I want to start by saying that I read the first two (2) books in this series,Review courtesy of Louise @ Between the Covers blog: tinyurl.com/62zkxfh
I want to start by saying that I read the first two (2) books in this series, Darkfever and Bloodfever, years ago… Bloodfever had just been released… after reading the author’s Highlander series, and LOVING… (and perhaps lusting)… them! This review is based upon a recent revamp of the books, due to many of my friends reading the series. Though this book is older than most we review here on BtC, the series is ongoing, the latest book having been released earlier this year.
Darkfever is an urban fantasy that tells the story of MacKayla “Mac” Lane, a 22-year-old young woman from Ashford, GA, a small town deep in the Bible Belt. Mac is a bartender at a local bar. She’s in college, but only because her parents require her to be. She’s fortunate enough to live a very happy, carefree life where her biggest concerns are the possibility of her favorite lip gloss or nail polish being discontinued, or her tan being uneven.
But Mac’s happy world implodes one day when she receives a call telling her that her sister, Alina, has been murdered while studying at Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland. Grieving and feeling that the police aren’t trying to solve her sister’s murder, Mac decides to go to Ireland and use the “in your face” method to get them to investigate further. Soon after her arrival, Mac begins seeing strange, unbelievable things. It is in this way, during a scene where Mac is having dinner at a pub, that we are introduced to Moning’s fae. These are not the winged fairies of your childhood, but dark and dangerous beings who use glamour to hunt their prey… humans.
Darkfever is an unusual blend of a novel… an urban fantasy with a mystery woven into it. The supernatural world unfolds as Mac desperately searches for who… or what… killed her sister. Moning keeps us in suspense throughout the book, not revealing Alina’s murderer until the end.
I have to admit that I didn’t feel Mac, at first. She is painted as very shallow, initially. I’m a character driven reader, so this was a major turn off for me. I struggled with the idea of this Georgia peach surviving alone in a foreign country, especially once the supernatural world began to unfurl around her. But Darkfever is a story of self-discovery for Mac. She learns much about herself, including what she is, and the truth of her and her sister’s birth. In the end, Mac won me over. She’s much stronger than we’re led to believe in the initial characterization we’re given. Stronger than she herself knew she could be. She’s sarcastic, witty and I love her “Southern” euphemisms. I think Mac’s momma and my momma would’ve gotten along famously.
We also meet the intriguing Jerricho Barrons in this book. Barrons is the owner of a book store Mac stumbles into. And don’t we all wish we had a Barrons’ Books and Baubles in our neighborhood! At the end of Darkfever, Barrons is still shrouded in mystery. I’m unsure if he’s a good guy or a bad guy using Mac for his own nefarious purposes. But there is an undeniable chemistry between Barrons and Mac… it practically sizzles and scorches the page.
There were some things that caused me to have difficulty getting into this book, and while I’ve recommended the series to many friends over the years, I’ve always done so with a disclaimer that it is hard to get into. You have to be willing to stick with it. Moning’s choice to write in the first person retrospective robs the book of the tension and suspense first person point of view usually provides, and distances the reader from events. Obviously Mac survives, or she couldn’t tell her story. Also, the continual use of names between Mac and Barrons is awkward. It’s not natural in conversation, and disrupts the flow of dialogue.
However, the good points greatly outweigh the bad, and made the book well worth the initial struggle I had. The world Moning has crafted in Darkfever is very visual. There is an atmosphere to the story, and it is in turn horrifying and chilling, inviting and seductive. There are ideas about the abilities of the fae which are different and interesting. There is an ever present air of danger throughout the book.
And underneath the supernatural is a story that will resound with many. Darkfever is a story about dealing with tragedy and coping with grief. Mac's phone calls home are actually painful to read.
Overall, Darkfever is a good read and an interesting beginning to this series. I stand by my oft given disclaimer… you must be willing to give the book a chance. If you do, you will come to love the characters, want to linger in this dark, dangerous and fascinating world.
I bought Speak in celebration of Banned Books Week and to show support in light of all the controversy about this book recently. For aReally 4.5 stars
I bought Speak in celebration of Banned Books Week and to show support in light of all the controversy about this book recently. For anyone wondering if this book is as "graphic" as it has been made out to be, let me answer you: No. By no stretch of the imagination is this book inappropriate, unsuitable, or "soft pornography." (Not to mention that rape should never be associated with something developed to give someone pleasure. Not under any circumstances.)
All that aside, to me, Speak is not even entirely about rape; it is about a teenage girl finding her voice and reclaiming her life. Melinda is alone, both at school and at home. She wants to speak up, speak out. But she can't, because she feels like nobody will listen or care. This is what makes Melinda so relatable. Not everyone has suffered what she has, but I think everyone has a time when they feel like they have to keep emotions and events bottled up inside them. Melinda is eventually able to speak; all it takes is for someone to be willing to hear her.
In addition to this message, Laurie paints a very vivid and believable picture of high school life. I could remember the cliques in my own high school, who sat where in the lunchroom, the stunts pulled and the conversations had. I found Melinda's narration refreshing - even though I still don't know some of the characters' real names, I can see them clearly. By the end of the book, even though things are not perfect, things are right.
Speak is one of those great books that both tells a story and sends an inspiring message. The thought that it might be banned, that it might not have the chance to reach more people, is tragic. Read this book, share it with others, pass on the message...let it speak!...more
Beastly has been out for several years, but I hadn’t heard of it until an authReview courtesy of Louise @ Between the Covers blog: http://t.co/jXvtsWQ
Beastly has been out for several years, but I hadn’t heard of it until an author chat with Alex Flinn on Eve’s Fan Garden. I enjoyed this book, and am hoping that the movie will be . Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, and Flinn’s retelling of it, set in modern day New York City, is made of win.
The story is told from the point of view of the “beast,” Kyle Kingsbury. Kyle is everything teens want to be...handsome, rich and popular. He’s also a grade-A, world class, “show up at the door to date my daughter and I’m punting you like a football” jerk. The son of a well-known NYC news anchorman, Kyle’s been raised to be superficial. Appearance is all that matters. As long as someone looks good, wears the right clothes, attends the right events, has enough money, that’s all that matters. Kyle’s father is something seen often in YA novels...a very absent parent, who treats Kyle as if he is a bother the few times they interact during the book.
Kyle attends Tuttle, an elite private school, where he is the most popular boy dating the most popular girl. His not so stellar personality gets him in trouble...trouble that his father’s name and money can’t get him out of...when he ticks off a witch who is masquerading as a student at his school. The witch, Kendra, curses Kyle after he does something that would crush most teenage girls...asks her to a dance when he already has a (pretty and popular) date, just to embarrass her. The curse turns Kyle into the “beast,” letting his outside reflect what and who he truly is...ugly. Kyle’s given two (2) years to break the curse, and it can only be broken by the kiss of true love. *insert swoon here*
There were parts to this book that I really enjoyed, such as the “internet support group chats” with other fairy tale characters, such as the frog prince and the little mermaid. These were always humorous and very enjoyable. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Kyle and his “true love,” Lindy, develop. I really loved that Lindy was just an average girl. She wasn’t beautiful, but she also wasn’t ugly. And I loved how Kyle’s perception of her appearance changed as the book progressed and he matured.
There were parts I didn’t enjoy, such as Lindy’s father’s drug addiction. But the dark parts of the book serve to show Kyle’s growth, and to spotlight that good people can come out of very dark environs.
Beastly takes us on Kyle’s journey to becoming a real boy...and eventually a real man, one who recognizes that appearance isn’t what matters most, that who we are on the inside is the true measure of our worth. By the end of the book, I liked Kyle *almost* enough to let him date my daughter. Almost.
So, back off ladies. I will not hesitate to use the shanking spork to protect what's mine. Now that we've got that settled...
I need to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in my usual solemn and professional manner.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
Lover Awakened is the third book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up in the weeks following Lover Eternal, (see review HERE) this book tells the story of the warrior Zsadist. *pets my pretty Z pic*
WARNING: This book deals with sexual abuse and includes scenes which may be uncomfortable for some.
Zsadist is the most brutal, vicious and cruel of the warriors. Simply looking at him inspires terror in most. Not even his brothers like fighting alongside him. He oozes hatred from his very pores.
But he has good cause for his cruel demeanor. Held captive for almost a century, used as a blood slave… and worse… his hatred grew strong and deep. Once rescued by his twin brother, Phury, he was physically safe, but nothing could erase the memories of his captivity from his mind... or diminish the impact of the nightmares he carries.
Bella has lived a much different life than Zsadist. A member of the glymera, pampered, protected and much loved younger sister of Rehvenge, she has known no hardship. But she is no less trapped than Zsadist was. Her brother controls her world, allowing her only the illusion of freedom. Yet despite their differences Bella is unable to forget the harsh and dangerous warrior.
When Bella is kidnapped by Lessers, Zsadist does what he does best… hunts and kills his enemy. Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, he searches mercilessly for Bella, her safety… or vengeance for her death… his consuming thought.
This is my absolute, hands down, without a doubt, do-I-need-to-spell-it-out-for-you favorite book of the series. I love a tortured hero, and Zsadist is that and so much more. I love a heroine with spunk, and Ward is very good at writing those. Bella is no exception. While these two characters seem so drastically different, they are in reality each others perfect compliment.
Zsadist’s story, told in flashback style, made me wince in horror, infuriated me and made me cry. He is one of the most misunderstood characters of this series. Ward always does an excellent job with character development, but in my trying-to-be-unbiased-and-probably-failing-miserably opinion, Zsadist exhibits the most growth of any within the series. He is not at all what you have been led to believe in the first two books. *pauses* Well, actually… he is exactly what you’ve been shown IF you have been paying attention. He is a male of worth. #NuffSaid
Bella is much more than the decorative piece of furniture most females of the glymera are, and is stronger than anyone ever knew… her brother and herself included. She shows her strength and proves the adage that you can be victimized without becoming a victim. The two together were incredible to watch unfold on the page, and I cried at the conclusion. #LoveNotesFTW
The only downside for me in this book… and it was a HUGE downside… was a side story arc that involved other characters in this world. As I am determined to keep this review spoiler free, I won’t rant about my feelings over these events. If you follow my personal account on twitter, you already know them. *grumbles internally… LOTS*
Yet again Ward’s writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flowing in an entertaining if not grammatically correct manner. And once again, this book contains much smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy… and maybe open a window to let some cold air in. Take note, BtCers… kissing will take on a whole new meaning for you after this one. *winks*
In Halfway to the Grave, the first book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, we are introduced tREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
In Halfway to the Grave, the first book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, we are introduced to Catherine “Cat” Crawford, Vampire Slayer. (Come on, admit it… the name has a certain panache!) Cat’s unusual pastime started on her sixteenth birthday, when her mother told her that she was half-vampire. Now Cat scours bars and uses the “helpless female” trick to lure vampires in, killing every one she can. Her mixed blood leaves her with a heartbeat and no desire for a liquid diet, but gives her increased speed and heightened senses… which give her a fighting chance against the much stronger and faster vamps.
Cat’s “sucker punch” routine worked fine for years. And then she tried to lure Bones to his early demise. Unfortunately for her, Bones is a master vampire and on to her game. But he’s a vampire bounty hunter and he makes Cat an offer she can’t refuse. (Literally. Hard to refuse when you’re chained up and at the vampire’s mercy. Just saying.) The deal: Bones will let her live and will train her to kill vampires… really train her… but she can only kill the ones he tells her to.
The characters Frost has written are ones you could really know… she managed the balance between the supernatural and the real world very well. The characters are flawed, and that makes them believable. The mythology of her world is interesting and draws off known theories. I enjoy her description of the rules of vampire society, and like that she remains true to them.
While many parts of the book are snarky and sarcastic, there is a darkness to this series. Cat’s mother was raped by a vampire, and became pregnant with Cat. Her mother has instilled her prejudices in Cat, and raised Cat to believe there is something wrong with her, an evil within her she must always fight. (To be honest, I want to strangle Cat’s mother most of the time.)
The interaction between Cat and Bones is great… it sizzles. And as their relationship grows, Bones pushes Cat to face herself, her true self, which includes her vampire side. He sees the damage that’s been done to her self-esteem by her family, especially her mother, over the years, and wants her to overcome it.
Halfway to the Grave is funny, witty, sarcastic, and has enough action that you’re never bored.
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review iREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in a professional manner. I'll have to repeat this for most of the books in this series, so bear with me.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
Lover Eternal is the second book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up where Dark Lover (see review HERE) left off, this is the story of the warrior Rhage.
Rhage is the strongest of the warriors. No one can best him in a fight. He’s unstoppable, losing himself in the battle. But that isn’t because he loves the fight. It’s because of the monkey on his back.
Cursed years ago by the Scribe Virgin, *coughs* evil witch *coughs*, Rhage lives daily with the fear that he will hurt his friends. He uses fighting and sex… lots and lots of anonymous sex… as a form of self-medication. They take the edge off his hunger. Until he meets Mary Luce, a human woman who turns his carefully controlled world upside down.
Mary Luce is battling her own demons, fighting a fight she can’t win. But Mary isn’t a quitter, and she will do everything in her power to stay strong and survive. Including denying blonde hottie, Rhage, admittance into her life.
But neither fate nor true love will be denied. Nor will a warrior who has found his mate. And Rhage won’t allow Mary to push him away, especially once he learns just how precious the time they have together is.
This book is the one that sealed the deal for me with this series. I fell in love with the brothers in this book. Rhage won me over, completely. He made me laugh, he made me cry… he made me want to kick a fictional character’s ass on his behalf. *points up to previous comment about the Scribe Virgin* He also had me fanning myself. *laughs* #TrueFact.
As always, it was the characters that did it for me. Rhage has such a good heart and he gives every bit of himself over to Mary, offering her unconditional love. Mary is so incredibly strong and such a good person, one who gives of herself without seeking any glory. People like that are rare, and yet she’s so believable and approachable. The two of them together were amazing to see, and I was thrilled with how their story worked out.
The only downside for me in this book was that Rhage and Mary were denied the last little piece of their HEA, and I felt they deserved it. However, as I understand it, that final piece to their happiness will be resolved in their upcoming novella.
Again, Ward’s writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flows and is entertaining, there is much smart ass and snark, and the brothers and Butch are truly fun to watch. This book REALLY ups the ante on the smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy. And know that you will never look at a chain quite the same, again. *grins*
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review iREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in a professional manner.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy series about vampires. But, not just any vampires. *shakes head* No, this series is about warrior vampires.
I stumbled upon this series years ago... only Dark Lover and Lover Eternal were out at the time... by recommendation of my trusty B&N bookseller. She was right, I love them.
J.R. Ward keeps much of the known mythology for her vamps... they turn to crispy critters in sunlight, drink blood, are super fast and strong. But she changes it up enough to keep it from being boring. The vamps these books focus on are selectively bred to be the strongest and smartest of their kind, and are intended to serve as the defenders of the vampire race.
Dark Lover is the first in Ward’s BDB series, and tells the story of Wrath, son of Wrath, the heir to the throne, the last pure bred vampire, and the King who will not rule. As many who follow my personal account on twitter know, I had a hard time getting into this book, and if I hadn’t already purchased Lover Eternal when I bought Dark Lover, I probably would’ve stopped after reading DL.
I would have missed out.
There is much about this book that I love: Wrath’s HEA (Happily Ever After) Beth, is made of win. She’s funny, intelligent, strong and takes no crap from Wrath. The other Brothers... Darius, Tohrment, Vishous, Zsadist *dreamy sigh* and Phury... are all excellent and interesting characters. Beth’s friend, a cop named Butch, is fun to watch as he finds himself smack in the middle of a group of linebacker sized vamps. And I absolutely adore Fritz.
I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again… character development, character development, character development. This is a make or break for me in a book, and these characters are truly excellent. Even when dealing with the secondary characters (in this book) such as Havers and Marissa, Ward did a good job in developing them and bringing them off the page.
The only downside for me in this book was Wrath himself. I had a very hard time coming to like him. In actuality it wasn’t until later, in Lover Awakened, that I began to “love” Wrath like I do the other Brothers. He’s very aloof, as a king would be, and very cold. He’s set himself apart and that isolation made it hard for me to relate to him. Even once he fell in love with Beth, I still didn’t feel him open up.
Having said that, Wrath is a male of worth from the start, and he shows his worthiness to rule the vampire race throughout this book and the series.
On my first read I didn’t love this book and would have set it aside. Having now read the entire series too many times to publicly admit, I can say I do enjoy this book… the writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flows, there is much smart ass and guy type BSing, which is fun to watch.
There is also romance and some smoking hot sex. You will never look at peaches the same after reading this book. In fact seeing them in the market might inspire hot flashes. *winks*
Overall, a very good read, especially if you go into it with the knowledge that the series only gets better.
Written as a series of letters to an anonymous friend, The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of Charlie's life as a high school freshman. StWritten as a series of letters to an anonymous friend, The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of Charlie's life as a high school freshman. Still dealing with the loss of a friend and his aunt, he feels isolated from his peers, even his family. But things begin to change for Charlie as his English teacher takes an interest in him, giving Charlie extra books to read and encouraging him to really "participate" in life. Soon Charlie makes friends with whom he can go to parties and have other life experiences. But with all things in high school, the network of friends starts to crumble. That, coupled with "problems at home," forces Charlie to think about his life, confront his past...and decide what will be his future.
I read this book in high school, but because I didn't remember all of the details, and this book has repeatedly made the list of top-ten challenged books, I decided to reread it. I'm definitely glad I did; but I feel compelled to combine this review with a few more thoughts on banning books, so please bear with me.
While this book could be considered just another "coming-of-age" story, the way that it is written makes it stand out. The writing is a great mix of events, philosophy, and life lessons. Charlie's life mirrors, in at least some way, the life of many teenagers, making him very relatable. I loved the seeing list of books that Bill (the English teacher) gives Charlie to read, as well as the songs that comprise various mix tapes and have an impact on Charlie's life. Throughout the book I really felt that I was a fly on the wall of Charlie's life, witnessing events as he did, sharing in his joys, sorrows, hopes, and fears.
As a teenager, I had a one major thing in common with Charlie: My life was basically fine, but I wasn't happy. I was often the wallflower, the outsider, living, like Charlie, through reading and music. Reading this book had a major impact. It put words to thoughts that I hadn't been able to work out in my head; it showed me that maybe, just maybe, the things that I had been feeling weren't so strange after all.
Reading this book now, having figured out many things about myself and my life, didn't have quite the same impact. It is still a great book, definitely worth reading. But the real value of this book, I think, is in its ability to speak to teens; to show them that they're not alone; to give names and value to their feelings; and to give them hope that you can overcome your problems and create your own life. It is such a shame that this book is constantly challenged because it addresses issues of family problems, drugs, underage drinking, teen sex, homosexuality, suicide...you get the idea. But these are the issues that teens face every day. Why would we want to deprive them of a book that carries such a powerful message?
This book should be read...because it speaks....more
After hearing from numerous people that I needed to read this series, and knowing that Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel was coming soReally 3.5 stars
After hearing from numerous people that I needed to read this series, and knowing that Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel was coming soon, I gave in and moved this series to the top of my to-read list. And after the first 50 pages, I was hooked!
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters and their variety of personalities. Although at first I didn't like Jace (shame on me, I know) he grew on me as I learned more about his past and how his mind worked. Despite being paranormal, Clary found herself in relatable situations, causing me both to laugh and to feel for her. And Simon is such a generally good guy that you can't help but pity him when he's hurt and be proud of him when he saves the day.
The plot twists throughout this book definitely made for interesting reading. While some things I was able to figure out (or at least guess correctly), there were many other details that took me by surprise. I'm already wondering what will happen in the next book!
Despite this, I have to say that I did not care for the ending. Perhaps I would feel differently had I read this book earlier - as in before City of Glass came out - but already knowing tidbits from that book simply make the ending of CoB very frustrating. However, I'm interested to see how the situation is handled!
Cassandra Clare has a unique writing style that I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to City of Ashes!...more
The Hunger Games is the first of three books which tell the story of Panam, the country that was formedREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
The Hunger Games is the first of three books which tell the story of Panam, the country that was formed in what was once North America. The series' main characters are Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl, and Peeta Mellark, both from District 12. We are introduced to Katniss immediately as the books are told from her point of view, and I admit I found her hard to like at first. She comes across as distant and cold, almost harsh. But I got over this quickly. The world in which Katniss lives is one that is very different from anything I had ever imagined. In truth, the premise of these books still blows my mind.
The 'Hunger Games' are just that... an annual event. An annual history lesson. Each year the twelve districts that comprise Panam must select two tributes, a boy and a girl, to participate in the Hunger Games. Children ages twelve to eighteen make up the tribute pool, and the twenty-four children selected must battle each other in the games. The winner will live a life of ease back home, and their district will receive additional food for the next year. The losers... die. The children are forced to fight to the death, serving as an annual reminder of what happens when you defy the Capitol.
But all games have rules, and rules are meant to be broken. Katniss and Peeta band together and plan a course through the Hunger Games which rocks the Capitol... and reverberates throughout all of Panam.
BtCers, you know my thoughts on character development, so I will spare you that line this time. As I said, my initial reaction to Katniss was that she was emotionless. In reality, she feels and cares very deeply, but the world she lives in is harsh and softness is for the weak... and the weak die. Katniss is the ultimate pragmatist. She is strong and smart and loyal. And she would do anything for her family. As I read I came to realize that the dispassionate tone I felt Katniss had was actually a very effective way to tell the story. From the main characters to the secondary ones... especially Effie, Haymitch and Cinna... Collins gave her characters depth and made them real. Every person you are introduced to in the book is relevant, their time on the page has meaning. Collins' writing is clear and concise, allowing you to take in the extensive history as well as the descriptions of the various locations and events easily.
Peeta took me a little longer to figure out. He seems so much softer and kinder than Katniss that it is almost disquieting. I worried he would not be her equal. I was wrong. My apologies to any #TeamGale followers, but I am firmly #TeamPeeta. I think he is truly Katniss' perfect compliment, each encouraging the other, challenging the other, and bringing out the best in the other. Peeta is also clever, loyal and self-sacrificing, and seeing Katniss through his eyes is like putting on kaleidoscope glasses... he sees her in a way no one else does.
The Hunger Games was my first dystopian novel and it set such a high standard for all that followed. This young adult novel is very intelligently written and would be enjoyed by older teens and adults, alike. The premise, while horrifying, captures your attention immediately. The characters hold your interest and make you feel compassion for them, the story flows quickly, the action pulling you in and forcing you to hold your breath until the end.
In case you missed it in reading this review, I loved this book... love the entire series. I have passed it on to my two oldest minions, and they are diehard HG fans, as well. Due to the graphic nature of the Games, I do not recommend this book for children under 14, but each parent must make that assessment for themselves.
Lover Revealed is the fourth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up one monthREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Lover Revealed is the fourth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up one month after Lover Awakened, (see review HERE) this book tells the story of Brian “Butch” O'Neal, the human who has been taken in by the vampires.
Butch is a former Caldwell police officer who was a frenemy to Beth Randall. If you’ve read the earlier books in the series *wonders how there is anyone left that I haven’t convinced, coerced or blackmailed to read these books* then you know how Butch comes to be living among the vampires, something unheard of as secrecy from humans is paramount to the species survival.
Shortly after his immersion in the vampire world Butch meets Marissa, a beautiful female member of the glymera and Wrath’s former shellan. Butch falls hard for Marissa... I’m talking love at first sight, the world shifted and gravity changed to tie him to her kind of love, BtCers... and she seemed just as fascinated by him.
But months have passed and Butch hasn’t seen or heard from Marissa. He constantly finds himself sitting on the sidelines in the Vampires’ war with the Lessening Society. He is living in a house that isn’t his, eating food that he doesn’t pay for... and generally feeling like a useless piece of flesh.
Meanwhile Marissa is going about her daily routine: running her brother, Havers’, home; helping out in his clinic; attending council meetings... and slowly withering away. The glymera is very unforgiving and have formed their own opinions about why she and Wrath did not mate. Of course in their eyes, the fault lies with her. Holding her head high and behaving every inch a lady, Marissa’s spirit is being crushed under the constant weight of the disapproving stares of her brother and her peers.
Then fate intervenes, bringing Butch and Marissa back together. Events unfold which show them the truth of the past months absence and allow them to admit that they care for each other. But what does an unemployed alcoholic cop who is hanging on the fringes of society have to offer a female of worth like Marissa? And what does a female who has known nothing other than quiet comfort and privilege have to offer a hardass former homicide cop?
*pulls on full body armor and takes a deep breath before continuing*
This is my one of my least favorite books of the series. And it has nothing to do with the characters.
I love the cop and think he is a fabulous addition to the BDB world. He brings much to the game and his relationship with V is absolutely fab on so many levels. He is a true male of worth who, despite some mistakes in his past, is genuinely a good person who puts others before himself. And he gets many gold stars from me for his stand on hitting women and his method of handling the guys who do.
I am among the few who actually like and respect Marissa. *says it louder* Her spunk impresses the hell out of me. She was raised in a very confining bubble, yet finds ways to slip out of it and be more than society deems she is supposed to be. And when Havers pulls an “asshat of the century” move, she not only stands on her own two feet, she kicks ass and takes names... and his is at the top of the list. *whispers* I found that scene particularly satisfying.
Having said that... and wanting it abundantly clear that I really do love the characters... this book did almost nothing for me. I didn’t like that Butch, who had until this point been so dogged and determined, was suddenly a sodden, depressed mess. I didn’t like that Marissa, who had found the strength of will to stand up to Wrath, was incapable of calling Butch on his BS when he was being a jerk. I feel like these two got short changed, that the very characteristics which I like most about them were used to underscore their weaknesses. While some might see that as brilliant, I saw it as frustrating and not true to the characters. And don’t even get me started on what happens when Butch says the word “baby.” *UGH*
It was good to go back to this world and see where these characters were at in their lives, to see the changes in them from the last book to this one. Lover Revealed has Ward’s trademark quick, sharp dialogue and her uniquely entertaining if not grammatically correct style. And once again, this book contains smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy. Oh, and BtCers? Butch will teach you all you never knew you didn’t know about french kissing. *winks*
Jacob Jankowski is ninety - or ninety-three; he can't remember. However, memories of his youth are perfectly clear. After learning that he was not onlJacob Jankowski is ninety - or ninety-three; he can't remember. However, memories of his youth are perfectly clear. After learning that he was not only orphaned, but also penniless, he is unable to cope with his surroundings and former life. He runs away and hops a train, learning only later that it is a circus train. Fortunately, he is able to find a job on the circus.
But he finds more than just a job, he finds friends...and he finds love. Marlena is beautiful, and she has such a way with the horses. There's just one problem - she's married. And then there's Rosie, the magnificent elephant that Jacob is drawn to.
As the Depression worsens and finances in the circus spiral out of control, Jacob finds himself in a precarious situation. Can he find a way to care for himself and those he loves? Moreover, can the elderly Jacob reclaim his life?
I was completely drawn into this story! It was very well-researched and written. I think that I may have read it too quickly in my eagerness for the story, and am planning on re-reading it to really delve into the characters and deeper meanings. The only thing I wished for were more pages - a lot of the ending came quickly and I was left wanting more. But I can't wait to see how this book is translated into the film....more
Evermore has been on my to-read list for a while, and because of the Smart Chicks tour I finally picked it up. And I'm glad I did!
This book was a quiEvermore has been on my to-read list for a while, and because of the Smart Chicks tour I finally picked it up. And I'm glad I did!
This book was a quick, fun read. Despite a few similarities to other books, the world that Noel has created, as well as her writing style, was new and refreshing. While telling the story, Evermore address several common teen issues without sounding cliche. I was kept guessing and waiting until the end to see exactly how everything fit together, which I enjoyed!
While Ever's abilities might not be normal, her character is definitely relatable. Damen is still somewhat of a puzzle, and I can't wait to read more about him in the next book. Miles provides comic relief, and who hasn't known a Haven and Stacia?
The world of The Immortals is definitely intriguing, and I'm looking forward to Blue Moon!...more
I heard so many good things about this book, and I was not disappointed. This book was beautifully crafted, by turns amusing, poignant, and touching.
II heard so many good things about this book, and I was not disappointed. This book was beautifully crafted, by turns amusing, poignant, and touching.
If I Stay shows Mia throughout the course of a day while she’s in a coma. Told in a mixture of present events and various flashbacks, the reader follows Mia’s thoughts as she tries to decide the most important question — will she stay?
The narrative is completely engaging. Even though times and events are not always clearly delineated, the story is never confusing, and the fluctuation fits the character and story very well. Each event recounted was important to Mia’s decision, fully creating her world, her family, and her life. I especially liked how even the minor characters were given their own scene, their own place in Mia’s memories.
As a musician, I loved that Mia was a cellist, and I loved the juxtaposition of classical artists with rock bands. Mia has a passion for music, but she is truly in love with her boyfriend—but he is also a musician and pursuing his own career. This is always a problem for musicians, so this issue really hit home. But even though there are musical references throughout, it doesn’t take a musician to appreciate the book. The characters are all relatable, and the lessons that Mia learns are applicable to many situations.
Because of the nature of this book, I’m not sure that saying I loved is it the right expression, but it is truly a wonderful book. Moreover, it offers lots of food for thought amidst a well-written narrative. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, Where She Went, due out in February next year. Gayle Forman delivered a compelling book and one that will stick with me.
Louisa Cosgrove knows who she is. Though she dreams of being a doctor, she is going to the Woodvilles' to be a young lady's companion.Really 4.5 stars
Louisa Cosgrove knows who she is. Though she dreams of being a doctor, she is going to the Woodvilles' to be a young lady's companion. She is not Lucy Childs, and she does not belong in an insane asylum...does she? Convinced that there has been a mistake, or a betrayal, Louisa tries desperately to find her way out of Wildthorn Hall. But things aren't always what they seem...and when the truth is unraveled, lives will be changed forever.
As someone who loves Victorian novels, I was excited to read a book in this setting again; and Eagland did not disappoint. The writing flowed smoothly, evoking the historical setting without being overly complicated. Only a few lines stood out as being anachronistic, but I was quickly drawn back into the story. I enjoyed the alternation between days at the asylum and flashbacks to various events in Louisa's childhood; it was nice to learn about the characters gradually, through their actions, rather than being given explicit descriptions. The first person POV worked very well, allowing the reader to share in Louisa's frustration, worry, despair, and hope. I thought that the ending was well-written; it tied up all the loose ends and, though not a perfect happily-ever-after, as is common of so many Victorian novels, it was believable on almost all counts.
Wildthorn is full of surprises, and it kept me reading until the last page to learn the full truth of everything. In addition, through the narrative it comments on social issues, such as the role of women and homosexuality, that are still debated today. While I know this book will not be for everyone, I definitely enjoyed it; and I will be adding Eagland's second book, Whisper My Name, to my to-read list!...more
Set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, this book takes on the challenging issue of what it was like to be black - and white - in this time. The stoSet in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, this book takes on the challenging issue of what it was like to be black - and white - in this time. The story mainly follows two women: Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, a young white woman who aspires to be a writer, and Aibileen, a black maid for a white family.
Skeeter, having loved her family's maid, sees Aibileen and the other maids as equals rather than a separate race. Sparked by a controversy over whether whites and blacks can use the same bathroom, as well as her desire to write, Skeeter eventually decides she wants to interview maids and turn the interviews into a book.
The idea proves to be difficult, as tensions between the races are high and everything must be done in secret. But eventually, the maids can tell their stories, just as Skeeter is finding the story of her own life.
I listened to this book an audiobook, and in this case, I think it brought a new dimension to all the characters. Being able to hear all of the emotions made everything that much more real and poignant. Even though it was hard to identify with these characters, not having been a maid in Jackson, there were still other parts of the book that hit home, such as the relationship between Skeeter and her mother, as well as parts of Skeeter's college life and young adulthood.
With firsthand experience in the subject, Kathryn Stockett has written a touching and thought-provoking book. I cared for all the characters and am only disappointed that I don't know how the rest of their lives turned out....more
After reading Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak, I knew how powerful her writing could be. Once again, shReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
After reading Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak, I knew how powerful her writing could be. Once again, she has written a very moving novel, this time tackling the subject of eating disorders.
Best friends Lia and Cassie have made a pact: to be the skinniest. While Cassie is stuck on an endless cycle of bingeing and purging, Lia turns to starvation, obsessively counting every calorie she eats. Even after Cassie's death, she doesn't let Lia forget their pact; Cassie haunts Lia, encouraging her destructive habits, keeping her a wintergirl. But that is not all Lia suffers from; like many teenagers, she feels her parents don't care, she feels alone, she feels that she is worthless. And so the vicious cycle continues, until Lia may have taken one step too far on the path of self-destruction...
Although Wintergirls is not based on any specific true story, it so easily could be. I think almost everyone suffers from negative self-image at some point or other, and that is what makes Lia so real. It is heartbreaking to remember that people actually do go to the extremes that Lia does, that some people do live as wintergirls. As someone who's struggled with weight issues for a long time, it was painful to see how the negative thoughts that occasionally crept in eventually supplanted everything else.
Despite the dark tone of this novel, there were some bright spots. I loved the relationship between Lia and Emma. Although I didn't agree with everything that Elijah did, I could appreciate the help he eventually gave Lia. The book also brings into focus how one person's choices can have rippling effects, both good and bad, especially on loved ones. Despite the negativity, Lia's voice is very strong and true; Anderson's writing is both refined and direct, a unique and compelling combination.
Though difficult to read at times because of the subject matter and raw emotions, Wintergirls is definitely worth it. Once again, Anderson has presented a book that is very well crafted, that tells a story that was begging to be told...that speaks loudly....more
Mackenzie Brooks is on the run. She’s been chased across several states by her crazy ex-boyfriend andREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Mackenzie Brooks is on the run. She’s been chased across several states by her crazy ex-boyfriend and his thugs. Now she’s in New Orleans, and has managed to land a job at a local bar. Mackenzie is trying to keep a low profile and fly under everyone’s radar, especially her ex’s. Unfortunately for her, she’s in the middle of the supernatural stomping grounds and about to get a reality check.
Jackson Holt is a P.I. with a twist... he’s a caster. A spell caster, that is. He agrees to check Mackenzie out at the request of her boss, who is his best friend, but finds himself unable to look at Mackenzie as just a “job,” especially once he realizes she’s in danger.
Crux is the first book in the Southern Arcana series by the writing duo that makes up Moira Rogers. The storyline in Crux moves very fast and you have action almost from the beginning. The dynamic of Were culture as briefly explained in the book is interesting, and I look forward to learning more about it in future books. One aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the unusual distribution of power between the hero and heroine. Mackenzie is physically stronger than Jackson. But he didn’t waste time on “guy ego,” and didn’t complain about her being stronger than him. In the end, it took both Jackson and Mackenzie working together to overcome the big, bad, evil guy.
There were some things that bothered me about the book... some problems switching between person and tense. Also, the instant attraction and trust Mackenzie feels toward Jackson despite having been chased by her madman ex was a little hard for me to believe. However, the mythology supporting were or shifter senses / instincts is well documented, so I chalk that up to me not being anything that resembles animalistic. (No, seriously... my idea of camping is a 5 star hotel with a view of the mountains. I own my city girl.) I felt some scenes were glossed over... what should have been a major fight between two extremely powerful Seers was reduced to a couple of paragraphs and was very anti-climatic.
While billed as an urban fantasy, Crux seemed more like a paranormal romance to me. It was an interesting read, and while there were things that bothered me, it was well written enough for me to be interested in the next book in the series. Add to it the banter I see displayed by the Bree half of the Moira Rogers duo on twitter, and I have high hopes that the series will continue to grow and become more engaging over time.
We've all lived through, or heard stories or seen pictures of, the destruction left in the wake of naturalReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
We've all lived through, or heard stories or seen pictures of, the destruction left in the wake of natural disasters. But what it disease and disaster struck a crippling blow, forcing society to evolve and change forever? Such is the premise of Enclave.
Deuce has finally achieved her goal of being a Huntress, and she wears her scars proudly. She knows that she has proven herself worthy. But when she is partnered with the village outcast, things begin to go wrong. When she sees a strange boy in the tunnels, she can't help but abandon her mission and enlist Fade's help in taking him to the safety village. And that's just the beginning. Suddenly, Deuce finds herself as the object of ire for Silk, sent out on highly dangerous missions, and questioning everything she's ever accepted, all while growing closer to Fade. And when he chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice for her, how will she respond? More importantly, how will they both survive?
Enclave is engaging from the very beginning; it was a quick read that kept me turning page after page to see what would happen next. Though this book may have some elements in common with other dystopian books, the story definitely has its own merit. From learning and uncovering the world of Razorland, to seeing how Deuce and Fade adapted to their ever-changing situation, Enclave proved to be original and interesting. I loved watching Deuce come to her own conclusions and sort out her feelings for Fade. And the second half of the book definitely held a few surprises.
I will say that I wished the actual setting had been a bit more clear, though the details were probably limited by the first-person narrative. Also, I wasn't completely thrilled when the possibility of a love triangle was introduced, only because it seems that every book has to have one, but even that seemed fairly resolved eventually. The ending of the book seems fairly conclusive, but I think there are plans for a sequel - if so, I will definitely be reading it!
Enclave may be a dystopian book, but it also has a healthy dose of action with just a touch of romance. This was a great debut novel from Ann Aguirre, and I can't wait to see what she writes next!...more
It's fairly rare that I actually end up reading contemporary YA books, but this one, set just outside of LoReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
It's fairly rare that I actually end up reading contemporary YA books, but this one, set just outside of London and involving a theatre student, seemed too good to pass up. While the book wasn't exactly what I was expecting, it was still a good read, though at times seemingly more of a psychological portrait than a story.
Jude has never been one to stand out - Jude the Obscure, she calls herself. Always the brunt of her classmates' jokes, stuck in a dreary small-town existence, motherless, Jude's one escape is drama. She dreams of going to the Lab in London. There's only one problem - she can't bring herself to mail the application. Enter Stella, stage right. Stella is everything Jude wishes to be: confident, respected, able to stand out and shine. But Stella is also wild and reckless, dragging Jude into schemes that she'd never dream of. Jude feeds on Stella's strength, pushing her limits, unconsciously changing herself. Then Stella disappears for a few days, and Jude has to answer some tough questions. Is Stella really who Jude wants to be? What's so wrong with being herself? And most importantly - who is Jude?
Wonderland was, in a way, more edgy than a lot of books I've read recently. Perhaps that's because it is contemporary, or because so much of it is inner monologue. Either way, the book draws you in from the very beginning, and it goes fairly quickly from there. Jude is a very relatable character - who hasn't felt overshadowed at some point, longed to be someone else, had their nerves get the better of them? Jude and Ed were always so sweet together, which was a refreshing change from the usual intensity of teenage relationships in YA books. Jude's relationship with her father was so sad; it was easy to see how much her mother had been part of her life, and how her mother's death affected her so much. And then there was Stella. Stella with her crazy yet entertaining antics. Stella, whom at times I wanted to slap and at times I wanted to applaud. She kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.
At its heart, this is a coming-of-age story, a teenage girl trying to find her way. Sometimes, Wonderland seemed a bit disjointed, but I think that's the nature of the narrating voice, because this book does come full circle, from prologue to conclusion. I had my suspicious throughout the book, and it was nice to see that I had been right. The story until the ending is perfectly fine, but the ending truly does give it that much more impact.
Wonderland was Nadin's US YA debut, and I think it's safe to say it won't be her last novel. I'll look forward to reading more from her in the future!...more
How often do dreams become a reality? This is exactly what is happening for Lena Duchannes and Ethan Wate - only these are dreams they'd rather not haHow often do dreams become a reality? This is exactly what is happening for Lena Duchannes and Ethan Wate - only these are dreams they'd rather not have. A species apart, yet inexplicably connected, Lena and Ethan must confront an old curse, long-hidden family secrets, and their feelings for each other...all while in Gatlin, a small town where your business is never your own.
Having lived in a small southern town (albeit without Civil War reenactments), I loved the setting of this book. Between the ladies' groups that ran the town and the dysfunctional family gatherings, I could have been in Gatlin alongside all the characters. And these characters definitely came to life! From Mrs. Lincoln to Marian Ashcroft, Savannah and Emily to Ethan and Link, I felt like I really knew them. Lena and Amma are more of a mystery, but that seems as it should; and I'm hoping to learn more about them in the sequel!
There are so many great things about this book! The way that a fresh idea is woven with history, romance, and references to classic literature made this book unique. I really enjoyed Ethan's voice - the way he provides details without losing sight of the narrative was excellent! And, as a musician, I couldn't help but like the musical thread that ran throughout the book.
I have to say that the ending of this book left me with far more questions than answers - I am glad that I don't have to wait long for Beautiful Darkness!...more
When I first stumbled upon the Billi SanGreal novels, my thoughts were - "Templar lore? Strong heroine? A lReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
When I first stumbled upon the Billi SanGreal novels, my thoughts were - "Templar lore? Strong heroine? A little romance thrown in? Yes, please!" And Devil's Kiss did not disappoint.
Billi has been raised to be a fighter for the Knights Templar - she has been trained, tested, and accepted. But it is a hard life, and even when her one and only friend returns from his time away in training, Billi is still longing for a meaningful relationship. Enter Michael, who seems to be Billi's knight in shining armor - almost literally. He appears just in time to help Billi out of a dangerous situation, and he is clearly interested in her, much to Billi's delight and her father's consternation. But things are seldom as they seem to be. Soon Billi finds herself caught between Michael and Kay, her lifelong friend and fellow Knight. Furthermore, he begins to question what she truly wants out of her life. And in the end, a simple shard of glass could control the future for them all...
Talk about gripping introductions - Devil's Kiss has one of the most morbidly intriguing openings that I think I've read. And the action never stops. Whether the characters are fighting physically or emotionally, the intensity carries you through page after page. Chadda brought an old religious legend back and gave it new life. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style; he didn't mince words, and yet it was still very refined. Refined though it may be, this book still incorporates the harsh realities of the Knight life, though in a compelling way.
I think the most intense relationship in this book was the one between Billi and her father. Though there was certainly an interesting interplay between Billi, Kay, and Michael, it was the familial relationship that was really explored and held the answers to some of Billi's questions. However, Billi and Kay certainly had their moments. The ending was something that I wouldn't have predicted and should definitely make things interesting in the next book!
Devil's Kiss was a compelling read, one that kept me up long past when I should have been asleep to read it. With it, Chadda achieved an excellent balance of action and introspection, adventure and respite. I'm looking forward to reading Dark Goddess!...more
The Iron King is the story of Meghan Chase, an almost sixteen year old girl, who lives in rural Louisiana. Meghan’s your average teen, with one smallThe Iron King is the story of Meghan Chase, an almost sixteen year old girl, who lives in rural Louisiana. Meghan’s your average teen, with one small exception. She’s half faery. Julie Kagawa weaves an exciting story in which Meghan and her best friend Robbie must travel into the world of Faery to rescue her younger brother. With vivid words, the beauty and terror of both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts come to life on the pages.
Along the way we meet two handsome bad boys...Robin Goodfellow, Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Ash, Prince of the Unseelie Court. Much chemistry between Meghan and Prince Ash ensues, but we don’t yet know how it will turn out.
While there are many familiar “fae” references in this book, Kagawa has given us her vision of Faery. She’s created a whole new Faery Court that incorporates the modern world most fae stories shun. And she’s written a strong female protagonist in Meghan, who’s willing to do what’s necessary to save her brother, including sacrificing herself. Meghan is strong, loyal and brave... the big sister you wish you had.
Kagawa has given us a modern day faery tale with The Iron King...and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I look forward to seeing Meghan’s future unfold...and more of Ash and Puck...in the sequel, The Iron Daughter....more
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the Sookieverse…it felt good to be back!
Sookie and Eric are finally together (yay!), but it’s certainly not a happily ever after. Even though the war from Dead and Gone has ended, the dust hasn’t completely settled. Between vampire, Were, and fairy politics and schemes, there’s never a dull moment for Sookie. As always, Sookie finds herself in a variety of dangerous situations, and she has to rely on her own wits, as well as some unlikely allies, to find her way out.
Moreso than the action in this book, I enjoyed seeing how the characters have developed throughout the series. Sookie is starting to see the gray area of matters, Jason is slowly growing up, and even Claude makes an effort to be civil. It was nice to see Sookie interacting with a variety of people, including her spending time with Hunter and Remy again. There are also a few new characters introduced, who with their backstories and actions made the book much more interesting.
The downside to all of the above is that this book had little Sookie and Eric time, and the scenes they did have seemed rather rushed. Also, while this series certainly has no shortage of interesting turns of events, I can’t help but wonder what else there is left to happen in this series. Granted, this book leaves more than a few things unresolved, so I’m eagerly looking forward to the next installment.
Overall, this book was a quick, fun read – perhaps not on par with some of the other books in the series, but enjoyable nonetheless. I can’t wait to see what Sookie gets herself into next, and how things will work out for her and Eric!...more
The last book of a trilogy is always bittersweet, because as much as I want to know what haReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
Really 4.5 stars
The last book of a trilogy is always bittersweet, because as much as I want to know what happens and how things end, I also don't want the world to be over. To me, Forever was the best book of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, combining beautiful writing, unrelenting action and suspense, and a few tender moments as well.
Grace and Sam have been fighting to be together for so long, and this book is no different. But this time, Sam is the one who has to wait for Grace as she struggles with her constant shifting. Moreover, some people blame him for the disappearance of Grace, Olivia, and Beck. Isabel and Cole are trying to figure out not only themselves but their relationship, or lack thereof. And on top of everything, Tom Culpepper has decided that the wolves should be eliminated once and for all. As the four try and figure out a solution, secrets will be revealed, emotions will be tested, and some lives will be changed...forever.
I had mixed feelings before beginning this book, because while I thought Shiver and Linger were good, I never seemed to love them as much as other people did. Forever helped to change that. The writing seemed to flow better than before, the pacing was more consistent, and even the relationships were more convincing. I enjoyed having four different points of view (Grace, Sam, Isabel, and Cole), and I finally felt that I could understand all of them fairly well. In addition, I loved the Rilke poetry that was quoted as well as the few flashback scenes that were included. There were certainly events that I was not expecting, but I don't want to say too much and give anything away.
Even though I wished for a few more details from the ending, I think it was completely appropriate for this book. I'm sad to see the conclusion of this trilogy, but I know that there will be more great things from Maggie in the future.
If you haven't read the Wolves of Mercy Falls and you enjoy paranormal romance/fantasy books, you should definitely pick them up. Each book only gets better, and the world is definitely one that can be enjoyed....more
Quirky and cute. That is what I was left thinking when I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door by StephaniREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
Quirky and cute. That is what I was left thinking when I finished Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Every so often you need a pallet cleansing book, and by that I mean a thoughtless, feel good, light book to help balance out all the heavy, emotional books out there. Lola is just that type of book.
Lola is quirky, she dresses quirky she has two quirky gay dads and a quirky rock and roll boyfriend… have I emphasized quirky enough? She starts off secure in her identity, confident of whom she is and what she wants, but as the story unfolds there are cracks in her resolve. Her next door neighbor Cricket Bell returns and we find out Lola may not know exactly who or what she wants.
If you have read Anna and the French Kiss, than you already know what to expect with Lola. In fact Anna and St. Clair are supporting characters in this companion novel. Stephanie follows a very specific flow with her love stories, but it’s the charm of her characters that make the stories so entertaining. Lola is a bit deeper than Anna, and her obstacles are a bit heavier, but it makes this story even more engaging and for the better.
There are going to be plenty of people describing Lola as “chick-lit”, and while it is heavy on the romantic angst, it’s over all a gender defying, feel good story. I never stop myself from picking up a book just because the cover and the premise may gear toward girls, and Lola is a great book that guys will enjoy if they give it a chance.
Nightshade is one of those books that got tons of hype around the blogging community before its release, and even more after - and in this case, it waNightshade is one of those books that got tons of hype around the blogging community before its release, and even more after - and in this case, it was 100% deserved. Although Nightshade is about werewolves, it really has something for everyone - great characters, well-developed setting, fantasy, a little history, and a lot of romance. And look at that cover - is it not beautiful?
Calla has never questioned what life has in store for her - she loves being a Guardian, and the Keepers provide for everything her family could want. She's always done what she should, until she reveals her true nature to save a strange boy from certain death by a bear. Though worried, she thinks nothing will come of the incident - until the boy shows up in her class at the Mountain School the next day. It soon becomes clear that Shay plays a much larger part in her world than Calla ever realized; in fact, her world is not even what she imagined it to be. As she learns more of the Keepers' secrets, she finds herself drawn to Shay; but she is mated to Ren, the alpha male. Throughout the book, the tensions and romances heat up, all coming to a head on Samhain, the day of the union - the day for which nobody is prepared.
The world of Nightshade was excellently created. I loved the blending of actual history with a fantasy world. But more than that, I loved the characters. The Nightshade and Lumine pack members were quite diverse and yet all believable. Calla is definitely a strong, independent character, though not without her flaws and unique traits. And Ren and Shay - how could anyone choose one?
Occasionally parts of the story were a bit confusing, but as the reader learns along with Calla, that is to be expected. And the ending...well, all I can say is that I needed Wolfsbane yesterday.
Nightshade kept me turning page after page, eager for more, with its engaging story, sweet (and sometimes steamy) romance, and imaginative world. Andrea Cremer has a brilliant style, and I cannot wait to read more!...more
With so many paranormal books on the market right now, it was very refreshing to see one in which almost all of the characters have a supernatural abiWith so many paranormal books on the market right now, it was very refreshing to see one in which almost all of the characters have a supernatural ability, not just the male or female lead. The premise of Haven sounded very promising, and it definitely did not disappoint.
Violet McKenna has always been plagued with visions of the future, usually visions of unfortunate or even tragic accidents occurring in the lives of those she cares about. To make matters worse, she can't even warn them - nobody would believe her, and so she hides her gift. But all that changes when she arrives at Winterhaven, a school that, for some inexplicable reason, she feels drawn to. She quickly learns that she is not alone in her psychic abilities, and she can even develop them further. Then there is Aidan Gray, the most irresistible guy at Winterhaven, and he seems drawn to her - an attraction that is definitely mutual. But a school like Winterhaven wouldn't be complete without its secrets, as as Violet's visions become increasingly intense, she realizes that she and Aidan may have more to learn about themselves after all...
Haven was a quick, enjoyable read. Cook's writing easily engages the reader, finding just the right balance of description and action and refined style and teen voice that brings the story to life. The characters were all very believable, and I enjoyed watching their development throughout the novel. Moreover, the relationship between Violet and Aidan found a convincing balance of tenderness, tension, and romance. Between character interactions and plot developments and revelations, Haven is an interesting read throughout.
I will say, however, that throughout the novel, there are a fair number of similarities to other comparable books. In addition, while some events come as a surprise, others are rather predictable. Despite this, however, Haven has enough individuality, as well as questions left unanswered, to make this book worth reading and to make me intrigued as to what will happen next.
Overall, this was a great debut novel for Cook. I will look forward to reading more from her in the future!...more
This book may have "angel" in the title, but it is definitely not your typical angel book.Reviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
Really 4.5 stars.
This book may have "angel" in the title, but it is definitely not your typical angel book. It's better.
Ellie is your average seventeen-year-old girl; she gets by in school, hangs out with her close group of friends, has a few problems at home. At times she has some pretty vivid nightmares, but what teenager doesn't? There's just one minor detail - Ellie's dreams become a reality. Soon she has literally stepped into the world from her nightmares - or the Grim - and she is faced with the task of killing reapers, with only Will, her mysterious guardian, to help her. While Ellie fights who she is, Will tries to convince her that this is her life, and has been her life many, many times over. Ellie's eventual acceptance leads to new problems. Her memories gradually return, but does she want to remember everything? And just when she should be focusing on fighting for her life, she finds herself more and more drawn to Will. In the age-old battle between heaven and hell, love and duty, who - or what - will win?
Angelfire has it all - strong feminine character who's not afraid to kick butt, great action scenes, an impossibly sweet romance, all mixed in with a bit of normalcy. I hadn't read a book with so much swordfighting in a while, and all of these scenes were so well-described and different enough from one another as to be interesting. I loved the flashback scenes showing the many things Ellie had faced throughout the centuries and how she had changed because of them. And Will - well, I think he's earned a place in my Top-10 Favorite YA Love Interests, and that's saying something!
I do wish that we could have learned more about Ellie and more about the entire lore that forms the basis of Angelfire...hopefully that will come in the next book. A few times I was frustrated with some of the characters, but I think that's a testament to how well they were written. I will say that this book left several questions unanswered - but I am looking forward to reading those answers!
Angelfire is a great debut novel from Courtney Allison Moulton. I can't wait for Wings of the Wicked!...more