I have to admit that by the time that STITCH made its way to the top of my TBR pile I was kind of like "umm...what was this about?" But itMy thoughts?
I have to admit that by the time that STITCH made its way to the top of my TBR pile I was kind of like "umm...what was this about?" But it was late at night and the computer was already shut down so I started reading and I'll just say this, that night, I really didn't make it too far.
The early pages of STITCH left me a bit less than excited. Luckily, I had already finished one book that night so I decided to forgo reading for the rest of the night. The next day at work I decided to dig back through my email to the original synop to give myself a bit of a refresher on what made me pick the STITCH tour. After re-reading the synop, it all came flooding back to me. By time I got home from work and curled up with my Nook, I was a goner and read clear through to the end of the book!
Ok, yes, it wasn't looking very good in the beginning. Why? Well, frankly, it was slow. I was having a really hard time connecting with Alessa and I just couldn't understand where the story was going. Then...
HOLY EPIC-PLOT-TWISTING-GREATNESS BATMAN
Yes, Samantha Durante, within her debut novel managed to make my head spin!
Things really took off about a third of the way through and I found myself having that disconnect from the world that I love when I get into a good book. I also grabbed on to a connection with Alessa (and the other characters) and I was totally loving the story.
STITCH is a genre bending mixture of New Adult, Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Dystopian with a light dash of Paranormal. Oh and Samantha Durante also managed to do genre bending right. The mixture was smooth, transitioning you from one aspect to the next with fluid writing and...yea...those epic plot twists!
Which I will tell you nothing about. NOTHING! The twists and turns are something that can only be experienced while reading so you will have to go experience it yourself. (Oh, at the end of this post Samantha has been nice enough to let me giveaway a copy so you can enter, win and see what I'm talking about!)
There is also something else that was pretty surprising within this debut novel...
POV changes (Did you cringe? I did just typing it! YUCK!)
...WAIT! There were POV changes that I somehow...wait for it...didn't even notice. Ok ok, so I noticed them, yes but, it didn't awake the inner reading snob that becomes a full-fledged raging bitch when POVs start. I was actually probably 3-4 changes in once I was like, Wait a minute, have these been there the whole time?!?! Why yes Kimberly, they had, they were just so wonderfully mixed and blended that you didn't have to go through the re-buildup with each change.
Me not noticing POV changes = MIND-BLOWN
Score: Samantha 3
Kimberly 0(I will, with great humility, let Samantha take the win on this one.)
Samantha Durante's debut novel STITCH, manages to take four of the major turn offs for avid readers and smoke them off the bookshelf.
↓ Slow start ↓ ↓ Early disconnect from characters ↓ ↓ Genre bending ↓ ↓ POV changes ↓
Samantha ends up delivering an exciting, edge-of-your-seat read that will keep you guessing clear through to the end. And you will never guess this one people. Go ahead, read it and you can see for yourself that she manages to outsmart us all!...more
Monstrous Beauty was one of those books that had me in a fit of cover-lust and that mixed that with one killer synopsis made me decidedMy thoughts?
Monstrous Beauty was one of those books that had me in a fit of cover-lust and that mixed that with one killer synopsis made me decided I HAD to have this. Once I started reading though, I found that it had everything that makes me hate a book:
Mermaids – CHECK
Dual POVs – CHECK
Insta-Love – CHECK
Less-than-ok characters - CHECK Once I finished reading, well, let’s just say that while Monstrous Beauty contains just about all of my pet-peeves for books, it also took those pet-peeves and murdered them.
M-U-R-D-E-R-E-D. Mermaids. This is only the second mermaid read I've picked up in a LONG time (like since childhood) and even though the synopsis was mind-blowing I still had pretty low expectations. Well, the story was, umm, yea, it left me speechless. The...
Dual POVs. 2 POVs rocked
Overall - Haunting, dark and my lord did it have a fittingly-fantastic ending!
Yes, I am a big discriminater - of book covers.
I constantly choose books based on the cover. Pretty shiny things catch my eye and the overly girly part of me begins to rip free and the impulse buying begins. I also go the other way just as quick. I find myself frequently scanning past titles because the cover doesn't do anything for me. Right, wrong or indifferent - I.Don't.Care.
Well, at least until something totally crazy happens...like they switch the freaking cover. Yea. Drives me nuts. Good news? Turns out I'm not the only one. Ashley, The Bookish Brunette, actually has an excellent post on this subject, Books If Only… Judging Book Covers. In her posts she touches on the subject of changing the books cover prior to release and I get it, but I don't. Check out her post for more info, but I have to include this because the ARC I received of Monstrous Beauty was breathtaking and me in my own world here read the book wrote my review and went to post and was like...
WAIT A SECOND
Yep, they played a little switcheroo on us - lets take a look.
This is, with a couple small exceptions) the cover that I have, freaking hott right? Well, I think so. It's dark, mysterious, sexy, alluring. Draws you in. An "eye catcher" if you will.
But, like most good things, it had to end. Not sure why. This below is the new cover.
I know, still pretty, but look at them again, which one if you were scrolling down the book racks or internet would catch your eye more? Beyond that, once you read the story, revisit both covers and tell me which one you think was more fitting?
Oh, and just because I have to have my pissy girl moment, check this freaking cover out...SHEEA I know, I'm crying too. It's so pretty and so in German. Freaking GERMAN. Guess it's time to freshen up on my "Guten Tag" and "Ich verstehe nicht".
AVOIDING COMMITMENT did things to my brain, heart and soul that I have not had since reading Colleen Hoover’s books - SLAMMED and POINT OF RETREAT. AVOIDING COMMITMENT gave me the same feeling that I had to lock myself away until I read the entire book from cover to cover. There are words that I need to use to describe this book that I’m not currently able to produce, but I will do my best.
broken. ELATED. beat. CONSUMED. hurt. LOVED. sad. WANTING. confused.
Yes, that may do it for this one kids....Good Review, eh?
Ok, Ok back to the real review...
AVOIDING COMMITMENT is the kind of Contemporary Romance that I crave. Everything about it is raw, sexy, frustrating and juicy. Frankly, I loved this book so much I don’t even want to review it. Nothing I say about it will compare to the story that it holds, the characters it produced and the emotions it inflicted. Here’s the thing, I love me YA, I love New-Adult, I love some steamy New-Age-Smut, but this book was none of that and all of that. This is where I get into that whole point where I can’t make words to describe this but, let’s try. See, I love YA authors because they typically have some of the hands down best world-building and plot twists and I love New-Adult because the characters are typically a bit more within my mind frame. Usually, you get one or the other. There are very few authors that can manage to get these to line up. It is even more rare to get these aligned to the point that reality literally fades, leaving you lost in the book and so submersed that you want nothing more to crawl into the book and wave “BYE BYE” to your life. Because, yes, that is how I felt when I finished.
K.A. Linde created one of the most awe-inspiring groups of characters in my reading history. Yes, HISTORY because she also manages to maintain the characters while tossing in these all-consuming relationships between them.
Holy. Mother. Of. Perfection.
Linde manages to never miss a beat writing any of the characters. The MC Lexi is sensational. I've seen a couple of people mention how much they couldn't stand her because of her inability to walk away, but I think that is one of the major things that drew me to her. As much as I yelled at here every step of the way, I was also thinking about the near 100% probability that faced with the same situation; I would do the exact same things she did. Then, there was Jack, who is smokin’! Oh and yes, he is, hands-down, the ultimate asshole. Thus, I loved him. He was funny, charismatic and oh did I mention an asshole? BUT, Linde managed to relay a relationship with so much love, hate, lust and history that I couldn’t help but become a ball of emotional trash every time I turned the page and yes, things changed that quickly. One moment I would be so enraged with Jack that I wanted Lexi to smack him then FLIP, SWOON. Again leaving me…
The remaining two primary characters were just as flippin’ genius as Lexi and Jack. Though, they left a much different set of emotions. I want to punch Bekah, frequently. Ramsey, well, I love to hate him and hate to love him. So, by time you add those four up, I was a mess.
It. Was. Beautiful.
Taking Linde’s impeccable writing talent, ability to create an epic set of characters and toss in an outstanding, realistic plot packed with enough emotional confusion for a lifetime, sounds like it has it all right? Well, we are still missing one little (LARGE) part of AVOIDING COMMITMENTS excellence. What is it? Welllllllll
Enough sexual tension and explosive love scenes to give your New-Adult heart a run for its money!
Yes, because spiteful, angry sex is hot – I don’t care what you say.
Once I was finished I wanted nothing more than to go download book two – because umm did you read that ending?! I marched right over to the computer logged on to B&N ready to download and….
NOTHING! Yes – epic fail on me because I didn’t notice that book two isn’t quite out yet. This caused a full on panic attack (no joke, I yelled at the computer, like really yelled) at which point I had to mentally check out for the remainder of the night...
And much of the next day...
No release date as of now…but the moment I come across it you bet your ass I’ll have Anticipation post all about it! Until then – GO READ…NOW!
Ok I loved the synop for this book, for me it’s all about the relationship that is totally unrealistic that drew me in. Beyond that I really didn’t knOk I loved the synop for this book, for me it’s all about the relationship that is totally unrealistic that drew me in. Beyond that I really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised with how much beyond just that aspect of the book that totally kept me reading. This is a true must read for our generation. It’s a powerful story of love and overcoming. More importantly it’s a story of hate and angst. Hate. Hate is such a strong thing and there were parts of this book (that I will not spoil) that made my stomach turn. I actually had to stop reading at one point. It is not overly graphic, but I have a special place in my hate bucket for intolerance and there are some displays of that within the pages of this book. Intolerance is shown in so many different ways in this day in age and it's nice to read something that shows both sides of that. The side of being the bigger person and the small feeble people who openly hate.
Things I liked? Again, loved the whole plot foundation, if there is anything that hands down this book did for me was swept me away within the story. I was not always overly connected to the characters but the story and message rang much to loud to get caught up in that. As I continued through the book actually came to be connected with some of the characters that I had written off and that states a lot for the power of the writing. One thing that left be a bit open on was the end. While I feel it (and even more after reading the Afterwards) and get why it ended where it did, I still felt that maybe there is still some more left to Alex's story. But, this is also where we as readers have to remember that while every one's story continues we cannot always keep spying!
I also have to give mention to Reena's Afterwards. I'm always reading the THANKS and Afterwords sections within books (and if you don't you are missing some great insight into the author, story development and witty humor). Reena did an excellent job within the Afterwards of giving an evaluation as to where in her heart this story developed from and it really helped me to further connect to her the Author as well as the story.
Overall - again, in my opinion this is a true must read for our generation and I would recommend this quick emotion-filled read to any of my followers!
Oh my! I am so, so excited to write this review, for two reasons…
One, our MC Camie Ramsey. There is one thing I can no longer get angryMy thoughts?
Oh my! I am so, so excited to write this review, for two reasons…
One, our MC Camie Ramsey. There is one thing I can no longer get angry about, insta-love. Why? Well, because I experienced insta-love with our dear Camie before I made it through the first two paragraphs of the first chapter!
Two, Jenn Cooksey is a mother-freaking genius!
Ok, so let’s dig a little deeper (and I should warn you, I’m bound to get long-winded here so please keep up!)
Camie seems like the best place to start since I’m pretty sure her and I were separated at birth. I have never started reading a book and felt so connected to the MC. Everything about her actions, thoughts, mannerisms and choices reminds me, dead on, of myself. I was pretty freaked out and ready to have a full on panic attach before I got 10% through the book because I just couldn’t get beyond it. Taking that a step further, Camie is 15 in this book and this usually puts a halt on any true relation to a character. Me at 15 and fictional portrayals of 15-year-olds are on total opposite sides of the Grand Canyon. I guess maybe I was a bit of a delinquent in my younger-days but regardless, it was insta-love for Camie and I, and I have a feeling it will be the same for many more readers.
Sticking with discussing characters let’s move to our wonderful supporting cast; Kate/Jillian/Pete/Jeff just to name a handful. Each character had something to give to the story. Each character was dynamic without being over the top and complicating. There was a great balance in each and I give many kudos to Jenn Cooksey for this!
Quick cap: Describe each supporting character in 3 words… Kate – best-friend, intuitive, loyal Pete – quite, mysterious, confusing Jeff – hilarious, clown, surprising Jillian – real, freaking, scary
Last, but oh-so-certainly not least, is the ever so sexy Tristan. If I’ve said it once, I have said it 1000 times. OOOHHH how I love the bad boy and Tristan was the uber-balance of bad-sweet boy. Much like Camie, I was instantly connected to his character, actions, mannerisms, etc. Oh and he provided a lot of the laughter for me while reading (along side Jeff, cause he was so funny).
Moving on, so one thing this book does NOT lack is story and substance. There wasn’t a lot of “fluff” as I call it. Yeah, that in between stuff that fills pages but doesn’t really contribute to the story. To me everything had a place, meaning and purpose. Sounds a bit overbearing right? Well, it’s not. There is so much humor and other emotion built-in to each page and movement that even though my Nook tells me it was 359 pages, I feel like it flew by way too quick. There are three levels of emotion that I grade a book on and I use those to gauge how good the author was a relaying the emotion of the characters and story.
First Grade – Smile – seems simple, but really it’s not. No, I’m not emotionless, but when reading it takes a fairly decent amount of humor or romance to really get me to crack.
Second Grade – LOL (bad texting reference, I know) – Can the book cause actual audible laughter? It takes a great deal of humor or happiness to get this from me. There are really only a handful of books that I have laughed from. I’m talking like real true laughter here, not snarky smirks!
Third Grade – Tears and Rage – One of two things has to happen to do this. Either I have to cry. Real tears, not just a little sniffly and watery eyes shit. OR, evoke enough rage to cause me to do something stupid, like toss my Nook across the room (my poor Nook has taken abuse a couple of times).
Well, Shark Bait did ALL of the above at one point or another during the book – thus, one real successful book if you ask me.
High-school, like real people experience…yes, like parties with drugs and alcohol, cussing and slutty girls. It was great! Scream Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY all you want, but it's real life people, not this fake fictional world we sometimes like to pretend teenagers live in. I really appreciated authors who are not afraid to show the way things are. Shows how ballsy they can be and usually is only done by authors who have true skill.
My last point may be one of my favorite parts of this book. It showed the true level of creativity and witty repartee that Jenn Cooksey is capable of…yes…the Whiteboards. I am not going to give much beyond that in description because I have read and re-read each section of this and I just feel that if I quote any part of it, it will spoil it when you read it. Because you should, like right now. Go read the book and experience the unexplainable excellence that is Jenn Cooksey!
I will now leave you with lyrics from Walk The Moon by Anna Sun because everytime I hear this part of the song I think of Shark Bait!
"Screen falling off the door; door hanging off the hinges My feet are still sore; my back is on the fringes We tore up the walls; we slept on couches We lifted this house, we lifted this house
Fire-crackers in the east; my car parked south Your hands on my cheeks; your shoulder in my mouth I was up against the wall on the west mezzanine We rattle this town, we rattle this scene"
Every book for me starts out with 0 stars. It’s the only way I can give away my goods and feel that I did it in a kind, legit fashion. L
Every book for me starts out with 0 stars. It’s the only way I can give away my goods and feel that I did it in a kind, legit fashion. Let’s watch the progression, because this one was a bit difficult and sometimes 3 star reviews are overlooked…
Starting score 0 stars
BAM-POW! Yea, the beginning kinda felt like that. Inbetween had a stellar opening introducing you to the reapers (excellent concept we will discuss more on later) and you get small bits of info on the background story that is-a-brewin’.
+5 Stars for a BAM-POW beginning
Now we are past the excellent display of action, suspense and awkward introductions and we begin our decent into “the meat”. Yes, the portion of the book that gives us build up and keeps us guessing and moving. Right? Well, most of the time. Things got a bit sticky for me here. Slow could be the right term. This is where we spend a lot of time with Emma and well, I was less than impressed with her. She was a bit too weak and nondescript for me. Oh, but fear not, all attention was not lost because we also spend a lot of time with her best friend – Cash – see, he was my saving grace during this time period. He was/is totally my ideal guy friend, I just wish Emma would have opened her eyes and rocked out with him!
-4 Stars for slowing down
During and after this time we also learn more about Finn - reaper boy with a shady, sad, hurt, broken past. I usually totally hate the angsty boy type because I like my men strong. Because of this I was pretty shocked that, well, I enjoyed Finn. I thought his character was pretty freaking interesting and I kept waiting for more.Well, Finn + Emma = INSTA-LOVE! Ok, again, kinda. Inbetween took insta-love to a new level. Usually we have about 3 paragraphs of reading and SHWING our characters realize they are soul mates that cannot live without each other and not that Inbetween doesn’t follow that – it just took the side road to get there. There is history of Finn and Emma that we learn about as the beginning of the book develops. So even though once they see each other they are all “Ohhh I love you” it helped that it wasn’t their literal first meeting.
+3 Stars for Reaper Hottie and Insta-Love in a functional way
Now we have Emma + Finn (Reaper Hottie) + Cash (Rockin’ Best Guy Friend) – so things are starting to get good. Inbetween takes another redeeming step with the addition (or further intro) to Easton and Scout. These two fine pieces of character totally kept my interest, hard. Easton held this mystery, firm-handed, sarcastic personality that I freaking loved. FINE, I’ll admit it; I totally swooned harder for Easton than Finn. Finn’s a good Reaper Hottie, but Easton is Fiery-pits-of-hell Reaper Hottie, thus, he wins!
+1 Stars for the supporting cast
Hold on tight now, because we are again at 5 stars, but this is where things really get all over the place for me.The relationship between Finn and Emma starts to build, peaks and then suddenly, I was all “umm this seems a bit unhealthy?” I get it you love and need each other hard-core but maybe take a breather, relax a little, and stop having stalker tendencies (-2 stars for creep factor of the relationship)The plot and concept of the reapers develops and I found it to be way more enjoyable than I thought it was. The angels/demons thing has been a bit played out recently so this was a good mix of the concept. (+1 star for good original-twisty-spin on angels/demons)Now I must break the sad, sad news – POV CHANGES – YAY – No. (-2 stars for making my brain work too much while reading)
See, now we are down to two stars
What was the last item that knocked it over for me?
So, I can’t really tell you much without spoiling it, here’s the quick view – Love Triangle – Ok, not exactly, because if there had we would be looking at this as a 1 star review because love triangles make me think about putting needles in my eyes. Back to the point – Kinda Love Triangle - we did, for a moment have one and it was all “Invasion of the Body Snatchers style” and it was creepy hot so I had to give it another star for creativity and making me confused as to if I loved the romance or wanted to puke.
Ending Score - 3 Stars
Overall I really did enjoy Inbetween. It was totally what I was needing at the moment - a mix of paranormal and romance in a quick read. So, don't be fooled by the 3 stars cause now you have seen the ADD bounce that is me reviewing a book and you can see that there were a lot of items that really did it for me. It just happened that there were some others that made me twitch.
So, I really love it when I am surfing through GoodReads and come across a book that a couple of my friends have read and loved so I decide, with hastSo, I really love it when I am surfing through GoodReads and come across a book that a couple of my friends have read and loved so I decide, with haste, to go purchase the book. Upon doing so I rapidly ignore my schedule because, hey “So-n-so said it was great” so therefore I need to ignore any part of the rational part of my brain and start reading. Yes, I do love it when this happens because it is usually when I find books like Arcadia Awakens. Because, if I had done any of my normal research once I found this title here is what would have happened. I would have fallen head over heels for the synopsis, oh wait, I did and that has yet to change. Ok, so after that I would have begun my digging into the author, his/her previous works and SHIT. I would have then stumbled upon the tid-bit of info that would have me dropping this like a bad habit. Kai Meyer is a German author, meaning his works are translated (into 27 other languages to be correct). No, I’m not against foreign work, in fact my feelings for this book should prove quite the opposite, but I have read some true epic failures in translating. But boys and girls, I am happy to let you know that this piece of literary heaven does not fall into that category! Nothing for me was lost in translation. Quite the contrary, I think that the vision of Meyer’s heritage brought some of what drew me so close to this read. He describes portions of this book with such intent knowledge that you get drawn in to these amazing aerial views of lush Sicily, that frankly; I was lost until I finished. HECK who am I kidding; I’m still lost since book two isn’t quite here yet!
I also have to give mention to the characters in this book. I was so confused with the first couple chapters of the book because I just could not figure out how I was supposed to like our MC Rosa. No, she’s not what I’m used to when it comes to female MCs cause she lies, cheats and steals within the first 100 pages of the book. Yea, I know, I totally didn’t get it. But as you start to learn more about her things start to piece together and you understand the how’s and why’s and things just clicked. She is far more “angst” than what I’ve read recently and I actually quite enjoyed that. Rosa isn’t the only complex character built within the story; I actually feel that each character was built with a sense of precision, giving each character a kaleidoscope of color and diversity that left me breathless at times. The dexterity in the writing of each character still floors me.
Another reason I loved this book comes in one word…Mafia. I have an inordinate fascination with mafia stories and Arcadia Awakens played into that like a Royal Flush in the middle of a losing streak. This mixed with a version of Mythology that is much lesser mainstream totally blended together to place excellence on the pages.
Ok, I’m shitting flowers and sunshine right now but I just cannot help it. This may wipe the floor with any series I’ve started this year…needless to say I will stalk GoodReads and B&N waiting for Arcadia Burns, Book Two in the Arkadien Series!
Dearly, Departed was a first for me -My first ever Zombie read...There is a certainZombie Queenthat I am slightlyfearfulof admitting t
Dearly, Departed was a first for me - My first ever Zombie read...There is a certainZombie Queenthat I am slightly fearful of admitting that too - but at least our finding each other via the Book Blogging community has done me good, since it was part inspiration for me finally deciding to take the plunge! So now, why did I go with Dearly, Departed to be my first - well, simple fact - The freaking cover, hello? Absolutely beautiful so there for my child inside who loves shiny pretty things won and now here we sit! The crap thing is that I want more than anything right now to give Dearly, Departed more stars. Not that three is bad; it’s just that between the stunning cover and the elements of potential in the book, it could have been earth shattering. But, unfortunately there were just one to many things that left me frustrated.
I usually save the bad stuff for last, but we are going to get that out-of-the-way now. I don’t want you thinking that I didn’t like this book, because it’s quite the opposite, I freaking loved it, but trying to keep with honesty of my frustration with reading it I had to make some deductions…
First thing and probably the biggest frustration for me was the multiple POVs -
Sometimes POV switches are necessary and better than that, some are done seamlessly by the author. Habel did a pretty good job, with the first one. Then, as I continued we proceeded to switch between 5 different characters – at this point my brain starts smoking because it can’t keep up. Each time I started a new character POV it was like starting a whole new book…actually…hold please…sorry I stopped reviewing for a minute to try to figure out how to clearly explain why POV switches can fail. But I can’t, so I will refer back to Kat Kennedy’s (from Cuddlebuggery) review for Dearly, Departed; she pretty much hits the nail on the head of my frustration with POVs:
“Reading a novel is a little like driving a stick. You start in first gear and you move your way up to five as the intensity picks up and heads towards the climax (I so want to put a filthy joke in here, but notice I didn't. RECOGNIZE MY RESTRAINT!) Then you have to move down in gear for your denouement and eventual conclusion.
But POVs tend to equal an automatic change in gear - often downward and it takes the reader awhile to get back up to speed and progress upwards. They have to get mentally pulled out of the storyline they were just following, they have to readjust to the new setting, recall where the current POV last finished and pick back up from there. Most readers can do this without much difficulty - to a point. But too many of these and you have a jerky ride at best, or lose all momentum at worst.”
So yes, that pretty much sums up why right off the bat, Dearly lost some star lovin’ from me.
A couple other things that were a bit inconsistent for me were some of the supporting characters, primarily the lead villain and Nora’s best friend, Pamela. The villain gave me visions of Saturday morning cartoons, which isn’t good while I’m trying to read a zombie book set in Victorian-like times. Then, Pamela (the token BFF) I wanted to scratch her eyes out, like for real. There were also some minor inconsistencies in the “world building”. BUT, I will tell you that the overall world building for this read was so spectacular I didn’t let the instances of confusion settle too much, because there was much too much more awesomeness to get hung up!
Transitioning a bit lets talk about the Zombie aspect. My main reason for being hesitant on ever reading from this genre is that there are (in my mind) two things that can happen with zombies. One. you get horror - and I have not yet read a lot of horror so while it's not a road I'm against, it's really different from the paranormal/chick-lit/realistic-fiction that normally sums up my reading list. The second thing you can get (which we get with Dearly, Departed) is the part that totally freaks me out.
I'm not gonna lie, this book played with my emotions something wicked. I wanted so bad for the romance to happen, but then there would be a subtle reminder of his decaying flesh - this would then induce gagging from me - because I start thinking of hugs that involve squishy limbs - because there is nothing about our zombie friends that screams "mmm tasty rock hard abs". Needless to say the romance portion was a love/hate relationship for me and took just about the whole book for me to be comfortable with.
The Zombie aspect that totally took me by surprise and is one of my leading loves for this book - the aspect of becoming a zombie being a disease. YES, I love love love medical-mystery-fun! It's freaking fascinating and always leads me to thinking things like...
"THIS SHIT COULD REALLY HAPPEN!"
Thus, leading me to the interwebs for hours of mindless research on Prions and the human body. Again, because it's not some fictional protein thought up by our author friends, its real, and inside of you RIGHT.NOW! Crazy huh? But loved it, I am continually fascinated with it and I can't-freaking-wait to start Dearly, Beloved for that simple fact! While we wait to do that you should check out the aforementioned Zombie Queen (aka The Bookish Brunette) blog for a great post by Carrie Harris - Zombie Theory 101: Prions - it was the great start to my epic search on Prions!
Overall - I really did enjoy Dearly, Departed - yes, the stop and go of the POVs was a little much but I sometimes I just have to look past headaches for really interesting books like this one!
David Levithan is officially a genius to me. While I have heard a number of times that his writing is beyond fantastic, I had failed unt
David Levithan is officially a genius to me. While I have heard a number of times that his writing is beyond fantastic, I had failed until this point to read any of his work. I can tell you know I will, without a doubt, be purchasing as many as I can squeeze in my schedule.
I’m a mood based reader, such as I’m sure many of you are too but, I have to be into something for me to dive into it to the fullest. I tried a number of times to start reading this and had actually started to fear that I wouldn’t be able to dredge though. I was wrong, so.very.wrong.
There was so much wrapped together within the pages of this read that I am still a little awe struck. See, now that I am reviewing books, I try not to read reviews on books until after I’ve read and reviewed a book. I feel this helps to stay objective and lessens the probability that I will either get too amped up about a book or get drug down by others feelings on it. Much was the same when it came to Every Day; I refused to look at anything anyone had to say after I received my copy. Since this was a first read from the author for me really wanted to make sure I didn’t read into it before actually reading it! I did (and always do) read the synopsis on GR and NetGalley for Every Day and I remember thinking “this should be a good paranormal-ish read” well, I had no clue what could be done with words and a story that turned “a good paranormal-ish read” into a beautiful example of heart, mind and body encompassed by the exploration of love.
Exploration of love = the understatement of the year.
Every Day makes you think. It’s one of those books that you read and have to stop throughout and really think about what the story is saying. Once I hit a mood to read this, I couldn’t read anything else. The story itself pulls you in, constantly wanting to discover what body A will wake up in next and waiting in anticipation to see who A’s new body will be. So, even though I was stopping to reflect on the full meaning of parts of the book, it was still a fast, likeable read.
Every Day had a truly unique underlying romance, while in the body of Justin, he meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Where A gives a diverse morality to the story, Rhiannon stood as the character to counter this. A was wise from years of jumping from body to body, life to life. Rhiannon was immature and less accepting; the difference in each of these characters thinking lead to a beautiful unfolding of the explanation of love and acceptance. The constant play of emotions and fears from both characters built up this curiosity to see how the relationship would end.
End the end, it all comes back to the grace of Levithan’s writing. The plot alone was mind blowing and the plot twists were out of control amazing but, everything to this point has not equaled what was so beyond our years about this book. It tracks back to the “Exploration of love” statement from earlier.
Are those things everyone wants or would you second guess them if you knew the true effect they could have?
These are all questions and notes I had on my scratch pad I keep while writing. These are all pretty deep questions for a YA read which leaves me intrigued as to how this book will be accepted by the intended readership. Part of me has wanted to say that maybe this should have been written for a slightly older audience. But, I cannot deny the fact that while it’s far beyond the thinking and mindset, on some levels, of most of its intended readership, I think it’s target audience is perfect. The topics within this read truly make you think and to me I think that middle-high school readers will have far more understanding of the relationships and lack the understanding of love, possibly leading those readers to think further into what love is and what it means.
Overall - While some depths of this book will be lost in translation to the intended readership. While others will blossom into thought provoking discussion that will make it worth while!
I really have overly mixed emotions on this one. It hit every spot that I like in a good Contemporary RomaNew-Adult Contemporary Romance...YES PLEASE!
I really have overly mixed emotions on this one. It hit every spot that I like in a good Contemporary Romance, even edged into the New Adult. It had a great romance, a great plot and characters with so much potential. The theory between the sparked romance was excellent and what I thought was going to be a complicated love triangle, well was, but didn’t cause me to run screaming the hills. Overall it was a quick refreshing read that was a perfect “in-between” book to give some downtime to my paranormal stacked TBR pile.
Things I loved? I loved the intensity in each relationship. You could feel it all the way down in the pits of your stomach. From the loss of Caroline's college friend, the relationship with her best friend and the relationships with Caroline and Jackson and Caroline and Clay. Being able to convey the depths of relationships between characters can be hit or miss for a lot of authors but this book hit the nail on the head. Providing a deeper sense of emotion behind each aspect of the story.
But there was some “oomph” that was missing. I never quite connected with Caroline, something through the story and writing kept me detached and wanting from her character. In all honesty I really did want to pull her hair out a couple of times, I also really wanted to like her, but just could never fully get to that point. Though, I will say that I absolutely loved Jackson and Clay. Both characters offered so much to the story that it helped to balance out my iffy feelings for Caroline.
The other thing that I really haven’t been able to decide if I loved or hated was the INSTA-LOVE. Ok, so I get the theory between the first meeting but, it was just a little much for me. Or was it? Being a New-Adult romance, I get it. I’ve always been the type to like to go out and enjoy myself, and pending meeting the right person in the right place in the right time, I could possible do a LITTLE of what they did on their first encounter. For me though, it would be in all fun and I think theirs was a bit too passionate for a first meeting. Or maybe I’m just a huge Debbie Downer and disbeliever in love at first sight.
Either way, I enjoyed it; I fell for the romance and both men so makes it a successful Contemporary Romance to me.
Update (later in the day on 7/11/2012): after posting I received an email from Wynne Channing...stating the following...brace yourself cause I did theUpdate (later in the day on 7/11/2012): after posting I received an email from Wynne Channing...stating the following...brace yourself cause I did the happy dance in the middle of my office at work...
"Yes, definitely, it's a series...There will be more Zee and Lucas, more about the Monarchy, more about Lucas's brother..." - from the author, Wynne Channing 7/11/2012
Review Posted 7/11/2012
Wow – I love coming across awesome indie reads like this one! I didn’t have the “insta-connect” that I usually do when I enjoy a book. Wait, I take that back, the opening scene is pretty freaking amazing but after that it took me a couple of chapters to get into it. Everything starts with Axelia or “Zee” for short (you try saying her name, I’m sure I mangle it every time), she’s studying abroad, staying with a host family and this beginning “getting to know you” part was a little rushed for me. I felt like maybe we could have gotten a bit more out of this section, but it was still enjoyable. The juicy stuff comes when Zee accepts a date with the hot mysterious guy she meets in afore-mentioned opening scene. Well, said date starts and ends with peril (oh and some excellently written intensity!) after that, the real story begins.
WHAT KILLS ME gave me a definite moment of being a “cover lust” – it’s freaking excellent – dark, beautiful and intense! So, does the writing, story and characters live up to its pretty packaging? SURE DOES! This is Wynne Channing’s debut novel, but she is a reporter/journalist so she is no stranger to putting words to paper and that shows! I was entrapped in scenes, fell in love with the flow and didn’t want to leave the world she built around me with her words. I also loved the uniqueness of the plot, far from any vampire read I’ve come across so far. I loved each character (though I wanted a little more). Zee to me was definitely an interesting character. She had a little bit of everything brains, power and blatant disregard for female safety (aka a heaping helping of “innocent girl”). Lucas, dear Sweet Jesus, Lucas. I’ve got two words for you ladies and if you know me you know I got it bad for him during this read. Bad. Boy. THANK YOU. Not only is Lucas my ideal male character, but also has a good character background that so much could be built off of (another reason I need more *hint hint* *Cough*SERIES PLEASE*Cough*).
Unfortunately there were some things that just didn’t quite spark for me:
Again, the beginning “getting to know you” was a little rushed. Not that I wanted to see it drawn out, but a little more background on Zee and who she is before being thrust into the main plot would have helped. (not a game killer for me)
Zee was a little naive for me. I get that we sometimes like our female leads to be innocent. But, I’m going to tell all my female YA readers this; If you are ever studying abroad and you meet someone like Zee did – Group Date! Yes, be smart...never run off with someone you don’t know. This one wasn’t a game killer for me either, just really rubbed me wrong.
Oh how I wish this will be written to be a series (I looked around for deets on that with no luck). I fell in love with the plot and characters and as I said before it was unique and intense. As the story goes on there was so much going on and people to grow and develop as characters, that by the end it was a bit hurried to wrap up. Leaving me feel that not everything got pulled together.
Overall, I’m not disappointed I read – at all – it will having me looking out for new Wynne Channing books and maybe just maybe she will pick Zee back up in the future…
Pulse pounding action, kick ass female lead, breakout originality, smoking hot Daniel, frustrating romance…all equate to an extreme read...
Within thePulse pounding action, kick ass female lead, breakout originality, smoking hot Daniel, frustrating romance…all equate to an extreme read...
Within the first 6 pages of this book I was doused with the inability to stop (or sleep). From reading the synop on GoodRead’s I already had a pretty good feeling I would, at the minimum, enjoy this book. I, by no means, was prepared for how MUCH I would enjoy this book. So much so that I’m quite sure that this has made it on to my top reads for 2012. SOVEREIGN HOPE is packed with action, paranormal, romance and (even though it’s not listed on GoodReads as this…) a dystopia feel. The mixture of the plot and world that Frankie created was such a fresh, strong combination that I was enthralled. From the action contained within those first 6 pages to the sometimes hair-pulling-ly dumb decisions Farley makes, I was bought, packaged, signed and delivered to this read.
You can read the synop above and get a pretty good feeling for the story line behind SOVEREIGN HOPE, but, in all honesty, it doesn’t relate the maturity behind the story and writing. While the writing isn’t perfect, it contained something that was so far beyond me that I will consider it excellent, mature, advanced, spectacular, etc. I was totally expecting my typical YA read and while it does maintain the aspects of YA that I love; action, romance and some complicated paranormal plot. It also embraced writing that was far beyond what I ever get. Part of what lacks in a lot of YA reading to me is vocabulary. I like writing that has description that is outside “the basics” and please don’t ask me what those are, actually go pick up a top 10 YA Fiction book and you decide. Frankie, I don’t know if she picked up a dictionary and thesaurus when she started writing or if she just really practiced those SAT words, either way it totally paid off. The use of a strong descriptive vocabulary mixed with the action packed adventure she takes you on equaled one heck of a debut novel for this writer. And fear not my un-complex vocabulary friends, it’s not so advanced that you get lost, Frankie hit the sweet spot with words that go beyond description but don't require you to Google every 6 words to figure out what it means!
The other main thing that made this go over the top for me was the characters. So much recently within the paranormal romance genre I’ve experienced the “missing love interest syndrome”. This is where said main character meets boy, but we never get to KNOW him. I don’t know, maybe I want too much of well-rounded reading experience, regardless, Frankie didn’t lack. Daniel was a phenomenal complement to Farley and, while he is left with some “air of mystery”, he’s there, he’s involved and we get to know a bit about him, in the first book, not the last. Oh and let me also add of freaking sweet and frustrating the romance is! AGH Daniel was for sure one of the hotter YA hottie's I've read and I can't wait for more! Frankie also was able to introduce a semi-large group of characters without too many people getting left behind. So much was maintained with in the pages of this book that I have no other way to put it than OUTSTANDING!
In closing I will leave you with this, while this may be listed as Young-Adult, I will venture to tag New-Adult. Between the excellence in writing and the diverse plot and characters, it supersedes what I consider Young-Adult. While it lacks in the more advance romance plots that new-adult fiction contains, you got take some to get some.
So now I’m gonna tack The Hope Series on my must read list and patiently wait for Frankie Rose to put the finish touches on ETERNAL HOPE…that’s a joke…I’m not patient…so please go read this and let me know when you’re done so we can gush about it to hold me over!
CHECK OUT OPERATION: FIND DANIEL....JOIN THE HUNT @ Frankie Rose Writes - see more details in my post!