Elizabeth Kirke’s Semester Aboard is a fun and exhilarating paranormal tale that includes elementals, mermaids, werewolves, witches, wizards, and vamp...moreElizabeth Kirke’s Semester Aboard is a fun and exhilarating paranormal tale that includes elementals, mermaids, werewolves, witches, wizards, and vampires. I truly enjoyed this fantastical book and fell deeply in love with the characters. I found them creeping into my thoughts when I wasn’t reading and they carried me away when I was.
Jen – is a bit naive when it comes to magic…or maybe she knows nothing about magic. When she happens across some students playing on deck, she finds there is nothing normal about them. And the things she learns about herself…unimaginable.
Dani (Danio) – is a water elemental, a noreid. He is always game for a practical joke and loves to give everyone a hard time. However, underneath the fun loving guy is a wealth of strength and secrets.
Mariana – just happens to be a mermaid. She has been the only girl intermingling with the magics on this journey through South America.
TS (Tethys) – could be none other than the overbearingly big werewolf. Human during the day, a wolf at night. TS is loyal and caring when it comes to his friends. Once you have crept your way into his friendship…he’s not likely to ever forget you.
Thomas – well, let’s just say we have a lot to learn about this young man. He and TS are as close as brothers…closer even. Their history is one for the books. Thomas is the brooding character and he has plenty of reasons.
Charlie – is a fire elemental, an Imp. He is flaming in more than one way. I loved Charlie. He’s fun-loving but fiercely protective of those he cares about.
Jon – adopted Thomas after a terrible accident left him without family. Jon is a wizard and an agent with the MES (Magical Enforcement and Security) Agency.
Mark – is Charlie’s roommate on the ship. Unfortunately he falls into the hands of the wrong person.
Semester Aboard begins with a group of college students spending a semester touring South America via ship. Jen…just an innocent human, happens to see something she shouldn’t have seen and now she will have to pay the consequences…good or bad. As Elizabeth Kirke takes us on an intriguing journey, we learn the many secrets that her characters are hiding. There will be magic, adventure, action, love and deception.
Things I loved: The interaction between Elizabeth’s characters feels real, not forced. The characters that are in love have been together for longer than I have been alive. The relationship Jen wants happens very slowly…if at all. Each time I sat down to read…I was pulled into the lives of these characters. Even though Semester Aboard was told in first person from Jen’s point of view…I definitely did not feel lost when it came to what the other characters were feeling. When someone got hurt…I felt it. When someone was happy…I felt it. When someone was in trouble…I wanted to run out and help.
Semester Aboard was different from most of the other books I have read. It was more of an urban fantasy than a romance. The interaction between so many paranormal races was interesting to say the least.
Things that were just so-so: At times I felt like the book dragged. It could possibly be my impatience in wanting to know how things would work out. I have that problem a lot which is why I can’t put a book down once I have started it. I also felt like Jen sat by and let a lot of things happen when she should have been helping more. Favorite Parts:
I looked up and froze. Thomas and Dani were still sitting on the bed and half on them – half off the bed, was a wolf. At least it looked like one. I had seen wolves in the zoo before, but this was nothing like them. – pg 44
How could I possibly just run away and leave him here to die? And then he pulled me closer and kissed me. For a moment my brain screeched to a halt. This couldn’t be happening. This was the wrong time, the worst possible time, for a kiss. The guy I had been trying to keep from developing a huge crush on was kissing me and we were both about to die. - pg 317
* I was given a free e-book by the author in return for an honest review of her work.(less)
The Monster's Daughter tells the story of a young lady who must face the sins of her father and prove she's not like him. He's a powerful vampire who...moreThe Monster's Daughter tells the story of a young lady who must face the sins of her father and prove she's not like him. He's a powerful vampire who lives on the darkside. Ginny, the favorite daughter, must protect her sister and her friends from his wrath. Sadly, she doesn't win every battle...which is part of the reason I enjoyed this novel so much. It's nice to see everything not go the way it is supposed to...at least sometimes.
Ginny's story isn't a long one, taking only a couple of hours for me to devour once I had time to FINALLY get to it. I enjoyed her boyfriend, Joey. He stuck beside her and helped her in any way he could...even when he didn't know Ginny's secret. The only thing I found somewhat off-putting is Ginny's reaction to certain horrific events. It appeared as if she simply accepted these great losses, with no real WTH?, and moved on. I definitely could have used a little more emotion on her part.
I love the unique spin Ms. Bryan put on the whole YA Vampire Phenomena. Ginny wasn't looking to become a vampire, much the opposite honestly. She did what she had to do to protect humans in general...not just her boyfriend. This novel is definitely told from a fresh and inventive outlook. I recommend The Monster's Daughter for all vampire enthusiasts.
*I received an ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review. (less)
After needing a break from reading so many dark books, I needed something fun. When I asked for recommendations I was repeatedly told to read Anna and...moreAfter needing a break from reading so many dark books, I needed something fun. When I asked for recommendations I was repeatedly told to read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Perfect recommendations...both of them.
I don't read a lot of contemporary YA but after reading Anna and the French Kiss, I can promise I will be reading tons more of this cute little sub-genre...plus lots more by Stephanie Perkins. She is so much fun to read. Her books are spunky and light. Her characters are always flawed in some completely human way but undeniably loveable. The kind of loveable that there is absolutely no way you can't fall in love with them.
Anna and the French Kiss tells a story of Anna, obviously, who is forced to go to a boarding school in France. How sad for her...right? Well, actually it really is. Her dad is now a famous author and decides that this is what she needs. She is a senior for goodness sake. Going to school in a different country for the last year of high school is completely ridiculous. Agreed? Well...personally, I would have loved to have gone to high school in Paris, and eventually Anna is grateful that she has this experience. It just takes time.
Anna wants nothing more than to become a film critic. She loves movies, all movies, but she doesn't want to be an actress. She lives to be the next great female film critic. Anna misses her home in Atlanta; her job at the Royal Midtown 14 multiplex; her friend, Bridgette; hopeful boyfriend, Toph; and her brother, Seany. Now she is in a new country, unable to speak French, without friends.
It doesn't take her long to make friends though. Meredith finds her crying in her room and invites her next door for hot chocolate and that marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Okay, a little far...maybe but it is exactly what Anna needed to make it through the night and the first day of school. Anna is soon surrounded with Meredith's other friends...including the infamous Etienne St. Clair, or just St. Clair. SWOON! I loved St. Clair from the moment Anna ran into him in the hall. I fell a little bit more in love with the turn of every page.
St. Clair has a girlfriend, Ellie. He has been with her for over a year and she may be the undoing of Anna. St. Clair proves to be a good friend, with great hair, and a sexy English accent. He has his own set of problems that only get worse throughout the year. His father is a giant @$$, refusing to let St. Clair go to San Fransisco to see his very sick mother. St. Clair goes a little insane, drinking a little too much, showing up at Anna's door and professing his undying love...only to be dragged away by his girlfriend. Things are changing all around St. Clair and he needs some sort of stability in his life, so breaking up with Ellie is out of the question...at least for a little while.
This it the first book I remember reading that is written in present tense. I remember reading an article somewhere stating that books written in present tense often sound like movie scripts. I never got that feeling from this book. Stephanie's writing is fun and upbeat. I love her fascination with hair. Her descriptions are out of this world. And her world building is completely made of awesomeness.
This book didn't make me want to go to Paris, it made me NEED to go. I loved the school, the sights, and the city. I loved St. Clair's crazy fear of heights and his love of The Hat. I loved that Anna couldn't speak French and was terrified to order food in the cafeteria. I loved that not one single person in this book was "perfect." This aspect of Stephanie's writing created perfect characters. I know...a little backwards...I know. I love that love didn't come quick or easy for Anna and St. Clair. They worked for it. I love that they were friends before they were anything else. I love, I love, I love.
I would like to tell you there was something I hated about this book but there wasn't. There wasn't even something I disliked...with the exception of St. Clair's dad...in this book. It left me smiling and happy. Completely refreshed for another round of darkness.(less)
I love books revolving around fate and destiny, so when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for a book called Meeting Destiny, how could I refus...moreI love books revolving around fate and destiny, so when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for a book called Meeting Destiny, how could I refuse? After actually reading the book, I know I couldn't have made a better decision...I was destined to read Ms. Straight's novel...so to speak.
Lauren is a young lady who works in a diner and is month's away from graduating from college. She's comfortable in her present life with a boyfriend she's known all her life and a great best friend. Who knew everything would change for her in the span of a single shift at the diner? Honestly... Lauren has suspicions that she is meant for something bigger. She'd been having dreams about her destiny for several years. It wasn't until a frightening incident during a shift at the diner, that she realized her life was tied to a green-eyed paramedic.
Now...many people will say there is an "insta-love" in Meeting Destiny and there is. But...what would you expect from a book about destiny? At first, I thought Lauren might have seemed a little pushy but truly, she was the one who understood her mission, and she had to make Max understand his. She accepted what needed to be done and refused to deviate from her path. Convincing Max to believe and trust in her is only part of the many tasks she must accomplish.
Several things about this novel stood out to me in ways others don't. First...Ms. Straight added action into the romance. Lauren, though some might find it annoying, was unwaveringly true to her path and herself. I don't want to lead you to believe that everything comes easy to Lauren, because that would be far, far from the truth. Lauren visibly struggles in her relationship with both Max and Seth. She finds her "sixth sense" difficult to explain to others, even those closest to her. But...throughout it all she remained strong and relentless.
I read Meeting Destiny in one sitting, taking only a couple of hours. It's a quick read that sucks you in from the first page and keeps you engaged until the very last sentence. And, well...there's a cliffhanger that will make you run on over to your bookstore of choice and download Destiny's Revenge and Destiny's Wrath, just like I did. (less)
I have just finished reading The Iron Knight…the last of the Iron Fey Series; but before I write that review, I thought it would be helpful to review...moreI have just finished reading The Iron Knight…the last of the Iron Fey Series; but before I write that review, I thought it would be helpful to review the other books in the series. What can I say, I was so hooked on this incredible journey that Julie began, I just kept reading and reading and reading.
I have always loved dark fey stories. Their sneaky, charming, addictive, and sometimes deadly ways fascinate me. Julie put a twist on her stories that I utterly and completely loved. “Fey are born from the dreams of mortals.” Wow! So when all the stories of fey, the big bad wolf, and other things that go bump in the night are forgotten, they will cease to exist! How unbelievably sad that makes me.
I believe the best way to get a feel for a story is know the characters, after all, they are the ones you will love or hate, the ones you will have a vested interest in. So, I shall introduce you to the characters of The Iron Fey Series, as they are in The Iron King. Many will continue throughout the series and all will change with time…for better or worse!
Meghan Chase – Meghan is the half-blood fairy who this series revolves around. In the human world, she is completely out of place. She is poor, lives in the middle of nowhere, and has one friend…Robbie (more on him later). Meghan has a crush on Scott Waldron, a boy at her school. Sadly, he only lives to torture her. Meghan may have one flaw…personal loyalty. She places the safety of those she cares about above her own safety. Choosing who to save and when may be her downfall!
Ethan – Meghan’s fully human four-year old brother who finds himself thrown into Their world.
Robbie – Meghan’s one human? friend. She has known him since before she can remember. He is her closest neighbor, although she has never seen his house. He is also quite the prankster. He is protective of Meghan and may possibly have his own crush on her. However, Robbie aka Robin Goodfellow aka Puck, may have more than one secret to hide.
Grimalkin – The all knowing Cait Sith that will lead Meghan and her friends through NeverNever.
Oberon – King of Summer Court, Seelie. Also, the fey half of Meghan’s parentage.
Ash – Prince of the Winter Court, Unseelie. Unbelievably charming and handsome, he is also cold and dangerous. He is the once best friend turned enemy to Puck. The Winter Court has a long standing grudge with the Summer Court, making Ash and Meghan natural enemies.
Queen Mab – The Queen of Winter Court. She is a heartless and ruthless ruler who has little regard for any type life…fey or otherwise.
King Machina – The King of the Iron Kingdom. His fey could be the end of NeverNever and all fey.
Ironhorse and Virus – Lieutenants to King Machina.
Well, as you can see, there are many players on the field and what will come to pass is only to be seen. Meghan is the only thing that can stop the Iron Kingdom from killing all of NeverNever. Robin Goodfellow and Prince Ash may have to save the killing for another day…not to worry, a squirmish or two may arise. And man, Robin makes me laugh.
In the land of the fey, nothing is free. Any favor done, means a favor in return. Contracts and vows are irreversible. Politics galore…
Julie invented a fascinating world to live and dream in. She pulls you into the story, causing you to invest yourself in the characters life. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should. (less)
Have any of you read anything by Abbi Glines? The Vincent Boys, The Vincent Brothers, Existence, Predestined, Because of Low, Breathe? Anything? If not, make it your mission to pick up any of these books, though I highly recommend the Sea Breeze Series - Breathe, Because of Low, and While it Lasts. Everything Abbi writes, borders on amazing. Pure and simple. She's got her bad boys down to a fine art and gosh, Cage York is so bad, he makes me wish he were real. He IS the bad boy I would fall for, hands down!
"No; my daddy didn't teach me anything but that his fucking fists were bigger than my momma's and how to skip out on your family," I replied with a sneer in my voice.
If you've read Because of Low, you know exactly how bad Cage is. He grew up in a house where his dad beat his mom and then deserted the both of them. Low is the only person in his life who never left him, but when Marcus entered the picture, Cage feared loosing her too. But she would never leave him. Ever. And Cage on a ranch, with cows...funnier than you can imagine.
Those damn cows came running when I showed up with the feed. They actually knew it was chow time and I had the goods. I was also scary as shit to have those sons of bitches running at you like they were going to trample you.
Really, it was no surprise that Cage ended up with a DUI. The boy partied more nights than he stayed at home. Wait? I'm actually not sure he ever spent a night lounging around at home. He had girls galore, often more than one at a time. He never bothered to get a phone number because he knew he was never going back. Not a single one of them held Cage's attention for more than a few hours. Until his baseball coach sent Cage to a farm to bail hay and chase cows - or hell, as Cage sees it. However, there is one angel who might save his summer, IF he can get her attention, but Cage isn't used to trying.
I absolutely loved seeing the so-bad-he's-sinful Cage fall in love for the first time. I loved seeing him work to garner a girls attention. And I loved watching him screw up. Let's face it, it was bound to happen.
Eva's not any typical girl. She's dated the same guy all her life, until he died fighting in Baghdad. Now, she's alone and not looking for love. She's got her overprotective dad and her fiance's brother, Jeremy. It's been nearly two years, and she hasn't removed her engagement ring. Cage is absolutely the wrong choice for her. No doubt about it. But something about his southern charm and the way he seems to genuinely care, has her running toward him, when she should be running from him...every girl should run away from Cage York. Even he knows that.
Okay, so if you're not hooked by the prologue, read a chapter or two more and you will be in love. Seriously, the prologue had me in tears. A hell of a way to capture the readers attention... But then Cage's antics had me captivated until the very last page. I wanted to skip ahead and read the end because I had to know, but I reminded myself how humorous the book would be all the way through. Oh, and did I mention HOT AS HADES?
"You're the drunk," she stated. It wasn't a question. So, I din't reply. Instead, I flashed her a smile that I knew affected any female's panties and took a step toward her. "I got a lot of names, baby," I finally responded. Her eyebrows arched, straightened her stance and shot me the coldest glare I'd ever witnessed. What was this chick's deal? "I'm sure you do. Let me guess: STD, Loser, Jackass, and Drunk just to name a few..."
Ah...if there were ever a match for Cage, it is Eva. She's already got his number, and I'm not talking phone. I loved her wittiness and her bravado when it came to Cage's advances...at least in the beginning. She absolutely wasn't putting up with his shit. Just the kind of girl Cage needs.
The naughty girl inside me, that I honestly didn't know existed, bent my head down and looked up at him through my lashes as I flicked it with my tongue. "Ah, shit," he whispered but it almost sounded like a moan. Encouraged by his response I flattened my tongue and ran it up and over his hard nipple.
Needless to say, things progress, not without a few bumps in the road though. The thing I adored about Eva was her take charge attitude. No matter what the circumstances were.
Abbi chose to write While it Lasts from both Cage's and Eva's POV. I honestly don't think there was any other way. To get the full impact the reader has to know Cage's side, but they also have to see the heart-ache and insecurities of the person getting close to Cage. As a fictional character, he's easy to love, but as a trustworthy boyfriend, I'd say it would be nearly impossible to ride out the Cage York hurricane. I have a thing for broken boys, and Cage is 150% broken. Yes, I know it's impossible, but he is. Eva's also broken and watching the two of them mend each other tugged at my heart and brought me close to tears once or twice. (less)
Sorry girls, I know I'm going to take some heat for this one, but a person can't help what they feel.
First, I want to state that I LOVE Abbi Glines, I...moreSorry girls, I know I'm going to take some heat for this one, but a person can't help what they feel.
First, I want to state that I LOVE Abbi Glines, I've loved every book she's ever written and I love Fallen Too Far. The storyline is intriguing, Rush is another of Abbi's hot playboys, and though I feel like Blaire fell a little short, she's a good character.
Blaire's forced to leave all she's ever known after her mother died. She sold her house and moved to Florida with her dead-beat dad; except, when she arrived, he'd taken off to Paris with his new wife. Her son greets Blaire, well...one of her sons, that is. Outside of Grant, Blaire's arrival is unwanted, to put it kindly. Rush is outright rude and Nan is a flat-out bitch, excuse the language but this girl has not one redeemable quality. I'm really not sure Rush is redeemable, I believe he could be but his character lacks depth. Needless to say, Blaire falls helplessly in love with Rush, Rush tries to push her away because he's hiding some major secrets, then he can't help himself anymore and gives in. Then, in a most unfortunate way, all the secrets are revealed, leaving Blaire confused and pissed...with good reason.
That's a very short overview of the storyline, and no matter how it sounds, I sincerely loved the plot and the characters, I just didn't buy the whole thing this time. Things feel a little rushed. I'm a fan of insta-love, yes I said it...hate away. I love the concept of love at first sight, I love the fairy tale aspect to it, especially in YA because teens tend to be impetuous, but this isn't YA...it's New Adult. Oh how I do digress, back to Fallen Too Far. Blaire catches Rush in some questionable positions, pun totally intended, then is willing to forgo everything and invite him into her room under the stairs. I'm not going to lie...the fact he asked her to sleep under the stairs completely offended me. The fact she agreed, and felt grateful, could not be explained.
I liked Blaire because she refused to be pushed down. After everything she'd been through, she could have easily accepted Rush's offer and "mooched" off him and his trust fund for quite some time. However, she immediately starts applying for jobs, finds one, and starts saving her money. She's not afraid to defend herself, physically at least, and works hard with a firm set of morals. She's determined not to become a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who plays with the elite. She's flawed and a bit naive, like any heroine should be.
Rush, is well, the spoiled child of a world famous rock star, except that's not all there is to him. It takes a while for Abbi to explain what he does with himself when not partying the summer away, but she eventually gets there. He's messed up, done some stupid stuff, but hasn't everyone. The biggest secret he's keeping involves his sister, Nan, and he only did what he did because he loves her. Now he's regretting his actions and will pay the price for them.
Like I said earlier, Nan is a rich bitch who's always gotten her way. Nothing she does in the book makes me feel the least bit sorry for her...even when the secret's revealed.
Woods may be my favorite character in the book. He's rich, his dad own's the country club and he'll inherit it eventually. We don't see it, but I suspect he works hard...even though he spends most of his days on the golf course. He's flirtatious, but he knows when to pull back. He realizes Blaire's interests lay elsewhere and he stops pursuing her, though he's still a good friend to her.
I'm not sure how I feel about Bethy. I'll let you know after the next book.
Contrary to the popular opinion...I thought the ending was perfect. Yes, I'm biting at the nail to get Never Too Far, but Blaire did what she needed to do for her and I'm okay with that.
~Um, I wasn't sold on the story. Some things seemed a little unbelievable. Why did Blaire like Rush so much? I didn't really understand. Blaire's complete innocence, yet abrupt change once her and Rush hooked up. I could never imagine myself pursuing someone in this manner.
~Okay...this one will probably get me kicked off the internet, but definitely out of Texas. I felt like the second amendment was being shoved down my throat. I get the first reference to Blaire's gun and I get why she felt like she needed to defend herself, she was frightened, but when she pulls it out the second time, there was no reason other than anger. It made her seem even more off-balance than she already did.
~EDITING!!! OMG! I nearly put the book down a few times. Please, oh please, edit your books and then edit your editor. Know the difference between to/too and was/were. Use commas where they're needed. Double check spelling of characters' names. The only thing that kept me from setting it down was my love for Abbi. Her books are typically well edited and flow much better. I'm thinking maybe she was in a hurry to put Fallen Too Far out, but I'd rather wait a little longer and have a better book.
~If you're going to write about sex, write about it. Please do not refer to a girl's vagina as her ache. Seriously, who says that. I'm not asking for crass, nasty words, but ache? Really? Also, before a condomless ride, multiple issues should have been addressed. Blaire had seen Rush with multiple partners in a couple of weeks time...multiple as in several, not a couple. She was a virgin who wasn't on birth control. I sort of see a storyline for Never Too Far emerging and I hope I'm wrong, because I hate to see Blaire go down that road with Rush and their crazy ass family.(less)
So, I haven't read Crave, book 1 in The Clann Series, but I seriously loved Covet! Every page was filled with twists and turns, love and friendship, a...moreSo, I haven't read Crave, book 1 in The Clann Series, but I seriously loved Covet! Every page was filled with twists and turns, love and friendship, allies and enemies. Some of my intuitions were right, others were completely out of this universe.
I want to start by saying, Ms. Darnell created a group of multifaceted characters, both primary and secondary. Anne is one of the strongest female characters I've read about in a long time. She's a true friend to Savannah and the girl knows how to keep a secret. Ron is a protector and stands by Sav's side, regardless of his relationship mishaps with Anne. I'm interested to find out more of what happens to Emily in book 3, until then, I'll have to settle for knowing she holds some intrigue to her.
My first opinion of this book is that it is filled with parents trying too hard to protect their children from the truth while simultaneously pushing them into danger because they do not possess the knowledge, skills, or facts to protect themselves. The conclusion of the book did not alter my opinion one smidgen.
Tristan's family and the Clann refuse to allow him to see Savannah with "because we said so" as their reasoning. Okay, so Sav's half-vampire and Tristan knows it, what neither understand is why they're still being forced to abide by laws which are, quite literally, centuries old.
The vampire counsel tells Sav she must stay away from Tristan, but it's not until horrific events come to pass that she finds out exactly why. Luckily for her, she has her dad to help guide and protect her. Sav's father seems to be the only adult in the entire book who has half a clue. Her mother isn't too terrible, but best I can tell, she's spent nearly 17 years keeping Savannah from her destiny only to be completely blindsided by before mentioned horrific events.
I truly enjoyed the first half of the book, but when I reached the 50% mark, I was enthralled. It was a battle for me to put down the book and shut my eyes both nights. I loved Sav and her spunky attitude. She refused to skip school and let the Clann win. She embraced her vampire side, eventually, then she became empowered by her witchiness. Dylan and the Brat Twins became little more than annoying little flees to Sav, even without Tristan by her side.
Ms. Darnell certainly knows how to keep her readers' attention and throws more WTH moments than teenagers reading Shakespeare. Come on...everyone knows you don't appreciate the classics until you're much older. The pace picks up nicely toward the middle of the book, making it near impossible to put down. Tristan's and Savannah's thoughts are portrayed nicely through alternating first-person POVs. I always love seeing both sides of a story. Leaves less guessing on my part.
And, hey, if you want a small glimpse into what to expect from Consume, book #3, run by HERE and read my interview with Melissa Darnell and enter to win a prize package from HarlequinTeen.
I obtained Covet from NetGalley and HarlequinTeen in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual blog tour.(less)
This Same Earth is exactly what I have come to expect from the brilliant Elizabeth Hunter - fierce, sexy, and mysterious. This is the second book in t...moreThis Same Earth is exactly what I have come to expect from the brilliant Elizabeth Hunter - fierce, sexy, and mysterious. This is the second book in the Elemental Mysteries Series, a series delving into a complete new world of vampires. The mystical creatures are able to call on one of the elements: earth, air, water, or fire to aid with anything from lighting a fire to battling their enemies. Their abilities coincide with their element, obviously. The lovely Beatrice stumbled into this world in A Hidden Fire, only to find herself deserted by the one she loved. In this installment, she will be forced to face her past and make decisions that will change her life forever.
Beatrice has grown into a beautiful young woman and has attempted to put the past behind her. She has a great job, owns a quaint little home, and has normal friends - including a boyfriend she loves. Gio disappeared from her life the day she moved to California and she despises him because of it. She suspects he has had a behind-the-scenes role in her life over the years; what she doesn't know is how great that role has been. She has no idea the extents he has taken to assure that she is safe. The people Beatrice has surrounded herself with all these years may not be what they seem.
When the past waltzes back into her life as nothing has changed, Bea finds herself buried in turmoil over her feelings for Gio. She is determined that he will earn her trust again, that he will not just up and disappear again, leaving her broken once again. The romantic tension between these two lurches up a few notches as Bea is determined to remain friends and avoid all romantic feelings for the fire vampire while Gio is determined to have Beatrice back in his life as much more than friends. Who will win, I wonder?
Just as the two are making their way to becoming friends, Lorenzo strikes again...killing someone dear to Gio. Beatrice is determined to be a part of this journey in every way. We tag along with Gio and Bea as they tromp through Europe, seeking justice and freedom, meeting an eclectic group of characters who provide both stability and chaos throughout the adventure. Some you will love and others you will hate. And have no fear...many of the old characters make appearances as time moves forward.
Ms. Hunter's phenomenal world building skills drop you deep into a world fraught with fantastical creatures, frightening circumstances, and unyielding love. This is an unique and addicting series.
The Force of Wind makes it's debut in March of 2012. I am not sure I can wait that long. (less)
I honestly admit that I don't read a lot of religious based literature, but Beyond (The Academy) was a truly fascinating read. One thing I really like...moreI honestly admit that I don't read a lot of religious based literature, but Beyond (The Academy) was a truly fascinating read. One thing I really liked was the use of second person narrative in the first chapter. Ms. Boje allows Meghan to speak directly to the reader. This is a very unusual technique seldom used in YA literature. After the first chapter, the narrative becomes first person from Meghan's point of view. The book is based on a prominent Christian belief system and focuses on fate and the intervention of fate.
We start the story with Meghan boarding a ship headed for The Academy where she is told that she is now dead and a part of the spirit world. She has no memory of her past life except that she knows she has parents...but she has no idea who they are. While attending The Academy, Meghan will learn how to be a spirit and how to assist humans to make wise decisions in life. Problem is, Meghan will have to learn to make the same type decisions herself. I love Meghan as the protagonist. I envision great things for her. She is already strong and loyal with a good heart.
Meghan accidentally becomes privy to information she should have never seen. When she comes in contact with Jason, a living human, she realizes she has seen him before and his outcome will not be a happy one. He is destined to face a brutal ending of his life. Meghan knows she isn't supposed to tell him, but feels it is the right thing to do. Her friend Mick discourages her, siting that it is against the rules. Her internal battle between right and wrong drives her into depression, making her a target for the evil spirits. Doing the right thing is never easy.
Beyond (The Academy) was a quick and inspirational read. There was heart-ache and death but there were also times of accomplishment and joy. I always enjoy a good protagonist facing an internal battle. I highly recommend this book. I look forward to the sequel and learning more about Meghan, Mick, and Jason.(less)
I absolutely adored Masters of the Veil. It is a unique and creative read in today's sometimes overwhelmin...moreOriginally reviewed at Better Read Than Dead
I absolutely adored Masters of the Veil. It is a unique and creative read in today's sometimes overwhelming YA market. Daniel is taking JK Rowling's lead and putting a whole new twist on fantasy. I love that this book starts in Texas...being a Texas girl myself. When you combine Texas and Football...well, you can't go wrong. Then you throw in a heaping spoonful of magic and POW...you have the makings for an extraordinary novel. Congrats Daniel...you brought your A game. Ok...enough fan-girling. Let me tell you a little about this book.
Sam, the All-American hero - popular, talented, and a bit cocky - finds himself in a whole new world after a disastrous football game. Somehow he managed to freeze time and that, my friend, has consequences. Not to mention, from that point forward, things just continue to get weirder for Sam. He finds himself kidnapped and shuffled off for the Atlas Crown. Here he is expected to learn about his magic and how to control his powers. Hopefully Sam can return to his normal life...sooner, rather than later. At least this is what Sam believes he wants.
Sam is a very real character. He faces doubts, temptations, mistakes, and eventually success. He does so in a very teenagerish way - impulsive, angry, and with the finesse of a...well, football player in a china shop - so to speak. He's not happy with what seems to be his destiny...he wants to return to his hometown, play some football and possibly go pro. He wants to flirt, date, and worry about everything else later. He finds magic difficult and doesn't really have the temperament to work through it patiently. This will be his ultimate downfall. What teenager doesn't get frustrated and temperamental from time-to-time.
Daniel's writing is creative in ways I can only dream about. He invents foods that I'm dying to taste, animals that shouldn't exist (but I love that they do), and characters who make you feel. Daniel did a guest post about a character, Glissandro Thicket, who could only speak by playing his horn. I loved Glissandro. Born without the ability to speak, he was lucky enough to be a part of the magical realm. He acquired a horn...which you can read about HERE...and through sorcery, the horn now speaks for him. He is a strong but shy character who you can't help but fall for. Even the girls have a hard time keeping their hands off him.
Now...for those of you looking for heaps of romance...this isn't one of those books. There is flirtation and hints of relationships to come. Some girls are vying for Sam's attention, others are not so impressed with his cavalier and sometimes downright hostile attitude. With all this said, I highly recommend picking up Masters of the Veil...especially if you are looking for something off the beaten path. I doubt you will be disappointed.
The only problem I had was interpreting the different terminology. This is a high-fantasy book with many author-created terms. Other than that...a perfect diversion from my everyday life.
Masters of the Veil is an action-packed and thrilling ride through a magical land. The twists and turns will hold your attention and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Other Masters of the Veil related posts: ~Guest Post: Glissandro Thicket ~Interview with Daniel Cohen
*Thank you to Kate Kaynak, Daniel Cohen, and Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a free uncorrected ARC in exchange for my honest review. You guys are wonderful!(less)
I read Bloodrose THE DAY it released, the very day, in one sitting. It has taken me the better part of a month to become impartial enough not to just...moreI read Bloodrose THE DAY it released, the very day, in one sitting. It has taken me the better part of a month to become impartial enough not to just sit down and write a scathing review about how badly I disliked certain things that happened. That wouldn't have been fair, because while there were things about this book that frustrated me, Bloodrose is a very well written book, with plenty of action and romance that kept me reading for eight straight hours, and any book that can do that...well, it deserves better than I would have given it minutes or even days after I finished tearing through it.
I needed to complain to my friends and anyone else who would listen. I needed to let all the events settle. I needed to step away and gain some perspective. Which is exactly what I did.
In the third and final installment of the Nightshade Series, Renier Laroche is now at the Academy and the sexual tension reaches an all time high. In order for Shay to complete his quests, he needs to be surrounded by people he can trust and strong warriors. Everybody knows Ren is the best there is, but can Shay trust him? Strangely enough...yes, at least in battle...now with Calla, that's a whole different story.
Calla calls top spot as the Alpha going into this final journey, stating she refuses to pick a mate until the war between the Searchers and the Keepers is behind them. The saying "easier said than done" takes on a whole new meaning in this case. Neither of the boys gives her a single moment of peace, each promoting their own agenda and Calla finds it hard to resist either of them. But Calla and her men aren't the only ones in love...many of the secondary characters finally find their homes.
The final battle is one of my favorite action scenes in any book. Pack mates are forced to fight one another, others reunite, and many will perish for the greater good. Those left standing may not be happy with their ultimate destiny...some will relish in it.
Many people will be heart-broken and maybe a little furious with the conclusion of the Nightshade Series. Honestly, I was mortified but I have the utmost respect Andrea Cremer's writing and her talent. She writes fascinating and complex characters and throws twists into plots like no one else can...well, she and Cassandra Clare run a close race in that arena. Things will happen that you never saw coming, and most of them, well...you'll just have to decide for yourself...
The actual story is not why Bloodrose isn't receiving a higher rating from me...it's more about the digression of the storyline throughout the series. Now...while Bloodrose was fast-paced and action-packed, I felt like everything I loved about Nightshade just disappeared during Wolfsbane and this installment. The underlying themes of fate, politics, and hard choices are what pulled me into this series initially...by the third book, the only thing left was a farce of political shortcomings. I feel like this series could have been so much more...I'm just not sure where it all went wrong.
I was immediately drawn into this thrilling, twisting and always surprising read from the very first page. Everything from the color and the font of t...moreI was immediately drawn into this thrilling, twisting and always surprising read from the very first page. Everything from the color and the font of the cover to the very first page drew me in. The old saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" doesn't hold true in this case. Holly Ward wrote an outstanding debut indie book. I was hooked from page one. Filled with turns, drops, and spirals; the book reminded me of a first ride on a roller coaster.
Ivy Taylor's character was dramatic and built layers deep. She struggles with problems most teenagers don't have. She has lost her sister and drowns her sorrows by indulging in random make-out sessions with anonymous boys. She trusts very few and will be forced to question the trust of everyone around her. Her life depends on it. Every character plays an intragal role in this book.
Demon Kissed is a classic struggle between good and bad; however, as you read, you will find that things are rarely as black and white as they may seem. Are some things purely destiny or do we have control by the choices we make?
Cursed, the second book in this series, will be release later this summer. I cannot wait.(less)