**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this! All though the story is tackling some very mature subject matter (physical and psychological abuse in a relat...more**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this! All though the story is tackling some very mature subject matter (physical and psychological abuse in a relationship) for a YA book, the writing was not overly depressing or overly emotional. It wasn't a slap in the face, or a wake up call for civilization that screams "WAKE UP PEOPLE. ABUSE IS ALL AROUND YOU AND YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!" like some other YA books can come across as. This just seemed more realistic than that to me. A caring, sweet teenage girl who comes from a loving home, with loving friends finds herself confused when she realizes that maybe her boyfriend isn't the person she thought he was. And maybe her best friend Luke isn't going to sit in the "friend zone" and silently witness her turmoil.
It takes Ronnie a while to accept that her boyfriend is abusing her physically. At the same time she realizes that the way he toyed with her emotions was not right either. This all played out in what I was convinced was a realistic manner. Ronnie was used to being loved. She was surrounded by good and loving people. So how could her boyfriend tell her how much he loved her if he was abusive?
Really great character development. Great Heroine, you will fall in love with her, she's adorable. Really great conflict, though you'll want to hate Shawn, he does have his redeeming qualities so you can relate to Ronnie's confusion. Great supporting characters, Luke is dreamy. My only hold out on the 5 star rating was I was hoping for a little more of a HEA than we actually got. (less)
Lord help me, why can't I love Kristen Ashley? I want to... I used to... I absofrickenlutely LOVED Sweet Dreams, I liked Lady Luck, and Law Man... Eve...moreLord help me, why can't I love Kristen Ashley? I want to... I used to... I absofrickenlutely LOVED Sweet Dreams, I liked Lady Luck, and Law Man... Everyone else loves her! She creates great alpha males that are all hot and broody. Ugg what's wrong with me that I just can't do it anymore.
The last few KA books that I've read I've actually had to DNF. The Will was pretty much the same. There was really nothing wrong with it by Kristen Ashley standards. Great hero who just happens to have some great (and fun) kids. Kind of prissy heroine who is swept off her feet by the kind of guy all of us ladies would secretly love... This particular heroine was a bit annoying. She spoke in a combination of stuck up and (long ago from England) English. Who really says "Alas"? Once? Let alone on every page? Ok, that was an exaggeration but you get the picture. She says it a lot!
Anywho... I guess that's my problem. When I read KA I feel like I'm reading the same book over and over. The on and on about what people are wearing grates on me because I really don't care what pumps she is pairing with her ponytail. And it dances on my nerves that all though she is apparently attempting to write dialogue as a broody alpha male would actually speak it, the lack of complete sentences just makes the hero sound like a dumbass... "Need you now babe"... would it really make him a pussy, or any less "alpha-y" if he said "I need you now babe"? What would that little "I" really hurt? During every KA book I read it is inevitable that at some point I will start to picture the hero in my head as Rocky Balboa(Sylvester Stallone). "YO ADRIAN!!!" That talk where it sounds like the guy has marbles (or shit) in his mouth and can't create a coherent sentence.
Don't hate me all my KA loving goodreads friends... I still love you and I hope you can forgive me! Please help me in my quest to find my own "Kristen Ashley" to love so I can have an automatic "go to" author. (less)
What a treat this was! Hard Time exceeded my expectations by miles! I started reading it because it appeared to be the most recent "buzz" book with my...moreWhat a treat this was! Hard Time exceeded my expectations by miles! I started reading it because it appeared to be the most recent "buzz" book with my GR friends, it had a good price so I figured what the heck??? But I had my reservations. I mean how is this author really going to pull off a prison librarian and a convict falling in love and it not turning into a completely sleazy and immoral yuck fest? Well, she did! Just about perfectly I might add. Everything in this fit together as it should. Eric is in prison for something that he did. He doesn't deny doing it, nor does he regret it. It just happened, he's accepting the consequences and then later trying to move on with his life. Same with Anne. She's moving on with her life trying to create a new normal for herself. She accepts a job helping prisoners at the correctional facility one day a week. She doesn't expect to be attracted to one of the prisoners, nor does anything physical happen while he's incarcerated. But after he's paroled...Anne doesn't just accept Eric's crime and jump in the sack with him. She goes through the emotional roller coaster (realistically) of what he did, why he did it and finally comes to the internal conclusion that he isn't a bad guy. In fact he's a remarkable guy. He just did something horrible for what he felt were the right reasons.
This was a great mix of hero and heroine. Both characters were wonderfully likable (especially Eric, he made my heart go pitter pat a few times!). They were both damaged. Not overly dramatized damaged... just not perfect. But they didn't dwell on it. They just were who they were and worked things out like normal people. There were no games, no big misunderstandings, nothing too over the top that would make you think "yeah right, like THAT would ever happen". The entire story just came together beautifully.
My only negative beef, that brought this down to a 4 star from 5 was the ending. Waaay to abrupt for me. I needed a bit more closure to such a great love story. It wasn't a cliffy, or anything horrible like that. It was just abrupt, kind of "kiss me and lets see how this works out". No epilogue, no nothing really after the major climax was done. I needed just a little wind down to let me know that my new friends (Eric and Anne) were going to make it and be ok...(less)
Oh lordy... Don't stone me but I just can't finish this one. It went over so well with so many of my beloved Goodreads friends... Why does it have to...moreOh lordy... Don't stone me but I just can't finish this one. It went over so well with so many of my beloved Goodreads friends... Why does it have to be me who couldn't stand these characters???!!!
Because I love and respect my GR friends so much, I'll try not to rip too hard into this book and keep my review brief. Can I just leave it as I don't have anything good to say so I won't say anything at all? No? You really want to know what I thought of Spin? Okay, you asked for it, here I go...
One of the biggest things that needs to be present in any story to endear me to the characters is their presence. They have to be there for me to love them! I made it 60% into Spin. Other than the 3 or 4 occasions when the h and H ran into each other and banged (can I use that word?) Antonio was MIA. Part of the time he was absent simply to avoid the stalkerish heroine and the other, sad as it sounds, I just didn't care where he was. I never fell for him. I never cared about him. Other than the quintessential "bad boy" image, in this reader's opinion he had nothing going for him. Other than providing the heroine with a good lay (that as of 60% never occurred in a bed) I couldn't tell why she wanted him so damn much!
Flip that coin over and it was the same for the heroine. Theresa was just a dud. She vigilantly pursued Spin to the point of, as I mentioned earlier, she was a stalker! She was the one night stand that just doesn't go away. I never could figure out what it was about her that made Spin fall for her. Other than, of course, she's so hot!
I'm sorry GR friends who loved this book. I still love you! I just couldn't follow the beat of this particular drum. (less)
I don't know how she does it, but Anne Bishop can actually draw me into her fantasies. When I read her characters whether they're The Others or her Bl...moreI don't know how she does it, but Anne Bishop can actually draw me into her fantasies. When I read her characters whether they're The Others or her Black Jewels beings, I feel as though I'm inside and a part of the story. She truly has an amazing gift.
I'm not a particular fan of straight out fantasy (or urban fantasy) novels. I'm more of a Paranormal Romance kind of girl. But for some reason when I read anything by Anne Bishop my normal likes and dislikes go out the window. The lack of romance doesn't bother me at all. The way she develops the relationships between her characters whether they be romantic, platonic or familiar, it doesn't matter. She can draw out just about every emotion I am capable of. In the Others I continue to root for The Other beings. How truly sick and demented some of humankind has become. Their feelings of entitlement without any thought as to how their selfishness affects those around them is disturbing. The Earth Natives focus on the basics of survival of the fittest and humans, though extremely intelligent and cunning simply share this land with the rest of nature. If we don't learn to respect and appreciate it, it can turn on us at any minute.
My only disappointment is how long I'll have to wait for the next installment in this series. But on the flip side of that... it has to take some time to create these wonderful worlds she does! (less)
I really, really enjoyed this one. I bounced around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. I ultimately went with 4 just because of some very minor issu...moreI really, really enjoyed this one. I bounced around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. I ultimately went with 4 just because of some very minor issues I'll touch on later. This was totally up my alley! Angst followed by some angst with a little suffering of angst on the side. There was not a dull moment!
Mitch and Skylar have been in love since they've been children. Though it takes a while for them to recognize and act on their feelings, they are an adorable and fun couple that I grew to love. Their love is beautiful and open. They were the quintessential couple that I absolutely love to read about.
When a true misconception of a feeling (not a dumb one like we see so often in these types of new adult romances but a pretty darn legitimate concern) drives Skylar to break up with Mitch he's just about to leave for college... so continues and heightens the angst. Mitch and Skylar have been through so much together, they suffer so deeply when they are apart that after a time Skylar realizes though she is still in the same boat she was in when she called it off with Mitch, it no longer matters. She just wants to be with him and him with her. But then BAM!!! Something really earth shattering happens with Mitch that drives them apart farther than either of them can overcome (not cheating!!!) Mitch would never cheat on Skylar! But it is something that, all though I noticed some reviewers criticized Skylar for running away from it, I don't think I would have done anything different. It was a doozy that would have been semi-impossible to overcome if she'd have stayed.
They gradually find their way back to each other after a freak run in at a store. The angst continues!!! That problem that pushed them apart to begin with is still there. Not only that, but Skylar is now engaged. But with all that Mitch is not going to let Skylar get away again. He works so hard. He's on my list of favorite book boyfriends for sure!
My mini complaints... I really can't be expected to believe that a 19/20 year old guy and a 17/18 year old girl who love each other so much (and are not crazy religious) don't have sex? They resist? Don't get me wrong, they scratch the itch with other stuff once or twice but come on!!! They don't go all the way? That just didn't do it for me!
The other issue I had is with that of the big problem that ultimately split them up for years. The catalyst for that big problem was kind of thrown in as an afterthought. There was one small chapter explaining the situation of psychoness and that was it... I needed a little more background as to how that situation evolved.
Despite those little issues I loved, loved, loved it. I guess I'll beat the dead horse one more time and say that I love angst... I wish all my books and book boyfriends could be like this and Mitch. I need to feel when I read and this was just what the doctor ordered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Back to You. Laura and Trent were wonderfully fleshed out and likable people. I longed for them to work out the...moreI thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Back to You. Laura and Trent were wonderfully fleshed out and likable people. I longed for them to work out their relationship problems and get back together.
The book was in need of some serious editing though. To the point that it threw me off and left me feeling jilted. On one page Laura had endured 3 miscarriages before getting pregnant with their son, then a few chapters later it was 1 miscarriage. Little inconsistencies like that were evident throughout the entire book. It dragged it down quite a bit for me. (less)
I began reading Big Sky Eyes at 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night. Big mistake! About 30 minutes before I had initially planned on going to b...more4 1/2 stars...
I began reading Big Sky Eyes at 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night. Big mistake! About 30 minutes before I had initially planned on going to bed I began one of those stories that you're lucky if you meet with once or twice a year! One of those books that you have a hard time putting down (no matter what time it is, or what you SHOULD be doing) because you've stepped into a special world and you just can't stop yourself from reading "just one more chapter". That's exactly what Big Sky Eyes was to me.
The most important factor in any book I read is that that heroine needs to be a likable kind of gal. Mackenna was everything I hold dear in a heroine. She was strong yet sweet and most importantly she played no games. There wasn't any big, stupid misunderstanding. Mackenna was in love with Brent and though she kept it to herself for a long time, she did it to preserve her friendship. And talk about a hero to remember! Brent was everything I ever look for in a hero. He wasn't perfect, far from it actually. But everything he did was in attempt to be a better person, a better man.
The fact that this was a first time self published book just amazes me! I can't remember seeing better quality editing and writing in an indie book.
The only small negative that bumped me down just a half star was... Once Mackenna and Brent finally got together. They admitted to each other that they were in love and from that point their relationship just took off. It felt a bit rushed and right up to the big climactic moment just felt to zoom by a bit too quick. I wanted more!!!
All together I loved it and would love to see what Sawyer Belle has for us next! (less)
I had a hard time believing that this is the same author that wrote The Edge of Never. I didn't really care for that at all. And I'm almost ashamed to...moreI had a hard time believing that this is the same author that wrote The Edge of Never. I didn't really care for that at all. And I'm almost ashamed to say that if I would have known that fact, it would have detoured me from reading Killing Sarai and I would have missed out on what I'm confident is going to be a great series!
What a great voice J.A. Redmerski has! I loved her writing style, I loved her characters and I absolutely loved this story. Sarai has been held against her will for 9 years. She has kept herself alive by her pure will to live and in turn she is her capture's favorite toy. Until one day a savior in the form of a professional assassin shows up and her whole world changes.
I just can't get over how different Killing Sarai was than The Edge of Never. It is really impressive how an author can switch gears so drastically and effectively by going from an almost quirky NA book to such dark and scary subject matter as in Killing Sarai. It was pulled off to a "T" and I can't wait for the next addition to this series. (less)
**spoiler alert** This was a DNF for me at about the 60% point. I know I read "fiction" and I choose to enter a book at my own risk, but this was just...more**spoiler alert** This was a DNF for me at about the 60% point. I know I read "fiction" and I choose to enter a book at my own risk, but this was just too unrealistic for me. It actually bordered on ridiculous. The hero was extremely ill, to the point where he could die within months of his illness. He was taking experimental drugs that made him feel sick and he was constantly throwing up and looking pale and loosing weight but he still has the ability to play college football? Not only that but he's the star quarterback? Just too over the top for me. Two completely conflicting situations (terminal illness and being an active college quarterback) just don't go together! (less)
If You Stay started out with a great big bang. I was absolutely hooked at the beginning. The characters were well developed, you knew exactly who they...moreIf You Stay started out with a great big bang. I was absolutely hooked at the beginning. The characters were well developed, you knew exactly who they were, what they were about, and how their lives were going to change once they established a relationship with one another. All character driven books should start out this way. There was no fluff, no unnecessary gibberish leading up to our introduction. Just the low down get to the point meat of their personalities and actions.
I only wish that the story had continued on with the same flow. At about 60% through I got extremely put off and annoyed and my rating dropped from the 5 stars I was going to give down to 3. The characters who I was growing to really like and care about suddenly took a turn towards the TSTL and unlikely. To change a character's personality all together is a completely different process than to gradually grow a character as an individual into a better version of themselves throughout the story. Mila started out as a sweet, caring almost goody too shoes heroine in the beginning. She was a woman who Pax grew to love so much that he wanted to be a better man because of her. This process of Pax recognizing his feelings was written awesome. Mila was awesome! When Pax was faced with the gruesome details of his past that he had previously suppressed he was an (understandable) mess. Mila's actions from that point on were out of character and just flat out unbelievable. I couldn't buy that the heroine we met in the beginning was the same woman who decided "tough love" was the best way to teach Pax his coping skills on how he should deal with his childhood trauma. This whole situation and how the characters handled themselves within it was ridiculous and so out of character that I actually put the book down for a couple days.
Overall I felt the writing and plot of If You Stay was wonderful. This was 1st person with alternating narratives between Pax and Mila. This process was pulled off excellently. This was a character driven book though, so I have to rate it on the characters and their development within the story. And the actions of the characters did not appear to me to be consistent with their personalities throughout the story. (less)
What a wicked, mucky, cluster of craziness! The kitchen sink of drama was thrown at this book! I'm having a hard time putting a star rating to it beca...moreWhat a wicked, mucky, cluster of craziness! The kitchen sink of drama was thrown at this book! I'm having a hard time putting a star rating to it because on one hand I thought the plot and the characters within Fallen Crest High were excellent. On the other hand however the execution, which most especially includes the editing really left a lot to be desired.
The main players... Sam, Mason, and Logan were wonderful. Sam had reached her limit of people stepping on her. To the point where she just didn't care about really anything anymore. I saw a few reviews which referred to Fallen Crest High as very Cruel Intentionesk. I completely agree. The supporting players, Sam's mom, Logan's ex and mostly including the "Elite" were horrible, bitchy, privileged wenches who deserved any and all of the torment (from the Kade's) that they received on Sam's behalf. The Kade brothers were two of the most intriguing male lead characters I've read about in a YA/NA book. They were rude, crude and really didn't give a damn what any one else thought of them. They did what they wanted, when they wanted to and always came out on top. I waited with bated breath for the scenes within the book that included them. I was always anxious to read what they were going to do next.
This was a wonderful example of a strong character driven story where the personality of the heroine was very well developed and she was incredibly likable. Even the supporting characters had great depth. Where I felt a bit disappointed was in the execution of the story. There were several instances that I had to re-read the paragraph and still ended up with a "Huh, what the heck was that"? Some of the writing was a bit choppy and skipped around. One of the biggest "huh's" was I still have no idea what the characters looked like. The boy's mom and Sam's dad were the only characters who were described in depth physically. We got basic hair color but no real solid description that you can picture in your mind's eye what anyone looked like. Another part that I felt a bit lacking was the build up to Sam's relationship with the Kade brothers. They didn't know her, didn't try to get to know her in any way really and then they were just there, this huge all consuming part of her life. I was missing the dots that connected her to them on any kind of emotional or psychological level.
Bottom line is I did enjoy Fallen Crest High and will read the next book. I feel there is potential here for a great series and possibly a great new talent in the New Adult genre. I do however hope that there is more attention paid to the editing process for both plot and punctuation. (less)