There were so many reasons why I was looking forward to reading this series opener that I couldn't wait to dive right in. Anxious to see what kind of...moreThere were so many reasons why I was looking forward to reading this series opener that I couldn't wait to dive right in. Anxious to see what kind of writer Keaton was and if she'd live up to all of her fans' rave reviews had me curious and definitely topped the list. The world and literature surrounding Greek and Roman mythology always intrigued me and this story was no different. Add to all that that my first trip to New Orleans, LA was taken last year and I couldn't wait to see what all I'd find and recognize in Keaton's New 2 scenery. Let me just say that even the small mention on beignets and chicory coffee nearly had me booking a plane ticket just so I could indulge in my all time favorite treat. I barely managed to resist.
Keaton created wonderful and mysterious characters for this series that I truly enjoyed getting to know and will hopefully be able to uncover and unlock more about each of them in the future. Once Ari made it to New 2 it was a non-stop race against time for information. I think readers will share her anxiety and frustration due to her lack of knowledge regarding her family and her past. It was impossible not to root for her while she undertook this journey for any and all details that might help her understand her past, and what to expect for her future.
While I enjoyed exploring New 2 with Ari and her new "family", I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next and where they'll go forward. The groundwork has been set and I'm excited to see what's in store next. Keaton's new series continues on February 21, 2012 with A Beautiful Evil and I can only assume the fun, anxiety and mystery will only get better from there.(less)
I've been having a love/hate relationship with the Immortals series for a while now. The first installment, Evermore has by far been my favorite and i...moreI've been having a love/hate relationship with the Immortals series for a while now. The first installment, Evermore has by far been my favorite and is what has kept me reading the series. With that being said, this was not a opinion changer for me, not a favorite to be sure.
Readers will see the characters and plot going in more of the same direction in Dark Flame. Ever is still trying to find the antidote and in order to do that she needs help. Her relationships with the other characters drove me crazy this time around. I'm not quite sure at times why they put up with her antics and let her get away with everything without any risk of her jeopardizing the relationships she has with the others. She's cruel to Jude, insensitive to Damen and sympathetic (eventually) to Roman...keep in mind these are just my opinions. I understand that Roman's had a rough life, but he's still not a great guy.
And then we've got Haven, Ever's best friend and recently turned immortal. She's got her new immortality and she's abusing every minute of it. While Damen and Ever warn her of the consequences of such actions, we've got Roman egging her on. Like I said...not a great guy. I don't know, I was just frustrated throughout with all the characters to be honest. I couldn't believe the thoughtless decisions Ever made time and time again and it annoyed me to no end. I don't understand how Damen can always take everything in stride and never get truly angry with Ever, the girl needs a stern talking to. I get that they're soul mates, but everybody fights once and a while...don't they? Apparently not Damen and Ever. Roman's personality is irksome but I guess that's what you're looking for in a good villain and Jude just complicates an already overly complicated situation. Damen and Ever already have enough obstacles to overcome, did we really need a love triangle in there as well?
I think this might be the end of the road for me and the Immortals series. I love Noel's writing and plan to read her new and soon to-be released series, with the first book Radiance, but for now the Immortals and I are going to part ways.(less)
This is a story about difficult obstacles, true love, soul mates, secrets, good vs. evil and everything in between. Kristie Cook has created a world f...moreThis is a story about difficult obstacles, true love, soul mates, secrets, good vs. evil and everything in between. Kristie Cook has created a world full of fascinating characters, interesting twists and stressful situations. There's also love that I could practically feel emanating off the pages, it was so strong I thought I was falling in love for a second. There were laughs, lots of tears and quite a bit of breaths that I had to hold waiting to see what was going to happen and how things were going to work out. Talk about your tension, whoa baby!
Alexis Ames has never been normal and she's always been somewhat of an outsider. Living and moving at the drop of a hat with her mom all over the country hasn't given her much of a chance to get a grip on her place in the world but she's hoping she'll be able to call Florida home for a while and add college to her daily routine. Fresh starts and clean slates being in the forefront of her mind, but let's just say she was going to be slightly disappointed. Little did she know that if she thought things were crazy before than she had no idea the spiral she was about to go down when she meets Tristan Knight.
Hello Tristan! Tristan is the ultimate guy, he's handsome, he's got manners and killer charm, he's always in showing up when you least expect him, and he's just pretty much all around perfect...or so everyone thinks. He's got his secrets just like Alexis has hers and it seems that they're not the only ones, sheesh there were so many people in this book telling so many different versions of the truth it's a wonder anyone could keep anything straight. But someone how Cook was able to keep things straight, clear and flowing effortlessly. Not to mention the fact that Cook writes romance and the build up that goes along with every budding relationship with the best of them and when big events start happening you didn't even realize how invested in the characters you were until its too late. I was taken by complete surprise and I'm still kind of reeling over how much I came to care about these characters.
Luckily I was aware of this being the first book in a series ahead of time so the cliffhanger Cook left me with wasn't a debilitating blow so much as a huge 'are you kidding me' moment, but I'm still hoping her second book in the Soul Savers series comes out sooner rather than later. Kristie Cook quickly became a favorite author of mine and I'm crossing my fingers that she doesn't crush me in this next installment because I'm not sure I can take the stress she creates right at this moment. These characters feel a little bit like a fictional family to me and I want everyone to live happily ever after, is that so much to ask for?(less)
This turned out to be a very quick series for me to read, but one I really enjoyed. I was disappointed when I finished this fourth installment. Not be...moreThis turned out to be a very quick series for me to read, but one I really enjoyed. I was disappointed when I finished this fourth installment. Not because of the writing but because it was over, all the loose ends tied up. It was a very exciting and suspenseful conclusion though. So much was going on in this last book that I don't really know where to begin.
All the characters that readers came to know in the series came back for this one and we got to learn more about all of them. Alice was of course still making me dizzy with her feelings and emotions all over the place all the time but I couldn't really blame her either. She spent more time with Milo's boyfriend Bobby and I enjoyed getting to know him better. Jack...poor Jack was kept in the dark about a lot of things and this took a toll on him in Wisdom. He struggles with himself and the decisions he's made, with his family and the secrets they've kept from him, and of course with Alice because he can't seem to make her happy or give her what she wants...because even she doesn't know what that is yet. But he muscles through it the best he can.
A lot of side characters make a more permanent appearance in this book. Leif flits in and out of the scenes and his mysterious demeanor grows, but Hocking does enlighten readers more where he's concerned. Violet enters the picture again and I was surprised how easy her character was to like once we learned more about her. And finally Olivia has become close with Alice and helps her out whenever she can. She still manages to be on the strange side but great fun as well.
Hocking had me so in knots with her last few chapters that I thought I'd be sick. I realized that despite flying through these pages I had grown attached to these characters and was very concerned when it came to what would become of them. So thanks Amanda for the anxiety attacks with this book and please consider writing more about these characters in the future.(less)
Sometimes I hate writing reviews for books that I love because I know I cannot do them justice, but I'm going to try because in my opinion this is a m...moreSometimes I hate writing reviews for books that I love because I know I cannot do them justice, but I'm going to try because in my opinion this is a must read! I find myself falling into the stereotypical category of a girl who, when asked her favorite book and author, answers without hesitation, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen. I even wrote my senior thesis in college on Miss Austen's classic, so it's safe to say that if I still love P & P after that nightmare semester and assignment that nothing will change will mind. No question. From the first time I read Miss Austen's words, "It is a truth universally..." I was hooked and found myself in love with all things Austen. I have devoured everything she's ever written and have gone back to read P & P over and over again!
I was introduced to Elizabeth Eulberg last year at the Gaithersburg Book Festival and became an instant fan of hers. She's an amazing speaker and has you feeling as though you've been friends with her for years within mere minutes of meeting her. I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about Eulberg. So when I received an ARC of Prom and Prejudice, I found myself doing a "happy dance" in my living room and squealing with delight. I was apparently so loud my roommate didn't know if something was wrong or if I'd won the lottery? And in my own mind I had won the book lottery! So thank you Harper Collins and on to the review.
Eulberg took the classic Pride and Prejudice, and made it her own, while still maintaining the voice of Austen and her beloved characters. I laughed out loud when I found the girls attending the Longbourne school for girls and Charles and Will Darcy attending the Pemberly school for boys. It was an adorable twist if you ask me. Lizzie, Jane, Charlotte, Darcy, Charles, Wick (a.k.a. Wickham) were all there but with a Eulberg twist. It was fantastic! Eulberg paid homage to Austen with her interpretation by keeping the book's spirit and essence alive and kept me interested to see what would happen next. That's no small or easy task when one knows how the story ends (or thinks they do) since the classic is so well known.
Lizzie was as witty and lovable as ever and Will Darcy was as pompous/generous (depending on the time frame) and crush worthy I might add as was so be expected. I'm not sure how Jane Austen would feel upon witnessing the vast remakes of her words, but I can only say that if there was ever one for her to appreciate and be honored by, it would be this one in my opinion. Eulberg exuded respect, charisma, and kept close to Austen's nature and attitude throughout her interpretation. She just also managed to wiggle in her own impressive flair and creativity the way only she can. I loved every minute of it and can't wait to go back and read it again and again, much like I do the classic itself! So far, Eulberg hasn't written anything I haven't fallen in love with!(less)
Normally I give myself a day or two after I've finished reading a book to let it all sink in before I start to write up my review, but not so much wit...moreNormally I give myself a day or two after I've finished reading a book to let it all sink in before I start to write up my review, but not so much with this one. I couldn't wait to create the post for this title. I think it's safe to say that if I were asked to pick my top five favorite authors, Elizabeth Eulberg would without a doubt be one of those writers. I can't even really pinpoint why that is exactly, or what makes her writing stand out better than the others, but there's no denying that it does. I think if Eulberg ever decides to pack it up and stop writing, we'll all be denied a fantastic talent that does not come along very often. Her books are all so different and unique and yet they always have the same warmth and magnetism that draws readers in to the pages.
When I opened this book up I knew that I would like it. I've yet to find one of her novels anything less that wonderful, but each and every time, including this one I'm still surprised by how much I enjoy myself while reading her work. I had flown through more than half of the book and didn't even realize that I had skipped a meal and neglected pretty much everything else that was going on around me at the time. But it didn't matter, finishing the story and seeing what happened to these lovely characters was all that was important. So I managed to read this one cover to cover in two sittings. If I had started this one on the weekend I wouldn't have gotten up for anything, but with work, I couldn't avoid having to put in my eight hours at the office.
Emme, Ethan, Carter, Ben, Jack, they were all fantastic! The band...oh I just loved the band! Each of these characters have their own unique personality and bring something great to the table, but all together they create this wonderful story that I can only thank Eulberg for sharing with her readers. Even though I wish she was one of those authors that churned out a book every couple of months, I understand that part of the genius in her writing is that it's not rushed, it flows from page to page and grips the reader with it's intensity and has us invested in these character's futures as if they're not fictional characters, but our very own real life friends and family.
After meeting Eulberg at a book festival a few years ago and getting the chance to hear her speak about herself and her journey through publishing, there's no doubt in my mind that when I open up one of her books, she's put her whole heart into each and every word and character. There are bits and pieces throughout the story that other authors might have left out or felt wasn't necessary to the story, but in truth, that's what makes Eulberg's writing wonderful (or at least one of the things) and different. It's the little details and twists that she throws into her work that not only engage the readers, but leave them only hoping that the story won't end anytime soon.(less)
With a kingdom at stake, not to mention countless lives at risk, the pressure is without a doubt on for our main characters in Brightly Woven. Is that...moreWith a kingdom at stake, not to mention countless lives at risk, the pressure is without a doubt on for our main characters in Brightly Woven. Is that really too much responsibility for a talented weaver from a remote village and a mysterious wizard who could ask for anything, but only wants Sydelle? If you ask me, YEAH that is too much responsibility! But that's what Bracken put our main characters up against.
As a debut YA novelist, Bracken amazed me with how easy she made it for me and I'm sure other readers to become immediately engrossed in the world she created in Brightly Woven. I felt like I was walking (and sometimes running) alongside Syd and North. Reality faded and was replaced by Bracken's world. Her visuals were captivating and her characters became very real, I had to constantly remind myself that this was in fact not reality in order to keep my anxiety to a minimum.
Sydelle is our heroine and although she carried the typical traits readers tend to desire in a female lead (strong, courageous, witty and independent), she was also at the same time very unique and refreshing in my opinion. She was constantly posing questions of those around her that I'm sure readers will find themselves seeking the answers to as well. When her ignorance for any given situation irritated her, readers will empathize with her because they will be sharing her feelings of frustration as well. She was beautiful, fiery and determined throughout the entire story. And her relationship with Wayland North had me turning page after page just to see how it progressed.
North has now become one of my favorite leading male characters of all time. This is not an easy category to obtain entry. Just like Syd, North possessed traits all readers love in a male lead (protective, mysterious, tall, dark and handsome lol) but at the same time was able to cut away from the normal pack of male leads thanks to Bracken's excellent descriptions and the ways she portrayed him throughout the novel. He was constantly struggling to do what had to be done, all the while leaving Syd and the readers wondering if he was trying to do what was right for the kingdom, for Syd or just for himself.
With non-stop action, breathtaking scenery, love triangles, mystery, a villain readers will want to strangle themselves and a story that will snatch readers from the comfort of reality and shoot them straight into a fantasy world unlike any other they've ever come across before, Bracken has created a fantastic piece of writing that readers will never want to put down.
I want more of Bracken's writing and more Brightly Woven please! Please please please let this become a series, or at the very LEAST a trilogy!
Can I just say....love triangle anyone? Wow, talk about being torn between two guys....poor Lindsey! Full Moon, the second installment in the Dark Gua...moreCan I just say....love triangle anyone? Wow, talk about being torn between two guys....poor Lindsey! Full Moon, the second installment in the Dark Guardian's series by Rachel Hawthorne picks up right where Moonlight left off and we're immediately thrown back into the action and romance that I came to love about this series. Lindsey's transformation is coming up and a girl needs a guy to get through it, but not just any guy...her one true mate, and wolves mate for life...no pressure on making the right choice huh? Yikes!
So is Lindsey going to go with her constant friend over the years and current boyfriend, Connor or will Rafe pique her interest with his bad boy ways? You guys have to read this book, it's just so good. I've seen and read stories with love triangles before and usually I've got no sympathy for the girl or guy who's in the middle, because who hasn't dreamed about having two people fighting for their attentions right? But not so much in this case, I actually felt for Lindsey and was feeling just awful for her, I mean this was not just about choosing a guy to go to a dance with or have a romantic dinner, we're talking FOREVER here and if you choose wrong, there's no turning back and nothing you can do about it, ouch!
Rachel Hawthorne's writing is compelling and you'll find yourself flying through the pages and having no trouble finishing this one in no time at all. I've read the first and now the second book of this series in two days, yep you heard me, it's been a book a day. It's a great read for a rainy day or one where you just want to be entertained by a book and nothing else. Full Moon will keep you guessing, make you miserable for the main characters and the struggles they're going through and at the same time you might just find your heart breaking over events that take place one minute and the next you could be overjoyed...I guess it all depends on who you're rooting for in the end.
Most of you know by now that I love a good series because I never have to say goodbye to the characters I've grown to love and can't get enough of, and the Dark Guardian's series is no exception. Hawthorne might move on to focus on other characters more fully with each new book, but she doesn't leave behind our old favorites. All the characters are brought back into this installment and I was glad.
This series has everything I'm usually looking for; romance, action and intrigue and enough suspense that I had to keep turning the pages in order to find out what happened next....and did I mention romance? There's no way to resist the characters Hawthorne's created and the story she's spinning, and to be honest you won't want to.
So if you haven't given this series a try I totally recommend it.(less)