YES. Back to basics. The last book had its moments but still a lull compared to the previous ones. Now Frost Burned was a great blend of wha...more4.5 stars.
YES. Back to basics. The last book had its moments but still a lull compared to the previous ones. Now Frost Burned was a great blend of what I love about the series. Insane, dangerous situations in which Mercy saves the day with the help of Adam and her diverse group of friends—werewolves, fae, and vampires, oh my! Even the humans pop up to lend a small hand, at least in all the dirty paperwork. Think of the politics with that bunch alone and how crazy it can get with the balance of power. But wait, I don't think the level of crazy met my quota. Let's add in a (view spoiler)[necromancer (hide spoiler)] baddie. WHAT?! The layers to that kidnapping plot was really well done, not exactly what I expected so many kudos to Ms. Briggs. That stuff aside, Mercy's many relationships, above all else, make this series one of the best out there. And this book featured much of them on some capacity or another which I was so, so happy about since they were pretty absent in the last book.
I have to do my list of awesome things:
- Ben. There is never enough Ben. Favorite. Forever. - Asil. I like you. A lot. Visit again soon! - (view spoiler)[Peter. WHYYYYYY???! I'll go hug myself and rock in the corner right now. (hide spoiler)] - Stefan. It was nice to see him back, just a bit more like his old self. How badass was that (view spoiler)[silent assassin kill in the first half (hide spoiler)]. - Hao. Interesting. Maybe he can come back and teach Mercy a few new moves. - Zee. Tad. More, please. Particularly I was really happy to see Tad play a role. It's been too long. Loved that he's labeled Mercy's little bro. So cute. - Gabriel and Jesse. You guys are puppy love cute. Tony and Sylvia. Grown-up, unrequited love cute. Haha. - Agent Armstrong. I bet I'll see you again one day, a liaison like Tony. - Adam's (view spoiler)[POV. I thought, hmm what a clever way to kinda get Adam's POV but then surprise! We really did get his actual POV. Weeee! (hide spoiler)] I liked that and hope it'll happen again in future books. And just seeing him with Mercy and how in love they are. It makes me sick. With happiness. And maybe a little envy.
Things I want: - Talks of Charles make me want to read the spin off, however, I haven't heard the best of things regarding it so... But what I'd want to read more is what I said in a status update: a prequel YA series following Mercy's time with Bran. I mean, c'mon. The peanut butter! And the fact that the story spread, even to the Moor. Haha! - Beloved Samuel, come back. I missed you so. And while Warren did appear, it wasn't nearly enough so the same goes for you (though yay for some Kyle!) - Mercy needs some lady friends. STAT. Stat means now.
And lastly, it's the same old, same old with Mercy teasing death (not purposely, obviously) but I loved how she explained that couldn't stand on the sidelines when shit is about to hit the fan, especially to her family. One of the many reasons why I love her. Putting the supernatural stuff aside, she's ordinary and I don't mean that in a bad way. Like she's more than content being married and spending time with friends, and working at her garage. Love that. But if something threatens that and she has her back to a wall, she's going to put herself out there for her people. It isn't as if she didn't take some precautions this time though. So see, she's grown!
Anyway, that was fun. Gimme the next book now. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I wasn't sure I was going to read this one because the first book didn't click with me but I'm glad I gave it a try since it turned out to be a really...moreI wasn't sure I was going to read this one because the first book didn't click with me but I'm glad I gave it a try since it turned out to be a really good read.
I like the idea of high school sweethearts who last long like these two did. Jason and Becca were so sweet, bordering on perfection, quite honestly. And that actually could be a flaw. I thought for sure more conflict would come from their parents, something to give the story a little more umph. Any obstacle sort of bounced off them. I mean they did have those bumps but they kept solid the whole time, even the mess with Ben didn't really tie them down for too long. And maybe all of that is because of the pacing of the book since it spans from when they're 16 all the way till they're in their mid-20s, so it jumps and maybe it doesn't dwell on things as much as it could if it was on a more concise timeline. Another thing was that it started to drag toward the end, enough so that I felt Nell and Colt took over (even ended up skimming parts). And that wasn't cool with me since I don't care for that couple.
Overall, I just really enjoyed Jason and Becca. From the beginning they gave me that "old married couple" vibe. I think it's great to see a couple who does have things thrown at them but they stick to each other and support the other through thick and thin because they love each other so much and all that gooey stuff. You don't really see that in new adult. (less)
By far my favorite of the series. I liked that it dealt with PTSD, a topic in books I've always been interested in reading, and I liked that the heroi...moreBy far my favorite of the series. I liked that it dealt with PTSD, a topic in books I've always been interested in reading, and I liked that the heroine was a normal girl of her time, not a genius like the others (not that I disliked those two). I was glad there wasn't a murder mystery because that was what slowed me down while reading the previous books. It all just worked really well for me. (less)
Despite that ending which, I don't know, didn't exactly feel right to me, I did enjoy this. I think my favorite thing was Emma unknowingly saying phra...moreDespite that ending which, I don't know, didn't exactly feel right to me, I did enjoy this. I think my favorite thing was Emma unknowingly saying phrases wrong. Cracked me up. (less)
That was some ride. (view spoiler)[I'm pretty satisfied with how things ended up. Loose ends were tied and there was plenty of roaming and action goin...moreThat was some ride. (view spoiler)[I'm pretty satisfied with how things ended up. Loose ends were tied and there was plenty of roaming and action going on. It was what I was hoping for after finishing the last book.
I really admired Deuce because that was such a heavy burden to carry. And it wasn't exactly a perfect road. There plenty of stumbles and losses along the way but she managed to put down those knives and find peace.
I didn't think I'd take Stalker's death hard but I did and kudos to Aguirre for his character growth. I had a strong feeling that if anyone of the foursome died, it'd be Stalker who'd get the short end of the stick. So yeah, I'm a little bummed he didn't see it through. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
4.5 stars. I feel bad that I left this book on my bookshelf for over two years but I'm glad I finally picked it up because this was such an interestin...more4.5 stars. I feel bad that I left this book on my bookshelf for over two years but I'm glad I finally picked it up because this was such an interesting read. For the first third or so I swear I'd give this 10 stars (and if you must know the rest was 4 stars). Funny enough it displayed a few things that can bother me in a book. There was a lot of telling but not showing, probably because the writing was concise and straight to the point, and an insta-soulmate connection. But I loved all of it and I easily fell for these characters. It really hits you on an emotional level which I wouldn't expect with the writing style. But I found many wonderful introspective and beautiful lines. There was barely any development with Emily and Sam but it was like some Jedi mind trick and the author had me hook, line and sinker. Even when things went a totally different direction than what I assumed this book would concentrate on, I was still very much engaged because I think this does happen, maybe not exactly the ending obviously, but the course of Sam and Riddle's life, as sad as it is, seemed like something plausible. And so I was invested and wanted to know what would happen with them. It was so clever how everything played out, how there was this ripple effect right from that moment in the church that led all the way to the conclusion on the last page. I do recommend this, though I do think because of the writing it's one of those love it or hate it type of books. It's different than the usual YA and it sort of made me think of John Corey Whaley's Where Things Come Back so if you're looking for something like that try this one out. (less)
This book's no joke. Armentrout didn't hold back, took it up a notch and really put these characters through the ringer. The situation definitely has...moreThis book's no joke. Armentrout didn't hold back, took it up a notch and really put these characters through the ringer. The situation definitely has gotten more intense yet it still had that humor mixed in from time to time. The previous books were hands down YA and this one is basically transitioning to NA. They're on their own, having to make hard decisions and live with the consequences. There was a lot thrown at them, so much they've all gone through and will have to go through. I'm so curious to see how these characters will handle this crazy next stage that came upon them at the end.
(view spoiler)[Part of me is still happy about how solid Daemon and Katy are but I also have to point out that they were borderline cheesy at times. They kept me entertained though so that's always good. The marriage thing didn't bother me. I get it. I'm a bit more worried about whether Katy will get pregnant like Beth. Which by the way, me thinks some shit will totally hit the fan for her and Dawson. As in someone will die. I don't know, I guess I'm a cynic. I'm judging from how many died in this one so I wouldn't be surprised.
I liked Archer. I liked Luc. Hopefully they make it out of these books alive. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I love Crash into You as much as Pushing the Limits. Actually I think I like this one a tad more. And that's saying something since I was beyond amaze...moreI love Crash into You as much as Pushing the Limits. Actually I think I like this one a tad more. And that's saying something since I was beyond amazed by PtL.
Tough stuff. I love Gayle Forman's writing. The If I Stay/Where She Went duo holds a place on my favorite YAs list. BUT I couldn't really get on board...moreTough stuff. I love Gayle Forman's writing. The If I Stay/Where She Went duo holds a place on my favorite YAs list. BUT I couldn't really get on board with this book, at least with the first half even with the beautiful writing. I didn't feel a connection to these characters or their short whirlwind romance—it had a very Before Sunrise feeling (and sorry kids I only got half an hour in before I gave up on that film). I mean I did find some pieces of Allyson I could relate to during that limbo part, but I still didn't care enough about what was going on. It did get a lot better once she decided to change her structured path. I liked that journey. I liked who she was evolving into. And because of that I'm curious to see what the next book holds for Willem. (less)
Loved the characters and their pursuits in life. Really enjoyed the romance and how it developed. The mystery was pretty interesting as well. My one c...moreLoved the characters and their pursuits in life. Really enjoyed the romance and how it developed. The mystery was pretty interesting as well. My one complaint was that it dragged at times. (less)
Loved the couple and how their relationship developed. It was nice and exactly what I wanted to read at the moment. Everything else either...more3.5 stars.
Loved the couple and how their relationship developed. It was nice and exactly what I wanted to read at the moment. Everything else either made my eyes glaze over with boredom or annoyed me to no end. (view spoiler)[I could do without Sir Jasper and Louisa. Way to up the melodrama. I think it could've been great to focus on Nev and Penny and their relationship a bit more. There was tension with the their families which I wished was explored further too. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)
FINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to...moreFINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to Sydney as easily as I did with Rose. I also admit that I haven't cared for the individual book plots either. Probably a combination of it all, but anyway, I'm so happy with this book!
What's done right: romance. At least with Sydney and Adrian. I'll just ignore that stupid side cheating love triangle thing that happened here. But anyway, Sydney and Adrian. Taylor and Jet. I loved how their relationship developed. I mean hello, ADRIAN. He's too amazing for words. The way he approach this whole forbidden love roadblock? Perfect. Like he wasn't pressuring her or getting super frustrated. The whole "love from afar" was kind of simple yet also intense and even humorous at times. ILY but it's okay if you don't see it right now. I'll be over here patient and still support you in rebelling against the Alchemists and practicing witchcraft. They understand each other. They fit. They're friends. It also just feels mature. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
My feelings for Sydney are more positive than the previous books. I gained a lot more respect for her. To say she has a lot on her plate is an understatement. Also, her growth is tremendous, she's come a long way in just a few months. It was nice to see her take charge of her situation, of herself. Confidence suits her.
I'm disappointed with Marcus and his Merry Men. He did not warrant being on the cover. I kind of hoped that Sydney could take over and show them the ways of being awesome and proactive.
+ They're parents! Haha. I can't tell you how amused I was by this. Also, Hopper is adorable. + I seriously was counting Jet as the Mustang's name. Not a fan of what was chosen. + I missed the Melrose "family." + AYE. The throwback with the tattoo <3 + Reappearance of Jet Steele.
I love where this book went and the possibilities of what's to come with rebel!Sydney. Though I'm scared bc this was such a high, I can't see it lasting too long. Especially with that new development at the end. It seems like only a matter of time before she's caught and sent to re-education.
And look at that, another "third book's the charm." I seriously should consider a bookshelf for these books. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Overall, pretty good stuff. More into it than the first book.
(view spoiler)[I get frustrated with Sydney. It doesn't mean I think she's a horrible character but sometimes it's hard to see her adhere to her rigid beliefs or be clueless in other matters. There were a couple of times I just wanted to shake some sense into her. She has made some progress so it's not like she's a lost cause. I can only see her becoming more and more open about things outside her comfort zone.
I want more Trey. Please stay good (well, IDK about that Warriors association though) and hopefully he'll get to join the gang. Jill was more tolerable. Angeline was a bit much for me at first but I was glad to see she calmed down in the latter half. Eddie was honorable, dependable, loyal, and all those "good" adjectives, as always. However, meh on the Jill, Eddie, Angeline plus maybe Trey love rectangle. Take the romance out of the equation and I'm really quite fond of this "family." And maybe that's why I liked this a tad more than the previous book—they're all settled at the school and have this sort of chemistry going on now.
Lastly, how dare you be so sweet, Adrian! And gosh, poor guy gets shot down again by a girl he loves. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Can't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists a...moreCan't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists as well. But I like most of the characters (Adrian! Eddie!), so there's that. I also like the direction of one of the (soon-to-be) romances. Such a nice relief after the debacle that was Rose's love life. Just be friends for now, please. The other side romance I'm not too keen on just yet. We'll see how that goes in the future. (view spoiler)[Yay for the new dhampir on the scene because I thought she had potential back in VA #6. Boo on Micah just being a doppelgänger. I thought there was more to it than that. The drama that I sense will come after that last line has me cringing a little. I hope it isn't as bad as I think. (hide spoiler)](less)
I'm going to need some therapy now that I've finished this. The Last Hour was an intense read. The author took a different direction, a different tone...moreI'm going to need some therapy now that I've finished this. The Last Hour was an intense read. The author took a different direction, a different tone than the average NA—one I've seen done before with a fantastic YA contemporary—which I think was perfect for the story being told. There was a lot to take in and for the most part it was an emotional roller coaster. The characters were wonderfully written and believable. It's so important to surround yourself with good people and this was a testament to that. I remember being surprised that Carrie and Ray's relationship moved so quickly (when I first read the description) but after reading all the details of their story there is absolutely no doubt those two were made for each other. However, it made those hardships they faced that much tougher to read about. Lastly, I love that this book reminded me that even in the crazy world we live in, there are people who are simply good and strive to do the right thing even when it's difficult to do so.
This is a stand alone but I suggest reading both A Song for Julia and Just Remember to Breathe to know the secondary characters in The Last Hour. At the very least attempt latter title. (less)
I was both excited to read this and a little hesitant. Excited because I love Jesse and Rowen, and their relationship. Hesitant because I adored the f...moreI was both excited to read this and a little hesitant. Excited because I love Jesse and Rowen, and their relationship. Hesitant because I adored the first book so of course it'd be a lot to live up to. Plus, I wasn't sure I could take any of the drama that was bound to happen. But no worries because Nicole Williams worked some serious magic with Near and Far. I loved it. Plain and simple.
Lost and Found dealt with Rowen's problems and this time around with Near and Far we explored Jesse's insecurities and fears. I always wanted a little more from him in the previous book because he seemed so damn perfect. You'd think nothing could ruffle him (save for Garth Black) but even this charming cowboy has his weaknesses. It was great getting Jesse's POV and seeing him in a different light as a vulnerable guy battling his inner demons.
No matter what was thrown at these two there was one thing I was always certain of: their love for each other. I think the issues they faced were necessary and valid considering their situation. I liked seeing those obstacles explored and to me it was handled well. It just made their bond stronger once they overcame them or found some way to deal.
The one thing I was a little put off by was the reveal in the latter half of the book. You'll know what I mean once you read it. Talk about a coincidence. Like what is chance of that happening in real life? It's extremely slim, I'll tell ya that. Oh, and I do question the ending. I mean, I like what happened but I'm not sold on Jesse (view spoiler)[because what the hell is he going to do? I would have liked for there to be some clue to what he's going to do besides be with Rowen. (hide spoiler)]
Garth Black, you dark horse, we all knew you had a heart of gold underneath that cocky smartass facade. September needs to get here NOW.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I can't believe the Lumatere Chronicles series is done. These books made me cry, laugh, smile, rage—exactly what I expected, especially wit...more4.5 stars.
I can't believe the Lumatere Chronicles series is done. These books made me cry, laugh, smile, rage—exactly what I expected, especially with this last installment. I don't want to let go of these characters and this world. < insert extremely loud whine right here > They were unforgettable and got to me which always happens anytime I read Melina Marchetta. The power of books, y'all, they can make you feel so much. I cared for these characters and like I said in my Froi review, they felt like old friends. In the end I just wanted there to be happiness and some sense of peace among them all.
For a moment let me just reminisce. After finishing the trilogy I still hold Finnikin of the Rock as my favorite. I loved how that book worked toward hope, the hard journey was amazing to tag along with. And in the last book Froi does mention how he misses those days with Finnikin and Evanjalin. I couldn't help but agree with that sentiment. These characters had this innate goodness and were so loyal and strong. Then Froi of the Exiles came next and to say the least, it was a change. I didn't expected it to be so depressing, to have such a cruel world and history. It helped put more pieces to the curse together and left off with a sense that something great was to come. And finally now with Quintana of Charyn. I have to say it was a sort of blend of both Finnikin and Froi. It was a rough, tiring intricate road to follow with all the obstacles and politics working against these characters. That aside it was those characters that stood out the most to make things work and band together for the chance at a better world.
Let's talk about Froi's journey. I never thought that foul-mouthed, filthy little boy in Finnikin of the Rock would turn out to be such a magnificent hero. He was the most important character, in my opinion, the center of it all to bring everyone together. You want a prime example of character growth, then look no further than Froi. It tugs at my heart thinking about his life, of what he's gone through and how he's persevered. Back when he was first introduced he had NO ONE, but in Quintana of Charyn I was so, so very happy to see how he had people—his list of 30!!! Everyone loved him and everyone wanted the best for him. And I felt so torn for him because he struggled between loyalties and bonds between his loved ones, these two kingdoms which had every right to claim him as their own.
Froi had such great relationships with so many male figures. Many acted as surrogate fathers and brothers. What really got me were those ending scenes. (view spoiler)[Finn had a very powerful line directed at Froi, "You're worth a kingdom." Cue the waterworks. He never felt worthy before and now look, his beloved Lumatereans believed he was worth something beyond words. I was also touched by the feelings felt between him and his fatherly figures, Lord August or Gargarin, Perri, Arjuro, and Trevanion. They really helped shape him into an upstanding man. But you know what made me the most happiest? The blood bond of the brothers—Finnikin, Froi, and Lucien. It was like a mark of a new beginning, of making the world a good place for the next generation. I just got the sense that their future held so much promise. (hide spoiler)]
His relationships with the women were pretty noteworthy too. I mean, hello, the three tattoos! I sort of got choked up when I realized what he did. I loved how the relationship with Lirah developed. How they ended up warmed me heart because you know that's what Froi yearned for. The romance with Quintana was savage and intense but it made sense. She was his strongest motivation to get through all those hardships. Lastly and most importantly, Froi and Isaboe. This is my favorite bond possibly of the entire book. (view spoiler)[It all started with that ruby ring and it was genius that it came full circle. It was Isaboe who gave him a second chance and it was a chance that forever changed Froi's life. I teared up when I read this thought Froi had during his last scene with his Queen: "There were no words, just the certainty that he would love Isaboe of Lumatere for the remainder of his life." Ugh, it kills me. (hide spoiler)]
The romances were top notch. I can't even name them all but I will say they were beautifully written and I instantly rooted for all those couples to work out. That's Melina Marchetta for ya.
These last two books were mainly about Froi and Charyn—something I did not expect when I first started the series—but I'll always be a Lumaterean. They were the backbone that nurtured Froi and taught him to love and belong. He became this great brave man, the perfect candidate to start bringing peace to two enemy kingdoms.
I was satisfied with how everything turned out. Even little loose ends like the John of Charyn story or the outcome of the Lumatere/Charyn valley had a very fitting end. As happy as I was that there was a hopeful ending I couldn't help but feel it was bittersweet as well. I think it goes with the territory when you see everyone grown up and having their own lives. It just made me nostalgic, thinking about when the gang were on that insane journey together back in book one. Like I said earlier, it's hard to say goodbye to these characters but what a wonderful send off. I saw the little author's note on the dust jacket, Marchetta said that if those characters called out to her again she'd return to their world. Oh, how I'd love that (view spoiler)[for Rafuel because he suffered so much at the end (hide spoiler)]. I'll be crossing my fingers. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)