There were moments when I was thinking of rating this 2 stars. But by the end of the book, I decided on 3 stars.
While I enjoyed the bickering (and Sim...moreThere were moments when I was thinking of rating this 2 stars. But by the end of the book, I decided on 3 stars.
While I enjoyed the bickering (and Simon could be really witty sometimes) and feel of the story in the beginning, as the plot progressed, I felt less involved with the characters. Throughout their problems, I couldn't feel any strong connection to make me empathise with their situation and hardships. On top of that, it seemed Declan's coming out was far too easy. Parents and media were ok. With such a celebrity (as he seemed to be), I found it hard to believe.
But then, I gradually came to like Simon and Declan more, to understand what was more relevant in the story, in how they came together. They had their issues, some you would expect and other that you didn't. Lack of communication as well as outside pressure will always influence a relationship. And I was happy that by the end of the book, I was left with a nice feeling of accomplishment and the sense that, true love will help conquer problems as well as offer compromises for the benefit of all parties involved.(less)
Ok, so the ending totally took me by surprise. (view spoiler)[Clary and Jace are brothers? Maybe Valntine lied about that in order to get Jace on his...moreOk, so the ending totally took me by surprise. (view spoiler)[Clary and Jace are brothers? Maybe Valntine lied about that in order to get Jace on his side. But then again, why would he want Jace? (hide spoiler)]
Clary (that's a stupid nickname for Clarissa and made me think she was a kid, instead of a 16 year old girl) was at times annoying, other times she was bearable. I think my favourite character would have been Alec, if he hadn't behaved so badly with Clary ((view spoiler)[and that just because his feelings for Jace were revealed (hide spoiler)]). If he had remained that cool persona as he appeared in the beginning, a bit aloof, his beauty making anyone shy away from aproaching him, seemingly expert in handling any kind of weapons... I would have liked him more.
(view spoiler)[I had a hard time understanding how Jace was so easily swayed by what Valentine said and didn't expect him to care so much about having a family, especially after he shared that memory of having a falcon and what his father did to it. (hide spoiler)]
All the characters seemed to swerve from being playful to hard core killers and it took me a while to get used to it. I mean they are 16 or 17 and are allowed to have fun and make jokes but it didn't go quite that well with the image of trained assassins. Or maybe it's a Young Adult book and I shouldn't take it too seriously.
Bottom line? Interesting plot, captivating action scenes but not enough stuff in between to tie it all together and make it a great read for me. I'll read the second installment too because I'm curious enough about certain aspects left in the air but not because I fell in love with the story or the characters.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Quite enjoyed the read.
I loved the author's writing. The story was laced with humor and made Cole all the more lov...moreWell, this was a pleasant surprise. Quite enjoyed the read.
I loved the author's writing. The story was laced with humor and made Cole all the more lovable.
(view spoiler)[Let's get the things I disliked first out of the way. Maybe dislike is a too strong word.. they were different than what I imagined or expected. For some reason, I expected Jae to have a more dominant personality and it was odd to see them in their set role of top and submissive. I kept hoping Jae would take charge at one point and flip the roles but he never did. Another thing that was a bit irritating was the length of book it took before I was able to finally understand how his lover, Rick and his partner, Ben had died. And I would have been pissed if there had been no sequel and things had been left half done between Jae and Cole.
I loved Cole, Jae, Mike, Scarlet, even Bobby (though he was a bit annoying at times). Cole's sense of humor made a nice addition to the story and took some of the heaviness of the plot, what with investigating a supposed suicide. The small tidbits of Korean culture sprinkled over made it all even more interesting. It wasn't just about admitting who you were and who you liked to yourself but about family obligations and how much they weighed when making choices.
The mystery was good though I was puzzled why Grace would go to such lengths. I figured the father or the mother to be the killer, not Grace. She made such a brief appearance in the book, that I couldn't pick up much of her personality so was really in the dark as to her motives. (hide spoiler)]
I trust Dirty Secret will solve some of the issues left behind by the first book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was quite a story to read. It definitely deserves 4.5 stars.
(view spoiler)[The reasons why I didn't give this 5 stars were because I wanted John...moreThis was quite a story to read. It definitely deserves 4.5 stars.
(view spoiler)[The reasons why I didn't give this 5 stars were because I wanted John to somehow end up with Rimmon, despite all odds, and not have an anticlimactic return to his body to live the rest of his life with a certain Scott, reliving his adventures only in his mind. And because as interesting as it was, the story could not capture me 100%. With that said, everything else was amazing about the book. The intricate and wondrous way in which so many religions were not only brought together, but interwoven to create such a diverse and interesting world kept me hooked throughout the whole story. It was captivating to move from one religion to the other and discover similarities as well as new characteristics of each one. There was an extraordinary show of creativity in how the world was depicted and imagined, making it a pleasure to accompany John in his quest. Another thing that impressed me was the author's ability to create danger for someone who was supposedly dead and therefore immune to common threats and perils.
I liked John for his curiosity and down to earth approach on everything that he encountered. As I mentioned before, I was touched by his feelings for Rimmon and wished there had been a way for them to be together. The two of them, along with Dante and Bolo (what a strange name for a dog) made quite a team. They had their funny moments that left a smile on my face for some time afterwards. I enjoyed their camaraderie and the spirit of unity against the challenges thrown at them (well maybe Dante was slightly more selfish but that was part of his personality and thus charm).
The mystery was well kept about the disappearance of the leader deities, about John's abilities, about the origin of the nefarious changes in Purgatory and other realms. It was fun to slowly discover pieces of the puzzle alongside John. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I was pleasantly impressed with the book and you can consider this a 5 star rating and ignore the subjective reasons why I gave the story 4 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, contrary to general belief, I did not like this one bit.
I kept vacillating between thinking of this as a bad action/romance movie put on paper a...moreWell, contrary to general belief, I did not like this one bit.
I kept vacillating between thinking of this as a bad action/romance movie put on paper and thinking of Cat as this 15 year old teenager with no idea how to handle the real world. Perhaps my dislike of the wondrous vampire slayer coloured everything a dull grey. I found all reasoning in the book weak and unbelievable. I found the plot feeble at best and the characters roughly shaped. (view spoiler)[Everything was easily surpassed by the main characters and not once did I feel any actual fear or trepidation that something bad might happen to them. They were always smarter, stronger, faster than their opponents. And to top it off, I was actually more annoyed at the sex sequences that disturbed any semblance of action in the book.
Let's talk about Cat. She's a 22-year old half vampire-half human that has been killing vampires for over 6 years using herself as sexual bait to the vampires (good thing she didn't come across any gay ones). And yet she blushes at the slightest innuendo. Despite her profession, she's still squeamish about deaths and bodies. And as the heroine of the series, all sort of bad things happen to her: she's drugged with Rohypnol, a girl in college tries to abduct her. When she's not in the middle of hunting vampires, she worries about her mother and grandparents. Yet, I never found anything of depth to make me understand her feelings or what exactly pushed her to feel that way. And then there is her relationship with Bones. This was the part that made me see her as this barely teenage girl. She hides her feelings, does what others tell her and has childish reactions (point in case: she actually runs from Bones after the first time they have sex or when faced with a beautiful vampire hitting on Bones her reaction is to grab him by the penis and stake her claim on him <-- massive eye roll here).
I was actively reminding myself not to get emotionally involved in this. Because the end (view spoiler)[ where she tricks Bones and goes to join the government agency (hide spoiler)] was so ludicrous I wanted to smack her against every available wall. Her excuse that she was sacrificing herself to save him was such utter bullshit, I was glad it was added in the last few pages of the book. While I imagine the intention was to make the reader jump to the next volume, it totally and completely put me off the book. (hide spoiler)]
There are a dozen other small things that bugged me about Cat, the plot, even Bones. I just don't have the mood to waste any more time writing about it, time I could be spending reading something to help me forget this story. It was a total fail for me.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[It took me several pages to get the feel of Will (not to mention I had to keep the dictionary close by with all the naval and time related vocabulary) but I soon found myself immersed in the world. I cheered, I tensed, I felt despair, sadness, hope and love alongside Will as he became a buccaneer, fell in love with Gaston and experienced an array of adventures.
I loved the deeply philosophical and rational discussions Will and Gaston embarked upon, how they made sense of the world and themselves. Both men are deeply scarred (one more on the outside and the other on the inside) and it's wonderful to watch their struggles to overcome these obstacles and bring happiness to their matelot.
I would write more, if I had the talent for writing and time to spare. But I can't find the words to describe the journey you take with these characters, nor can I be apart from them for long. I'm off to start volume 2. (hide spoiler)]
Parting words: It's so worth the read!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was such a sweet story. Definitely worthy of 4 stars rating.
(view spoiler)[It would have seemed sad and depressive had I not heard that the story...moreThis was such a sweet story. Definitely worthy of 4 stars rating.
(view spoiler)[It would have seemed sad and depressive had I not heard that the story had a happy ending. As it was, I was able to more easily read over their separation.
Alex was such a cute guy. With obvious bad tastes in selecting his bed partners. However, this was luckily remedied by the appearance of a ghost on his couch. His reaction when he first saw Sid was so funny and endearing at the same time. It made me like him. Then I came to appreciate him even more when he offered to help take care of the cat of the ghost haunting his flat. Sid as well was very likable. Shy and considerate, it makes one wonder why no one had noticed all the qualities he had.
Even Andy turned out to be an ok guy. While insulting, he checked Alex's flat after the ghost's first sighting, was worried for Alex when he got involved with his neighbor and was nowhere to be found after the frantic message.
The scene that totally won me over was when Andy first saw Baldrick. Not only did he confuse him with a rat but he also hid behind Alex, both of them trying to get away from the 'rat'. Laughed a good 5 minutes on that.
I knew Alex and Sid would eventually fall in love by spending all their time together. But I suspected Sid was not really dead. I was imagining him waking up from a coma and coming to Alex's flat and picking up where they left off. The actual ending was different, but no less adorable and sweet. (hide spoiler)] The whole story was nicely shaped and made me like the characters and root for their happy ending.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I really enjoyed the story and I'm glad there is a sequel to it. There wasn't some out of the blue, unexpected twist of plot but it had just enough in...moreI really enjoyed the story and I'm glad there is a sequel to it. There wasn't some out of the blue, unexpected twist of plot but it had just enough inventiveness to keep me interested and reading till the end and with a happy feelings afterward.
(view spoiler)[From the couple, I liked Simon the best. Paul came in second, followed by Aaron. There were enough characters to make the story wide and more complex, but not too much to make me lose sight of the main heroes. Simon was funny and witty and I enjoyed his approach to life and the way he courted Paul (though I personally, wouldn't have been so carefree with some of the things he said and done). I also liked that he knew how to take care of himself and his mate and was a lot more skilled than he let on, preferring to leave it hid for the well being of the pack.
However, Paul could have used a more expansive description as it took 2/3 of the book to finally get some details on his past and the strained relationship with his mother (to which he made several references at the start of the book).
For that matter, Simon could have benefited from a more detailed look at his family as well, the time he spent with his uncle after his parents died, not just pack politics and hierarchy, as interesting as they were. However, in their defence, the whole structure of the pack was interesting to document and made the story compelling.
I had doubts at one point that the book might veer towards one focal point and neglect the other (Simon being a werewolf and Paul coming to terms with his sexuality and relationship with Simon). But the author skilfully blended the two (though I wouldn't have minded a couple more moments where Paul spent time with the wolf, not knowing it was a werewolf or Simon). I enjoyed the flow between the pack issues and Simon and Paul getting together (choosing to ignore the fact that in the span of two weeks, these men started a relationship, became active sexually - with one of them being a virgin - and bonded). It was to be expected that the mysterious Aaron, outsider and unknown position in the pack hierarchy would ultimately challenge Karl and seize control of the pack. But I like him, so I'm glad he won. Wonder if he 'bats' for Simon's team... (hide spoiler)]
There were some minor details that stopped me from adoring the book but it still gets a solid 4 star and a keen interest to read on the series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This gets a 4 star rating because the romance bit seemed a bit forced-wedged in the story. Simon's preference was pretty subtle in the book, making me...moreThis gets a 4 star rating because the romance bit seemed a bit forced-wedged in the story. Simon's preference was pretty subtle in the book, making me wonder if he was bisexual, gay or just straight and enjoying gay jokes. And the sudden turn from flirty banter to hands-on approach was surprising, especially during an action scene. Seemed out of place for someone pretending to be a professional federal agent.
But other than that, I enjoyed the story. With such subtle hints towards any sexual vibe between the characters, the story seemed action centered with bits of mystery and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed the witty, cynic and sarcastic remarks thrown between the characters and their easy camaraderie. With all their differences, they worked well as a team and there was enough action to keep me interested till the end.
Curious what the second installment will bring.
P.S.: One other thing that bugged me was Simon offering Archer a gun, then later wondering if he should trust the man. A little late for that, wouldn't you say?(less)
I was pretty disappointed by the second novel. So much that I'm postponing reading further. As I mentioned in my frequent status updates, the story ve...moreI was pretty disappointed by the second novel. So much that I'm postponing reading further. As I mentioned in my frequent status updates, the story veered off from what I was expecting. I could barely give it a 2 star rating.
(view spoiler)[The story starts pretty well, from the pov of someone I initially thought was Jeremy. Once the gun appeared, I had to read the passage all over again. It made things interesting and I was looking forward to seeing how the team would handle this. Yeah, right! Ensues about a hundred pages (if not more) of chatter about nothing in particular (unless you were interested in federal agents playing office monkeys, getting excited about poker and drunk on too many beers and trying out the part of buffoons. Oh, and fawning over how incredible Jeremy is in everything he does). I would have appreciated that last bit more (since it was meant to enrich Archer's description) if it hadn't been so blatantly... lip service (for lack of a better word). I mean, if bad guys are that much better than federal agents, then us civilians don't stand a chance.
However, finally, the action picked up a bit and the team works (more or less) as a whole, planning to catch the thief. Plans go askew, giving Rich the opportunity to act like a pouty child and Simon week as a deer, irrevent of the fact that Simon outranked Rich. How cool is it to read about two federal agents yelling at each other and then rumbling to mutterings, while never actually coming to a conclusion? (insert sarcastic tone here!)
And then, to make matters even more interesting (not), Simon goes on a berserk fit because Jeremy dared accuse one of his team members of treason. Personal feelings between the two aside, Simon had every right to kick Jeremy out, especially since he was being hunted by the Russian mafia. Way to go FBI agent. Sure earned your bagde right there! (sarcastic again!)
Through all this debacle, Jeremy seemed the least pshychotic of them all and the only one likable. Despite his reversed morale, he appeared thoughtful, caring and a man of his word. (I do hope the author didn't tarnish everyone else just so Jeremy could outshine them). Altough a bit annoying at times, he was kind, smart and flexible enough to integrate in Templer's team and accomodate Simon's whims. (hide spoiler)]
I guess I just couldn't really appreciate the humor in the story or the portrayal of the characters to really be lured by the story. I found myelf rolling my eyes a lot and sighing in defeat whenever I came upon a bad passage in the book (and there were plenty). I felt the plot had a lot of potential that was never really used and from my pov, the end result was just average.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I would give this a 4.5 rating because there were small bits and pieces that didn't quite fit perfectly together in this story. But in the end it rate...moreI would give this a 4.5 rating because there were small bits and pieces that didn't quite fit perfectly together in this story. But in the end it rates 5 stars for overall impression.
(view spoiler)[What bothered me. Since there was more focus on the romantic development between Kate and Curran, I was reminded again of their pecualiar courtship ritual. And despite her being daughter of a god (or whatever) and him being Beast Lord, it was just too strange to see them fight each other, ready to bruise and maim. That's too much BDSM in the relationship if you ask me. Another thing that irked me was the sporadic humor. Don't get me wrong, it was funny and witty and I enjoyed it but it fell flat when used in a tense situation or an important discussion. Not to mention it made Kate's tough personality seem even more fake than usual.
The story, however was good. It picked up right where the last volume ended and it was a slow progression from one fearful enemy to the next. There were plenty of surprises, both in good and bad guys. (I wonder if the crocodil shapeshifter will make an appearance in the next book so we can learn more about her) I loved that there was hardly any respite between fight scenes, keeping me pumped up and energised to read on. And last but not least, things finally progress between Kate and Curran. I think they were the last 2 people who didn't know they were going to end up together. The other characters and all the readers already knew. I was touched by Kate's devotion when Curran was recovering and that last part in the book after Erra's death was very touching and emotional. (hide spoiler)]
As I said, there were a couple of things that took away some of the shine on the story but it was still a great read for any fan of supernatural beings, magic and awesome fight scenes, all mixed with a drop of romance.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It lined up well with Curran's personality from the "Kate Daniels" series, providing more depth to the char...moreThis was a cute insight into Curran's mind.
It lined up well with Curran's personality from the "Kate Daniels" series, providing more depth to the character. Of course, most of the information given here can be inferred from the overall of the Kate Daniels books. But it's nice to have it presented with a touch of something that is uniquely Curran.
(view spoiler)[My only regret is that the story should have included more moments like the fight in the ring or when Curran went to save Kate from the Rakshasas or their first night together. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was torn between remembering the original fairytale and trying to figure out how closely Cinder would follow it.
(view spoiler)[I admit it had its funny moments and even Milton was cute and adorable, despite his drooling and massive appearance. But I couldn't quite care much for Eldon, knowing he would get his happily ever after, despite same gender protagonists. The only quandary was the slight liberties the author took with the story to follow the fairytale, while not permanently changing Cinder into a woman. Instead of enjoying the jokes sprinkled in the story, I kept thinking of ways to keep them together, while the king expressedly demanded a bride. Instead of laughing at Jessalyn's antics, I found them pathetic and unrealistic or made the prince and everyone else very gullible for taking it at face value. (hide spoiler)]
It was an ok read but not something to remember. It only made me realise that fairytales are nice to read as long as they have a shred of realism woven into them. To make it seem at least possible that it can happen in real life rather than being just fanciful imagination. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I can't say I loved the book since the concept has been done before. (view spoiler)[How many supposedly 'straight' guys accept t...moreThat was a cute story.
I can't say I loved the book since the concept has been done before. (view spoiler)[How many supposedly 'straight' guys accept to jerk off (or more) with their best friend on camera for a certain amount of money? And while I could imagine them both coming to terms with the idea, the story was too short to give it enough time to feel more natural. In the span of a week, they moved from best friends to lovers.
But without feelings between the two, the story would have felt flat and uninteresting. I liked Larry with his dorky attitude and carefree manner in what concerned his attraction for his best friend. And the fact that he was bold enough to try something different each day. Zack was cute, shrouded in angst, uncertainty and ambiguity towards his experiments with Larry. Though shortly mentioned, he went through the phases of being emabarrassed, then curious and finally eager participant in whatever Larry suggested. It was their personality and reaction to the events that made the book fun to read. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and ther...moreWell, I found this to be a riveting story.
(view spoiler)[The sequence of events and the play of the characters kept me at the edge of my seat and there were moments where I was holding my breath reading through the pages. I loved the way Vic and Jacob showed character development throughout the story and how each scene blended into the next, keeping me hooked.
I was a bit put off by the fact that Vic being a level 7 medium turned out to be a secret everyone knows. But as the events unfolded in the story, he proved to be so much more than that. I was fascinated when he managed to exorcise a repeater with nothing more than imagined salt and his own energy. And when he started showing ectoplasm and going into the astral plane, I was blown away. I really like it when the main character keeps discovering new traits or abilities. And the final scene with Karen was awesome, the way he projected and faced her off with nothing but imagination and own power. Laughed out loud at his attempts at flirting with Lyle and how he felt ridiculous and out of his element. Oh, and I loved the part where he stumbled upon Crash being threatened and was all butch and aggressive with the thief and so protective of Crash. Made me want to hug them both.
Jacob also developed and changed along the way. He already proved he had some ability (loved the fact that his energy showed red and that it intertwined with Vic's) and the fact that he could also go astral was cool to read about. I was touched by his show of vulnerability (albeit in a trance-like state) and really liked how the conversation flowed between them. While seeming imperturbable, in fact he felt jealousy and insecurity and even fear. And I totally did not expect him to quit the police and join the FPMP, unless he plans on being an inside mole (and somehow I doubt it). (hide spoiler)]
In a nutshell, I loved the book. It had plenty of surprises in terms of plot line as well as characters. It left me longing and craving for the 7th volume to be published sooner.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
While reading this, I had a mind to rate it only 1 star. But then I decided to treat it as a joke and it was bearable to finish.
(view spoiler)[Dion an...moreWhile reading this, I had a mind to rate it only 1 star. But then I decided to treat it as a joke and it was bearable to finish.
(view spoiler)[Dion and Ares both realised they were truly gay only when meeting. Zeus had a filthy mouth and dastardly plans. Hermes was a conniving messenger, switching sides in order to survive. Hera was a spiteful wife, jaded by her husband's numerous affairs. Dion was a god awakening to his powers. Able to provoke orgasm to humans and gods alike but unable to open a door with his mind. (hide spoiler)]
I was frustrated that the plethora of gods were held in derision and there was hardly any conflict. I appreciated the inventive fighting methods employed by Zeus and Dion but that's pretty much it what I liked about the story.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[I loved Austin with his intelligent humor to mask his emotions and insecurities. I loved Peter for his courage an...moreThat was a great book!
(view spoiler)[I loved Austin with his intelligent humor to mask his emotions and insecurities. I loved Peter for his courage and sacrifice and endurance to put up with Austin.
They made for a curious couple and I was drawn to their interactions from the beginning. Despite the flirty feel of their acquaintance, Austin's easy banter and Peter's flippant attitude, there was depth to their personality which was slowly revealed.
Peter came from a rough family and was forced to horrible choices in order to survive and take care of those he loved. He was a hardened and experienced man in a 20 year-old young man's body. And it was only towards the middle of the book that I was able to grasp the real reasons for the things he did. From then on, I admired the courage he had to do what was necessary, no matter the costs.
Austin seemed like a joker at first. He always had a joke ready, hiding behind them whatever strong emotion he felt. But then, upon meeting Bunny Slippers, his world is changed and the jokes no longer act as a shield between him and the hard truths that wound him. He is swept off his feet by Peter and has a long journey to take in order to accept his true self and understand how to make things work between him and Peter.
The side characters were equally very well done and did a great job in enriching the story. From best friend Dave, to first crush Jesse, to Angelica, ex-fiancee that accepted his new found freedom with grace, to Luis, police partner and martyr to all of Austin's good or bad jokes.
The plot itself was riveting and kept me hooked till the end. Not only about drugs and trafficking but also adding mobsters and children killers, along with drug problems and various physical disorders. It was no picnic for the characters, that's for sure. (hide spoiler)]
But everything worked well together. The angst, the developed plot, the complex characters made everything real. You were sucked in the story and left with a smile on your face when it was all over. Great read indeed!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Wow! This was such a surprising good story. I could hardly put it down and was compelled to read on until I had finished it. And then felt sad that it...moreWow! This was such a surprising good story. I could hardly put it down and was compelled to read on until I had finished it. And then felt sad that it was over. It was that good.
(view spoiler)[ I fell in love with Sebastian from the very first pages of the story. He had a funny way of looking at things that made me laugh out loud frequently in the initial chapters. The way he reacted to meeting Eli and the justifications he would give himself to avoid the truth were just so hilarious. I couldn't stop myself from liking him. And then came Eli, with his troubled past and aggressive attitude to ward off any more hurt from people getting too close. They seemed like an improbable couple. And for half the story, that held true. Sebastian kept pushing, for reasons unknown even to him, while Eli did his best to drive him away, all the while a bond being created between them.
It was adoring to watch both of them begin to change and mold after the other, despite everything that had marked them before. There were tough times, Sebastian got stabbed (twice), Eli had a confrontation with his mother, fought to give up drugs for Sebastian. Both characters never came clean with their feelings until the end of the story but it was lear they cared of each other through their actions.
It didn't end with the Happily Ever After of fairy tales. Nor would it have suited such a dark story and complex personalities. However, it did end on a positive note and with the feeling that all would work for the both of them. And the love that held them together was more than enough to withstand whatever was thrown at them. (hide spoiler)]
The story is not perfect. But the characters felt so genuine and the story very believable that it rightly deserves 5 stars. If not for the amusing comments, then for the interesting plot line or for the hot intimate scenes. Take your pick. I'm sure you won't be disappointed by the book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was quite an interesting read. A very original concept.
(view spoiler)[It was fascinating to read about a future society that brain-washed people...moreThis was quite an interesting read. A very original concept.
(view spoiler)[It was fascinating to read about a future society that brain-washed people into willingly ending their life at the age of 30 and thinking of it as the natural end to their existence. Equally interesting was seeing the characters encounter things we now take for granted and try to descipher their meaning and use. It made me look at things from a different perspective. Very refreshing.
I liked Ernest a lot. He was just so shy and adorable with his mix of curiosity, eagerness and honesty that made me like him instantly. It was fun watching him figure things out and experience new sensations and emotions just when he thought his life was coming to an end. He and Will made the perfect team, each bringing their own qualities to the relationship. I liked Will for his courage, his protectiveness and strong feelings for Ernest.
Their adventures kept me hooked to the end of the book, be it their sexual exploration or running from authorities. I also liked the idioms sprinkled throughout the book. Think I learnt some new ones myself. (hide spoiler)]
I wish the book had been longer so I could find out more on Abraham, Benjamin and Audrey with her best friend Charlie as well to learn more of how they would forge a new life for themselves when they knew so little. Still, it was a very nice read, as always by this author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was such a pleasant read. I started this morning and kept on till I finished it. I admit I had expected a little more angst or drama but the stor...moreThis was such a pleasant read. I started this morning and kept on till I finished it. I admit I had expected a little more angst or drama but the story was good without the added layer of sadness. The characters' background provided enough of that.
(view spoiler)[I will say I surprised at how easily everyone accepted Skylar and Rafael's feelings for each other. But other than that, I loved both of them. Skylar was so kind hearted, despite the horrible events in his past and suddenly finding himself thrown in a reservation he had no recollection of. Rafael was just as tormented, having to live under the shameful mark of his father's crimes. And that while still remembering the gentler side of him.
Despite their differences, physical, emotional and social, the two of them make such a sweet couple and you just feel they are meant for each other. You get this feelings that all is right with the world as long as they are together. (hide spoiler)]
There wasn't all that much in the action sense, nothing dramatic happening (view spoiler)[except that little confrontation with the 2 federal agents (hide spoiler)] but even that didn't deter from the story. It just blended in with the calm and at ease feeling you got by reading about the Native Americans' customs and ways.
Looking forward to the sequel!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It's been some time since I was so impressed with a book. The title inspires nothing of the great story unfolding within the pages.
(view spoiler)[One...moreIt's been some time since I was so impressed with a book. The title inspires nothing of the great story unfolding within the pages.
(view spoiler)[One of the things that made me love the book is Harry's voice throughout the book. He is funny, witty, sarcastic, insightful, human. He is by no means perfect and is prone to mistakes and misjudgments, like everyone else but you can't help falling in love with him as he tries to be the good guy.
Probably the best feature of this book for me, was the characterisation of the people involved in Harry's life. And not only that but human mentality, expectations, hopes and aspirations. The story shows a small portion of Harry's life, but within that span of time, we get inside view of what triggers reactions in people and deep analysis of why they act and say certain things. There are no definite good and bad sides. Just different views of the same thing and how one person perceives it depending on personal beliefs. (hide spoiler)]
I loved the author's writing style and how, despite tense moments, there was still a sliver of humor to brigthen things. I loved the characters and their interactions. I loved the book!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I was totally invested in Brandon. I was right along him as he experienced every emotion, struggled with eve...more**spoiler alert** Boy, that was some book!
I was totally invested in Brandon. I was right along him as he experienced every emotion, struggled with every doubt, indecision and insecurity that threatened to overwhelm him and destroy his tattering attempts at a relationship.
I was eating every word off the page as Brandon faked his way into going on a road trip with Abel, trying to convince everyone (himself included) that he had no issues with his catholic upbringing. And then I waited with baited breath, worrying what the Hell Bells might have in store for the two vloggers. I laughed with relief when the true purpose of the Hell Bells team was revealed.
And just when things were looking up for Brandon, despite his awkward confession about his true self, when he was finally making timid steps towards creating a relationship with Abel, he gets another blow when he discovers that his so-called angel (sent to guide him towards true love and prove that God still loved him) is in fact another misguided and confused teenager who set out to take revenge on her sister, not become his personal saviour. As expected, things sour from then on as Brandon quickly loses whatever confidence he had gained and the relationship falls apart. I wanted to hug both them at that point.
Luckily (and unexpectedly), help comes from the unlikeliest places. Just the right push to give Brandon courage to believe in his own beliefs and take life in his own hands. It's not a miraculous recovery but it is a big step ahead.
I loved this story for the intricate way in which Brandon dilemma is presented. There is no bad guy here. Priest Mike is not portrayed as some evil doer, hell bent on shaping Brandon after his own will. He's merely a reflection of Brandon's inner struggle and thought process, as each decision, gesture, thought he makes is weighed against what he has been told and what he feels. It was a wonderful (yet at times sad) journey to witness.
That is not to say Abel is carefree and prince charming. He comes with his own baggage and uncertainties which affect his relationship with Brandon. While outgoing and friendly, he harbors wounds from a failed relationship and is scared to try his luck at love. And fate brings him back to that. Will he be able to overcome past events, work hard to earn and hold on to the relationship?
It's a jungle of emotions and experiences that teenagers feel intensively. And this seeps out of the pages, grabs at you and holds you close until the end of the ride. Quite a story indeed!(less)
The sequel was so much better. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. The only impediment is that, as good as it was, I know I won't be re-reading it...moreThe sequel was so much better. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. The only impediment is that, as good as it was, I know I won't be re-reading it any time soon, so that drops its rating. I'll give it a 4.5 star rating.
(view spoiler)[I absolutely loved Matt. As was mentioned in the book, he was just too adorable with his passion for his work, the geeky comments and serious manner in which he conducted things and cared about people. Equally, Brennan was charming with his self-assureness, cocky attitude and easy manner in which he insinuated himself in Matt's life. They were indeed made for each other. What one lacked, the other compensated. It was adorable and lovable to see how Matt complemented Brennan's love for work and how Brennan taught Matt how to unwind and discover life outside the office walls.
The plot line was thrilling. The scene were Matt meets then is kidnapped by Arthur Patterson almost made me hide under the blanket as I read on. And not just that scene alone. Matt's ascension was also wonderfully done. There were logical explanations for the actions taken and interesting abilities displayed. The story had various twists and turns, keeping me unaware of who the actual killer was and the way in which the whole story line was set to paper kept me on the edge of my seat, had me laughing out loud or kept me worried alongside the characters.
The side characters were also nicely developed as I became fond of Tate and Umbra, each with their own characteristics that made them very likable. I worried that Umbra might die at Graham's hands once he had stolen the power or at Matt's hands if he wouldn't have been able to control his power. I breathed a sigh of relief when that stand off ended well... at least for the good guys. Can't say I'm sorry for Graham, ex-lower and ruthless killer.
The only question unanswered is who was the master mind behind it all? And will there be a third installment to continue Matt's story and conclude the mystery? (hide spoiler)]
It was a very enjoyable read. And fans of paranormal, mystery, action, humourous characters and m/m will definitely like it too.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[The ending left so many questions. I came to feel just what the other characters felt for Sky. He did stupid and annoying things then his self hatred made you want to pity him. However, it didn't occur to me he might have had help in going back on heroin, had the author not said something to that effect. Looking forward to the sequel.
I was glad to find out more about Jin. As predicted, his personality is a lot deeper than meets the eye. He finds it easy to kill people and his self destructive nature might end up hurting those around him, not only Jin. He likes to play with fire but not sure if he's aware of the risks of such a dangerous game. (hide spoiler)]
Each character seems independent and solitary in their actions, but somehow, everything is threaded together. And even though there is no immediate danger, you read every page with a sense of foreboding. 4.5 stars and off to read the third installment.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh, I want to throw a tantrum of my own!!! This can't be over. I must know more!
(view spoiler)[I have to know what happens to Aki, after Sky's psychic...moreOh, I want to throw a tantrum of my own!!! This can't be over. I must know more!
(view spoiler)[I have to know what happens to Aki, after Sky's psychic attack. I have to know more about the relationship between Jin and Jackson. I need to know how things will develop between Jin and Ken and if there is any chance of something real and solid existing between them. I have to know how Sky is doing and whether he was captured by KGA (please don't let that be the case, no matter how much he is hated by everyone and no matter how whiny he is). I want to know if Mark will manage to keep Dylan by his side and get rid of his emotions for Jen. I want to know if Luke is going to come back to life? I want to know more about Lip and Kel. This story spawns more questions by the paragraph than anything I've ever read.
The third installment was better than the first 2. Probably because the characters were already set in place and now, the author was given a chance to explore hidden feelings and give depth to some of the actions and emotions running wild between the characters. I understood Aki a little bit better. One significant scene to which I felt very much connected was when Aki was talking to Mark and remembering his time with Luke. There was so much raw emotion in those lines...
And then there was Sky. Slowly being consumed by his urges yet unable to stop them. Hating himself even as he surrenders. You understand the difficult position he is in, wanting to please Ken but ultimately being selfish in his doings and then loathing himself. It must be hard for him to find balance with such confusing emotions and desires.
And let's not forget Ken. The shy and awkward kid, barely saved from a butcher whorehouse and yet standing up and defending the people around him and displaying amazing qualities and Talents. I do wonder what his Hidden/Key Talent is and what part it will play further along in the story. I just hope he never falls in the hands of Strauss, as he seems the embodiment of all the horrors Ken went through as a child. (hide spoiler)]
There are so many facets to each character and such development between them and the story itself, you could hardly believe it possible in such a short story. And yet, each and everyone is individually represented, a clear presence in the story but with a myriad of connections to everyone else. Their reasons and justifications still partly unknown, leaving the reader to decipher the code and understand them. Amazing writing and fantastic story! Looking forward to the next installment.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I varied in rating with this but in the end decided on 3 stars.
(view spoiler)[I didn't quite understand at first why Avery was so affected by his frie...moreI varied in rating with this but in the end decided on 3 stars.
(view spoiler)[I didn't quite understand at first why Avery was so affected by his friend's reaction? If they were indeed only friends, his devastation seemed a bit exaggerated. Not to mention his involvement with Dylan was sudden, considering he was still mopping after Kayden. The first point of view writing actually distanced me from the character at first. It felt like remote viewing for some reason. It got better as the story progressed.
And it was ironic and a bit strange that said friend (Kaydan) while sleeping around with a random girl to hurt Avery, ultimately ends up with Michael. (hide spoiler)]
While it took me a while to get into the feel of the story, I ended up liking it and appreciating Avery's personality and witty addressing of the readers. So, 3 stars for getting my HEA with a drop of humour.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It was such a funny short story! Easily deserving 5 stars!
(view spoiler)[ Logan drags Harry to Conneticut to spend Christmas with his family. While bo...moreIt was such a funny short story! Easily deserving 5 stars!
(view spoiler)[ Logan drags Harry to Conneticut to spend Christmas with his family. While both expect to play the role of eomployer and employee, Harry soon discovers that the whole family knows Logan is gay and is merely humoring his whims. And this makes for embarassing, awkward but also amusing situation between Harry and various members of the family. Coupled with Logan's attempts to look after Harry's Christmas tree, it all shines with Christmas feel and happiness. (hide spoiler)]
Isa has a magical way with words and Harry is still a favourite character. Though short, the story is wonderful and quite in-sync with the winter holidays. Though you'd probably need to read The Condor to fully appreciate it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This was a very delightful story. Too bad it ended so soon.
(view spoiler)[There was an original twist to the story, of having Dillon project his sexua...moreThis was a very delightful story. Too bad it ended so soon.
(view spoiler)[There was an original twist to the story, of having Dillon project his sexuality onto all the other gymnasts. And so ignorant about the truth. He deserved to be shaken up back to reality. And the rough handling Max gave him was quite arousing and intense.
The ending was equally surprising, with Max defending Dillon and admitting to maybe sharing the same closet. (hide spoiler)]
I'm curious how Isa would continue this and if there ever will be a sequel.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)