In Living in the Shallows, 22-year-old student Aileen Foster thinks she has landed her dream job, as an interpreter for actors making a film in Japan. Quite frankly, it does sound like a dream job – especially when it turns out the actors are actually UK Crush, the hottest boyband around. But having been orphaned for most of her life, Aileen is not used to being around other people, to sharing space, emotions and feelings, to become a family, to love.
I do like the boy band storyline, even if it’s been done many times before, I’m still fond of it. Besides, it might not be an original idea, but author Tani Hanes gives it an original twist, and with relatable characters and some fun surprises, it does make an intriguing story.
Aileen’s journey of self discovery and learning to be brave and start living her life, rather than push aside her emotions, was the most interesting part about the book. The writing flowed well, and overall, this was an excellent read. While Aileen is technically a new adult, the book can be enjoyed by new adult and young adult readers alike....more
War Town reminded me of the Hunger Games, as in it’s about a bunch of youngsters who are participating in a game in an arena. It’s supposed to be paintball, but it’s not – it’s far more sinister. There’s real ammunition, and even a time out. Contrary to the Hunger Games, this game is played in teams, though, so instead of a sole survivor, you get one winning team. The goal, naturally, is to eliminate the oppossing team.
Despite having some similarities to the Hunger Games, this book is a very different beast. The story quickly progresses into something different altogether, and the characters stand out, especially Olly. The writing flows well, and the reader is immediately sucked into the story, which has quite a few original twists and turns....more
In Running to Stand Still, Jamie Benson is eager to leave town and start a new life in Chicago. In seven months, that’s a plausible reality. But while working at her father’s bar, she meets Collin, a boy who is honest, sincere, and all the things she’s longed for and never knew. He makes her feel safe. He gives her a reason to stay. But with all the sins of the past still haunting her, can she get past what happened, and move on?
Collin and Jamie both tell the story. The POV switches every chapter, but it works well that way, and allows the reader to connect to both of them. Jamie certainly had a tough life, and I felt for her. She was easy to relate to, despite the hardships, and despite often distancing herself from others. Their romance was very sweet and heart-warming, and I was cheering for both of them.
A book about second chances, about love blossoming against all hope, about believing in yourself and others, and about the past, and how it can haunt people, and how hard it is to let go of the past. An amazing book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre....more
In A Sprint To His Heart, Bailey Meyers dreams of being a professional cyclist. Her dream becomes jeapordized when she falls for Piran, a drop-dead gorgeous Fae artist.
Although Bailey’s coach has a strict no-dating policy, Bailey feels an attraction toward Piran that she can’t deny. But when she discovers he’s not who she thought he was, and when she’s kicked out of her cycling team and has to join a new team a thousand miles away, can their love last?
Bailey and Piran had a real connection. As a reader, I enjoyed getting to know both of them. The author did a good job of establishing their personality bit by bit, revealing their secrets, background, and keeping things interesting for the reader. The chemistry between them was undeniable, and I rooted for them from the get-go. Bailey was my favorite of both characters, though.
I also liked the focus on cycling. It’s not often I get to read books that focus on that. Both my cousins are cyclists, so it was great to read about the world of professional cycling.
A fast-paced, thrilling new adult romance that I would recommend to fans of the genre....more
In Irina’s Cards starts with Irina Proffer seeing strange visions, inspired by a deck of tarot cards. To get answers, she travels to Victoria, where she quickly discovers a world dominated by genetic science and supernatural mystery, mixed in one. She starts working for Innoviro Industries, where she meets other ‘variants’, people who are like her – different from everyone else. But not everythign is as it seems, and Irina struggles to figure out who she can trust and who she can’t trust, all the while keeping check on her emotions, as she finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles.
The book starts out slow, but once it finds its pace, it becomes an enjoyable read. The story is complex enough to be entertaining, and it boosts an impressive host of characters, Irina in particular. She’s a brave, intelligent heroine, and I could easily relate to her.
An excellent start to a new series. I would recommend this book to fans of series like Divergent, or just of scifi romance in general, and I look forward to reading the sequel....more
In Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, Blaire Baker is a teacher from the supposedly cursed town of Black Water. She accepts a volunteer post at St. Sebastian’s orphanage, and along with volunteer nurse Travis Wells, she heds to the orphanage. While Blaire is optimistic at first, her optimism soon turns into despair – the facilitiy is housed in an abandoned, derelict building, the staff doesn’t care much about the “unwanted” children left at the orphanage, and the children aren’t exactly being taken care of the way they should.
As strange things start happening, and one of the children informs Blaire there’s something in the basement, Blaire grows more and more wary that something is going on at the orphanage. When Blaire is haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents, she realizes she might have to dig through the depths of her own subconscious, and the history of St. Sebastian’s orphanage, if she wants to find out the truth behind the Unwanted.
The setting is deliciously creepy (derelict orphanages are just about number one on my creepy list). The pacing is slow, but in a good way – the suspense builds up slowly, but when it reaches its crescendo, I was on the edge of my seat. The book reminded me of The Woman in Black, both in tone and eerie atmosphere, which is always a good thing.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, creepy horror novel....more
In Perfect Sense, we meet with Quinn Ashby, an intelligent college graduate, top of her class, who is as ambitious as she’s smart. She’s interning as the new marketing coordinator for the Bexley Bruisers American Hockey League team. Quinn appears to be perfect – but hse’s not. In fact, she’s so ambitious and driven she hardly has time for anything else. Being perfect in the eyes of her dad is the most important thing to her. Quinn doesn’t have time for boys, let alone for bad boys such as Cash Brooks. She’s an intriguing character, complex too, and I liked getting to know her.
Cash Brooks is a bad boy hockey star, but he has a few soft spots too. Cash and Quinn have a lot of chemistry between them – Quinn is stubborn and wants nothing to do with him, and that’s what attracts him to her. The more she denies wanting him, the more he wants her, and that was an interesting dynamic.
The writing style was fluent, and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. An entertaining contemporary romance, ideal for hockey fans, and anyone who enjoys a good romance read....more
While the idea of Choirs, angels with the gift of music, is an excellent and original plot idea, the book simply was too confusing at times. It didn’t explain things enough. On top of that, Madeline’s personality makes it almost impossible to connect with her. The love between Madeline and Damascus is forbidden, yet she keeps leading him on. Damascus reads like an angel version of Twilight’s Edward. So while the plot had original elements, this didn’t completely do it for me....more
In The Ivory Staff, fifteen-year-old Maliko is snooping around in the forbidden room. The forbidden room is supposedly strictly off-limits, in particular the forbidden box stored inside the room. His Uncle Pan stops him from snooping inside the box, making Maliko suspect the box has something to do with his mother. As an orphan, the topic is always on Maliko’s mind, but Uncle Pan refuses to open up about it.
From two different perspectives, we next get the story of Samiyah, Maliko’s mother, a beautiful peasant girl who ends up in the middle of political turmoil. The story is enlightening, different, and it shows an interesting blend of characters, all of them with unique personalities.
I loved the worldbuilding. The story is set on a fictional island of the coast of North Africa, and focuses a lot on the quarrels between two tribes, but it’s this cultural undertone that makes it intriguing. I thought Saab was one of the most interesting, genuine characters in the book. All of the characters had flaws and were realistic, but I found I had an instant connection to Saab.
Fans of new adult books and fantasy will love this book. The worldbuilding is great, and it’s an interesting blend of politics, scheming, the difference between two classes and the discrimination and issues that brings, that combined in a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat....more
In this collection of ertotic short stories, Capturing the Muse, the author, like the title suggests, talks about the muse, about finding one’s muse and losing one’s muse and all the trouble that goes with it. Each story features different characters and a different setting, but all of them have the muse element in common. All of the stories focus on authors, and since I’m an author too, I really enjoyed the POV of all of the different authors. “Beneath the Inhibitions” was my favorite of all the stories.
The writing is fluent, and even though the stories are short, I had no trouble connecting to any of the characters. A hot and steamy read, ideal for the summer months....more
A Taylor-Made Love is the sequel to A Taylor-Made Life, which I have not read. Despite that, it wasn’t too hard to follow along with the perils, the ups and downs, of the life of Taylor Smith-Taylor, a twenty-year-old widow and cancer survivor. She’s tryign to run her late husband’s gaming business, trying to keep his memory alive. Luckily she gets some help from her attorney, Brad Richards, who is both sexy and intelligent, and who might just be the person who gets her out of her shell again. But when Taylor comes up with a new idea, and it takes off, she has to decide whether she’s going to sell TME and move on with her life – and along with that, move on with Brad – or if she’ll stay stuck in the past.
Taylor is one of my favorite new adult characters I’ve read about. She’s very mature for her age, but considering what she’s been through, that’s normal. She has a lot of ambition, drive and passion, and she just seems like the kind of person you can’t help but like. The book focused on the grieving process too, which worked, and although it had some sad moments, overall it had a bright message: that it is possible to pick up the pieces and move on, but that this doesn’t mean you forget the person who passed away.
Taylor and Brad have a connection and chemistry between them that’s obvious from the start and only continues to grow as the book progresses. The writing was good, and made it easy to connect with the characters....more
After Her is an engaging read about college sophomore Cassandra Tate, who spends her days waitressing for little more than pocket money. She has no choice, since she’s almost completely broke, thanks to her mother, and Cassandra struggles to get by. Meanwhile, wealthy socialite Vivian Lynch is dying from cancer. She has little time left, and she spends that time arranging her funeral, finding beneficiaries for her will, and tying up loose ends. One of those ends includes Cassandra, and Vivian’s request the young girl take her place in high society after Vivian passes away.
But there’s a catch. Cassandra doesn’t just have to fill Vivian’s shoes and spend her money – she also has to marry Vivian’s husband, who happens to be a convicted murderer. Cassandra must weigh her options and make a choice.
I liked Cassandra. She has spirit and personality, and even though she needs to adjust a lot to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, she manages to adjust rather quickly. I also liked her interactions with the other characters, especially with Adrian. Vivian too, is an intriguing character. She cares so much about appearances and sometimes acts as if cancer is nothing but a hindrance, an annoyance, and she can’t be bothered to dwell on it for long. It was interesting to see how her personality changed when her illness grew worse.
The book isn’t shy on suspense, and I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next. A definite recommendation if you like suspense novels....more
In Waiting on Justin, Haylee and Justin are two best friends. They didn’t have the easiest childhood. Their parents preferred drinking over raising their own children, so it was mostly up to the two of them to raise themselves. Justin, being the oldest, took on the role of caretaker. He was always there for Haylee, providing emotional support, helping her through hardships. They rely on each other for just about anything, and so, despite a four-year age difference, they fall in love, a forbidden romance that’ll destroy them both if it’s discovered.
But Haylee’s reality is shattered when she’s forced to move after her mother dies. She must go live with Aunt Aerin, and because of her age (as she’s still underage), she can’t live with Justin, nor have a relationship with him. While Justin doesn’t give up on the two of them, Haylee has a feeling he did, because when she asked him to run away with her, he refused. Now she won’t even open up his letters. She alienates herself from everyone, broken to the core. Will Justin be able to help fix her again, or has the damage been too much? Does their love stand a chance?
Waiting on Justin is a touching story, told from Haylee’s POV. I felt for her. She’s sympathetic, even if she’s a little rough around the edges. She’s a fighter, a survivor, strong, yet at the same time she pushes everyone away sometimes, and doesn’t let herself get close to anyone. Justin is protective, and he loves Haylee an awful lot. The depths of his love become clear throughout the novel, and the reader will probably grasp it a lot sooner than Haylee does. However, at times, Justin frustrated me too, probably because it was so easy to identify with Haylee and see things through her eyes, that when she got mad at Justin, I got mad at him too.
A touching, heart-warming story about love and its ability to change people for better or worse, about not giving up hope, and about friendship....more
Lennox Moore, the main character of You Own Me, is on the run from her psycho ex-boyfriend. She was forced to move halfway across the country all on her own to escape from him. She expected to be lonely in this new town all alone, but then she meets a man named Vic. At first glance, Vic is probably an even darker character than aforementioned ex-boyfriend. He’s controlling and dominating, possessive even, and has his fair share of issues. I liked him though. His personality is complicated, and I like complex characters.
Lennox, or “Lenny”, well, let’s say I didn’t understand all of the things she did – like, for example, allowing a new man in her life almost straightaway, even after being burned once already – but, I could sympathize with her, and relate to her. She definitely had some issues too, and throughout the book, she went through some remarkable changes and grew as a person.
The book has a few surprises, and especially the ending came as a twist. I enjoyed it though. The characters were complex enough to be intriguing, and the plot wasn’t predictable at all. If you enjoy romance, or the new adult genre, you’ll probably enjoy this book too....more
Celia Mendoza is the main character of Loving is Good, and when we meet her, she’s already suffered through quite a lot. Her father died, and she put her graduate studies on hold to deal with the loss. Now she comes up with advice in here e-zine column, Luna Love, Loving is Good.
Except that even though she dishes out dating advice, she hasn’t had a proper date or a kiss in more than year. She’s too reluctant to even give it a shot, tormented by one broken heart after another. But then Gabe Mercer show up, and he’s everything she ever dreams about: a man who encourages her to persue her dreams, someone who urges her to take risks, to become a better person, to constantly improve herself. That he’s extremely good looking is only the cheery on top. Still, Celia is reluctant to take the bet, to fall in love again, to risk being hurt again. But sometimes life has a funny way of making true love happen.
Celia is a bubbly character, and although she’s had her fair share of ups and downs, she always stays positive. She has a great personality, and forms a good match with Gabe. They had instant chemistry, and I liked how their relationship developed – from instant attraction to deep caring.
The writing is solid, and the story is short and fun. This is a novella, so it’s a quick read, but an enjoyable one all the same. ...more
To The Stars is an intriguing mix of dystopian and science-fiction with some engaging, entertaining characters to boot. We start off with a scene from Zara’s perspective, the female protagonist, while she watches the moment Earth heard about the impending apocalypse, back in 2012. Only sixty years left, and then the earth will perish.
Now it’s almost sixty years later, and Zara finds herself on a planet that barely resembles Earth from half a century ago. When Earth needed a savior the most, a man stepped up to save them. He invented the Astrum Portas, ark ships that would supposedly save humanity.
The chapters switch between Zara’s perspective, and Noah’s perspective, Noah being the son of humanity’s savior. They come from totally different worlds, although ultimately they’re still stuck on the same world: the one that could perish any minute. As Noah and Zara grow closer together, and they discover secrets they could’ve never imagined, they realize they’ll have to fight to survive, and to bring a better future to human kind.
I liked Zara’s perspective the most of the two of them, because it was easiest to relate to her. She lives in a small one-bedroom house with her Mom, her grandmother having passed away recently, so she basically sleeps in the living room. As son of the High Chancellor, Noah is priviledged, but his Father demands a lot from him, too much even. He wants to craft Noah into a mirror image of himself. He struggles a lot with the responsibility and burdens he has to take on. Both characters are flawed in a good way, they certainly come across as realistic.
This book takes place right before the apocalyspe happens, so there’s a rush to it right from the start, that nagging feeling that soon enough, the proverbial bomb (in this case, armageddon) will explode. The clock is thicking right from the start, and until the very end. Highly suspenseful, and an engaging read. ...more
At This Stage is a crossover between a YA and NA novel. Jackson Wall, twenty-three, obviously falls in the new adult category. So far he’s lived life without a single obligation. But when the daughter of a deceased friend of his is threatened with foster care, he volunteers to become her guardian. This shocks everyone, even himself, but once he volunteered, there’s no way back.
Kaitlyn, seventeen-years-old (the young adult in the book) has just lost her mother, and is struggling to come to terms with that, when she gets taken in by Jackson. He’s always been a friend of the family, but lately, Kaitlyn has begun to notice how handsome he is, and how charming. Living together proves to be challenging for both of them, as they soon realize they begin to develop feelings they’ve never expeirenced before.
Jackson feels guilty and disgusted with himself for feeling this way. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn grows convinced she must search for her biological father and find out why he never wanted her, and Jackson struggles with his job as a playwright.
The dialogue is realistic, and the romance develops steadily – it’s definitely no insta-love. The romance is subtle, like most of the book, and the characters’ emotions feel realistic too. The writing is great, and very polished for a debut author.
I’m looking forward to reading more books by K.K. Weil, be it a sequel to At This Stage, or something else. An author to watch out for....more
The Affair is a small sample from a larger book, but it was interesting all the same. In under 40 pages, author Olivia Grace sketches the romance between Karrie and Justin. They’re not your usual couple, and that’s what instantly makes them intriguing. They’ve never met, at least not in real life. They’ve been dating online, and they’ve only been chatting through social media and email. Meanwhile, Karrie is still living with her boyfriend, Tyler, who is a drunk and a loser. College threatens to kick her out if she can’t pay tuition. Her job sucks, and life is pretty much boring and uneventful.
That is, until her best friend Sabrina takes Karrie to the big city on a job hunt, but she gets a lot more than she bargained for when she gets an offer she can’t refuse.
Sabrina and Karrie seem like great friends, and I loved how Sabrina was supportive, no matter what Karrie ended up choosing. Since this was just a sample, it’s hard to review the book, since I have no idea what’ll happen next. The sample ended on a cliffhanger, so I’m definitely excited to read the rest....more
Reading Orange Blossom is my first time reading any books in the Flowering series, but I can already predict it won’t be the last time. The tale of Lily and Jack is raw, emotional, heart-wrenching. Jack was easily my favorite of both characters. He has a sense of realism about him, a dark past, and so many layers behind which he hides. This makes him interesting, mysterious. I wanted to find out what was haunting him, but never expected it to be so heartbreaking. Lily is exactly the opposite, and I hard a hard time connecting to her because of that.
So far, her life has been perfect, but it feels fake. She was always the perfect girl, the one with the perfect life, and now she longs for something real. I understand that, but I just had a harder time connecting to her. Their story is great, and it shows how opposites can feel attracted to each other. They both long for something different, and only the other can give that to them.
An interesting, well-written novel with a solid plot and interesting characters....more
Blood Moon is the second book in a series. I haven’t read the first book, so it was hard to follow at first, but once I got the hang of who was who, it was a great read. The book focuses on Darby and Rowan, two sisters, and their friends. The main plot involves the disappearance of young woman, colliding with the arrival of two mysterious women in town. It’s up to Darby, Rowan and their friends to find out, and to stop the past from repeating themselves. But in between boy trouble and saving town, they have plenty of stuff on their plates.
Good writing, a solid plot, and an intriguing mix of old family lore, witches, werewolves and vampires. This book reads like an updated and improved version of Twilight. Much improved. I loved how the author managed to combine present and past, and blur the lines of history between both.
Rowan was my favorite character, although I loved Blake as well. And Devon. For some reason, I wasn’t so fond of Dean, and while I liked Darby most of the time, I much preferred Rowan. But hey, personal preferences.
An intriguing YA novel for everyone who likes witches, vampires and our furry friends....more
In The Soured Earth, Margaret Campbell decides to go back home after a desperate phone call from her Dad. Her family is struggling. Her aunt and uncle passed away in a car accident, and now her Dad has to take care of the ranch she grew up in, her two cousins, and her aging grandma, all on his own. While Margaret wants nothing more than to finish studying for her degree in fashion, she knows she can’t abandon her Dad when he needs her the most.
But coming back home is a struggle. Her cousins each have their own share of troubles and teenage issues to go through. Her grandmother suffered from a stroke, but refuses to take things slowly. Money is scarce, and when an illness starts infesting the crops and animals on their ranch and the surrounding ranches, things are about to get ten times worse for Margaret and her family.
As they struggle to make ends meet, Margaret has to figure out what she wants in live – to be there for her family, or to chase her own dreams.
The Soured Earth was a truly inspiring story about family, dreams, and about what we sometimes give up for family. Margaret struggle with typical new adult issues, and she’s a very realistic character. Her family is lovely, especially Bonne-maman, her grandmother. She may nag every now and then, and she may be harsh on Margaret’s Dad, but she has her heart in the right place. Ranch life is tough, and I never realized how tough until reading this book, it was a real eye-opener.
The writing was good, the characters were enjoyable, and the story was truly inspiring....more
The Windgate is the first book in the School of Ministry series. It’s kind of like Harry Potter but with demons instead of wizards. It’s also intended for a slightly older audience. The book is definitely intriguing, and I got hooked on the story early on, and I was sad to see it end.
Ziv struggles to find his place in life. His parents were murdered, so he’s an orphan, bouncing from one foster hme into another. He has gifts he doesn’t understand – like the ability to see demons. Along with two others who have the same ability, he gets recruited for The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises him to help him find Stephanie, his best friend who has gone missing. If he wants their help, he has to join the School of Ministry though – and that means going through a series of treacherous challenges and leave on a mission to securet the Windgate. In the meantime, he has to face some serious challenges in the love department, and has to fight evil itself.
I wasn’t too fond of the whole evil itself conflict – I’m convinced no one is truly evil, and everyone is a mix of things – but that aside, the book was great. Ziv – awesome name, by the way – is an enthralling, endaring character. His life story may be dipped in sadness, but he always manages to see the bright side of things, no matter how much he’s struggling.
There’s definitely more story to tell here, and I can’t wait for the sequel. Four well-deserved stars....more
Autumn is excited to start college – finally – after helping to manage her family’s restaurant for the last two years. Her roommate happens to be her best friend, Lindy, so things couldn’t get any better. Except that Lindy’s boyfriend has oved in as well, so her dream of colllege doesn’t exactly start out as planned.
She meets Vinny in one of her classes. He’s got the good looks, money, and reputation to match his attitude. With that, he should be able to get any girl he wants. Instead, he finds himself falling for Autumn, an awkward girl who doesn’t even seem in the same league.
But as these two grow closer to each other, there are people who will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
Autumn was a lovely, amazing character. I liked her awkwardness, the way she handled herself through everything, her intelligence, her quiet strength. I liked Vinny too, as the book progressed, but I wasn’t very fond of him at first. I absolutely hated his Mom, but I think most of the readers probably do. She’s a control freak, and has Vinny in an iron-tight grip.
The book had lots of romance, some steamy scenes, a good dose of drama and humor, and an enjoyable cast. An excellent read if you’re in the mood for some romance....more
Fire on Ice was a pleasant, at times even sensual read. The book is marketed for a new adult audience, and granted, the main characters fit the target age, yet I think it is more suitable for the adult market. There are various 18+ scenes and since sometimes kids as young as sixteen start reading new adult books, I’ll keep to saying this book is definitely 18+. The main characters are both college-age as well.
We meet Kian Kavanagh, a hockey player and star player of his team, Firestorm. Kian is rather popular with the girls, called “puck bunnies”, and they’d do anything to get into his pants. Kian usually enjoys the attention, but on this particular night out, his interest is piqued by a gorgeous girl studying at the bar. Who the heck studies at a bar? When he tries to strike up conversation, the girl, Taylor, tells him she’s not dating any hockey players, like ever. Kian is more intrigued than ever before, and he swears he won’t rest until she goes on a date with him.
For Taylor, giving Kian a chance is the toughest thing she’s ever done after a terrible experience with her ex-boyfriend, Austin, who also happened to be a hockey player. Even though she feels a strong pull toward Kian, she’ll have to let go of the past before she can move on. And then there’s also her best friend Kyle, who’s supported her through everything that happened, and who may have started developing feelings for her as well….
What I liked the most here was how different Kian and Taylor are. Kian comes from a lower-class family, and he’s been struggling his entire life, with a Dad sent to prison and a Mom addicted to drugs. Basically it’s always been him against the world. Taylor has had a much more priviledged upbringing, with loving parents who’d do whatever it takes to protect her.
The characters had sparks flying all over the pages. They’re an unlikely couple, but they make it work. There’s also plenty of subplots going on to make the book intriguing, like a stalker following Taylor, her dealing with her past, and even another girl expressing interest in Kian.
The story of Kian and Taylor continues in The Playmaker, the second book in the Fire on Ice series. Kian has moved into premier league hockey, and is more popular than ever in the world of hockey. While things are looking up for him career-wise, this also means spending less time with Taylor, and more time away from home.
Meanwhile Taylor is still studying for her degree and her chance to go to graduate school. But with a stalker still on the look out for her, something may happen that’ll turn her entire world upside down.
Kian has a lot of identity issues during this book, which actually bothered me. Why does he keep insisting he’s not good enough for Taylor? It’s like all his insecurities about his childhood, about not being the person he wants to be, all come leaping out in this installment. I don’t mind character development, but it seemed like Kian actually put a step backward instead of forward.
Back to Taylor. She has a lot of insecurities to spread around as well, but hers are at least founded upon solid reasons, or upon things that happened to her recently. I liked her more than in the last book. She’s more independent, less eager to rely on Kian for everything, and she’s a more complex, rounded character than she was before.
The story was actually even better than in the previous book, because now we already knew the characters, and we could jump straight into the story itself.
As before, I really enjoyed the down-to-earth writing style, the character interactions, the secondary characters and the story itself. It was a pleasant, light read....more
The Vincent Boys was a mediocre read for me. I liked Ashton sort of, I liked Beau, and together they formed a nice couple, but some things bothered me. I’ll explain them later in this review. Overall, the book was a nice summer read though.
Ashton’s boyfriend, Sawyer, is on holiday during the summer, and she’s stuck at home, taking care of his cousin, Beau, when he gets drunk and needs a ride home. The encounter makes their old friendship resurface. When they were kids, they were best friends, always teasing each other, always joking around, but ever since they started growing up, they’ve grown apart. In a matter of weeks, they get as close as they once were, and a whole lot closer than that.
What didn’t make sense for me? Well, I read the adult version (I hope) and the way Ashton and Beau almost have sex the first time made me cringe. They’re in a field (I don’t think they moved away from the field), Ashton’s grandma just passed away, she needs a shoulder to cry on, and Beau completely takes advantage of her. Ugh. Then there’s the awkward sex scene later on. It wasn’t hot, it was just awkward.
Then there was Ashton’s silly behavior toward the end. I don’t want to spoil things, but at some point she goes to a gathering of kids her age, and she’s afraid of what’ll happen because Sawyer isn’t there to protect her. Uhm? Right? And then a little later, when Sawyer is mad at her, she’s scared of going to school because she’s picked on and Sawyer won’t help her.
Grow up. Put your chin up, and start being brave, Ashton. You don’t need a guy to protect you, you can take care of yourself. Stop relying on Sawyer and Beau for everything. Seriously.
Either way, apart from that, I actually liked the story. I love friendships-turn-to-romance books, and this was definitely one of the better ones. Ashton and Beau’s love was heartbreaking, and it sounded real. I thought Ashton was way too dependent on Sawyer and Beau to make her an intriguing character. She wasn’t very complex either – a good girl who really wanted to become a bad girl. Beau was a lot more intriguing. He was flawed, broken, human. Sawyer was Mr. Perfect, until the end, when his true colors showed, and which made him more interesting than in the entire first half of the book.
Overall, a nice, quick read, but the characters could’ve been more three-dimensional, and Ashton could’ve been less of a crybaby....more
Just Remember to Breathe offers a rollercoaster of emotions with a wide variety of characters that touch the readers’ hearts in their own, unique way.Just Remember to Breathe offers a rollercoaster of emotions with a wide variety of characters that touch the readers’ hearts in their own, unique way. What is so powerful about this book, are the characters – they truly drive it forward. They are not the typical characters you’d expect from a new adult contemporary romance novel, and that’s what makes them all the more intriguing. If you want to be swept away in a book, reading until the wee hours of the morning, then you want to read this book. It won’t dissapoint – in fact, it’ll probably amaze. It certainly left me feeling a myriad of conflicting emotions from anger and rage, to heartbreak and suffering. At some point, I even cried. Books that can cause such powerful emotions in those that read them are definitely worth taking a look at, if you ask me.
Dylan Paris, the male lead character, is nothing if not extraordinary. Raised by a drunk Dad who occassionally physically abused his equally-drunk Mom, his childhood wasn’t exactly a happy one. When his Mom finally did clean up her act, so did Dylan. After getting kicked out because he funked school, he re-enrolled, worked hard, went to live back home, and did so great he was accepted for an exchange program where he met Alex, the love of his life. But feeling guilty over everything that ever went wrong in his life, and feeling unworthy and undeserving for a girl as special and wonderful as Alex, Dylan never told her his real feelings on the last night they spent together – that this wasn’t just some summer fluke, but that he really did love her. They kept on a relationship of shorts (long distance though) for a while, but it never really worked out. When Dylan joined the army, that only made things worse. But when all is said and done, Dylan knows that he lost her for good, and part of that is his fault.
When a bombshell exploded brings Dylan to the hospital as a wounded soldier, he enlists in University, looking to build a life again. Accidently though, it’s the same university Alex is enrolled in, and they also happen to work for the same teacher, an author who wrote his bestselling novel at age twenty-two and has been struggling to write another one ever since. As Dylan is forced to spend time together with his ex-girlfriend, old feelings may resurface, feelings he thought he buried along with his dead comrades.
Alex on the other hand, always seemed out of reach for Dylan. Being the daughter of a wealthy ambassador, all she ever had to worry about were school and grades. Little does he know that all the time, Alex loved Dylan probably just as much as he loved her. The longer they spent apart, the more heartbreak Alex suffers. When one night it gets too much for her, she breaks up with Dylan through Skype. A stupid mistake, she sends him countless emails afterwards – but he never replies to them. He seemingly vanishes off the face of the earth. Alex struggles to go on with her life until suddenly, she sees Dylan at her own university. Forced to work together with the man who broke her heart, Alex fears she might fall for him all over again. But Dylan isn’t the boy she fell in love with anymore. Suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and suffering from an enormous amount of survivor’s guilt, this war-hardened veteran may be even tougher to deal with than he was the first time around.
As you can see, these characters aren’t exactly your generic, typical new adult characters. I especially loved Dylan. I felt bad for everything he’s ever been through. And if the end result is that he sometimes becomes enraged beyond normal proportions, then that’s only fitting for the person he became, due to losing people he loved and feeling guilty for it. A lot of YA and NA books have a ‘bad boy’ male love interest for the female main character. Dylan never seemed like a ‘bad boy’ to me, although he did have some of its streaks: a bit possessive at times, and violent. But the thing was, here I understood his violence. His life wasn’t exactly rose petals and sunshine so far, and it shows in his personality, in his sometimes violent fits, like when someone attacks someone he loves. But he never appeared like ‘bad boy’, quite the opposite in fact, and that was a welcome chance. I thought he was quite romantic, sending Alex dried flowers from Afghanistan and keeping her picture in his locker. He also never seemed to have eye for any other girl – just her. It nearly broke my heart to see how he kept destroying their love over and over again, not because he didn’t want to be with her, but because he wanted to protect her from himself, his past and his present. Severely injured in war, with brain traumas and words sometimes slipping from his mind, filled up with rage ready to explode, Dylan’s main concern is to keep Alex safe. That was so touching it nearly broke my heart.
Just Remember to Breathe is about these characters, their lives and their journey to find each other. It was heart-warming from start to end, a rollercoaster of emotions. They made mistakes, they tried to get passed those, and with everything that went wrong, they tried to pick up the pieces and kept going. I can’t possibly explain to you how touching I thought this book was. Dylan’s journey is extraordinary, and how Alex keeps supporting him through all that is truly amazing. I loved them together as a couple: their interactions and joked showed they really did care for each other, a lot. The writing was superb, the voices very authentic and genuine. This book was written with a lot of love and emotion behind it, and it shows.
Give Just Remember to Breathe a try, especially if you’re a fan of stories that will have you laugh, sob, and cry at the same time....more
Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is an intense rollercoaster of a book. It’s dark, gritty, complex and fascinating from page one until the very end. I wasSuperheroes Wear Faded Denim is an intense rollercoaster of a book. It’s dark, gritty, complex and fascinating from page one until the very end. I was so enthralled with this book I kept on turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. This story has an entirely different outtake on what it means to be a superhero, the Angel lore, and the ancient battle of good vs. evil. I was more than a little amazed, and definitely enjoyed this book.
The main character, Blissany, is a delight to read about. Her thoughts range from focused to all over the place, which happens to a lot of young adults/new adults. Since I’m a college student myself, I loved the scenes at college, the roommates, classes, lunch, etc. Then, with the addition of the supernatural, things just turned one thousand times more interesting. What I found also very intriguing about this book is that it doesn’t offer the main character as the sole fighter or supernatural creature in this world, some sort of “chosen one” but instead focuses on Blissany and her friends, working together as a team to defeat the evil of this world. This is one of the first books featuring supernatural teams I’ve read, as opposed to singular heroes, and it works really well. Although Superheroes Wear Faded Denim also features multiple POVs, I had no trouble keeping up with them.
My only pet peeve with this book was how difficult the main characters’ names are. The name I had especially problems with was Wanikiya. I still don’t know how to properly pronounce it. And while I can take one or two ‘special’ names that one was just a bit too special for my tastes.
Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is different, special and original. The plot is forever evolving, with twists around every corner. The narrative is concise, the writing decent. I recommend this book to all fans of the New Adult genre, and fantasy in general. If you’d like to see an original take on Angels, try this one out as well....more