Gwen Frost is on a mission to find the Helheim Dagger, the last mythological artifa...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Gwen Frost is on a mission to find the Helheim Dagger, the last mythological artifact the Reapers of Chaos need to open a portal to Loki’s prison and set him free. Her mom hid it long ago and all she knows for sure is that the Reapers believe it is in the Library of Antiquities, though Nickademes swears it isn’t. One thing is certain, things are going to get much more complicated in this installment of the Mythos Academy series.
This novel is everything you would expect from the next Gwen Frost novel. It’s got spunk, mystery, humor, and a good amount of sadness. Gwen seems to be a little down on her game. It’s not so much that I saw exactly what was coming at every turn, but quite a few “big” plot twists were very predictable and our big brave Gwen should have had some sort of inkling that SOMETHING wasn’t right, even if she didn’t know exactly what was wrong. I realize that a good bit of this novel is about Gwen’s failure in a lot of ways, but there were so many clues that she missed it is hard to believe she didn’t catch on until it was too late.
It was also a bit tiresome to watch her and Logan play the on again, off again game. I get there is so much at stake and Logan is scared of her learning his secret and blah blah blah. I’m a bit more tolerant of this types of situations in a fictional setting than I am in real life, but we’ve watched them dance around each other for two entire books now. Either get it on or get over it! What makes it worse is that I KNOW there is so much more relationship drama ahead of me.
These things don’t add up to a terrible novel. In fact, I found a good portion of it amusing, filled with Gwen’s signature snarkiness and good writing that keeps you interested. The reason it gets one star may seem juvenile to most of you, but it angered me and I am a woman of my word. In the last novel, Gwen befriends a Fenrir wolf and I was quite pleased when said beast shows up in this novel. She names her Nott and things proceed in great way from there….until the end. I won’t spoil the rest of the plot, but I will say that the wolf dies. (view spoiler)[Saving Gwen, and isn’t resurrected. She does leave behind a very adorable wolf pup that Gwen will care for, but that doesn’t excuse her death or my statement that I would give this book a one star review if she died. I don’t care about the bullshit answer Nike gives about her being poisoned and dying anyway. To put it succinctly, FUCK. YOU. Oh, and also BULLSHIT. This is a fictional story about war and I accept that certain people will die. I have a hard limit, though, on animals and characters I like being some of the deaths. My rules are simple. None of the main characters can permanently die. Yes, playing the resurrection game can get a little tedious, I mean, just LOOK at Supernatural, but it’s entirely better than the alternative. Repeat after me authors: “I am NOT J K Rowling and I will not kill my characters for no reason beyond my own pettiness.” Got it? Good (hide spoiler)] Needless to say, that pissed me off enough to downgrade this from the 3 or 4 stars it would have received otherwise.
All in all, this isn’t a bad book. I just find certain things unacceptable and animal death is one of those things. Remember that authors.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Gwen Frost’s life just got worse. It’s bad enough to be stuck at Mythos Academy, wh...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Gwen Frost’s life just got worse. It’s bad enough to be stuck at Mythos Academy, where all the kids are decedents of ancient warriors, but now, she’s also forced into extra hours of weapons training, to help her learn to defend herself. Oh yeah, and the extra sessions are taught by none other than her crush, Logan, who rejected her proposal to date. Trying to stay focused is difficult enough without his gorgeous face to distract her. Add to that the fact that the Reapers of Chaos are out to get her, and this is definitely bound to be an interesting semester.
Just like the last one, Gwen’s spunky personality had me instantly sympathizing with her. Her comic book and sugar addictions, not to mention the strong compulsion to know everybody’s secrets and I just couldn’t get enough. Her snappy comebacks always made me laugh and her struggle to get over Logan had be both rooting for her and hoping she’d fail…because I mean, COME ON, her and Logan belong together and it had better fucking happen before this series ends.
The side characters are as amusing as ever, though I do feel like Daphne got pushed to the side a little. She was too wound up in her new boyfriend to be overly involved, though she isn’t completely absent, just a bit distracted. We get to see just a bit more of Logan and the fact that we don’t get a LOT more of him was a rather large disappointment. Gwen also makes a new friend in this one, towards the end, and I have to say that I think I’m going to love him. He’s quite an unlikely friend and I was taken aback a little, but I already like him quite a bit.
Part of the plot was a completely shock (view spoiler)[the thing about Oliver (hide spoiler)] and part of it was utterly predictable (view spoiler)[the thing with the reaper (hide spoiler)]. The biggest reason this gets four stars instead of five is that the beginning was very slow and felt outright condescending at times. In the beginning of this, we get so many recaps of book 1 that I felt like I was reading an extended summary of it instead of a completely new book. I understand that authors want to make sure people who didn’t read book one can understand the plot, but you can leave somethings a mystery to make them wish to read the first one a bit more. Or at the very least, not describe multiple things in completely detail! I mean, I did actually read book one and I do remember quite a bit from it, especially the major plot points and the fact that Gwen cannot touch people because her psychometry gives her flashes whether she wants them or not. You don’t need to repeat that fact every single time Gwen refuses to touch someone or allow herself to be touched or even in close proximity to others.
Beyond that, this novel was wholly enjoyable, especially once you get past the first half because things really pickup quickly in the second half. Once you get to the halfway point, it’s pretty difficult to put down. One thing is for sure, I’m definitely going to be reading the next installment.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Gwen Frost is that weird girl that just doesn’t fit in anywhere. She’s Mythos Acade...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Gwen Frost is that weird girl that just doesn’t fit in anywhere. She’s Mythos Academy’s newest student, but unlike everyone else, all she has is psychometry, a fancy way of saying she gets flashes off touching things and/or people. Her lack of flashier gifts is what sets her apart. Everyone at this school is a Spartan or a Valkerie, here with the sole purpose of learning and being trained to fight a war with Loki who is still imprisoned, but always trying to escape. Gwen isn’t sure why her grandmother is forcing her to attend this school since her mother’s death, but one she knows she stands out. Then a fellow classmate dies and while everyone else is busy brushing it off and getting on with their lives, Gwen is struck by the feeling that they are all missing something big and she is determined to figure out what that is.
This is one of those YA mythological fantasy novels with a big mystery and just a hint of a budding romance. It’s completely enthralling and I loved it. Gwen is everything you could want in a heroine, spunky and quirky and completely misunderstood. She reminds me quite a bit of Veronica Mars though at some point in the novel she says she isn’t as crafty as our dear Veronica. She’s forced into a school where she is the school freak for have less strange abilities than her fellow classmates and can’t make a friend to save her life. Nobody likes her, nobody wants to talk to her, and nobody cares about her. Instead of spending the novel bitching and moaning about it, she just kinda goes with it. Nobody likes her? Fine, she’s better off without those snotty rich kids anyway. She’s that underdog that you can’t help but root for.
I also really liked Daphne. Estep could have easily put her in the category of bitchy rich girl and left it at that, but she doesn’t. Daphne’s true colors are hiding under the surface and they are a girly pink with hints of a computer nerd who is really sick of the fucking backstabbing community of Valkeries she has always been a part of. After a little pushing, it is clear that her and Gwen are meant to be BFFs.
Then there is the character that I’m a little on the fence about, Logan. Initially I adored him, with his bad boy looks and attitude, not the mention his reputation as a man-whore and his quippish dialogue with Gwen. I loved him more when he saves her life not once, but twice. The part where my love for him starts to diminish is how after every step forward he and Gwen take, he always assumes the standoff brutish attitude. (view spoiler)[Add that to the speech at the end about how he likes Gwen but they can never be together because there are things about him that she doesn’t know and shouldn’t ever know and I was rolling my eyes and nicknaming him “Edward” in my head. This is also part of why this gets four stars instead of five, because I HATE it when they do that. (hide spoiler)].
One of the other many things I loved about this was the fact that we don’t stick to your basic overused mythological figures, or even stick to one type, seeing Greek and Norse gods, and more than one that I have never heard of before. No Aphrodite or Thor or Zeus to be found here, opting for much more obscure references, only throwing in a handful of popularized ones. I also loved the writing style and how I felt like I was in Gwen’s head a lot of the time, bouncing around along with her insecurities. My only issue with this, beyond Logan’s idiotic moments, was the lack of romance. I would have preferred just a touch more romance between Logan and Gwen, but since this is the first in a series, I’m sure we’ll get to see it eventually!
This is a wholly enjoyable novel and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys YAs, mythology, and a good mystery.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Gwen Frost has a gypsy gift, the gift of psychometry. Basically, she gets flashes o...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Gwen Frost has a gypsy gift, the gift of psychometry. Basically, she gets flashes of other people’s memories from touching things. Her gift has made her incredibly nosy and when she discovers something entirely unpleasant about her fellow classmate, it forces her into a mental breakdown leading to her changing school. Mythos Academy is for people with gifts, to help them control their gifts and learn fighting techniques to defend themselves. One thing is certain, her life has changed forever.
This prequel has accomplished exactly what it set out to, it’s whetted my appetite for more. I cannot wait to read Touch Of Frost. In fact, it’s one of the next books on my TBR list, partly because I really enjoyed this and partly because I was granted an eARC for book 5 in this series. Gwen seems to be a somewhat headstrong teen with a pretty level head on her shoulders. She suffers a terrible loss and though she is resistant to the idea of starting a new school, she never does that temper tandrum thing that I think we were all expecting. That’s commendable because I certainly would have thrown a fit! I can’t really say much about the rest of the cast because you don’t meet many of them, since most of the ones you do meet are at the school she’s leaving behind. You get a vague glimpse at who I hope the hero of the story will be, but that’s it.
Basically, it’s pretty similar to most prequel novellas, it sets the stage for book one. It gives you just enough to want more, but mostly leaves you guessing about what is going to happen next and any deeper plots that may have occurred.(less)
Lottie’s life changed forever one night when her best friend is in a car accident a...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Lottie’s life changed forever one night when her best friend is in a car accident and suffers major brain trauma. Now, two years later, Lottie is starting college and ready to move on when she realizes that not one but both of the brothers who were responsible for Lexie’s accident are attending the same college and living in the same building as her. Just when things were starting to improve, they get worse. She runs into Zan everywhere, he is, unfortunately, inescapable and though she wants to hate him, she can’t help but notice him. Zan has always regretted that night. Before then, he’d always had a crush on Lottie and now he knows nothing can ever come of it, especially if he tells her the truth about that fateful night.
I was on the fence about Lottie from the beginning and the same goes for Zan. With Lottie, I felt like she was placing blame where it didn’t belong. Zan may have been driving drunk, but the accident was just that, an accident. IF there was blame, I felt like it should have been firmly on Zach because he was the one who convinced Lexie to get into that car. I felt like everyone was ganging up on Zan where it might not have been warranted. Yes, he had been drinking, but a deer came out into the road and shit happened. I feel like his punishment didn’t match the crime. Yes, what happened to Lexie was a travesty, but had he been over 16 and sober, his punishment wouldn’t have been that bad.
Not that I was instantly team Zan. Initially he felt overly masculine to me. Have you ever read a book written via a male perspective by a female author and just felt like they were trying to hard? That is how he felt initially. Talking about sex and fucking girls and drugs and on and on, with random feminized moments pushed to lighten him up and make him more likeable. Luckily, this problem gets better as the book continues. We get to see more of the romantic side underneath and the overt guy-ness falls away. Once this starts, I liked him a lot more. Then we learn his big bad secret, which I personally thought made him an idiot. (view spoiler)[We learn that Zack was actually driving the night of the accident. Somehow, Zan thought this would make Lottie like him less which makes no sense. If he wasn’t driving, it was less of his fault, right? Stupid logic. What I really don’t get is why he took the fall for his brother. I mean, I get that Zack had a sports career and everything, but seriously, all the shit he got sentenced to for that, I would have came right out and told the truth, even if no one believed me. (hide spoiler)].
Another peeve was it felt like paying homage to several novels that I wasn’t too fond of. If you haven’t already noticed, I don’t put much stock in classic literature. Yes, some of it is great and it has stood the test of time, but if I read one more novel that reads like a love letter to Wuthering Heights, I may break down and burn the damn thing. Seriously. Wuthering Heights isn’t in the forefront of this one (though it is mentioned), instead it focuses on To Kill A Mockingbird, which is a bit better, but still irritating. I did like, though, that it was clear that Lottie does actually spend time reading, unlike the heroines who claim to love books but never actually spend time reading. The cracks about the trashy romance novels had me smiling because I’m as guilty as anyone with those. Sometimes, don’t we all need a story where we know for certain that the guy will get the girl? Something that makes us believe in love despite the odds?
I had one more peeve and that was Zan’s social worker, Miss Carole. She seemed fake to me, like a greeting card company robot who just spouted random quotes or cliché words of wisdom. Granted, those things did help Zan out, but it still bugged me.
What really got me on this was the fact that despite all my pet peeves and the notion that this really should have went through at least one more editing process before it was released because there was a decent amount of grammatical errors and I had more than one moment where I wanted to explain what a thesaurus was and how to use it, I still really enjoyed this. The story was infectious and captivating and it shines through all the issues. Yes, the writing could have used a little work, but really we read for the story, right? Not to analyze and dissect everything thing that goes wrong (okay, so maybe I do like doing that too much sometimes), but to connect with characters and take something away from it all. On this front, this novel succeeds effortlessly. I had to keep going to make sure that Zan and Lottie got over there issues and got together, as well as to make sure Katie finally gets away from Zack and that Will and Audrey finally realize they are perfect for each other. I was unsure of Lottie and Zan in the beginning, but I loved all the side characters, especially Trish.
In the end, I loved the characters and the story and I’m definitely adding book 2 along with several other of Cameron’s works to be to-read list, so what more can I ask for?
****Thank you to All Night Reads 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"]>(less)
Gwen Frost’s life is never going to get better. After the recent events, with the r...moreThe 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"]>(less)
After enduring the worst of Vaughn's tests and experiments, Rhine escapes and finds...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
After enduring the worst of Vaughn's tests and experiments, Rhine escapes and finds refuge with the most unlikely person, Vaughn's brother Reed. Cecily refuses to leave her side and Linden is still bitter and untrusting after all the lies, but somehow manages to still be supportive of her efforts. The characters embark on a journey to find Rowan that leads them to discover things that hadn't even imagined...and they may not be better off knowing.
I loved it and I hated it and I'm just so confused! All these goddamn feelings! I really enjoyed parts of this and it was fascinating finally seeing so many of the pieces fall together, especially the things I wasn't expecting, but fuck were there some disappointments. The chief among them was Rhine herself, who gets better a little in the beginning, including Linden & Cecily in her thought process and decisions, but goes right back to hiding things and running away on her own, which was just selfish and stupid. She abused her relationship with Linden and even after all the shit she put him through, he still bends over backwards to help her and she just seems so ungrateful. Then she finally finds Rowan and learns that he knows Vaughn and is more or less enamored with the evil doctor for his work towards a cure and she says NOTHING. It's obvious that she disapproves, but she doesn't even try to explain things to Rowan at all, not even when Vaughn spews outright lies to cover his tracks. I wanted to slap her!
Rowan himself was a little too naive, but otherwise pretty likeable. Cecily does a lot of growing up in this one and she quickly became one of my two favorite characters, the other being Reed. Reed is Vaughn's completely opposite and so quirky that I took to him immediately.
Poor Linden gets his eyes opened, whether he wants it or not and he is the character I felt most sympathy for. Poor boy has never known anything but the best luxuries money can buy and has never had cause to doubt his father, but he does now. (view spoiler)[One of the biggest reasons I cannot love this novel is because Linden dies. I found that to be completely cruel and unnecessary. Yes, Vaughn deserved to be punished, but not like that because Linden never did anything wrong. (hide spoiler)]
Another big issue was that Gabriel isn't in the book except a tinsy bit at the end. This felt like a return to love-triangle land because even though Rhine and Linden were annulling their marriage, it's their relationship that deepened, not the one with Gabriel and that angers me. I love Linden and he deserves happiness, but I'm firmly on team Gabriel and that's what I wanted more of.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that this is a pretty good ending to a fascinating trilogy, and while it is enjoyable, there were a few key issues that kept it from being completely loveable.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Fresh back from their last adventure...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Fresh back from their last adventure in the Nevernever, with no intention of going back any time soon, he settles in to be a normal boy, doing normal things, like taking his girlfriend on a date. But that just doesn't seem to be in the cards. Keirran is missing and Annwyl is fading fast and before we know it Ethan is on his way back into adventure, whether he likes it or not.
I enjoyed this almost as much as I enjoyed the first one. Though many people still find Ethan too sullen and grumpy to like because he's personality was different in the original, but I still have no problem with him. I'd like to believe that I could understand the temperament change after dealing with the loss of Meghan, but I'll never know since I started off here. I find it so easy to sympathize with him after all he's been through. It's hard to imagine him being as open and easy going as Kenzie is because of all the loss he has suffered and the constant torment of the fair folk. I found it a bit refreshing to watch him find with himself over his dickish tendencies to push people away. I read way too many overbearing male characters in YA, it was fun to be behind his eyes for once and also to have one who obviously truly agonizes over the fact that he acts like a jackass. Not one who has a great excuse for it, but never really shows remorse.
Then there is Kenzie, who is just as stubborn and bubbly as before. She is also just as sick as before, causing a great deal of concern for Ethan and me. I swear, if she fucking dies, I'm going to be so angry. I'm aware that Ethan making any sort of fairy deal goes against everything he believes in, but if that is what it takes, he better fucking do it. Kenzie cannot die, period. Without her, Ethan will go back to being an asshat fulltime with no one to rein in the inner jerk. We cannot have that. Her determination to live her remaining days as she chooses, regardless of anyone else's opinion, including her friends, family, and doctors is admirable. She knows she doesn't have long left on this Earth and refuses to spend what time she has left being locked in her room. Watching her brave everyone's rage, not to mentions the dangers of the Nevernever, was awe-inspiring. I hope if I'm ever called on, I can be half as brave as her.
Puck makes another glorious appearance here. Seriously, this guy is so amusing, there just aren't words. He's ability to swoop in and save the day, but always with a smile and a sarcastic comment, regardless of the amount of danger they are all in kept me snorting the entire time. I want to go back and read all the original Iron Fey novels strictly to get more of him. Seriously, he's the best character ever. I think he may be my favorite YA male ever. The fact that he is based on a Shakespeare character doesnt' even tarnish my love for him and that alone should speak volumes. Grimalkin is also a character I enjoy. He reminds me so much of the Coraline cat.
Kierran, however, is now a character I'm now on the fence about. I really liked him in the first book, and enjoyed his determination to save Annwyl against all odds was endearing as hell. Devotion to your true love even though you know if you succeed in your quest, you still won't be together should have had me swooning immediately. Initially it did, but the further we get into the novel, the less I liked him and by the end....well the only thing I can say is WHAT THE FUCK KIERRAN? SERIOUSLY? (view spoiler)[You stabbed Ethan?!?!?!? I mean, I know you'd do anything to save Annwyl and breaking the veil will forever halt the fade, but seriously? You made a very distinct statement in the beginning about how you do not sell out family and then you fucking kill your uncle? Leaving out the fact that to take down the veil, Ethan must perish, but millions of human lives will most likely be taken as well because they don't know how to handle the fairies. Annwyl will never forgive you for this. I don't know how your parents are going to react, but I think we can rest assured that Meghan will not be happy. (hide spoiler)]
The biggest reason this gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the ending. This cliffhanger rivals Tellulah Darling's My Date From Hell. Julie, how can you do this to me? How can you do this to all your fans? You lull us into a false sense of security by wrapping things up nicely at the end of The Lost Prince, saving the shudder inducing ending for book two. Can I just advise all authors that if you plan on using the horrid cliffhanger ploy, at least have the decency to do it in the first book, because if you end the first one with a solid ending, we readers are overjoyed, but once we get to the end of two and get hit the whatever whammy you have in store for us, it's that much worse because we weren't expecting it at all. I feel like I've been punched in the face. That ending was just so terrible and there is absolutely no information up for the next one. It has no cover art, no description, not even a damn title.
If you enjoyed the first of this series, you'll definitely love this. It's filled with action, adventure, romance, and just enough snarky comments from our dear Puck to keep anyone entertained. Kagawa has this magical quality to her writing that you cannot stop yourself from becoming addicted to the story. You just have to keep going because you must know what happens next. Add to that the fact she named one of her chapters "The Apple Orchard Of Doom" and really what else do you want?
****Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
Katie Greene is a bit lost. Her mom died several months ago and now she is living w...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Katie Greene is a bit lost. Her mom died several months ago and now she is living with her aunt in Japan. Though she’s learning, her Japanese still isn’t great and she feels so far from home, but she’s trying her best to give it all a shot. She’s made a friend or two but still feels out of place, being the only American in her school, since her aunt insisted she go to regular Japanese school. Then she meets Yuu Tomohiro and she gets put even further out of depth. He seems like such a jerk, but she can see something softer lurking just beneath the surface and she’s fascinated and confused by him, especially by the fact that drawing seem to move around him. Either she’s losing her mind or Tomohiro has a special ability he doesn’t want to share with the class. Either way, she is determined to get to know the real Tomo.
Really, I think this is 4.5 stars….when did I turn into one of those people who reviews with .5 star ratings?!?!? Anyway, I was both incredibly excited and terribly nervous to start this because of its setting. I have never been to Japan nor do I speak perfect Japanese, but I did take several Japanese classes in high school and kept in relatively good touch with my teachers once they returned to Japan so I wanted to details to be perfect. You can imagine my relief when I realized that the setting was incredibly well researched. Sun definitely didn’t skimp out on making sure this was as authentic as she could get and I applaud her for that. It made me so nostalgic that I actually went back and dug out my old Japanese stuff to refresh my memory and cram more into my pitiful brain. But that’s a bit off topic.
Katie is a pretty decent leading character. She has minor lapses into that dreaded Bella Swan syndrome, but she tries to pull herself out rather quickly and always seems to do the right thing in the end. Her immediate fascination with Yuu seemed a little insta-lovey and she does start thinking she loves him rather soon in the relationship, but it never truly felt like insta-love, which I think is a real accomplishment. I was a little disturbed by her tendency to stalk him. It was more than a little creepy, but maybe that is because I JUST finished a novel where the girl had stalker tendencies and things got out of hand. Lucky for us, Katie’s stalkerism takes a back seat once she and Tomo have their first real conversation. It was hard not to be sympathetic towards her. The poor girl is orphaned, living temporarily in Japan with her aunt until things can be sorted out with her grandparents, having to learn a language and a culture that she knows she’ll be leaving behind soon, and even though she is getting the hang of it, she’s terribly homesick.
Then there is Yuu Tomohiro, who is the quintessential YA bad boy. You know the asshole that’s really a good guy underneath but pushes everyone away for their own protection? Well, that description doesn’t sound amazing, but trust me, if you’re into bad boys, this one is definitely for you. And he gets major bonus points for realizing that Katie will be much better equipped to handle the dangers ahead if he lets her in on his big secret. I mean, fuck, she already really knows anyway she just needs confirmation, but he could have been more of a dick and refused to admit it. I found his random modesty all too adorable. I realize that Japanese etiquette is so entirely different than ours that it’s difficult to really imagine, but I found it cute that he could go from making lurid comments without batting an eyelash and then blush furiously when Katie has the audacity to suggest he call her by her first name. He’s just so damned badass and adorable.
The writing was completely addictive and believable. Things may have been just a tad more interesting if we got something from Tomohiro’s perspective (hint hint hint), but it was still thrilling to see it all from Katie’s eyes. I’ve already mentioned the believable Japanese setting so I won’t go all fangirl over that again. The fantasy elements were also well done. It wasn’t over the top outlandish and it was that perfect combination that makes you almost believe that somewhere in Japan right now, this is all really happening.
Closing comments? Just read it. If you like fantasy, if you like Japan, if you like ya, whatever, just give it a shot and be amazed.
****Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Wonderland is no longer the magic place it once was. After Alice’s first visit, the...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Wonderland is no longer the magic place it once was. After Alice’s first visit, the madness slowly seeped out, leaving it tainted with normality. Gwen, Rose, Marc, and Lucky call it home, but don’t remember all that it was…except that Gwen is fascinated by their history and obsessed with the Alice prophecy, which states that they get one shot at using her to bring Wonderland back into its former glory. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
This novella was pretty intense, but also a little disappointing. You get tossed headfirst into Wonderland and you keep bouncing from perspective to perspective that it’s hard to keep up and make sense of it all. That would have been fine in a longer novel, but it’s a bit jarring in a novella that doesn’t allow for the recovery time. I did really enjoy Gwen’s character though, as well as Rose’s. Gwen, with all her knowledge of Wonderland’s history and her obsessive need to know all things Alice, felt very real and solid while some of the other characters felt a bit flatter. The same goes for Rose, with her newly acquired title of Queen, she’s pretty easy to sympathize with as she navigates the treacherous waters of leadership while still trying to do the right thing for her kingdom.
Even with its minor issues, I still would love to see where this all goes. I’m one of those odd ducks who didn’t like the Carroll story or the first Disney cartoon, but I LOVED the Tim Burton one and have become more than a little enamored with Alice retellings. I think this is definitely worth a read, though most should probably wait until the next novella is out so you aren’t left with quite as bad of a cliffhanger.
****Thank you to Patchwork Press and Kellie Sheridan for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Dragonfly follows Anna in her tumultuous relationship with the son of the town’s we...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Dragonfly follows Anna in her tumultuous relationship with the son of the town’s wealthiest business man. But the closer she gets to him, the more she realizes that though her body is saying yes, maybe her mind should be saying no…and that Julian, her artist friend may just be the perfect guy for her. Then she gets an internship at a local newspaper and is assigned to assist on a bicentennial story that brings up questions she doesn’t know the answers to, but is determined to find out.
I am currently having an internal debate over whether to give this two stars or three. Mainly I hate giving two stars, but I feel like this really deserves that. My biggest issue with the novel was the main character, Anna. She was so self-centered and immature and just stupid at times that I couldn’t sympathize with her at all. Watching her jump back and forth between Jack and Julian when it was clear that Julian was the better guy was not only irritating, but almost infuriating. First she thinks Julian is hot, but would never be interested in her….then he shows interest, but she meets Jack and he is oh so drool-worthy and she just has to have him, Julian be damned. But the whole time, Jack is doing that push and pull thing where he likes her, but doesn’t want a commitment and he keeps saying his life is too complicated to bring her into that shit, but you never really see it, besides the assholic father and older brother, his life doesn’t seem too bad. And Anna just goes on and on and on about Jack and how she can’t get him out of her head and then they split and she is all whiny and piney and Boohoohoo. I just found her whole personality grating. Maybe I’m too old for this kind of drama, but it all felt so fake and overdone to me. She bitches and moans in the beginning about Gabi, her best friend, moving away, but she barely speaks to her the whole book and WEEKS go by with no contact. When my best friend moved away in high school, we talked on the phone every fucking day (this was pre-text days) and she didn’t move far away, just far enough that she had to transfer schools.
The plot was extremely boring in the first half and then picks up in the second, when the mystery is finally introduced. Even though the mystery is so predictable that people with the reading comprehension of a middle schooler could see it coming. The writing style was okay, but a bit choppy.
I’m just so disappointed with this. I think it was supposed to be new adult, but it definitely doesn’t have that feel, despite the few failed attempts at sexy make-out scenes. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by too many greatly written NA’s, like Easy and The Secret Of Ella & Micha and Hopeless, but I just expected so much more from this. I really shouldn’t have been surprised considering this contains so many things I hate, love triangles, intsalove, whiny useless heroine, and a cliffhanger. For anyone out there curious, go ahead and give it a try, just tread cautiously!
****Thank you to All Night Read and Leigh Talbert Moore for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes t...moreThe 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****(less)
Ethan Harris is haunted by incredibly vivid violent dreams and a voice that speaks...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ethan Harris is haunted by incredibly vivid violent dreams and a voice that speaks to him of dark things. He struggles to maintain a normal façade, keeping all his secrets at any cost and it works fine until he sees Nara Collins. For reasons he cannot understand, her mere presents calms his darker sides and though he knows he can never allow himself to be close to her, he is too fascinated to stop watching and obsessing over her. The more he watches, the more he realizes that there is more to Nara then meets the eye and it makes it that much harder to fight his attraction to her.
Like most prequels, this makes me really want to read the first book in the series which I have had sitting on my kindle for quite some time. I’ll have to make more of an effort to find the time to read it. Ethan was a very interesting leading man, with his darkness and his affinity for animals, dogs especially. It’s obvious his life has been far from easy and I just want to see things improve for him. Nara is a bit of a mystery since we only see her via Ethan’s perspective and they don’t actually speak until the very end of this shockingly short novella, but if the synopsis of the next book is any indication, she will be a fascinating character as well.
This has successfully done its job of whetting my appetite for more and I definitely plan on starting the next novel as soon as possible!
****Thank you to All Night Reads for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** (less)
Nova's life used to be full of joy and hope....until tragedy strikes. Now, she's a...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Nova's life used to be full of joy and hope....until tragedy strikes. Now, she's a shell of her former self, just trying to get by without falling apart again. Then Quinton enters the picture and she can't help but be drawn to him, with his honey-brown eyes that remind her so much of someone she used to know. Quinton knows he isn't worthy of Nova's attention, but he can't seem to resist her sweetness. She manages to make him smile, which is something he hasn't done in longer than he can remember. Can these two live in the present for long enough to make it work or will the past catch up to them?
Nova is that sweet girl who has witnessed death a time too many. She doesn't know how to move on after her boyfriend passes on. She loved him so much and she just can't tolerate the idea that his beautiful face and artistic abilities no longer grace this world. And when Quinton walks in with nearly identical honey brown eyes containing the same sadness she always saw in Landon's, she becomes a bit enraptured with this boy. She knows he isn't Landon, but the pull to know him and erase that sadness is more than she can resist. Her journey into the drug world is a bit unsettling. Her pull to achieve that numbing inner silence both drew me in and horrified me. I'm not a fan of drugs, I can't even tolerate cigarettes, so I don't think I'll ever understand Mary Jane's call to Nova, but it fascinated me nonetheless.
Quinton is sweet and such a fucking idiot. He's the epitome of grieving idiot. He's desire to protect Nova from this dark and dirty world was admirable, but I just wanted to slap some sense into the boy. It's obvious to everyone that the terrible car accident was not his fault. He was the only sober one in the the car wearing a seatbelt for fucks sake. But he's determined to deny himself any of the joys of life and spend his time killing himself one drug filled hit at a time. There just aren't words for that. I sympathize with him because I blame myself for everything, but this isn't the answer!
Then there is the ghost of Landon. Don't misread this, Landon does not appear here in ghost form, it's just a metaphor for his memories haunting Nova. Landon is a character I'm not a fan of. If you have sensitive opinions about depression and suicide, please stop reading here because you won't like my opinion. The last time I posted a review with negative opinions about depression, it got lots of bad comments, so I'm hesitant to do it again. But this is my blog, putting out my opinion, and I did warn you, right? WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE? You have a life full of people who love you and would bend over backwards to help you and instead of making the tinsy effort to tell them something is wrong so they can get you help, you just end it? Not. Fucking. Cool. I have been depressed, sometimes I think I still suffer from it a bit, so don't tell me I don't understand what he's going through, though mine wasn't nearly as severe. Giving up is never the goddamn answer. Did you even seriously consider for a moment what it would do to your family? Nova? How they will always blame themselves? You claim to love Nova ssssoooo much, but not enough to even try to stay with her? Not enough to even attempt anti-depressants and counselling all that nonsense? I mean, it's one thing if you have exhausted all your resources to find something that makes it better and nothing works, but for you to not even try? I just....there aren't any words or gifs adequate to describe my feelings about that.
There is also the idiotic character that is Delilah. Nova's "best friend" who slowly pushes her into the world of drugs. The idiot who stays with her abusive drug-dealing boyfriend despite every sign she should run. And she should run. I've read the next book, things get infinitely worse for her. Grow a goddamn brain. I'm so sick of seeing this, both in literature and real life. What the fuck does he have that is so goddamn special that you just can't live without him? Money? Nope, he's always going broke because of the drugs? Good looks? Nope, druggies aren't attractive. Charming personality? No, rage monkeys aren't charming. I get that you apparently have no self-worth but, seriously? This is what you think you deserve? This is where you want your life to be? Once again, there just aren't words for that. Grow a fucking backbone and step out on your own. Sure, it'll be lonely, but that's a fuckload better than the abuse your are receiving.
This is something different than we normally get from Sorensen. Instead of a tale about two people find each other and helping each other improve, it's much more about Nova's journey to improve herself. Sure, she spirals down into the drug world for a short while, but she eventually wakes up and realizes what she wants...and this isn't it. Sure, there is the obvious attraction between her and Quinton and a handful of smutty scenes between the two, but this isn't Quinton coming to his senses and rescuing Nova. It was a refreshing change, to see her realize she really is above all this drama and she deserves better.
This deserves five stars if for no other reason than it managed to elicit a full range of emotions from me. Sorensen has proven to be talented at not only creating twisted characters, but pulling you along for the ride. You feel everything they feel, whether you really want to or not. You rejoice when their happy and cry when their sad and ache when they hurt. It's completely amazing, and maybe a tad annoying. I don't read to get sad, I read to get happy, but the ride would have been more than a little just one sided if it was always happy and part of why I love Jessica is that she is brave enough to go into the darker side of things. It's a dark and thrilling tale of a young girls journey back to the self she lost long ago. It's so much more than I was expecting and I loved every second of it.
Anna is a big girl. She’s a size 18 and is more than a little self-conscious about...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Anna is a big girl. She’s a size 18 and is more than a little self-conscious about it. So when Chase shows up, she knows she doesn’t have a chance in hell, or does she? Chase seems more than a little interested and as the night progresses, she finds out just how much he wants her.
In an epic fit of pile denial, this book was my compromise. It’s short, so I can legitimately allow myself to go ahead and read it while still buried in eARCs because it won’t take more than an hour to finish, and it was just what I needed. Anna is spunky and fun, a strong independent woman who gets caught up in a sexy soon to be rock star. Though Anna and I have some differences, I definitely can relate to her feelings about her size and it was a relief to not be reading about a stick thin girl who never exercises, eats like a cow, and somehow magically stays tiny.
Chase was a leatherpants wearing rock star who is beyond understanding why Anna is uncomfortable about her size. Throughout the whole story, he shows her that he likes her just the way she is and wouldn’t change a thing about her. He’s also drop dead gorgeous with ab muscle to make many a man in Hollywood jealous.
The short story brings the two together and then leaves you with a cliffhanger as Chase gets a very important call and Anna has to decide what she really wants from her life. It’s well written with one hell of a steamy sex scene. I’m definitely excited to see where Anna & Chase end up!(less)
Josie Peters thinks she has everything she needs, a decent boyfriend, good friends,...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Josie Peters thinks she has everything she needs, a decent boyfriend, good friends, and the drive to make sure her BMX skills are always improving. Then her boyfriend dumps her just before prom and she learns her friends are all going away for the summer and she is forced to find other means of distraction which leads her to connect with a few other BMX girls and sets her on the journey to compete in more than one tournament this summer.
This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Josie is a strong heroine who keeps pushing for what she wants despite the opposition and her own fears. She isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes, but she continues to pick herself up and try again. I think YA especially needs more heroines just like Josie. No Bella Swan syndrome here, Josie is beyond basing who she is off the guy she’s with and doesn’t sit around whining when things don’t go her way. When she wipes out completely, ended up with a badly bruised face and a sprained wrist, she lets her friend post the video online and instead of bitching about needed a new frame for her bike, she goes out and makes a plan to try to get a local bike shop to sponsor her or at least give her a discount and succeeds.
The writing was done so well with the perfect balance of realism and humor. I just can’t stress enough what a great character Josie is, breathing life into this story in a way that was completely relatable. I’m happy to say that though this could have easily fallen into love triangle land with the multitude of hot males, it doesn’t. This book is more about Josie’s path to BMX tournaments than her endless need to find her next boyfriend, though there is definitely a bit of romance mixed in. It’s a stand-alone, so no worrying about the dreaded cliffhangers and it has my favorite kind of ending, a happy but realistic one. Josie definitely doesn’t get everything she wants, but what she does get is enough and it was perfect. Her triumphs outweighing her failures and all that jazz.
I think this is a book for everyone, especially teen girls showing that with enough determination, you really can achieve your goals. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you want, period. I think that’s the biggest lesson this is trying to teach and it succeeds.
****A big thank you to Karen Avivi for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review**** (less)
Hannah Smith has been locked in the attic for almost her entire life. She is the co...moreThe 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****(less)
Quinn is being tortured by shadow demons. Normally they only invade her dreams, whi...moreThe 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"]>(less)
Wendy Mann loves her job, but she’s losing it. After her bosses tell her she’s fire...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Wendy Mann loves her job, but she’s losing it. After her bosses tell her she’s fired, she begs for another chance and they give it to her: rehabilitate teenage rocker Lorelei Vogel before she loses her recording contract. It’s an impossible job, but Wendy is determined to do it. It just becomes more difficult when she realizes Lorelei’s ex is being repped by Daniel Blackstone, her college rival, and they will all be in Vegas together for this particularly hellish week. Daniel cannot believe he’ll be seeing Wendy again. She starred in way too many of his college fantasies, not that she’ll ever know that. But Wendy is an unneeded distraction and soon, he cannot help but pay more attention to her than to his client. With the heat turning past the boiling point for these two, can they still manage to keep their respective stars in line long enough to save Wendy’s career?
I didn’t love this novel the way I’ve loved all the other stories I’ve read by Jennifer Echols. I found Wendy to be too over-the-top and just plain annoying. Yes, we get it. You spent a week as a stripper (but apparently it was a very good week) and you have gorgeous blonde hair. Good for you, but seriously, get on with it. Daniel, wasn’t much better, coming off as high handed and too damn quiet. He laughs at Wendy’s dumb sex jokes, all of which made me cringe. He’s apparently very attractive, but I had a hard time imaging him in my head. The romance between the two felt awkward at best and forced at worst. I understand there are legitimate reasons you two cannot fuck each other’s brains out and get it over with, but I felt like their relationship was just lust and once they are together for a few months, it’ll burn out quickly. The fact that they stupidly got married for a publicity stunt makes it that much worse.
The plotline, at least, was interesting enough. I would actually really love to see more of Lorelei. She is what kept me reading, to see if her storyline would work out. I don’t think we’ll get much more of her in this series and that is just sad since she was the big highlight for me. The novel was decent enough, I supposed, but disappointing because I’ve adored all the Jennifer Echols books I’ve read until now and I hate seeing something I’m excited about fall below my expectations. I am planning on reading the next novel, but I’m not nearly as excited about it was I was before I started this. Hopefully the next heroine won’t be so obnoxious and I won’t dislike her as much.(less)
Eve doesn’t know her history. She was found wandering around at 12 with barely any...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Eve doesn’t know her history. She was found wandering around at 12 with barely any clothes and no memory of life before the Evolution. TorBane was an exciting new technology that was imbedded cybernetic material into human DNA and make it possible to regrow human organs and limbs. When it was first announced people were overjoyed at the possibility of finally getting the new organ they had been wait-listed for or regrowing the limb they had lost. Something went terribly wrong and the mechanical bits starting taking over. All too quickly the soul was gone and what remained was a malicious Bane determined to assimilate the rest of the population. Eve is now part of Eden, one of the last few remaining human colonies. With 30+ members, they all wondered if they were all that was left of humanity and with the Bane getting more aggressive and cunning by the day, they wondered how much longer they would last.
Eve is that kickass female character that we all want to be. She’s strong, confident, and determined to protect Eden, no matter what. She is somewhat emotionally impaired, having difficulty understanding grief and other strong emotions, but she loves the people of Eden and will protect them until her last breath. She has negative qualities as well, with a low tolerance for deception and a recklessness that can lead to trouble. She also enviable because she can survive with less food and less sleep than anyone else. What I could accomplish if I only needed 4-5 hours of sleep per night is unimaginable.
Then there are Sarah and Avian, a brother and sister who have more or less adopted Eve into their lives. Sarah is kind and caring, helping Eve in any way she can and being the best girl friend you can share everything with. Avian is strong and intelligent. He is the official doctor of their camp, though he never did earn his doctorate. He had a couple years medical training in the army before the Bane started taking over. I find it interesting that the same parents who gave Avian such an interesting name gave Sarah such a boring one. It is pretty obvious from the beginning that Avian has a thing for Eve and I was rooting for them from the moment he gives her that necklace. ::swoons::
West is the other corner in the inevitable love triangle. He’s the outsider, the newcomer who is full of secrets, some about the past that Eve cannot remember. He basically becomes Eve’s stalker, following her around and becoming part of her hunting party and so on. He makes her feel passion, but is that all a relationship should be built on?
Then we have my favorite part, the plot. This had a very I-Robot feel to me, even though the concepts are pretty different, I couldn’t help picturing the bots from I-Robot as the Bane. Robots, even robot-human hybrids, dominating the planet holds a mystical interest for me (except the original Terminator movies, which I will NEVER watch). Seeing the humans outwit the machines is something that just fascinates me, especially when the machines have become so advanced. This mechanical virus spreads quickly. A single touch will infect you and there is absolutely nothing that can save you. With the Bane outnumbering the humans so greatly, how can there be any hope for our survival? Because the members of Eden are determined to live, to survive and annihilate the bots, even if they die trying.
This really is an amazingly intense read, filled with romance and mystery. (view spoiler)[Though the part about Eve being the original hybrid is ssssoooooo predictable. (hide spoiler)] It gets knocked down from 5 stars because I really do loath love-triangles and also because of the ending. No one important dies at then end, but someone is on the brink and I wasn’t happy about it. Really though, if you like dystopians with a bit of romance, this is for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I can’t wait to read the next one.
****Thank you to Keary Taylor Books 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"]>(less)
Will and Lake are finally happily married. But now Lake wants to know everything ab...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Will and Lake are finally happily married. But now Lake wants to know everything about Will, including past details that he’d rather keep to himself. So, reluctantly, he begins to finally reveal his thoughts and feelings since having met Lake. No thought is concealed and no stone is left unturned in this story where we finally get to hear Will’s side.
This is a hard review to write for me. I really enjoyed this story, as I imagine everyone who has read Slammed & Point Of Retreat will because hearing about everything from the beginning from Will’s perspective is something we all dreamed about from the first page of the first book. What is difficult for me to understand is that in book one I found myself getting irritated at Lake for not cutting Will more slack because it was obvious that he was trying his hardest to make things right and even though he managed to fail spectacularly, he still always tried to do the right thing. I felt like Lake was being immature for being less than completely understanding. Will has a kid brother to provide for which means he needs to keep a steady job and have money coming in at all times to ensure Caulder has what he needs. Now, in this novel, it felt like I jumped sides. Yes, Will is incredibly sympathetic towards Lake’s dilemma, but I still felt the need to defend her at certain points and scream at him that he was being so hypocritical. The best example of this is that in this book we learn that Will went on a date with someone else after his first date with Lake, something Gavin pushed him into, trying to help him get over Lake. When Will finally fesses up and tells Lake, he doesn’t seem to understand why this makes Lake so upset. But we all know that in Slammed, when he sees Lake kissing Javi, he goes nuts and beats the kid to a bloody pulp. Um, hi? You do see a problem here? I certainly do. How the fuck do you expect Lake to feel when she learns you willing kissed someone else while she was sitting at her house pining over you? In fact, the whole date thing really bugged me. I hated how the girl fawned over him and was all “keep my number in case it doesn’t work out.” I get that Will is a great catch, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.
Beyond that weird moment of side jumping, this book was amazing. It was nice that for once we don’t get just a straight retelling of what happened in book 1, but rather a nice mix of current events with the older story flawlessly weaved in. Yes, a big chunk of this book is seeing Slammed through Will’s eyes, but it never feels like we are just rehashing what already happened. In addition to adding present day scenes, Hoover also adds scenes from Slammed that we never see because it was solely in Lake’s perspective. Also, rather than going through the day to day of Slammed, we just tackle the big events, like the first date, the day we find out that Will is actually Lake’s teacher, and so on.
The characters are the same as before, though you get a bit more of Gavin than you have before. That’s both good and bad because you see him trying to help Will so much but yet it isn’t really that helpful. On the same note, you get a lot less of Eddie, which is a shame because she is definitely one of my favorite characters. In fact, I definitely wouldn’t mind a spinoff focused on her…(hint hint hint).
What this boils down to is simple. If you enjoyed Slammed and/or Point Of Retreat, than this is a no brainer. Colleen Hoover’s storyline and writing is exactly what you have been lead to expect and though this isn’t quite as good as Hopeless, it’s definitely up to her normal standards. If you haven’t read Slammed, but like contemporary YA or NA, what are you waiting for?
****Thank you to Atria Books, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** (less)
This is your classic good girl meets bay boy scenario. Rory is a smart, premed coll...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This is your classic good girl meets bay boy scenario. Rory is a smart, premed college student on the track to becoming a coroner and Tyler is a tattooed boy from the wrong side of the tracks going to an EMT degree so he can better himself. It’s an unlikely pair, but the attraction between the two is undeniable. Will Rory risk her future to be with Tyler? Will Tyler allow her to do that? I guess you’ll have to read to see.
Rory and Tyler are both pretty much your typical new adult characters. She’s a good girl with a nice unbringing in the upper middle class and he’s lower class with a drug-addled mother. She’s that nerdy girl who has never really had a boyfriend and is therefore still a virgin at 20. He’s sexually experience from all his years as a manslut and even has a bolt through the cock to prove his manliness. The only thing that sets them apart is the fact that for once it’s the guy who is the literature-whore. He loves to read. When he shows up to a Halloween party wearing normal clothes claiming to be a muggle, I was snorting with amusement. The guy is rarely ever the booknerd, so I loved seeing that. I wasn’t overly fond of Rory, but I think I did like Tyler quite a bit. Once you learn more about him, it’s easy to sympathize with him. My only issue with him (view spoiler)[besides the fact that he goes all Edward-y towards the end with the whole “I can’t be with you anymore because I’m no good for you.” (hide spoiler)] was his nicotine addiction. I don’t care what Rory says about that shit being “sweet smelling,” it’s gross. In fact, considering that Rory’s mom died of cancer, it’s difficult to believe she didn’t have a bigger problem with his cancer sticks, but she doesn’t.
All the side characters are great. I didn’t like Kylie or Jessica initially, but they definitely grew on me. I loved Rory’s dad’s girlfriend, Susan and Tyler’s brothers. Susan never tries to be Rory’s mother, only helping when she can and staying out of it when she isn’t wanted or needed. Tyler’s brothers are just downright amusing. Their camaraderie won me over almost instantly.
The plot was good, if more than a little predictable. The writing was intriguing and addictive, making me want to continue when I know I should be doing other things. My only issue with the writing was the overuse of the word penis. It’s not so much that she uses it too much, just more of the fact that I don’t like that word particularly. It just sounds so clinical. In my humble opinion, cock or dick is better, but that’s probably just me.
This won’t be my favorite read of the year, but it was definitely good and I think anyone who enjoys new adult or contemporary romance will enjoy it. I look forward to reading more books by Erin McCarthy!
****Thank you to Intermix Books, published by Penguin Group, 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"]>(less)
Dante Walker is living the dream. He’s a soul collector with an unlimited Amex cred...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Dante Walker is living the dream. He’s a soul collector with an unlimited Amex credit card. Life couldn’t be any better….unless he got that promotion he wants and could walk the Earth unhindered by this stupid cuff that tracks his whereabouts for Boss Man. All he has to do is collect one soul in ten days, the soul of Charlie Cooper. Why the boss wants this particular soul, he has no idea, but it’s his job to deliver and he’ll do whatever it takes to secure that promotion. But then he starts to fall for Charlie and learn that maybe she’s more important than his wants. This can’t possibly end well.
I started this book rather irritated. Over half of the blogs I follow (and that’s quite a few) have been raving about how amazing this book is and how badass Dante is. I was overly excited to read about another Daemon Black type character (and if you don’t know who Daemon Black is, you need to fix that, like NOW) and quickly realized that Dante is nothing like Daemon. They both have that jackass cocky vibe, but that’s where the similarities end. The more I read, the more irritated with Dante I became. He acts like his the shit, but I don’t ever really see him back it up (well until right at the end), he thinks he’s a bad motherfucker, but he never curses (again, until the end and even then, only a little), and he talks like a gangsta. He’s opinionated, judgmental, and all around just seems like an overconfident jerk. And then, miracle of miracles, he started to change. The more he was around Charlie, the more we see something good shift in him. He even loses a bit of that gangsta attitude which is great, because that’s just unattractive. Then he starts getting protective of Charlie and I finally start to see the swoon-worthiness of this guy. Granted, he’ll never be on my list of top ten male characters, but I genuinely started to like him. Basically, it was something like this: Dante:
But then I was:
And maybe just a little of this:
As for Charlie, I initially didn’t like her either. I’m not too big on goody-goody’s and she reminded me too much of Anna from Sweet Evil and I was none too pleased. I like a girl with a little spunk. Just like with Dante, though, she grows on you. Her ability to stay positive after all the bad shit that has happened to her was admirable and she actually does have a bit of spunk buried in there. The more of her I saw, the more I wanted her and Dante to end up together. I wasn’t in love with any of the side characters, either…except maybe Annabelle who had that kickass girl vibe.
The plot was both predictable and not. I knew a few key things were going to happen (view spoiler)[like that Dante was going to switch sides and become a Liberator before it was over with (hide spoiler)], but there were definitely some surprises mixed in there too. Victoria Scott manages to make me eventually like a character I initially hated and that alone requires a great deal of talent. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t play up the love triangle aspect and the fact that she actually ends this book with a solid ending (not a horrible cliffhanger) and well, you can imagine my reaction…and just in case you can’t, I’ll give you some visual aids.
…okay, so maybe the Casper gif wasn’t entirely on topic, but I just love it anyway. So basically what I ‘m saying is that love or hate Dante, this book is a pretty great read and I think most people would definitely enjoy it. I certainly did.
****Thank you to Entangled Publishing, LLC 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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)