This book had my full attention as soon as I read the description. Finally! Someone who remembers that Romeo was all in love with someone else at the beginning of that horrid play!
What this awesome author does is take The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet and set it in modern times, telling the story from Rosaline’s perspective (the girl Romeo was all in love with until he set eyes on the wonderful Juliet and fulls in lust love with her). My excitement could not be contained when I saw that PulseIt had this novel up for the month of June. ::dies of happiness:: This novel starts with the romance just beginning between Rob (aka Romeo) & Rosaline. They have been neighbors and best friends for their entire lives and they are in that awkward stage between friendship and romance. Then Rosaline’s cousin moves back into town and it all goes to hell. Rob drops Rosaline like a hot potato to get next to Juliet without any explanation at all beyond “I didn’t expect to fall for her” which obviously upsets Rose.
I had mixed feelings about Rose. One minute, I could completely relate to her and the next, I was so annoyed at her for acting so stupid. The same goes for her friends, one minute I was so irritated at them for being so shallow and the next they are pulling together to help Rose in any way they can. In the beginning this novel reminded me a lot of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, especially the dynamic between the friends. But the difference is that when Rose starts changing, they don’t push her away, they support her like real friends should. It also reminded of that because I knew from the beginning that she would end up with the geeky guy they were making fun of, just like in Before I Fall (except Rose gets to live happily ever after whereas Sam dies at the end of Before I Fall which made me angry to no end, but I digress).
The one thing that truly shocked me about this book was my reaction to it. Going in, I knew this was a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, so I knew that R & J were going to die, right? Wrong!
Even though I should have, I didn’t see their deaths coming, at all. I was completely fucking blindsided by it. And I could completely understand Rose’s guilt over the deaths and how she kind of collapsed into herself after the fact. I was irritated at her for pushing everyone away and at the same time, I could completely see where she was coming from. That is when I really became impressed with her friends because they refused to back down. They stand by her throughout the whole catastrophe and in the end, they make her get out of her bed and continue on with life. I think this novel is as much about friendship as it is about love and loss. It’s a really great read and anyone else who wants to see a completely unique spin on Shakespeare’s worst most romantic play
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and a...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and an over use of angry gifs.
I really wanted to like this book. Truly, I did. But it pissed me off and I can’t say that I will be recommending it to anyone. In fact, I have already told several people to steer clear. Let’s do the basics first. Out Of Reach is the story of Rachel’s journey to find her wayward brother. She enlists the help of his bestie, Tyler to assist her and they head out to search in the areas she thinks he might be. A few weeks before, she received an anonymous email stating that her brother was in a lot of trouble and she should come and try to help. Why she thinks she will be able to find her brother by simply looking on street corners in a single day was beyond me, but hey, more fucking power to her misguided hope.
I started off really enjoying this novel. Rachel didn’t seem so bad and I was intrigued by Tyler. There was obvious chemistry between the two though Rachel does her best to deny it. Plus, I was hoping she would find her brother, bond with Tyler over the experience, and things would end more or less happily.
I know, it was a goddamn pipedream, but I try to start every novel from a happy place…..unless I’m reading it because I want to be depressed, but that is a different matter entirely. The further I got into this book, the more irritated I became. The more I read about Rachel, the more my dislike started to creep in. She gives these flashbacks from when they were younger and her and Micah (her brother) were just sssssoooo close. But here is what I don’t get, if you were so bonded and lied to your parents for each other and all this other shit, then why did you wait all goddamn summer to start searching for him?
Micah disappears at the very beginning of summer and you just write it off, knowing his a goddamn drug addict, because your parents assure you he is fine and you don’t think you should waste your time on it?!?!?!
And now you are all of a sudden worried because you got an email? Lady, I just can’t even begin to describe how much this angers me. This bitch ends up being one of the most self-center, egocentric, moronic heroines I have ever read about…and that statement includes Bella fucking Swan. Oh yeah, I went there. Anyway, a whole lot of shit goes down, they ask around drug dealers places and look on the beach and such, then Miss Whiny-pants car gets stolen. Well, geez, you leave a Honda Civic (one of the most stolen cars in the US) parked on the wrong side of town, what the hell did you think was going to happen?
Then there is the ending, which leaves a lot to fucking be desired. Rachel and Tyler end up finding her car and stealing it back, then head home, sans Micah who is still MIA. Then they kinda sorta discuss their feelings and it’s (lightly) implied that they’ll date soon. Rachel writes an email to Micah, which she doesn’t know if he’ll ever get and sends it out into the universe, basically saying that she isn’t going to worry about him anymore, she’s just going to live her life. Cold hearted bitch. You spent ONE DAY searching.
This novel really was just a whole lot of fuck ups. In retrospect, I realize that I guess the author was trying to write a “realistic” portrayal of the impacts drugs have on the lives of family and friends, but she should have picked a heroine who really cared about the drug-addled brother. I was expecting her to search for several days to find her brother and then drag him home or have him tell her to fuck off or SOMETHING. Whether it be dragging his ass back home for rehab or having an epic confrontation that ends in her leaving him to rot on the side of the street, I wanted something to happen. I would call the ending anti-climatic at best.
Despite all the complaints, I did like how much information the author gave us about meth addicts. It did seem like she did her research on that, but that just wasn’t enough. If that was all I wanted, I could have gotten a pamphlet from my local health department. All in all, don’t bother with this unless you want a big letdown. Do I recommend it to anyone at all? I'll let Cas answer that one for you. (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)
Annabel Wheaton is determined to marry a titled peer to get the respect she has alw...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Annabel Wheaton is determined to marry a titled peer to get the respect she has always deserved, so when the Earl of Rumsford proposes, she thinks her prays have been answered. She knows he is marrying her for her ample fortune and is completely okay with it because she is mainly marrying him for his title. A week before the wedding, everything is going divinely, save her uncle constantly nagging her to put more thought into this decision before she makes a big mistake, when Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough shows up and turns her world upside down. Not only does she feel an instant attraction to him but he starts planting doubts in her mind that weren’t there the week before. The morning of the wedding she must choose, follow the path to become a countess which she has worked so hard to achieve or call off the wedding for a tryst with Christian who is not the marrying kind of man. Sounds like a simple choice, right? But it never is.
Christian is almost out of options. His brother died unexpectedly leaving him to take over as Duke, a job he is far from suitable for, and as soon as the title is changed he learns that they are completely run into the ground. Every property not entailed is mortgaged and the rest don’t earn enough to break even annually much less pay off massive debts. Determined never again to marry for money as he did 12 years ago, he goes to America to try to make his fortune because that seems to be where all men make it big but having no capital to invest in new ventures, he cannot really do much. So when Arthur, Annabel’s uncle, offers him half a million dollars to dissuade his niece from marrying that pompous ass, he accepts immediately. A week before the wedding his insinuates himself into Annabel’s life and starts covertly planting doubts in her mind and mocking her intended.
All this culminates in a passionate kiss the night before the wedding leaving them both off balance. Annabel’s marches on and still makes it to her nuptials fully intending to become the Countess of Rumsford despite Christian’s best efforts and then he shows up and objects to the wedding in the middle of the ceremony, implying that something has happened between Annabel and himself. So what happens next? How do they salvage her possibly ruined reputation? Well, that is one spoiler I won’t give away, and no it isn’t the simple she marries the duke immediately to avoid the scandal approach.
I seriously must be going to a phase of some sort because it seems like I am drooling over every male character I read right now.
…wait, he is fictional and I am married….fuck…ANYWAY, he is the perfect historical romance hero.
Annabel was pretty good too, stubborn and hard headed and kind of the typical American Heiress which I am good with.
I have yet again proven to myself that historical romance novels (written by the proper authors, naturally) are the balm to my soul and I strive to read more of them. Especially when so many YA novels right now end with horrid cliffhangers and have stupid love triangles and have idiot heroines that anger me to the point where.....
.....well you get the picture.....
But that’s a bit off topic. This novel is well written and will definitely make you laugh and probably cry and hope the happily ever after that seems impossible. It was nearly perfect. My only real complaint is that the ending felt rushed. I could have used an extra chapter (or even few paragraphs) to see that they were settled properly before finishing the novel. (less)
You would think that after all they went through in Darker Still, Natalie Stewart...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
You would think that after all they went through in Darker Still, Natalie Stewart and Jonathan Whitby, Lord Denbury, had earned a reprieve from the dastardly spirits that wish them harm. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Their plan to get away from the negative magic, taking a vacation of sorts with Jonathan's old friends turns out badly when they realize that Samuel, Jonathan's pal, is unwittingly involved in the society that trapped Jonathan in that painting. So now, our dear Lord Denbury is back to London to do some investigating and Natalie is going back home to deal with a very upset father. It's obvious something new is afoot and that the old demon is not yet finished with out lovely couple. Can they finally defeat this foe or will their inevitable doom come sooner rather than later?
Natalie is a feisty heroine determined to save Jonathan (and herself), regardless of the cost. She has finally regained her ability to speak, though her voice does still desert her on occasion, but she's lost a bit of her fire. She's still haven't the clairvoyant dreams, predicting things she hopes never come to pass, and she's terrified they'll never be free of this mess. All she wants is to have a normal(ish) courtship with Jonathan, then marry and have that happily ever after that we all dream about. But the demon that possess Jonathan is still haunting her, along with the new nightmares about resurrection.
Jonathan was just as charming as all the British lords in historical romances normally are. Proper, with a hint of the rake hiding beneath the surface. It's hard to not feel sympathy for him, after being locked in a painting for years and now having to impersonate the monster who trapped him there, it's a miracle he doesn't lose his mind. He's obvious affection for Natalie is so cute. I adore him. He's definitely on my list of swoon-worthy males.
The side characters are all interesting in their own right. Mrs. Northe with her paranormal abilities and saving the day tendencies is a character I'd love to know more about. Her life with her late husband, her youth, and all things past because I feel that would be an intriguing tale. Rachel, who can't speak or hear people, but hears spirits speaking to her, is also fascinating. This poor girl gets tormented in these pages, but they'll sort it out. Then there is Nathaniel Veil. ::swoons:: He's plagued with melancholy. He is an actor and playwright, starring in a play about the sadder things in life, doing versions of Poe and the like. He's so flirty! If Denbury wasn't perfect for Natalie, I'd be throwing myself onto Team Nathaniel straight-away!
What this novel really excels at is the luscious writing. Hieber is a master of this beautiful style of writing that captivates you. Maybe I'm biased because I spent my teenage years devouring historical romance novels, but there is just something magical about this time period and Hieber always manages to do it justice. The novels only real fault is I feel like it was trying to tackle too much in just one short book. We've got the Natalie/Jonathan romance, then Jonathan impersonating a demon, Rachel being used for nefarious purposes, demonic possession, resurrection, and more. I feel like we should have focused a bit more on the resurrection than trying to look at the larger picture just yet. Also, it seemed like this one was just a tad more religious than the previous one. It didn't feel pushy, just Natalie's Christian faith was more prevalent than before.
It does suffer just a bit from middle book syndrome, not quite living up to Darker Still's awesomeness, but it's still completely enjoyable. Jonathan makes it worth it, not to mention meeting Nathaniel. This isn't exactly what I was expecting, but a bit more. It contains that mystical quality that I loved in the first one. It has love, adventure, and a bit of humor, what more can you want?
Camryn Bennet is tired of the monotony of her life. She watched her parents’ marria...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Camryn Bennet is tired of the monotony of her life. She watched her parents’ marriage fail, watching years of two people who used to love each other pretend to be satisfied with how things have turned out. After a bad night out in a club with friends, she boards a cross-country bus going to Idaho, for no apparent reason, just because she must get away. On this bus, she meets Andrew Parrish. She is immediately intrigued by him, but after her first loves tragic death, she vowed to never failfall in love again and she won’t get close to Andrew because she can tell he would be able to push her off that cliff. How long can she fight her attraction to him?
Wow, just fucking wow. My mind has been blown in the worst way. I didn’t think anything this terrible could not only because published, but adored by so many people. Maybe I missed something? I disliked this novel almost immediately and though I patiently waded through the entire novel, I was never rewarded with an improvement. I can already warn you, if you liked this book or don’t like overly rant-y reviews (seriously, why do you follow me, if not for the overly rant-y reviews?!?!?), then you had best stop here. I did not enjoy this and will spell out why below, in graphic detail. You have been warned!
First off, Camryn is annoying and immature and completely self-centered. This is one of the few heroines where I can honestly say that Bella Swan had more personality. Yeah, it was that bad. At the beginning she lets her BFF, who by the way doesn’t have many BFF-y qualities push her into doing things she isn’t comfortable with and then when said BFF’s boyfriend hits on her, BFF goes ballistic and choosing boyfriend over Camryn, which sends her into a downward spiral leading to her boarding the fateful bus to nowhere. As the novel progresses, her personality regresses further. She’s also a big hypocrite. Claiming fast food and sodas are disgusting and vomit inducing, which is a fine opinion to have, but has no problem scarfing down food from a Waffle House, a chain notorious for its overly greasy food and drinking sweet tea, which is WAY fucking worse than any soda. It’s also pretty well established that she has only been employed once, for about a week, before running off because “it just wasn’t for her” yet she has no problem spending money. Seriously? I vaguely recall her mentioning that her dad was relatively well off, but you should still show some remorse or though before charging buttloads of necessary things on daddy’s credit card. I felt the need to scream “grow the fuck up” on more than one occasion. If you are going to trek cross country for no apparent reason, at least do so with your own money. If you have no money, then the wanderlust is just going to have to wait. I’m so sick of novels where the heroines parents are rich and that allows her/him the freedom to just blow money like it’s grows on damn trees. Newsflash, it doesn’t work that way.
Then there was Andrew….oh Andrew. I initially liked him just a little. He was hot and snarky and that’s always a good combination, but he was too secretive, not to mention the aggression. I’m sorry, but I don’t see an overly muscled guy who wants to pound in the face of every guy who so much as speaks to me as attractive. I see that as serious trust issues and possibly a hormone imbalance.
Seriously, stop taking the steroids, stay away from gamma radiation, and calm the fuck down. I can sort of see where the attraction is, but I found him to be too much. Not to mention that whole “if you were to let me fuck you, you’d have to let me own you” line. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?!?!? Are you a dom looking for a sub? Is this 1801 and all women are legally the property of their husbands or fathers? Oh hell no! Fuck that shit. Even though I knew Cam was a moron, I was still screaming at her to get far the fuck away when he spouted that line.
Then there was how the entire plot felt like bullshit. The entire concept for Cam is she is leaving behind her normal life because she can’t understand how people live their whole lives doing the same thing day after day, which is an understandable thing. Life does get monotonous and we all need a break, fine. But what her trip really felt like was her running away. Away from her past with Ian, away from her dead-beat brother and father, away from the shit with Natalie, all of it. Then, the second half was nothing but sex, sex, and more sex. I’m fine with sex, but come on! There should be more to it than that. And don’t even get me started on the bullshit ending! (view spoiler)[ about 50 or so pages before the end, we discover that dear Andrew has a brain tumor that he has basically been ignoring for the last eight months and now the doctors say without surgery he is going to die and even with it, the chances are slim to none. But someone he miraculously makes it through, with no side effects besides a major amount of bed rest.
Basically, that is my long winded way of saying that this definitely wasn’t my kind of novel. I guess firsts are bound t o happen and this is the first new adult that I have truly despised. I hate that I’ve found one that I’ve hated. This sounded so good and I really wanted to love it. I just didn’t. I hope everyone else out there has better luck than me, but just remember that I warned you.
****Thank you to Hachette Book Group, Grand Central Publishing, and Forever for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**** ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Josie Peters thinks she has everything she needs, a decent boyfriend, good friends,...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Josie Peters thinks she has everything she needs, a decent boyfriend, good friends, and the drive to make sure her BMX skills are always improving. Then her boyfriend dumps her just before prom and she learns her friends are all going away for the summer and she is forced to find other means of distraction which leads her to connect with a few other BMX girls and sets her on the journey to compete in more than one tournament this summer.
This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Josie is a strong heroine who keeps pushing for what she wants despite the opposition and her own fears. She isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes, but she continues to pick herself up and try again. I think YA especially needs more heroines just like Josie. No Bella Swan syndrome here, Josie is beyond basing who she is off the guy she’s with and doesn’t sit around whining when things don’t go her way. When she wipes out completely, ended up with a badly bruised face and a sprained wrist, she lets her friend post the video online and instead of bitching about needed a new frame for her bike, she goes out and makes a plan to try to get a local bike shop to sponsor her or at least give her a discount and succeeds.
The writing was done so well with the perfect balance of realism and humor. I just can’t stress enough what a great character Josie is, breathing life into this story in a way that was completely relatable. I’m happy to say that though this could have easily fallen into love triangle land with the multitude of hot males, it doesn’t. This book is more about Josie’s path to BMX tournaments than her endless need to find her next boyfriend, though there is definitely a bit of romance mixed in. It’s a stand-alone, so no worrying about the dreaded cliffhangers and it has my favorite kind of ending, a happy but realistic one. Josie definitely doesn’t get everything she wants, but what she does get is enough and it was perfect. Her triumphs outweighing her failures and all that jazz.
I think this is a book for everyone, especially teen girls showing that with enough determination, you really can achieve your goals. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you want, period. I think that’s the biggest lesson this is trying to teach and it succeeds.
****A big thank you to Karen Avivi for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review**** (less)
Tella Holloway's brother is sick. He's deathly ill and the docs say they don't kno...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Tella Holloway's brother is sick. He's deathly ill and the docs say they don't know what's wrong or how to fix. Despite their rather smack-talk filled relationship, she loves him to death and can't imagine life without him, so when a mysterious blue box appears offering her a chance to compete in a competition for the ultimate cure, she doesn't hesitate. The Brimstone Bleed is a treacherous competition where competitors must fight their way to survive over four different equally deadly planes and every single competitor is out for someone they love. With little to no survival skills, Tella knows her chances of winning aren't likely, but she has to try. Can she overcome the odds?
I was excited and terrified to start this. Scott claims it's wildly different than The Collector and I wasn't sure how accurate that was. I enjoyed The Collector, but it wasn't my favorite thing in the world and I was expecting this to be about on the same level, great, but not stay-up-all-night-reading amazing. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is the adventure I was desperately needing without actively seeking it out. On VC's website she has a blurb by Kendare Blake (If you don't know who that is, we've got problems, k?) that says "“If The Hunger Games and X-Men and some Pokemon had a baby, it might turn out almost as awesome as this. But probably not. Read this book!" and that's so accurate that it renders me nearly speechless. POKEMON! Perfect, just fucking perfect. I really can't say anything that lives up to that succinct description, but I'll do my best to provide something entertaining anyway.
Tella is the best kind of heroine. Initially I sympathized with her while finding her a tad bit annoying. Her parents literally drag her away from her life and then ban any form of electronics...cell phones, tablets, laptops, the works. Being a reviewer and a blogger and active aficiando of wasting hours on the interwebs, I can understand the massive frustration that would entail. I'll be the first to admit that it would be heaven at first, having an inordinate amount of free time to spend entangled in the magical world that is fiction, but at some point your going to need something else, anything else. Any task gets monotonous after months of doing it repeatedly. But her fashionista-ness was out of my league of interest. After the games start, though, she's my kind of heroine. Any chick who can manage to maintain her snark even in deadly situations will win my heart. She reminds me a bit of Sophie from Tellulah Darling's Blooming Goddess Trilogy and that's a high compliment indeed. Her ability to roll with the punches and still be so fiercely protective of her new adopted family was beyond endearing. Her defense of the Pandoras was another thing that had me loving her to bits. Animal cruelty and abuse is something I cannot tolerate and her determination to protect these creatures and me cheering her on like nobodies business.
Speaking of Pandoras.....
They are like Pokemon, but possibly cooler. They all have different abilities and are fiercely protective of their owner, well as long as their owner isn't a psychotic abusive asshat. Tella's fox, Madox is probably the most powerful of the bunch and DAMN. Can I have him? I can't even come up with adequate adjectives to describe their awesomeness.
The other characters are all equally interesting, especially Guy (though he could probably use a better name), who gets to have that whole strong silent type thing going on. Harper had the whole big sister vibe down, and then there was Caroline who I won't even really comment on because I can't decide how I feel about her. The later addition of Jaxon provided a great amount of comic relief. He's quirky and amusing and adorable, following Harper like a lost puppy.
Something else I liked (and maybe disliked, depending on when you ask me) is the brutality of this race. Scott doesn't shy away from the violent edge a competition like this would inspire. Some contenders are down-right evil, twisted in ways that are shocking and grotesque. Death is also something that has to be dealt with here because conditions like the jungle and desert are difficult to traverse if you don't know what you are doing. Even if you do, the elements and predators still may catch you off guard. Scott does a great job of straddling the line of cruelty without going so far as to make us feel overwhelmed. Or maybe she makes use feel just the right level of overwhelmed because there is a particular scene where extreme measures must be taken to combat a snake bite and that was overwhelming but somehow it worked well in the setting.
Scott manages to make me adore this even though it has quite a few character deaths. If you follow my reviews at all, you know I hate character death, so that's quite the accomplishment. She really pushes the questions of how far you would go to save your loved ones. That is the best motivation that you could give and she really pushes the envelope a bit here with just the right level of savagery. This novel has something for everyone, for anyone brave enough to give it a try. It's got snarky comments galore, a quiet romance, adventure aplenty, and a plot that will surprise most. As with Scott's The Collector, it's gloriously free of love triangles and cliffhangers, which would make me love it even if it wasn't as awesome. But it is! And if you aren't afraid to get your proverbial hands dirty, definitely give this a read!
****Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****
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.
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)
This whole ranty review is written on the presumption that this novel is a standalone. If I find out that it has a sequel, I **might*** bump the star rating up one, but that won’t be much improvement. On the whole, I was disappointed in this novel. The gorgeous cover promised a good mermaid story and it just didn’t deliver. Miranda has a wonderful life on the island of Whym until a tragic boating accident kills four of her friends and leaves her boyfriend in a coma. After this accident, everyone turns against her. They all blame her because it was her boat and she was driving. This was hard to believe. When I say everyone, I do mean the entire town save her grandmother and her little brother. It’s like they had secret town meetings on how best to humiliate her. I just find it hard to believe that so many rational adults would shun a teenager who is by all rights recovering from her own injuries and grieving the loss of her friends.
Putting that aside, Miranda is saved during the accident by Christian, a betwixted man (a form of merman), who sees her drowning and is so drawn to her that he can’t let her die. After this, the ruler of the merpeople, Sephie, claims that she wanted all the souls and demands Christian kill Miranda and bring back her soul. As you can guess, enter the starcrossed lovers scenario. Christian goes Up Above to attempt to kill Miranda, but just can’t bring himself to do it. The two are instantly attracted to one another and Miranda spends every possible moment with him. This whole thing culminates with Sephie luring the town to her boat for a gala where she plans on killing Miranda and Christian as well as the other survivors from the wreck. Somehow Miranda manages to light Sephie’s boat on fire and the sea witch supposedly burns to death.
This all powerful sea witch is taken down by a miniscule teenager? I don’t buy it. Beyond that, Miranda’s grandmother has staged an intervention where they basically tell her that she has gotten out of control and they are shipping her to boarding school. Seriously? Give the girl some time to breathe and heal! All the relationships just seem twisted and unrealistic to me. I was very disappointed.
To make matters worse, it has a terrible ending. Christian was only allowed to roam freely on land to claim Miranda’s soul for Sephie and now must return to the ocean or die. So that’s how it ends, Christian returns to the water and Miranda is off to boarding school in Arizona…far away from the ocean. The fucking end. Yeah, see this face? It’s not a happy gnome face! (less)
I am honestly unsure what to say about this book. An ebook version was sent to me b...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I am honestly unsure what to say about this book. An ebook version was sent to me by the author for review and it has taken me far too long to get around to reading it, but I really wanted to love it. In fact, anytime I win or am given a book (either ebook or physical book), I desperately want to adore it. But I didn’t. It came off as rather mediocre to me.
I did enjoy main story. I loved the selfish dragons who were sacrificing one girl every year, selecting a new girl for the sacrifice and forcing her to marry. Allowing the couple a year to produce a child and then slaughtering the entire family for nothing more than their own amusement was an interesting idea. Yay for sadistic dragons. The characters fell a little flat to me. The only ones I truly liked were Pan and Brydon. Crisilin and Chalom were too religious for my tastes. In fact, the whole novel came off a little to religious for my liking. I realize that the author has done a lot of Christian novels, but I was under the impression that this wasn’t one of them. Either way, I cringed every time they praised/thanked/prayed to Usamah. Leaving my own personal Atheist views out of the picture, it still came off as rather fake to me. I also really dislike Mokuolu. I hate when someone calls everyone “brother” or “sister” and even more so when they pronounce it “brotha” or “sista”. ::shudders:: My only other issue was the fact that you are never told Crisilin’s age. In the beginning I thought she was 16 or so, but throughout the novel, she is always referred to as a child which implies younger to me. Since she is forced into marriage and expected to produce a child immediately, she can’t be younger than 13 or 14. It wasn’t a huge deal, it was just something that could have helped me in getting a better feel for the character.
Despite my complaints, I think that anyone who likes fantasy and doesn’t have a problem with some religious overtones, will definitely enjoy this novel.
****Thank you to Christine E Schulze for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****(less)
I hated this. If I was reading this in a physical form instead of...more**spoiler alert** The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I hated this. If I was reading this in a physical form instead of digital, I probably would have thrown the damn thing out the window and set the damned thing on fire.
I was iffy going into it but I read a few glowing reviews and thought I would give it a shot....I wish I wouldn't have. I wish I would have went with my gut instinct and stayed far fucking away. I thought the majority of this book was tolerable, even enjoyed bits of it. I loved Noah and Charlotte. I like the world it was in and the idea of the incarnates. But that ending ruined any chance this book had to even get a 2 star rating. It I could rate negative stars, I would.
What, you ask, can be so bad that I will refuse to read the sequel even though I have very big need to finish all the series I start even if they suck? She kills Noah. DEAD. At the very end, after Seraphina (I love her name) thinks everything is okay and she'll get her happily ever after, she learns that Cyrus isn't actually dead, but instead he took Noah's body. Now in another book this may mean that Noah is just suppressed, but not in this one. Avery Williams spends a good deal of time explaining that to take over a body, you must first get the original soul out of it. Therefore Noah is fucking dead.
No...that's all I really have to say about the sequel. I do not want waste my time reading while Ms Williams paints herself out of a corner. Hell no. FUCK NO. Just plain old N-O.
EDIT: Someone has pointed out a legitimate possible way Noah is alive to me, therefore, I *MIGHT* read the sequel if Noah isn't dead. So, anyone who has read my ranting review who reads the sequel, please let me know if it is worthy of my efforts. Thanks!(less)
Wren is average. She is ranked somewhere in the middle of her high school and the...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Wren is average. She is ranked somewhere in the middle of her high school and the only comment her teachers ever have about her is that she is a bit too quiet. She is sick of it and desperate to change. Speak up more, live in the moment, and not let people push her around. She definitely gets people’s attention when she performs the Heimlich on a guest at a wedding at her parents catering hall and saves his life. Grayson was that guest and he can’t get Wren out of his mind ever since. He used to be the big man on campus at St Gabriel’s, but after being expelled for selling term papers, he’s a bit lost. Not sure who he is anymore or who he wants to be, he only knows that Wren saved his life and he has to find out more about her.
Wren was a character I could instantly sympathize with. I can completely understand that feeling of being labeled “average” when it’s anything but accurate and letting people walk all over you because your too quiet to speak up. I enjoyed watching her try to step out of her comfort zone, especially when Grayson was around. There were moments when I wanted to slap her because, as much as I like Gray, I couldn’t believe she was buying his bullshit. That whole mall thing would have sent me over the deep end and no amount of kisses and sweet-talk could have convinced me to forgive him at that exact moment. I get that she a bit under-experienced when it comes to boys, but come on lady, open your eyes and demand answers in a now-or-never fashion and he either fesses up or moves on. Speaking of her experience with guys, can I just say that I love the fact that she isn’t a virgin and is still portrayed as a “good” girl?!? Too many times in YA, a girl can’t be the goodie goodie if she dares to have sex and it’s sickening. But that’s not to be found here, with Wren being an honors student, a great worker at her parents catering hall, and a loyal friend.
Grayson was a bit of a jackass in the beginning. In fact, I think Wren’s first description of him was something similar because he was doing obnoxious tricks at the wedding she was “waitressing.” He improves though. I am delighted to say that this is told in duel perspectives, so we get to see Gray’s side of things as well. The more time I get behind his eyes, the more I just wanted to hug him. He seems so lost. He has basically lost his identity because everything changed when he got booted from St Gabes, his friends even ignored him all summer. But they are back now, demanding his help with “Operation Amsterdam,” a scheme that would bring shame to anyone with a lick of sense. I thought it was a weed selling business, because Amsterdam always implies marijuana, but oh how wrong I was. I think the truth is much worse than that. That’s really sayings something for me because I’m extremely anti-drug. He’s out of the game and doesn’t want to get back in, especially because of what Wren would think if she found out, but his friends are pressuring (and threatening) him to come back for just one last score. I think he is trying to grow up and move on, but they just won’t let him.
What is really adorable here is the interactions between the entire cast. Grayson is so sweet to Wren and I love them together, her presence pushing him to be better and his pushing her to step out of her comfort zone. Even though it felt a bit insta-lovey, I still enjoyed the two pairing up. But it isn’t just them I enjoyed, I liked the banter between Wren’s entire group of friends and family, as well as seeing Gray’s half-siblings. Wren and Jazz do that whole movie quotes/references thing that puts me in nerd-girl heaven.
One bit of advice though? When you are doing a reference or a quote, don’t go back and say what you’re quoting. In a real conversation, if I quote The Princess Bride, I know enough to know that my friends will understand the reference and I know there is no need to explain it. I felt like the book was almost dumbed-down a bit to make sure everyone understood the film references and that brought down the magic level a bit. It may sound a little silly, but it took me out of the moment and if it bugged me, I’m sure it’ll bug someone else too. Another minor issue was the insta-love I referred to early. I know they are teenagers and become connected because she saves his life, but saying the L word within two – three weeks is a bit too soon. I think it would have been entirely feasible to just leave that out and the novel would have progressed fine. The attraction was enough to bring the two together and keep them together, no need to throw love in the mix. Maybe just a hint of it, but no declarations until the end, please! The final issue is just my personal thought, but it felt like Gray used too much teen-speak. Maybe I’m too adult now to know how “kids” really talk these days, but there were a few moments when Gray’s inner monologue (or dialogue) felt wrongly worded.
Despite the minor problems, this book really gets massive amounts of love from me. Wren and Gray’s journey to one another is adorable, while still managing to have enough drama to provide adequate conflict. It’s filled with sweet romantic moments, humorous dialogue, and an addictive quality that made it impossible to stop reading. I devoured this book in just a few days and considering this is exam week and all my spare time has been ear-marked for studying and taking my exams, that’s really saying something. Anyone who enjoys contemporary YA’s will love this. It reminded me quite a bit of Anna & The French Kiss and that alone should recommend it!
****Thank you to Balzar + Bray, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
This book is horrid, I can't even come up with a good enough word to describe it. T...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This book is horrid, I can't even come up with a good enough word to describe it. Take everything Stephenie Meyer did wrong with Twilight, multiply it by 100 and you have this worthless excuse for a novel. Hey, at least I enjoyed Twilight while I was reading it. This book had me groaning and seriously wanting to harm the heroine. The only thing they did right was have a great cover art, which caught my attention enough that I read this book despite having read tons of bad reviews.
The first 300 pages of this book are boring and cryptic at best. It's your basic girl torn between two fallen angels deal, one is charming and nice to her and the other is brooding and mean, but she feels an "unexplainable" connection to him. The last 100 pages (if you get through to first 300) are slightly better, more action, but still leaves you with too many questions. (less)
Update JUST A FEW MORE DAYS! I'm going nuts with excitement!
....okay, so maybe the last one was unnecessary, but come on! It's Robert Di Niro dancing in a corset and a dress!
Can you summarize the plot? This book is the first in the Hunger Games series, and it follows Katniss Everdeen on her journey to try to win the hunger games. The hunger games is a contest held every year in which 2 people (a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18) is chosen to compete in a fight to the death for the entertainment of the rest of the Panem society. That’s as basic as I can put it.
What were your initial thoughts going into the book? I was a little scared that I might hate it. Despite having read many (many, many, many, many) amazing reviews on this book and truly wanting to see the film, I was scared the writing would be too dull or horrific to hold my attention. I also have a penchant for good endings and well, with a summery like the one above, you know a lot of people are going to die and I wasn’t sure if I would be pleased with that.
What were your initial thoughts after finishing the novel? I was a bit speechless. I loved it. Honestly, I really do like reading a bit of gore, it just makes happy endings hard to come by. I genuinely love Peeta (yeah, I am definitely team Peeta) and I wanted to see where their relationship went. This book drew me in pretty quickly and it was hard to put down.
What did you like about this book? I liked that it was written in first person because I really liked Katniss’ no nonsense way of narrating. I loved most of the characters ::coughs:: especially Peeta ::clears thoat:: The world it is set in is so different and excited and I just needed to know more and more about it. I am a bit of an sucker for dystopian novels right now. I also really loved the gore and the way Suzanne Collins didn’t shy away from that or make it too easy on Katniss. She gets serious injuries and has to really fight to stay alive.
What did you dislike about this book? I didn’t like the love triangle. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine because almost every YA novel right now has a love triangle and I hate it. I hate it for several reasons, but one of the main ones is that it takes a male character (because it is always one girl between two guys) that I could adore and makes me dislike him for trying to break up the main love interest which I typically like. It also makes the heroine seem…um…Bella-esque? It gives them that quality that Bella Swan had where she feels ridiculously unattractive but every guy hits on her. Stupid, I guess would be the only word coming to mind that comes close. If you have a better word, please comment and let me know. Regardless, Katniss is anything but stupid so I hate that she was given that quality.
Who was your favorite character? Oooo…hard one….::thinks:: oh yeah, PEETA! I also really love Caesar Flickerman.
Does it have a love triangle? …whoops, please refer to the “What do you dislike about this book” question.
Does it have a cliffhanger ending? Yes, but not a massive one. It is one of those small cliffhangers you can deal with.
Closing thoughts? Just one: I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE MOVIE! March 23 please get here faster!
::does happy dance:: yay for my very first image/gif post. (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)
Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes t...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes to take notes, and is a bit obsessive….with a tinsy history of stalking. She meets Beck and he just might be perfect for her, but she can’t stop obsessing over Austin and his perfect life and she just needs to check in on him to make sure he’s alright one last time and then she’ll move on!
I’m a bit speechless. I was expecting an interesting love story about a girl with minor OCD tendencies, like a need for everything to be in its proper place and maybe a obsession with keeping everything including herself extremely clean, you know kind of a “Out damn spot!” kind of thing. I was so far off. Bea’s compulsions have nothing to do with cleanliness and everything to do with obsessing over everyones safety. It was both fascinating and terrifying to watch her stalking manifest. It started as something so small and then grew so massive.
Watching her struggle to fight her compulsions and losing more often than not was heartbreaking especially because she is fully aware of how insane she acts and she is helpless to stop it. Once she and Beck start dating, watching them both use the other to help fight the compulsions and also to comfort one another when that fails was endearing. I love that Bea fully accepts Beck as he is, with his fitness obsessions and the number 8 fixation. She realizes that she is just as damaged and knows that on the list of compulsions, those aren’t nearly as bad as they could be. Not to mention the fact that he a very compelling reason for developing those obsessions.
The really disturbing thing about this was how fixated on Austin and Sylvia she becomes. Even after she starts a relationship with Beck, she can’t stop watching them and taking notes on the parts of their sessions she overhears. Her fear that something bad will happen to them if she doesn’t make sure they are okay is so vivid that she physically cannot stop herself from going to them.
This novel gets 5 stars for shock value alone. This is the only YA novel I have ever read that portrays OCD and stalking…well with the main character is a stalker because I’ve read several where the main character gets stalked. My point is more of this is the first one I’ve read where the stalker is portrayed in a semi-sympathetic light and the first one that seriously discusses OCD as more than just a vague reference to someone with an obsession with order. I do not have OCD, but I did take several different college psychology courses and I feel like Haydu did an excellent job portraying this condition. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something outside of your typical YA contemporary and for anyone interested in mental disorders.
****Thank you to Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****(less)
Ever has left than a year left to live and is trying to spend it with the people sh...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Ever has left than a year left to live and is trying to spend it with the people she loves most. Spending as much time as possible with Mom, Frankie, and Jessie is all that matters until she learns that there is much more to her countdown than she realizes. When Ariadne put that countdown on her soul, she inadvertently marked Ever soul, making it more valuable to collectors. So now Ever is on the run with the one person she’s trying so hard to avoid, Toby. Together, they try to find away to save Ever’s soul, while outwitting collectors and Seekers who are determined to claim the prize. Can they beat the clock or will salvation come too late?
I…um….what to say? Well, let’s start with the basics. Ever shows a great deal of growth here. She really steps out of that damsel in distress role and I really enjoyed seeing her stand up for herself. She also gains a much dirty mouth by the end and I LOVED that. It progresses slowly, but by the end we get to see her drop the f-bomb more than once. Is that a stupid reason to be excited? Probably, but I fucking loved it anyway. For me, it makes the character much more believable if they curse. I realize that everyone wasn’t like me, developing a potty mouth from hell the moment they hit high school, but I adamantly believe that there are very few people who don’t swear at all, especially in high stress situations. I’m sorry, but if the shit hits the fan “oh pooh” isn’t going to cut it. That really grounded Ever for me even more, making her feel more real.
Then there is Frankie….my dear sweet, amazing, epic Frankie.
What can I say about him, really? He’s the exact same sweet guy he was in Ever and I love him beyond words. Seriously, he so perfect, always supporting Ever, while being honest in his opinions at the same time. We don’t get nearly enough of him in this novel, but I’ve been assured that we haven’t seen the last of him. (view spoiler)[It makes me incredibly sad that Ever ends up choosing Toby over Frankie. It’s inevitably more complicated than that, but that’s what happens. I logically understand the reasons behind it and I can see why Toby might be a better match, but that’s doesn’t mean I have to be fucking happy about it. I get that Ever has sort of outgrown Frankie and that Frankie needs to get out of her house and live his life, especially now that’s he’s gotten a second chance, but DAMMIT THEY WERE PERFECT TOGETHER.
Then there is Toby. I liked Toby and I sympathize with the boy, but in my mind, he just can’t compare to Frankie. He’s great and snarky and funny and protective, which is usually a winner, but Frankie was just better. I can see why some people are Team Toby, but I just can’t.
The plot of this one is just as much of a rollercoaster ride as the previous one, probably more so. There are multitudes of twists and turns and the ending is something I didn’t even come close to predicting. Russo does a great job of giving you just enough foreshadowing that you know something major is going to happen, you are just never sure of what. (view spoiler)[Except that Ariadne is Ever’s sister. I called it, I called it, I CALLED IT.
The only reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the whole Frankie thing. It’s childish, I know, but I have to show my irritation somehow (and no, the spoilery rant above was not enough). If I can legitimately lower a great books star rating to 1 simply because of senseless animal deaths, I think I can drop a star because of the Frankie thing. Really, though, this is another amazing novel. It’s an addictive thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if and how Ever is going to get out of this mess. I can honestly say this book was well worth the wait (which is a high compliment indeed) and though everything doesn’t wrap up at the end, it’s definitely better than the massive cliffhanger at the end of book 1. I can’t wait to see what the final installment to this series brings (hopefully LOTS more Frankie).
****Thank you to Jessa Russo for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
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****
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)
Perry and Aria have moved not only the Tides, Perry's tribe, but also all the Dwel...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Perry and Aria have moved not only the Tides, Perry's tribe, but also all the Dweller's they rescued from the pod, into the caves down by the beach. The aether storms are getting worse and it's predicted that within a month, they will no longer to be able to set foot outside the cave without death or serious injury from it. The Still Blue must be found because the cave's supplies are dwindling. Aria & Perry set off to rescue Cinder from Sable & Hess. They believe he is the key to entering this safe space of land, though nothing is certain. On this journey, they find out more than they ever wanted to know, that Cinder really is the key to the Still Blue, but can he survive the crossing? And can Perry live with himself if he doesn't?
We get one final glimpse at this whole gang and I'm left wanting so much more. Perry & Aria grow closer and stronger, nothing major changes with them here. Roar slowly climbs out of his grief over Liv, though I don't see how he can manage it. Brooke is less bitch-y and nicer to everyone, even helping the dwellers some. Soren becomes a bigger player, helping the gang get to Sable & Hess's camp and hacking in. And Cinder, poor Cinder, is strong and brave.
Overall, I believe I enjoyed this, but I didn't love it and I definitely feel a bit unsatisfied. The story was great and interesting, bringing the characters back to life in this installment, but I hated the way the ending play out and the deaths. I'm pretty vocal on my hatred of character deaths, especially ones that I feel were avoidable. That's one of the many reasons I will never read the Divergent trilogy because I know that'll just piss me off to no end. The second half felt overly predictable.(view spoiler)[Of course Soren and Brooke are going to develop a thing for each other. Of course Sable is going to betray everyone who dares to partner with him. And of fucking course Cinder has to die. That make me so angry. You just killed a goddamn kid. A KID! Who did nothing wrong. I get the whole sacrifice for the greater good, but just fucking don't. There had to be another way. (hide spoiler)]
Aria finally gets to learn about her father here and that was an interesting twist. I think it was the only one I didn't see coming immediately. I wanted to hate him, and though he made it easy in the beginning, neither I nor Aria could really hate him. You also get to see even more of "good" Soren, which made me endlessly happy. I loved the turn of events, getting to see hims how the good side and have a legitimate reason for going psycho. I really would like to see more of his side of the story, how things worked inside the pod through the events of Through The Ever Night.
If you are just looking for a novel that wraps up the story and gives you more of Aria & Perry, than this is exactly what you are looking for. The story ties up relatively well, giving the majority of the characters the happily ever after they were seeking. It is a bit too predictable and has a few too many character deaths for me to truly love it, so I'm just a tad disappointed. If character deaths isn't an issue, than you'll adore this as much as it's predecessors, otherwise, have a few tissues at the ready!
****Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****
Sky Davis’ life is pretty average, apart from her mother’s strict ban on anything t...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Sky Davis’ life is pretty average, apart from her mother’s strict ban on anything technological. Then Dean Holder comes into her life and she is fascinated by him. Sky has never been attracted to a guy. Sure, some of them are pleasant to look at and the kissing isn’t so bad, but no guy has ever made her desperately want to kiss him like Dean does. But the more time she spends with him, the more very old memories start to surface, things that were better left buried and after it’s all out in the open, will she find a way to keep going?
Okay, so before I get to gushing, I want you to go and look at this review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/.... Seriously, go, I’ll wait. You see that comic strip she did? That’s the most accurate depiction of my feelings. Holy fuck this book will screw with you head in the best way possible. It’s just….I can’t even….
Sky is a character I instantly loved. I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like her, but I could relate to her on so many levels. The further into the story we get, the more I love her. I love that she doesn’t let people walk all over her and how whenever Holder yells at her, she doesn’t try to defend her actions, just tells him simply that she’s in control of her own life and it’s none of his damn business. Then when the kids at school make fun of her and try to be mean to her, she just smiles and doesn’t let it get to her. She’s strong and brave and tough and I adore her.
Then there is Holder….
Holy fuck. I think him and Lucas from Easy need to have a fist fight and whoever wins will be my top swoonworthy fictional male character because I honestly don’t think I can pick. Dark hair that hides his devastatingly blue eyes and a lean muscled body, yes please! He’s personality is a bit all over the place in the beginning, but trust me when I say there is a great reason for that. It’s kind of like Fight Club in a way, you just want to read it again to see how much sense his reactions make after you learn the truth. I love him, just fucking hell, yes, okay? He’s fuckloads of awesome.
Then there are all the side characters. Six, Brecken, Karen, and Jack are have things I love about them, but I especially adore Six and Brecken, for each accepting Sky for what she is and just being awesome themselves. The relationship between Six and Sky is that epic friendship we all salivate over. You know that girl who somehow gets you completely and is always there for you, even when neither of you know how to help your problems. One of my very few complaints about this novel is that when the shit starts hitting the fan, Sky isn’t sure she wants to tell Six. I understand that your past is beyond fucking twisted, but I guarantee you that Six would find a way to help…or at least buy you tons of snickers and ice cream as comfort food.
The writing is just as good (if not better) than Colleen Hoover’s previous novels and the plotline had that awesome thing where it is both predictable and unexpected. I saw a lot of things coming (view spoiler)[especially the stuff about her dad and her relationship with Holder (hide spoiler)], but there was one major plot point that just blew me out of the water.
My only other issue was the sex one. Not that this novel has sex in or anything like that, I mean, I read romance for fuck’s sake, but the way it was handled between Sky and Holder. I’m trying hard to explain this in a nonspoilery way but basically I just think that it would have taken Sky longer to get over her issues. In my mind, just because Holder explains that he loves her and everything he is doing to her is because of that and no other reason, it would overcome what I believe her conditioned responses would be. I could be wrong because I’m not in her shoes, but it just feels like that hurdle was jumped too easily. That was my only major issue and since I could very well be wrong, I refuse to allow it to make me love this story any less.
This novel is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will laugh, you will cry, you will shout, and you will love every single second of it and be completely dying for the next installment (which will be from Holder’s POV, only adding to the excitement). Thus far, it’s definitely my favorite new adult novel of the year!
****Thank you to Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(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)
So, I'm a pretty crappy review writer, but I'm trying to write more of them, so her...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
So, I'm a pretty crappy review writer, but I'm trying to write more of them, so here it goes. I really enjoyed this book. It's a modern twist on a classic tale, written in first person with perfect moments of humor and seriousness. Prety easy read, simple story with perfect fairy tale ending. Though I will admit, it ended a little too well and played off that whole last minute rescue thing, it was still highly enjoyable. Liked: The chatroom sessions sparesly spread through the story, the fact that the heorine isn't a stunning beauty Disliked: the almost too perfect ending
I am truly excited to see the movie version of this set to come out next year.(less)
Nine years ago, Zach Aubrey broker Violet Smith's heart. After she confessed her l...moreThis review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Nine years ago, Zach Aubrey broker Violet Smith's heart. After she confessed her love for him, he literally ran from her after telling her he didn't feel the same. She never really got over him, but she managed to move on. Zach was always in love with Violet, but at 19 the emotion scared him shitless and running away seemed the best option at the time. Now, due to a scheduling mishap, Violet and Zach find themselves sharing a vacation house in Maine for two weeks. Violet is determined to stay away from her past feelings for Zach and he is determined to prove to her that he has always loved her and they deserve a second chance. Can they make it work? Or will the past and their more mature personalities stand in the way.
I was pretty excited to start this. I've been in a very romance-y mood for a while now and this fit right into what I was wanting to read, and it didn't disappointment me. Violet is easy to identify with, both in how hard she initially fell for Zach and her desire to not fall for him again. I'm not a poetry fan....like at all, but her desire to write it over novels was incredible. I'll be the first to admit that unless it's put to a great guitar riff, I'm not going to even give the poem a chance, but I really wanted this character to go back to doing what she loved. Better to write amazing poetry than a mediocre sophomore novel, right? She changed so drastically to fit into Shep's (her dead boyfriend) life and I loved watching her rediscover herself.
Zach was....interesting. He managed to be completely confident and completely insecure simultaneously. Or maybe insecure isn't the right word. He was more of completely vulnerable. He knows he fuck up when he ran from Violet and wants nothing more than another chance because he's so desperately in love with her and he puts it all on the table. He lays it all out there and lets Violet make the decisions...with a little pushing from him. I didn't instantly swoon for him because he's a bit of a man-slut in his rocker ways and that's not something I find particularly attractive, but I can respect the author for keeping it real and having him embrace the rocker lifestyle. Had he stayed celibate the entire time he was away from Violet, it would have been impossible to believe. Beyond his promiscuous ways, he was pretty hot, with hard muscles and tattoos and piercings and savant-level musical talent. His ability to show Violet his remorse over his fuckups had me looking past his flaws and rooting for these like nobodies business.
This novel really shines with it's characters. Violet and Zach are both so perfectly flawed and imperfect that you can't help but relate to them, even if you don't have much in common. I'm really big on character-driven stories, so if you are like me, this is definitely something you'll want to check out. The plot was a bit predictable, because we all know they are going to end up together by the end(view spoiler)[And that Violet will eventually find out about Zach buying her poetry contract (hide spoiler)] but it's a romance novel, so we aren't really reading it for shocking twists, are we? We are reading it for the guaranteed happily ever after, the romance, and the smut. On all three counts, this delivers. My only issue was an overabundance of smut. You are reunited with the love of your life and there is chemistry out the ass and you devour each other, great. I'm happy for you. You spend days rolling around in bed, avoiding the world? A bit of a stretch, but fine, enjoy it while you can. I just felt like there was one too many sex scenes. We get it, you can't get enough of each other, but can we take a break, pretty please? They were all well written, I just felt the number was a bit overpowering.
Really, if a romance novel is going to have an issue, an overabundance of smut is probably the best problem to have. This novel turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, a heartwarming tale of second chances for love and happily ever afters. I know I'm overly picky, but really, what more could I have asked for?!?
Aria's changed forever that night in Ag6. Her closest friend died and now she finds...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Aria's changed forever that night in Ag6. Her closest friend died and now she finds she's been exiled from her home because she knows too much. With little hope of surviving, Aria decides to just pick a direction and walk. She'll either be electrocuted by an Aether storm or eaten by cannibals or simply starve to death, but that's no reason to just lie down and just wait for it. Along her walk, she meets Perry. He's the outsider she glimpsed that night in Ag6, but closer up she can see how savage he really is. He is her only hope of survival. Perry has fought his entire life. He's the brother of Tides' Blood Lord and he desperately wants the title for his own. He'd never challenge his brother because of the damage that would do to his relationship with his beloved nephew, Talon. Then Talon is stolen from him and he needs Aria to help get him back. Something unexpected sparks between them that will change all their lives forever.
Aria was initially annoying. She was doing things she knew she shouldn't and her friend gets killed because of her actions. Her actions once outside the pod greatly improved my opinion of her. She doesn't whine and refuses to give up, especially when Perry expects her to. She shows just the right level of anxiety and fear, but still manages to push through and keep up with Perry's antics. By the end, I genuinely liked her and that's not something I can say often for female YA characters. Usually they start off bad and just get worse. By the end, I'm usually not-so-secretly wishing cruel deaths upon her because I think the story's hero deserves someone better. Aria beats the odds though.
Then we have Peregrine. I felt sympathy for him almost immediately, with his desperate need to help Talon in anyway possible. That need motivates him to do things he'd never consider otherwise. Watching how protective he gets over Aria makes me see that swoon-worthy side that I kept hearing about on the blog-o-sphere. That's when the magic really happens, watching both him and Aria overcome their prejudice about the other. Watching them both realize that the stereotypes in their head don't really match up with the reality in front of them. Perry isn't as savage as Aria first assumes and Aria is much more intelligent than Perry initially gives her credit for.
Then, there is the side character that sort of stole the show: Roar. He's Perry's best friend and he's so funny and charming that you can't help but love him instantly. He's that character that always has a snarky comeback, but will walk through hell for his best friends. The fact that he is completely in love with Liv, Perry's sister, even though he knows their romance is doomed to fail just makes me love him more. These two better get a happy ending. You hear me Perry? Make sure you find a way for them, consequences be damned.
......what else to say? I'm awfully glad that I didn't start reading this until I after I was approved for the E-ARC of book 3! It's not that it ends with a major cliffhanger, just a much more minor one with the main story wrapping up, but leaving the future open. It's more that I want more and I desperately want to see the reunion between Perry & Aria. It's funny, because I rushed through this so I could start Crash Into You by Katie McGarry because I just got approved for it and I am DYING to read Isaiah's story, but, now that I'm finished, I'm torn on which to read next: Crash Into You or Through The Ever Night.
But Rossi manages to leave out the insta-love and love triangles, so I'm full of praise for this. Except that I'm pretty sure we'll see a triangle develop in the next book, I'm going to pretend I don't feel that coming.
This is a brilliantly written dysopian. It's filled with perfectly flawed characters and a truly interesting story. It is just a little predictable, but somehow that doesn't make me love it less. It's a little slow to start, but completely worth the effort.(less)
So, I don't see why people find this book so remarkable. I thought it was mediocre at best. Normal story, normal characters. Nothing about it jumps ou...moreSo, I don't see why people find this book so remarkable. I thought it was mediocre at best. Normal story, normal characters. Nothing about it jumps out at me to scream "Hey this is a classical book that we should force students to read in school". Compared to what I've been forced to read, this was fairly easy, but nothing special(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)
Lexi’s life has taken a turn for the worst. First she fools around with her best fr...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Lexi’s life has taken a turn for the worst. First she fools around with her best friend, who happens to be dating her other best friend, then her dad dies and leaves her with absolutely nothing. She is told by her dad’s lawyers that they were instructed to send his remaining funds to his ex-wife in the event of his death. The problem is, Lexi hasn’t seen her mother in years. She ran off and joined the circus and that was the last Lexi heard about it. But now, with nowhere else to go, she gets a ticket to Florida, when the circus currently is, and hopes for the best. Life must be laughing at her because there is no sign of her mother when she arrives. At this point, she has nothing, no food, no money, and nowhere to stay. Louie, the circus owner, takes pity on her and gives her a job if she promises to stay with them until the end of the season. Things improve immensely from there until Eli, the aforementioned BFF shows up and throws Lexi’s new life out of whack.
I started this book in hopes to get my next circus fix. Ever since I read Water For Elephants and The Night Circus, I have been searching for something that gives me the magical feeling that only seems to come from circus novels. I wasn’t disappointed. Though this doesn’t quite live up to the gorgeousness that is The Night Circus, it comes close and, really, what more can I ask for? Lexi is smart and self-deprecating and everything I think we are always looking for in a female heroine. When her dad dies, yes she freaks out, but given no other choice, she trudges on like a soldier, never stopping to do the “heroine in distress, needs big strong man to save her” dance. She searches for her mom and when she fails to find her, she takes the job she is offered and doesn’t complain, even when her first task is to shovel shit out of the animal cars. She quickly acclimates to the circus life and, though it is obvious she is depressed and desperately misses her dad, we never see that pity party manifest is a full parade. She tries to keep herself in check and remember that she is lucky to have found a job and a group of people who accept her in these hard times. She has even made friends, Lina and Liska who make things quite a bit easier.
Then there are the love interests. I’ve seen a lot of people saying there are three, but I really only think there are two because I don’t count Jamie. Though he is a bit of a player and he does kiss Lexi once, it’s pretty obvious, to me at least, that his heart lies elsewhere. The two I count are Nick and Eli. Eli, once her best friend in the world, starts to change once he begins dating their mutual friend, Bailey. Then, after the night of fooling around, freaks out and tells her leave and leave she does. When he shows up at the circus, Lexi refuses to even listen to him try to defend himself but he’s determined to have her hear him out and his not leaving until she does. Then there is Nick. He shows up at the circus screaming at Lexi for taking his mom’s job as the show’s psychic. From there, they grow towards friendship and more. The attraction between the two is obvious, but Nick’s life is elsewhere and he’s not sure how long he can stay around.
J. J. Howard’s writing style is perfect for this novel. It’s just the right balance between humor and drama to keep me begging for more. I also love how into music Lexi is. Each chapter starts out with a lyric from a song and though I don’t completely agree with Lexi’s taste, it’s great to read about someone who has a true passion for music that really feels real. The fact that Lexi was also obsessed with Regency romances also endeared me to her quite a bit. I wholly enjoyed every aspect of this novel. My only complaint and it is a tinsy one is that we don’t we get any details about what happened that night between Eli and Lexi. I realize this isn’t a romance novel and I’m not reading it for the smut, but a decent kissing scene to introduce the concept of that night would not have went amiss.
I really think this novel has something forever one. It’s got snarky dialogue, self-deprecating wit, a decent amount of romance, the adventures of a circus, and a story that will make you want to run away and find your own circus. It is a utterly magical tale and I can’t wait to see what else comes from J J Howard.
****Thank you to Point, an imprint of Scholastic Inc for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****(less)