This was one book where the cover drew me in. It was so simple, yet so completely raw. I just had to know what this book was about. Naked tells the stThis was one book where the cover drew me in. It was so simple, yet so completely raw. I just had to know what this book was about. Naked tells the story of Anna Rodriguez- a girl who ran away from home at the age of thirteen only to become a prostitute in New York City after meeting up with a man named Luis. In her naivety, Anna looks to Luis as some sort of savior, even after he sells her to another man like she's some sort of good. When Anna is arrested, a caring social worker takes her back home and tries to help her readjust to "normal" life. But the problem is, there was a reason Anna left and that reason seems to still be there.
I know this isn't the first book of it's kind, but it was the first book that I read involving teenage prostitution. It was a very gritty world that Trombley constructed, half that we viewed in flashbacks and half that we viewed in real time. There was her past in New York and then her present as a high school student back at home. But unfortunately Anna's reentry into her life isn't as smooth as one would like. Among the lies and the rumors that follow her around, someone knows her secret.
Anna was a complex character and it was hard at times to really understand her. The author waited forever to tell us the reasons Anna ran away and what exactly happened to her. We got flashes throughout the book, but nothing concrete. It made it hard to sympathize with her when there were no explanations for her actions. Another thing that bothered me was the constant reminder that Luis "saved" her. Almost on every page we were reminded of this fact to the point that I really got tired of hearing about it. Her naivety was showcased throughout the entire book. Anna was extremely frustrating but considering that she was raised in an unloving household and then lived as a prostitute, it's no wonder her personality was a little off.
Throw in a high school setting and it's Mean Girls all over again. Anna is the outcast who finds safety in other outcasts including an adorable nerd boy named Jackson. Jackson was the silver lining of this book, which wasn't shocking considering he was the silver lining for Anna. He rounded out her harsh edges and made her a warm character. The whole time you just wanted her to tell him the truth because you just knew it was going to come out at the worst time.
There were other characters that helped make this book more than just angst - her other friends, the dog, her mom, even the social worker. All played pivotal parts in helping Anna come to terms with her past. Overall, an interesting read about a taboo topic.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Imagine a world where your status was defined by the color of your blood. I know what you're thinking, isn't all blood red? Well, no. In this world, t
Imagine a world where your status was defined by the color of your blood. I know what you're thinking, isn't all blood red? Well, no. In this world, there are the Reds and the Silvers. Reds are the workers, the poor, and seen as the lower class. Whereas, on the opposite spectrum, Silvers are seen as superior, rulers, and are more often than not, rich. And the Silvers also possess mutant like powers, allowing them to manipulate the elements around them.
17 year old Mare Barrow is a Red. Even worse, she's about to turn 18 and has no job prospects which means upon coming of age, she will be shipped off to the war where most Reds end up dead. When her best friend gets word that he's about to be shipped off, Mare decides it's time to leave. A very good thief, Mare ends up pickpocketing the wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it) persons pocket one night and suddenly finds herself working in the King's palace as a maid. It is there, during the ceremony to find the Prince a bride, that Mare discovers something about herself - she's not quite the Red she thought she was.
Turns out Mare is special, not the first of her kind, but still very rare. Now, not really knowing who to trust, Mare turns to the rebel army in hopes of bringing equality to her country. There's action, love, betrayal, murder, and secrets everywhere. I never knew who to trust and just when I thought I figured it out, something else would happen and I'd have to rethink everything I thought I knew.
I really liked Mare as the protagonist. She knew that she was in a shitty situation, but she kept constantly trying to change that. For the most part, her instincts were dead on. The things she was fooled on, I was as well. And while there was a love story, it didn't overpower the main plot.
Speaking of love story, this one kind of followed the clichéd love triangle. There were two guys - princes actually - one she was betrothed to, the other saved her from her fate. Cal and Maven, brothers who are as alike as night and day. I know which one I want her with, but right now, I 'm a little concerned with where this story left off.
There were so many twists and add that to the magical quality and the cliff hanger ending and I just absolutely enjoyed this debut and cannot wait to see how everything plays out.
Not going to lie, the first book really reminded me of another popular YA series.
Katy is pretty sure there's something strange about her neNot going to lie, the first book really reminded me of another popular YA series.
Katy is pretty sure there's something strange about her neighbors, the Blacks. Weird things always seem to keep happening around them, and not too mention how the rest of the town treats them. When Katy befriends Dee Black, she gets drawn further into their world. Add on the love/hate relationship that seems to be stemming between Katy and Daemon Black, and suddenly Katy finds herself smack in the middle of something out of this world. The Blacks aren't human - they're aliens, hiding on Earth after their planet was destroyed.
I liked Katy almost instantly. She was an independent girl who liked to keep to herself and was obsessed with reading. She really only reaches out to her neighbors as a favor to her mother. She was very much a 'I'm gonna do it myself' kind of girl. Even when the shit hits the fan and she's surrounded by alien problems, she stays strong. She didn't wait for others to save her, and sometimes that didn't always work out well for her.
Then there were the Blacks: Dee and Daemon. The complete opposite of each other. Dee is super friendly and has a very positive attitude. She just wants a friend and when Katy moves in next door, she sees the perfect opportunity and jumps on it. She was a little overwhelming at times but her heart is in a good place. Daemon on the other hand is arrogant, egotistical and just downright rude, but of course, he has his reasons. He just wants to keep his family safe and he sees Katy as a threat to that safety. He will do anything to keep Katy away, even if it means being a grade A ass.
I haven't read a lot of alien books so I didn't really have anything to really go off of. Having read Armentrout before, I knew that I liked her writing style. One thing I've noticed is that she borrows heavily from other well known sources before finally coming into her own. And that's what happened here.
With Onyx, Armentrout breaks away from the mold of another series and brings the story more into her own light, delving more into the alien races and those involved. The connection between Katy and Daemon is only intensifying and Katy doesn't know what's real. Things are happening to her, things that shouldn't happen to a human. She doesn't trust herself around Daemon, so she turns to an outsider who seems to know more than he's letting on.
Onyx definitely kicks up the pace now that everything has been established. We are finally able to jump into what I'm assuming will be the main plot for the rest of the series. Some mysteries are solved here but at the same time, a whole pile of more mystery comes leaking out.
I am looking forward to seeing where Armentrout takes this one. Especially now that Daemon and Katy have finally acknowledged their feelings for each other. However, that whole aliens and humans not mingling may come into play soon and it should make for a fun read watching this play out....more
2.5 Umm...I really wanted to like this one. It sounded so cute in the blurb, but in the end, it just didn't cut it for me.
Lauren Hastings has made som2.5 Umm...I really wanted to like this one. It sounded so cute in the blurb, but in the end, it just didn't cut it for me.
Lauren Hastings has made some major mistakes in her life. All of these have lead her life off of the course she had planned for it. She's watching all of her friends thriving in their careers and she just wants to have that life as well. When events get out of hand at a local bar, Lauren is left cleaning up the pieces. And aside from trying to finish grad school, she now has to get a part time job. With help from her mother, Lauren ends up working for Dr. Scott Jacobs basically a hot version of Doogie Howser.
There's instant attraction between the two, that's obvious to see. Their first thoughts about each other were literally how to get the other into bed. And it just escalates from there. The two, tired of fighting their attraction to each other, enter into a 'no-strings' arrangement.
I'm betting you can see where this is going. And therein lies one of my problems with it. It's a plot I've read over and over with nothing new brought to it. I could have looked beyond that, and have in other books, if the characters were well-rounded. But halfway through through the book, I realized that I just didn't care. I knew how the book would end, but I didn't care how they ended up there. I skimmed the last half, which mostly consisted of sex. They just weren't likeable and I felt had no chemistry outside of their sexual relationship. Lauren was childish. Scott was a dick. That's pretty much all I got out of this.
This series is supposed to follow Lauren and her friends. I am interested in reading the next one because I seemed to like the side characters a lot better than the main. And I really want to know if it's the writing I didn't like, or the characters.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Local good boy cop meets smart ass rule breaker in the next installment of the Friends First series. This was not only my first book from Drewry, it wLocal good boy cop meets smart ass rule breaker in the next installment of the Friends First series. This was not only my first book from Drewry, it was also the first one I picked up from the series. I just really love starting them in the middle. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really happy I read it.
Ellie just can't catch a break. She has a bit of a lead foot when it comes to driving, and when she's pulled over again, she realizes that her license has been suspended. This is the last thing that she needs - she needs her car. It doesn't help that the officer who pulled her over is part of her friend circle, even though to call the two of them friends would be a stretch.
Brett lives by the rules. As a cop, it's all he knows. He's pulled Ellie over more times than he can count and while he knows he's just doing his job, he just can't understand Ellie's animosity toward him. When circumstances throw them together for the foreseeable future, Brett starts to see a side of Ellie that she tries hard to keep hidden.
I am a sucker for stories where they couple were friends first. There's a foundation that's built up and you feel the connection between the two just grow. This was true for Ellie and Brett. Animosity turned into respect until neither of them knew what hit them. When someone from Ellie's past comes back and threatens the safety of herself and her friends, Brett steps up, placing himself directly in the line of attack. Their charade turned reality was a fun story to follow.
I would also like to say that I really thought I had this book pegged. The moment her past came back, I came up with this scenario that I thought for sure the author was going to. But nope, it went somewhere else and managed to completely avoid the over the top drama for the sake of drama that plagues so many in this genre.
This was a fun, light, read that's perfect for summer. I will definitely be going back and reading the others in this series as I am now interested in how they all got together.
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
2.5 - rounded down because I ended up skimming the last half
There's just something about these books that, I don't know, rubs me the wrong way. I like2.5 - rounded down because I ended up skimming the last half
There's just something about these books that, I don't know, rubs me the wrong way. I like half of it and then despise the other half. I almost didn't read this one because of my annoyance at the rest of the series, but I really wanted to see how it ends.
Well, it was pretty predictable (not too mention the cover is one giant spoiler) and very unbelievable. It's ten years after the end of the last book and the girls are spread all over the globe and not really keeping in contact with each other until one day, out of the blue, the girls each get a plane ticket to Greece from Tibby. When they arrive in Greece, it's not the sweet reunion that they expected, but rather a dark bleak moment that will define the rest of their lives.
Like each book in this series, I feel like I have to review each girl separately:
Lena: Oh Lena. She was the one constant in this series for me. I understood her character and really liked her. I still liked her here, but she was just such a shell. Lena is currently living in Providence where she is teaching art. She has no friends outside of her sisterhood and she's kind of dating someone, kind of not. And no surprise, she's still thinking of Kostas.
Carmen: Carmen is now somehow an actress. She is one character who has completely changed from the earlier books. She's now shallow and vain, and attached to her phone. She's currently living in New York and is engaged to a man named Jones who is also in the business, but behind the scenes. He's pretty much a jerk and no one likes him, but Carmen still stays with him - even though I think she doesn't even like him.
Bridget: Bridget has always bothered me and that hasn't changed. I cringed reading about her. She's a child, plain and simple. How she ended up with Eric, I will never know. She's constantly just giving their things away to homeless people and even moves them to a new apartment without telling him. Then, when tragedy hits, she just takes off and decides to be homeless. Like what? Who romanticizes homelessness? I just can't with her. I could spend this whole review ranting about Bridget but I won't.
Tibby: Tibby is a bit of a mystery in this one. Having just up and moved to Australia with Brian, she's the one who falls out of contact the most. But it's her idea that brings all of the girls together in Greece and it's Tibby who manages to reconnect them all to each other and themselves.
There were touching moments here and there. And it was interesting to see how each girl dealt with loss. But I ended up skimming the last half of the book because nothing was happening except self-loathing. This is advertised as being the last book in the series and I hope that it is, but Brashares hinted that there may be more to come because she still sees more for them including (view spoiler)[what's going on between Bridget and Brian. Like what??? No! That is not a thing! (hide spoiler)]
This series didn't really work for me but I can see how younger readers would love it.
Lately I found myself reading strictly contemporary reads. You know how it is, every once in awhile you just get stuck in a genre rut. After numerousLately I found myself reading strictly contemporary reads. You know how it is, every once in awhile you just get stuck in a genre rut. After numerous contemporaries, I decided to venture back into dystopian/fantasy. That's when I came across The Witch Hunter. Set in a world where magic is known, but outlawed, Elizabeth Grey finds herself at the center of a war - one where she thought she knew where she stood.
Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter - a special group of people who are trained to capture magic users for the crown. When she's caught with witches herbs (which she had for good reason), she's tossed into prison to await her burning, which is just as it sounds - burning at the stake. Only she never makes it to her burning day. Instead, she's saved by the one person she's been trained to hunt down - Nicholas Perevil - the most powerful wizard in the land. Nicholas needs something from her, something only Elizabeth can provide. Soon Elizabeth finds herself surrounded by the people she normally captures and she must either learn to trust them or go back to life that had turned it's back on her.
This book surprised me. There were times when I thought I had it figured out, only for it to take a completely different turn. Elizabeth was not who I thought she was. She was definitely a flawed protagonist who at times wasn't very likeable. But over the course of the book, she became this character who took control of her own fate and she started making her own decisions.
And it's not just Elizabeth who drives this book. There Nicholas, this powerful wizard who everyone should fear, but in all honesty, he's a lot like Dumbledore. Wise and honest and just wanting to protect his people. Then there's Nicholas' inner circle, a group of healers and magic wielders who have no idea that a with hunter is within their midst. Each one brought their own brand of magic to fight their cause, but the one I was drawn to the most was John, the healer and son of a pirate. He was the one who really helped Elizabeth see more than just the lies she was told.
Like I said before, this book didn't go in any direction that I thought it would. I thought there would be a love triangle with Elizabeth between Caleb (her childhood friend, fellow hunter, and crush) and one of the new boys in Perevil's group. Didn't happen. I thought I knew which boy in Perevil's group Elizabeth would go for. Nope. And I also thought that I magically predicted the ending. Well, on that one I was kinda right, but mostly wrong. While this wasn't an edge of your seat thriller, I enjoyed the pace and story telling. Enough so that I am awaiting the next book to find out what happens.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ok, not going to lie, I didn't go into this book with very high hopes. I had only read Slow Burn (Driven #5) by Bromberg and I wasn't too impressed. BOk, not going to lie, I didn't go into this book with very high hopes. I had only read Slow Burn (Driven #5) by Bromberg and I wasn't too impressed. But holy crap, by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to love this one.
Rock star Hawkin Play meets his match in Quinlan Westin and their romance just burns through the pages. Talk about hot! The chemistry between these two was just off the charts. From the moment they meet, when Hawkin finds out that Quin is his TA for a college class where he's a quest lecturer, there's instant spark. Quin seems immune to the charms of this known playboy and Hawkin is not used to being told no. After she turns him down once, Hawkin makes a bet with his fellow bandmate that he'll get Quin in bed before the semester is done.
I think it's important to make every moment count.
Hawkin is your typical rockstar - mostly. He loves his job, he loves women and he loves to party. But there's a darkness to him that comes in the form of his twin brother. Constantly trying to hold onto a promise he made his late father, Hawkin finds himself once again bailing his brother out. Only this time, it could end up costing him his career and freedom.
Quin is tired of picking the wrong man. While she doesn't mind the occasional hookup, she realizes that she wants more. Seeing her wayward brother finally settled has her wanting that. When she meets Hawkin, she knows he's not the one to settle with, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. She knows he's hiding something and it's something she thinks is worth sticking around for.
Aside from their chemistry just being off the charts, Bromberg spends time building up their friendship. You can see almost instantly why these two are drawn to each other and you can almost pinpoint the exact moment when Quin becomes more than a bet. While the sex scenes were very steamy, my favorite parts were seeing how seamlessly Quin fit in with Hawkin's bandmates. She just fit and his bands reactions to her were great.
This book was steamy, sweet, and humorous. There was also an underlying story about wanting to belong and the true meaning of family. If you're looking for a hot summer read, look no further. Sweet Ache is for you.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Well, this book was certainly the cutesy that I needed right now.
Chase Sanders is called back to his hometown to help save the football team that he Well, this book was certainly the cutesy that I needed right now.
Chase Sanders is called back to his hometown to help save the football team that he was once part of. With his life currently in shambles, he drops it all to go back to Stewart Mills and to the coach who was more like a father than his own ever was. Having been part of the championship team, Chase and other teammates arrive for two weeks full of events and parades to hopefully raise enough money to fund the current football team.
Kelly McDonnell is the coach's daughter and one of the three women putting these festivities on. She will stop at nothing to make sure the teenagers in her town have something positive to look forward to. And just because she had a crush on Chase back in the day doesn't mean that would affect anything now, right?
Chase and Kelly have immediate chemistry from the moment he drives back into town, blowing through the stop sign and getting pulled over by Kelly herself. She's a cop now and fights daily to maintain the respect she has from the community. She doesn't need Chase messing that up. Not that Chase would even go near Kelly. She's the coach's daughter, and that means she's off limits. But try as they might, they keep finding their way back to each other.
What began as a teen crush evolves into a friendship with the hopes of more. Stacey really takes the time to build the friendship between the two so that when Kelly is worried about taking it further as to not hurt the friendship, you believe it.
The small town feel really helped set the scene of the book. Everyone knew everyone else and one persons business was everyone else's. The side characters added to the flow and made me want to know more about them as well. When this book showed up on my doorstep from the publisher, I was a little wary. But I am happy that I gave it a chance and am looking forward to seeing what else the patrons of Stewart Mills get up to in the next books.
I received a copy of the novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.