This book was sort of a break from my norm. It’s not a fairy tale retell, it’s not straight up fiction, or even dystopian/fantasy. This can best be deThis book was sort of a break from my norm. It’s not a fairy tale retell, it’s not straight up fiction, or even dystopian/fantasy. This can best be described as a YA-Western, complete with guns, small down salons, horses and Stetsons. Although I’m wondering…were the hats actually called Stetsons back then? Because I’m pretty sure that’s a name brand, right? I could be wrong.
What I Loved: It was just ever so different, yet the same. The setting is one that I’m not used to, and the southerny/western accent too. This was more a book about redemption than anything, but first comes vengeance. I think the thing that I liked most was Kate’s character, she was complicated. She was after the men who killed her father, but at the same time was able to be compassionate and understanding toward the Apache Indians, the race that everyone hated/feared/mistreated. However, even in that area, she was tainted by society norms and while she was trying to maintain a friendship and understanding, she continued to have disregard for their ways and was borderline offensive for a good portion of the book. There were events that helped her to gain more understanding and respect for the Indians as the story went on, and this growth was the most significant throughout the book, in my opinion.
I also enjoyed the relationship between Kate and Jessie. I felt like it was this low simmer sort of thing between them, rather than drama that extended throughout the book. This wasn’t just Kate’s story either, Jessie had his own redemption to find as well.
Not So Much: Despite any kind of redemption she found while on the hunt for her father’s killers, Kate really never did leave the thought of vengeance behind. For a small portion of the book I thought that she was going to find healing elsewhere, and I do feel like she kind of did – however she was still pretty set on her path. I would have liked to have had more of an emotional resolution for both Kate and Jessie. While there was character growth throughout the book, I feel like we stopped just shy of anything remarkable.
I enjoyed listening to this book. Again, it is nice to break free from the mold just a bit and read something a little different. I can’t say it was my favorite book of the summer, but I certainly do not regret reading it. This is a YA driven novel, though there is some stronger cussing in it..just so you all know....more
What I Loved: All of the characters were interesting and fun. Taylor is pretty typical as far as ‘near adults’ go, she is unsure of her place and of hWhat I Loved: All of the characters were interesting and fun. Taylor is pretty typical as far as ‘near adults’ go, she is unsure of her place and of her future destination in life; couple that with an epic mistake on her part, and you’ve got enough drama to fill an entire lifetime. She deals with it though. I really could see her perspective on why she made some of the choices she did, even though in my head I was screaming “noooooooo…..”. I cannot, however, say I would have done anything any differently. Beyond that, Taylor’s character was honorable. I loved how she worked through problems, relied on her friends and family when she didn’t have a solution – but in the end she came up with good solid solutions, and went after what she wanted.
The relationship between her and Ezra (well, first off..who doesn’t love a MC named Ezra?! I think that if he were the antagonist, I would have fallen for him just for the name! ;) ) was hot! I love the pre-existing condition of their feelings for each other before the book starts, it made their quick moving relationship easier to take that way.
Not So Much: I will forever list sex in a YA novel in this spot…and I apologize, but I’m just not a fan. I also felt kind of weird about Taylor’s parent’s personalities. At times they are over-bearing, a bit uppity (which makes sense considering their position), and completely detached from all things concerning their kids; and then other times they seem like a completely normal family where talking isn’t so hard, and understanding and forgiveness isn’t such a huge deal. I don’t think that this was a growth progression throughout the book as much as it was an irregularity. Specifically in Taylor’s dad; he is so understanding and willing to let things go as soon as Taylor decides to really have a conversation regarding college, however most of the evidence leading up to that point indicated that the conversation should have gone way differently.
I did enjoy this book. I feel like Taylor as a person is a character that I will always admire. She really stands out to me in the YA world as someone who has her head on straight, she knows when she needs help, but she also makes good decisions (most of the time). I’ve already mentioned that this book isn’t exactly clean – it’s not overly descriptive (unless you count talk of using condoms), but there’s no denying it’s there, so my recommendation is that this book isn’t really a good one for any younger teens....more
I recently went to NetGalley looking specifically for fun summer reads to take one. I came across two I felt I would like and would be fairly easy toI recently went to NetGalley looking specifically for fun summer reads to take one. I came across two I felt I would like and would be fairly easy to commit to. One Paris Summer stuck out to me specifically because I’m an Anna and the French Kiss freak. I’ve read that book nearly 20 times (I really wish I were lying). It is my go-to book when I’m in a slump, or just want to reconnect with old ‘friends.’ One Paris Summer sounded perfect when I read the blurb, and I was even more excited when I was approved.
What I Loved: The setting and the language for sure top this list. It is one of the things I loved about Anna, I felt like I really could put myself there. I’ve never actually been to France, but I’m willing to bet based on Anna and now One Paris Summer, I’d be able to recognize a couple of places that aren’t actual landmarks (assuming they are real…). One Paris Summer was especially nice in the language area, I did take French in school, and since there were some French phrases, some well known while others weren’t, I was happy to know I could recognize what was being said before the book gave away the translation.
I also connected with the music side of this story. Sophie was a pianist, and she would ramble off pieces of music that most people don’t even care to recognize, but I on the other hand did know some of them – and probably all of them if I took the time to listen to the piece, since I don’t know every piece of music by name.
I did get caught up in this story line of this book (and not just the setting). The dynamic between Sophie and Camille and Camille’s friends was great. I loved the growth of Sophie and Eric’s characters throughout the book as well. In the opening chapter I thought that we were going to encounter the brother/sister cat fighting pretty much throughout the entire novel, but I loved that wasn’t the case. Some of my favorite moments were when Sophie and Eric were spending time alone. Of course, the blooming relationship between Sophie and Mathieu was front and center, and totally gush-worthy.
Not So Much: So I hope I don’t sound too hypocritical in my next statement, since I picked up this book because it reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss, but the similarities of a few of the scenes in One Paris Summer to Anna almost had me putting the book away. They happened in the very first few chapters and thankfully, once they had passed, the similarities ended rather quickly and One Paris Summer became its own. But still, if it were me I probably would have avoided that as much as possible (and if it was a coincidence...then that is super crazy, and sorry for calling it out!)
Camille played the perfect antagonist, however she might have ended up being a tad bit over the top at some points. Not the climax, mind you…but in some of her tantrums. And I kind of wish we got to “experience” more of her reformation in this book.
This really was exactly what I was looking for. I think it is very likely that I will add this to my “re-read” books…but first that means I have to buy my own copy rather than the NetGalley version! The book is clean, and perfectly suitable for Young Adults....more
What I Loved: So, I try and make it a rule to not reveal anything about a book that isn't already in the blurb, in the attempt not to spoil anything,What I Loved: So, I try and make it a rule to not reveal anything about a book that isn't already in the blurb, in the attempt not to spoil anything, so I'm sorry if I'm vague - I'm working with what I've got! :)
I enjoyed the world building and back story of Creatura, especially when it came to the human/creature. The concept behind these creatures was unique and interesting.
Isis has great family and friend connections throughout this book, everyone in her life is very supportive, especially considering her months of insomnia, which is having its effect. While at time I felt Isis' mother behaved a lot more like a friend than a mother during times, and then switched back - I loved the comradery between them.
Not So Much: I really was expecting something more with this book. I already mentioned that I felt like it was going to be thriller/horror like, and I feel like the cover indicates this too, however the reality is that this book was closer to a typical young adult, paranormal romance novel. There is little real action, and a lot of smoldering glances.
I really thought that Isis' dreams would play a much bigger part in this book, but after the beginning the fact that she could control her dream and was able to dream into this place that the creature dwells sort of became a back-burner detail after the first couple chapters. Then there was her jealous ex-boyfriend, who played his part but I really thought he was something more and in the end it felt anti-climatic to me.
While the writing was decent and the world building was pretty good, I felt like this story just fell short for me. My expectation based on the blurbs was that this book was going to be a paranormal version of when the girl falls in love with the boy who isn't what he seems - he's much more dangerous - and it turns into an action filled drama of her attempting to escape. This book is good for the Young Adult genre, age appropriate. ...more
What I Loved: This story is very unique in many ways, and yet still falls into what is popular in YA-Fantasy/Dystopian type novels. I enjoyed Sophie’sWhat I Loved: This story is very unique in many ways, and yet still falls into what is popular in YA-Fantasy/Dystopian type novels. I enjoyed Sophie’s character. She was witty and strong, yet at the same time took things in stride and didn’t have a tendency for the dramatic ‘this is not fair’ attitude that sometimes comes with these novels. This book was not too forthcoming with information, but there were some elements that of foreshadowing I was able to pick up on, and I love when I’m able to do that.
The chemistry between Sophie and Ash….and Sophie and Ren was pretty decent. Yes, unfortunately we have the makings (not exactly there yet…) for a love triangle here. I have my ‘side’ but I will keep that to myself for now.
Not So Much: As previously mentioned, this book is not too forthcoming with the information. I was just as frustrated as Sophie about this, but mostly because it caused some of the story to just not make sense, or even flow very well. Keeping information so far under wraps that nearly the entire book is us discovering Sophie’s abilities, her training, and her internally swooning – it really just could have used a little more movement. There were things happening, lies that were being told (though not very well at times) and plots forming; however we never really figured out the reasons behind some of these things. I have my suspicions on a few of them…but no confirmation. That is not to say the book wasn’t without its action, and once there was some information starting to get shared, the book picked up pace considerably. It was just that I had to wait until the final 3/4ths of the novel for that to really happen.
I did enjoy the concept of this story, it was a unique idea with a lot of potential. I will be interested to see what more can be made of it as the series progresses. This book is clean, very YA appropriate....more
What I Loved: Our flawed main character, Andie, to start off with. I loved her because she was so real about dealing – or NOT dealing – with her lifeWhat I Loved: Our flawed main character, Andie, to start off with. I loved her because she was so real about dealing – or NOT dealing – with her life by keeping everything at surface level. I would say that the exceptions might be her 3 best friends, Palmer, Bri, and Toby, but even then there were topics she just didn’t discuss. Her growth is the key element here, without it I would have hated this book, because at first I really just didn’t care for Andie at all. In fact, in the first few chapters I was kind of annoyed at her standoffish-ness, and strange obsession with kissing. It probably wasn’t until about half way through that I really started to like her.
I also love the progression of Andie and Clark’s relationship. It was not this all-encompassing passion to start off with, it was something that started with blushes and awkwardness and then formed into something wonderful. I read a lot of YA books, especially in the YA coming of age/romance type, and I really feel that this book is among the few that has a realistic view on relationship growth as opposed to the lust at first sight, in love the next week we get a lot of the times. There was gushing about how hot Clark was, but that wasn’t the entire basis of why Andie liked him – her feelings for him grew as she got to know him.
Speaking of relationships, I love the entire cast of characters in this book. The foursome (and their boys) were such a dynamic bunch, you can’t help but want to be included in their group. Then there is the relationship between Andie and her father; there is so much to love here simply because both sides make mistakes and learn from them. You start off the book thinking that you’re going to hate Andie's dad, but you can’t help but love and respect him in the end.
Not So Much: Because this book is about growth, becoming a better person, and discovering who you really are; it’s hard to come up with something that I didn’t like about it. It is very well written, and I feel like all of the emotions that I felt were exactly the reaction that Morgan Matson was going for.
This is the perfect YA summer read! It’s not too heavy, nor is it too light of a read. It has just enough meat to dig into, good characters that you want to know in real life. This book is clean, there is talk of sex, but none actually in the book – though there IS lots of kissing....more
What I Loved: A popular theme in Peter Pan retells has been that Hook is not the 'bad guy' and Peter Pan is. I haven't minded these role swaps, and fiWhat I Loved: A popular theme in Peter Pan retells has been that Hook is not the 'bad guy' and Peter Pan is. I haven't minded these role swaps, and find them a lot of fun, I'm thankful that someone has decided to keep the playful, adventurous Peter Pan in character! I loved the descriptions of him behaving perfectly youthful and curious, while at the same time showing his burden for the home he loves and the desire to keep it protected from those who wish to use it for their own gain.
Gwen's character was so perfect, even before Peter and Neverland come into play in this book, you can see the internal battle that she faces between wanting to be teenage and enjoy the things teenagers enjoy, while at the same time keeping that carefree freedom that only comes with being a child. As she does venture into Neverland, that internal battle is even stronger.
Not So Much: Given the title, I thought that there would be more of a 'war' happening, as far as action. What we have is the tip of a story, an introduction to characters and the promise of more adventure. I know this, because I verified by checking out Audrey Greathouse's website, but that wasn't until I finished the story, so while now I'm pretty satisfied, while reading I was a little let down about this.
I liked this book, but I predict that I'm going to LOVE sequel! This book is very YA appropriate, and honestly, I'm considering buying the book and putting it into the hands of my 11 year old daughter....more
After being in the supernatural world for a bit, I decided I wanted something light and fun and normal to read. What better author to turn to than MrsAfter being in the supernatural world for a bit, I decided I wanted something light and fun and normal to read. What better author to turn to than Mrs. Cassie Mae?
What I Loved: This book was exactly what I needed. It was a sweet romance with likable, real characters who were goofy and down to earth. I loved that this story was told from the guys perspective, which is always a little refreshing, despite me wrinkling my nose every time he talked about how badly his bedroom smelled (at least he was aware of it!). Hayley was pretty funny, and a lot cheesy, but I could tell the person she was meant to be right off. I’ve met those people who seem so incredibly self-aware and confident, who are easy to talk to and know how to keep conversations moving, yet have something going on underneath. I could see why Brody would have a hard time understanding her reluctance to believe that he actually liked her.
Not So Much: Part of me is happy that Hayley’s home life wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought, at the same time I kind of felt like that part of the story was a little underdeveloped. It could have been me wishing to get into Hayley’s head (since I’m used to the girls being the narrator) but I kind of wanted more there.
As always a great read! There is mild cussing, and there IS non-descriptive sex in this book, so older YA would be my recommendation....more
No sooner did I finish Obsidian then I went and purchased Onyx. While I may have had some character troubles with Obsidian, I was still captivated byNo sooner did I finish Obsidian then I went and purchased Onyx. While I may have had some character troubles with Obsidian, I was still captivated by this story and wanted to know more about what was going to happen.
What I Loved: The continuing building of heat between Katy and Daemon. I enjoyed Daemon much more in this book than the previous. He was done fighting what were obviously very strong feelings for Katy, and he was in aggressive pursuit. There was a lot more kissing in this book – and boy can Jennifer Armentrout write a good kissing scene!
We learned more about what is going on between Katy and Daemon’s strange connection and what it might all mean. We also are introduced to Blake who is more than he seems.
In Onyx we get a few more twists and turns in the story, while the progress on the relationship front seems to be more the issue here.
Not So Much: Katy is driving me crazy. She is still so obtuse and just wishy-washy. She says things that she desperately wants to believe, but are obviously not true. She has become a horrible friend and really not admirable at all. She lies, and hides things that should be brought to light, and trusts way more information to people outside of her alien circle than she should.
Gosh, the romance draws me in. The story is interesting enough…but I’m just a bit perturbed by Katy. Some reviews of the third book indicate that she gets better, but I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to move on yet....more
What I Loved: So, alien books aren’t actually my ‘thing,’ I’m not sure why, since in the last few years I’ve read a few good ones, but they just aren’What I Loved: So, alien books aren’t actually my ‘thing,’ I’m not sure why, since in the last few years I’ve read a few good ones, but they just aren’t the first books that I tend to grab first. But I did really enjoy this take on Aliens. I didn’t fully understand what they could do and why – well, I vaguely understood why I guess – but I also just know it’s a book and it doesn’t have to make complete sense to me. The back-story of how they came to exist on earth and what had been established was flushed out to a satisfactory degree for me. All of the fight scenes were enjoyable to read, I didn’t get lost in the movements and what was actually happening, which can happen sometimes when there is a battle going on.
I totally loved Daemon and Katy’s back and forth constant battering of each other. It was some really good heat between the two of them. The fact that they were both fighting attraction kind of helped dial up the heat quite a bit. Some of my favorite scenes where the ones where Daemon was displaying jealous. And w-o-w, the kiss scene.
Not So Much: Despite that the back story and the fight scenes were well done, I did feel like the overall story had some holes in it. At some points it felt like the entire town was alien, and at other points it felt like a select few were, and the people of the town knew they were alien or at least ‘other.’ At other times it seemed like their secret was completely locked down and humans put off the whole thing as “this town is weird.” I kind of felt like the lines were blurred a bit on the alien powers also, mostly when it came to the trace, or mark that could be left on humans. I kind of felt like they knew the logistics of it, and then at some point it was like – “hey, let’s try this.” In fact – as far as the instance I’m referring too, I kind of felt like it was put there so the scene would happen – and I would NEVER want that scene removed, but the reasoning behind it seemed a bit under-processed.
Katy is so dense. I loved her personality for the most part, but how many times does one have to refer to “your kind” or call you “human” before you really get it, and not have to have it spelled out to you? She doesn’t want to believe anything, including that Daemon isn’t quite as uncaring as he seems half the time. Read between the lines! It’s only frustrating because she is only like this to drag this storyline and hot/cold heat between the characters on for as long as possible – she is a strong character otherwise. The hot/cold stuff could probably be done without her playing dumb about it.
I’m completely engrossed in this series, and just bought book 2. I want to know what happens, and I do want a little bit more Katy/Daemon heat in my life. My hope is that the story and writing just gets better as we go through the books. The book is okay for older teenagers, there is cussing. Kissing and a little bit of touching that isn’t overly descriptive....more
Ever the sucker for a fairy tale retelling, I grabbed up Unhook as soon as I knew about its existence. I truly did not know what I was in for when I pEver the sucker for a fairy tale retelling, I grabbed up Unhook as soon as I knew about its existence. I truly did not know what I was in for when I picked up this book! I mean, from the blurb you can see this isn’t your typical Peter Pan story, but I am quite impressed with what it turned out to be. Unfortunately this review is finding itself to be vague in all ways. It’s very difficult to say much about it without spoiling the surprises in the book. Even the slightest discussion on the characters or events can reveal things that I feel are much better discovered by reading the book itself!
What I Loved: This book was quite a bit darker than any Peter Pan book I’ve read before. I think that is part of what really drew me in. This was only a skeleton of the story we know, in fact I’m pretty sure I can’t actually call this a ‘re-tell’ at all. The surprise of that kept me hooked, wanting to know what was going to happen next since I didn’t even have a baseline for the story.
Unhooked had so many twists and turns in it; I am usually pretty good with predicting what is going to happen, and I admit some predictions were easy, there were other moments, however, that surprised me! I love when a book does that. I find enjoyment at looking for foreshadowing and being right about the outcome, but I think I find even more when something (that makes sense) comes out of left field.
Not So Much: I have something I would put here…but it’s a spoiler, so I can’t. But it is not something that is a flaw in the story…just a preference of mine.
Hmm, well, I think that if you like fae (not the Tinker Bell kind) and familiar stories with a twist, you’ll like this book. It is quite clean, even from cussing – so approved for YA, and for those younger Pre-Teens who might like Goosebumps type books – they may enjoy this too!...more
I loved what Kyle was willing to do to prove to Val that he loved her and wanted to be with her. I lovedWhat I Loved: Getting the rest of the story.
I loved what Kyle was willing to do to prove to Val that he loved her and wanted to be with her. I loved the growth his character went through between the two books in understanding Val's perspective and even as far as understanding just why waiting was so special.
Not So Much: I didn't really feel like there was much of a story arch in this second book. There were some minor issues and a little drama, but this was mostly a story about how Val and Kyle got their HEA. I expected some kind of grand gesture from Marissa that would mess up something between Val and Kyle, or maybe someone from Val's side.
The Verdict: I really glad I picked up and read this book, but kind feel like it could have been more. This book is still clean, despite the NA category. Mild cussing, and of course there is sex talk....more
What I Loved: Well, for starters I loved Val from the start! She was such a strong person with convictions that I could relate to. I had a somewhat siWhat I Loved: Well, for starters I loved Val from the start! She was such a strong person with convictions that I could relate to. I had a somewhat similar experience to her, not in the standing on lunchroom tables sort of way, but I did have my best friend at the time basically indicate that I either hung out with her new group of friends, (and partook of the drugs and alcohol) or I didn’t. I didn’t and I wouldn’t all through Jr High and High School. I grew up with that stuff around me – I knew what the results could bring, I wanted nothing to do with it. So ….I just didn’t. I didn’t get ridiculed for it, but I did lose someone who was very important to me. Anyhow, I digress, I loved Val not only because she was strong, but because she was funny. She was quick witted, and passionate. All admirable qualities.
I loooooved the heat between Val and Kyle. I’m a little bit of a sucker for the ‘all up in your personal space’ kind of passion. I enjoy it in books almost as much as I enjoy it when my husband surprises me like that. And that is pretty much Kyle’s signature move.
I think the issue of being/feeling pressured to have sex as a teenager is tackled pretty well in this book. It is a BIG deal. And honestly, I hated how many of the characters were portrayed as whining that they weren’t ‘getting any’ because – why has this become such an everyday occurrence? What is wrong with this being special. And I mean really special? Not something that is expected of you with every passing boyfriend or girlfriend. I felt like both ends of the spectrum were laid out pretty well. I felt like my personal convictions were adequately portrayed as well as how others feel on the matter. A very fair assessment.
Not So Much: I didn’t realize when I picked this book up that it was a part of a series. (If two books can be considered a series.) The first book stands alone well enough, but no one is NOT going to want to pick up A is for Abstinence. But I really wanted it to be a stand alone. ::insert my own pouty face here::
Go buy Kelly Oram’s books! Clearly this particular book has sex talk in it…but it is a clean book. Good for teens....more
I have heard a lot about The Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis, and how much I need to read these books. I'm all about the paranormal romance genre,I have heard a lot about The Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis, and how much I need to read these books. I'm all about the paranormal romance genre, but I've been sitting on Prince of Wolves for a while. Mostly because I did start the book over a year ago and stopped reading it. At the time I just wasn't getting into it. BUT with much persistence I picked the book up again.
What I Loved: There was a lot of playful banter in this book. Especially between Jacque and her best friends Sally and Jen, and even a bit between her and her prince wolf, Fane. While it came off very young at times, or a little over the top on the valley girl meets wanna be thug, it still made for some comedy.
The action in Prince of Wolves was pretty good, there was tension and the story line moved along at a fast enough pace to keep the reader interested.
Of course there is that cover. Isn't it gorgeous??
Not So Much: Well, I had a hard time biting off the easy acceptance of there being werewolves in existence. I mean it wasn't just the main characters, but even some of the supporting characters took the news in stride and just kept right on going as if it were nothing. Jacque (I really had a hard time with her nickname too, if I'm completely honest) would have these mini-panic attacks about the situation and all the things she was learning, but they seemed more like young teenager tantrums than a real reaction to the events surrounding her life.
Another thing I didn't quite understand was the fluctuation with how cussing was handled in this book. At times it seemed like the characters were using word replacements for cuss-words, other times it was like "he cursed and...," then there were times a cuss-word was actually spoken out loud (no replacement word used), and at least once I saw the characters indicating a cuss-word ($*%#). This probably could have at least used some consistency throughout the novel.
The Verdict: While I did not absolutely love this first book of the series, this is an (almost) 10 book series, that has a bit of a following. I was already warned that the first book was a little iffy, but that Quinn's writing definitely gets better with time (and I'm 100% sure that it does). So this isn't me writing off this series. As I stated before, the book moved along and was interesting, I just had a hard time with some minor things that could be viewed as personal preference rather than flaws with the book if you think about it. As a whole, I'd say if you like paranormal and romance, and fun banter - pick this book, and series up. It is clean with mild cussing, but okay for teenagers....more