Layla will never be normal, no matter how much she wishes she was. She's half garg...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Layla will never be normal, no matter how much she wishes she was. She's half gargoyle, half demon, an unheard of combination considering it's the Gargoyle's duty to destroy demons on-sight. But that doesn't make her existence any less real. All she wants is to be normal and to be with Zayne, the insanely hot Warden (aka Gargoyle) who she's had a crush on since he walked into her life at 7. But there's one problem, besides her despicable demon blood, and that's she will take his soul if they kiss. She's can't kiss anyone with a soul without relieving them of that particular asset. But then she meets Roth, the gorgeous tattooed demon who keeps saving her ass. Trusting him could mean the end of life as she knows it and would be seen as betrayal by her Warden family. But there is something about Roth that she can't resist. Would she happily follow him to her doom or will he be the savoir no one expects?
One day, I will read a JLA book and not be surprised by how awesome it is. That day is not today. I know I spend a portion of any review of her book raving about how epic she is, but really, I've yet to read something written by her that wasn't awesome and this is no exception. Armentrout tackles this particular brand of supernatural creature as beautiful as she does everything else. This is everything I expect it to be and more, just as addictive as the Lux series.
Layla (love her name, by the way) is that misfit I think we can all relate to, taken to a whole new level. Not only is she the odd man out at school, but her very DNA prevents her from fitting in even among her adoptive family. Though she has forged a close bond with a few members of the Warden family, she's still dislike by many and downright hated by some. She copes with it all rather well, all things considered, and is content (sorta) to spend her days in school, her afternoons tagging demons, and her nights lost in conversation with Zayne. Zayne, the ultimate crush she can never have. Even if it was possible to have a physical relationship with him, her demon blood would taint the Warden line, something the other Warden's wouldn't stand for. So when Roth enters the picture, she knows she should walk away and report the activity, but she can't make herself do it. Roth is intriguing and doesn't look down on her "bad" blood...and he's gloriously soulless, meaning she doesn't have to deal with that pesky soul-eating temptation she has to fight around everyone else.
Roth, oh dear Roth. You'd think that I'd get tired of JLA strolling out cocky bad-boy types by now, but it's just not the case. What's that phrase Katy uses, holy alien babies? That sounds about right. Roth is a self-serving demon with a sinfully hot body, a smart mouth, and several powerful abilities. He's just...::drools:: He's awesomesauce, k? He's so damned confident that it's impossible to even think he'll fail at whatever he puts his mind to. And when he puts his mind to convincing Layla to trust him....damn. He succeeds with flying colors. I'm definitely team Roth, just so we're clear.
Then there is Zayne, the other corner of this infuriating love triangle. Zayne is Roth's polar opposite. He's good and righteous and caring and equally as hot. The fact that a love affair would be impossible between him and Layla, along with the clairvoyant knowledge that he'll end up with Danika, makes it impossible for me to root for him. I know Layla's had it bad for him forever, but it's just not meant to happen. Not to mention the major letdowns here. In many ways he fails Layla in this novel, forgetting her or downright ignoring her when she needs him. She does some bad things too, but never anything to deliberately hurt him.
Can I comment on JLA's genius-ness again? This woman is quickly becoming my favorite author, with her ability to wow me in everything she writes. Here she shines with the Gargoyle lure, the badass demon, and the plot twists that I didn't anticipate. She shines because I love this book in spite of the love triangle and the awful, horrid cliffhanger. That end and Roth and the revelations about her parentage and holy fucking cow, I feel traumatized. I can't even....
So yeah, if you aren't overly fond of cliffhangers or not knowing if a particular character is dead for good (AND THAT CHARACTER BETTER NOT BE! I'm just sayin', putting that out there because that will make me angry and you won't like me when I'm angry), then you might wanna wait until book 2 (and probably 3, because let's face it, 2 will probably have a cliffhanger too) is out because the ending it's the rainbows and sunshine I'd been dreaming of.
This novel is everything you'd expect from JLA, with cocky male leads, a sassy heroine, and enough romance and turmoil to keep you enraptured. The romance between the characters ranges from hot to sweet, managing to give you just the right amount of smut for a YA novel without going overboard. Even those who prefer smut-free novels should be fine with this. I keep trying to figure out the best way to summarize this review, but it really comes down to a simple statement: It's JLA. I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for the next one. Seriously, I may sell my first born child to get my hands on it if I can get any takers for that offer. Oh, and before I forget, there is an exclusive excerpt at the end of the novel from Roth's point of view that will only be available in the print version, so if you're planning on buying it, there's a little extra incentive to get it in print. Trust me, it's totally worth it. It makes you love Roth even more, if such a thing were possible.
****A huge thank you Lisa Wray and all the people Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****
Luke & Violet both have fucked up pasts. Luke’s father walked out on them pret...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Luke & Violet both have fucked up pasts. Luke’s father walked out on them pretty early on and his druggie mother made him do things no child should ever have to deal with. Violet’s parents were murdered when she was a child and from then on she bounced from foster family to foster family, no one really wanted to keep the angry girls who’d spent a day in the house with her dead parents. From the first moment the two start talking, they argue and fight, but somewhere in the fighting, they can both tell that they have something in common and just maybe they can help each other.
Violet is a pretty strong character, she’s determined to be independent and self-sufficient even if it kills her. It’s better to fight for yourself than depend on someone who is eventually going to leave, right? Her resolve to trust no one was both admirable and depressing. No family and no friends can be a terribly lonely life and no one deserves that. Watching her fight with herself on whether or not to accept Luke’s help had me on edge because, for a moment, I really didn’t think she’d allow him to assist her at all, stubbornly refusing help even when going at it alone would make things worse for her. She relents though, at least letting him help her to class when she really couldn’t walk.
Luke is just as stubborn. He desperately needs somewhere to stay for the summer because he refuses to go home, but he can’t bring himself to ask his dad, who recently reappeared in his life, for help. He’s normal routine is drink himself to oblivion and find a girl willing to give sexual favors, no strings attached. He’s not the type to help someone out just for the hell of it, but from the moment Violet literally fell into his life, he can’t stop worrying about her and what made her jump out that window. Trying to determine whether or not she’s suicidal takes up more of his brain-space than he ever thought possible and he finds himself trying to help her even when it’s obvious she doesn’t want it.
Just like all of Sorensen’s couples, Violet & Luke are prefect together. When he’s with her, he cuts down on his drinking and she’s not off the rails crazy looking for an adrenaline fix. They both kind of even the other out and help cope with the fucked up pasts. Watching them fight with themselves and each other was way too enthralling and you can’t help but root for them. My problem was simply that it was a bit too predictable. (view spoiler)[From the first page that Luke mentions he mom came home covered in blood, I KNEW she was involved in Violet’s parents murders. It was so obvious that you’d have to be blind to not see it coming. How she was involved and who the guy with her was, I have no idea, maybe her dealer, but I knew it was her. (hide spoiler)] Another problem was the cliffhanger. I mean, I know I should always expect one with Jessica Sorensen, but I’m always hoping she’ll give that particular tactic a break. I think she enjoys torturing her poor fans because that ending was horrid. What makes it worse is that you don’t even realize it’s the end! On the E-ARC I read, it ends when your kindle shows 87% finished. So I’m reading and I go to the next chapter…and it’s an excerpt from The Redemption Of Callie & Kayden and then adds for similar novels and that’s it. I mean, I get that when we got to like 95% the book is over, but this one has the added bonus of allowing you to believe you’ve got more to read but you don’t. God I fucking hate cliffhangers. They are so damn frustrating, especially since there isn’t a release date for the next one yet. ::dies::
The only other issue was I thought we’d get a bit more of Callie and Kayden. I mean, Kayden is Luke’s bestie, so you’d assume Luke would clue him in on the whole homeless thing. But if he did, then I guess Kayden didn’t care. We get a scene or two with them, but not very much at all. It’s not really a big deal though and I can see why we’d want to focus solely on Violet & Luke.
Sorensen really has a talent for writing twisted characters who are so internally tortured that they can’t see a logical way out. She’s always got a talent for writing steamy love scenes and swoon-worthy male leads. Luke may be a dick to many people, but once he latches onto someone and makes that conscious decision to be connected to them, he becomes a whole different person. One thing is certain, I’m dying to get my hands on the next book (or the next two books because we all know the next one will have just as bad of an ending) because I need to know how they resolve their issues. I know they will, I know they’ll find a way back to each other, but it’s the how that’s important, right?
****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****
Kayden’s life has gotten worse. His dirty little secret is now public knowledge and...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Kayden’s life has gotten worse. His dirty little secret is now public knowledge and Caleb is threatening to press charges for the fight. Callie can’t stand watching Kayden struggle, but she has her own set of issues to work through and just hopes he doesn’t push her out of his life now that she knows his secret. The two both struggle to win back their lives in this installment of their story.
I loved it. I hated it. I’m a bit on the fence about parts of it. Kayden and Callie are the same great and interesting characters we loved in book 1. The side characters are the same, with a bit more of Callie’s brother thrown in, and they all felt well rounded and real. The story itself is enthralling and entertaining and leaves you wanting more.
My issue? Well, it almost felt like this should maybe have been just part of the first book instead of a new novel? The first third focuses on Kayden’s idiotic fucking decision that Callie deserves better and he must avoid her at all costs. Yeah, you can just imagine how I felt about that.
After we finally get over that, things improve quite quickly and all the expected things happen, plus a few unexpected ones. My issue is that if we take out the beginning stupidity, then this book would have been quite a bit shorter. Wouldn’t it have been easier for everyone if we just combine the last half of book 2 with book 1 and call it a day. Sure, that would bump book 1 to around five hundred pages, but it would certainly be better that that murderous rage-inducing cliffhanger at the end of book 1. This one ends with a minor cliffhanger and, though I’m dying to read the next one, it wasn’t nearly bad as the first one.
Bottom line? If you liked The Coincidence Of Callie And Kayden, then you’ll love The Redemption as well. Just be prepared for that “You deserve better than me” speech because I promise you it will happen, multiple times. (less)
I’ll be honest, there is a lot going on in this sequel. I really don’t know how to...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I’ll be honest, there is a lot going on in this sequel. I really don’t know how to summarize this plot, because, like with most middle books, there is just too much happening. The most basic thing I can say is that they are still battling Valentine and things get really complicated, really fast.
I had a hard time getting myself to both start this and continue reading it. Not, mind you, because of any problem with writing or character development, or any of the normal nonsense that gets in my way, but because I knew that still particular installment wasn’t going to end with Jace and Clary happily together. Reading my little sisters review told me quite clearly that, regardless of how well written and entertaining this book is, I just wasn’t going to love it. The love triangle aspect is played up even more in this one, where Clary obviously believes Jace is her brother and starts dating Simon. Can I just say that sibling thing is bullshit? I know it seems like they are and all the evidence points to that end, but just fuck no. I can feel it in my bones that it’s just not true and deep down, I think Clary and Jace know it too. But that doesn’t stop Clary from being horrified by the feelings she has for her “brother” and the whole dating Simon thing that just irritated the fuck out of me. I’m sorry, I love Simon, but we all know he is going to end up with Maia. That much is completely obvious after one fucking meeting between the two. Besides I want Simon to be happy and having Clary settle for him will never make him happy.
I really hate reviewing middle books, it’s so fucking difficult to put how I feel for them into words. This one manages to more or less escape that middle book syndrome, being entirely entertaining and action packed in its own right, but I just hate being dead center in the middle of the story, you know? Or better yet, still just at the being since now this tale is a now a six book series instead of the originally planned trilogy. There is so much that’s happened that I don’t approve of (view spoiler)[like Simon becoming a vampire (hide spoiler)], but there is still so much to come that I don’t exactly know how I feel. It’s hard to rate middle books properly because how I will feel about the series overall is entirely dependent upon how it ends. I can’t love it if Clary and Jace don’t end up together. Speaking of endings, I can just say that the ending of this one fucking sucked? The whole Jace/Clary/Simon triangle and the ending conversation in the epilogue between Clary and Jace and just….grh!
So, I’ll just say this, it was an enjoyable ride and I can’t wait to start the next one…in fact that what I’ll be doing this afternoon, before reporting to college for my first day of fall semester. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Clary is just a normal girl with a quirky best friend and no clue that there are fa...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Clary is just a normal girl with a quirky best friend and no clue that there are fairies, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of mythical creatures are roaming the world, until Jace Wayland walks into her life. Once she meets him, everything changes and the jury is still out if it's for the better or not. Then her mom gets kidnapped and she is thrust into a world were everything depends on finding a mythical hidden item in order to bargain for her mom's life.
I originally gave this five stars, but then downgraded it because it contains a love triangle and cliffhanger and I abhor those. I've seen a lot of hype on the blogosphere lately about the upcoming film and purposely waited until close to the movies release to read this because I knew as soon as I finished I'd be dying to see the film and I didn't want to have an excruciatingly long wait ahead. I can honestly say that I understand the hype now. I really enjoyed this. It's got that addictive quality that makes it difficult to put down once you start and that is quite a quality to possess.
As for the characters, I didn't initially love Clary. She seemed decent enough, but too similar to so many other YA heroines. No Bella Swan syndrome (thank Satan), but nothing about her stood out. Short, slim, flat-chested, artsy, and relatively intelligent seems like a common theme these days. I'm happy to report that by the end, I did come to like her character quite a bit. That whole always fighting for your friends/family no matter what thing gets me every fucking time.
Then we have the main attraction, Jace. If you read my updates, I think it's pretty obvious that I liked him from the start. There is just something about a hot, cocky, snarky, badass that just never fails to attraction my devotion. He kept me laughing through this somewhat serious book with his one liners and comebacks and complete confidence in his sexiness. And you can't help but feel for the guy once you learn his back story. Team Jace, all the way.
The other is the other point in this particular triangle. Simon. I sympathized with him from the get go because he's affection for Clary is rather obvious and I knew she'd never choose him. It's almost an unwritten rule in the love triangles that they never pick the nicer guy who has always been there for them. Simon's cute and totally geeky. He's always ready with a Star Wars or D&D reference and even though I liked Jace more, I do hope Simon eventually finds his happily ever after.
All the other characters were equally interesting, from Luke to Hodge to Isabelle & Alec. I especially enjoyed Magnus Bane. Hodge's character gets an irritated eyeroll (view spoiler)[because OF COURSE he's the fucking bad guy, or at least, of course he is working for the bad guy. He's casting choice for the film alone told me. He's played by Jared Harris and he's NEVER a good guy. I felt a little disappointed because that's a running theme in everything lately, to have the "friend" be the bad guy or the helpful side character. I get it, it's a good plot line and it keeps you guess, but could be leave it out for a bit? (hide spoiler)]
The writing was great, the plotline wasn't overly original, but it definitely wasn't the same one we keep getting over and over. What really irked me was the love triangle? Square? Pentagram? For the first half of the book it felt like everyone liked Jace and/or Clary and it got old really quickly. Luckily they are all over it by the end, so we don't get too much time angsting over it, but it was still annoying. (view spoiler)[The sibling accusation between Jace & Clary didn't garner more than an eyeroll. I know it isn't true and even if I didn't have a little sister who let me in on that secret before I started this, I still would have known. There is too much passion between the two and this series has too many fans for that to be the case. Just no. No Flowers In The Attic for me, thank you. (hide spoiler)]
On the whole, this is an immensely enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone looking for an addictive thrill-ride, with some interesting, if a little predictable, twists.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Since this is a novella, I'll keep this short and sweet. I loved seeing things from...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Since this is a novella, I'll keep this short and sweet. I loved seeing things from Logan's point of view and that this was still a new story, with only vaguely overlapping scenes, not the exact same plot via a new perspective. Logan is everything we thought he'd be and more. That dreaded cliffhanger leaves me desperate for the next installment.(less)
At the end of Wither, Rhine and Gabriel manage to escape from Linden’s mansion, but...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
At the end of Wither, Rhine and Gabriel manage to escape from Linden’s mansion, but unfortunately things don’t instantly improve once their outside those walls. Rhine isn’t much of a planner and her plan was simple, escape this life. She didn’t even consider what she should do once she accomplished that, so her and Gabriel just trapeze around trying to stay alive landing them right in the middle of the Scarlet district where the Madame has whores for everyone mans need, depending on how much he is willing to spend. Rhine fights to stay alive and out of the prostitution ring and when they finally escape, they are determined to make their way to Manhattan and find Rowan…but I think we all know it won’t be easy.
It was definitely a thrillride, I’ll give you that. I can honestly say that I had no idea where this one was going to lead so congrats on keeping me in the dark. The characters are the same as last time, with a few new additions, most noteably Silas and Maddie, both of whom were pretty interesting. I really can’t say much more than it was amazing because I would give away too many spoilers. So much happens here. If you enjoyed Wither, definitely give this one a try! (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****
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)
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)
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)
Sophie’s life is never going to get back to normal. After that fateful kiss from Ka...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sophie’s life is never going to get back to normal. After that fateful kiss from Kai that unlocked her true self (AKA Persephone) and battling a dragon, you think poor Soph could catch a break. Nope, not yet. Zeus and Hades are more determined than ever to find (and destroy) the ritual location, so Sophie needs Persephone’s memories more than anything. The only catch is to unlock those, she must go on a mission for Aphrodite to prevent Hermes from making Bethany a celebrity, all the while acting like she and Kai are on a romantic date. That’s right, Aphrodite thinks the pair should give it the old Greek try and date. Tons of chaos ensues and we’re left wondering, yet again, if Sophie can pull this off.
Sophie is just as snarky and sassy as in MEFH. Smart and very irrational when it comes to all things Kai, Sophie still has that kick-ass heroine vibe that I’ve come to adore. No damsel in distress to be found here. She actually saves Kai a time or two. And speaking of Kai……can I just say wow? I mean, I liked him before even though he was a jackass, but I LOVE him now. He reminds me a great deal of Daemon from Onyx, you know, when D was trying to win Katy. Kai really turns up the charm in this installment, trying to show Sophie that he really does care for her, and not just because she’s Persephone’s reincarnation. Seeing Kai’s sweet side really sealed the deal for me (and for Sophie, though she takes forever to admit it).
Then there is the rest of this ensemble cast. Hannah and Theo, plus a few new additions: Pierce (aka Cupid), Festos, Aphrodite, and Hermes. Hannah is still her normally geeky self, with one glitch: a major crush on Pierce. Watching Hannah try to balance science and attraction was epic. I love that there is an attractive geeky character. I love that Hannah is never portrayed and ugly or mousey, like most geeky or smart characters are. Theo is just as sarcastic and grumpy as ever. I loved Festos immediately. It’s obvious he and Sophie are kindred spirits, being so similar. Pierce I was initially on the fence about, but he won me over. I didn’t care for Aphrodite or Hermes, both seemed like selfish asshats.
I’m still battling with myself over the rating. 4 stars or 5 stars? Goodreads doesn’t allow half-star rating, so there is no viable way to compromise. Ultimately I’m going with 4 because of the major cliffhanger. If you thing the ending of My Ex From Hell was bad, well you were wrong. This is much, much worse. If the novel would have ended a little sooner, it would have been absolutely perfect, but they….he…she…
(view spoiler)[It was PERFECT. Kai and Sophie finally admit their feelings and Sophie has recovered Persephone’s memories, though she hasn’t had time to sort through them yet, and then we learn that Felicia is really Demeter and she is the one who killed Persephone because Persephone was a back-stabbing bitch who was going to seize power and leave everyone else in the dust. Which would have been fine, we could live with that, but Kai takes the irrational route and blames Sophie for everything and runs off before saying she betrayed him. Felicia runs away and then Bethany FUCKING STABS HER. Hannah and Theo arrive to find Sophie bleeding out on the pavement and cue curtains. How can you leave me like that? HOW? Stupid Sophie, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL KAI YOU LOVED HIM BEFORE YOUR MEETING? Things would have turned out alright and he wouldn’t have run off then. Hopefully. I NEED the next novel, like I need my next breath. (hide spoiler)] Let’s just say it doesn’t end the way we were all hoping for, K?
This novel was everything I was expecting and more. Sophie’s journey forces her to grow a bit and realize some hard truths. Darling’s writing style is just as believable and honest-feeling as her previous works. I am yet again floored by her ability to create such a realistic, grounded character with all the crazy tearing her world apart. Another accomplishment is the ability to write characters who are similar but still feel different. Sophie and Festos are so close in personality and all of characters show signs of Darling’s signature snarkiness, but they never felt like they were just carbon copies of the original character. They all have enough individuality to make them stand on their own.
She also has this amazing ability to write twists that I didn’t see coming. Call me naïve, but I didn’t see the ending of this coming, at all. It smacked me in the face as hard as it did Sophie and I cannot believe how that all came together. Sophie, with the people and the things, and just…fuck me, that was not what I was expecting. I know I was sincerely (and naively) hoping for a happy-ish ending to tide me over until the final installment and I knew that things wouldn’t go as smoothly as I was dreaming, but DAMN.
In all honesty, I really did love this. In spite of the appalling cliffhanger, it has everything that I need for a book to be shelved with the rest of my favorites. It has the clever dialogue we have come to expect from Tellulah Darling, with a plot that will have you sighing and keep you guessing until the last minute. The tag line from her website is so highly appropriate that it’s what I’ll leave you with: Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?
****Thank you to Tellulah Darling for providing me with a eARC 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"]>(less)
Sorry, I’m just so fucking happy. I’ve been in a reading slump lately where I have...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sorry, I’m just so fucking happy. I’ve been in a reading slump lately where I have enjoyed a few novels, but I’ve not LOVED anything, you know? I’ve found some funny/wacky/amusing/heartful/insert positive adjective here novels lately, but nothing that has made me want to bow down in front of his magnificence. Well, ladies and gentleman, here it is. This novel has me groveling on my knees at its awesomeness and I can honestly say that I loved every minute of it (and am dying on the inside for the next installment).
Sophie Bloom is just your average teenager. Average looks, average grades, with an adoptive mother who saw to it that she was enrolled in a boarding school so she wouldn’t have to put up with her. Everything is quite ordinary…until she kisses a handsome stranger on Halloween and her world is turned upside down. What that oh-so-delicious kiss revealed was that Sophie isn’t average after all, she’s really Persephone, the Greek goddess of Spring. Wait, what?!? That’s right kiddies, Sophie is really a goddess and she is smack-dab in the middle of a war between Zeus and Hades who both want her dead. Then there is her ex, Kai, son of Hades (aka mysterious kissing stranger). Things between these two are complicated at best. So much for a semester of worrying about teenage drama and backstabbing, yoga-pants wearing bitches, Sophie’s off to fight the baddies, slay a dragon, and save humanity…if she can pull it off.
Where to start? I guess I’ll go for Sophie first. She is the absolute perfect heroine. Snarky and sarcastic, she was had me giggling and rolling my eyes at/with her within the first few pages of the novel. She’s that heroine that it is entirely too easy to sympathize with as she is dragged along on this thrill ride, whether she likes it or not. Then there is Sophie’s best friend, Hannah, who is one of the greatest supporting characters ever. She’s brainy and busty and over-protective, with just the right of amount of bossiness to keep Sophie in line. I loved the two of them together. I loved that when Sophie finds out that she’s a goddess, the first thing she does is demand to see Hannah to tell her about it. Not for one second did she contemplate leaving Hannah in the dark to “protect” her or some other such bullshit.
The only character I’m undecided about is Kai…and that’s probably the point. One minute I’m lusting away after him (just like Sophie) and the next I want to assist Sophie in the nailing the bastard to the wall while inflicting several thousand paper cuts along his body then dousing him in salt and lemon juice so they all feel like they are on fire. Apparently Kai and Persephone had some kind of epic romance, star-crossed lovers and all that. They defied everything to be together, but his royal Dickhead can’t seem to decide if he wants to help Sophie or just fuck with her head. Trying to figure out whether to root for the pair to work it out or to see them in a knock-down drag-out brawl was enough give me a headache.
I am quickly discovering that I one of the most important things for me in any story is the characters. I have to like (hopefully love) at least a few of them to become invested in the story. This novel succeeds not only on that front, but has all the things necessary for me to adore it. It has amazing characters, clever dialogue, just the right amount of humor to keep me smiling, and a plot that even kept me guessing. Even with all these amazing things, the one thing that stands out even more is Tellulah Darling’s writing style. She manages to flawlessly pull off the wholly believable voice of this teenage girl. It’s so utterly true to life. I absolutely adore it and I recommend it to everyone.
****Thank you to Te Da Media for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Portia Mclean is long past the years of debutante balls and searching for marriage....moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Portia Mclean is long past the years of debutante balls and searching for marriage. Her time for that has passed and since her father left their small family with absolutely nothing to live on when he died, they have moved to Scotland, where life is a bit cheaper and maybe they can find someone who is willing to marry her beautiful, but penniless, sister. Portia works hard to keep the financially stable, which is a difficult feat when her mother refuses to accept they are too poor to waste money on fancy dresses when the landlord is demanding rent or they’ll be thrown out. Harry Chattan is on a mission. He must find a way to break the Chattan curse and save his brother, who is fading fast. Whenever a Chattan male falls in love, he dies. Not instantly, but usually within 6 months, he is buried and he cannot tolerate the idea of burying his brother. He thinks he has finally found Fenella in Scotland, but later learns it was simply a girl masquerading as her to get money. But he becomes so captivated by this imposter that he can’t leave and he’s convinced that this girl really can help.
It’s as difficult for me to write this review as it was for the first book in this series. Generally, when I read a HR from an author I’ve enjoyed, I love them. There is rarely a case where I just don’t love it and this is the second book in a row that it has happened with. I had so many issues with this. The characters were fine for the first half of the novel and then it’s like when Portia and Harry finally got together, everything went to hell. Portia went from being headstrong to blindly following Harry. Harry went from being a one night stand guy to having multiple clandestine meetings with the same woman. Even Portia’s mother changes, going from a stubborn woman with interests only for herself to appearing to truly care about her children’s happiness.
The plot was entirely predictable. You could see where it was going from page one, which isn’t normally a complaint for HR because with all of them, you know the hero and the heroine will end up together at the end, that’s always a given, but this one was even more so. Another issue I had was with the first time Harry and Portia have sex. It read less like consensual fornicating and more like rape. They just start making out and then suddenly they are fucking. He gives Portia no real warning and there is barely any foreplay. I mean, I get that Harry felt a sense of need and urgency, but he had to know that Portia was innocent and that she wouldn’t realize the implications of what she was doing or what his intentions were until after the fact. It just felt wrong.
Really, this novel isn’t all that bad, which is why it gets three stars, but I just didn’t love it. I’m going to finish this series, but I don’t have overly high hopes for the final book. Thus far, I am highly disappointed in this series and I cannot believe that cliffhangers are invading this section of fiction. I thought they were better than that…..maybe I was wrong.
****Thank you to Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Neal Chattan, Lord Lyon, is cursed. Centuries ago, his ancestor promised to marry a...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Neal Chattan, Lord Lyon, is cursed. Centuries ago, his ancestor promised to marry a girl, Rose, then reneged on the promise and the girl committed suicide. As punishment for this crime, the Rose’s mother cursed his family. Whenever a Chattan male falls in love, he dies. Every member of his father’s family has succumbed to this curse and he is determined to never fall prey to it, but he desperately wants kids. Enter Thea Martin, a matchmaker. She is hired to find Chattan a bride that he could never love, but when she sees its Neal she’s to work for, she promptly refuses. Neal had been a childhood friend who walked out on her with no warning. Thea quickly realizes that she has no other choice than to help him because there aren’t many options for respectable work for a widow and her sons must be provided for. She starts the hunt for a respectable bride for Neal and, as you can imagine, the two grow closer. But is Neal willing to risk his life for the possibility of love with Thea?
I really am at a loss for words with this novel. I generally try to keep my historical romances and my paranormal romances separate, so I’m not overly excited about the idea of a mythical curse, but since I’ve read HR with a bit of magic before, I thought why the hell not? I have always loved Cathy Maxwell’s work in the past so this shouldn’t be any different. I was somewhat right. The storyline drew me in pretty quickly, though not the witchy parts. What got me was the childhood friends who were separated and are now reunited. I usually hate drama, but I love the confrontation that comes from childhood separations that leave one or both parties confused. Thea’s back-story especially captivated me because I also love heroines who rebel against their families and she definitely did that when she married far below herself. Even Neal was a sweet and interesting character who’s instantly adoration for Thea’s sons had me falling head over heels.
But I just couldn’t love this novel. Neal jumps too quickly over the fence on the whole “I can’t fall in love or I’ll die” argument. One minute he’s terrified of it and the next he’s throwing caution to the wind and marrying Thea. The romance bits felt a bit rushed. Then there is the cliffhanger.
I have never in my entire goddamn life read a historical romance with a cliffhanger and I can’t say that this came as a pleasant surprise. I spent my entire high school career hiding romance novels in my text books so I could read during class and never once did I stumble upon a fucking cliffhanger, NEVER. Neal and Thea’s story has a sort of ending, but the curse is still looming over Neal’s head so nothing was really solved. This novel definitely would have gotten 4 stars if not for that ending, but I can’t fucking overlook that or forget my complete disappointment. Do I recommend it to historical romance fans? Absolutely, just prepare yourself for the fact that it’s not going to be tied into a nice little bow for you at the end and you’ll need the next two books on hand so you can find out exactly what happens next. (less)
Sienna’s career is finally starting to pickup with a steady wardrobe job on a tv sh...moreThe 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. (less)
We pick up pretty closely after the ending of Beautiful Creatures. Ethan and Lena s...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
We pick up pretty closely after the ending of Beautiful Creatures. Ethan and Lena struggle to hold on to their relationship despite the constant turmoil of Lena’s life and all the unknown facts Ethan discovers about his and his families past. But the death of Macon was too much to take and soon Lena is pulling away and Ethan is having visions of Macon’s past. Now the countdown to Lena’s seventeenth moon has begun and no one knows what the future holds for her.
Rating this book was just as hard as rating the first. From the moment I started this story, I was instantly irritated at it. The pacing was much slower than the first book with a lot less action in the beginning. For most of the novel, I was reviewing it in my head, watching its star rating drop lower and lower as I thought up scathing things to say to warn people to stay far away. I felt like the authors were hiding in a dark corner, laughing manically because they knew I was suffering. I could hear them whispering in my head, “Ha! We fooled you! We gave you a great first that lacked the things you hate and now, just when we have lulled you into a false sense of security, we are going to throw every cliché you loathe right at you!”
The hero and heroine splitting up, love triangles, angsty angsty angst. Not to mention the amount of southern clichés that are so in your face, I have a hard time ignoring them. I live in the goddamn south, in a relatively small town (so small there is one lonely grocery story and not a single fast food restaurant) and I can assure you that I don’t know half the people there, much less every single one and all the gossip associated with them. I can attest that there are plenty of small-minded individuals here, but not everyone is. I’m almost insulted by the way they describe their world.
The more I read, the anger I became. Lena’s being a fucking moron, Ethan is just letting it happen, Link is so hung up over Ridley, he can’t see straight, and then they introduce a new female character who is naturally attracted to Ethan. Lena ends up running off with another Caster/Incubus hybrid and the tale is a clusterfuck of everything any book with Middle Book Syndrome has. There were parts where I just had to read something else because the urge to stop completely was too much to take.
Then, about 400 pages in (a pretty long way to go to get to the good parts, I know), things started to get better. Ethan stops being an idiot and goes after Lena. Link & Liv (the new annoying point on the triangle) follow him to what appears to be a make believe land and they battle darkness to save Lena. The last 100 or so pages are well worth the annoyances of the preceding ones. Everything comes together in ways I wasn’t expecting (view spoiler)[AND MACON IS ALIVE!!!! NOT DEAD NOT DEAD NOT DEAD!!!! Sorry, but he was my favorite character and I’m beyond thrilled that I’ll get to see more of him in the next book (hide spoiler)]
I really recommend it for anyone who enjoyed the first novel. Yes, it goes downhill pretty fast, but if you can make it through the bad bits, there is a surprise waiting for you at the end!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Beautiful Creatures follows Ethan Wate around his small southern town. Tired of bei...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Beautiful Creatures follows Ethan Wate around his small southern town. Tired of being in a place where nothing unexpected ever happens, he can’t wait to graduate and go to college far far away. Then Lena Duchannes moves to town and everything he thinks he knows is suddenly not so accurate anymore. Lena is a witch, but they prefer the term Caster. Apparently in her family, on your sixteenth birthday, you and your powers are Claimed for either the light or the dark and you get no say in the matter. We follow Ethan and Lena on their fight to either allow Lena to choose her side at her claiming or to make sure she goes Light.
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. I really enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that sucks you in and you spend every spare second you get digging it out of your bag so you can read just a tinsy bit more. I can’t give it 5 stars though because of a few small problems. The biggest one being the cliffhanger. I know I haven’t been deducting for that lately, but considering this book is almost 600 pages, it had ample time to wrap the story up properly. I’m not entire sure it really counts as a cliffhanger, but it just didn’t feel like the story ended properly and that really irritates me. The other reason is my favorite character died. I won’t tell you who, but it upset me so much. I knew that there would probably be a casualty or two, but I wasn’t expecting this person to be one of them.
What did I like? I really liked Ethan. Southern gentleman all the way, but without the accent, I’m in heaven. I was pleasantly shocked when I started reading and realized that the novel is told entirely through his perspective. I was expecting to get Lena (which you do get a tinsy bit from her at the end) and I was wrong. Ethan’s perspective is entirely believable. He is the only male character I have ever read that really felt male despite the lack of suggestive thoughts and naughty language. Lena, well, I can’t make my mind up about her. One minute I’m sympathetic because of all the shit she is going through, but that doesn’t stop me from being enraged when she fucking pulls away from Ethan. Hello? There is a point where one of your relatives states that no caster could come between the two of you and that somehow he protects you, yet you still think it’s too dangerous? Come on, smarty pants, you can do better than that. Luckily, that bit doesn’t last long, but it still made me want to smack her.
I loved almost all of the characters in this story, from Ethan to Link to Amma to Macon, even Ridley. They all make the story that much better for being there. And who can forget the infamous Boo Radley! No, not the character from How To Kill A Mockingbird, but a dog named after that character. I’m a sucker for a cute pooch and this mutt isn’t above that.
The writing is beautiful and the mystery of it all really drew me. It was a bit longer than I would have liked, but it was still amazing. I loved that unlike most witch novels, everything isn’t explained to us in the very beginning with a hard to process chunk of information, instead you get only the bits and pieces Lena is willing to allow Ethan to see. Which is not the entire truth by any means. Even after 560 pages, there is still a great deal about L and her world that we don’t understand.
After reading this, I’m even more excited for the movie. Though, as always, I’ve very apprehensive of what they will change and how I’ll take the changes. I can already see that some things they got right and some not. Jeremy Irons playing Macon is, I think, absolutely perfect. The same goes for Viola Davis playing Amma. The actor they chose for Ethan, well I’m not happy about it yet. All I can say definitively is that he isn’t what I pictured and he isn’t tall enough. I’m trying to hold out on final judgment until I see the film and his acting skill because who knows, he may amaze me. Same goes for Lena. She is closer to what I pictured, though with the wrong hair and eye color, I’m holding out hope that they will all exceed my expectations.(less)
Fuck. This book has got me so turned around that I can’t even decide what to rate i...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Fuck. This book has got me so turned around that I can’t even decide what to rate it! 1 star because it had a terrible ending? 5 stars because up until the end, I was enraptured? 4 stars because I can’t give a book with that bad of an ending 5? 3 stars because the ending pissed me off so badly I wanted to scream it from the rooftops for unsuspecting innocents to wait until the rest of the series is out before attempting it? I really don’t have a clue. I’m going with 3…..for now.
Evie Greene is little miss popular. Pretty blonde cheerleader with friends aplenty and a senior boyfriend, she’ll do anything to keep them from finding out that she was locked in a mental ward all summer because she can’t stop having delusions of a red witch killing people and the world ending. Released to go back to school, Evie has trouble telling what is real and what isn’t. Hiding the hallucinations is becoming extremely difficult when she doesn’t know if they are real or not. Then the Flash happens. Guess what Evie? Those apocalyptic visions you’ve been having were predictions, premonitions of what was to come. Now most of the world’s population (along with a large portion of the water supply) are gone. With trouble on the way, Evie is forced to leave town with Jackson, the Cajun who is great a pushing her buttons. The destination? The Outer Banks in North Carolina, where Evie’s Grandmother is (hopefully) still alive and waiting to help Evie with her destiny.
This book was up and down for me. As soon as Evie starts telling her tale about life before the Flash, I instantly disliked her. She was one of those popular bitches who thinks she is kind and nice to everyone, but really she’s a snob. The minute Jackson shows up with his friends, who thanks to new policies now have to go to her school, she is quick to turn up her nose. The more I got to see of her life, the more tolerant I became, but I didn’t start to like her or sympathize with her until after the Flash.
Then there is Jackson, who I did like quite a bit. Lewd and cocky, with a soft intelligent side underneath, not to mention devilish good looks, he had me at the proverbial hello. The only think I couldn’t understand about him is what attracted him to Evie….well besides the busty cheerleader look. Beyond her ability to speak French (which is what the Cajun’s speak naturally), they have nothing in common and yet he stil wants her. Still, even though I didn’t fully understand the attraction, Kresley was able to write sizzling tension and chemistry between the two once they start on their journey. I was all for them being together, pushing for it and setting my mind that it was going to happen. Did it? (view spoiler)[FUCK NO! Well, yes for a short bit, then no again, then yes, then goddammit no! I’ll get more in to the specifics of the no later (hide spoiler)]
I’ve never read a book by this author before, but I’ll give her props for her story telling ability. This books is told mostly from Evie’s perspective, but in the beginning, it starts out with th is man named Arthur trying to lure Evie into his house so he can chain her to his basement wall and do experiments on her. Kresley Cole manages to seamlessly intertwine that present day view with the past. The whole time you are wondering what the hell could happen to Evie to have her end up at this house alone? What happened to Jackson? Well, that bid of foreshadowing should have let me in on something, but I shamelessly hoped for the best.
For the most part, I was hooked on finding out what the hell was going to happen with this story. Like most well written, post apocalyptic novel, I was fascinated with the world and how it had changed as well as how the characters adapt to it. Not only that, but the way the tarot cards are so important and Evie’s abilities are intriguing. This novel manages to be both dystopian and paranormal and it is a wonderful mashup. But about half-way into the novel, a fake love triangle was introduced. I say fake because really, Jackson wants Evie and Evie wants Jackson, but Selena wants Jackson and when Jackson is mad at Evie, he has no problem using Selena to make Evie jealousy. That grated on my nerves a lot. I hate love triangles as much as I hate guys who use other girls to make someone jealousy. Even still, I was rooting for Evie and Jackson to set the bullshit aside and just be together.
Then there was the ending. I saw a small bit of it coming (view spoiler)[I so knew Arthur was one of the Arcana (hide spoiler)], I didn’t see all of it and what I wasn’t expecting shocked me. And then it angered me. No, it fucking pissed me off. If you don’t like bad cliffhanger endings, stay far fucking away from this damned thing until the rest of the series is released because you will not be amused. (view spoiler)[Evie finally decides to tell Jackson all her secrets after they have this big fight but then she sees him making out with Selena, so she just up and leaves. Which is when she comes across Arthur. Now, since she doesn’t have Jackson to keep her sane, she decides to give into her evil destiny to become a murderous witch who has to defeat Death (who is an actual person, not just a mythical figure). Then, of course, after she goes all out psycho, Jackson comes to rescue her and sees her in her Arcana glory and freaks out just like she thought he would. He looks at her like she’s the devil and crosses himself and all hope of them being together anytime soon evaporates instantly. (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Damn, I thought I really wanted to read Masquerade before, I definitely want it more now. This little novella is just a tease to make you desperate for the next installment. It lays the groundwork for Masquerade, giving you a little insight into both the main characters and definitely leaving you wanting more. You wouldn’t think 20 or so pages would have you drooling over the story already, but it fucking does.
What is Sam’s secret? Why on Earth is such an obvious bad-boy attracted to such a goodie-two-shoes? How the held does Cambria Hebert plan on making this series end well? And the big one, if this tiny novella manages to enrapture me entirely and then leave me with a cliffhanger, am doomed to endure the same torturous end with Masquerade? I guess I’ll have to keep reading to find out! (less)
Callie’s life was changed forever six years ago. Her 12th birthday was the day ever...moreThe 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. (less)
I can't even decide on a proper star rating. My brain just refuses to believe I hav...moreThe 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"]>(less)
Man, it feels like forever since I’ve posted a review. Life has just been hectic la...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Man, it feels like forever since I’ve posted a review. Life has just been hectic lately. But fear not, I will never give up reading/reviewing. I started this book because my baby sister has been singing its praises and quite honestly, I saw that the first one was free on Amazon and figured I had nothing to lose. I had seen this book before, but the cover didn’t really grab my attention and I don’t like downloading books I’m not sure I want to read. Well..that’s not entirely true, I download WAY too many free amazon books because I mean they are free and I’ll get around to them eventually, right? I’m one of those crazy people who searches the interwebs for lists of new free ebooks (but hey, I’ve gotten some great deals, I got Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey for free and many other things). But for what ever reason, this one just didn’t grab my attention. I’m glad I gave it a try though. This book is a rollercoaster ride wrapped in a mystery dipped in intrigue and romance. So what’s not to love?
Harper Madison has been deemed a troubled case. Given up for adoption at birth, she went into foster care and lived with her adopted family for 8 years…until a tragic fire that she accidentally started ruined everything. Since then, she has bounced from home to home always being thrown out for one reason or another. Shadowford Home for Girls in Peachville GA is her last chance. If she fucks this up, she’ll be put in juvenile detention until her 18th birthday. She’s trying to put her best face forward but when she ends up being connected to the murder of a classmate, things slide out of control.
I loved Harper instantly. She was quirky, troubled, and rebellious in her own ways. She had no desire to become a cheerleader and fall into the popular crowd. Instantly crushing on the incredibly hot Jackson who is by far the most interesting character in the book (and sadly you don’t get to see enough of him.) For the first half of the book, I was in love with all of it. The mystery of what was happening, who Harper’s birth mother really was, would she end up with Jackson, and what the hell was up with all the secrets. Then, almost at the midway point exactly, everything turns. Harper starts forgetting important things and completely changes. She starts hanging out with the popular cheerwhorecheerleaders, develops a crush the assholequarterback of the football team and looses every quality that I liked about her.
WHAT THE FUCK? I was equally tempted to stop reading out of sheer annoyance and continue reading to find out what the hell happened. Obviously the latter won out. Sadly, things are rocky from that point out. The oh so delicious relationship with Jackson goes out the window and no one will explain what is going on to her. You hear snippets from her eavesdropping, but no one will answer her questions outright. Then it ends brutally with a cliffhanger.
So why four stars?
Put simply, I couldn’t put it down. Once I got past the first few chapters, I had to keep going and now I desperately want to buy book 2. Yep, that’s right folks, queen of kindle freebies is going to actually buy a kindle edition. I realize it’s only a dollar, but it’s a big accomplishment for me to pay for a digital copy when I typically like to get something physical for my money. Another reason is that the story felt entirely unique. I’ve never read a story with similar to this and I didn’t see the twist coming at all, like not in my wildest dreams did I think it would end the way it did. Shock and awe, people, shock and awe.
I feel very proud after reading this, not only because I have gained a new author to follow, but I have officially read my first book by an indie author. That’s right Sarra, you are my first. I intend to read many many more indie books now. :)
For all those who read ebooks, I highly recommend this one. It’s the first in a series of six, I believe and it’s well worth your time. It’s free on amazon, barnes and noble, and smashwords, so what have you got to lose? (less)
Caleb Wood has always been able to see the Walkers. He doesn’t know what they are;...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Caleb Wood has always been able to see the Walkers. He doesn’t know what they are; he just knows that no one can see them except him. Then one decides to strike up a conversation with him and become corporeal and he can’t help but obsess over her. Then creepier Walkers start turning up and everything gets out of hand.
I feel like I have really missed something in this novel. My sister absolutely adored it and I have read several other reviews of people raving about its awesome-ness, but I just don’t see it. It took me a record amount of time to read this rather small book (almost a month) and the entire time I was forcing myself to go on and truly gearing up to write an overly insulting review and give the book a single star rating. I gave it 2 because right at the end (in the last 30 or so pages) the story truly got interesting. Reading this really made me consider starting a “did not finish” shelf because it was so fucking hard to get through.
The truth? I’m just too tired and frustrated to write a bitchy review. Yes, I want to warn people that this book has major issues and they might be better off staying away, but my usual fire is gone. I think this novel had many problems, the writing, the characters, the stop and go plot, the whole enchilada basically. I start with the characters because that’s what I ‘m best at.
First off, we have our main man, Caleb. The entire novel is told via his perspective and let me tell you that for the first time I would have rather it been in third person. Caleb’s personality fell beyond flat and his voice felt very much like a woman desperately trying to be masculine. This is not just because the lack of swear words or his overly censoring of his naughty thoughts (though it probably contributed just a bit), the way he processed things and the fact that he was always on the brink of tears just felt feminine to me. And seriously dude, learn to say fuck because “oh snap!” just doesn’t cut it. Seriously, those words were on every other goddamn page and it was about as believable as Zoey Redbird saying “bull-poop” all the time.
Then there were the female interests. Yep, I said interests, so love triangle land it is. Gia, the Walker/Angel/Whatever, so is all over the place that you can’t tell what the hell she wants. One minute she is saving Caleb and then next she is avoiding him, telling him that he needs to leave her alone. She makes me wanna sing Katy Perry ::sings:: ‘Cause your hot then your cold, you’re yes then you’re no::stops:: I hate Katy Perry. For being the main love interest, she sure was flaky as hell and I couldn’t bring myself to root for them at all. I honestly wanted Caleb to just forget about her and be happy with Erica, if for no other reason than so I could stop listening to his inner monologue of “why can’t I being with Gia? Why doesn’t Gia love me? Whine whine whine.” As you can guess, Erica is the other love interest. In the beginning, I really thought she was going to be the only one, but damn was I wrong. She’s that popular girl with a sweet side, you know the caring cheerleader. Her character was a bit to clingy, trying to force Caleb to like her when it was clear that he was hung up on someone else. I gotta give her props for being patient, but she would have been better off with someone else.
Almost all the rest of the characters felt one dimensional and didn’t really add much to the story. Caleb’s friends, the other Walkers, the bad guy, all feel very flat to me, so I’m not even going to bother with talking about them. The writing style in this was choppy and the plot was slow. I felt like none of it flowed well. You’ll get 200 pages of Caleb and Gia doing the whole on again off again dance that drove me absolutely bonkers, with Gia not revealing any real information about herself (so really, what is the attraction? Just because she’s hot? Dude, stop being so shallow) and Caleb panting after her, while keeping Erica waiting on the sidelines. Then after that, we get just a little bit of stop and go action and then it ends with your typical cliffhanger.
Okay, so maybe I got a little rantey, but really, it’s what I do. This novel was a big downer for me and I can’t say that I’ll recommend it to anyone. Those out there in interweb land, enter at your own risk. Maybe I missed something, but I really just didn’t enjoy this and I definitely won't be reading the sequel. (less)
***If you have not read Obsidian, this will give away spoilers***
Onyx picks up right where Obsidian left off. Daemon turns on the charm to try to win Katy over while she fights with her hormones to resist him. All the while, they are trying to figure out the freaky alien connection that has opened up between them since he healed her after the epic battle. Katy dear is still stupidly denying that she feels anything for him and then a new guy shows up in town and suddenly Katy has a new date. You can imagine how Daemon feels about that. But when Katy starts moving things with her mind, we come to learn that Blake (the new kid) is just like her and can train her to control these new abilities, things get intense pretty quickly. Chaos, tension, intrigue, and mayhem are all ingredients in this installment of The Lux series.
As completely in love with this series as I am, I spend the better part of this book screaming at Katy. If she were a real person, I probably would have hunted her down just to smack her in the face and scream “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” at her. Though this book doesn’t feature a love triangle, she does date 2 different guys in this book. She is still doing that flirty dance around Daemon, but she also goes on several dates with Blake, much to Daemon’s irritation. While I understand the thrill of someone liking her and the frustration of Daemon trying to tell her what to do, this is unacceptable. Lady, you have DAEMON pouring his heart out to you, what the fuck are you even hesitating for?!?!?!? When you walked away from him saying that you couldn’t excuse his dickheaded-ness, he started trying to….well the word “woo” doesn’t seem to suit Daemon, but it’s the only word that comes to mind, so he started to woo you in earnest. You finally get to see more of the guy beneath the ass, the one who is nice and thoughtful and downright sweet. How can you say no to that? How can you even think of another guy, much less date him when Daemon is offering to defy his very species to be with you? You can’t, you just can’t. So you Katy-bug get an epic fail for this book. You do the wrong thing, the exact wrong thing. The whole time Daemon is telling you that he doesn’t trust Blake and you assume it’s nothing more than jealousy, but you are wrong.
I won’t spoil what happens, but I will say that there were some things that went down that I do not approve of. That being said, it was still an emotional rollercoaster ride and I loved every minute of it. That’s the mark of a good writer is that even when I hated Katy, I still couldn’t stop reading. I was still rooting for her to fix her stupid mistakes (view spoiler)[which she doesn’t, she just keeps being stupid and not trusting Daemon enough to tell him the truth and then Blake finally shows his true colors and Adam ends up dead just when things were starting to get good between him and Dee. Which really fucking sucks. I was not amused at all, I may have actually cried (hide spoiler)].
Finishing this book left me in whatever the opposite of a book high is. Book depression? Book melancholy? I rushed through these two novels because they were so good that I couldn’t get enough and even though I know the journey isn’t completely over because Opal will be release in December, I still can’t bring myself to feel anything but incredible sadness. I can’t believe it’s over. I can’t stop thinking about this story. It’s been all I could do all day not to go back and start re-reading it….I might have even read a chapter of Onyx to refresh my memory which is absurd considering that I just fucking finished it at 10 last night. I had to physically stop myself from reading. To add impact to that statement, I don’t really re-read many things because I feel like I have too much to read and can’t justify revisiting a story I already know, which the exception of a few scant things that I just can’t help but go back to and I think these novels are going to be added to that list. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Damn....dayum...just fucking wow. I....it was....how do I......I think my brain jus...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Damn....dayum...just fucking wow. I....it was....how do I......I think my brain just exploded into a puddle of pure joy.
Far warning with this review, it's gonna be a hell of a lot of fangirling and might be a bit rambly because it's killing me to wait the tinsy bit of time it takes to write this to read Onyx.
I was beginning to think I was too damn picky to love anything these days. It seems like every book I pick up is good but not great. Amusing but not hilarious, I like it but it could be better. And this was just perfect. One word people, just one, Daemon. He's hot as hell and he fucking knows it. Oh, and he's an alien. He's also a dick to Katy for the majority of the book, but she doesn't just roll over and take it. Nope, she tells him to back the fuck off and mind his own business.
...Okay people, I am truly sorry, but I can't review this book. Seriously, all that is pouring out of my mind is rabid fangirling which can only carry the review so far. Just know that this book is amazing and if you like fantasy, paranormal romance, aliens, and kickass heroines, this is for you. SO GO READ IT NOW. (I'll try to review it again in a few days when the fangirling has (hopefully) subsided).
Alrighty, let me try this again. I started this book because over half the blogs I follow are rabid fans of this series and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. To be quite honest, I’ve been rather disappointed with most of the books I’ve read recently. Everything has been irritating me. They have love triangles or cliffhangers or mediocre writing and I’ve been getting rather frustrated. I don’t know if I’ve become more picky or maybe I’ve just had a bad streak of book choosing but either way, I was hoping with all the blogger hype, this would be the great book I’ve been searching for. And fuck, it really was. I should also preface this by stating that I was a huge fan of the tv series Roswell, so I have a huge soft spot for aliens when they are done right.
We follow Katy in her move from Florida to West Virginia. She is less than thrilled about the move, even though she understands her moms reasons for uprooting them, she still misses her life in Florida. After a few days of pushing from her mom, she finally ventures out into the world, walking next door to ask the neighbor for directions. But when Daemon Black answers the door in nothing but a pair of jeans, she is floored because Daemon has more muscles on him than any seventeen year old boy has the right to. He also has a smoking face, with high cheekbones, full totally kissable lips, and gorgeous green eyes. She is completely enraptured by him….until he opens his mouth. He goes from completely date-able to the lowest level of scrum within a few scant seconds with his bad attitude from hell. After leaving His Royal Dickhead, she goes in search of the grocery store with his begrudgingly give directions and runs right into his twin sister. Dee profusely apologizes for Daemon and soon the two become fast friends, which seems to piss Daemon off. Katy doesn’t know what he’s problem is, but he keeps trying to blatantly push her away from Dee. Like hell, Katy isn’t going to let some overbearing, overprotective dickhead keep her from a being friends with Dee. But it’s obvious that Dee is keeping something from her. She doesn’t want to pry, but she can’t help but question why Daemon keeps saying Dee doesn’t need “friends like her”. Then she accidentally walks out in front of a truck and Daemon stops time to keep her from becoming road kill. Why? How can he do that? Because they are aliens. And things just get weirder from there.
Now, before any of you run screaming with the whole “I don’t do science fiction, no aliens for me!” bit, let me just say that this isn’t really scifi. It comes off as paranormal YA and for those of you who think aliens can’t be sexy, just watch one episode of Roswell and tell that you don’t want Max Evans saving your life! This series has so much to love and I think people who won’t try it simply because it’s aliens are really missing out.
I’ll start with Katy. I loved Katy, like really loved her. She starts off shy and quiet, but working to overcome it. She also is a book blogger with I found highly entertaining. I’ve read so many books where it’s mentioned in the beginning that they love to read, but you never actually see them pickup a book or show interest in them and that’s so not the case here. This lovely heroine would rather spend her days lounging in her living room reading and reviewing books than anything else and that doesn’t change when Daemon and Dee start making her life a three ring circus. I love that she stands up to Daemon and doesn’t let him push her around. In fact, she typically does the opposite of what he wants. He tells her to stay and she goes, he tells her to be quiet and she rattles on just out of spite. I loved that she was fowl-mouthed as well. Not super bad, but she calls Daemon a dickhead on more than one occasion (and he usually deserves it).
I also really loved the dynamic between these two. It’s one of those “I hate you, but I’m attracted to you” things and damn does it work for them. There are times when I’m not sure which would be better, watching them finally get together or watching them kill each other with insults. It’s obvious to everyone that they are head over heels for each other, everyone that is, except Katy who refuses to admit she likes him. She’s in denial so deep I’m not sure she’ll ever figure out the truth.
I loved almost all the characters in this, especially Katy’s mom. In most YA’s, the parents are absent without a legitimate reason, but bless Jennifer Armentrout because she explains it all before I could even ask. Katy has always been a good girl and since her father died, mommy dearest works extra nursing shifts to make ends meet and have extra money. So when Katy’s off running around with Daemon and getting in trouble, we know why her mom isn’t popping up with questions.
Now, on to the fangirling bits. I will state that you can skip the rest of this review without missing anything of substance, just me raving about how awesome Daemon is. Where to start? Let’s start with appearance. Tall, with wavy brown hair and bright green eyes, not to mention the muscles…..::swoons:: With his penchant for answering the door shirtless, can he just move next to me? I can deal with the foul mouth, in fact he doesn’t need to speak at all….anyway, when he does speak, he’s arrogant, stubborn, cocky, and sarcastic as hell. That’s right, he knows he’s awesome and he knows you think so too. And he doesn’t want Katy anywhere near his world. It’s not safe and he doesn’t want her involved. So, he’s a total dick, doing things to purposely piss her off, but he always gets unexpected results. When he tells her that he doesn’t want her sitting at the lunch table with him and his sister, that she is unwanted, he expects her to walk away with her tail tucked between her legs. So when she dumps her tray of food on his head, he is surprised to say the least and he can’t help but admire her. Underneath the asshat, hides a sweet guy who is just trying to make the best of a bad situation. He must protect his sister at all costs and that means pushing everyone who could present a danger away. So yeah, it’s a bit of the typical, “I’m only pushing you away because I want to protect you, but secretly I want you so hard it hurts” thing, but it’s so believable coming from him that it’s okay. Besides, he really does get a kick out of pissing Katy off. If you don’t fall in love with this guy from the story, there is an extra scene at the end from his perspective that will change your mind. And I think the cover model they got for him was beyond perfect. Have you seen the cover for Opal?
Look at it! Look at him. Not only am I head over heels for the character, but also for the amazing looking Pepe Toth, the model. Damn…just fucking damn. That admiration is only depended by the fact that Pepe is total and completely in love with his co-cover model, Sztella Tziotziosz. But seriously, look at them:
[image error] [image error] [image error] ::drools:: how can you not love them?...sorry, they are just so gorgeous, I want to share it with the world.
When it comes down to it, I recommend this book to everyone. It is so amazing and keeps you begging for more. This is easily the best book I’ve read all year and it’s clear that it will be one that I go back to over and over again when I’m looking for something to make my heart race with excitement. (less)
Yeah, it’s not really a question, is it? I’ll go ahead and warn you now. If you are a huge fan of this series, on Team Lincoln, easily offended by bad language and derogatory comments (then why the hell do you read my reviews?), then this might upset you and you should probably skip it. If none of that bothers you (ie only my little sister will probably be reading this), then read on.
Okay, let’s try to summarize before I go all rageface on you. Violet Eden has finally completely embraced her Grigori side, though she still has major issues with it, she and the other Grigori are trying to find the scripture, which I think is a list of all of the possible Grigori, but I’m not sure. It never really says in this book. It did in book one, but I just don’t fucking remember clearly. Either way, this sends her and the others on a journey to find them before the exiles do, or rather before Phoenix’s group of exiles do. ::breathes:: nope, hold it in, don’t rage yet. Anyway, while all this is searching is going on, Lincoln is facing his own set of issues. The exile who is responsible for the death of his mother has resurfaced and he can think of nothing but revenge. When I say “nothing but revenge”, I mean nothing, he is even ignoring Violet which she is not too keen on.
This novel does just a few things right. It’s just as damn addictive as the first book. Once I got into the story, I couldn’t stop reading. Where they going to find the scripture in time? What the hell was up with Phoenix? Are Violet and Lincoln soul mates? Is that really enough to get them around the whole “Grigori partners are incompatible” bit? I just had to keep reading to find out. Other characters also shine through in this one. Steph, for one, seemed to have a much bigger role in this one. Can I just say that is something else I loved? The normal, human best friend doesn’t just get pushed to the side in favor of new people to “protect” them, but instead is told about all of it and brought along for the ride. A few new characters where introduced, one of which I loved. His name is Spence and he’s just a cocky, sarcastic, funny, over-exuberant guy…who is interested in Vi in friends only zone.
But, unfortunately, he brings me to my rant. The role Spence plays in this book is hauntingly similar to the one Phoenix played in book one (well except for the part where Spence is only a friend and Phoenix was clearly more). He hangs out with Vi, helping her through shit while Lincoln is off gallivanting around doing God knows what and keeping his many secrets from Violet. Once again, my rant will probably bring about many spoilers, so proceed only if you dare. (view spoiler)[WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH PHOENIX?!?!?!? Seriously, in book one, he had his issues but he was there for Violet in whatever capacity she needed him, friend, lover, protector, guide, whatever and now, he is just a dick. Let me rephrase that, the scant few times he shows up, he is a dick. The first time Violet comes across him in this book, he makes her make out Spence, right in front of Lincoln, and then proceeds to reopen the fatal wound she received in book one after Lincoln has stormed out. Yeah, you remember when he healed her in book one from the stab in the stomach? Apparently that wound is permanently bonded to him and he can reopen it whenever he so chooses. What the fuck, right? There are a few moments when his feelings show through to Violet, making her remember that he did once care. And this, in and of itself, is what pisses me off. Phoenix does love her. I know it and that makes it hard for me to believe his transformation. I read somewhere in an interview with the author that since he is a “dark” exile, that darkness is a part of himself that he can’t overcome, no matter how much he wants to.
Really lady? I don’t fucking buy it. The “bad” guys overcome their darksides all the time, mostly in fiction as opposed to real life, but this is a PARANORMAL romance, so I don’t think realism is what we are going for. Look at Patch in Hush Hush. I mean if he can do it, so can Phoenix. But that would take the will of the author and it seems clear that she is Team Lincoln. Which I don’t understand because even if I didn’t have that proclivity for bad guys (who become redeemed enough to deserve the heroine, of course), I still wouldn’t like Lincoln because he keeps lying and keeping things from Violet, not to mention running to Magda for help which is just beyond understanding. Plus, he keeps telling Violet over and over that they can’t be together and yet he gets angry if she tries to move on. Okay, so maybe her and Spence making out isn’t considered “moving on” since it was against both their wills, but the point is that if he loves her as much as he claims, he should want her to be happy, no? Pining over his useless ass definitely isn’t making her happy. For those of you who are Team Lincoln and have dealt with this rant this far, let me just say that they won’t get their happy ending here either. They find out they are soul mates which invalidates the grigori restrictions, but they see a one soul mate get killed in front of the other and refuse to accept that is what will happen to each other if one dies. They won’t take that risk ,which is bullshit because we all know in the next book (which they are going to be five of at the moment) they’ll be back to pushing the boundaries because they are so in wuv.
(hide spoiler)] If you read that, you know how angry this book made me. If not, well let’s just say that unsatisfied is an understatement. With all that being said, do I plan on reading the rest of this series? At the particularly moment, yes I do because even though I really know that things aren’t going to go the way I want them to, I am still mildly curious to where it does go and I have that need to finish series. Besides, I want more glimpses of my awesome Phoenix (assuming is normal personality comes back). But I will not be recommending this series to anyone else until I finish it. This has made me too mad to want to condemn others to suffer it unless I know it’s worth it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)