I bought Chain Reaction when it first came out, but I held off on reading it. I don't know why. MaybMore like 4.5 stars. THESE FUENTES BOYS. Sa-woon.
I bought Chain Reaction when it first came out, but I held off on reading it. I don't know why. Maybe I didn't want to let go of these characters? Last week I decided to reread the previous two novels in this trilogy. They were SO GOOD. It's a mark of a good author when he or she can turn a well used premise (bad boy falls for the rich girl, bad boy falls for the good girl, etc.) and make it FRESH. You know what I mean? In my opinion, Ms. Elkeles is a master at romance and love, and family relationships. Every one of these Perfect Chemistry books exemplify those elements wonderfully.
Chain Reaction went beyond my expectations. I adored Luis from the get go. I knew I'd like him since he's been portrayed as the good one, the smart, driven one. And there's something very attractive about that. I love a guy who knows what he wants, who's ambitious and aims for the sky. Sometimes it was so endearing how his academics took over when the gang aspect of this novel took hold. (view spoiler)[Like how he was contemplating papers and AP classes while he was on an assignment for the LB. Just goes to show how wrong he was for that sort of life, no matter who his father was. (hide spoiler)] At the heart of the matter he's just a good kid.
I may place Luis as my favorite (shh, don't tell Alex). Not sure because Alex is pretty high up there. I do see the similarity to his eldest brother and actually, if I'm being honest, he's exactly how I thought Alex would be had he been raised without the huge gang influence (maybe not the adrenaline rush so much, but still...). And while we're on the topic of similarities, I do have to say Luis and Nikki's romance somewhat mirrors Alex and Brittany's. Though Luis doesn't have the edge Alex did and Nikki's background was far different than Brittany's. Despite some resemblance, Luis and Nikki were pretty damn fantastic. I think it was a smart move to split the timeline and give a little background and history.
What makes this one stand out over the others? FAMILY. Oh, how I LOVED all the family interactions. It's something I didn't get enough of previously. I never had a doubt how much the brothers loved each other, but I never did get to see much low-key ribbing brothers seem to do. There were some very FUN scenes (Panty Discus, anyone?) and plenty of teasing from Carlos (OMG, I LOVED HIM in here!). I also liked that since Alex and Carlos were pretty settled, they were on the same side—as Luis called them “the tag team from hell”—and handled the big brother roles well when dealing with him.
Dare I say there were a few things I didn't like? (view spoiler)[ + Why doesn't Isabel get a happy ending? The two guys who've liked her have died. Poor thing. :/ + Did the Hector reveal seem out of the blue? I knew something was up with the key, but still I was like WTF? when it turned out he was Luis' father. + Okay, so this isn't exactly a complaint, but more like an observation: just how realistic is it that ALL three siblings marry their high school sweetheart? (hide spoiler)]
These books are such fast-pace, heartwarming and fun stories. I'm sad that it's over but I had such a good time reading them. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Ash Turner has waited years to take his revenge on the Duke of Parford and his sons for what happened to his siblings. Now in a position to steal theAsh Turner has waited years to take his revenge on the Duke of Parford and his sons for what happened to his siblings. Now in a position to steal the dukedom, he's drawn to the mysterious nurse to the Duke, a loyal servant named Margaret who in reality, is actually the Duke's daughter. As each slowly grow attached to one another, it's wonder how it will end when both Ash and Margaret seem unable to let go of duties to their families.
Ash and Margaret's romance was not something I was on board with for most of the novel. I couldn't see why Ash was so enamored with Margaret. They became closer and she transformed into someone I respected. But honestly, I have to say that Ash outshined her greatly. I could fall for a guy like him, I swear. He's a devoted brother and had such admirable views on class. I loved how he made people feel that they MATTER, that they were IMPORTANT. He also harbored a secret which shamed him more than one can imagine. It played a role in alienating him from his brothers, at least in his mind. He managed and was able to compensate which I respected so much. It really made him more endearing.
I must highlight what stole the book for me: Ash's love for his brothers. That is what pushed me to give 4 stars. I was FAR MORE emotionally connected to their storyline. You can't tell me that those parts where Ash ached for love from his brothers didn't affect you. His heart was bleeding on his sleeve. I swear, I even cried a bit at passages showing how much he loved them, how fiercely loyal, protective, and caring he was. Then his brothers seem indifferent, in a way, and that bothered me as much as it bothered Ash. All he wanted was a camaraderie, a true connection with them. He'd do ANYTHING for them, anything for something as simple as a genuine smile. And while Ash and Mark made some development in the right direction, even a small bit with Smite, I was left unsatisfied with how things ended. I just hope in the next books Ash will get a little more out of their brotherly relationship. He deserves it.
I'm so intrigued with these brothers that I'll definitely be checking out the next book. I'm really looking forward to finding out what happened to Mark and Smite all those years ago. Those two brothers seem so close in just the few scenes I read. Mark was interesting, to say the least. He's a scholar/philosopher who was writing a book on chastity, of all things. Yeah, you read that right, chastity. Smite is an enigma since he didn't have much in this book. I hope to see more of him in the next installment. ...more
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 h3.5 stars.
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"]>...more
**spoiler alert** So there are two different plots going in this book. Plot A regards Andy, a detective, and a dead body (the cook, Lafayette) found i**spoiler alert** So there are two different plots going in this book. Plot A regards Andy, a detective, and a dead body (the cook, Lafayette) found in his car. In slight relation to this, just because of location, there's a maenad named Callista who attacks Sookie as a message to Eric. Later, after Sookie deals with Plot B, she and Eric investigate a sex party where she may find more information about who the murderers are. Turns out she's right about them being there when Callista pops up to magically deal with everything. The only survivors of the original party were Tara and Eggs, both whom have their memory erased. After this ordeal, Bill finds out Andy and Portia are his descendants.
Plot B is all about the vampires. Eric sends Sookie and Bill to Dallas to meet with a vampire named Stan. One of Stan's nest members, Farrell, is missing. He was last scene with Godfrey, a very old vampire who has done some horrid things in his past. It all leads up to the Fellowship of the Sun, a vampire hate group. Suffice it to say, Sookie gets herself caught and ends up getting beaten up by one of the members. She's helped out by Godfrey, who was there because he wanted to commit suicide, and some shapeshifters who were keeping an eye on the organization. Farrell is saved as well and later at his welcome home party vampires and humans were attacked by the FotS. Sookie survives and heads out of Dallas as soon as humanly possible.
Now let's get to what I cared about, Eric. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 1) He helped get the poison out of her blood stream. 2) Eric, in disguise, came to check up on her while she was in Dallas. 3) He interrupted Bill and Sookie before they got more hot and heavy in their hotel room. Cracked me up to no end. 4) He took glass out of her arm after she got in a car accident. 5) Eric: "I'm hoping that the more you see me, the more I'll grow on you." Sookie: "Like a fungus?" He's endearing. 6) Eric lying on Sookie during an attack. Eric: "I knew I'd get on top of you somehow." Sookie: "Are you trying to make me mad so I'll forget how scared I am?" Eric: "No, I'm just opportunistic." [She:] wiggled, trying to get out from under him. Eric: "Oh, do that again. It felt great." He protected her yet AGAIN. Of course, it was for selfish reasons. :P 7) He shared a HOT kiss with her after she sucked a bullet out of his shoulder. 8) Eric dressed as a gay bisexual guy for her. Pink tank top with pink and aqua Lycra leggings. Rawr. 9) He watched out for her at the sex party. Also made a move on her which I didn't mind as well. It was hot. 10) He helped protect her AGAIN while Callista worked her magic.
Overall, it was a far more enjoyable book than Dead Until Dark. ...more
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 aCan'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)]...more
When Rory’s parents decide to take their sabbatical leave to teach at a university in Bristol, England, she chooses go to a boarding school called WexWhen Rory’s parents decide to take their sabbatical leave to teach at a university in Bristol, England, she chooses go to a boarding school called Wexford in the East End of London. She’s welcomed to London with news of a murder similar to a Jack the Ripper killing that had happened on that very day in the 1880s. She doesn’t give too much thought about it and coasts by, consuming herself with her new school. The media and London citizens, on the other hand, are morbidly fascinated with the infamous serial killer. After a second Ripper-like murder, it’s more than clear someone is truly copying his work. With CCTV cameras unable to get a shot of the killer, all police really have are the dates in which the Ripper had struck.
One night, a night dictating two Ripper murders would occur, she and her roommate make hasty—and quite stupid decision—to sneak out to the boys’ dorm. Upon return Rory is caught about to enter a window—her roommate having just made it inside—by a strange middle-aged man. She gets into the building safe and sound after a few quick words with him. The next morning she discovers a murder took place on the Wexford grounds around the time she had bumped into the man. Rory’s encounter, unfortunately, doesn’t seem too concrete since her roommate who looked out the window did not see him. Rory is the sole witness and lead in the Ripper case. A unique police squad hears of her story and accordingly keeps watch over her as she becomes the focal point of the Ripper.
I initially had difficulty getting into The Name of the Star. The beginning was a little tedious with its set up with the protagonist’s background, how her classes are going, and making friends. Even with two murders down, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Since it is the first of the series, I think it’s fair to let it pass because world building can be bit of a bore. One thing I did enjoy about the set up, however, was the London setting and getting a small taste of the historic city.
The characters, for the most part, were all likeable. Some are more interesting than others but they all seemed laid back with realistic voices. I thought there was a great camaraderie formed with the new characters introduced later in the novel. They had more colorful backgrounds than her schoolmates and no surprise, their addition made for a more solid and exciting second half of the book. I don’t want to give away too much about what goes on but it’s definitely worth the read once you get to those parts.
As someone who didn’t know much about Jack the Ripper, besides the fact that he’s a serial killer who was never caught back in the late 1800s, Johnson covered the story really well. There was just enough facts and background provided to give readers the gist of what had happened all those years ago. Like the original Jack the Ripper, the copycat gained a lot of press, becoming media circus of sorts. It’s a little disconcerting how fascinated some people were. I understand how such cases can attract attention but in this situation, there were hats and shirts being made with slogans welcoming Jack back, gatherings at pubs “celebrating” it, and just making light of the terrible circumstances. It baffled me.
While the The Name of the Star is part of a series, it does fine as a stand alone. There is closure to the case but it does have a little cliffhanger to open up for sequel. Overall, it is suspenseful, fun ride with a fairly good mystery. The supernatural element, which I’d rather let the reader figure out on his or her own, blended in well without being over the top. The Name of the Star isn’t overly horrifying so no worries of going to bed with the light on. Johnson included nice breaks of humorous quips and quirkiness in the mix that I appreciated a lot.
Although I’m not much one for paranormal YA, which is a little amusing to me because I adore paranormal romance and urban fantasies, Johnson has made me want to explore more of the genre....more
This installment was just slightly more enjoyable than the previous books. It reminded me a little of Beauty and the Beast, at least that first half.This installment was just slightly more enjoyable than the previous books. It reminded me a little of Beauty and the Beast, at least that first half. I liked Mick and Silence, but there was just something about them that I wasn't completely sold on. I liked the minor characters like Harry and Bert. Also all the ladies backing the children's home are entertaining.
The short story, Clever John, opening up each chapter was my least favorite of the three that have been told. I will say the end was sweet, though.
Again, what I kept looking out for was a glimpse of the Ghost. I just love him and can't wait to hear his story. And now I'm very excited about Winter's book since he's one of the main reasons I continued on with this series. ...more
Theseus Cassio Lowood, known to most as Cas, devoted his life to killing ghosts after his father—a ghost hunter himself—was murdered on the job. Cas hTheseus Cassio Lowood, known to most as Cas, devoted his life to killing ghosts after his father—a ghost hunter himself—was murdered on the job. Cas has spent the last three years preparing for the one day he'd get to avenge his father. A tip leads Cas to a Canadian town for Anna Korlov—all the legends refer to her as Anna Dressed in Blood—a young teenage girl brutally murdered on her way to a school dance. She haunts her old house, and has a track record of ripping apart anyone who dares to set foot inside. He figures she would be the last ghost to test him before he finally confronts his father's killer. Cas's first encounter with Anna at her house results in a local boy's death. What's strange is, for some reason, she allows Cas to walk away alive and with all his limbs. She isn't like any ghost he's ever encountered—extremely powerful, violent and with an awareness of her actions—leaving him entirely enraptured and ultimately torn about killing her.
One could say Cas is the equivalent to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but for ghosts. He's a charismatic, sharp, well-rounded protagonist so I'm positive readers won't have a hard time being drawn into his story. Death is his life, as ironic as that sounds. His occupation doesn't allow for close relationships, what with him having to move constantly to go to where ghosts wreck havoc. To his dismay, during his latest hunt to destroy Anna he actually gains a few friends. It was great to see him rely on others and realize it's not so bad to have people on his side. His interactions with them, in particular with the telepathic witch Thomas, were some of my favorite parts. Readers really get a sense Cas's good guy at heart, no matter that he can be a smartass.
Anna, I'm sorry to say, wasn't a character I was too invested in. I did feel horrible at the circumstances surrounding her death and what had eventually became of her but I didn't get that connection like I did with Cas. Now let me address Cas's attraction to Anna. Honestly, it seemed more of a morbid fascination than true romantic feelings. I didn't see the development especially in such a short timespan. Luckily for me, this wasn't overwhelming the plot and was kept on the backburner.
Now, I come to the spook factor. Much to my disappointment I wasn't creeped out, at least not to the extent I was expecting. There were eerie parts here and there with splashes of gore and violence but nothing that made me want to hide under the covers. Everything regarding witchcraft and voodoo, on the other hand, caught more of my attention. The latter resulted in some very clever reveals which I give Blake many kudos for.
I'm pretty much a needle in a haystack with some of my nitpicking since majority of the readers I've come across have nothing but high praise. Although there were a few things I didn't care for and was letdown by, I actually enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood. I will probably check out the next novel in this series because I do like the idea of ghost slayers and Cas and his Scooby gang are truly a fun group of characters. It also left off on an interesting note that I'm eager to explore. This novel would appeal to many paranormal readers who want a fast-paced supernatural story with a side of romance and comedy.
Things happened! It was exciting! And juicy! This is what I'd been looking for since I started the series. I had always felt just a tad with4.5 stars.
Things happened! It was exciting! And juicy! This is what I'd been looking for since I started the series. I had always felt just a tad withdrawn from everything and now I have to say I'm hooked. I'm even fascinated with the unraveling politics. Gasp! Oh and I love, love, love how people are playing their cards—looking at you, Han and Raisa. It was really nice to see everyone together (FINALLY!) and mostly on the same page. I think that was key in my enjoyment of this book. And more than ever I felt Raisa growing into herself and taking charge even though she was feeling lost and alone.
Other things from my status updates/comments: (view spoiler)[ - Dancer, I figured you had Bayar blood from the beginning, but that's okay, you're still awesome. Your girl Cat is pretty badass, too. - Amon needs to find a girl he loves. You know, someone not named Raisa. And so this fiancée, yes, fine. All I can hope is that they grow to love each other deeply. Sigh. Short end of the stick, I tell ya. - Micah, stop confusing me. - I don't trust you, Nightwalker. At all. I have this strong inkling you're the big baddie in this game. - Mellony might need a slap upside the head. - The chapter "Second Thoughts." OH, MY. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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 interestin4.5 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 5+ stars (and if you must know the rest was a solid 4 stars). Funny enough it displayed a few things that on occasion will 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 sort of situation 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 in the real world. 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. ...more
I love these guys. They made the book for me. The chemistry, the humor, the teasing, the tough love—all of it makes them so likeable as a group and asI love these guys. They made the book for me. The chemistry, the humor, the teasing, the tough love—all of it makes them so likeable as a group and as individuals. I also thought this book had a pretty good plot that snowballed from the fight in the beginning. Now the romance, not so much. I tried to like Jessica but she never did win me over. Too much complaining and woe is me stuff going on. Not to mention there was all this hot and cold and Sed never could understand her and when he finally did, he wouldn't hear her out. Communication, people! All I really saw between them was sex. ...more
Note: rating and review based solely on Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews.
Now that was fantastic. I've been fully on board with the Jim and Dali pairing sNote: rating and review based solely on Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews.
Now that was fantastic. I've been fully on board with the Jim and Dali pairing since there was a hint of it in Magic Bleeds. This novella has plenty of action and crazy magic as a monster spider whore is seeking revenge. Unfortunately Jim happens to get caught in the crossfire. Dali takes it upon herself to be the badass she is and save her man before he ends up dead.
I love the glimpse of Indonesian culture as well as Asian legends and culture in general. I definitely attest to some of those customs, particularly the pride. I basically loved everything that happened with Dali and Jim. Her short temper with him, the magic sticky note, speaking Indonesian (omg, Dali's mother was such a riot when Jim first visited), and that extremely cute ending. It was perfect. I really hope there will be more novellas featuring these two. ...more
Blood Red Road is the first novel in Moira Young’s Dustlands trilogy. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the protagonist, Saba, and herBlood Red Road is the first novel in Moira Young’s Dustlands trilogy. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the protagonist, Saba, and her family are barely getting by on their own. Everything is okay if her twin Lugh is by her side, even if she’s always in his shadow letting him lead. One day a small group of black-hooded horsemen kill her father and kidnap Lugh. Saba is distraught but is able to pull it together to go after him along with her little sister Emmi. Sandstorms, cage-fights, a delusional tyrant and a dry lake of monster worms are just a few of the road blocks she faces in the outside world she’s so unfamiliar with. As fierce as Saba is, she can’t save her brother alone, so she teams up with a cocky drifter and a group of tough warrior girls, the Free Hawks. For the first time in her life she’s doing the leading and relying on people she can call friends, all in hopes she’ll get to her brother before it’s too late.
The writing style is very unique, I’ll give that to Young. The entire novel is told from Saba’s perspective—everything is clipped and full of slang, and there’s no use of quotation marks when dialogue is present. To get a little feel of Saba’s voice, here’s a sample: “Well, I says, maybe that’s all yer fit fer.” Oh, how I’d like to correct the spelling and add inner quotation marks. Young’s interest in concise communication and the constantly changing English language was the backbone to Saba’s dialect. I found out about that after I had read the book and it made me appreciate her style choice a lot more.
The world Saba lives in was painted well; I could easily visualize its desolate landscape. It’s set back to more primitive ways of life, long after Wrecker times—our modern world with cars, planes, skyscrapers, etc.—were overcome with what I’m assuming is post-apocalyptic sandstorms. I did feel like the world’s history was lacking, though it’s most likely on purpose. Hopefully that will be explored in the next installment.
There’s a great sense of family, whether it is through blood or not, throughout the novel. The bond between Saba and her twin is so strong; she continually risks her life over and over—cage-fighting!—and I can’t help but admire her determination. With some of the burdens on the way, she still finds strength to continue on. There was also a touching development between Saba and her sister, a clear change in how they see each other as the story progresses—Young made it quite realistic, in my opinion.
All the characters were fantastic even though they weren’t exactly fleshed out. I loved the whole idea of the Free Hawks, just a family of their own—a clan of cool, rough, powerful young women. They’d lay their lives for Saba and it’s a completely new experience for her.
I did have a few complaints about Blood Red Road. While I think the love interest, Jack, is an entertaining character, the romance, at times, was a slightly cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, because I do like them together, what with all the bickering, but I just wasn’t too convinced on the romance. Some of the actions scenes left more to be desired, ending so quickly and easily. I wished some of them were more detailed to get a better sense. Then there’s the main antagonist, King Pinch, who wasn’t terribly challenging for Saba to head off against; to be honest he was quite laughable.
The novel, in general, is compelling despite my nitpicking. It has elements of a dystopian novel but I’m glad this wasn’t another novel centering on oppression and a huge political rebellion. It’s simply an epic journey to rescue a loved one. The novel wraps up nicely with just a few questions left unanswered but it essentially can be a stand alone. Most post-apocalyptic fans would have no trouble delving into this one. For anyone who loves when books are turned into films, Ridley Scott’s production company has acquired the rights. Personally, I think it’ll translate beautifully on the big screen.
I've been meaning to reading Wanderlove since it was first released. Somehow it kept getting pushed back on my to-read list but I finally p3.5 stars.
I've been meaning to reading Wanderlove since it was first released. Somehow it kept getting pushed back on my to-read list but I finally picked it up after I realized it's been over a year since I got this through GR First Reads. Plus it's a perfect summer read.
It took me a while to get into the book, but I began to like it more and more as Bria settled in on her journey. And I liked Bria. I saw a little of myself in her and so that helped in making this more enjoyable. There wasn't really much drama but I admit after a while I thought Rowan keeping his past off-topic was a little tedious. It made it into this big walking-on-egg-shells thing hanging over them. In a way, though, I'm glad this wasn't exactly a romance but a friendship or better yet travel backpack buddies which to me made it a little more intimate than your average friendship. It was refreshing.
Lastly, it was nice "seeing" the sites through the pages. I already knew of Kirsten and how she's also a travel writer through her blog and so I expected Wanderlove to be full of detail, providing a great picture for the reader. And yep, it was! It really did make me think of getting out there more and doing some traveling.
* I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads....more