Hadley Sullivan was doomed to have a bad day when she awoke this morning. She hadThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Hadley Sullivan was doomed to have a bad day when she awoke this morning. She had one goal, board a plan to England to attend her father's wedding to a woman she's never met. She hasn't seen her father in over a year and she is dreading this occasion, secretly hoping she'll miss her flight and had a valid excuse to miss the ceremony. And, as luck would have it, she does miss her flight, by four minutes. This leads to a chain of events where she meets Oliver, a British boy heading back to England. The two spend the entire flight talking and suddenly they are split, both heading in separate directions. Hadley can't get him out of her mind, even when dealing with the heart-breaking reality that her dad's life is moving on with or without her. Can the universe bring them back together or was the flight a fluke and they both must now move on?
Hadley was a character I instantly sympathized with. What child of divorce doesn't understand that resentment that comes when a parent remarries? Even at the age of 17, Hadley is desperately fighting with those feelings and the pure rage at her father for leaving them, for leaving her mom. And just leaving isn't enough, he moves to another fucking country. Add to that that this is the day that refusing to go right, with being late to the airport, missing the flight, booking a new one which leaves no margin for error, and the massive fight she had with her mom before she left and I just wanted to give the poor girl a hug.
Then we meet Oliver, who is so charming and witty that you can't help but love him instantly. His unwavering dedication to the task of making Hadley forget about her flying fears was so sweet, I'm surprised I didn't melt into a swoony puddle. The fact that I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator read his character in a British accent only adds to that. He's smart and funny, with just enough sincerity that his bullshit doesn't come off as slick or annoying. He's constant jokes about what he's researching had me cracking up.
I think this book is so much more than I was expecting. I picked it up because it has an adorable couple and I was expecting something light and fluffy. I wasn't expecting to be on the brink of tears throughout Hadley's dad's wedding because I couldn't stop myself from feeling her pain. I wasn't expecting to be so addicted that I forced requested my friends wait a few minutes extra before going to a movie so that I could finish it. I wasn't expecting to fall head over heels in love with it.
I think part of my misconception was because of the title. The Probability Of Love At First Sight promises insta-love, no? But you won't find it here and after reading it, I'm convinced it's the perfect title. First, the L word is nevermentioned between these two. Some people imply it or state it outright, but there is no late declarations, just a deep-seated attraction and fondness. I'm not really a believer in love at first sight, lust at first sight maybe, attraction, definitely, but not love. And these two don't just have that "Oh, I see someone so pretty and I have to have them now" thing going on. They spend a transatlantic flight talking and connecting. Their connection felt real.
So, all you out there worried about insta-love, don't be scared. That isn't found here. Neither are cliffhangers (because it's a stand-alone) or love triangles. This is simply the story of how Hadley's life was altered by that magical four minutes that caused her to miss her flight. I can honestly say that I have added all of Jennifer E Smith's books to be TBR list and to my Amazon wishlist. If her other novels come even close to the awesomeness of this one, I won't be disappointed.
If you are a fan of contemporary YA such as Anna And The French Kiss or Pushing The Limits, this tiny, fast-paced novel is for you. You will get so caught up in it's magic, that you'll forget the rest of the world, and really isn't that what we all seek? To disappear into another world for a bit, a world where everything may not always be better, but we are left with hope?
****Thank you to Little, Brown Books For Young Readers for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****
Josephine Hemlock has always known that the old witch under the bridge wasn't a myThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Josephine Hemlock has always known that the old witch under the bridge wasn't a myth....because that witch is her grandmother. And, like her grandma, she's a witch. She's spent the majority of her life hiding from the Curse that took her mother's life (as well as many of her other relatives) and it's going rather well until a mysterious man shows up looking for her mother. So now she must figure out who is behind the curse and destroy them before the curse claims her or her beloved Grandma. Will she succeed or will she succumb to the curse?
Josephine is that perfect combination of spirit and fear. She is fiesty and determined to do the best she can, but she's also terrified of her grandmother dying and of catching the curse. She has a great group of friends and a new romance with the hot, sweet guy at school, but somehow still manages to feel lonely because she can't share her magic with anyone. She's so beautiful and awesome, but still self-conscious in the most adorable way around her new beau. Her determination to save her Grandmother was endearing as hell.
Winn, said beau, is absolutely awesome. I've read a multitude of bad boy types, and he's nice guy image was a great change. He's genuinely a good guy, who always does the right thing and really likes Josephine as she is. He's a nice looking, muscly guy, but the muscles don't just miraculously appear where they have no business being on a teenage boy. They are the result of days working on his parents farm. I loved that. I'm sick of reading about characters that are all toned and hot but for no apparent reason. It was nice to see that there was a legitimate need for him to be all muscly, not just because, you know, it's hot.
There are is a parade of additional characters, including Jo's two best friends Kate and Gwen) and the inevitable other point in the love triangle, Levi. Who I kinda liked better, because he has a bad boy vibe. I know, I know, I just went on a spiel about how great it was to read about a nice guy and I like the bad guy more. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm just fucked up. Anyway, I liked all the characters. I loved that the friends get let in on the secret and not pushed aside. What I really loved though, was the darkness of it. I've read a review or two claiming this wasn't dark enough. I wholeheartedly disagree. What I really loved about this was it's darkness. I've read a lot of YA's or witch stories in general, where the people are just born with the ability and they don't have to cast spells or make potions or anything, just wave their hand and poof! Problem solved. That's not the case here. Everything has a cost and sometime it's as simple as pulling out a flew strands of hair or going color blind for a day or two. Other times it's yanking out a fingernail or a tooth. The debt must always been paid. I loved (loved loved loved) that darker take on it. It felt more like witchcraft or voodoo, less like pansy-ass hand waving.
This is exactly the novel I was looking for when I started reading it. It's a little slow to start, but has everything you need for a great novel, with dark voodoo, a great mystery, and a light romance. This is the best witchy novel I've read since Once A Witch!
****Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
In this final installment of the Magic Most Foul series, we see Natalie and JonathThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
In this final installment of the Magic Most Foul series, we see Natalie and Jonathan battle their foes one last time. The couple is determined to end the society responsible for the dangers drug labeled "The Cure" which claims to cure the ailment of Melancholy and working on resurrection of long dead spirits. Not to mention the raising of murderous demons. But in order to shut them down, Jonathan must once again play the role of the demon that once wore his face, which makes everything indefinitely harder because he hates the role and Natalie can see he plays it a bit too well. Is there still a bit of the demon left in him? Will good defeat evil, or will evil prevail?
Natalie has lost a bit of her confidence in this novel. Though her and Lord Denbury are still completely in love, there is friction in the relationship that causes Natalie much stress. Is it possible she could lose the man she fought so hard to free? They work it out in the end, but they struggle for a while. Natalie has to really take others into account when making decisions here, more so than before. She is quickly realizing that her every decision affects everyone around her. She's still haunted by nightmares, but those nightmares feed her clues that will *hopefully* help her band of misfits bring down the society. What really made me continue to sympathize with was her constant concern over Maggie. Even though Maggie made some bad decisions, Natalie has a great need to make things right between them.
Then there is Lord Denbury, who is just as charming as ever, if a bit more controlling. He's trying to state his independence, which is admirable, but it constantly requires him to leave Natalie out, which doesn't please anyone involved, reader included. Jonathan doing what he thinks is right is swoon-worthy, but the overbearing need to protect Natalie that was absent before rears it's ugly head here. He gets over it by the end, but it's more than a little irritating.
Nathaniel Veil, my other favorite character, gets a bit more facetime here. Can I just say I love him? Here is a man that follows his own path and doesn't care what anyone has to say about it. He's so compassionate about helping those who are similarly afflicted with melancholy. I loved watching him try to protect his group of friends.
This novel is the perfect ending to the trilogy, except the one character death. The writing and story-telling is just as beautiful as it has been in previous novels. Trying to puzzle out what the society was up to and their master-plan had be on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to get my hands on the spin-off series that's up next!
Cameron Hamilton is that hot guy that can get any girl he wants, so when Avery MorThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Cameron Hamilton is that hot guy that can get any girl he wants, so when Avery Morgensten turns him down flat, he's intrigued. She's gorgeous and more than a little awkward and he's entirely fascinated with watching her emotions play across her face. It's obvious she's hiding something, but she won't let him close enough to figure it out. He refuses to give up, though, continually asking her on dates and pushing past her barriers. Will she finally relent and give him a chance or will she remain stubborn and continue to refuse?
Dayum. Did I mention in my review for Wait For You that Cam is awesome? Because, seriously, he is. If you loved him in book one, he'll steal your heart even more here. He's the same nice guy hiding under that cocky exterior, which shines even more here. He's so fucking confident about his awesomeness that it's impossible to argue the point with, though I don't know why you'd want to. He's just so terribly sweet to Avery and so fucking charming. The fact that he constantly refers to her as Shortcake in his head had in an endless giggle-fest.
Avery, via his perspective, is even more skittish than she seems in hers. There isn't much to say beyond that, besides it's really obvious she is hiding something. And it's even more frustrating watching her refuse to open up to him when you are reading his thoughts. All he wants to do is comfort and protect her and she won't allow him that opportunity.
I think I have said at one point that I'm not a huge fan of the type of books like this, where it's the exact same storyline as the previous one via a new perspective, but Jen may have changed my take on that. I would gladly have read any new scene or rehashed scene she wanted to give me though Cam's eyes. For a lot of authors, it becomes incredibly boring to read the same damn scenes in a voice that sounds too similar to the original one, but here, they both felt so distinct that it was impossible to confuse the two. I also really love getting more of Ollie and Jace, plus the preview for Be With Me because you can feel the attraction rolling off Jace and Teresa, whether Cam wants to admit it or not.
Bottom line? This is everything you'd expect out of a JLA sequel. It makes me want to say to hell with my carefully laid out reading list and binge on her novels. Cam is just....there aren't words, okay. He's almost better than Daemon, which should be recommendation in and of itself. If you liked Wait For You, you'll love this. If you haven't read Wait For You, then remedy that and then you'll love this. Don't read this first because it obviously gives away major spoilers....unless you don't care about spoilers, in which case the sequence is up to you. :)
Candice Salinas is a creative writing grad student who just wants to be taken seriThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Candice Salinas is a creative writing grad student who just wants to be taken seriously. Since her fellowship only covers her tuition, she started writing (and self-publishing) erotic romance novels as Candy Sloane to make ends meet. And, surprise, she is relatively successful, making enough off her novels to pay her rent. But her asshat faculty advisor would disapprove and no one would take second look at her serious writing if they knew she was moonlighting as an erotic romance writer, nevermind that she kinda loves doing it (pun intended). Then James walks into the picture, as if she needs more drama. The hot barista a local coffee shop, he’s finally taken interest in her like she’s fantasized about for quite some time. But, unfortunately, he is now a student in one of the classes she teaches to earn her fellowship. The relationship is strictly forbidden, but sometimes Candy sneaks into her brain and she can’t help sneaking around with him. With so much to lose, will Candice strike out or will things work out for the best?
Candice is that character with split personalities, one minute being the level-headed, if somewhat insecure, Candice and the other being the confident Candy who goes after what she wants. While I can understand jumping between the two roles, I also became a bit annoyed when she was being overly dickish to James, who was a complete sweetheart. She usually feels a great deal of remorse and apologizes, but I still wanted to strangle her when she was getting out of hand. What made me love her, despite the drama, was how this was more about her becoming more confident in both personalities. She starts out somewhat proud, but embarrassed about her romance novels, and completely lacking the confidence needed to stand up behind her books and proclaim that there was nothing wrong with writing them and that it didn’t make her a “lesser” author like some asshats like to imply. But she grows and learns and by the end is ready to stop hiding her secondary persona. I am woman, hear me roar, type of thing.
Then we have James, the sweetest guy imaginable. He genuinely likes Candice, regardless of which personality she is displaying and puts her with her hot and cold crap. One minute she is all over him and the next she is cold as ice, claiming this can’t happen because she is his teacher and it’s not worth losing her career over. Somehow, despite Candice’s attempts to push him away, he still remains by her side when she needs him, proving time and again that they need to give it a try regardless of the fact that it would be highly frowned upon. He’s got that great ability to deliver witty comebacks when necessary and walk away when Candice is being absurd. And, of course, he’s hot enough to catch anyone’s eye.
This does have a slight love triangle, but it isn’t one of those massively annoying ones where the girls is leading two guys on because she can’t decide. She likes both in the beginning and, once she gets to know both better, it’s pretty obvious she only really likes one of them. No cliffhangers to be found either, since it is a stand alone. And, not instalove. In fact, the characters haven’t even said those three magical words to each other by the end of the book. They like each other and are attracted and really want to try the whole relationship thing, but the L word is never mentioned. So we are joyously free of the three main hang-ups I have these days.
It’s definitely a different from any other NA novel I’ve read because neither character harbors a disturbing past. There are no abusive exes or parents or attempt rape or anything sinister like that lurking in shadows of this novel. Not that I’m downplaying those elements in a NA novel because I’ve deeply loved many of those stories, but it’s absent here. Plus the idea of a serious writer moonlighting as an erotica author is fascinating. I’ve always wondered if any of the erotica authors feel a little embarrassed of their profession. I’m not implying that there is anything to be embarrassed about, more that I can see where it would steam from. I imagine introducing yourself to strangers as a professional erotic romance writer can be daunting because there is a stigma attached to it. Well there is a stigma attached to romance in general, but erotic romance especially. It was interesting to explore Candice’s feelings about her in-the-closet profession, becoming more and more proud of who she really was and the message her novels sent. Sure, they were smutty, but they still made people feel things and told a story that her readers loved, so what more can you ask for? For writing to be worthwhile, must it be dull and dry? I certainly hope not, for my sake as well as Candice’s. I love that, by the end, she is proud of her Candy novels and is ready to stop hiding them from the world. I love books that support that type of message, you know? That one that say be yourself regardless of what the world things. Fuck your parents, fuck your colleagues, and, most importantly, fuck the naysayers. If it is what makes you a happy and you can legitimately make a living off it, then go for it. We need more novels with that message.
It’s also very funny. Readers searching for something that will make you giggle and snort constantly, this is it. Penis jokes and double entendres galore, all of which had me giggling or smiling or somehow showing my glee. There are double entendre alerts every few pages and all of them at least made me smile. Here is a novel that isn’t afraid to show its pervy side. Speaking of pervy, we get a great few steamy scenes that does Burstein credit. The undeniable chemistry between Candice and James heats up every scene between the two, even the ones where they aren’t getting along.
This novel shines because of its originality, it’s humor, and the “be yourself” theme behind the story. It’s creative and different and exactly what I was looking for. Lisa Burstein is definitely an author to watch because it’s apparent she is going to do great things!
****Thank you to Embrace, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.****
Rachel Young has lead a lonely life. Though she is surrounded by family, no one reaThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Rachel Young has lead a lonely life. Though she is surrounded by family, no one really gets her and she has no friends outside to close circle of brothers. No one really wants to deal with the weird girl with panic attacks, though as far as anyone knows she hasn’t had one in several years. The only thing that sooths her is being behind the wheel of her mustang, letting the speed set her free. So when the opportunity to race comes along, she’s all for it. Unfortunately that sets up a chain of events ultimately leading to her needing to come up with $5000 or else be put in the hospital for fucking with the wrong guy. Isaiah Walker is the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, with nothing to his name but the car he drives and the clothes on his back. He shouldn’t be getting involved in this rich girl’s drama, but she helped him when everyone else ran and that kind of favor deserves his upmost attention. Now, he finds himself feeling much more than gratitude towards her and wonders how this could possibly end well.
I was over the moon when I was granted access to this E-ARC. I’ve been dying for Isaiah’s book since I finished Pushing The Limits. Actually right when I finished, I was dying for the book where we see Beth & Isaiah finally be together…yeah, that didn’t happen. It was clear from the moment he appeared in PTL that there was more to him than meets the eye and he doesn’t disappoint. At first, I had a bit of a hard time really loving him he because he’s outer appearance (and the fact that he drives a fourth generation Mustang) reminds me way too much of my best friend’s husband (whom I despise beyond reasonable logic). But the further into the story you get, the more you see that shell fall away, leaving a vulnerable guy who really just wants to be loved. Poor Isaiah has been abandoned by everyone (except Noah) and he doesn’t understand what he’s doing or what’s so wrong with him that no one will love him. He’s literally waiting for the day when Rachel realizes she deserves better, just like Beth did. And Beth is the thing that stings the most. He did everything for her, helped her when she was down, fought for her when she went away, and she still didn’t want him. Watching him become more and more protective of Rachel, even though he does it in a sometimes pig-headed manner, was all the reason I needed to start swooning. Don’t get me wrong, I think I still love Noah more, but Isaiah is a close second.
Rachel was even more of a surprise. The level of emotional abuse this girl is put through without a second thought from her family is astounding. She is boxed into this role of being like her dead older sister even though it’s apparent to anyone who pays even a little attention that the two are nothing alike. But she plays the role, even though it literally makes her sick, because her mother’s happiness is paramount. Her hidden panic attacks are a small price to pay to see her mother smile, instead of seeing her mother spiral back into depression. She’s lonelier than she’d care to admit, with no one outside her brothers daring to even breathe close to her. So when Isaiah saves her from the cops, she’s grateful enough to not leave him behind when he’s car fails him. There is something mesmerizing in his grey eyes and she can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to finally get her first him, from him. She’s this amazingly shy form of brave, doing things she desperately wishes to avoid just to please a mother who doesn’t even care enough to realize that it’s killing her.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Katie McGarry knows how to write tortured characters. The plotline of this, finally learning more about Isaiah’s past and seeing how blind Rachel’s family is to what’s happening with her, was just as heart-breaking as the previous novels. Isaiah’s past isn’t as bad as Beth’s, but he’s definitely been through some bad shit and you can’t help but sympathize with his dilemma of hating the system but being so dependent on it that the thought of finding means to support himself after is ages out is terrifying. Despite not wanting to be a criminal, sometimes the illegal options look infinitely more appealing than flipping burgers.
I’ve seen several reviews complaining that they couldn’t get into this because both characters are so obsessed with cars and that took them out of the story. I whole-heartedly disagree. Seeing them connect about their passion made it all the better for me. I’m not a fanatic like them, but I can appreciate a pretty car as much as the next girl. My issue was more that they both obviously loved the fourth generation Mustang, which is my least favorite incarnation of the classic car. Okay, I’ll go ahead and say that a rant awaits below, so if you want to skip the next few paragraphs, feel free. You won’t miss anything particularly important pertaining to the writing or the plot, just my personal opinion about the cars and a few inconsistencies with them. It’s nothing that will bother the average person, but it really irritated me. The first one being that Rachel prefers the 2004 Mustang Cobra over the 2005 Mustang GT. For those of you who don’t know, I’ll provide pictures (this is eerily similar to my review for Dare You To): 2004 Mustang Cobra:
2005 Mustang GT:
As you can see, the 2005 is a throwback to the original design and, in my opinion, so much prettier. But hey, I guess I can respect an opinion that differs from mine. Whatever floats you boat. But then, if you look at the cover of this novel, I really start getting annoyed. The car color is the first thing that pops out at you. It’s red. But Rachel’s is white and Isaiah’s is black so….where’s the red come from? Then, for those of us who look a bit more closely, you’ll notice that they seat they are in does not resemble the seat of a newer model Mustang. In fact, it looks a lot like the 60’s model Mustang’s…which is what lead me to believe there would be one within these pages. There isn’t. The oldest one that appears is 1989. Then, there is the same issue that bugged me in Dare You To. It’s made clear that Rachel’s car has a manual transmissions. There are multiple mentions of them shifting gears and only a moron would race an automatic. SO THAN WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MENTION RAHCEL PUTTING HER CAR IN “PARK”? Come on, really? Again? I know the average person wouldn’t even notice this, but it obvious bugs the shit out of me. It completely pulls me out of the story. Out of all the people who proof-read this, did no one notice this? Did not one of you drive a straight drive? Seriously people, it’s not complicated. When you “park” a straight drive, you just kill the engine. If you are on a upward incline you can leave it in first gear or pull up the emergency break to keep it from moving or if you are on a downwards incline, you leave it in reverse (or pull up the emergency break) to keep it still, but there is not “park.”
Beyond that little blimp, this novel is near perfect. It gets 4 stars simply because it doesn’t quite live up to Pushing The Limits amazing-ness. It’s great, but PTL is better. I’m still super excited to read the next book. I am excited to see West’s story, though I’d be more interested to read about Abby. It’s obvious she has a bad past and an…interesting life and I would adore seeing more of her.
****Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****...more
This is it, the final showdown is a week away and Sophie must prepare to forever win the battle and be humanity's savior or die trying...and take everyone on the planet with her when she fails. No pressure, right? Add the stress of that on top of trying to heal from psycho Bethany's stab wound, trying to get Kai to talk through his feelings, and working through the revelation that Felicity is actually Demeter (AKA Persephone's mom) in disguise and this poor girl is literally developing stress rashes. Can she get it together and save the world or is humanity doomed?
I intentionally read this slowly trying to make it last longer. As excited as I was to get my hands on it, I was equally sad because I don't really want Sophie's journey to come to an end. Well...I do because a longer journey means more conflict and poor Soph has been through enough, but I know I will miss her wit and her charm and her massive amounts of snark. Yes, I can (and probably will) re-read the novels, but it's not the same, you know? I'm going to try to keep my weepy, maudlin-ness to a minimum, because it won't do the book justice, but I suspect it might creep in here and there.
If we thought Sophie had been put through the ringer before, we were sorely mistaken. Here, Sophie more or less gets shoved into Persephone's last week of life and the fall out from having to see Kai loving her or Demeter actually showing affection should be enough to send her over the deep end. Add that to the stress that she still must figure out a way to save humanity and I'm surprised she never seriously contemplated suicide. Not our Soph, though, because she's too determined and resilient to give up. She'll save the world or die trying, and force her friends to help, even if they can't remember who she is.
The Kai we get is a mash-up between book 1 dickhead Kai and book 2 charming and swoony Kai. He's obviously still not recovered from the knowledge that Persephone planned to betray him and takes a good bit of that frustration out on our undeserving Sophie. He gets better, though, and he's good-guy side takes over once again. You know all those banners up right now that say "I sigh for Kai" for Wendy Higgins Sweet Evil Trilogy? Well I want one, but for this trilogy because this Kai is beyond sigh-worthy. That speech he makes to Sophie at the end?
The rest of the gang is all present, though we don't get as much of Hannah and her nerdiness as I would have liked. Theo and Festos are the most adorable couple ever and Hannah's new found obsession with Pierce is lovable, even if it does make her into one of those girls who is more interested in her boyfriend than anything else. Poor Hannah actually is as human as the rest of us, with hormones and imperfections.
There was a point while reading this when I panicked. Though I won't say who, someone dies. An important character dies. I HATE character death and I instantly went into a tailspin. I'm going to have to write a negative review. How can I write an negative review about one of Tellulah's books?!?!? I love her and all her work. I think I even started hyperventilating at the prospect of putting negative thoughts out about an otherwise amazing series. But I hate character death and I can't not mention it, right? I can't write a review without being completely honest and I can't love something where a favorite character bites the dust. Luckily for me (and all of you) this character doesn't stay permanently dead. We get a perfectly acceptable loophole for him to be...not dead.
Though I am sad to see it end, the ending itself is perfect. I loved the way Sophie saves the world and the uplifting message that leaves you with. I can't say much more than that without spoilers, but more novels should end with that particular moral in mind. This is everything I wanted when I started it. You get deep emotional drama and trauma along with Sophie's signature level of snark. You get Kai's swooniness (though it takes a bit of time to manifest). You get to see all your favorite characters get the happy ending they deserve. The only thing it's missing is comeuppance for Bethany, but it's okay because the way the last scene with her is written is better. I can't express how thrilled I am to have had the opportunity to read this amazing series and how utterly sad I am to see it end. I feel the textbook definition of a book hangover. What am I supposed to do now?
When all is said and done, I truly recommend not only this book and this series, but anything Tellulah Darling plans to write. She will surprise you with her ability to make you laugh and cry. Her ability to write in a realistic teenage voice never fails to surprise. She writes in a way that truly reminds me of Jennifer L Armentrout and that is a compliment of the highest order. Seriously, pick up My Ex From Hell if you haven't already because it's exactly what you didn't know you were looking for and you'll thank me later.
****Thank you to Tellulah Darling/Te De Media for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****
In this fantasy retelling of Beauty & The Beast, Nyx was born with a single puThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
In this fantasy retelling of Beauty & The Beast, Nyx was born with a single purpose, marry the lord who oppresses her people and destroy him. Since birth, she has been in training to fulfill this destiny and on her seventeenth birthday, she goes through with the plan and becomes the lord's wife. Still resentful of her family for allowing her to be sacrificed, while babying her twin, she is eager to complete this task to prove that she isn't as useless as her father seems to imagine and he'll regret never loving her properly. However, Ignifex, the dark lord, is not what she has always envisioned, being charming and even kind to her. Will she finish her destiny or will she fall for this one man who seems to accept her for all the truly is, cruelty and darkness included?
Nyx is so very different from any other YA heroine I've read about recently. She is utterly devoted to her cause but harbors such contempt and hatred for her family that it is difficult to keep it all in. She knows that none of what she is being put through is her sisters fault but at the same time cannot help but feel rage at her for never trying to take her place or save her. Does no one love her enough to want to keep her from sacrificing herself for the greater good? Apparently not because no one even hints that there is something wrong with the situation. She holds all the anger and venom inside, but it still occasionally slips out. So once she's with Ignifex, she feels fine expressing her rage at him because he is, after all, the evil lord, right? He makes deals that bring horrendous consequences and he Sundered the land so there is no longer a sky, just a domed ceiling. But the meaner she is, the more she realizes that maybe there is more than meets the eye. I applauded her for her darker side most of the time, but there were occasions when she was overly cruel to Ignifex and I just wanted to smack her. I get that it's your destiny to destroy him, but you don't have to be a bitch after he saves your life!
Ignifex was something else altogether. His logic about the deals he makes was so undeniable. After all, people came to him requesting either horrible or impossible things and he gave them what they wanted, at a price. He was really just a facilitator, a middle man, and it certainly wasn't his fault that people didn't always grasp the full cost of what they wanted until it was too late. He's outwardly handsome and charming, always ready with a witty comeback to whatever Nyx throws at him. He's really just trying to make the best of his situation.
The other important character here is Shade, a captive of Ignifex...or is he. I can't really talk about him without getting spoiler-y (view spoiler)[I knew from the beginning that he was a part of Ignifex, that they were the same person split in two. (hide spoiler)] I wasn't really a Shade fan, he always seemed to have his own agenda and it wasn't always in Nyx's best interest. (view spoiler)[That part where he almost kills her and we learn that he killed so many of the other wives had me flipping out. How Nyx forgave him is beyond me. I wanted to stay as far from him as possible (hide spoiler)]
This has a love triangle, but it's really a love triangle because...well I can't really explain, but just trust me, k? It's a completely fresh take on Beauty & The Beast. It's a bit confusing on the fantasy elements, but that may just be because I'm not very big on fantasy because their worlds always seem to confusing. I think what really drew me to this was the relationship between Ignifex and Nyx. These two are so similar even though their backgrounds are so different and they truly see each other for who they are. Ignifex seeing past Nyx facade of nice, dutiful daughter, and Nyx seeing beyond The Gentle Lord who oppresses the people to the man behind the mask, so to speak. It one of those epic loves that, in the end, breaks all the rules.
This retelling of my favorite fairy tale had me digging Luna (my kindle) out at every spare moment, even going so far as to read while I waited in line at the bank, just to get a bit more. Hodge has creating a beautiful world that is breathtaking and heartbreaking. It's a fantasy novel that those who aren't really fantasy fans can wholly enjoy. I recommend it to anyone with a love of Beauty & The Beast or anyone looking for a story a bit off the beaten path!
****Thank you to Balzar + Bray, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
Wren is average. She is ranked somewhere in the middle of her high school and theThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Wren is average. She is ranked somewhere in the middle of her high school and the only comment her teachers ever have about her is that she is a bit too quiet. She is sick of it and desperate to change. Speak up more, live in the moment, and not let people push her around. She definitely gets people’s attention when she performs the Heimlich on a guest at a wedding at her parents catering hall and saves his life. Grayson was that guest and he can’t get Wren out of his mind ever since. He used to be the big man on campus at St Gabriel’s, but after being expelled for selling term papers, he’s a bit lost. Not sure who he is anymore or who he wants to be, he only knows that Wren saved his life and he has to find out more about her.
Wren was a character I could instantly sympathize with. I can completely understand that feeling of being labeled “average” when it’s anything but accurate and letting people walk all over you because your too quiet to speak up. I enjoyed watching her try to step out of her comfort zone, especially when Grayson was around. There were moments when I wanted to slap her because, as much as I like Gray, I couldn’t believe she was buying his bullshit. That whole mall thing would have sent me over the deep end and no amount of kisses and sweet-talk could have convinced me to forgive him at that exact moment. I get that she a bit under-experienced when it comes to boys, but come on lady, open your eyes and demand answers in a now-or-never fashion and he either fesses up or moves on. Speaking of her experience with guys, can I just say that I love the fact that she isn’t a virgin and is still portrayed as a “good” girl?!? Too many times in YA, a girl can’t be the goodie goodie if she dares to have sex and it’s sickening. But that’s not to be found here, with Wren being an honors student, a great worker at her parents catering hall, and a loyal friend.
Grayson was a bit of a jackass in the beginning. In fact, I think Wren’s first description of him was something similar because he was doing obnoxious tricks at the wedding she was “waitressing.” He improves though. I am delighted to say that this is told in duel perspectives, so we get to see Gray’s side of things as well. The more time I get behind his eyes, the more I just wanted to hug him. He seems so lost. He has basically lost his identity because everything changed when he got booted from St Gabes, his friends even ignored him all summer. But they are back now, demanding his help with “Operation Amsterdam,” a scheme that would bring shame to anyone with a lick of sense. I thought it was a weed selling business, because Amsterdam always implies marijuana, but oh how wrong I was. I think the truth is much worse than that. That’s really sayings something for me because I’m extremely anti-drug. He’s out of the game and doesn’t want to get back in, especially because of what Wren would think if she found out, but his friends are pressuring (and threatening) him to come back for just one last score. I think he is trying to grow up and move on, but they just won’t let him.
What is really adorable here is the interactions between the entire cast. Grayson is so sweet to Wren and I love them together, her presence pushing him to be better and his pushing her to step out of her comfort zone. Even though it felt a bit insta-lovey, I still enjoyed the two pairing up. But it isn’t just them I enjoyed, I liked the banter between Wren’s entire group of friends and family, as well as seeing Gray’s half-siblings. Wren and Jazz do that whole movie quotes/references thing that puts me in nerd-girl heaven.
One bit of advice though? When you are doing a reference or a quote, don’t go back and say what you’re quoting. In a real conversation, if I quote The Princess Bride, I know enough to know that my friends will understand the reference and I know there is no need to explain it. I felt like the book was almost dumbed-down a bit to make sure everyone understood the film references and that brought down the magic level a bit. It may sound a little silly, but it took me out of the moment and if it bugged me, I’m sure it’ll bug someone else too. Another minor issue was the insta-love I referred to early. I know they are teenagers and become connected because she saves his life, but saying the L word within two – three weeks is a bit too soon. I think it would have been entirely feasible to just leave that out and the novel would have progressed fine. The attraction was enough to bring the two together and keep them together, no need to throw love in the mix. Maybe just a hint of it, but no declarations until the end, please! The final issue is just my personal thought, but it felt like Gray used too much teen-speak. Maybe I’m too adult now to know how “kids” really talk these days, but there were a few moments when Gray’s inner monologue (or dialogue) felt wrongly worded.
Despite the minor problems, this book really gets massive amounts of love from me. Wren and Gray’s journey to one another is adorable, while still managing to have enough drama to provide adequate conflict. It’s filled with sweet romantic moments, humorous dialogue, and an addictive quality that made it impossible to stop reading. I devoured this book in just a few days and considering this is exam week and all my spare time has been ear-marked for studying and taking my exams, that’s really saying something. Anyone who enjoys contemporary YA’s will love this. It reminded me quite a bit of Anna & The French Kiss and that alone should recommend it!
****Thank you to Balzar + Bray, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
Davy Hamilton is a musical prodigy. At the age of three she sat down at a piano anThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Davy Hamilton is a musical prodigy. At the age of three she sat down at a piano and started playing perfectly, with no prior practice or training. Her life has always been set, she'll graduate from high school and attend Julliard, where she has already been accepted and do something musical with her life. Or so she thought. When her test results comeback saying she is a carrier for the HTS gene (the one that causes homicidal tendencies), everything changes. Suddenly everyone in her life is shunning her and she is forced to change schools and be around other maniacs with the kill gene. There had to be so kind of error, but she knows that that can never be fixed now and she must try to make the best out of this terrible situation.
Davy is that perfect girl with all the right friends and the hot popular boyfriend that most people fantasized about in high school. It was more than a little fun to watch the rich popular girl get knocked off her pedestal, though the more you come to care about her, the less fun it becomes. She's such a strong character, but she losses all her confidence when the gets labeled a carrier and she almost losses herself in the struggle to keep her shit together. I imagine everyone would go through a similar transformation if life as they knew it was ripped from their grasp.
Sean O'Rourke is that bad guy you momma always warned you about, or is he? He's the classic bad guy with a heart of gold, who has had the carrier label since a young age. He even has the carrier brand around his neck because society deemed one of his actions so dangerous that the world need to always be aware that he was a carrier. As much as I wanted to be irritated at him for being a bit cliche with the bad boy imagine, he's ability to always save Davy's ass melted my heart. Against his better judgement, he always comes to her rescue, while spouting those annoying "it's better if you stay away" sentiments. He gets over that eventually, but I wanted to punch him every time he even implied it.
This novel has all the things I look for when I'm reading, like good characters, interesting story, great writing, all that jazz, but what really gets me here is the philosophical question it presents about the characters. Are these people really violent deviants who are genetically coded to murder and pillage or do the majority act out based on the fact that society pushes them into that role? Yes, it's obvious that there are a number of carriers who truly deserve the label and are violent beyond reasonable understanding, but aren't we more than our genetic code? Don't we have the choice, in most cases, to act as violently as our hormones command us to or to stop and think about our actions? If society is going to treat us like shit regardless of if we fight our urges or not, why bother? These poor people are shunned and abused by society as a whole and even each other. You'd think they'd band together to create a support group, but there are too many who'd rather just accept the role society has placed them in and act out than fight the injustice. And things that are normally acceptable, like slapping your ex-boyfriend for being a jackass, are now a sign that you really are a carrier for the kill gene.
This is my first Sophie Jordan novel. I know, this chick manages to write books in all three of my favorite genres (young adult, new adult, and historical romance), so I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to reading her novels, but if they are all this good, sign me up! This novel had very few issues for me, no love triangle, no instalove, and no cliffhanger. The ending doesn't wrap everything up in a nice little bow, but things end on a hopeful note which is all I ask for. My only minor issues are the cover and the length. Despite the fact that this is almost 400 pages, it felt short. When I flipped to the last page on Luna, I couldn't believe it was over. There was still so much more territory that needed to be covered! It's not that it felt underdeveloped, but I was just craving more. The cover also doesn't really match the story at all. I don't see at all how the levitating girl gives any indication of what this story is about. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just doesn't fit to me.
This is one of the more unique YA novels I've read it a while. Jordan manages to wholly captivate her with her story and leave them desperate for me. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next novel in this series, as well as anything else attached to this talented woman's name. If her new adult novels or her historical romance novels are half as good, I'm in for a real treat!
****Thank you to HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
Gwen Frost’s life is never going to get better. After the recent events, with the rThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Gwen Frost’s life is never going to get better. After the recent events, with the reapers trying to put Loki’s soul in Logan’s body, and having Logan stab her through the chest before running away in shame wasn’t exactly the highlight of her life, but the reapers are still out to get her and as much as she’d like to just hide in her room and grieve over Logan’s leaving, life must go on. Nickademes has been poisoned and it’s up to Gwen and her posse (yes, I did just type “posse”) to get to a remote location in the mountains outside of Denver where one of the rarest ingredients grows for the antidote….even knowing that they are walking right into a trap.
Though I really enjoyed this, it is just more of the same. Gwen almost dies, Gwen fights reapers, Gwen talks to Nike, Gwen saves the day….It’s not a bad formula, but it’s gotten a bit monotonous. That was amplified in this one by the lack of Logan. The flirty wordplay between these two is a big part of why I read this series and Logan’s only in this one at the very end. Much of this felt incredibly predictable (view spoiler)[Covington being the bad guy, learning that Grandma Frost had more secrets, and the fact that the Gryphon’s come to her aide because she helped one of their offspring early on in their journey. (hide spoiler)].
We do get something new in this, we get a new character, Rory. She seems almost like a carbon copy of Gwen herself, with similar personality traits and the same shunned vibe going on at school. I hope we get to see a bit more of her in the next book. Beyond her, it’s the same group of lovable quirky people that we’ve seen in the past few books, though we don’t get to see much of Nyx, who is quickly becoming my favorite character.
Honestly, I love this series, but I hope the next book wraps up this story because I’d much rather end when things are still at a high point that with the series drawn out and tarnished. Here’s hoping Gwen can knock Loki down off his thrown in the next novel and let this series go out with a bang.
****Thank you to Kensington Publishing for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes tThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes to take notes, and is a bit obsessive….with a tinsy history of stalking. She meets Beck and he just might be perfect for her, but she can’t stop obsessing over Austin and his perfect life and she just needs to check in on him to make sure he’s alright one last time and then she’ll move on!
I’m a bit speechless. I was expecting an interesting love story about a girl with minor OCD tendencies, like a need for everything to be in its proper place and maybe a obsession with keeping everything including herself extremely clean, you know kind of a “Out damn spot!” kind of thing. I was so far off. Bea’s compulsions have nothing to do with cleanliness and everything to do with obsessing over everyones safety. It was both fascinating and terrifying to watch her stalking manifest. It started as something so small and then grew so massive.
Watching her struggle to fight her compulsions and losing more often than not was heartbreaking especially because she is fully aware of how insane she acts and she is helpless to stop it. Once she and Beck start dating, watching them both use the other to help fight the compulsions and also to comfort one another when that fails was endearing. I love that Bea fully accepts Beck as he is, with his fitness obsessions and the number 8 fixation. She realizes that she is just as damaged and knows that on the list of compulsions, those aren’t nearly as bad as they could be. Not to mention the fact that he a very compelling reason for developing those obsessions.
The really disturbing thing about this was how fixated on Austin and Sylvia she becomes. Even after she starts a relationship with Beck, she can’t stop watching them and taking notes on the parts of their sessions she overhears. Her fear that something bad will happen to them if she doesn’t make sure they are okay is so vivid that she physically cannot stop herself from going to them.
This novel gets 5 stars for shock value alone. This is the only YA novel I have ever read that portrays OCD and stalking…well with the main character is a stalker because I’ve read several where the main character gets stalked. My point is more of this is the first one I’ve read where the stalker is portrayed in a semi-sympathetic light and the first one that seriously discusses OCD as more than just a vague reference to someone with an obsession with order. I do not have OCD, but I did take several different college psychology courses and I feel like Haydu did an excellent job portraying this condition. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something outside of your typical YA contemporary and for anyone interested in mental disorders.
****Thank you to Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****...more
Hannah Smith has been locked in the attic for almost her entire life. She is the coThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Hannah Smith has been locked in the attic for almost her entire life. She is the companion to the daughter of Lord Wade and as such, is confined to live the life that Lady Violet does. You see these two both have unusual afflictions. Hannah is narcoleptic and Lady Violet is a Firestarter, which is why she is locked in the attic. Though she dreams of freedom from this gilded prison, she is well aware of how lucky she is. As the orphan of servants, her life on the streets could have been much worse and she is currently offered every privilege that Violet receives, from the clothing to the education. But when she dreamed of her freedom, she never imagined it would arrive via a kidnapping. Suddenly she is thrust into like at Frakingham House with a science mad cripple, a mute, a seemingly normal girl, and a Firestarter. There is only one problem (well beyond the fact that she has been kidnapped), they think she is Violet. They claim they mean her no harm but what will they do when they realize they grabbed the wrong girl?
This sentence is going to seem like a repeat but I can’t help that its how I’ve felt about almost everything I’ve read lately. This novel was interesting and intriguing, if a little predictable. I don’t know if it was truly predictable or if I’ve just developed some type of clairvoyant powers lately, but I have been able to accurately predict how not only my last few books have ended, but also the last few films would go and the last few tv episodes. Is it me or has everything become a mite too predictable lately? I’m dying for something to knock me completely off my feet. Anyway, beyond the predictability, this short novel was wholly enjoyable. Hannah’s loyalty to Violet had me loving her instantly, but her naivety about what was really going on had me wanting to shake her. Seriously? You really didn’t see any of this coming? Not even the part about you?
I really thought you were smarter than that.
Jack was an unexpected surprise. I loved the duality of his character and how he seemed torn between his old life and his new one much of the time. He’s is definitely my favorite character here, even if he does get a little annoying in how he treats Hannah in the beginning. Then there is Sylvia, who I think is the biggest mystery of all because she is not portrayed as one. It’s obvious from the beginning that Jack is hiding something, but Sylvia seems utterly normal and yet not at the same time. It’s seems like she doesn’t belong at Freak House, beyond being August’s (the owners) niece, and yet here she is. I think there is more to her than we see in this novel and I can’t wait to learn more.
I think my only real problem with this is that by the end you have more questions than answers. Who were Jack’s parents? Who were Hannah’s parents? Why did the Earl keep Hannah locked in the attic? Is Violet really the Earl’s daughter? How much does she know? Why are Hannah and Jack different? Who the fuck is this psychotic Tate guy and why is he so obsessed with Hannah but not Jack? How did August know Hannah as a child? The questions go on and on and I need the next book as soon as possible to answer them!
****Thank you to C J Archer for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****...more
Quinn is being tortured by shadow demons. Normally they only invade her dreams, whiThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Quinn is being tortured by shadow demons. Normally they only invade her dreams, which is why she hasn’t slept in 23 days, but lately they are popping up when she is wide awake. She is failing in every aspect of her life, academically, romantically, and in health. When she pushes herself too far and collapses in the school hallway, Aaron swoops in just in time to save her. Aaron has always liked Quinn, but been too chicken to do anything about it. When he saves her from busting her head after the collapse, he accidentally enters her nightmare world and is left wondering what all this girl is hiding, and how he can possibly help.
I really wanted to like this novel. The premise was great, the cover was gorgeous, and, at least at the time I requested it, it was a stand-alone. Now, I see that there is a sequel planned. That’s a good fucking thing because this is another one of those novels where it just stops. It’s like the author is just like “Oh, my novel has 321 pages. That’s a good length for YA, so I’ll just stop here. What about the plot you ask? Well, that’s not important.”
Beyond the horrid non-ending, (view spoiler)[where we don’t even know if the main love interest is alive or dead (hide spoiler)] this novel still had umpteen problems. One of the biggest is the Mary Sue we get for a leading lady. Quinn is such a whiny pushover that I wasn’t actually overly upset when things fuckup. (view spoiler)[Your cheating ex, who you just got back together with and slept with after dumping the sweet guy who is pining after you, impregnated the slut he cheated on you with? ::pat:: poor you! Actually, bitch, you deserve it. What the hell did you expect? (hide spoiler)] She spends the entire first half of the book pining over Jeff, her ex-boyfriend. Jeff, a dick-headed jock who dumped her via text after cheating on her with her archnemesis. I get the whole “the heart wants what the heart wants” argument, but seriously lady, get some self-esteem. When we finally see her realize that there is better out there, it doesn’t last. Also, for the entire novel she is being tormented by demon creatures that no one else can see and she doesn’t mention it to any-fucking-one. Not the hot guy chasing her, not her best friend, not her oh so precious Jeff, no one. Look, either you’ve went off the deep end and are seeing things or these fuckers are really and out to get you. Regardless of which it turns out to be, you’re gonna needs some goddamn help.
Then there is Aaron. I’ll admit that his whole knight in shining armor role had me cheering for him, but really, I think he deserves better. Plus, he was a bit irritating, with the do I/don’t I actions towards Quinn. Every other page, he is changing his mind, just like her. I felt like the whole thing between was forced and fake. Unexplainable connection? Check. Need to “save” her? Check. It felt like I was seeing someone take what they thought were the best parts of paranormal YA (and what I think are the worst ones) and mash it together to see what happens. Not to mention the incredibly one dimensional side characters. Marcus? Can you say Emmett Cullen rip-off because that is exactly how he came off to me.
One thing is definite; this was not the book for me. I didn’t care for the characters, I didn’t fall for the writing style, and I found absolutely no humor in it. In a world where I feel obligated to finish any series I start, I can honestly say that I have very little intention of picking up the next book in this series. There are too many books out there than I am dying to read to force myself to suffer through another one of these, unless it’s a tremendous improvement.
****Thank you to Month9Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Sky Davis’ life is pretty average, apart from her mother’s strict ban on anything tThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sky Davis’ life is pretty average, apart from her mother’s strict ban on anything technological. Then Dean Holder comes into her life and she is fascinated by him. Sky has never been attracted to a guy. Sure, some of them are pleasant to look at and the kissing isn’t so bad, but no guy has ever made her desperately want to kiss him like Dean does. But the more time she spends with him, the more very old memories start to surface, things that were better left buried and after it’s all out in the open, will she find a way to keep going?
Okay, so before I get to gushing, I want you to go and look at this review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/.... Seriously, go, I’ll wait. You see that comic strip she did? That’s the most accurate depiction of my feelings. Holy fuck this book will screw with you head in the best way possible. It’s just….I can’t even….
Sky is a character I instantly loved. I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like her, but I could relate to her on so many levels. The further into the story we get, the more I love her. I love that she doesn’t let people walk all over her and how whenever Holder yells at her, she doesn’t try to defend her actions, just tells him simply that she’s in control of her own life and it’s none of his damn business. Then when the kids at school make fun of her and try to be mean to her, she just smiles and doesn’t let it get to her. She’s strong and brave and tough and I adore her.
Then there is Holder….
Holy fuck. I think him and Lucas from Easy need to have a fist fight and whoever wins will be my top swoonworthy fictional male character because I honestly don’t think I can pick. Dark hair that hides his devastatingly blue eyes and a lean muscled body, yes please! He’s personality is a bit all over the place in the beginning, but trust me when I say there is a great reason for that. It’s kind of like Fight Club in a way, you just want to read it again to see how much sense his reactions make after you learn the truth. I love him, just fucking hell, yes, okay? He’s fuckloads of awesome.
Then there are all the side characters. Six, Brecken, Karen, and Jack are have things I love about them, but I especially adore Six and Brecken, for each accepting Sky for what she is and just being awesome themselves. The relationship between Six and Sky is that epic friendship we all salivate over. You know that girl who somehow gets you completely and is always there for you, even when neither of you know how to help your problems. One of my very few complaints about this novel is that when the shit starts hitting the fan, Sky isn’t sure she wants to tell Six. I understand that your past is beyond fucking twisted, but I guarantee you that Six would find a way to help…or at least buy you tons of snickers and ice cream as comfort food.
The writing is just as good (if not better) than Colleen Hoover’s previous novels and the plotline had that awesome thing where it is both predictable and unexpected. I saw a lot of things coming (view spoiler)[especially the stuff about her dad and her relationship with Holder (hide spoiler)], but there was one major plot point that just blew me out of the water.
My only other issue was the sex one. Not that this novel has sex in or anything like that, I mean, I read romance for fuck’s sake, but the way it was handled between Sky and Holder. I’m trying hard to explain this in a nonspoilery way but basically I just think that it would have taken Sky longer to get over her issues. In my mind, just because Holder explains that he loves her and everything he is doing to her is because of that and no other reason, it would overcome what I believe her conditioned responses would be. I could be wrong because I’m not in her shoes, but it just feels like that hurdle was jumped too easily. That was my only major issue and since I could very well be wrong, I refuse to allow it to make me love this story any less.
This novel is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will laugh, you will cry, you will shout, and you will love every single second of it and be completely dying for the next installment (which will be from Holder’s POV, only adding to the excitement). Thus far, it’s definitely my favorite new adult novel of the year!
****Thank you to Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Lexi’s life has taken a turn for the worst. First she fools around with her best frThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Lexi’s life has taken a turn for the worst. First she fools around with her best friend, who happens to be dating her other best friend, then her dad dies and leaves her with absolutely nothing. She is told by her dad’s lawyers that they were instructed to send his remaining funds to his ex-wife in the event of his death. The problem is, Lexi hasn’t seen her mother in years. She ran off and joined the circus and that was the last Lexi heard about it. But now, with nowhere else to go, she gets a ticket to Florida, when the circus currently is, and hopes for the best. Life must be laughing at her because there is no sign of her mother when she arrives. At this point, she has nothing, no food, no money, and nowhere to stay. Louie, the circus owner, takes pity on her and gives her a job if she promises to stay with them until the end of the season. Things improve immensely from there until Eli, the aforementioned BFF shows up and throws Lexi’s new life out of whack.
I started this book in hopes to get my next circus fix. Ever since I read Water For Elephants and The Night Circus, I have been searching for something that gives me the magical feeling that only seems to come from circus novels. I wasn’t disappointed. Though this doesn’t quite live up to the gorgeousness that is The Night Circus, it comes close and, really, what more can I ask for? Lexi is smart and self-deprecating and everything I think we are always looking for in a female heroine. When her dad dies, yes she freaks out, but given no other choice, she trudges on like a soldier, never stopping to do the “heroine in distress, needs big strong man to save her” dance. She searches for her mom and when she fails to find her, she takes the job she is offered and doesn’t complain, even when her first task is to shovel shit out of the animal cars. She quickly acclimates to the circus life and, though it is obvious she is depressed and desperately misses her dad, we never see that pity party manifest is a full parade. She tries to keep herself in check and remember that she is lucky to have found a job and a group of people who accept her in these hard times. She has even made friends, Lina and Liska who make things quite a bit easier.
Then there are the love interests. I’ve seen a lot of people saying there are three, but I really only think there are two because I don’t count Jamie. Though he is a bit of a player and he does kiss Lexi once, it’s pretty obvious, to me at least, that his heart lies elsewhere. The two I count are Nick and Eli. Eli, once her best friend in the world, starts to change once he begins dating their mutual friend, Bailey. Then, after the night of fooling around, freaks out and tells her leave and leave she does. When he shows up at the circus, Lexi refuses to even listen to him try to defend himself but he’s determined to have her hear him out and his not leaving until she does. Then there is Nick. He shows up at the circus screaming at Lexi for taking his mom’s job as the show’s psychic. From there, they grow towards friendship and more. The attraction between the two is obvious, but Nick’s life is elsewhere and he’s not sure how long he can stay around.
J. J. Howard’s writing style is perfect for this novel. It’s just the right balance between humor and drama to keep me begging for more. I also love how into music Lexi is. Each chapter starts out with a lyric from a song and though I don’t completely agree with Lexi’s taste, it’s great to read about someone who has a true passion for music that really feels real. The fact that Lexi was also obsessed with Regency romances also endeared me to her quite a bit. I wholly enjoyed every aspect of this novel. My only complaint and it is a tinsy one is that we don’t we get any details about what happened that night between Eli and Lexi. I realize this isn’t a romance novel and I’m not reading it for the smut, but a decent kissing scene to introduce the concept of that night would not have went amiss.
I really think this novel has something forever one. It’s got snarky dialogue, self-deprecating wit, a decent amount of romance, the adventures of a circus, and a story that will make you want to run away and find your own circus. It is a utterly magical tale and I can’t wait to see what else comes from J J Howard.
****Thank you to Point, an imprint of Scholastic Inc for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****...more
Sophie David’s life is far from normal. A nonexistent father, an alcoholic mother,The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sophie David’s life is far from normal. A nonexistent father, an alcoholic mother, and a dead sister, she’s pretty much alone these days. So when she starts hearing the same noises and seeing the same things that made her mother have her sister committed, she decides to buckle down and refuses to tell anyone. But soon the voices refuse to be ignored and Sophie is in a world of danger that Nell (her sister) died to protect her from.
I quite enjoyed this novel. The tension/romance between Evan and Sophie was adorable, the storyline was just intriguing enough to keep me guess, and the spine tingling creep factor that I loved in Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake was also pretty prevalent. Sophie is a stubborn girl just trying to make it through. After Nell’s death, her mom falls apart, quits working and drinks all day. Most days, she doesn’t even speak to Sophie and yet Sophie still gets up every morning and goes to school even though she knows her mom wouldn’t notice if she didn’t.
I was a little suspicious of Evan at first. He seemed to show up at perfect time to go with Sophie to the psychiatric facility and seemed altogether too nice and accepting. But after a few chapters, I learned to trust him. He’s got his own demons chasing him and he’s just looking for someone to help him figure it all out, just like Sophie.
The thing I really enjoyed about this was the creepiness. YA doesn’t have many novels that can send chills down your spine (or if it does, I haven’t read many) and though I normally avoid horror movies, I am somewhat attracted to it in writing. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but there it is. My only real complaint about this novel was that it was a mite too predictable. I didn’t see all of it coming, but I did know (view spoiler)[that Adam was the insider, that he was observing Nell for Dr. Creepy, that Deb was Nell’s friend “MM” while in the facility, and so on (hide spoiler)].
I think that anyone who enjoyed Anna Dressed In Blood will also enjoy this. It’s a really enjoyable and fun read! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Sienna’s career is finally starting to pickup with a steady wardrobe job on a tv shThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sienna’s career is finally starting to pickup with a steady wardrobe job on a tv show, then she gets a call from telling her that her grandmother’s home is being foreclosed on. Taking time off work, she flies home to Nashville just in time to see Lucas Wolfe sitting across from her family in the courthouse. It’s been two years since her almost tryst with Lucas and she’s done everything she can to bury those memories. Now she’s faced with the ultimate decision. Allow Lucas to take her childhood home from her grandmother or work as his assistant for ten days to win back the deed. The right answer is obvious, but can she make it through the week without succumbing to Lucas’s…charm?
I’ll be honest here. The main reason this particular series caught my attention is because Dusan Novakovic is on the cover. The last novel I read with him on the cover was Easy, which blew me away. I realize that the cover model has no direct relationship with how good the story will be, but I couldn’t help myself. It’s the same way if I see Pepe Toth on the cover of something. I can’t promise I’ll read it immediately, but it does get added to my TBR pile. You can say that I had high expectations for this. It wasn’t perfect, or nearly as good as Easy, but it was worth a read.
Sienna is an interesting character, the opposite of what you’d expect from a red-headed woman. I think red, I think fiery and filled with attitude, but Sienna is rather submissive in the beginning. She allows everyone except Lucas to push her around and verbally abuse her. Watching Lucas push her to stand up for herself a bit more was interesting to see. As for Lucas, well, I don’t have much to say. Though we see a lot of them interacting, this is told entirely from Sienna’s perspective. This was shocking to me since All Over You was told in dual perspectives and I sorely missed getting Lucas’s side of things. Without his point of view, he seems a bit shallower than I expect him, much more focused on sex than anything else, including his music and that wasn’t exactly how he came off in AOY.
Really, this gets a 3.5 from me. It was good, but overall, it felt too short. It is a scant 200 hundred pages and while there are some writers that can get their point across well is that short space, this just wasn’t one where I felt like there wasn’t room for more. It felt a bit insta-love-y to me and everything felt a bit more forced than necessary. I realize that the concept is she has 10 days with him so everything must fall in that time frame, but, in my personal opinion, this book would have been much better if we got some of Lucas’s perspective as well. In fact, take this, combine it with the novella Snow is currently publishing chapter by chapter on her website, and combine them into one book instead of two. That would be the real winner.
Another issue that really isn’t entirely related to this book particularly but New Adult in general is the sex. I get that New Adult is for an older audience and much more explicit than YA, but I feel like too much of it reads like erotica, which isn’t what I’m looking for when I pickup one of these novels. Yes, I want more description than a YA would provide, but I’m not looking for a play by play of every single sexual activity the couple participate in. There are some points where less is more. Maybe it’s just me, but some of that seems overdone.
Either way, this is a pretty good read that really knows how to build the tension. It leaves off with a bit of a cliffhanger because we still don’t know what’s going on with Lucas’s ex or how they will resolve their issues, but one thing is certain and that is Sienna and Lucas will find a way to make it work. ...more
Anna Van Housen is a very gifted magician. She is the opening act for her mother'sThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Anna Van Housen is a very gifted magician. She is the opening act for her mother's mentalist show, but sometimes she wishes she owned the stage. There is something amazing about being up there and causing people to gasp in wonder. Anna also has a little secret, she has a few unusual abilities. She can senses peoples emotions and see the future and keeping that information from everyone can be a bit tricky. Lately, her powers are getting stronger and she keeps seeing her doomed future loom before her eyes. Can she figure out who means her harm and save the day or is she cursed to live out her vision and perish?
Anna is amazing. She's clever and determined, but somehow manages to come off as completely vulnerable and maybe just a touch naive. For someone with the ability to sense people's emotions, not to mention the years of picking people out of the crowd for her tricks, she's still a bit blind to others. She completely misjudges several people and she doesn't see the bad guy coming until the very end, despite the mixed emotions she gets from him constantly. She is a completely interesting character and the question of is she or isn't she Houdini's daughter is one I was begging to be answered. There are so many clues leading either way and I WANT TO KNOW! I NEED TO KNOW!
Besides the obvious mystery of who is out to get Anna, that's the biggest conundrum of this tale and, like I said, I need to know!
You're not going to tell me, are you? Damn.
Cole, my dear sweet Cole, is so adorable cute that there aren't words to describe him. Maybe a GIF will help....
See how cute that is? That's Cole. He's spent his childhood in a boarding school for boys and he's so easily embarrassed around Anna that I just want to hug him. It's clear from moment one that he is hiding something, but it's equally clear (at least to me) that it's not something malicious. He tells her quite frankly that they aren't his secrets to tell and that's the truth. He could have cleared a lot up if he had just let her read him so she could feel his honesty, but alas, things can never be that simple. I just loved how squeamish he was around her, how much he wanted to be around her, but he didn't know what to say or how to act and kept blushing over every fumble. Like I said, adorable.
There is also a host of well formed side characters, everyone from Marguerite (Anna's mother), to Cynthia (a soon-to-be friend of Anna's), to Houdini himself. I especially loved Mr Darby, Cole's uncle. He's that crotchety old man who seems mean, but is really a big softie. I love (love love) him. I wish he was real and would be my neighbor so I could harass him good-naturedly. Cynthia surprised me a bit because I wasn't expecting her to become such a big part as she was. I was expecting her to play her role in the beginning and then leave, but she doesn't. She sticks around and becomes fast-friends with Anna.
The writing and world-building are just as amazing as the character development. I am not an aficionado of the Jazz Age, but I feel like Brown put a lot of research into making this world as realistic as possible and it shows. The language, the old words I knew anyway, felt spot on and authentic. There were even terms I'd never heard of before, such as four-flusher, that I enjoyed learning about. The plot was a bit predictable to me, but it was predictable in that way that I'm not sure if everyone will find it predictable. I saw several twists coming and I faintly suspected who would be the villian early on.(view spoiler)[I knew the minute the cleaning woman for Mr Darby didn't show up that she was in on the scheme, that she was the woman's voice Anna recognized. As soon as the love-triangle angle started up, I was sure that Anna would end up with Cole and I thought maybe Owen would be a bad guy, so I was pretty accurate there. (hide spoiler)]
I have been dying to read this for quite a while. Both the title and the cover have called my name. Normally covers with chick's faces on the cover are a bit overdone, but the contrast here is just so striking that the result is lovely. And the book is just as good as the gorgeous cover promises. I think everyone who enjoys historical YA or mystery YA or just a good novel that's a bit different than what you were expecting will love this. It's blessedly cliffhanger free and that just makes me want the next one more!
I had heard a small amount of buzz about the upcoming Warm Bodies film on several bThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I had heard a small amount of buzz about the upcoming Warm Bodies film on several blogs, but it never really grabbed my interest….then I saw the full preview for the film and was hooked. I immediately went to my local bookstore to purchase a copy of the book only to learn that I’d either have to buy a used one online or wait a few months because they had stopped publishing it to redesign the cover to match the film.
I couldn’t make my mind up on whether to wait or to go ahead and buy a used one because I wasn’t entirely crazy about the original cover, but on the same note, I don’t generally like the movie book covers. Then a friend said she was planning on buying it for me for my birthday and problem solved. The book arrived and I’m genuinely glad I waited because I really love the new cover.
I mean, look at it. Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Holt make that red cover pop. ::drools::…anyway, enough rambling on onto reviewing.
Warm Bodies is told in first person from the perspective of R, a zombie. You may be wondering what R stands for and you can keep wondering because he has no idea. He has forgotten his name, all the zombies have. He feels lucky to remember that letter, that’s more than most can remember. He isn’t your typical zombie, he genuinely feels bad about killing people and eating their brains….that’s not enough to stop him from doing it, but he is definitely conflicted about it. Then he eats Perry’s brain and everything changes. Perry was in love with Julie and now R can’t help but feel some of that emotion. He saves her from the horde of zombies with him and basically kidnaps her. The bond they form is the beginning of a major change in him and in all the zombies in general.
After reading the book, I’m insanely curious on how they are going to portray everything in the movie. Voiceovers are going to be a must and how exactly do they plan on handling Perry? Are they going to change it? Edit those parts out? Throughout the story, Perry actually talks to R. Yeah, dead Perry, the one whose brain R on nom nomed on at the beginning of the novel. You’ll have to read it to get the full picture, but I want to know how the film-makers are going to handle that. Whoa, off topic again.
This book is really amazing. It’s an unique take on zombies that I wasn’t expecting. It’s well written and completely addictive. It’s one of those stories where you just can’t stop reading because you have to know what happens next. I recommend it for everyone looking for an unexpected love story. ...more
Ever has left than a year left to live and is trying to spend it with the people shThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ever has left than a year left to live and is trying to spend it with the people she loves most. Spending as much time as possible with Mom, Frankie, and Jessie is all that matters until she learns that there is much more to her countdown than she realizes. When Ariadne put that countdown on her soul, she inadvertently marked Ever soul, making it more valuable to collectors. So now Ever is on the run with the one person she’s trying so hard to avoid, Toby. Together, they try to find away to save Ever’s soul, while outwitting collectors and Seekers who are determined to claim the prize. Can they beat the clock or will salvation come too late?
I…um….what to say? Well, let’s start with the basics. Ever shows a great deal of growth here. She really steps out of that damsel in distress role and I really enjoyed seeing her stand up for herself. She also gains a much dirty mouth by the end and I LOVED that. It progresses slowly, but by the end we get to see her drop the f-bomb more than once. Is that a stupid reason to be excited? Probably, but I fucking loved it anyway. For me, it makes the character much more believable if they curse. I realize that everyone wasn’t like me, developing a potty mouth from hell the moment they hit high school, but I adamantly believe that there are very few people who don’t swear at all, especially in high stress situations. I’m sorry, but if the shit hits the fan “oh pooh” isn’t going to cut it. That really grounded Ever for me even more, making her feel more real.
Then there is Frankie….my dear sweet, amazing, epic Frankie.
What can I say about him, really? He’s the exact same sweet guy he was in Ever and I love him beyond words. Seriously, he so perfect, always supporting Ever, while being honest in his opinions at the same time. We don’t get nearly enough of him in this novel, but I’ve been assured that we haven’t seen the last of him. (view spoiler)[It makes me incredibly sad that Ever ends up choosing Toby over Frankie. It’s inevitably more complicated than that, but that’s what happens. I logically understand the reasons behind it and I can see why Toby might be a better match, but that’s doesn’t mean I have to be fucking happy about it. I get that Ever has sort of outgrown Frankie and that Frankie needs to get out of her house and live his life, especially now that’s he’s gotten a second chance, but DAMMIT THEY WERE PERFECT TOGETHER.
Then there is Toby. I liked Toby and I sympathize with the boy, but in my mind, he just can’t compare to Frankie. He’s great and snarky and funny and protective, which is usually a winner, but Frankie was just better. I can see why some people are Team Toby, but I just can’t.
The plot of this one is just as much of a rollercoaster ride as the previous one, probably more so. There are multitudes of twists and turns and the ending is something I didn’t even come close to predicting. Russo does a great job of giving you just enough foreshadowing that you know something major is going to happen, you are just never sure of what. (view spoiler)[Except that Ariadne is Ever’s sister. I called it, I called it, I CALLED IT.
The only reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the whole Frankie thing. It’s childish, I know, but I have to show my irritation somehow (and no, the spoilery rant above was not enough). If I can legitimately lower a great books star rating to 1 simply because of senseless animal deaths, I think I can drop a star because of the Frankie thing. Really, though, this is another amazing novel. It’s an addictive thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if and how Ever is going to get out of this mess. I can honestly say this book was well worth the wait (which is a high compliment indeed) and though everything doesn’t wrap up at the end, it’s definitely better than the massive cliffhanger at the end of book 1. I can’t wait to see what the final installment to this series brings (hopefully LOTS more Frankie).
****Thank you to Jessa Russo for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and aThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and an over use of angry gifs.
I really wanted to like this book. Truly, I did. But it pissed me off and I can’t say that I will be recommending it to anyone. In fact, I have already told several people to steer clear. Let’s do the basics first. Out Of Reach is the story of Rachel’s journey to find her wayward brother. She enlists the help of his bestie, Tyler to assist her and they head out to search in the areas she thinks he might be. A few weeks before, she received an anonymous email stating that her brother was in a lot of trouble and she should come and try to help. Why she thinks she will be able to find her brother by simply looking on street corners in a single day was beyond me, but hey, more fucking power to her misguided hope.
I started off really enjoying this novel. Rachel didn’t seem so bad and I was intrigued by Tyler. There was obvious chemistry between the two though Rachel does her best to deny it. Plus, I was hoping she would find her brother, bond with Tyler over the experience, and things would end more or less happily.
I know, it was a goddamn pipedream, but I try to start every novel from a happy place…..unless I’m reading it because I want to be depressed, but that is a different matter entirely. The further I got into this book, the more irritated I became. The more I read about Rachel, the more my dislike started to creep in. She gives these flashbacks from when they were younger and her and Micah (her brother) were just sssssoooo close. But here is what I don’t get, if you were so bonded and lied to your parents for each other and all this other shit, then why did you wait all goddamn summer to start searching for him?
Micah disappears at the very beginning of summer and you just write it off, knowing his a goddamn drug addict, because your parents assure you he is fine and you don’t think you should waste your time on it?!?!?!
And now you are all of a sudden worried because you got an email? Lady, I just can’t even begin to describe how much this angers me. This bitch ends up being one of the most self-center, egocentric, moronic heroines I have ever read about…and that statement includes Bella fucking Swan. Oh yeah, I went there. Anyway, a whole lot of shit goes down, they ask around drug dealers places and look on the beach and such, then Miss Whiny-pants car gets stolen. Well, geez, you leave a Honda Civic (one of the most stolen cars in the US) parked on the wrong side of town, what the hell did you think was going to happen?
Then there is the ending, which leaves a lot to fucking be desired. Rachel and Tyler end up finding her car and stealing it back, then head home, sans Micah who is still MIA. Then they kinda sorta discuss their feelings and it’s (lightly) implied that they’ll date soon. Rachel writes an email to Micah, which she doesn’t know if he’ll ever get and sends it out into the universe, basically saying that she isn’t going to worry about him anymore, she’s just going to live her life. Cold hearted bitch. You spent ONE DAY searching.
This novel really was just a whole lot of fuck ups. In retrospect, I realize that I guess the author was trying to write a “realistic” portrayal of the impacts drugs have on the lives of family and friends, but she should have picked a heroine who really cared about the drug-addled brother. I was expecting her to search for several days to find her brother and then drag him home or have him tell her to fuck off or SOMETHING. Whether it be dragging his ass back home for rehab or having an epic confrontation that ends in her leaving him to rot on the side of the street, I wanted something to happen. I would call the ending anti-climatic at best.
Despite all the complaints, I did like how much information the author gave us about meth addicts. It did seem like she did her research on that, but that just wasn’t enough. If that was all I wanted, I could have gotten a pamphlet from my local health department. All in all, don’t bother with this unless you want a big letdown. Do I recommend it to anyone at all? I'll let Cas answer that one for you. ...more
In my search for an amazing book, this is probably the closest I’ve come since I fiThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
In my search for an amazing book, this is probably the closest I’ve come since I finished Easy back in December. I’m currently adding all of Jessica Sorensen’s books to my to-read list with over enthusiastic glee and will be downloading her The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden as soon as I’m finished with this review.
Ella and Micha both had somewhat traumatic childhoods, and they managed to stay sane through them because they had each other, but when Ella’s mother commits suicide, Ella can’t handle it anymore and she runs away. She leaves Micha standing in the pouring rain and leaves town. Now, 8 months later, when her first year of college at UNLA is over, she has no choice but to head back home and confront all the things she left behind. And Micha is the one she fears the most.
Watching Ella switch between the fiery girl she once was and the subdued girl she has made everyone at college believe she is was perfect. She can almost keep her cool, but then Micha shows up and she loses her shit. I am personally a big fan of her original personality, the fully alive girl who wasn’t afraid of anything is something to be envied. The quiet, college girl is just a façade because she’s scared of getting hurt and as long as no one knows her, she can’t care and is therefore safe.
Micha was the perfect hero. Though he is far from perfect, with his own set of issues, he is so head over heels for Ella that he’ll do whatever it takes to help her. When she ran away from him, he spent the entire time she was gone searching for her, needing to know she was alive and okay. So when she steps back into his life, he is full of a wide range of emotions, love, anger, and hope all rolled into one. I absolutely loved him, how he never gives up on her and he pushes her to be the girl he knows she wants to be, even if she won’t admit it. Their relationship is the stuff of fairy tales, trapped in a real world setting with alcoholic fathers, dead beat parents, and fears as real as anything we’ve ever felt.
Then they have a great supporting cast, Ella’s friend Lila, Micha’s friend Ethan, and Micha’s mom are all wonderful characters. Lila met Ella in college so seeing her switch into someone completely different would have freaked a lot of people out, but Lila rolls with it and still accepts Ella for exactly who she is. Ethan has helped Micha search for Ella even though he thinks Micha should just give it up. Micha’s mom is supportive for whatever her son gets into which is something I don’t see a lot of these days. Parents in novels especially seem to always be the bad guys, forbidding relationships and pushing their kids to do what they think is best no matter what the kid thinks.
I was so excited to read this that I bought the physical copy from amazon and before it even arrived, I downloaded the kindle version so I could go ahead and read it. It was definitely worth it. I recommend this to everyone who enjoyed Easy by Tammara Webber or Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry. ...more
Callie’s life was changed forever six years ago. Her 12th birthday was the day everThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Callie’s life was changed forever six years ago. Her 12th birthday was the day everything was stolen from her, and it’s one she’ll never forget. After what happened, she curled in on herself and never let anyone get close to her because sh is left with major trust issues. Now, she’s in college and finally found a trustworthy person in Seth, her new bff. Things are going great, until she runs into Kayden, the guy she saved right before she ran off to start college early. Kayden’s entire life has been one abuse. As long as he stays in line, everything is fine, but once he fucks up, well, then he is in for a real beating. One night, things get out of hand and he thinks his life is over, until Callie intervenes. Now, he can’t stop thinking about her and the more he gets to know her, the more he thinks that maybe she is the one who really needs saving.
This story has truly wowed me. I think it’s safe for me to assume that I’m going to love anything that Jessica writes because thus far, all her novels have been right on the money. Callie and Kayden’s story is simultaneously tragic and hopeful. Both characters are beautifully broken and you find yourself rooting for them to find a way to make it work. Callie is so quiet and sweet and absolutely loveable. She’s that girl who was always shunned because, after her twelfth birthday, she dresses badly, acts standoffish, and shuns human interaction. Excluding her family, Callie doesn’t allow anyone to touch her and that makes having friends difficult and a boyfriend impossible. I’m not entirely sure she wanted either. Then she goes off to college and meets Seth, someone who understands the bad things in the past. The two become fast friends and he is the first person she tells her secret to. Then she sees Kayden at attending the same university and is immediately flooded with all kinds of feelings she desperately wants and desperately doesn’t. The push/pull dynamic of her emotions was one of the things I love.
Kayden, on the other hand, shows no sign to the outside world that anything is wrong. He seems like a normal guy, quarterback of the high school football team who gets a scholarship to college with a hot, if somewhat bitchy, girlfriend and has absolutely no qualms with normal human contact. We quickly learn, though, that his hiding a lifetime’s worth of physical abuse. Daddy dearest isn’t the saint the community believes him to be and it’s only a matter of time before he takes things too far. Watching become so overprotective of Callie was another big highlight of the story.
Callie and Kayden’s tale is one of those stories that it’s difficult to watch but impossible to turn away. It reminded me a tiny bit of Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and a whole lot of Wide Awake, that fanfic that I’m gaga about. Both their past are devastating and challenging to get past, but somehow together they manage to start working through their shit. I would almost wager that this novel is better than Ella and Micha….almost. This gets a one star lower rating because it ends in a terrible cliffhanger. Holy fucking shit, that ending redefines the word “cliffhanger.” It’s one of those terrible ones where we get to a pivotal moment and then it’s over and you are dumbfounded. I can’t say I wasn’t warned. My baby sister told me (over and over again) that this was amazing but I needed to wait for the sequel. I just wasn’t expected THAT.
On a side note, I listened to this entire novel on audiobook and I must say the narrator was great. She doesn’t come off as overly whiny and does a great job with changing her voice for each character. I definitely recommend this audiobook version to anyone who enjoys audiobooks.
What it all comes down to, though, is that this story is so enthralling. I started the audiobook with the intent to just listen to about an hour (which is about a tenth of the book) and ended up spending my entire day listening to it. I even went so far as to plug my ipod up to my car stereo so I could continue listening when I had to venture out into the real world. It’s amazing and infuriating and heartbreaking. It’s astonishing enough that as soon as I finish posting this, I’m going to read the second one even though I have a monstrous pile eARCs I need to get through. ...more
Camryn Bennet is tired of the monotony of her life. She watched her parents’ marriaThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Camryn Bennet is tired of the monotony of her life. She watched her parents’ marriage fail, watching years of two people who used to love each other pretend to be satisfied with how things have turned out. After a bad night out in a club with friends, she boards a cross-country bus going to Idaho, for no apparent reason, just because she must get away. On this bus, she meets Andrew Parrish. She is immediately intrigued by him, but after her first loves tragic death, she vowed to never failfall in love again and she won’t get close to Andrew because she can tell he would be able to push her off that cliff. How long can she fight her attraction to him?
Wow, just fucking wow. My mind has been blown in the worst way. I didn’t think anything this terrible could not only because published, but adored by so many people. Maybe I missed something? I disliked this novel almost immediately and though I patiently waded through the entire novel, I was never rewarded with an improvement. I can already warn you, if you liked this book or don’t like overly rant-y reviews (seriously, why do you follow me, if not for the overly rant-y reviews?!?!?), then you had best stop here. I did not enjoy this and will spell out why below, in graphic detail. You have been warned!
First off, Camryn is annoying and immature and completely self-centered. This is one of the few heroines where I can honestly say that Bella Swan had more personality. Yeah, it was that bad. At the beginning she lets her BFF, who by the way doesn’t have many BFF-y qualities push her into doing things she isn’t comfortable with and then when said BFF’s boyfriend hits on her, BFF goes ballistic and choosing boyfriend over Camryn, which sends her into a downward spiral leading to her boarding the fateful bus to nowhere. As the novel progresses, her personality regresses further. She’s also a big hypocrite. Claiming fast food and sodas are disgusting and vomit inducing, which is a fine opinion to have, but has no problem scarfing down food from a Waffle House, a chain notorious for its overly greasy food and drinking sweet tea, which is WAY fucking worse than any soda. It’s also pretty well established that she has only been employed once, for about a week, before running off because “it just wasn’t for her” yet she has no problem spending money. Seriously? I vaguely recall her mentioning that her dad was relatively well off, but you should still show some remorse or though before charging buttloads of necessary things on daddy’s credit card. I felt the need to scream “grow the fuck up” on more than one occasion. If you are going to trek cross country for no apparent reason, at least do so with your own money. If you have no money, then the wanderlust is just going to have to wait. I’m so sick of novels where the heroines parents are rich and that allows her/him the freedom to just blow money like it’s grows on damn trees. Newsflash, it doesn’t work that way.
Then there was Andrew….oh Andrew. I initially liked him just a little. He was hot and snarky and that’s always a good combination, but he was too secretive, not to mention the aggression. I’m sorry, but I don’t see an overly muscled guy who wants to pound in the face of every guy who so much as speaks to me as attractive. I see that as serious trust issues and possibly a hormone imbalance.
Seriously, stop taking the steroids, stay away from gamma radiation, and calm the fuck down. I can sort of see where the attraction is, but I found him to be too much. Not to mention that whole “if you were to let me fuck you, you’d have to let me own you” line. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?!?!? Are you a dom looking for a sub? Is this 1801 and all women are legally the property of their husbands or fathers? Oh hell no! Fuck that shit. Even though I knew Cam was a moron, I was still screaming at her to get far the fuck away when he spouted that line.
Then there was how the entire plot felt like bullshit. The entire concept for Cam is she is leaving behind her normal life because she can’t understand how people live their whole lives doing the same thing day after day, which is an understandable thing. Life does get monotonous and we all need a break, fine. But what her trip really felt like was her running away. Away from her past with Ian, away from her dead-beat brother and father, away from the shit with Natalie, all of it. Then, the second half was nothing but sex, sex, and more sex. I’m fine with sex, but come on! There should be more to it than that. And don’t even get me started on the bullshit ending! (view spoiler)[ about 50 or so pages before the end, we discover that dear Andrew has a brain tumor that he has basically been ignoring for the last eight months and now the doctors say without surgery he is going to die and even with it, the chances are slim to none. But someone he miraculously makes it through, with no side effects besides a major amount of bed rest.
Basically, that is my long winded way of saying that this definitely wasn’t my kind of novel. I guess firsts are bound t o happen and this is the first new adult that I have truly despised. I hate that I’ve found one that I’ve hated. This sounded so good and I really wanted to love it. I just didn’t. I hope everyone else out there has better luck than me, but just remember that I warned you.
****Thank you to Hachette Book Group, Grand Central Publishing, and Forever for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Jacqueline’s sophomore year of college has been anything but easy. Seemingly out of nowhere, her boyfriend of three years dumps her so he can sow his wild oats, which causes her to spiral into depression and miss class (including a midterm), then her bestie drags her to a frat party to pull her out of her breakup depression and she narrowly escapes rape. Before that night, she had never seen Lucas before, but after he stops her attempted attacker, she can’t escape him. He’s in her economics class, he works at Starbucks, and she can’t help but notice him. There is obviously more to Lucas than what meets the eye and she becomes curiouser and curiouser about him. Can she get over her ex and make things work with Lucas?
Jacqueline was an interesting main character. In the beginning, I was a little annoyed with her because she allows her break up to cause her to almost fail her economics class and she doesn’t tell her best friend about the attempted rape. She just wants to forget about it which is understandable, but considering the attacker is someone she is bound to see at school, she really needed the support of her BFF to help her through it all. She gets better after a few chapters. She comes to her senses and begs her econ teacher to let her do extra credit work to make up for what she has missed. By the end of this book, she goes from timid and scared to strong and brave. It was a slow transformation, but it was great to watch.
Then there is Lucas. This whole story is told from first person through Jacqueline’s perspective so you never find out exactly what is going on in his head, but damn did I want to. Holy hot tattooed-ness Batman! I think Lucas is that guy that every girl wants, bad ass with a bad boy vibe that is only skin deep, with a troubled passed, and a lot of, well I want to say “heart underneath,” but I feel like I overuse that phrase. He’s that guy that turns every head on the walk by, but only really has eyes for one girl. Tall and dark with broody looks and tattoos covering his arms, he’s that guy that all girls mom’s fear. And yet, he’s really not. He’s also the guy who gives his time to help teach a self-defense class for women and tries to help in any way he can. He’s completely swoon-worthy.
This novel blew me away. I was so caught up in it that it felt like life has stopped for me to finish it. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Before reading it, I’d heard a lot of things about the new genre, New Adult, and was a little weary of it. It seemed to me that it was basically renaming the YA genre so adults could read them without feeling embarrassed about it. I was not amused. But boy was I fucking wrong. New Adult may just be my new favorite genre. It takes all the things I love about YA and the things I love from adult books and combines them. The characters can swear realistically instead of that imitation shit that is so prevalent in YA (every time Zoe Redbird said “bull-poop” I wanted for fucking punch her) and that need to have teenagers shy away from sex is also gone. Basically, to me, it reads like a real college student would think.
It was so well written and dealt with the mature content so beautifully. In regards to the rape issues, it was done so elegantly, with Jacqueline struggling to come to terms with what happened. Her fear of even practicing the ways to get out of the holds in the self-defense class is so understandable. You guys just don’t even know. If you haven’t read it, you really should. This book caused me to do something I NEVER do. I was so wrapped up in the world that when it was over I couldn’t let it go and ended up reading the damn thing over again. And I mean reading, not just skimming over the parts I liked, actually re-reading the whole fucking thing. That says something because I don’t think I have ever done that. It really makes me wish I could give a label higher than “favorite” because that just doesn’t seem like enough. Maybe I should make one along the lines of “Epic, Awesome, Amazing, Phenomenal, Unparalleled”….too much? ...more
Julia Lichtenstien’s world is just the way she wants it. From her 4.0 GPA to her trThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Julia Lichtenstien’s world is just the way she wants it. From her 4.0 GPA to her triumphs on the swim team, to the secret pining over her MTB (that’s “meant to be” for those of us in the know) who hasn’t spoken to her since coming back into town. The only downer is when she realizes that none of her friends will be attending the spring break field trip to London. Her excitement level goes from ecstatic to less than thrilled in .2 seconds flat, but since she’s always wanted to see London, she’s trying to take it all in stride. Then she gets assigned to be Jason Lippincott’s trip buddy and she’s seeing red again. She can’t stand him, he’s a moronic jerk with the attention span of an eight year old hyped up on caffeine. What she doesn’t see coming is how well they will get along.
I love love love Julia! She’s a geeky bookworm who loves to swim and doesn’t give a damn about the social ladder. She’s sees nothing wrong with the way she views the world and has no interest in changing. Even though she could use a little change, I loved that she liked who she was. I loved that for once, the heroine wasn’t pining over being the popular girl or having money or anything like that. All Julia wanted, at the beginning of this novel at least, was to take in the culture of London and go back home to the states where she might finally win over Mark (her MTB). Her inner dialogue was snarky and raw and utterly believable.
Jason was a break from the typically leading man role as well. The class clown is what Julia initially labels him, but there is so much more to him than that. Underneath that manic goof-ball exterior, is an intelligent, kind, and thoughtful guy who truly likes Julia though she’s too blind to see it. I knew from minute one that he would win her heart and I’m glad I predicted it right. Throughout their romp through London, Julia learns a lot, just not what she was expecting too. Sure, she sees Shakespeare’s birth place and learns new facts about paintings and authors, but what she really learns is more about herself. Maybe there is a bit of a rule-breaker hiding underneath that nerdy façade, maybe she doesn’t know all there is to know about Mark, maybe her view of her classmates is a bit skewed, and maybe, just maybe, there is more to her life than just books, school, best friends, and pining over a guy she doesn’t know as well as she thinks.
This novel was exactly what I expected it to be, cutesy romance about a girl who doesn’t know everything she think she does. Was it a bit cheesy? Sure. Predictable? Definitely. I don’t see anything wrong with that though. Sometimes you need a sweet love story to perk up your life. Even now, I can’t stop smiling over the ending.
****Thank you to Random House Children's Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****...more
Beth Risk’s life has never been a happy one, especially not since third grade. SheThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Beth Risk’s life has never been a happy one, especially not since third grade. She knows that if anyone finds out the truth about her mom, prison is where her mom will go and Beth will get stuck in foster care, ripping her away from her friends and what little family she has left. Unfortunately for Beth, some things are out of her control and soon she is ripped out of that life by her uncle and forced into a school and town where no one accepts her and all she can do is fight to get back to where she was. Ryan Stone is the epitome of Golden Boy. He is the star of the baseball team, popular, and the son of a well-off business owner. Ryan, however, is hiding a big secret. A secret he dares not even tell his closest friends. One night his friends dare him to ask for the dark skater girls number and what starts out as a bet, becomes so much more.
Beth is everything I remember from Pushing The Limits and more. McGarry really knows how to write a tortured character who keeps on fighting, despite the odds. Her fierce loyalty to her mother, despite all evidence that she should let it go is both inspiring and tragic. It’s obvious to everyone that mommy dearest is beyond help, but Beth just keeps on trying. When her uncle Scott drags her kicking and screaming away from that life, she is utterly angry and resentful. Scott has no right to interfere. Scott left her years ago and never came back. Scott can kiss her ass as she walks back to Louisville, where her mom and the rest of her life is. Scott sets down an ultimatum. Live in his house and by his rules or he’ll turn in the dirt he has on her mom, sending her to prison for too many years. Watching Beth buck convention while still trying to obey Scott’s rules bordered on heart-breaking. Her past is so fucked up and you can really see where all of her bad tendencies stem from. At the same time, she’s bright and spunky and so damned stubborn that she refuses to see what’s right in front of her. Ryan’s the hot jock and she knows he is playing her, she just can’t figure out the angle yet.
Ryan wasn’t an insta-love character for me. Initially I didn’t like him much, but he grew on me a bit. The more you learn about his home life, the more you pity the kid. Sure, it’s not as terrible as Beth’s past, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to cope with. Baseball has always been his dream, but lately he has been wondering if maybe college ball is the place for him instead of going straight to the pros after high school. Beth is his opposite in every way. She’s loud, foul-mouthed, and enjoys shocking people. He has to give her credit for never backing down, but the harder he fights to get her number and win the bet, the more he realizes that maybe there is much more to her underneath that punk façade.
So, here’s the deal. Dare You To was almost as great as McGarry’s previous novel. Beth is an entirely captivating leading lady and Ryan is perfect for her in ways that I don’t think the two will every understand. The storyline, and learning more about Beth’s history was mesmerizing. So why only four stars? Well, the biggest reason is Isaiah. I read somewhere in an interview with the author that Beth and Isaiah aren’t going to end up together because they don’t challenge each other and we want to see them get out of the bad situation they are both in. I get that, especially after reading this, I do. Beth would never have gotten away from her mom without this massive force and things truly do improve for her. BUT I still wanted her with Isaiah. The way the entire thing with Isaiah is handled really bugged me. I know he gets his own story next and we’ll see that he is better off, but right now, all I can see is the disappointment in those sad grey eyes as Beth tells him she doesn’t love him like that.
The other issue is a completely inane one, so feel free to skip this paragraph. It is established early on that Ryan drives a Jeep. We never get a description beyond that, so I assume it was a Wrangler.
Maybe it’s just because I actually drive a Wrangler, but any time someone says Jeep without any specification of which type of Jeep, that’s always what I picture. Then he’s driving Beth around and they get to their destination, so he puts the vehicle in “park.” So it’s a automatic, gotcha. I keep reading, my mental picture of the Jeep improving. Then, on more than one occasion, Beth mentions Ryan shifting gears. Um….how? Is it a manual or automatic? Automatics don’t require the gears to be changed manually and manuals don’t have park, so which is it? This may seem stupid and trivial, and I agree that it is, but it REALLY bugged me. Just like most readers, I get that whole movie in my mind thing going once I really get into the story and while sometimes my mind gets the details wrong even with there is description, there are also times when we must fill in the blank and that’s incredibly difficult to do when the writing contradicts itself. Then, even better, when they are playing on rock and in a creek in the Jeep, Beth claims to grab hold of the passenger side gripbar above the door. So it’s not a wrangler? Wrangler’s have a passenger side grip bar on the dash in front of the seat, not above the door. Is she grabbing the roll cage bar? At one point, it’s referred to as a “truck” which really had me literally growling at the words. The different types of Jeeps look incredibly…well different. Is it a Wrangler like I initially believed? A Grand Cherokee?
Super old school Commanche?
Or are just one of those annoying individuals who thing Jeep is just a synonym for SUV? It’s not. It’s a brand in and of itself. It’s like saying “I drive a Ford.” Car? Truck? SUV? Give me some kind of description! I realize that is not of the upmost importance, but an extra word tacked on to the description could have easily fixed most of the problem.
Beyond my few issues, this was a great read. I realize there are a lot of skeptics out there who, like me, want Beth and Isaiah together regardless of the consequences. To those readers I say, give it a try. Sure, it’s not exactly what you want, but you are left knowing that Beth is in a much better situation and the possibilities for Isaiah are going to improve. What more can we ask for? ...more
I can't even decide on a proper star rating. My brain just refuses to believe I havThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I can't even decide on a proper star rating. My brain just refuses to believe I have finished this book. I loved it...it was amazing....and then it ended on possibly the worst cliffhanger EVER. ::dies:: Review to come.
Ever’s life stopped two years ago when her best friend Frankie died in a car accident. For reasons she’ll never understand that car crash took his life but left her alive. Though Frankie is dead, he never left. His ghost stayed around and though that makes everything more complicated, Ever couldn’t be more grateful to have him still in her life in any form she can get. Ever has a little secret. She has been in love with Frankie for her entire life. Ever realizes that Frankie is oblivious to this fact and that even if he wasn’t, the fact that he is dead would prevent any kind of romantic relationship. So when Toby moves in next door, Ever throws herself into a relationship with him to try to move on with her life. Little does she know that this move will change her life forever.
What to say? I fell completely in love with this story. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It contains many elements that I hate. It has one hell of a love triangle. I mean a real one, where the girl genuinely has feelings for both guys. Those things make me wanna scream in frustration. It has a horrible cliffhanger….really bad. That makes me want to toss Luna (my kindle) across the room. It’s like my best friend walking up to me and saying “Hey, I just found out a have cancer. But I can’t tell you anything more about it for at least a year. Wish me luck!”
Really? And this one was bad, really bad. I became so infested in this story, that I actually finished it in one day. Quite a feat for me because I am not a fast reader. In order for me to finish a book in one day, I literally have to go home and curl up in bed with the book and not move except for snack and bathroom breaks for more than 6 hours. But I did it. My husband came home from work right as I was finishing this and found me just sitting in our bed staring at Luna completely dumbfounded. I’m surprised I wasn’t drooling. It’s so good and addictive.
Ever was a slightly annoying leading lady. She jumped around a little too much for my liking. One minute she was all “I love Frankie, I can’t do anything about it so I’m going to sulk.” And then she was “Ooooo…hot new neighbor….must talk to him.” I get it, but it still irked me a bit. She improves some as the story goes on. Then there is Frankie, who I adore. Seriously, if her and Frankie don’t end up together, I’m going to be annoyed. I don’t care how it happens. You can do the whole kill Ever and they both live happily ever after in the afterlife like Jessica Verday did in the Hollow series or you can go all body-snatcher like Stacey Kade did in the Ghost and the Goth series, or you can just find a loophole somewhere in made up land. I love these two together. The only spoiler I will give is that Frankie does, at some point in this story, get his body back. And damn, the heat between him and Ever is enough to fog up my glasses (which I don’t wear while I’m reading because I only need them for distance…but you get the point.)”
As for the other corner in the love-triangle, I wasn’t a huge fan. Something about Toby felt off to be from the very beginning. His initial interest in Ever even though she claimed to have a boyfriend (and the fact that after they start dating, that fact is never mentioned again), the fact that he never talks about himself, and just his whole personality seemed a little strange. Add to that the fact that Frankie asks Ever repeatedly to stay away from him had me yelling at her to leave him alone. She doesn’t, of course. But somehow, by then end of this book, I ended up caring for him too. Make no mistake, I want Ever with Frankie, but I would also like to see Toby get a happy ending too.
Then there is Ever’s best friend Jessie, who I found refreshing. She was the one who pushed Ever to get over Frankie and try to live her life. She’s everything a BFF should be and she just catches the short end of the stick by the end of this book. I hope she gets her happily ever after as well.
(view spoiler)[Now, for what I hated. Put as succinctly as possible, the ending. I was so irritated by the cliffhanger, that I just can’t put it in words. Frankie finally has a body! YAYAY! Him and Ever are together! Quadruple YAYAYAY! But, Ariadne is taking Ever’s soul in exchange in just one year’s time? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!? ::curtains close:: That’s it? You stop THERE? But…what’s the point of Frankie being alive if Ever is dead? They are supposed to be together! You can’t just fucking rip them apart! I….they….you….::dies:: (hide spoiler)]
All in all, if you like paranormal romance, read this. Even if cliffhangers and love triangles annoy you, it’s totally worth it.
****Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more