Wowza! I've only read a few pieces written by this couple, and the first KD book didn't impress me years ago (pre-blogging days). Thankfully, Karen goWowza! I've only read a few pieces written by this couple, and the first KD book didn't impress me years ago (pre-blogging days). Thankfully, Karen got me a copy of this at BEA, and if I didn't have work this week, I would have binged this book in one night.
Ok so drawback: it was difficult for me to get absorbed right away. Ilona's writing can be dry at times, and the start--while everything was being established--was dry for me.
The good: get ready for some gushing, folks. It's been a while since I've found a book like this by a new-ish author.
Plot. Build up made the story heart-pounding by the end, and intense along the way. You know it's a good story when you're willing to forgo sleep to read a few more pages/chapters---oh no, did I just read another quarter of the book? I have to get up in two hours? Whoops.....
Characters. Some are funny. Some are intense. Some are sexy. Some were meh and not memorable. Grandma was crazy and reminded me of a human version of KC's Nix. I instantly loved her the second her wit and crazy surfaced.
Romance. Not necessarily a pnr like I initially believed. More like a UF with a focus on developing a relationship for later on down the line. There's a steady build up, and it's exciting to witness. I wanted them to give in, but then I didn't. So torn.
The snippet for the second title in this series was ok.... But it didn't make me start freaking out. Maybe if a certain mad man made an appearance....
Tried to like this one, but the problem with forcing yourself to like a book....is that sometimes it backfires miserably.
The premise sounds like a MelTried to like this one, but the problem with forcing yourself to like a book....is that sometimes it backfires miserably.
The premise sounds like a Melissa Joan Hart movie I saw years ago, and despite how corny it was, I enjoyed it. For that reason, I thought this might be just as enjoyable.
Characterization--particularly clichéd characters--and a slow plot were the deal breakers. The love interest is like some 13 year old's dream version of a high school best friend/boyfriend. The protagonist was....frustrating and childish. Difficult to like her when her motivations are so superficial.
Plot is slow. If there was more to it, I could overlook the flat stereotypical secondary chatacters. But I think what really got me was the telling. I heard most of this author's books are good with showing, but that she has one or two where telling overpowers the book. Add another to the list.
Read this if.... 1) you're looking for a short, fun, cutesy read 2) you can overlook weak characterization and plot 3) you love those clichéd stories with the clichéd characters who fall in love in the most clichéd way
If you're a bit more critical.... (even if you don't INTEND to be, like me) then you may want to pass on this one. Just sayin....more
I tried to like this, but the romance felt forced and lacked sexual tension. It all happened too soon, so before I ever really had a chance to like IvI tried to like this, but the romance felt forced and lacked sexual tension. It all happened too soon, so before I ever really had a chance to like Ivy as the protagonist and acclimate to her world, we meet Adrian. He swoops in and turns Ivy's world upside down... All within the first 20 pages. His sexiness felt too forced and unnatural for the flow of the novel. So did their chemistry.
This one was a killer to read. Not only was I torn over the love interest, but I felt like my head was a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth betweThis one was a killer to read. Not only was I torn over the love interest, but I felt like my head was a ping pong ball, bouncing back and forth between the two dudes. And while every part of me was rooting for Roth, because he totally got me hooked from the first book, there was a part of me that was… conflicted. I found myself warming up toward Zayne, even though I'm not a fan of the Wardens.
Layla occasionally got on my nerves in this book. I didn't like how she bounced between the two guys. It's a huge pet peeve for me with love triangles, and I never found it realistic that two hotties would wait around for a girl who couldn't make up her mind. Layla's not THAT bad, but like I said before, ping pong ball. I got whiplash sometimes between scenes.
The pace was a bit slower this time around. Also, the sense of urgency waned the closer the book got to the end. Of course, the climax and ending totally made up for that, and the cliffhanger hand me squealing in frustration/glee.
I think those who are tired of love triangles will not enjoy this series as much, despite its crackishness. Some may be able to overlook it. I found that the differences between Roth and Zayne were beginning to blur at times in this one. That may also be a problem for readers who find character driven stories to be very important.
Final verdict? Worth giving this series a shot. It's unique. It's a fast read. It's fun… so long as you can overlook the love triangle ;) ...more
This was okay. It started off strong and had me hooked, but then experienced typical middle book syndrome of a debuting author. You know--where the plThis was okay. It started off strong and had me hooked, but then experienced typical middle book syndrome of a debuting author. You know--where the plot slows down and characters seem to run around in circles? Yeah. That.
There's a love triangle in this series. And to be honest, it feels forced. But I think that's because the characters fall a bit flat for me. Two dimensional and their motives are....murky. Emotional reactions sometimes came out of the blue and surprised me. There was no smooth lead up.
What this heroine experiences. What she becomes....it felt over the top. Too much all squished into one book.
But the world building is great. I loved the approach and the idea behind this. I'll be anticipating book 2, despite my reservations from book 1....more
Nothing mindblowing, but still a fast book that kept me curious enough to read until the last page. Wish more things were addressed. There wasn't a teNothing mindblowing, but still a fast book that kept me curious enough to read until the last page. Wish more things were addressed. There wasn't a terrible cliffhanger, per se, but I believe all the unanswered questions were a cliffhanger in a different form.
Heroine had TSTL moments. The emotions felt abrupt at these times, which just made this book harder to like. Did not understand the romance at all. It felt forced. A lot of telling, barely any showing. Not much emotional reflection. Didn't seem realistic at times (for a dystopian book). Emotions (both for characters, and in turn, for me) fell flat.
Not really interested in what happens next, but if I somehow got a copy of book two, I might read it...eventually....more
I don't usually resort to GIFs in my review, but I thought that this image would properly express my feelings (or just show you what my expression wasI don't usually resort to GIFs in my review, but I thought that this image would properly express my feelings (or just show you what my expression was like) upon finishing this book…
Wanted to like this. Hell, I finished the entire story, but there were frustrating bits and pieces that ultimately tainted my enjoyment.
First: Ruby. She was infuriating in most scenes with her rebellious personality. Frankly, I found it to be annoying when I reached the 50% mark. Up until then, I overlooked it and wrote it off as an attempt at being endearing. All I have to say is… if someone is risking his/her life to save you, have the decency to listen to instructions and/or commands that clearly have your best interests at heart. Never once were Cyn's intentions questioned, so I can't write her behavior off as self preservation (which I gladly would have done).
Second: Confrontations. They were anticlimactic. Such a buildup…then poof. A teensy little toot of a fart, like the ones my dog makes when he hops onto my bed. I still don't understand the motivations behind the latter half of the book's decisions.
Third: Ending. Too abrupt, no real closure. Left me feeling a bit cheated.
Pet peeve: Dialogue. It didn't feel realistic. Huge speeches by the end of the book. Very corny lines that made me cringe instead of gush and say, "D'aww!" ...more
Wasn't my cup of tea. Characters were too emotional, and those emotions seemed random as opposed to something that complimented the scene and the moodWasn't my cup of tea. Characters were too emotional, and those emotions seemed random as opposed to something that complimented the scene and the mood. People screamed when there was really no reason to...which i found to be jarring.
The hero annoyed me. First, he was too cryptic. Second, I don't know why he spoke like he was some modern human and not like the ancient deity he was. Not even a hint of being ancient in his speech when emotion overcame him. Third, he was a jerk. Not sexy. Not mysterious. Just a jerk.
Heroine was borderline TSTL at times. Couldn't get myself to like her either, though she could be more tolerable.
The time period was so over the place. It didn't feel like his parts were actually in the 40s. Needed more explanation earlier on.
By the 45% mark, the book dragged and I lost all interest....more
I'm not sure how to react to this book....on one hand, I read/skimmed the entire thing (which I don't normally do for books I do not like)--which goesI'm not sure how to react to this book....on one hand, I read/skimmed the entire thing (which I don't normally do for books I do not like)--which goes to show that there was SOMETHING about it that kept me reading. Was it a good something? Yes and no.
If i wasn't so intrigued by Galen and Emma's relationship, I wouldn't have waited around to see how it would play out. It's kind of like watching a car wreck: you can't look away, even though you need to pay attention to the road so you don't accidentally rear end the sucker in front of you.
Lots of parallels to Twilight in the beginning. Creepy hero staring down the heroine all the time being the prominent one.
My main problem is that the character emotions seem to be confused. They go from one extreme to the other without warning, which makes everyone seem bipolar. These characters also don't behave like teenagers would, and even Emma's mother fails to behave like any "normal" parent would. I don't know ANY mother who would ask her daughter's boyfriend why he isn't sleeping with her daughter yet. Maybe that's just me. Now, you could use the excuse that they're all Syrena, but that can only explain so much. Emma's mom seems to care about Emma. She also seems to be overprotective. Why, then, does she allow her daughter all this time alone with a new boyfriend she doesn't know and that her daughter "lied" to her about?
There were confusing parts regarding Emma's skills too. Some things that -should- be common sense aren't addressed. First, why wouldn't she be petrified of drowning or...dying alongside that one character (trying not to spoil that part, even though it's pretty much hinted at from page two) in the beginning of the story? Second, they say in human form she can't breathe underwater, but then she's talking and gasping and having no reaction to the water that would presumably surge into her mouth and into her lungs.
Lots of minor questions were never answered. I would have let it slide. I wasn't going to write a review...but I can't after reading that ending. Maybe the copy is different from my ARC, but what I read wasn't even a cliffhanger. It was literally ending the book in the middle of a scene. Lame.
If you're REALLY intrigued by this story like I was, I'd suggest borrowing a copy either from the library or from a friend. Save your money. If you end up liking it, then go buy your own copy....more
There were numerous scenes where Tristan and Joan were separated, interacting with the other characters early oLOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS was a fun read.
There were numerous scenes where Tristan and Joan were separated, interacting with the other characters early on. Instead of being interested in these scenes, I grew impatient to have the hero and heroine reunite for another witty exchange.
The big "I love you" reveal ended the story on a sweet note, but I couldn't feel the rush of relief the characters felt when they finally admitted to their feelings.
Characters: Like I said, the witty banter is what made this story so interesting to read. Both the hero and heroine constantly threw each other off balance, and the one scene with the two of them in his bathroom was so well written I could literally feel the tension oozing off the pages. Scandalous!
Joan was interesting, but all the talk of her weight grew tiresome early on. It was focused on so much that at one point, I pictured Tristan as this skinny little toothpick and Joan as a basketball snapping him in half. I don't think this was the author's intention by any means, and I give anyone props for having a heroine who is not the run of the mill size 00. I just wish there was less emphasis on her weight. A few times, fine. But it was like an obsession for everyone involved. To me, it didn't feel like her size was an insecurity, even though it clearly was meant to be. I guess I expected something more, something that really hit home and said, "Hey, this is an insecurity and she's going to overcome the way society trained her to think!"
Also, one of my top turnoffs in romance was in this book. Joan's super-virgin status, where she doesn't understand what's happening when she has an orgasm, turned me off big time. That sort of reaction always manages to rip me out of the heat of the moment, and she behaves like the extreme blushing-virgin both times they have sex. It was such a far cry from the girl who made out with the rake in his bathroom while her aunt was in the other room. That was sexy. Blushing virgin is not. She reads scandalous pamphlets where the author describes numerous sex scenes. During all those years where she read them, she never once experimented? I don't believe it.
Tristan wasn't a huge rake. In fact, I would go so far as to call him a softie deep down. I loved it when he went possessive male on some poor, unsuspecting guy. He tended to flip-flop between macho and gentlemanly (though that was an act, usually--or was it?). He's a lot more ordinary than Joan.
Like I said, fun read, but there were a few things that distracted me from the story. Biggest turnoff was the blushing virgin act. Too out of character for her....more
A hero and heroine who break out of the romance novel mold.
A storyline that keeps you turning the pages.
Secondary characters who will make you laugh,A hero and heroine who break out of the romance novel mold.
A storyline that keeps you turning the pages.
Secondary characters who will make you laugh, groan, and hiss at the pages.
And a romance that feels forbidden, but you can't help rooting for anyway.
Don't forget about the secondary romance! That was pretty moving, too.
Oliver's book is much improved when compared to Robert's (in my opinion, at least). I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to Oliver's story. He didn't appeal to me much in book 1, but he turned out to be a well-rounded character who needed a good smack in the head by his beloved Jane.
I love that the endings to these stories aren't overly corny. They're perfect, always leaving me wanting more.
I cannot WAIT for Sebastian's story. If he's not with Violet, I'm going to kick something. ...more
INK felt too much like an anime/manga, and I found it incredibly awkward in text form. The former have a quirky appeLoved that this was set in Japan.
INK felt too much like an anime/manga, and I found it incredibly awkward in text form. The former have a quirky appeal; the latter made me feel awkward reading it. Confrontations were bizarre. Also, too much obsessing over the hero, whether the MC was around him or not. She started sounding like a broken record, which is what ultimately turned me off.
Sketches are beautiful.
Suggestion: glossary should be in the front, or better yet, include translations within the actual text (you see that in some fan fictions, though not all. It disturbs the reader less when he/she doesn't have to scroll back and forth, trying to figure out what a new word or phrase means)....more
Amazing prose and voice. I wish I could write as beautifully as Coutts does.
Big letdown for me were the characteGreat potential, but not my favorite.
Amazing prose and voice. I wish I could write as beautifully as Coutts does.
Big letdown for me were the characters (who were interesting enough that I felt they deserved way more page time) and the direction of the individual stories. We don't see much in regards to reactions, and what reactions we do see left very little of an impact on me. There's an asteroid coming, but everyone is fairly subdued. No mobbing, no major freak outs. There's some minor ones, but I barely remember them now. I expected more of a... Seeking a Friend for the End of the World spin off in a gritty apocalyptic novel.
I wish this book focused on one character and had a stronger story to follow. Three POVs was too many, and what could have been two potentially amazing stories ended up leaving me feeling bummed when they weren't developed enough. I'm not entirely sure what happened by the end. Any character development was muted.
Like Michelle Madow coined it, T&F is "apocalypse-lite." A great introductory book for those who need easing into the otherwise gritty and terrific worlds of death to the human race. Me personally? I like my stories dark, and if it's implied that the world will be destroyed, I feel that part should be explored. (view spoiler)[Though to be fair, it wouldn't really fit with the book's tone. All other qualms aside, the open-ended ending is what really left me disappointed. (hide spoiler)]
Props for exploring something most people don't. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
NOTE for those of you who mislabeled VICIOUS: it is adult--not YA or NA.
So what expectations did I have for VICIOUS upon reading the book summary? ThNOTE for those of you who mislabeled VICIOUS: it is adult--not YA or NA.
So what expectations did I have for VICIOUS upon reading the book summary? That it would be some badass book-version of a comic book. I did not have high hopes for the novel because the execution could either be spectacular, or it could tank. And frankly, I'm jaded enough to believe that it would be the latter. For while the summary offered an interesting concept--the idea of two friends-turned-foe intrigued me more than I would like to admit--I was not salivating to start reading the second I got home.
I think it's that lack of expectation that totally blew me away the more I read.
The first ten pages had me skeptical. It went from slightly interesting to boring to slightly more interesting to boring to whoa I need to keep reading! And once I hit the whoa point, it just got better and better. (This shift in interest was because there was finally some character interaction.)
Schwab takes the less is more approach to a wonderful extreme by teasing her readers with small blips of dialogue (in the present) scattered throughout the entire novel. I think it added to the sense of impending doom and made all the characters almost too lifelike. Though there were times early on where I wished for more, by the end, I thought it was the perfect balance. These people are different. They've all been wronged in some way, and I think filling the pages with anything extra would be a disservice to each and every character.
Victor and Eli were alien to me. I loved Victor's cold, calculating personality, his predatory actions and reactions. Eli was my least favorite, but that's more because of me choosing sides, and does not reflect on how he was written (which was quite well). Serena was, interestingly enough, the hardest to like until the end. And I felt robbed once I did like her. Sydney was someone I instantly adored and, while there were times where I wished she displayed more emotion, I think I understand why she didn't. Mitch is someone I felt ambivalent about. The lackey and the protector. I enjoyed the duality and how he was always underestimated.
There's no sunshine, glitter, or unicorns shitting rainbows, folks. This is a dark, bloody, and gritty story. The scenes where Victor and Eli attempt to become EOs are unnerving in both their motivations and executions. It's like driving past an accident and being unable to look away. Victor's first attempt affected me the most--to the point where I was squirming in my seat and wishing it was over.
The only weakness in this story is the beginning, and it is such a small one that I view it as a road bump and blame it on my expectations of books to start with a bang and keep me going from cover to cover. VICIOUS is like a ball rolling down a hill; it starts off slowly, but once it picks up speed... well, hang on for the ride....more