Unrequited is a vampire book. It is marked as a new adult novel, but it...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Unrequited is a vampire book. It is marked as a new adult novel, but it felt more as a young adult. It does span the college years of Ashton, so I think that is where the New Adult element comes into play. But it is completely clean so it would work for readers of young adult as well. These are a different twist on the conventional vampire. I enjoyed Emily Shaffer's view on them. It was strange how few of them there were in a world where vampires existed though. I really felt for Will. He felt completely alone. He honestly felt like there was a good chance that he was the only vampire out there. He is teaching at a local high school, and then he meets Ashton. And the story begins.
We get to know Ashton first basically through the story of her attack and change. It was really traumatic and I couldn't help but feel for her. I completely got her desire to be as normal as possible right now because now is the time that the least amount of questions will be asked. Right now she basically is a high school student. So it made complete sense to me what she wanted. What I didn't understand was why she had to be so rude to Will. I have such a soft spot in my heart for Will. He is the nicest guy. I didn't always understand why he picked Ashton. At times I felt like it was because she was the only female he knew like him. He honestly seemed too good for her. But his intentions seemed to come from the best place so I still rooted for the two of them for his stake.
When Griffin came into the picture it obviously complicated things. My initial impression of him wasn't correct. I will be the first to admit that I got it wrong when it comes to him. The book felt a bit rushed and choppy at parts. I would have liked for the story to have been stretched out a bit more, with some more detail added in, but the story still sucked me in. I couldn't stop reading because I honestly didn't know what was going to happen. Some things were predictable but not everything. Not the main things. It has been a while since I have read a story about just vampires. I liked it but like I said, these vampires seemed to be very different. They didn't need to drink blood to survive and the sun only made them tired if they were out in it for a long time. So they seemed more just like immortals to me. The book ended at a pretty bad spot in the story, with one heck of a cliff hanger. I have no idea what is going to happen next and that alone is enough to make me want to continue the series. Fans of vampires should check out Unrequited.
I love Eliza Gordon. Her romances are quirky and full of humor. They ar...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I love Eliza Gordon. Her romances are quirky and full of humor. They are great reads to put a smile on my face. Must Love Otters was one of my surprise favorites of 2013, so I was super excited to read Neurotica. And while the story was completely different, there was still that same brand of charm and humor that I have come to love about Eliza's writing. Neurotica is the story of a Jayne. The story starts out with Jayne in her therapists' office, where we got a pretty good idea of some of her Neuroses. Jayne is afraid of intimacy. I really respected her for seeing a therapist, and I loved that her therapist suggested that Jayne write some erotica help her with her visualization and to get her more comfortable with the idea of S-E-X. Now, I feel like I should say that even though a main part of this book centers around the idea that Jayne is afraid of sex and the fact that she writes and later publishes her erotica novels, that Neurotica is actually a clean book. It is adult, but there are no graphic scenes, and it would actually work as new adult because the main characters are 26 or so.
Neurotica has a great cast of characters. I really enjoyed them all. There was Luke, the owner of the Piewalkers food truck. I have a love of foodtrucks and of witty names, so this one was right up my alley. I would track this truck down across the nation if it was real. Just sayin'. Then you have the best friend Gretchen, who was always there for Jayne, sometimes in a tough love kind of not so gentle pushing way, but that was just Gretchen. She really cared for Jayne and wanted the best for her. I actually really liked their dynamic. And then there is Holden. While I really did like Luke, I also really liked Holden. I thought he was beyond adorable. No more information on that. Read the book people!
Jayne really wants to be a writer. She wrote the obits and sale notices at her job (while she was working there) and she was forever trying to pitch them on all kinds of articles. I admired her tenacity at work. They totally didn't deserve her there. In her spare time she wrote science fiction and fantasy books, and throughout Neurotica we got to see chapters of her books written under her pen name. I really would have preferred to see some erotica chapters as the story went on and Jayne made some character growth progress on that front, but we only saw her fantasy book. I was so wrapped up in the story of Jayne that stopping that to read the excerpts from the book were sometimes a bit of a drag for me. I caught myself starting to skim some of them.
Neurotica is so much fun to read. I loved all the dorkdom and star wars references. Eliza Gordon is great with her word choice and one liners to advance the humor of the book. She not only has the overly funny in your face humor aspect down, but also the subtle wit form of humor in spades. Reading her books is like reading a finely tuned work of art. I really love her writing. The ending did leave me wanting more though. Add another chapter or two Mr. Gordon. Please! Neurotica was a great read.
Tempting Sydney is a great read. Plain and simple. It is a satisfying r...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Tempting Sydney is a great read. Plain and simple. It is a satisfying romance that was extremely well executed. It is a new adult romance. I thought it was a standalone, but it is actually the first book in the Tempting series. If I had to guess, each book would be act as a standalone and be about a different group of characters. If the rest of the series is anything like Tempting Sydney, the rest of the books are going to be fantastic as well. Told in dual narrative between Sydney and Jax, this book is all about character development. You know that is right up my alley.
Sydney and Jax are not initially what you would think would work as a couple, but the closer you look at the two of them, the more you get it. Both of them are completely scared of relationships for very different reasons. In some ways they very different- Sydney is so by the book and structured and Jax is more spontaneous and in the moment, but in others they are so similar- they are both super stubborn to a fault.
There are so many things that I loved about Tempting Sydney. I loved the chemistry and connection that so clearly existed between Sydney and Jax, and I loved their back and forth flirting. These two just made you smile and your pulse pick up a few beats. Jax is the king of the innuendo, and I liked it....a lot. But past that, he is surprisingly caring. The way he looked out for Sydney was so touching.
The secondary characters were good too, but for me it was all about Jax and Sydney. I couldn't put this book down, and when Sydney was on a date with another guy, I was mad at her! That normally doesn't happen for me. I really liked Sydney, but I liked her and Jax together more than I liked them individually. Initially, I thought that Sydney was going to have more of the issues to work through, but Jax's past was dark and debilitating to him. Angela Corbett does a fantastic job of delving into each characters backstory and making the reader completely understand and empathize with why they are acting the way they are acting. I loved watching these two grow individually and seeing how it led them together.
If you like new adult contemporary romance, Tempting Sydney is a book that you don't want to miss. You will love the chemistry and banter between Sydney and Jax. You won't be able to put this one down. I know I couldn't. It is the kind of book that makes you smile and makes you want to go pick up every other romance that the author has written so you can fall in love with some of her other characters.
A Blind Spot for Boys is so much more than just a cute young adult cont...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
A Blind Spot for Boys is so much more than just a cute young adult contemporary romance. It is about finding yourself, and experiencing new things, and family, and relationships and really so much more. There is also a really cute romance. :p I felt like I was discovering the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu right along with all of the hikers in the story. The beauty in Justina Chen's book is the writing. It was elegant and detailed. The story flowed along beautifully and I could vividly picture all of the scenes, even feel the horror of the mudslide.
Shana and Quattro have each experienced too much sadness for people their age. Quattro has lost his mother and Shana's father is suddenly going blind. They are each on this journey, or dream walk hike to Machu Picchu for different reasons. Neither of them are looking for a relationship, and they ended up each finding each other, but for me that was secondary to the whole storyline. It really wasn't but I still felt like there was a bigger message at play than just a romance. And I loved that about A Blind Spot for Boys.
I enjoyed how real the book felt. Justina Chen didn't sugar coat things. When Shana's dad first learns that he will lose his sight in 6 months, he does not take it well. In fact, he doesn't take it well for most of the book. This might sounds weird, but I really appreciated that. Not that I wanted him to be unhappy and take it out on his family, but come on! I know I wouldn't be all sunshine and roses if I found out something like that. I would be scared and grumpy and not pleasant. This book is about a different journey for each of the characters. It was a treat to see all of it. And Grace just stole my heart! I loved her!
A Blind Spot for boys is a powerful read. Shana is on the search for the kind of photos that will "crack your heart open" and that is really what this book is about. What will crack the hearts open of each of the characters. Plus it both made me yearn to go to Machu Picchu and at the same time, terrified to. It is such a beautiful place, and A Blind Spot for Boys was a beautiful story.
Yay for some good new adult paranormal. We need more of that, in my opi...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Yay for some good new adult paranormal. We need more of that, in my opinion. And yay for Alyssa Rose Ivy for creating an original storyline. It was part kidnapper story, part shifter and a whole lot of interesting. I really enjoyed Dire. I wasn't sure what to make of the romance a lot of the time. I liked Cage, and Hunter left me with mixed emotions. But I do know one thing for sure, I need to get my hands on a copy of Dusk as soon as possible because I am dying to know what is going to happen next. Alyssa Rose Ivy created this world I think set in the world of the Empire Chronicles and the Crescent Chronicles because the creatures are the same and a king was alluded to, but there hasn't been any character cross over yet (although I haven't completed the Empire Chronicles, so maybe there is) I think that was a really cool way to set up a book. I love that the paranormal world is the same one that I loved in Crescent Chronicles. It is not as daunting, but still felt fresh and different since we were exploring a different creature.
Cage and Mary Anne are driving home in a snowstorm when they are stranded and found by Hunter and his crew. Cage and Mary Anne have known each other their whole lives, but were never more than neighbors until this trip. I couldn't get a good read on Cage before the wolves were introduced. I didn't know if his feelings were genuine or not, and because of that I didn't write Hunter completely out. I am just a mess of emotions between the two of them. Yes, Cage seems to care about Mary Anne the more the book went on, and yes Hunter is technically the person holding them hostage, but I have no idea who I want the romance to be between. And the awesome thing about Dire is the book doesn't go one way or the other! There isn't really a ton of romance. The bulk of the story was set up on Mary Anne and this world she found herself thrown into.
I can't even get into how terrifying this must all be for Mary Anne and Cage. I mean being forcibly taken into this whole new world, and being so powerless to do anything is scary. I admired Mary Anne a lot. And I admired Cage for sticking by her side the whole time. He really does seem like a good guy.
Alyssa Rose Ivy certainly knows how to keep a girl on the edge of her seat. This was unlike any book that I have read in a while. I can't get a good read on what is going to happen in the coming books. Sure, I know some things, and I have a guess as to what the conflicts will be, but the Dire Wolves Chronicles is turning out to be anything but predictable. There was a lot of stage-setting in this Dire, and I feel like the romance and conflicts are really going to take off in Dusk. I am not revealing any of my "teams" or "sides" until I read the next book. But fans of Alyssa Rose Ivy will really enjoy Dire. It is another solidly enjoyable read. (not that I am surprised, I seem to love everything Alyssa writes.) People that are burned out on new adult contemporary should give new adult paranormal, and Dire, a chance!
Blood Beyond Darkness is the 4th and final book in the New Adult Parano...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Blood Beyond Darkness is the 4th and final book in the New Adult Paranormal, Darkness Series by Stacey Marie Brown. I can't believe that this series is done. I am still hoping that the author will come out with some novellas about the characters. I absolutely love this series. It is one of my favorites, so Blood Beyond Darkness was bittersweet for me. In some ways I didn't want to read it because I didn't want to be done with the series. Endings are hard for me. I don't like saying goodbye to characters that I have grown to love. The Darkness series is excellent. The attention to detail and world building is great and there is non stop action. Blood Beyond Darkness was basically all action from the first page until the last. We left off in the third book on the edge of a great war that threatened both the Seelie and Unseelie court as well as the earth realm. Blood Beyond Darkness is all about this war. There is no happy go lucky lovey dovey stuff. This book is hardcore and darker than the others.
This is a series that you need to read in order or you will be completely lost. But that is ok because the first three books are blow your mind good! I loved the 4th book as well, but Stacey Marie Brown does not hold any punches. Some of your favorite characters will live, but some of your favorites will die. A lot of people die. This is a huge war that spreads over multiple realms. I was not expecting the ending at all! The whole last quarter of the book took me by complete surprise.
Fans of the series might be upset about a few things that happen in the book, but there is a lot to love about this book. The whole cast of characters that you loved from the first 3 books all show up, and I do mean everyone! People you haven't seen in a book or two will be there and some of them will be very surprising. Ember and Eli are hot and cold as ever, just like always, but you do get some more answers on Eli's past. Craziness ensues. But I do love the two of them. I will say one thing about someone, not exactly a spoiler- but when Kennedy finally showed up she royally pissed me off. The way she was acting drove me crazy. But she eventually started acting more like the nice Kennedy. I love the cast of characters that Stacey Marie Brown has created- I can't even name them all. Obviously, I love Ember and Eli, but Cole, West, Lars, Cal and Simmons rank really high up there as well!
As I said before, the ending of this book was very bittersweet for me. In some ways, it was completely fitting for the story, but in some ways I wanted more of a happily ever after for everyone. But that just doesn't always happen with war. There are so many inbetween shades- it is not just winning and losing. The Darkest series will go down as one of my favorite paranormal series. I have loved all of the books and the characters. I can't wait to see what more people think. Did you love the ending? Was it bittersweet for you too? Do you want more books? I do! One thing is for sure- Stacey Marie Brown can write her butt off. Hats off to her for a fantastic series that I am sad to see an end to.
Her Best Shot is the first book in the new adult Hot & Nerdy trilog...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Her Best Shot is the first book in the new adult Hot & Nerdy trilogy by Shannyn Schroeder. I love so many things about the way this trilogy is set up. First, I love that the books are releasing each within a month of each other- at the ends of September, October and November of 2014. That is perfect for people that don't like waiting long in between books. Second, the books are told in dual narrative between each of the main guys and girls and I think you all know by now that is my favorite story telling narrative method. and Third, the trilogy follows a group of three friends. The books are each of their stories, BUT the cool part is that each of the books take place in roughly the same time period. For example, Her Best Shot is the story of Layla and Phin. Layla was on her way to spend spring break with her friend Felicity when her car broke down and she met Phin. The third book, Her Winning Formula is Felicity's story and it takes place on their spring break trip that Layla was supposed to go on. What a cool concept right? I can't wait to read the second and third books and see how they all fit together.
Ok, now let's talk some more about Her Best Shot. As I mentioned, it is the story of Layla and Phin. Layla is super smart. She picks up on things almost immediately, she loves to be in control and she hates losing at things. She is beyond your average nerd. I mean, she goes to MIT and the book starts out with her getting a job as a code analyst. Phin could not be more different, where Layla likes to calculate odds and plan her moves out ahead, Phin is much more a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy. And this is defiantly a story of opposites attract. Most of the book takes place over 1 week so the attraction is pretty instant. They moved a bit fast for my tastes, but it was clear to see that they had a real connection. But Layla had a panic attack and did a complete 180 of her personality at one point. I was kind of thrown. I wish we had gotten a little bit more insight into her panic attacks so that I could understand her drastic mindset change a little better. It was a strange point in the story too, and while I completely detested Phin's method, I actually think what he did to Layla was for the best. She was about to make a huge mistake in my opinion. It was right around this time in the story where everything stopped being predictable and started getting a whole lot more interesting. I really didn't know where the author was going to take us next and I was so excited to find out.
Her Best Shot is a quick read. At under 200 pages it felt more like a very short story than a novella. It was fleshed out and felt complete, which is impressive for its' length. The only thing I wish there was more of was some background on Layla's panic attacks and then the outcome of the tournament! I want to know who wins! haha. Her Best Shot is perfect for when you are looking for a quick, pick me up read. The romance is great and the characters are likable. But like I said before, the real winner here is how Shannyn Schroeder structured the trilogy. I just love that all of the stories take place in the same time frame. I can't wait to meet Layla's friends and see what they were up to while she was off falling for Phin. The Hot & Nerdy series is a very cool concept, one that I would like to see more of in New Adult.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Bespoken is the first book by new author, Marie Michelle Coleman. It is...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Bespoken is the first book by new author, Marie Michelle Coleman. It is a new adult paranormal series called Nightangel and Daydreamer series. Casey lives two separate lives, one as a high powered, overworked associate in a large law firm, and the other as a pretty serious daydreamer. I enjoyed Bespoken. I had a few hiccups with it, but overall I thought it was a strong debut for Marie Michelle Coleman. Casey's daydreams are about a creature named Gabriel, who is a nightangel. I had never heard of a night angel before, so I was really intrigued.
Turns out a nightangel is part angel part vampire. That was certainly a cool combo. Casey was interesting. Some of the time, I really liked her and some of the time I couldn't figure out my feelings for her. I can't exactly pin down what it was about her that irked me, but whatever it was, it was pretty minor. Gabriel took a while to grow on me as well. But for very different reasons. Because Casey was all over the place in the start of the book, I had no idea whether she liked her daydream Gabriel or was scared of him. I really loved the descriptive writing in Bespoken. The daydream landscapes were always so vividly painted. I think that Marie Michelle Coleman did an excellent job describing everything.
Another one of my favorite parts of the story was actually watching Casey at her law firm. I know, I am probably the only one on earth that will say this because she was overworked most of the time, but I could just relate to the environment. (not necessarily just because of the work load though.) The whole law firm scene reminded me of my summer with "big law". I got a kick out of watching another associate go through the typical stuff.
As for the whole nightangel- gabriel- Casey aspect, I am having a really hard time reviewing without being too spoilery. Bespoken definitely took me by surprise a few times, and because of that I think this is just a book that you are better off experiencing for yourself. It took me a while to get into. The book starts off fine but very quickly we are thrown this new guy int he world and Casey is freaking out because it is her daydream. I just thought she handled the whole thing very strangely. I had no idea how she knew some of the things she knew about him and they weren't explained to us until much later on, if at all. So it was kind of a choppy start. Even her first daydream meeting with Gabriel after she saw him in her world was weird. But once I kept reading, the book kind of evened out and got better. I just fell into the flow of the story, I think. And once I did, I enjoyed Bespoken.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs(less)
Into the Fire is the first in a new young adult paranormal romance seri...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Into the Fire is the first in a new young adult paranormal romance series written by Kelly Hashway writing as Ashelyn Drake. Kelly wrote a really nice note at the start of the book explaining that that because Into the Fire is equal parts paranormal and romance she is using both her paranormal writing name as well as her romance writing name. Seeing as I love both paranormal and romance books, her foreword made me even more excited for Into the Fire. I have not yet experienced a book where the main character is a phoenix. Basically, the only phoenix I was familiar with before was Fawkes.
I think they are fascinating creatures and Ashelyn Drake did a great job making them her own in this book. Her Phoenixes get 5 lives, but the most important transition by far is between the first and second life for them. That is when they become a full phoenix and that is also the life where they forget everything about their first life. I am not quite sure why this is the only like they forget about, but I am guessing that it has something to do with the fact that they weren't a full phoenix before this first transition. But that isn't really something covered by the book.
The book starts out with Cara's brother going through the transition and everyone takes it pretty hard. I suppose it would be tough to watch someone you are so close with forget all about you. But this story is more about Cara and the new guy in town, Logan. Logan is beyond adorable. He is so cute with Cara. I loved that the book really was very evenly split between their romance and "imprint" and the phoenix history. I will say that I called the hunter right off the bat. I didn't want it to be who it was, but I was not surprised at the reveal towards the end.
You learn a lot of phoenixes and phoenix hunters in this book. I do wish we got a little bit more hunter history though. I think that would have been interesting. Either way, Into the Fire is a great read. The book flows along at a brisk pace and it is so easy to get swept up in the story. I read this book in one sitting and I enjoyed myself the whole time- right up until that humdinger of an ending! It was not what I wanted to happen at all! The second book had better do some damage control for that because it looked pretty serious left where it was. I can't wait to see what the author is going to do. I am going to continue this series for sure. If you are a fan of paranormal romance books and you are looking for a new creature to discover and fall in love with, check out Into the Fire and the Birth of the Phoenix series. I love finding series about unique paranormals, and Ashelyn Drake did a really good job with this one.
Deep Blue is the first book in the Blue Series. The Blue series is what...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Deep Blue is the first book in the Blue Series. The Blue series is what I think has become the standard series setup for New Adult books. Each book is a standalone about a different guy and girl pairing. It is their story told in Dual Narrative between the two of them, and even though all the books focus on different couples and can stand on their own, they are normally interconnected in some way. Most of the time the series is about a group of friends, each one getting their own book. I understand that this setup might not be for everyone, and I have heard a lot of people complain (in general, not about this book) that it makes new adult books all seem formulaic and the same. This setup does not bother me at all. In fact, when it is done well I love it! There is still a ton of room for creativity in the plot and I really like the dual narrative point of view story telling for romances. I really enjoyed Deep Blue.
The Blue Series is one that I initially read out of order. I read the second book, Blue Crush several months ago and I loved Gen and Lewis' story. So I knew I wanted to go back and read the first book before the third book came out. And I have to say, it was kind of cool that I did read it out of order. It was fun to see the interactions between Gen and Lewis in Deep Blue knowing what was coming for them in their story. It was like having the ability to see into their future and it made me giggle and smile at times. But back to the book at hand. Deep Blue is the story of Gen's friend Cali and Jaeger.
It was so easy for me to see that Cali was in a dead end relationship. Her boyfriend seemed like a class A jerk. I loved seeing Cali react to Jaeger. That's what it felt like for me. He caused such a strong reaction in her thoughts and actions, and really all parts of her. Something that didn't even remotely happen with her ex. It was nice to see him get under her skin. And he was a real sweetheart. I thought their story was a great journey. They have a lot of stuff thrown at them. At times it felt like too much that Jaeger (and Cali) were dealing with, but I just rode it all out with them. What I liked most about Jaeger was his job. I thought it was beyond cool and I want to see some of his creations. I also really liked how well it paired with Cali's talent.
Blue Crush did a great job of giving you glimpses of all of the guys and girls from the first three books. I really enjoyed Deep Blue. I don't know if I liked it more than Blue Crush but it is really close. If you like New Adult romances, the blue series is one that you will be sure to enjoy!
Make it Right is the second book in the Bowler University series by Meg...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Make it Right is the second book in the Bowler University series by Megan Erickson. Each book can be read as a standalone. Max made some mistakes in the first book, so it might actually be better for once if you read this one out of order. If you start with Make it Right, you won't be colored on your opinion of Max. But I really enjoyed reading these in order because Max's transformation was pretty impressive. Make it Right is a new adult contemporary romance and it is told in dual narrative between Max and Lea. We met Lea near the end of the first book, and as soon as she was introduced, I knew that I was going to love her as a main character. And I so did. She is a tough cookie, but a complete control freak. Control over everything made her feel safe after her accident as a kid.
I loved the author's note at the start of the book, about giving Max a second chance. Yes, he made some mistakes in the first book. Yes, he wasn't the picture perfect boyfriend for Kat, but I should put it out there that he wasn't an awful guy. He lost his patience a couple of times, and he made a big mistake with his friend Alec, but I was really excited to learn more about him and his family. And I was not let down at all. Megan Erickson did a fantastic job getting under the surface of Max. It was clear as day to see the differences between his family and Lea's family. Max and Lea had tons of issues thrown at them as a couple, but the more impressive progress made in Make it Right was the individual growth that they each exhibited by the end of the book. They each had their own demons to overcome before they would work as a couple.
Make it Right is a fantastic book. The romance and characters will make you feel lots of feels. You will swoon, and you will see a very different version of Max. It was so nice to see him find the girl that actually took a second to see past his facade and care about what he wanted. Lea took the time to actually see Max. It was touching. But more than anything, Make it Right made me happy because it solidified the fact that I found a new author love. You read one book by an author and you love it and you are excited. But when you read another book by the author and you love it too, and more than that you can see the quality of developed characters, and creative and satisfying plots, you start to get even more excited. Megan Erickson is an author that I am confident should be added to my auto buy book. Her books just make me happy. Up next is Make it Last, Cam's story- and I can't wait!
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan was such a pleasant surprise for me. I...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan was such a pleasant surprise for me. I got this book sent to me for review consideration, without anyone submitting a review request. Normally, I don't do too many of those (except from major publishing houses). I like to vet all of my review books to try and be as sure as possible that I will enjoy the book. They normally go to the bottom of my TBR and end up getting buried. But this one caught my eye, and I put it in my normal review rotation. And boy am I glad did. The Hook Up was a great new adult contemporary romance. While the outcome was predictable, the road that this guy and gal took to get together was anything but. There were tons of bumps and roadblocks thrown at them, and not all of them predictable in the least. I found myself reading on just to see what was going to happen with them next.
Drew is the quarter back for a major football university in the south. So right off the bat, I could relate to the college campus and atmosphere that surrounded the game and the players. And I love me some college football, so that was a big plus as well. Anna is a smart and former high school outcast that wants nothing to do with the limelight. But it was clear from their very first meeting that there was a draw between the two of them. The Hook Up is told in classic New Adult Contemporary style- dual narrative between Drew and Anna. It was perfect because it let each person be the star of their version of the story.
I loved that Drew was the one that thought it was more love at first sight and Anna was the one that was stubborn beyond all reason. I got her hesitation, but holy cow was this girl stubborn. And drew kept trying and trying and Anna would take one baby step forward and multiple baby steps back. But she is such a sweet girl and through it all you could see the two of them really connecting. Anna and Drew were great characters. Just the kind I like to see in my romances. And Drew just made me want to eat him up!
The cool part about The Hook Up was that it didn't follow the "typical" contemporary story arch. You know the one: Guy and Girl meet, they dance around each other for the first 30-50% of the book and then they either get together or make a big move, then things are going great until about 70-80%, someone messes up big time and things are off. And then they get nicely wrapped up by about 95%. Don't get me wrong- with the right characters and the right plot line it is a formula that works well for me A LOT of the time. But it is nice to see Kristen Callihan mix it up with The Hook Up. After the characters get together you are thinking you are in for some smooth sailing until that one last bump comes along in the road. But no, that is not the case. You are up, you are down, happy, sad, frustrated, dragged left and right without warning. This book will keep you guessing and wondering just what the heck is going to happen next. I loved that about The Hook Up! If you like New Adult Contemporary romance and you like college football. Heck, just if you like books that are not cookie cutter, but still have all the satisfaction of a great romance and the happily ever after you crave- check out the hook up! I can't wait to read the next book in this series, and check out more from this author. It was a great find for me.
The Winter People was great. It ended up being very different than I th...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Winter People was great. It ended up being very different than I thought it would be. I'm not going to ruin the book by telling just what brand of fantasy or magic this was. I had an inkling while I was reading, and maybe it will be way more obvious to everyone else reading, but not knowing exactly what was going on or what exactly everyone was, was part of the magic of reading The Winter People. And it made me yearn to read more books like it. I really enjoyed the cold wintery atmosphere that Rebekah created.
I will warn you now, there is a love triangle- or really a love Quadrangle is more accurate. At one point there were so many guys that I didn't know what on earth was going on. But that feeling quickly passed and I was down to two viable guys. I will say now that I did go back and forth a couple of times throughout the book, but I am very pleased with the way everything turned out. I also really like that this is a standalone book. I love series, but every now and again you just need a good standalone to read from start to finish and have closure with the characters.
Even though the love and romance was a big part of the story--- and it was a great part, but the whole mystery of the curse was excellent as well. I loved watching Salome try and piece everything together. The history and background information was really detailed and well executed, but never over whelming.
I can't even imagine how hard it must have been on Salome, being labeled as crazy for her "episodes", especially when her mom and grandmother knew more than they were letting on to them. The most frustrating part about the whole book was the withholding of information from Salome. It was infuriating. I understand it was all part of the curse, but I still feel like the people in her life could have made more of an effort so she was so alone and in the dark about it all. But it was easy to see that her family did genuinely care about her. I also do wish that the issue of her father was resolved a little better. But that was just a minor detail in the course of the book.
The Winter People works fabulously as a standalone, and the result is a very satisfying story from start to finish. You will feel the bitter cold that Salome does, and you get to experience the whole curse, and lots of guys right along with her. She was an engaging character that was easily likable. I think the Winter People will appeal to all kinds of fantasy and magic fans.
3.5/5 stars Evil Librarian is a mixture of humor, and demon-y paranorma...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 stars Evil Librarian is a mixture of humor, and demon-y paranormal. There are also some cute high school crushes and some not so cute ones. All in all this book was unique and a lot of fun. I never quite knew how to classify it in just one word or category. Evil Librarian is a lot of things, and what it comes down to is that it makes a young adult book that is refreshingly different.
Evil Librarian starts out with Cyn crushing hard on a guy. It was nice to see high school students and teenage girls, act like teenage girls. Too often I see either one of the extremes played out. Super immature or way too mature for high school. Cyn was very age appropriate. She had the right amount of maturity with a splash of crush obsessive-ness. The funny part was with Cyn's best friend- Annie. She was the no-nonsense no time for a thing as silly as a crush- kind of gal. But then she meets the new librarian. And she goes completely gaga.
Michelle Knudsen had the perfect mix of levity and humor with demon backstory and lore. It was cool. I loved that throughout it all there was a school play going on. And that it was Sweeny Todd...AND that all the demons love Sweeny Todd. I think it was quirky and funny. Cyn enlists the help of her crush to try and stop the Evil Librarian. And it was great because there was no insta love, no unbelievable "omg a demon...thats crazy but I totally believe you". Everyone was the right amount of skeptical. But eventually Ryan and Cyn get on the demon train and try to stop him.
Evil Librarian is a very fun read. Minus the fact that Cyn falls prey to the same ploy that most heroines do, that I still don't quite understand- she tries to save everyone herself. Hello! She has someone helping her that believes her and wants to keep her safe, and she still goes off and keeps secrets and tries to do it on her own. But other than that, I have no complaints with Evil Librarian. It was fun, funny, with a of touch of bid bag villian and a cute romance to boot. The summary says it best- Evil Librarian is perfect for readers "who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety)." Check it out!
House Immortal is the first in Devon Monk's new Urban Fantas...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
House Immortal is the first in Devon Monk's new Urban Fantasy Series of the same name. Man, I loved this book. I really loved everything about it. There are interesting, well developed characters, a kick ass plot with more twists and turns that you can even guess, and incredible world building. This is world building done right. Sometimes I think I love the world building in urban Fantasy books the most because it combines more traditional city like we are used to with all the magic and creativity of fantasy books. Devon Monk does an incredible job with her landscape. I loved that we got little bits and pieces of the Galvanized's history through the journal entry excerpts at the start of each chapter. That was a great way to work in some of the galvanized's history.
There is still so much mystery surrounding the Galvanized, and I can't wait to learn more about them and about what makes Matilda just a little different from them. The fact that she alone can make them feel things is fascinating to me. And their interaction with the houses is really interesting. Matilda is a great character as well. She is sharp and very inquisitive. She has no problem thinking for herself and questioning everything. Even I found myself doubting everyone. I had no idea who could be trusted.
The House system was well developed as well. There are so many houses and people that we are introduced to in this book, and surprisingly even the very minor characters that were only in a few scenes all had distinct personalities shine through. Devon Monk is a master story teller. There are so many things that I can't wait to learn more about. What makes Matilda different? What is going on with the soil on her farm? What else is in the journal? Not to mention everything going on with the different heads of houses. Plus there were a ton of bombs and surprises dropped on us in the last 15% of the book. There is no way you will be able to predict everything that happens in House Immortal.
House Immortal is the start of what looks to be a fantastic series. The action just keeps on building and building, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. This one is going to top my Urban Fantasy charts, I just know it! If you are a fan of Devon Monk, of Urban Fantasy, of Magic or heck just of books- you need to check out House Immortal.
The Jewel is the first in the young adult Dystopian series c...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5 stars
The Jewel is the first in the young adult Dystopian series called The Lone City. The set up is not a new one in the world of dystopian, but the story is still well done. I am interested in continuing this series. I like the set up of the surrogates and the augeries the most. I am very intrigued by the powers they possess, even if I still don't know quite why they do have them and why other people in their world doesn't. They are not your traditional "witches", if you can even call them that. I have a lot of questions about the world still left unanswered, but I grew to really like the characters and premise of the story.
Girls from the poorest circles are tested young, and all of the ones that show signs of having powers, called augeries, are sent away from their families to live in training centers to develop their powers. Once they are of age, they are sent to auctions where they are auctioned off to the royal and wealthy families from the inner circles to be their surrogates. Never to see their families again. This is the world we are thrust into head first, and you kind of have to figure out things as you go. I wish that I had a little more background information on this world. I didn't know how it came to be this way, or why it was structured the way it was, and a lot of my questions never got answered. But once the story picks up steam, you kind of get past that because the story-line is really interesting. I still had questions but I was more concerned with what was happening with Violet at her new house, with the Duchess of the Lake.
The Duchess herself was one of the most interesting characters to me. She is really complex. Sometimes nice, sometimes cruel, and I longed to figure her out. We do get some glimpses into what makes her tick, but not enough yet. I hope to learn even more about her in the next book. Violet is one of the most powerful surrogates in her class and there are big plans for her. I don't want to give too much away, but there are a lot of classic dystopian themes and similarities woven throughout the story, so if you enjoy that kind of story, you will probably enjoy the Jewel. It has all the makings of a great dystopian, it just left me with a few too many who why, where and how questions to make the leap from like to love just yet.
I really liked this book. I like Violet and Ash, and I love the concept of the Augeries. I think we will be seeing many more cool things from them in the next book. I can't wait to see what the author is going to do next, but I want a few more world building foundational questions incorporated into the next book. The romance in The Jewel is light but enjoyable. I have no idea what the author is going to do with Violet and Ash in the next book, and I am more than a little excited to find out. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs(less)
The premise of Again sounded different and intrigued me and I have had...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The premise of Again sounded different and intrigued me and I have had such good luck with Lisa's books in the past, especially her new adult books. So I knew I couldn't pass up on Again. And I am so glad that I did. Even though the premise was unlike most new adult books that I have read, the plot tended to be a little bit predictable but it worked really well for this story. I enjoyed getting wrapped up in the story of Kate and Carter. And I also really liked that this was a complete standalone story. Not a standalone as a part of a series, but a true standalone. Everything was neatly wrapped up in the end, and while I would love to play in the world of these two some more, there is something satisfying about everything being so nicely wrapped up. (I don't even know if that made any sense. Summary- Sometimes I just like a standalone.)
Kate and Carter have each made some pretty big mistakes in their lives. And they were both looking for a second chance to try and be a different person. Kate through reinventing herself as a college freshman when she was really 29 and Carter by trying to hide his past from the new girl. I have no idea how Kate managed to pull of 19. I mean that is probably the craziest part of the story. I want to know her secret, especially since she was practically an alcoholic. That ages a body, but she must have one heck of a moisturizer to seem that youthful. (ok, age rant over.)
I admired Kate's determination to make something more of herself. I thought it was telling of how strong of a person she was that she went to these lengths to go after what she wanted. I can't even imagine the Kate that I got to know in Again sleeping with a married man. She grew so much. And Carter! Carter is just the biggest teddy bear. He wants to take care of everyone. It breaks my heart that he was painted to be such a bad guy. He is the opposite. This guy has the biggest heart. I just wanted to hug him. All the time.
Lisa worked her magic again in Again. I love watching her develop character chemistry and romance. Her books are so fluid. They make you want to keep turning pages until you get to the end and find yourself wishing for more pages. The story was great. I did see the "twist" coming a little ways off, but it didn't ruin anything for me. I still had that OMG moment, and I was still so happy about Kate and Carter's story. You will want to read Again, Again and Again.
Fly is a short and read romantic read. I didn't think it would turn out...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Fly is a short and read romantic read. I didn't think it would turn out to be as romantic as it was. I thought it would be more sexy fun, which it was but it was also surprisingly sweet. I flew through Fly very quickly. It was an instant gratification, one sitting read that will perk up your afternoon or evening. Fly is the start of a new New Adult Contemporary series from T.A. Foster. At least I think it is. The book is a standalone but we met both Bolt and Skye's Single friends so I smell a series brewing! I normally don't read too many military books. I have no idea why, but I just haven't yet. Fly made me wonder what the heck I was waiting for.
Skye is a strong lady. I really liked her. And I loved that Bolt saw that she was different. I loved seeing Skye at work. I wanted her to succeed so badly with the tourism and zoo campaign. There was a small incident with one of her co-workers towards the end of the book that got my blood boiling, and then it wasn't brought up again. I really want to know what is going to happen with Mr. Jerk face. But he wasn't the focus of the story. Skye and Bolt were.
Right from the start, it was easy to see that Bolt and Skye had chemistry. I liked that Skye didn't enter the story until a couple of chapters in so we could see how Bolt normally acted and interacted with women. It showed us just how different Skye was. I think my very favorite Bolt was actually after he messed up for the first time with Skye. It was their first real fight and how he started acting afterwards, I thought was really telling. And he was so flippin' cute! It was adorable. T.A. Foster knows her way around a romance. Some of those scenes were pretty awesome. I may have re-read a few scenes again because they were too good for one reading.
These characters were a bit older than the characters in her other stories. It felt a bit more mature. I loved hearing about Ben (Bolt) being a pilot.) I thought those were great additions to the story. The really sad part of Faith. I want her to get her second chance at love so bad. Plus I want to see Hollywood and Skye's friend get their stories as well. Fly is told in dual narrative, and is well written and well executed. This is a solid New Adult Contemporary Romance. T.A. Foster never disappoints. I have read, and enjoyed, all of her books except for the Ivy Grace Series. How did I miss that one? I need to read it ASAP!
Man, I can't believe just a few weeks ago I was in a reading slump. I h...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Man, I can't believe just a few weeks ago I was in a reading slump. I have been loving the books I have picked up since SO FREAKIN' MUCH! Summers Temptation kept me up until 2:30 am on a work night because I couldn't stop reading. I have found my new book boyfriend, fell in love with the characters and the romance was just what I was looking for, and I didn't even know before I started reading. This is a great new adult contemporary. A great one!
Cassie is still reeling from her last heartbreak, and she has sworn off guys. Oh honey, I have heard that one before. But I give her props, she really stuck to it better than I thought she would be able to. She was able to convince herself that what she was doing was really no strings attached. But as much as I loved Cassie, I loved Tyler more. He was such an interesting conundrum. On one hand, he really did seem like such cold player, but then you get these little glimpses of the cracks in his facade. I lived for those moments. When we got to see the real Tyler. And each time, I liked him a little more.
I don't want to give too much away because this book is so fantastic as a complete story. There are ups and downs. Moments when I was smiling so big and cheering them on, and moments when I was close to tears. Lots and lots of feels in this one. I loved the characters quirks and by the end of the book, I was left with this overwhelming feeling of wanting to go back and read it again. I wish I had this one in a physical book so I could flag a bunch of pages and passages to go back and revisit again. I think this book stands alone, but there are still some things that I want answers on. Like the sick girl from the pictures Tyler has. I want to know more about her. I am super excited that there is going to be another book and it looks like it is still going to be about Cassie and Tyler! I can't wait. I love Tyler so much, that I want 6 more books about him!
Summers Temptation is such a tempting romance. Readers of New Adult will love this one! It is a winner! One of my favorites of 2014.
Storm Siren is going to be one of the Young Adult Fantasy greats. The k...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Storm Siren is going to be one of the Young Adult Fantasy greats. The kind of book that people are still talking about years from now and the kind of book where the hype gets bigger and bigger for each book. It already is that way for me. I absolutely loved this book! I devoured in one sitting. I was waiting to get my car repaired and it was the only time that I wasn't bored to tears in the waiting room. The book started off on the right note for me- it had a map of the world right at the start of the book. Personally, I think this should be a necessary addition to every fantasy book creating a new world. It just helps me paint the picture of the lands in my mind. So when the author is throwing out new locations and people, you are not as confused.
I loved the world that Mary Weber created. There are a lot a new names, and like any fantasy book, it takes a minute to gain your bearings in the new world, but Mary does a fantastic job immersing you within the culture right away. I never felt overly lost. I did wish for a little more back story on each of the different lands, but I think we will learn more in the next book. The action in the book starts in the very first chapter and we get a glimpse into the incredible powers that Nym has. She is a forbidden creature- an elemental and she can control storms and weather. Elementals are normally men and are killed on sight, so no one knows what exactly to make of her. She is a slave and after a fiasco at her slave auction, she is bought by a wealthy noble woman. That is where the real story starts. Watching Nym's powers develop was one of the most thrilling part of the book for me. She is incredible!
I loved the cast of characters. Nym and Eogan, along with Breck and Collin created a great group. I didn't love Breck as much as I wanted to and I was disappointed with Adora, but there were so many other things going on and characters for me to enjoy that I was never lacking in excitement while reading. I loved the hint of romance with Nym and Eogan. The romance is all about subtlety in this installment, but it plants the seed of much to come in the next book. If we can get past that nasty cliffhanger, that is! The less obvious romance, just made me love Eogan all the more. I can't wait for the next book. It is the kind of series that I know will jump to the top of my reading list whenever a new book comes out.
Entangled's line of "Bliss" books always put me in a good mood. They ar...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Entangled's line of "Bliss" books always put me in a good mood. They are feel good romances- plain and simple. keeping Mr. Right Now was great! It was the perfect mixture of sweet, sassy romantic fun that I needed. I find myself turning to these happy romantic "feel good" reads when I am particularly stressed, and Keeping Mr. Right Now did the trick, planting a big smile on my face the whole time I was reading it. The plot is a rather simple one, but when it is well done it is a plot line that works spectacularly for me. Hot guy is used to getting any girl he wants and is kind of a player. He is the "big man on campus" or in this case, a world class surfer. Enter a quiet and reserved girl that is so far from his normal type. There is normally some awesome clashing of characters and lots of chemistry. Call me a sucker, but I just love watching a guy meet the girl that makes him want something more permanent.
But Keeping Mr. Right Now is so much more than just a simple cliche. Robin Bielman delves deep into her character development. I loved both Sophie and Zane. Getting to know them and watching them really get to know the person beneath the surface in each other was beautiful. Sophie became more comfortable with herself and sassier as each page went by. You could see her peeling back layer by layer and letting her quick witted and thoughtful personality shine. And Zane had a lot of family issues to deal with throughout the course of the book. Sophie got under his skin slowly, but surely and I think it took Zane completely by surprise. I loved the natural progression to their friendship and something more that Robin Bielman created. It was very fluid and organic.
Keeping Mr. Right Now stands on its' own, but it had inklings of being the start for a standalone contemporary series that each book focuses on a different set of characters. Zane had a couple of male friends that were single and Sophie met a super awesome secondary character while she was on her job/vacation. It is a series setup that I have been noticing more and more of this year, and one that I am really loving. It is told in dual narrative so you get both the guy and girl perspective throughout. It is contemporary romance, but the main characters are young enough to fall into the New Adult Category, so it really could go either way.
I loved the insecurities that the author gave the characters, but Zane in particular. He was worried that he wouldn't be considered smart enough for the charitable organization that wanted to work with him. (he dropped out of school to surf full time.) I thought it gave an interesting perspective and layer to Zane. I thought Robin Bielman dealt with it wonderfully, as well. If you like fantastically written fun summer romances, you will absolutely love Keeping Mr. Right Now. Even if you are not a fan of the traditional "romance" book, you should give this one a try. I think Zane and Sophie will win you over. This book is so much fun.
Coral and Bone is the first book in the young adult fantasy series. I d...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Coral and Bone is the first book in the young adult fantasy series. I don't know the name of the series yet, but author Tiffany Daune has said that it will be a trilogy. I am excited that there is going to be more, because while I felt like it took me almost the whole novel to get my bearings in the rich multiple realm world that Tiffany has created, I now have a good understanding of the world and characters, and I am ready to see more Halen and Dax. And Tage.
Halen is thrown into the whole world basically blind. I really felt for her. I felt like the readers were just as blind as her. We only knew what she knew and no one would give her more than just bits and pieces of the answers she so badly wanted. About her sister, about her guardian, and about just what was expected of her. Even about what she was. She is a blue moon siren. I admired Halen's strength. I liked Dax but I don't feel like we got to know him enough in this book. I wish we saw a few more things from his point of view, so I could get a better idea of what was going on in his head. I bet Halen wishes that too.
Tiffany Daune created a really rich underwater world, filled with lots of interesting characters in a range of different creatures. I liked learning about the different creatures and how they made up this world. It was a little overwhelming at first shuffling between all the different species in the three different realms and how they all fit in with one another, but I eventually got the hang of it. I loved the two shifters that became Tage and Halen's friends, and I really liked the inkling of romance that was hinted at for Tage.
The whole storyline with the blue moon siren and Astair was fascinating as well. His little prison was pretty cool, and I was so interested in seeing the darkness and light exist within the blue moon sirens and the effects that their powers had on them. There were so many little twists and turns that I did not see coming at all, and that kept the reading fresh and interesting. By the second half of the story, Coral and Bone had completely drawn me in. I really enjoyed the story. I want more please! And I want more romance between Dax and Halen in the second book. I still have so many questions about Natalie that I want answered too. Please write the second book Tiffany! Please.
I hate writing negative reviews. Especially about books that I get for...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I hate writing negative reviews. Especially about books that I get for review. I screen my books so carefully, but there are bound to be at least a few books that I thought I would really enjoy that just end up not working out. And Pretty Instinct was one of those books. I love new adult contemporary, but this one just wasn't for me. Now I do have to say, I am in the extreme minority here! There are almost 1,500 ratings and almost 300 reviews on goodreads! And almost all of them are 5 star! Throw in a small amount of DNFs and an even smaller amount of bad ratings from people that finished the book, and I am left thinking if maybe this time I got it wrong? But even though I wanted to DNF this book a few times (ok more than a few time) I didn't, I stuck it out and read the whole thing. And I still didn't connect with the book.
The characters were the main problem. I couldn't connect with the main character Liz, which is a really tough hurdle for me to overcome with a book. But the other problem was that I just couldn't connect with any of the characters really. The writing was fine, but I just couldn't bring myself to get over an ehh feeling at best about most of the characters. And the romance just wasn't believable for me. It was very abrupt at the start and then it was over the top cheesy.
The family dynamic got on my nerves too. I know there was this huge "secret" going on that explained the awful father and everything else going on, but I saw it coming. I liked some of the musical aspects of book, with the band but nothing about this story really jumped out at me.
A ton of people absolutely loved this book. They loved the romance, and they loved Conner and Liz. So if this seems like the type of book you would enjoy, and you like rockband/music new adult contemporaries, you should give Pretty Instinct a try! Everyone else seems to love it. I have never scored a book so low that has gotten such amazing reviews, so maybe I am just missing something. But I read the whole thing so I wanted to give you my honest feedback about the book. Check out some of the 5 star reviews to see what everyone loved so much and then decide if this book is for you. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.
P.S. I have never read an S.E. Hall book before, and I would love to try another one, so if anyone has a suggestion for one of her books they think I would like better, let me know!
Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold is a young adult myth/legend and...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold is a young adult myth/legend and paranormal anthology. It is a collection of 6 short stories. On its' face it looks like it would be right up my alley. I mean, I love myths and mythology! That is so my thing. And if I had picked up this book before I started blogging, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Because before I started blogging, I didn't have very high expectations of short stories. I didn't think you could pack enough detail into the story to make it interesting and to give me a chance to connect with the characters in so few pages. And that was the majority of my problems with Lore. BUT since I have been blogging, I have found some truly awesome and amazing anthologies. Anthologies where I am in awe, and asking how on earth did the author do that in 70-100 pages?? or even less. And because I have now seen the anthology light, I was disappointed in Lore.
There were two stories that did enjoy- The Maker and The Barricades. I found them to be fun and interesting, but the other four stories I was disinterested in...at best. Some I flat out did not enjoy. The Maker is the 4th story and The Barricades is the 6th one. Check those out if you have the book. I don't want single out any of the other stories or fault the authors because I feel like short stories are a different kind of beast than full length novels. So I still want to see what each of the authors can do with a full length book.
The Maker is a story about a gollum...hello how cool is that?? And the Barricades is about the Fae, and I love me some Fae. (on a side note, I am really digging the fae at the moment...does anyone know of a good new adult Fae book, please let me know!) If you love anthologies and YA myth and fantasy, I hope Lore works out for you. It just didn't do it for me. But I did find two new short stories that I enjoyed so that is positive.
Crossing the Ice is the first in a new ice skating series by Jennifer C...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Crossing the Ice is the first in a new ice skating series by Jennifer Comeaux. It is a spin off series from her Edge series. The ice skaters from the Edge series are the coaches in the Ice series, so they make plenty of appearances. I never read the Edge series, but I so completely loved Crossing the Ice that I am excited to see what the Edge series is about. Figure Skating is my favorite sport in the winter Olympics, so I was really excited to see how Jennifer was going to be able to bring the sport to life through her book. And boy did she ever bring it life.
The routines in the series were particularly exciting for me to read, because I felt like I was actually watching the pairs figure skating on tv. It was pretty incredible how vividly Jennifer Comeaux was able to paint the scenes and how fluid and realistic they felt. Another favorite of the book for me was the main characters and their super sweet romance. It was so nice to see a quiet, nice shy guy get to be the swoon worthy star. And how swoon worthy he really was! I loved Josh. He is beyond thoughtful and ridiculously talented. I loved watching him play the piano and share with Courtney his ear for music. He really is crazy talented.
The romance was not rushed at all. Courtney and Josh baby stepped around each other for the first third of the book, and it was only through their tentative and behind the scenes friendship did they find out just how much they had in common and saw how compatible they were for each other. I really liked both Courtney and Josh, but it was really nice to see the dynamics between the two of them reversed. Don't get me wrong, Josh is all guy, but for once the author was not afraid to make the male character the more sensitive and emotionally fragile one. I mean that in only the best of ways. Josh was not afraid of his feelings for Courtney. And every time he got up the courage to flirt with her even the slightest bit, I swooned a little.
Crossing the Ice is marked as clean New Adult Contemporary romance. It is suitable for young adult readers as well. The plot of Crossing the Ice is not at all predictable. More than once I was surprised at the turn things were taking. Jennifer Comeaux is not afraid to crush your heart into a million little pieces, but luckily she is just as skilled at putting it all back together again. I was so utterly crushed, along with select characters, at something that happened. I felt their pain so clearly and I didn't know how any of us were going to recover. But then Jennifer worked some of her magic and the characters and I were suddenly ok. I loved it. Something that at first seemed so utterly awful, was turned into something that I now think is perfect. Crossing the Ice is a must read for fans of figure skating everywhere. You will fall in love with Josh and Courtney.
This review is for volumes 1 and 2 of the New Adult Serial Romance- Ind...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
This review is for volumes 1 and 2 of the New Adult Serial Romance- Indiscretion. I have had some meh experiences with novellas and short stories lately. I kept picking up shorts that were not well developed, utterly rushed and just weren't grabbing my attention. But I just needed the fabulous Elisabeth Grace to restore my faith in the novella. And Serial novellas are my favorite kind of short story. I am absolutely LOVING Indiscretion. I just got my copy of volume 3 yesterday and I am already itching to put aside my current book to read it.
The chemistry between Chloe and Max sizzles and jumps off the page. I know the deal between them is no strings attached and just something casual, but the way they are around each other is surprisingly tender and beyond wonderful. I am always so blown away with what Elisabeth Grace is able to do with her characters. And what she is able to do in just 70 or so pages in incredible! I blew through the first two volumes of Indiscretion so quickly, and they each left me wanting more, more MORE! The cliffhanger at the end of the first volume was so surprising too. I did not see that coming.
Indiscretion is about so much more than two people hooking up. The back story for both Max and Chloe is well developed, deep and complex. I can't wait to find out more about Max and his relationship with his father in the next volume. And the humdinger that Ms. Grace left for us at the end of Volume 2 just about had me screaming. Elisabeth Grace knows how to write great characters and great chemistry. Whether she has a full novel to do it or in shorter installments, you always know you are going to get a great read. Indiscretion is fantastic and so is Elisabeth Grace. She is on my short list for go to romance authors. One of my favorites.
The Cinderella Theorem overall was a really great read. I had a few sma...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Cinderella Theorem overall was a really great read. I had a few small issues with the book early, but they were minor things and I am so glad that I didn't let them get in the way of enjoying the story, because this was a book that just kept getting better and better. I loved the concept of the story and the main character, Lily was a delight. Lily loves math, she likes logic and she likes being able to get the same answer every time she does the same problem. I loved her commentary throughout the story, told through math equations and footnotes. It was so funny.
Lily Sparrow is just a normal high school student when she comes home on her 15th birthday to find out that her dad is not dead like she thought, but rather the ruler of a magical land where all fairy tale characters go to live out their "happily ever after". A cool concept but it was in this initial phase that I had a couple of minor problems. First up, Lily's mom. Her mom is very nice and it is easy to see that she really cares for her daughter, but her flippant almost ditzy way that she dealt with telling Lily this crazy magical story was annoying. She didn't want to explain everything, she just expected her daughter to be fine with dead dad showing up out of no where, in her bathtub no less. And then she expected her to automatically understand all the crazy magical ins and outs of the land with no questions asked. Her dad was more understanding about the whole thing. The other small issue I had, was that I wasn't crazy about the name for the land. But other than that, I really loved the book.
The plot revolved around the happiness levels of the characters. Since each fairy tale character was supposed to live out their HEA, if they became truly sad they were in danger of disappearing. And if all characters in a story disappeared, then the story also disappeared from our world's records. When characters start disappearing left and right, Lily has to get to the bottom of it. I loved it. Mostly because Lily. She was such a treat for me. I loved her voice in the story. I hope the next book is done in the same fashion, with her math equations and footnote commentary throughout. That was my favorite. There was only a tiny hint at a romance to come, one that I hope is explored more in the next book. I can't wait to discover more Lily Sparrow!
Sugar on the Edge is my first attempt with a Sawyer Bennett book, and I...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Sugar on the Edge is my first attempt with a Sawyer Bennett book, and I was so pleased with the characters and romance! Sugar on the Edge can be read as a standalone but it is also the third book in the contemporary romance Last Call series. Gavin a dark and tortured soul throughout most of the book. I loved that he was an author and his books were his outlet for his dark feelings. I know this sounds weird because I am nothing like him, but I felt like I really got him from the first time I met him. And it was then that I knew this was going to be a fantastic read for me. If you like your romance extra hot with a side of wonderful characters, then Sugar on the edge is the book for you.
Gavin goes to a secluded house in North Carolina to finish his lastest novel. He seems like the biggest of big authors because the money that the publishing companies were paying him was unreal! He basically wants to hole himself up in his house and write all the time. So he gets a maid and gets to work. I think we all know who his maid is going to be...Savannah comes into Gavin's life and shakes everything up. I can't even tell you how much I loved that fact that Gavin made a character about her right from the star. It was so cute, even if she was a meek anti-heroine that would get killed. She was determined to prove him wrong and he was determined to prove himself right. It was a cute back and forth they had going.
Savannah was a cute character and I loved how she challenged Gavin. She made him realize that she was different and she demanded that she be seen as different. It was interesting to see her do that in her sometimes shy way. Savannah was much more my type of character in real life, but the beauty of Sawyer's writing is that it doesn't matter how alike or unlike a character you are, you can connect with everyone in the story.
Gavin and Savannah both made some poor choices in the story. Savannah is stubborn to a fault and Gavin had his boneheaded moments, but for the most part Gavin and Savannah were so patient and wonderful with each other. Their relationship was a unqiue one, but I adored them. I loved their nicknames for each other, and I loved seeing the way they reacted to one another. I was not seeing the big twist towards the end coming, and while I didn't love it, it completely worked for the story. The last call series is perfect for people that love their romance hot and sexy. I can't wait to read the rest of the books.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** I have a secret. As much as I love fluffy and sexy romances, I have a s...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** I have a secret. As much as I love fluffy and sexy romances, I have a secret darker love- horror. And I have a second secret, even though I love horror so much, I have a tendency to actually get really scared when horror is done well. I know that is the point of horror, but I mean I can read a horror book alone at night in my room or I will have nightmares all night. But I still can't get enough, and Amity was creepy to the extreme! Fans of horror will love the fantastically creepy writing in Amity.
Amity is about the Amityville horror house. I have seen a couple of movies about the house and I know a little bit about house, so when I saw the book I knew what I was signing up for. Amity does not offer happy times for the families that live there become hers. Amity is told from the point of view of two different families that live there. First there is Conner and his family, and then 10 years down the road there is Gwen and her family. Conner and Gwen are not going to be your typical "I could see this person as my best friend." At least I hope not (with Conner Especially.) Amity is dark and dangerous and she grabs hold of the people that live in her and she twists and turns them into a much darker and aggressive version of themselves.
It was interesting seeing how each character had a different connection with Amity. Conner seemed more and more twisted on each page and by each day. Gwen was a little different. She has a connection to the spiritual and seeing her in Amity was more heartbreaking in a way. Even though I knew this was not going to be a nice happily ever after for everyone in the story, I was still super nervous especially with the sibling dynamics and with the dog. I also wanted a little more backstory on Gwen and Conner from before they came to live at Amity. We are given bits and pieces but by and large we are just left to fill in the gaps. The point of the story was their time at Amity so it wasn't essential that we know more, but I think it would have added to the story.
The most impressive part about the story, was the life that Micol Ostow was able to breathe into the house herself. Amity felt like a real living, breathing entity. She felt like another character in the story, and it was both creepy and impressive the way I could feel the house come to life off the pages.
The writing in Amity is perfect for a horror novel. It was jarring and disturbing and super creepy. More than a few times, the book actually gave me chills. Micol Ostow did a fantastic job writing horror. And I have read and loved multiple of her young adult romantic comedy books. Amity did not flow like a typical contemporary novel and normally all the changes in pacing and styles would leave me with my head spinning, but in this book it just added to the spooky and disturbing feel of the story. None of the characters were able to get their bearings in Amity and the writing only added to that. If you are a fan of horror, Amity will give you chills galore. I dare you not to get scared. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs(less)
The Description of Mortal Danger drew me in almost instantly. I was so...more**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Description of Mortal Danger drew me in almost instantly. I was so excited to read it. And then I committed the cardinal sin of book reviewers...I glanced at some goodreads reviews. And I saw that people were polarized on this story, they either loved it or they DNF-ed it. And I got nervous. But I am happy to say that I really enjoyed Mortal Dangers and I can't wait to continue the series. Now, it should also be said that I understand why some people did not finish this book. The start of the book does make the main character seem pretty shallow. I felt bad for her but I could see where her single-minded plot for revenge on her classmates could seem off putting. But the book is so much better than that initial impression!
The main character, Edie grows so much in this book. And actually, that first kind of shallow impression is a huge theme in the book. I think the author does a fantastic job of blowing all of those stereotypes out of the water. Watching Edie get to know the people beneath the meanness was a great way to handle the plot, in my opinion. Plus, the world that Ann Aguirre created was so dark and sinister and utterly riveting. I am dying to learn more about the "players" in the "game". The whole book had such a dark and mysterious vibe. I loved it.
I felt so bad for Edie. This girl has had it really rough. I can't believe the lengths that some of these bullies went to, to get to her. It was hard to reconcile some of how they treated her in the past with some of the awful things that happened to them in the later parts of the book. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad about it. But I will say one thing, this book really made me think. What would I have done in Edie's situation? I really am not sure. Edie is such a strong character that questions everything. She takes nothing at face value and she is whip smart. I love that about her so much.
Ann Aguirre does not hold any punches with anyone in the story. She is not afraid to make some bold moves and to kill anyone off. Mortal Danger is intense, creepy, and one heck of a ride. I am so excited to find out what is going to happen in the next book. There are characters that I hate, characters that I love, and the romance is so up in the air right now that I need to see what is going to happen. Mortal Danger is a fascinating new world that is so worth a read. I am glad that I stuck out this book and didn't listen to the DNF's because it was a book that just kept getting better and better all the way until the very last page.