking and addictive to behold, Crown of Midnight is an excellent follow up to it's predecessor. Sarah J. Maas knows how to draw readers in and leave them begging for more, and with Crown of Midnight endings with a big discovery, I'm looking forward to beginning the next installment, Heir of Fire next.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the thrilling sequel to Michelle Hodkin’s smash hit The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and is a worthy follow up that sees readers discover more mystery and even more uncertainty as our heroine Mara sets out to discover why she can do what she can do, even while she is continually haunted by ghosts of her past that aren’t quite dead.
Hodkin’s debut absolutely blew me away with its mystery, suspense and attention to detail and although it’s taken me some time to continue on with the series I was pleasantly captivated once more with this thoughtful novel that is full of intrigue and unanswered questions.
During the first novel, we as the reader spent the majority of the story questioning our heroine Mara’s sanity right alongside her as she navigated the strange goings on of her life. The unexplained and unexplainable occurrences warred with what was impossible and improbable to open our eyes to what Mara can do, even if we’re yet to know why.
In The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Mara is back…. with her boyfriend Noah Shaw alongside her yet again as the two set out to discover more about their mysterious abilities; something hindered by Mara’s old boyfriend Jude who is back from the dead and determined to make Mara’s life a living nightmare. Through a number of creepy events and occurrences Jude makes it clear he will stop at nothing to destroy Mara, even going so far as to help make Mara’s family question her sanity and mental stability. With Mara’s life spinning out of control, she finds herself placed in a mental health program that is tasked with helping those with mental illnesses get better, only New Horizons isn’t what it appears and as the novel progresses it becomes more and more clear that something sinister is going on…..
My mind is honestly still all over the place with this novel….even though I’ve finished it. Though I definitely loved it, I found myself with even more unanswered questions at the end than I had when heading into the story. Michelle Hodkin is masterfully weaving this story together; twisting certain elements together and hinting at a bigger picture to explain what is going on. Mara and Noah are being put through the wringer time and time again, and I’m right there alongside them as Hodkin tells their mysterious story.
I honestly have no idea where Michelle Hodkin is going with this story, but I’m certainly enjoying what I’m reading. Mara is a genuinely likable heroine, despite all of her issues. Or perhaps even because of them; I like that she’s fighting where she can, and her small acts of defiance impress me as we see her story unfold.
I’m quite happy with the romance within the story. It is not over powering and instead compliments the mystique and mystery of the story. Mara and Noah have a great chemistry and I love the way they react to each other; it’s impossible not to be swept up into their relationship when they are front and center. They seem to bring out the best of each other and I love the dedication Noah has towards Mara.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer continues to develop the storyline within this series. More questions are raised and Hodkin twists details together to create an even bigger picture of what is going on. The Evolution of Mara Dyer concludes on a shocking cliffhanger and left me as the reader ready to dive into the next novel as soon as I can! ...more
Not In The Script is the third novel in the If Only series, this time written by debut author Amy Finnegan and is a super adorable and seriously addictive Hollywood tale that features two amazing leads and a romance that is without a doubt swoon worthy!
Emma Taylor is a talented and resourceful Hollywood It Girl whose life takes an interesting turn when she steps into a new role on a hot up and coming new teen show. Excited to be working alongside her longtime crush, the last thing Emma expects is to find herself drawn to, and soon falling for, a different co-star than the one she once dreamed about. As a successful magazine and runway model, Jake Elliott is known around the world for his handsome face and perfect body, but it's the chance to try his hand at acting that offers him his biggest opportunity yet. Who cares if he's never acted before? Coyote Hills is sure to be a hit and as part of a stellar cast, Jake knows how much the role will help his family. If only he could stop thinking about his gorgeous co-star Emma.
But when the two finally give in to their undeniable attraction and start a secret relationship, both Emma and Jake discover that sometimes on-set romances don't necessarily end badly, if only they could out last the public storm surrounding each of their lives.....
Not in the Script is a seriously addictive and delicious read! As a behind the scenes look into Hollywood life, author Amy Finnegan draws her readers into the scandalous world of acting, tabloids and Hollywood drama, all the while weaving together a believable and adorable romance between two people who connect beautifully!
Unlike the other two novels in this series, and I use the word series loosely because each If Only novel is written by a different author and is a complete standalone tale, Not in the Script is the first book to be told through the POV's of both main characters--something I simply adore.d Heroine and love interest both have stories to tell; something that enhances the reading experience as you as the reader see through both Emma and Jake's eyes.
Emma and Jake are both very down to earth characters. Emma has been in the public eye since she was twelve, and as an eighteen year old who is living on her own and working in a cut throat world where her every move is scrutinized, Emma has managed to maintain her rationality and sense beautifully. She's a very normal girl, and despite her beauty and fame has not let it change her, something made obvious by Emma's desire to help her best friend Rachel at every chance she gets and her desire to open a foundation to help those who need it.
And Jake on the other hand is a guy through and through. He goofs off with his friends, makes jokes and plays the occasional game of soccer using paper cups with the other actors on set. He's stunningly good looking and definitely lives up to his nickname as "The Bod", but Jake is also a genuinely down to earth guy who would do absolutely anything for his family. There's something so enticing about a man who loves his mum the way Jake does in this novel. Can anyone say swoon?
Emma and Jake have a really endearing relationship. Emma is hesitant to start anything with Jake due to her horrible history with co-stars and a crush by someone that makes things harder, so in the beginning, Emma and Jake really start out as friends only. However that changes as they seamlessly transition into two people in a relationship. Jake sees past all of Emma's fame and fortune to the girl she is at her base and Emma sees past Jakes looks to see the incredible guy he is. They're funny and flirty together and have a great chemistry. Basically I was rooting for them the whole time and paparazzi be damned, I wanted them to prove them all wrong.
Amy Finnegan gives Emma and Jake a great cast of characters to interact with in this novel with everyone from Emma's amazingly cute family to Jake's best friends and his amazing mother giving the novel such life. Emma and Jake discover new friends, and occasionally enemies on the set of Coyote Hills with their director and their co-stars making for some entertaining reading.
Smile inducing and insanely sweet, Not in the Scrip blends the ins and outs of Hollywood perfectly together with family, friendship and true love--Amy Finnegan hits the nail on the head and left this reader extremely satisfied....although I'd certainly love a companion novel with Kimmi in the future!