By now, those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that I tend to avoid paranormal romance whenever I can. I have friends who are huge fans...moreBy now, those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that I tend to avoid paranormal romance whenever I can. I have friends who are huge fans of the genre and I respect that, but quite frankly, the whole growling-alpha-male-swooning-female combo gives me severe allergies. However, there’s something about this series that appealed to me from the very beginning, and after all the fun I’d had while reading the first book, picking up this one was a very easy decision to make.
The friendships in this book are simply extraordinary, They are so strong and lovely and they easily prevent the romance from taking over. Like Liv before her, our Stacey has magical powers, albeit of a different variety. While Liv brings inanimate objects to life, Stacey makes potions – powerful ones at that – and sells them to help pay the bills. Peach is the only one with no magic whatsoever, but she is special in so many other ways that it doesn’t really matter. These three girls support each other through everything, so when Leo comes back into town and things go terribly wrong for Stacey, Peach and Liv are all the help she could ever really need.
The dreaded growling Alpha male, J.R. Ward-style, is fortunately absent from this book. Instead, we have Leo, a flawed-but-lovable ex-lover, ex-cheater and ex-priest, all rolled into one. Leo and our heroine Stacey have far too much history between them, and even years later, Stacey is still hiding a shattered heart. I have to admit I wasn’t Leo’s biggest fan at first, nor was I meant to be. After all, he cheated on Stacey while in college, broke her heart when he admitted it and then ran off to become a priest. I have no sympathy for cheaters, even nine years later and even when they so obviously still suffer the consequences, but it is a testament to Lucy March’s skill that I did forgive him in the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the villain in this book too, even though I saw him coming from a mile away. I loved how the entire situation was handled and I was (reluctantly) impressed by the obstacles he put in Stacey and Leo's way. There’s nothing I love more than a truly devious villain and fortunately for me, Lucy March really knows how to create one.
Recommended by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie and Darynda Jones, the Nodaway Falls series is a witty, funny treat, with a perfect magic to romance ratio. It is a true comfort read, enjoyable and sweet. I highly recommend it.
3.5 stars Like every satire ever written, No One Else Can Have You is destined to polarize readers. I doubt there will be people with lukewarm feelings...more3.5 stars Like every satire ever written, No One Else Can Have You is destined to polarize readers. I doubt there will be people with lukewarm feelings for this book. Either this type of dark humor is something you enjoy or not, but either should be clear after only a couple of pages.
Through Friendship, Wisconsin and its colorful inhabitants, Hale cleverly points out all the shortcomings of a small community. Her criticism is as sharp as it is funny, and she spares no one in the process: not the protagonist, not the grieving parents, not the war hero, and certainly not the victim herself. To Hale, everything is fair game, and that’s precisely what makes her prose acceptable and entertaining. Had she been picky with her disparagement, the value would have been lost, but her tone remains unchanged whichever way you look.
Like everything else, the murder mystery is designed to both entertain and ridicule the small town mentality. Everyone involved in the investigation is basically a blithering idiot and the only two people with a modicum of sense are Kippy and Davey, Ruth’s older brother, just returned from a tour in Afghanistan. Davey has secrets he’s doing his best to hide and the entire town believes that he suffers from PTSD, so the fact that he’s the sanest one around is plenty ridiculous all on its own.
Despite the quirkiness that is, on occasion, exaggerated and annoying, Hale strikes just the right note with her secondary characters. The people of Friendship, few exceptions aside, are funny and instantly lovable, in that entirely unrealistic, unbelievable way. Kippy’s dad in particular has no trouble finding his way into the readers’ hearts, with his silly nicknames and his unrelenting support.
While I strongly recommend reading a sample first, just to see if this is something you might enjoy, I think everyone should at least give this one a chance. It’s a novelty, a breath of fresh air in an overly saturated market, and as such, it’s worthy of attention.
Death and the Girl he Loves appears to be the last book in Darynda Jones’ Darklight series (or apparently a trilogy – I must have been living under a...moreDeath and the Girl he Loves appears to be the last book in Darynda Jones’ Darklight series (or apparently a trilogy – I must have been living under a rock), and as such, it is the best one by far. The first two books have been pleasant enough, but not extraordinary or even particularly memorable. With this third book, however, I can say that my opinion of the entire trilogy and of Darynda as a YA author went up a notch.
Still, the improvement didn’t erase the fact that this trilogy felt forced from the very beginning, almost like Darynda wrote it because she felt she needed to for some reason, and never really took the time to think things through. In all honesty, I never felt that she put her heart into it like I feel with her Charley Davidson series. This was more of a byproduct, here because someone somewhere thought Darynda needs to write for a younger audience too.
The thing is, it doesn’t suit her, it really doesn’t. She shines the brightest when she can let loose, make borderline inappropriate jokes full of sexual innuendo, all of which YA simply doesn’t allow. So while this was pleasant and entertaining, it was a far cry from Darynda’s usual standard.
I suppose it took placing Lorelei into an entirely unfamiliar environment to make this series somewhat more interesting for me. I didn’t think I’d appreciate her being taken away from everything and everyone she knows, but without her grandparents, Brooklyn, Glitch and even Jared, I finally got a better sense of her as a character and I must say I started to appreciate her more. Lorelei always seemed so young to me, which is part of the reason why I never warmed up to her entirely, but this time, I felt closer to her than ever.
In the first part of the book, Lorelei is hiding in an elite school in a different state and under a different name. Then she starts getting constant visions about the end of the world and she realizes that she accomplished nothing by leaving her home and her friends. In fact, her grandparents’ decision just made things worse. So she goes back and she rejoins the Order in the attempt to stop the gates of hell from opening and swallowing world as we know it.
The final battle was perhaps a bit choppy and awkward, but it did result in what I appreciate the most – a long Happily Ever After I could bask in to my heart’s content. I think it’s fairly obvious that I have some mixed feelings about this trilogy as a whole, but I do think it’s worth reading. Even subdued, Darynda’s humor is better than most, and as I always say, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, which is a quality I certainly appreciate. Also, Jared’s really hot, so there's that to consider.
Holy cliffhanger, Batman! Darynda sure knows how to end a book with a jaw-dropping moment. It may take my poor heart a good long while to recover from...moreHoly cliffhanger, Batman! Darynda sure knows how to end a book with a jaw-dropping moment. It may take my poor heart a good long while to recover from this one, but seeing as the next book comes out in October, rest assured, recover I will.
At this point, picking up a new Charley Davidson book feels a lot like coming home after a long and rather painful absence. Darynda’s characters have such strong personalities that it’s almost too easy to imagine them having lives beyond these pages. Getting a glimpse of their hilarious existence is very much an honor and a privilege.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, though. Truth be told, Sixth Grave seems to be a bit of a rush job. I was disappointed by the lack of structure in this plot, some conversations that lead absolutely nowhere and more than a few loose ends. I realize that unfinished storylines can be expected this late in the series, but some of them seemed forgotten rather than left purposely for later installments. It’s not something Darynda normally does and while I enjoyed Sixth Grave overall, I felt just a little bit let down.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that this is a series one can count for fabulous entertainment, sizzling hot romance and too many sidesplitting one-liners to count. Charley herself takes few things seriously which makes her different from every other UF or PNR heroine out there.
I’ll keep this short because, at book six, there’s little to say I haven’t said before: the Charley Davidson has hordes of fans for a reason. I suspect Darynda Jones might have a hard time moving on from this series because there’s too much of her in Charley, but as long as she’s writing these, there’s not much to worry about. If making people laugh and swoon at the same time were a sport, Darynda would be a multiple Olympic gold medalist.
I suspect I’m one of the very few people who are enjoying this YA spin-off, but aren’t at all familiar with the original adult paranormal romance seri...moreI suspect I’m one of the very few people who are enjoying this YA spin-off, but aren’t at all familiar with the original adult paranormal romance series. In all honesty, Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series doesn’t appeal to me in the least. It’s not the type of thing I normally read, having developed allergies to PNR a long time ago, but her Chronicles of Nick, now at their fifth installment no less, are a whole different thing.
Even though it’s often more Middle Grade than Young Adult, I’ve been a fan of this series from the start. Sherrilyn Kenyon has a fabulous sense of humor and her series is often laugh-out-loud funny. Nick’s self-deprecating voice, his modesty and kindness, his protectiveness toward his tiny but fierce mother are all such endearing traits. He is an easy boy to love.
Illusion picks up exactly where Inferno left off, with Nick unwillingly thrown into a different dimension. Everything is different here: Caleb is human and a geek, Nick’s mother is married to Bubba (who just happens to be a shrewd businessman), and Nick himself, as Bubba’s son and not the Malakai, is significantly shorter, whinier, and entirely powerless. Kody is gone, the history is different, and Nick is, once again, in constant danger.
Kenyon expanded the world significantly in this installment, adding a never-ending number of enemies for Nick, and I must admit if all became a bit confusing. I kept forgetting the names and all the different species, I couldn’t keep track of all Nick’s friends and enemies even though I was trying very hard to keep track.
But the end result was still the same. I was entertained by Nick’s sarcastic remarks, warmed by his love for his family and friends, I cheered quite loudly when he faced his enemies and teared up when it all became too much for him. Not bad for a mostly Middle Grade series, huh? Not bad at all.
Full of Grace is a newly released companion to Hale Maree, Misty Provencher’s touching and original New Adult story that features an arranged marriage...moreFull of Grace is a newly released companion to Hale Maree, Misty Provencher’s touching and original New Adult story that features an arranged marriage. It is, in my opinion, a slightly superior, more mature work, with better character development, better pacing and a far more believable plot. I’m rarely comfortable with female authors writing from a male perspective (or vice versa, really), but Misty Provencher gave such a lovely, genuine voice to Landon, and she was consistent throughout the novel.
Plotwise, Full of Grace is a bit more traditional than its predecessor: girl meets boy, girl gets pregnant, drama ensues. Neither Sher nor Landon wanted to find themselves in that situation, but Landon, being the outstanding guy that he is, is determined to make the most of it. He takes things as they come and he puts his whole heart into it, with no reservations whatsoever. It is admirable and perhaps a bit crazy too.
Full of Grace shows how a single mistake, a single moment of weakness, can cost you dearly and change your life completely. I disliked Sher intensely at first – she is a giggler, and she comes across as self-centered until things start klicking into place. Not all of her choices were wise, but Provencher gave me enough insight, even through Landon’s eyes, to sympathize with her and understand her completely.
Landon Grace is someone you should meet. He is a genuinely nice guy, honest and loyal. I adored him in Hale Maree, but being privy to his thoughts made me love and respect him even more. I couldn’t help but admire how hard he worked to make things right with Sher and how he just took everything she threw at him and tried to make the best of it.
Once again, Provencher did an excellent job and showed that she’s not in the business of creating plastic, meaningless characters. Whatever she writes next, I’ll definitely read.
Middle Grade books seem to be falling straight into my lap lately, but I’m not complaining, not yet. OMG! Is This Actually My Life? caught me complete...moreMiddle Grade books seem to be falling straight into my lap lately, but I’m not complaining, not yet. OMG! Is This Actually My Life? caught me completely off guard. I can’t remember the last time I laughed myself into stitches.
Fourteen-year-old Hattie Moore is just like every other fourteen-year-old girl on the planet. She worries about boys, school and friends, obsesses about the changes on her body, worries about her braces and her “jaws of death”, hates her older sibling and despises the most popular girl in school. But on top of all that, Hattie doesn’t know her real father, she doesn’t even know his name, and she dreams he’ll show up one day to solve all her problems. Like every other girl in the history of girls, Hattie pines for a boy she barely even knows and fails to see what’s right in front of her. She is an extremely relatable character.
"Just done my weekly tit test in front of the mirror. When I jump up and down they STILL don't move. Goodnight, breasts. Please grow a bit overnight so I can bounce to school."*
OMG! is a diary novel that reminded me, in some ways, of Adrian Mole (whom I adored while growing up) and Bridget Jones (whom I never particularly liked). It wasn’t just the format that made me think of Adrian and Bridget, it was the combination of that, the fabulous British humor and some character traits Hattie shared with one or the other. Although OMG! was an endless source of hilarity, I really liked that Earl found a way to push some seriousness between the lines, mostly through Hattie’s non-existent relationship with her father, and her tense and resentful relationship with her mother. Those things were, of course, wrapped up in her great sense of humor, but they were there to give the readers something to think about.
OMG! has an array of colorful characters. Hattie’s two best friends, Weirdo Jen and Dimple, are both very supportive, each in her own way. Her grandmother insists on texting dirty jokes to everyone, including her dentist, and asks for a ‘Britain’s Hottest Firemen’ calendar each Christmas. Her archenemy is the prettiest and meanest girl in school, Ruby aka Miss Gorgeous Knickers. There is, of course, McFittie, a server in Bertie’s, whom Hattie never really spoke to (other than him offering her a biscotti), but whom she’s desperately in love with nevertheless. And last, but not least, there’s Goose, Hattie’s first neighbor, her oldest and most supportive male friend and an all around awesome guy who spends time with her stepfather and cheers her up when things go terribly wrong.
Dimple is UBER gorgeous. In fact, I’m a bit annoyed her parents aren’t arranging her marriage because it means she’s shopping in the snog supermarket at the same time as me. ”Love IS a battlefield” – so one of my mum’s CDs says.*
What stopped me from fully enjoying Hattie’s diary was her (Earl’s) excessive use of caps. They served a purpose, of course, they reflected Hattie’s flair for the dramatic, but the overall effect was a bit jarring. I’m not sure younger readers would feel the same, though, so please don’t take my word for it. I really think this book is an excellent choice for younger teens and more patient adults.
3.5 stars. Sweet on You is the perfect read for slow, rainy weekends when you just want to have a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy a relaxing story. It’s...more3.5 stars. Sweet on You is the perfect read for slow, rainy weekends when you just want to have a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy a relaxing story. It’s the sixth book in Kate Perry’s Laurel Heights series, but it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the previous books, and while I didn’t know the back story of some secondary characters, it didn’t bother me in the least.
This very short book contains not one, but two love stories, each of them adorable in its own way. On the one side, there are Daniela and Nico – a famous pastry chef and a real estate mogul, both bidding for the same property, each with very different things in mind. On the other are Marley and Brian – Daniela’s assistant with a passion for superheroes and photography and the charming, funny guy she simply refuses to date.
The points of view aren’t cleanly cut, chapter to chapter. Instead, they switch seamlessly between Daniela, Nico and Marley, sometimes mid chapter, sometimes at the beginning of one. I suppose that might sound a bit messy, but it worked in this case. It made the connection between the characters more obvious, tangible even, and it made me like them that much more.
Now, to quote Mary Murphy, Nico Cruz is one hot tamale. He is your typical romance hero – obscenely rich, gorgeous and with a dark past – but that doesn’t make him any less appealing. If anything, Perry took the mold that’s been used so many times and managed to breathe into it some creativity and charm. So yes, while Nico is exactly like a trillion other heroes out there, something about him, something I can’t quite put my finger on, still made him stand out.
Like in all feel-good romances, the dark and brooding hero was just waiting for the right woman to turn him into a caring, thoughtful man. But all that means is that this story is practically angst-free, and that’s my favorite kind, thank you very much.
Just as soon as I find the time, probably on the very first rainy weekend that comes along, I will buy and read the previous five books of this series. Judging by this one, each can be read as a standalone, which suits me well.
Sometime not too long ago, God and Lucifer sat down to talk and concluded that they’d had enough of the never-ending battle between Good and Evil. They decided to abandon ship altogether, and as they did, they left no instructions for either of their armies. With their disappearance, the supernatural community fell into a huge turmoil. There were those who felt that it’s time to bring about the Armageddon, and those who were ready to do anything to defend humanity.
Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg is Lucifer’s favorite nephew, also known as the idiot who was offered the position of new Anti-Christ by Lucifer himself and who smoothly turned him down. Not very powerful in his own right, he has to rely on the few vials of his uncle’s blood to stay alive and in one piece. Despite his nefarious heritage, Trigg is a member of DRAC – Demonic Resistance and Containment, a group of supernatural beings determined to stop the Armageddon. As the threat becomes more serious, Frank has to work with his angel cousin Scarlett and the vampire Katon, and he might just have to sell his soul twice in order to save the world. My entire devilish life had been built around the premise of getting screwed and not in a fun, porn star way. It was most often in the prison kind of way, getting sucker punched and waking up with a sore ass and with some big guy named Bubba sitting on the bunk smoking a cigarette and heating up a branding iron.
Here’s a very important thing you need to know about Frank: he’s a pig. He only cares about three things in life: preventing the Armageddon, sex and, well… sex! He makes sexual innuendos and horrible puns all the time. He even shamelessly lusts after his cousin Scarlett, who insists on distracting him from his very important tasks with her leather-clad ass. In the constant battle between Frank’s human side and his devilish instincts, his crotch usually overrides both. He was married to a succubus after all, knowing full well the consequences. In words of his cousin Scarlett, directed to him: "If we have to rely on what's inside your head that doesn't relate to porn, we're screwed."
I think Urban Fantasy (or dark UF or horror or whatever you want to call it) needs more male author – male protagonist combos. It was almost like I was reading another genre altogether. Everything was there: action, an amazing set of characters, incredible humor, but no emotional struggles whatsoever (unless you count the war between Frank’s brain and that other thing he thinks with). Trigg isn’t just a breath of fresh air, he is a damn hurricane, and he certainly swept me off my feet. It didn’t take long for him to become my favorite underdog ever, despite all his flaws. What can I say? I have a soft spot for jerks.
Even though I’m only now reviewing book 1, I’d already finished book 2 (and loved it!) and I just downloaded the free short story about Scarlett and got the third novel from Amazon. I do believe that I won’t rest until I read every single word about Frank Marquitz has written so far.
I definitely need to thank Bastard @Bastard Books for giving me a chance to win both Armageddon Bound and Resurrection. I’m officially hooked.
Just like Death and the Penguin, Penguin Lost is utterly absurd. In his article for The Telegraph, Tim Martin called Death and the Penguin “a sort of...moreJust like Death and the Penguin, Penguin Lost is utterly absurd. In his article for The Telegraph, Tim Martin called Death and the Penguin “a sort of warped cross between Dostoyevsky and Happy Feet” and I have no choice but to: a) die from laughter; and b) wholeheartedly agree. In this unexpectedly good sequel, Victor and Misha are separated with very little hope of finding each other ever again. Having successfully escaped from the Mafia, Viktor embarks on a journey to locate his faithful friend Misha the penguin, feeling horribly guilty for abandoning him in the first place.
As was the case with the first book, I felt that the translation was done exceptionally well. Although I obviously can’t compare it to the original, my unusual familiarity with Slavic languages in general allowed me to recognize how well the spirit (in lack of a better word) was captured, mostly through high formality level and a somewhat odd sentence structure.
Although Kurkov’s harsh critique of society in general and especially misplaced values remains unchanged, I felt that it lost some of its edge. Unfortunately, that also means that the humor wasn’t as good as in Death and the Penguin, even though I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle way in which Kurkov makes fun of just about everything he can (and some things he really shouldn’t).
Penguin Lost is a worthy sequel to Death and the Penguin. Obviously these books need to be read in order, so if you enjoyed the first book, you will definitely not make a mistake by picking this one up. (less)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a very strange book indeed. I’m sure some of you read the blurb and thought: Not another cancer book! Reall...more3.5 stars
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a very strange book indeed. I’m sure some of you read the blurb and thought: Not another cancer book! Really, are books about teens with cancer the new black?! Yeah, I thought so too. It turns out that this book has very little to do with cancer. It has more to do with several other, completely unrelated things like filmmaking, high school social structure, odd friendships and nagging parents. It’s certainly not a sob story. The only tears I’d shed while reading it were caused by laughter.
My point is this: This book contains precisely zero Important Life Lessons, or Little-Known Facts About Love, or sappy tear-jerking Moments When We Knew We Had Left Our Childhood Behind For Good or whatever. And, unlike most books in which a girl gets cancer, there are definitely no sugary paradoxical single-sentence-paragraphs that you’re supposed to think are deep because they’re in italics.
This is where I would normally write a lengthy plot summary, but I’m afraid my usual reviewing patterns simply won’t work for this book. Greg Gaines is a normal, awkward teenage boy who prides himself in the fact that he doesn’t belong to any of the usual groups in high school, but is on friendly terms with everyone. He only has one real friend, his complete opposite, Earl. When a girl from his school gets leukemia, Greg’s mother makes Greg spend time with her, and as much as he doesn’t want to, he’s too afraid of his mother to say no.
Greg Gaines, our main character, assumed the role of the author, which led to a lot of self-deprecating humor (and made me think that he was also, at least partly, an author surrogate). Although I’ll be the first to admit that his observations about his own writing were often hilarious, I did feel that the whole thing was overdone at times. A good joke can only be good for so long before it becomes downright annoying. Here’s just one example: And that’s part of the backstory for me and Earl. It’ll probably be relevant later, although who really knows. I can’t believe you’re still reading this. You should smack yourself in the face a couple of times right now, just to complete the outstandingly stupid experience that is this book. That is just one example in which an invisible line was crossed and Greg’s story stopped being funny and became eye-roll inducing. That doesn’t mean, however, that this book didn’t have incredibly funny moments. It is, after all, based almost entirely on humor, and the kind of humor that actually worked for me most of the time. It is what kept me reading even after I realized that there isn’t an actual plot to speak of. The fact that it took me a while to even notice says enough about the kind of narrative we’re dealing with here.
I honestly think that I’m not the intended audience for this book, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. In many ways, it provides a realistic insight into a teenage boy’s mind, and that’s something we (I) don’t see enough of. Do I think you should read this book? Definitely. It’s not a book that you’ll read compulsively, so it’s best to pick it up when you’re otherwise preoccupied. It’s one of those books you can abandon for a while and go back to whenever you feel like it. There are times when that’s exactly what I’m looking for: a light, fun read that will allow me to focus on other, more important things. (less)
A Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It remind...moreA Little Night Magic is an adorable, fluffy, rainy day comfort read. It’s not exactly urban fantasy, but it’s not paranormal romance either. It reminded me a lot of Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie: a light sense of humor, so many fabulous characters and just a touch of paranormal to make things more interesting. If I had to describe this book with just one word, cute is what I’d say.
Olivia is a small town waitress. She spends her days serving waffles, hanging out with her three best friends and pining after Tobias, the adorable night cook who keeps sending her mixed signals. Just as she decides to leave town forever and books a flight to Europe, a strange old lady helps her discover that she has power she never even dreamed of. It’s nothing earth-shattering, really - she has the ability to make inanimate objects come to life - but it’s enough to draw some pretty powerful enemies. While she’s trying to figure out what these new powers mean for her, where exactly her father is and why Tobias seems so determined to stay away when he obviously has feelings for her, a practitioner determined to steal Liv’s magic is getting closer by the minute. When you have an enemy who makes strong potions and casts vicious spells, the power to turn your phone into a bat suddenly seems even less significant.
This is one of those books you’ll most likely forget as soon as you finish reading the last page, but you’ll probably reread it at some point too. It’s a book that’s supposed to be based mostly on humor, but unfortunately, it fell flat more often than not. These books do have their advantages, though, and they are just what I need from time to time. A Little Night Magic is a perfect choice for when you’re tired an unable to concentrate, and when you just want to relax with a cute, predictable and utterly relaxing read.
Soon after her 17th birthday, Eloise started seeing Faeries everywhere. Unfortunately, that means they can also see through the glamour that’s been hi...moreSoon after her 17th birthday, Eloise started seeing Faeries everywhere. Unfortunately, that means they can also see through the glamour that’s been hiding her. She is wanted by Lord Strahan, king of Faery, and she has no idea why. A fierce warrior named Lucas shows up claiming that he is pledged to her, which makes him honor-bound to defend her, but Eloise is unsure whether she should trust him or not. Her best friends Jo and Devin are there to help her every step of the way, and even try to save her when Strahan finally succeeds in kidnapping her. Conveniently enough, Jo has been Touched at some point in her life, so she also has the ability to see the Fae.
Unfortunately, Stolen Away is a pretty generic YA paranormal, made better only by Alyxandra Harvey’s bright sense of humor. Even that, however, cannot compete with the humor in her vampire series, The Drake Chronicles, simply because she failed to create another character that would be nearly as amusing as Lucy. Jo had definite potential, she is stubborn, audacious and very smart, with a big mouth that refuses to close even at the worst of times, but she still doesn’t have Lucy’s warmth and I didn’t really believe her loyalty to Eloise like I believe Lucy’s loyalty to Solange and the rest of the Drakes.
It made sense for Harvey to create two very different couples. Eloise and Lucas, who do everything right, never break the rules and, truthfully, never show that much passion, and Jo and Eldric, both rebels and both full of confidence and fire. I’m quite sure that Eloise and Lucas will have their fans: those who enjoy a steady, non-turbulent romance without too many uncertainties and will-they-won’t-they moments. While I didn’t really feel anything more than mild affection for them, Jo and Eldric had me jumping up and down in my seat and rooting for them wholeheartedly. Another thing I really liked is that there wasn’t even a hint of a love triangle, even though I kept expecting it to rear its ugly head as soon as Devin entered the picture. It’s usually the nerdy best friend that ends up being hurt in these things, but Devin was refreshingly uninterested in either of the girls.
So to conclude, I can always count on Alyxandra Harvey to make me laugh. While Stolen Away certainly isn’t her best work, it’s still a pretty good choice when you just want to relax and have some fun.
The first review I wrote consisted almost entirely of incoherent gushing. This one is pretty much like that, but I did manage to include some useful i...moreThe first review I wrote consisted almost entirely of incoherent gushing. This one is pretty much like that, but I did manage to include some useful info. Don’t expect much, though. I can’t remember the last time I felt this way about a book.
As a dedicated reader, I don't think I've ever connected to a story quite this much. There are so many books that are close to my heart for some reason or other, but there was never one so achingly familiar and mine. And it wasn’t just one character that I felt close to, but parts of every character and every situation. I recognized some of myself in Julie’s dedication to her studies, in Celeste’s quirks, in Matt’s courage and hidden vulnerability, in Erin’s absentness and denial. It was nice to be able to read a story and really understand.
I’m making it sound like a sad book, aren’t I? Well, it’s not. This is a book you want to read when you're feeling a little nostalgic and disconnected from the world. It will pull you right out. Flat-Out Love is surprisingly witty. During the first 80%, I thought I could describe it as my favorite summer read. However, the last 20% showed me that it’s so much more than that. Every emotional reaction the story evoked was very strong: when I laughed, I laughed so loudly that I woke the neighbors; when I cried, I sobbed like I was facing the end of the world, and in the end, I melted into a huge puddle of goo.
After moving to Boston to start attending college, Julie found herself living with her mother’s former best friend Erin and her seemingly perfect family of intellectuals. She soon became emotionally attached to every member of the Watkins family, especially the oldest brother Finn, whom she never met in person, but communicated with regularly via email.
”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Leo Tolstoy)
I think there are two types of dysfunctional families: the ones that yell and the ones that are quiet – the latter being so much harder to portray. Character development is what Jessica Park should really be proud of. Her characters came alive for me, they became living, breathing people with problems, quirks and a sense of humor. Who could resist Celeste, a scarily intelligent 13-year-old who won’t leave the house without Flat Finn, a cardboard cutout of her oldest brother? Or Matt, a math geek with horrible T-shirts and a sense of humor that’s right up my alley?
Flat-Out Love completely changed my mind about self published books.I hope all of you will read it soon so we can gush about it together. (less)
I’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respe...moreI’m at a loss on how to rate this book. It’s really in a league of its own. I was tempted to give five stars, but I just couldn’t do that out of respect for Feed, The Reapers Are the Angels, Raw Blue and other books that blew me away and changed me forever. But in all (un)seriousness: this book is five star material and it’s absolutely hilarious!
You know those comedies that don’t make the least bit of sense? The ones you watch fully aware that they are stupid, and yet you can’t help laughing your ass off? That’s sort of how this is. The story has more holes than Swiss cheese, so if you’re looking for a serious YA zombie novel, you definitely won’t find it here. In fact, this book should come with a warning on the front cover: Abandon logic all ye who enter here! But the characters were adorable and they made me laugh out loud on almost every page. That alone made it worth reading.
Kate Grable is a science geek and the student trainer. She tends to minor injuries and hands out Gatorade to the players. Her job would be a lot easier if she wasn’t taking care of the worst football team in existence. She also has to watch her crush, Aaron, get beaten every single time he plays. They hit Aaron really hard; I heard the whoosh! his lungs made when all the air was forced out. I wanted to beat the heck out of the JV guys for that, except I wouldn’t know what to do in a fist fight without a manual.
Kate soon discovers that the desperate Coach has been giving illegal shots to some of his players and that those same players are turning into zombies. She has to use all her knowledge and available weapons to prevent her brother, Aaron and her friends from becoming zombies as well.
The next time you need a few hours of pure fun, read this book! I promise you won’t be sorry. (less)