Brothers of Hell, demons, Fallen angels, rich mythology, sizzling romance and plenty of supernatural excitement, this sequel surpassed all my expectat...moreBrothers of Hell, demons, Fallen angels, rich mythology, sizzling romance and plenty of supernatural excitement, this sequel surpassed all my expectations. I loved it! Trinity Faegen gave me everything I wanted and much more. There are many things I've come to love about the Mephisto brothers, but what I didn't expect to do was fall in love with the leader of the group, Keys nor did I except to love Eryx, the eldest brother who just so happens to be their sworn enemy. There's something to said about an author who makes you love the villain as much as you love the heroes in their story.
This storyline not only continues to surprise me, but it keeps me wanting more. I want to know more about each brother, and find out what's going to happen next. Like the first book, I love that this book continues the story of the brothers. It also dives deeper into the mythology and lore that makes up the Mephisto brother's history as well as that of the Anabos, and it introduces new characters to the series. I love that each book seems to follow a different brother and their love interest, while keeping the over all flow of everything that's going on with the family. This time around the story follows that of Keys and Jordan.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a much more vulnerable side to Keys. He's this distant, strong, commanding leader of the family, but things change once he meets/saves Jordan. Seriously, he couldn't find a more perfect match for him, than with Jordan. She is just as stubborn as he is, strong willed, beautiful and someone who isn't afraid to speak what's on her mind. The fireworks can definitely fly when these two are in the same room. I also like the more realistic side to their relationship. They both bring things out in the other person that no one else can, and they both learn to not only rely on the both, but trust the other. With Jordan and Keys I felt like I was able to understand the sacrifices that they've both made and have to make in order to become who they are, and accomplish what's required of them. On the flip side of that, I loved that everyone in this book has choices, and of course consequences.
The romantics at heart might swoon over some of the choices and sacrifices these brothers are willing to make for the girls they love. Speaking of brothers, what happens when you have two brothers who are equally matched in god like looks, strength and intelligence? You gets Keys and Eryx who both have their eyes set on Jordan, and while one of them gets her heart, the other does everything in his power to claim her as his. Let's just say the battle of wills between these two is dangerous and at times comical. Curse you Trinity for making me love your evil villain. Against my better judgement I ended up feeling sorry for Eryx, which is not something I wanted to do. The more I got to know him, and the more I understood him, though I didn't agree with his actions. I couldn't fault Jordan for falling for his antics. Eryx knows just want to say and how to twist things to go in his favor, vs his brother Keys who's straight forward, blunt and brutal honest.
Aside from these two brothers I loved Jax! He and Phoenix are the two brothers I fell in love with reading The Mephisto Covenant and I couldn't help but loving them more. I am really hoping we more of Phoenix's story in the next book. It's so heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. I'm holding out that there's hope for him in the future based on some turn of events that happen at the end of the book. There is definitely no shortage of hot bad boys, strong female love interests, and plenty excitement in this book. There's plenty of action scenes, unexpected twists, and the right amount of romance that YA readers are going to want much more when they finish this book. I highly recommend picking this series up. There are some sensual scenes, mild language, and mentions of sex in this book.
Thank you for JeanBookNerd for asking me to be on her blog tour for The Mephisto Kiss, though I ended up missing out on posting on my date. (less)
This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm trying to branch out a bit more in my reading of YA contemporaries, something I don't read a lot of, and...moreThis book was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm trying to branch out a bit more in my reading of YA contemporaries, something I don't read a lot of, and I really liked Janet's writing style and her story telling. She did an incredible job at creating a realistic story that deals with heartache, grief, love, learning to forgive, moving forward, choices, consequences and variety of other topics readers will easily relate to. The thing I was most impressed with in Who I Kissed was Janet's ability to bring awareness to food allergies, and mental illness without it being preachy or heavy. While both things are a huge factor in the lives of the teens in this book, it's their relationships, and the choices they make that really drew me into the story.
Life is about choices. No matter how big or small they are, they shape us, and our future. I liked that, that was a theme with Samantha's story. It's those choices no matter how planned out or spur of the moment they are, that turned her life upside down, and took her on a different course that she had planned. Like that time she ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, not realizing the deadly effect it could have on Alex, the guy she barley knew and kissed at that party. I really enjoyed getting to know Samantha. She's someone I felt like I connected with right away, and I enjoyed her strong voice. I sympathized with and I cheered her on. I understood her pain, and sorrow as well as her motivation to continue on. I liked that while she had a support group of her dad, her close friend and her aunt, the choice was always hers to get through the tragic event that has now changed her life.
In this web of sorrow, heartache and grief, comes something powerful, and it's Samantha and her will to just live. To take one day at a time and to try and cope with all that's gone around her and try to make things right in a new kind of way. The thing I loved about this book is how real the characters felt. It's not just Samantha, but her dad, her aunt, her crush Zee, her best friend, and Alex's family. I got their emotions, I understood their motives, and I liked that there is more to what really happened that night at the party than we're first made to believe. This is a book that unravels perfectly revealing just enough I need to know at all the right moments. It's a story that includes first kisses, the first kisses you wish you got, new romances, hope, hate, bullies, crushes, family relationships, and so much more. Most importantly it's book about forgiving and moving one. I love the way Janet tackles all the emotional sides that happen in this book, and puts it in a realistic high school setting. It's not just about Samantha, but about Alex's family, his best friends, and those that surround both Samantha, Zee and those who knew Alex best.
There's so much more I want to say about this book, but I'll just say it's one I'd recommend picking up. I really enjoyed Janet's writing style and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. There is some mild language, mentions of sex/fooling around, and tastefully written sex scene, and a lot of talk about grief and coping with the loss of a loved one/good friend. It's a book that may not be for everyone, but it's one I felt was realistically written, and one I'd probably read again.(less)
Shadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest. If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and Downworl...moreShadowhunter/Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader is Shadowhunting 101 at it's finest. If you were to take a course on Shadowhunting and Downworlders, I would venture to guess this book is what the class would be made up off. Shadowhunters and Downworlds is an interesting anthology that brings together authors who not only talk about various subjects and topics that are found within Cassie's books, they support what they're saying with quotes and references found through the The Mortal Instruments series, as well as actual fact, like with Michelle Hodkin's easy. I can honestly say I enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would. I felt like I was having an in-depth discussion/lecture with other fans who really got and understood what Cassie's worlds, her characters and her books are comprised of.
Smart Pop Books's newest release is edited by Cassie herself. I LOVE that Cassie not only had a hand in the book, but prior to each new chapter she includes her thoughts on each author's essay about The Mortal Instrument world. Speaking of those essays, I loved the in-depth insight each author gave to their topic. For example I loved what Sarah Cross concludes in her essay The Art of War, about Clary when she says:
"Clary is what I think a lot of us hope we could be, if we found ourselves in her situation: someone who becomes a hero out of necessity, who is not on an even playing field with the rest of the players-but who, out of sheer determination, finds a way to turn her natural talents into the tours of her survival.
Clary saves lives- her own, and those of her friends. She draws a better world into existence, and she never lets the word impossible stop her.
In Clary's hands, the stele is truly mightier than the sword." - page 33
I'm not one who normally writes in my books, but I totally highlighted some of my favorite passages from this book. How could I not? There are so many insightful quotes to highlight. I loved it. I enjoyed the in-depth topics of discussion that are made through the book. Robin Wasserman made an excellent point in her essay When Laws Are Made To Be Broken, when she says,
"There's a choice after all. There's always a choice. There is the lesson our heroes need to embrace before they can grow up.... and before they can triumph. To win they need to do more than just question the rules. They need to change them." - page 64
One of the essays I was most fascinated with is Michelle Hodkin's, Simon Lewis: Jewish, Vampire, Hero. In this chapter Michelle does an incredible job at digging into the rich Jewish religion, as well as vampirism. I know that nothing Cassie does or writes about in her series is for lack of filling space. What Cassie includes in her series always has a purpose, no matter how big or little the moment or the passage is. In this chapter I felt that Michelle really clued me in and educated me more on the complex world and turn of events Cassie truly created with Simon, and him becoming a vampire. Not only that, but some of the comments Clary makes to him have far more greater significance than I picked up on.
Michelle describes Simon perfectly here when she says, "Simon Lewis isn't perfect. He sins. He "misses". He is tempted in City of Fallen Angels, and even though he isn't a literal angel, he certainly does fall. But in City of Lost Souls, despite his mother's rejection and his wandering and his loneliness, despite flirting with the idea of giving up and giving in, Simon returns to himself. He never let go of the things that make him Simon: his Jewish identity, his beliefs. He sinned-he missed the Mark-but he returns. And in returning, he shines." - page 86
I really enjoyed this anthology. Normally I'm not a fan of them. I've not been impressed with ones I've previously read in other big fandoms. In fact I swear I'd never read another, and then this lovely book arrived, and I went back on my word and read it. I'm glad I did. Honestly, when I first sat down to read it I wasn't excepting to enjoy it as much as I did. Luckily this anthology is one that lives up to it's hype. You'll find essays from authors: Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kami Garcia, Robin Wasserman, Michelle Hodkin, Sarah Cross, Diana Peterfeund, Kendare Black, Gwenda Bond, Kate Milford, Rachel Caine, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, and Kelly Link. If you're a fan of Cassie's work I'd highly recommend picking up!(less)
Don't you love it when you sit down to read a book and find you're pleasantly surprised with what you read? Not Your Average Fairy Tale lives up to it...moreDon't you love it when you sit down to read a book and find you're pleasantly surprised with what you read? Not Your Average Fairy Tale lives up to it's name and is definitely not your normal fairytale. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the spin that Chantele gave the Fairy Godmother. Not only is this story's Fairy Godmother a guy (yep, a guy as a Fairy Godmother, it's fabulous!), he's a smart, a hotty and a student to boot. I'm thinking many readers wouldn't complain over Ash Summerland being their Fairy Godmother. It's his reluctance at being the first guy to be Fairy Godmother that made Ash a character I loved reading about. I couldn't help but smirk at his sarcastic comments and his destain for becoming the Fairy Godmother, even if it's for a short time. A guy like Ash Summerland isn't someone who enjoys sprouting wings, wearing tights or using a wand, that might at first be pink. His attitude toward's his new assignment was comical, and made him a character I enjoyed reading about.
His assignment is Kendall, a broken character who once had it all, but after a serious accident all but ruined her. Ash's challenge is to grant her three wishes, and in the process hopefully grant her, her happily ever after. Easier said than done, but Ash is up for the challenge. Kendall in her own right was a great character as well. I was impressed with way she was written. It made it easy for me to understand what she was going through, even though I didn't feel an emotionally connect with her. I was also surprised at how much I adored Kendall and Ash together. These two didn't have that swoon worthy chemistry I normally love when reading YA, but what they did have was plenty of sarcasm, a lot of fun, and something sweet, which was enjoyable and, a fun change of pace for me.
Storyline wise there are some minor things that happen through out the book, but the real plot twists and action happen within the last 20 pages providing the perfect set up for the sequel. Though this isn't a long in-depth read, it is however one of those fun, feel good, quick reads that you can easily spend part of your afternoon enjoying. I'll admit, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It's one that's going on my shelf of books I turn to when I need a good filler, or when I find myself in a reading slump and I want to just and read something fun. If you're looking for a fun, clean, enchanting read I'd recommend picking this on up! (less)
A deliciously dark, twisted read, The Madman's Daughter is one of those books that's part intriguing, part utterly insane, and the other part...more4.5 stars
A deliciously dark, twisted read, The Madman's Daughter is one of those books that's part intriguing, part utterly insane, and the other part hard to put down. There's something to be said about an author who can creature a world that's just as fascinating as it is repulsive. After all, when you're dealing with a madman, his daughter, a twisted romance, and uninhabitable island where the impossible exists, you'd find it hard to put this book down as well. I won't lie, this book has some a lot of dark undertones in it, but what true Gothic thriller doesn't. Part of what lured me into this book was the setting, the wanting to know what the heck was going on, and Megan's incredible writing.
Let's talk about the writing for a moment, since Megan's writing is what sold me on this brilliantly written debut. Megan's writing is beautiful, descriptive, and full of life. It literally got my attention the moment I started reading the book, and held it till the end. You know there are books you read, and you feel like you're just reading words, and then there are books who's words breathe life into the book you're reading. The later is what Megan's writing is like. She could have written about anything and I could have found myself hooked with her poetic words. Normally it's the characters that bring a book to life for me, but Megan's writing is what did me over with this book. I posted a sample of her writing in my previous post, which features some of my favorite quotes from the book. The romantic scenes made me swoon, the dark twists repulsed me as much as they fascinated me and the twists shocked me. Who needs to read a ghost story to give them the creeps, when you could read this book!? *shudders*
One of the things I enjoyed about The Madman's Daughter is Juliet herself. Set during a time when women are proper and the mention of a leg or a touch of the wrist was improper, I found Juliet to be this independent, strong, individual thinker who didn't allow society to change who she was. Ironically her society once embraced her and her high standing family, but once news of her father's insane medical practices borderlined something evil, she was all about outed by her society. Juliet's fierce determination, strong personality, and her courage to do what is right is what I felt kept her alive and made her a survivor whether it was on the streets of London or while on the Island she finds herself on with her madman of a father and his twisted experiments. Can I just say as much as I was horrified at the descriptive nature of what her father was doing, I was also intrigued by it as well. It really does take a madman to experiment on humans and animals and combine the two to create creatures that defy nature. Juliet's concerns, and questioning what was going was beyond justified. I felt she acted in away any sane person would. She challenged her father, she challenged those around her to really think about what was going on.
Doesn't a tropical island sound romantic? This island unfortunately is far from it. It harbors a lot of dark, disturbing things, but if you're Juliet than yes, this island does have it's romantic moments. Especially if you're trapped there with two hunky gentleman, one you grew up and the other you found a drift at sea while on your long voyage to the middle of no where. Yeah, poor Juliet had to deal with two Victorian era men who both wanted to claim her heart, one her father's assistant Montgomery and the other Edward, the gentlemen they saved who had been drifting at sea for days. Don't worry, this is not a love triangle. This romance is evident right off the bat on who has Juliet's heart, though I liked that options were explored. It made perfect sense, especially given that guys have a few twisted, dark secrets they're keeping from Juliet. There's the right amount of stolen moments, heart break, and well that sweet love that made it hard for me to choose which guy I wanted Juliet to pick.
The Madman's Daughter is an excellent first book in a trilogy that's sure to be a huge hit. It's definitely set a high bar for what's to come, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the characters I've read about. Given that ending I'm dying to know what's going to happen next. (less)
What happens when you take a smooth pickpocket and introduce him to a bunch of ruthless teenage criminals at New York City's most exclusive academy fo...more What happens when you take a smooth pickpocket and introduce him to a bunch of ruthless teenage criminals at New York City's most exclusive academy for young criminals? You get a twisted, dark story that will leave you cheering on the story's main character, and hoping he not only succeeds but brings down the entire academy, something that's next to impossible to do.
This isn't a book I'd normally pick up and read. When I first received How To Lead a Life of Crime I was both looking forward to picking up something that wasn't necessarily my cup of tea and a little hesitant at how I would enjoy reading about, as the synopsis says, "A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer." Kirsten Miller did something within her story that hooked me, and had me cheering on her main character, Flick. There was something about a kid who went from having it all on the outside, as in living in a mansion, to choosing to live on the streets, and then inadvertently winding up a Mandel Academy. A place where the forgotten kids are picked up and turned into life long criminals. That is if they survive. Outside of my heartbreaking for the years he endured with an abusive father, there was something about Flick I wanted to know more about.
When the story starts out, Flick is already on the streets. His story isn't a happy one, but there's this fearless, witty, and understandable vengeful side of Flick that I sympathized with. I had to know which path he'd end up choosing. My inner mama side wanted to fix this extremely broken boy. When I say broken, I mean it in every sense of the word. Flick has dwelt with abuse, and something traumatic that has changed him and made him feel crazy, though it just made me want to console him that much more. It also made me understand what drove his decision making, and how it effected his relationship with Joi. Joi is a character who's probably as broken as Flick, but she's someone who makes him stronger. She herself is someone who brings a different light into this very dangerous, terrifying world where people die, suffer and I didn't even how to describe what makes up their world on the streets. It's terrifying to say the least.
This story had moments that not only horrified me, it disturbed me over some of the things that happen. There were times I almost put the book down, but the reason I didn't stop reading it is, because somewhere during the course of the story, Flick and Joi grew into something more than just fictional characters. They became a symbol of reality, and morphed into faceless kids who find themselves stuck with not so wonderful life, who end up calling the streets home, and do whatever is they can to survive. I'm sure many of today's kids on the streets lives mirror that of Flick's and Joi's. They all have various heart breaking reasons for turning to the streets and they like Flick and Joi take survival one day at a time. They deal with things I can't even imagine, and getting just a horrifying glimpse into Flick's world turned me into his cheerleader. When all seems lost he doesn't give up. He keeps fighting, even when the odds are stacked against him. I had to keep reading to see if he wins.
Kirsten's writing, and Flick's voice complimented each other well. Kirsten's writing is one that's dark, and I felt that it could have gone much darker had it not been for Flick's witty comments, and his sometimes smart mouth, which really comes across more as his sense of sarcasm. In a few scenes that could have had a much different out come, Flick is a character who can think on his feet, and says some rather sarcastic things that change the way the scenes feels. I will say I've not read another story quite like this one. There's betrayal, murders, crime, love, loss, and a lot of various emotions that apart of Flick's story. I've never read a book that took place a "hidden" crime academy, which is not surprisingly embedded with long standing rivals, crime, and betrayal. When you're Flick and your future is determined by the outcome of how well he does at Mendal Academy, you figure out a way to out smart the crime boss. Given all the happens in this book I'd recommend it to older YA readers. (less)
With a touch of Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice in Wonderland, A.G. Howard's original twisted debut is utterly entertaining, brimming with madness, and...moreWith a touch of Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice in Wonderland, A.G. Howard's original twisted debut is utterly entertaining, brimming with madness, and sprinkled with plenty of magic, romance and adventure. Much like the beloved classic, A.G. Howard does a beautiful job at creating a world that's unforgettable. I loved that while much of this story is given a unique spin, there are some minor similarities that were flawlessly incorporated into Alyssa's story that paid homage to Carroll's work. Unlike Carroll's story, this modern day/fantasy story doesn't include any dreaming, instead it focuses on a family curse passed down from generation to generation. Sadly the curse that Alyssa's mother passed to her, is what is keeping her in the mental institution. Armed with the determination to save her mother, Alyssa enters the rabbit hole and from there unravels one crazy mystery and twist after the other.
Having a part of this story focus on Alyssa's worry of going mental like her mother fit in well with this incredibly complex, and hauntingly mesmerizing world. I liked that dream like quality the story has. It made it all the more charming and intriguing. The further Alyssa and Jeb venture into this world, the crazier it gets with all that's unraveled. It takes a rather strong character to travel through the rabbit hole, and venture out the other side in tact. I loved that the more Alyssa learns to rely on and trust herself, the more it makes her realize that she's got much more potential than she ever thought she had. There's something about Alyssa that I couldn't help liking. She quirky, she has her flaws, and there's just something about her that drew me to her, even if I didn't always understand the reasoning behind her actions. She's a character that made me rooting for.
This story is not without romance, and it's different kind of love triangle. There's Jeb, the best friend who's been there for Alyssa, and seems to get her even without her ever needing to tell him anything. It might take a trip through crazyville for the two of them to finally admit their feelings for each other (FINALLY), but when they do, it's fabulous! I love that this relationship is not without it's flaws, and imperfections. It's realistic, it's a little complicated, and beautifully developed. Then there's of course the odd natured, yet fitting relationship between Alyssa and her childhood friend, Morpheus. He's that dark, mysterious, brooding character you feel yourself drawn to, even though you know you should stay away from him. There were times I wanted to despise him, and other times I couldn't help but like him. He's definitely a character who knows how to seduce not only Alyssa, but this story's readers. Though I liked both relationships, there were times things didn't quite add up for me in regards to the revelations between both guys and Alyssa.
Over all I did enjoy this story. It's unlike anything I've read before, and I love that. Lewis Carroll gave us a classic. Walt Disney re-created an Alice in Wonderland for kids to enjoy and A.G. Howard created a brand new Alice in Wonderland story that YA readers are going enjoy getting their hands on! This is one book I'd recommend picking up if you enjoy an unforgettable adventure, love fairytale retelling with a twist, and enjoy fantasy story's with a touch of romance. I'm looking forward to reading more of A.G.'s books in the future.(less)
Jennifer E. Smith is an author who knows how to capture my heart. Her writing engages me, her characters make me wish they were real, and her storytel...moreJennifer E. Smith is an author who knows how to capture my heart. Her writing engages me, her characters make me wish they were real, and her storytelling leaves me wanting more. In her newest release, This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer introduces me to believable characters with Ellie and Graham, she gave me a beautiful setting I wish I could go visit, and told me a story I could not get enough. I tried to pace myself with this book, but I couldn't help myself and devoured in one setting.
There's just something about a Jennifer E Smith book that I can't get enough of. Her writing is simplistic, lovely, and has this feeling of comfort to it. Her books always satisfy my reading craving for well written, enjoyable book, so much so that her books sit one of my shelves that holds my "go-to" books. You know the type of books I'm talking about. The ones that ALWAYS satisfy that reading crave you get, when you're looking for something that's enjoyable, and all around fulfilling read.
I loved how Ellie and Graham's relationship was developed. These two couldn't be more opposite of each other, and yet they're so much a like. I loved both of them from the moment they're both introduced to the story. Everything about them felt realistic, including their email interactions, which I loved, down to their meeting in person, and their time together. The way their relationship was paced, was perfect. Not to mention all that happens surrounding them. Both characters are learning to make the best of situations they're in, trying to find their own unique places in the world. Okay not that Graham has to worry much about his place.
Being a movie star affords Graham the things that Ellie can't easily get, but that never once goes to his head. I LOVED Graham for how grounded he is. Jennifer does a lovely job at complicating things with his movie star status and Ellie's quest for staying out of the lime light. That is for good reason, giving a secret about her mother's past that gets revealed within the story. What I loved about Ellie is her treating Graham like he was just a normal guy. These two together had this cute, almost shy like interaction in person, but email wise they were so much more open and relaxed. Slowly but surely they became much more open and relaxed around each other, well really Ellie became more relaxed around Graham. I adored Graham for his loving her more "normal" life style. Ellie too is a character who was so easy to like.
This Is What Happy Looks Like is another fantastic Jennifer E Smith book. I enjoyed the character development and LOVED the romance element in this story. It was so perfectly paced. It was innocent, sweet, and the kind that is so satisfying as you're reading it, but after you're done with the book leaves you wanting more. It's a romance that's relatable and realistic. I loved it! If you're looking for "that perfect" read, I highly recommend picking up this book! It's a fabulous, clean cut read. (less)
I have really enjoyed the YA anthologies that Harper Teen has published recently, and Shards and Ashes was no different. I love it when authors who's...moreI have really enjoyed the YA anthologies that Harper Teen has published recently, and Shards and Ashes was no different. I love it when authors who's writing I really enjoy put together a collection fascinating short stories. The only down fall is they usually leave me wishing the story wasn't so short. This collection of short Dystopian stories is a must have for YA fans. Each of the authors featured in this book have an amazing talent for telling vivid stories with a dark twist. Here's the break down of each of the stories.
Hearken by Veronica Roth- To me she's the queen of Dystopian writing, and she does a splendid with Hearken. This is one of those stories that's a little morbid, but completely intriguing. It's also a story that as soon as I got to know more about Darya's ability and understood the reasoning behind her decision, I wanted more (4 stars)
Branded by Kelley Armstrong- This was one of my favorite short stories out of this entire collection. Paranormal elements + a dystopian setting = awesomeness! The characters in this book were fabulous! I love strong, sharp minded characters, and this story has it. Okay it also has a twisted romance that's intriguing and added a little something else to the story. I love Kelley's story telling. She created a desolate and well detailed setting, and threw in some awesome twists! I didn't see those coming at all, and I love that she was able to do what she did with this story in such a short amount of time. I'm really hoping this is a story we'll get to see more of sometime in the future (5 stars).
Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl- This is one of those stories that takes you right into the present and throws you into all that's happening with the characters, and what's going on in their world. I liked the twist in this book, and how it shifted gears a bit half way through. That ending.... Loved that unexpected twist! (4 stars).
Dogsbody by Rachel Caine- Oh nelly! This story was one I liked, because it's narrated from a guy's point of view. Not just any guy, a cunning, patient individual who will stop at nothing to take down the very organization who's broken him and so many others. What I was not excepting is that crazy, twist at the end! This was one of the longer short stories, and extremely faced paced. It's action packed, and does contain some violence (4 stars).
Pale Rider by Nancy Holder- This is another one of my favorites. I swear I'm a sucker for magic and fey lore, both of which this story has. This dark has a darker feel to it, and it's fueled by fear, the unknown, and a hidden secret. It also has the intriguing, mysterious Alex, mentions of the Erl King, and Dana who seems to have a knack for facing her fears head on. This was definitely another story I wish was much longer than it's was. The other thing I loved about this story, are the first two words in the story, "Shards, Ashes" are the title for this book (5 stars).
Corpse Eaters by Melissa Marr- When this story started off it reminded me a lot of what Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series felt like, in the sense there is this underline urgency and fear that drives the characters. I soon realized there was so much more to this story. It wasn't at all of what I had first thought it was. It's action packed and a little graphic, and has one heck of a dark unsuspecting twist that I didn't see coming (4 stars).
Burn 3 by Kami Garcia- This was a story that had a feel of a few different dystopians I've read recently, and it's one that left me wishing there was a bit more to the story. It's a darker, dangerous world where destruction makes up much of the setting. The story follows that of a teen girl trying to find her kidnapped little sister, and in turn the story takes her to a unimaginable underworld. (4 stars)
Love is a Choice by Beth Revis- I was so excited to learn that Beth was in this anthology, because that means more from her Across the Universe series! Orion is the main character in this story. I really liked getting to see him, and what motivated him and drove him to make the decisions he does. Having a short story that focuses squarely on him, allowed me to get to know him on a different level, as I got to see him become the character he is in the series (5 stars)!
Miasma by Carrie Ryan- Carrie Ryan has this knack for creating vivid worlds, and giving her story's settings this sense of ruin and brokenness. In doing so, she's able to create these really strong, incredible characters who bring hope, and a sense of purpose to all that's going on around them. I also love the way she develops character relationships. She does such an amazing job with this story's protagonist. I couldn't help but cheer her on, and want to see her overcome all that she is forced to deal with. I admire a character who doesn't give up (5 stars).
Can I just say how much I love this cover! It's a perfect fit for this book. (less)
Dark and intriguing, Dance of Shadows weaves together mystery and suspense with the beauty and danger of this story's elegant ballet. Graced...more4.5 stars
Dark and intriguing, Dance of Shadows weaves together mystery and suspense with the beauty and danger of this story's elegant ballet. Graced with an appealing storyline, and the mystery behind this story's main character Vanessa, sister's disappearance, this was a book I was hooked with from the moment I started reading it. Yelena Black's third person writing was well crafted, and flowed well never once making it confusing on who was talking and what was going on. I enjoyed being completely wrapped up with all that was going on. I loved the setting and the cast of characters I met.
Vanessa herself is a character I enjoyed getting to know. She's a character who grew and changed through out the story, and surprised me in some ways with how she went from being naive about some of the things going on at the dance's boarding school to being a strong character who wants to get to the bottom of all that's happening. The two guys who have her torn were both well written, and I'll admit I was just as torn as she was, and went from wanting her to pick the one to strongly disliking him at the same time the mystery surrounding him was revealed. I loved who she ended up choosing and I'm dying to know what will transpire between them next.
Not being one who knows a lot about ballet, I felt Yelena did a wonderful job at making me feel like I was able to comprehend what she was talking about, and all that was going on in regards to the ballet. I loved how the mystery and the suspense was woven into the ballet. It was detailed, and richly written, so much so that I had no problems picturing the dances, and moves that were being performed and practiced. I enjoyed the cast of characters I met. They were lively, mysterious and so easy to like.
I loved the twists and secrets some of them harbored, and I loved the well written love triangle that this story had. It went against the norm and I felt like Vanessa's feeling between the two guys were justified and relatable, given all that is going on with both of them. I can't wait to read more about the romance that I'm hoping develops between Vanessa and the one she choose (I'm leaving out their names so that I don't spoil anything) in the sequel. This is a deliciously dark, wonderful read and one I'd recommend picking up when it's out in February. (less)
What a great debut! Betsy Cornwell delivers a great summer read rich in selkie lore, fueled by romance, sprinkled with science and bounded by the rela...moreWhat a great debut! Betsy Cornwell delivers a great summer read rich in selkie lore, fueled by romance, sprinkled with science and bounded by the relationships of family and friendship. I love this cover, and in fact it's what drew me to this book in the first place. I don't know what it is about Summer time, but anything pertaining to selkies, merpeople, and anything pertaining to the beach screams summer read to me, and this book is definitely one that I'd recommend picking up this summer.