After reading Hex Hall and Demon Glass at a frenetic pace, I was eager to devour Spell Bound; and I did. I flew through Sophie’s story just a...more3.5 stars
After reading Hex Hall and Demon Glass at a frenetic pace, I was eager to devour Spell Bound; and I did. I flew through Sophie’s story just as I had her previous ones, but I somehow this one just didn’t live up to the others. Don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of action – maybe too much at times – and plenty of funny – you can never have too much funny – but the story just didn’t click the way it did in Hex Hall and Demon Glass.
Sophie’s thrown into a lot of drama, which is normal for her, but this drama comes to a head very quickly. The action is almost non-stop and that made me miss the little moments so much. I missed Sophie’s relationship with her parents, I missed the sweet, sexy Archer, I missed Cal and his adorably protective nature, and I missed the always hilarious Sophie/Jenna banter. All of that is still there, but there in much smaller doses.
I still enjoyed the book…it would be hard not to considering how quickly I fell in love with Rachel Hawkins story, but I had some issues with it. My biggest issue had to be how convenient everything was. I kind of hated how easily some things worked out; how all of sudden everything was okay. Then there was the romantic aspect that I LOVED before. Some of it was quite stilted this time around and I wasn’t okay with how some things turned out. I’ll go so far as to use that word again: it was convenient.
All in all though, Spell Bound wrapped up a fantastic series fairly well. Readers will get everything they wanted out of it (and some things they didn’t) and can look forward to the spin-off next year to answer those questions that were still scratching our heads about. (less)
Embrace has everything a reader could want: a well-executed plot, fantastic characters, a steamy romance, and plenty of action to keep it all going. I...moreEmbrace has everything a reader could want: a well-executed plot, fantastic characters, a steamy romance, and plenty of action to keep it all going. I was instantly enthralled by it and I’m not one to enjoy books about angels. Embrace isn’t like other angel books though because despite having angels in it, the story remains focused on characters, while giving the reader insight about how the angel mythology works.
Violet can be a bit naïve, but she comes across as very sincere and real. She’s not terribly boy crazy or ditzy –though she does have her moments with both Linc and Phoenix; she’s very easy to relate to. Her journey from normal girl to angel is actually exactly how you’d expect it to be. Violet reacts in the right way….but you’ll have to read the book to see what I think the right way is.
Now about those boys: Linc is okay, I guess. That’s the thing with a possible love triangle though. Readers will always pick one that they see as the best. And for me, that wasn’t Linc. I liked him, but he got me quite angry here and there. Phoenix, on the other hand, is sexy and cocky, with just the right amount of sweet. He’s not innocent or all good, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to his darkness. Readers will certainly eat these two boys up!
Embrace takes readers on a wild ride of ups, downs, and startling realizations. It’s the first in a trilogy, so while this one starts the trio off very strong, there is so much more to look forward to. The fighting and action is intense, the smoldering, sexy scenes are as steamy as ever, and the plot will keep you hooked. Embrace will hold up as an easy and favorite read for me…and should for you too. (less)
Abithica is far from what I expected, being a more adult than young adult. The main character, a body-jumping someone who winds up in teenager, and al...moreAbithica is far from what I expected, being a more adult than young adult. The main character, a body-jumping someone who winds up in teenager, and almost adult Sydney’s body, looks at herself as a parasite. Her mind is one of self-hatred and rules. If she follows her rules, then she doesn’t get hurt, she doesn’t get attached, and maybe her parasitic time in a body will leave the host a little better than when before she jumped in.
Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan and rules really are made to be broken, so this now-Sydney does open up, does get attached, and even falls in love. At times, the dialogue can be a little ooey-gooey, but Lane, the love interest, really is kind of swoony. Maybe a little pushy, but very much a man’s man and a sweetheart. His adoration for his younger and traumatized sister Shae shows exactly what kind of man he is. And he’s a man who loves completely; whether that love is directed at his sister or the now-Sydney, Lane’s love is enduring.
Sydney (now-Sydney as I like to call her) is one heck of a character. She’s torn between hating herself and wanting happiness. She’s as human as you or me, but not, at the same time. Her internal monologues drive the book. The secondary characters are all entertaining as well. Lane and Shae are wonderful and I have a soft spot for Sydney’s mother Faith. Her theory about the shoes people wear is beyond funny.
The majority of the book takes place around now-Sydney, but there are parts with a group call the Legnas. As much as I liked seeing this deeper, darker group that the old Sydney is somehow affiliated with, the rift between them and the now-Sydney is so great that it almost makes Abithica feel like two different stories. By the end, the two stories roll into one, but for a while there, the connection seemed miniscule.
Abithica is a tale of redemption and acceptance and love. While many are calling it young adult novel, it reads as adult. Now-Sydney’s voice is very much that of an adult and her thoughts, emotions, and actions are those of an adult. The overall premise of the book is interesting and even thought-provoking. It makes you think about people and life and how we’re more than just skin, bones, and brains. It’s nearly impossible to put down because now-Sydney’s voice begs you to continue, for her sake and her own. I was perfectly content with the ending, but wouldn’t mind seeing where things could go from there, expanding upon the revelations that arise from Abithica’s close. (less)
Personal Demons pleasantly surprised me with its take on the age old battle between angels and demons. This one isn’t just about good vs. evil, it’s m...morePersonal Demons pleasantly surprised me with its take on the age old battle between angels and demons. This one isn’t just about good vs. evil, it’s more about the fight for a soul; Catholic school reject Frannie Cavanaugh’s soul, to be more specific. And Frannie’s soul is worth fighting for, since there’s something just a bit different about her. She has a sarcastic and fiery attitude, a no-nonsense take on love – it’s not for her – and a deep-rooted belief that there is no God; that last one is with good reason though.
As much as I liked Frannie as a character, I felt the need to slap some sense into her often and with force. A pet peeve of mine is repetition in dialogue. It’s different if a character has a catchphrase, but Frannie says ‘whatever’ all the time! It drove me crazy, but halfway through, her usage of the word dissipates. Then when the boys come around, she’s a goner. For a girl who is strong-willed and independent, she tends to turn into a babbling, lovestruck girl when the dark, sexy, bad boy Luc is around and then again when the light, sweet, and gorgeous Gabe pops into her life. She’s more than willing to have a ‘thing’ with both guys, for better or for worse. Her attitude goes from smart and spunky, to a mess of lusty emotions.
Some of it I understand, because Luc sort of forces the emotions, but most of the time Frannie can fight it off, she just chooses not to. Her flip-flopping feelings can be grating, but it’s contrasted very well with steamy scenes and both the Heaven and Hell backstory, as well as Frannie’s backstory regarding her disdain with God. I was more interested in some of her personal issues with religion and her family, than with her complicated feelings for both boys, but the reveal of it all is satisfying enough.
We all know that when a love triangle is present, readers pick sides and Personal Demons is no different. And even though Luc gets much more page-time than Gabe, I’m firmly on Team Gabe. There’s just something about the underdog that tends to reel me in. Gabe is almost perfect too – I think it’s the angel thing – so he was pretty hard for me to resist.
Personal Demons is a guilty-pleasure book with a fairly predictable plot, but stands as an addicting read nonetheless. Frannie got on my nerves some, as did Luc and a few other characters, but overall, I enjoyed how everything progressed and I’m looking forward to reading Original Sin soon.(less)