Victoria Dahl is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers; it’s pretty much a guarantee that heRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z
Victoria Dahl is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers; it’s pretty much a guarantee that her stories are going to be funny, heartwarming, and of course, incredibly hot. Good Girls Don’t is a great start to her new series, featuring the three Donovan siblings. I love that each sibling gets their own book, because it means that we don’t have to leave the characters right away, plus we get to check up on how old relationships are doing throughout the series.
Tessa is the youngest sibling and only girl, and she was a great introduction into the dynamics of the Donovan family. I absolutely love stories centered around families, and as an only girl with two brothers in my own family, I could definitely identify with her. She’s a total firecracker, which is so fun to read about, and her growth and maturity throughout the novel was really satisfying. Eric and Jamie’s protectiveness did get very annoying though – she’s freaking 27 years old! She’s an adult! Sometimes they treated her like she was still 12. It was a relief to watch the two of them grow up and realize she’s not a kid anymore.
I also really enjoyed getting to go more in-depth into Luke’s situation. Even though this is a series about the Donovans, it just added so much to know where Luke was coming from and what was going on in his life. Luke and Tessa have great chemistry and their scenes together are all so fun to read, whether they’re talking, fighting, or getting up to some sexy sexy shenanigans.
I loved Good Girls Don’t, and I can’t wait to get to know Eric and Jamie better in their stories. If you like your romance with incredible heart, hilarious misunderstandings, and lots of sizzle, I’d definitely recommend checking this one out....more
Time travel stories are always a little iffy for me. Sometimes they work incredibly well (like The Time Traveler’s WiOriginally posted at From A to Z.
Time travel stories are always a little iffy for me. Sometimes they work incredibly well (like The Time Traveler’s Wife), and sometimes they’re just too confusing and give me a headache (can’t think of an example right now but you know what I mean! :P). Tempest falls somewhere in-between for me, but overall I did enjoyed the story.
We learn about the rules of Jackson’s ability to time travel right at the beginning, which sets up the story nicely. But as things progress Jackson slowly begins to realize that he doesn’t even begin to understand everything that’s going on and things are way bigger than he ever imagined.
This is kind of where things got out of hand for me. I felt like the plot just had too many different elements and everything was unnecessarily complicated and a little bit unbelievable (yes, even for a science fiction story). I didn’t fully buy into the CIA/Enemies of Time subplot, and I wish that there had been a bigger focus on the simpler aspects of the story instead of trying to introduce so many things at once. The time travel aspect itself can be confusing if you start to think about it too much, but as long as you just go with it then it’s easy enough to understand.
I did really love Jackson’s visits with his sister, they were some of my favorite scenes in the novel, and I would have liked to see more of that developed. It was also really fun watching Jackson interact with the past versions of his friends, especially Adam (yay for science geeks!). Having a male protagonist is always a refreshing change in YA and I enjoyed seeing things through his point of view. And THANK YOU Jackson, for refusing to go back to high school! I’ve always thought it was so ridiculous that so many supernatural immortal characters would actually spend their time in high school (Really?? Really?), and I might have cheered a little bit when college-age Jackson put his foot down (although I don’t understand why his dad was so accommodating; MY parents definitely wouldn’t have been). All that said, I never really connected with Jackson very well, and I also didn’t feel much for Holly. I think this may be because she is shot so quickly at the beginning of the novel that I didn’t really have a chance to get to know her, so I just didn’t care that much.
The climax of the novel is action-packed and high-stakes, and leaves the reader with a slightly bittersweet feeling and a desire for more. Holly’s writing is incredibly visual and cinematic, and the whole thing kind of feels like a action movie, which made the book fun to read even with my lack of connection to the characters. I also definitely still have some questions about the logistics of the time traveling, but I’m hoping the second book might answer them.
Overall, although it didn't wow me, Tempest is an engrossing and entertaining story, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next....more
There are absolutely no words for how much I LOVE this book. This is probably going to be less of a review aOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
There are absolutely no words for how much I LOVE this book. This is probably going to be less of a review and more of just a gushing love letter to Graffiti Moon and Cath Crowley. I fell in love when I first read it back in August last year and then I fell in love all over again when I reread it just a few weeks ago. Everyone needs to go preorder it RIGHT NOW, because this book is amaaaaaazing.
Graffiti Moon is one of those rare books where every element seems to come together and blend pretty much perfectly. The plot, the execution, the dialogue, the characters, the writing…they’re all flawless and create this perfect little package, this wonderful gem of a book.
I knew I wanted to read Graffiti Moon the moment I read the synopsis. A group of teenagers, giddy and celebrating the end of high school, going on an all-night adventure to search for a mysterious graffiti artist? And then add in the fact that the two main characters have an awkward past together? Oh yes please, sign me up. And what a group of friends! These kids are AWESOME, you guys. Funny and clever and witty and they have the BEST conversations. There are some truly hilarious moments where I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Seriously, I wish I had conversations like this with my friends. The dialogue and banter between Ed and Lucy in particular is enough to make me grin, but all the other side characters are just as awesome. Even Lucy’s parents are fantastic. This book just crackles with chemistry and the magic of this kind of night when anything can happen.
And the writing. Oh my goodness, the writing. I could go on and on about how beautifully this book is written. It took me longer than usual to read Graffiti Moon because I kept stopping and reading certain segments over and over again. My second time reading it I decided to highlight all my favorite passages, and then I stopped because I realized I was highlighting almost the entire book. The writing is just gorgeous and flowing and perfect. Cath Crowley paints beautiful pictures with her words and the entire night comes alive for the reader. This is particularly magical because of all the art happening in this book – Shadow’s painting and Lucy’s glassblowing and Poet’s words. She makes me want to put on a smock and create something.
The story is told through alternating points of view, going back and forth between Lucy and Ed, with occasional short chapters of Poet’s poems. I loved this format, and I think it worked really well for the book. It was so fun being able to get inside both Ed’s and Lucy’s heads. At times the chapters would overlap a little, and even though this sometimes felt unnecessarily repetitive, at other times it was really interesting to see the same scene from both sides. Both characters are so incredibly real – they make mistakes and say stupid things and life isn’t a fairy tale, and that’s part of why this book is so delightful.
Graffiti Moon is a stunning novel, one that I will be rereading over and over and over again. With fabulously clever dialogue, gorgeous descriptive writing, and an all-night adventure you won’t ever want to leave, this is officially one of my favorite books of all time.
Some favorite quotes: (I don’t usually do this for books but I just couldn’t help it. Also this is not NEARLY all of them. I had a hard enough time limiting myself to these.)
‘The night didn't go so well because I broke his nose, which was an accident that happened when I hit him in the face because he touched my arse.’ ~~~~~
‘“I know about graffiti,” I say, and the words come out as if I’m an old lady saying she likes the hip-hop.’ ~~~~~
‘Mum says when wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide. I want to run right into Shadow and let the force spill our thoughts so we can pick each other up and pass each other back like piles of shiny stones.’ ~~~~~
‘He was leaning back in his chair and staring at me. And every time he stared I felt like I’d touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. I was nothing but tingle. After a while the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I was pretty sure we had nothing in common, but a girl doesn’t think straight when she’s that close to electrocution.’ ~~~~~
‘I liked that he had hair that was growing without a plan.’ ~~~~~
‘For that week after Ed asked me out and before we went on the date, I felt like the world was heated glass and I was glad to be trapped.’ ~~~~~
‘“I know that” I say, trying to act like I’m not embarrassed for thinking love and sex are the same thing. I know they’re not, but I want them to be close enough to at least brush each other as they pass. ~~~~~...more
I’ve been looking forward to reading Elemental Reality ever since I first saw the gorgeous cover (isn’Read this review and more on my blog From A to Z
I’ve been looking forward to reading Elemental Reality ever since I first saw the gorgeous cover (isn’t it absolutely stunning??), and I’m happy to say that the story doesn’t disappoint. Faeries may be a very popular subject for YA novels these days, but Cesya puts a fresh spin on it and manages to create an entirely new world.
One of my favorite things about the novel is that unlike many other faerie books, there’s no pervasive feeling of darkness and gloom. Okay sure, there are definitely bad guys and a fast-approaching possible war with Demons, but the novel is just so fun that the overall tone is much lighter and entertaining. Faerie powers! Hot Aussie boy! Wings that actually fly! Elemental Reality shows that it can actually be exciting to be a supernatural being, even when there is also serious stuff going on. I will say that I had some trouble getting into the writing style at first; I was enjoying the novel but it felt a bit unpolished (to be fair I read an ARC, so it is possible that it was not the absolute final version). But after a while I found myself enjoying the breezy tone and just completely devouring it.
The characters in Elemental Reality are all well-developed and extremely likeable, and it was such fun to watch Callie interacting with her sister and friends. Lola cracks me up, she’s so hilarious. And Callie’s interactions with Oli… I don’t really think “fun” is the right word. Probably steamy would be more appropriate. Or hot. Either one works, really. :P The tension between these two was fantastic and I am most definitely looking forward to more from them in the sequel. *waggles eyebrows suggestively*
Elemental Reality is an impressive debut novel, and I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a fun, fast-paced read with awesome characters, sizzling romance, danger, intrigue, and a gripping cliffhanger that will no doubt leave you wanting more.
*Thanks so much to Jennifer Baker at Revolution Publishing for letting me participate in the Elemental Reality blog tour and providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
**Cesya is visiting my blog today with an awesome guest post, check it out here!...more
Initial reaction: Excellent and frustrating and utterly addictive.
Rating is probably more like 4.5/5 stars. Review originally posted on my blog, From AInitial reaction: Excellent and frustrating and utterly addictive.
Rating is probably more like 4.5/5 stars. Review originally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
Fracture took me completely by surprise and I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would. At times it was almost physically painful to read and I actually had to put it down so that I could yell at fictional characters and wouldn’t throw the book across the room (and since I was reading on St Clair (my ereader) that would have been very bad). This reaction is a tribute to the fact that a) I clearly get too invested in fiction and need to get a life, and b) the storytelling was absolutely incredible.
Megan Miranda has this amazing ability to pull you completely into the story and make you feel everything the characters are feeling. Even though the majority of readers will not have experienced anything like what Delaney goes through, you can’t help but relate to her and understand her actions and motivations. She is an incredibly likeable and sympathetic character, and my heart ached for her throughout the story.
Delaney’s accident and miraculous recovery have very serious repercussions, both for her and for the people around her. Although Delaney survived her accident in the most basic sense of the word, things can’t just go back to normal, and the cracks that develop in her relationships with her family and friends (particularly her best friend, Decker) feel both heartbreaking and incredibly realistic. Even leaving aside the supernatural aspect of Delaney being able to sense death (which is a very cool and subtle addition), the exploration of the real-life consequences of what happened is the main strength of the story for me, and I thought it was handled just beautifully.
Fracture is an intense and stunning read, and I absolutely loved it. It stayed with me long after I finished reading and I’m eagerly looking forward to more from Megan Miranda. Don’t miss this one!...more
Okay, here’s where I feel like an idiot, because even though I’d seen everyone raving about this book, I hadOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
Okay, here’s where I feel like an idiot, because even though I’d seen everyone raving about this book, I had Wanderlove in my possession for SIX MONTHS before I read it. Six. Months. And now that I’ve read it, I can see that this is totally unforgiveable, because you guys, this book is AMAZING. Amaaaaaaaazing.
Wanderlove is escapist fiction in the absolute best sense of the word. Kirsten Hubbard transports the reader so completely into backpacker Central America, it’s incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to both live and travel in the Caribbean and Central America at various times in my life, and everything is portrayed perfectly. The mentality and atmosphere of the Caribbean, the heat and discomfort of traveling by bus, the children playing soccer, the food, the gorgeous beaches, the little critters in the hostel, the cold outdoor showers… I got so nostalgic while reading, I looked up plane tickets almost immediately after I finished (once I was done grinning like a fool, that is). Kirsten Hubbard is an avid backpacker herself, and it definitely comes across in her realistic and affectionate portrayal of Guatemala and Belize.
Bria is such a unique and fun character in the world of YA contemps and I absolutely loved her voice. Wanderlove is both a physical journey through Central America as well as an emotional one, and I love how Bria developed as a character throughout the story. Both she and Rowan have a lot they need to work through, and watching them do this as they traverse mountains and beaches and villages is a special joy.
And speaking of Rowan, I want to apologize in advance for this next paragraph, but I just need to take a minute to be a total girl. Holy. Crap. This boy is so damn attractive. Quickened pulse? Check. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about him just works for me. He has that dangerous edge to him because of his shady past, but he’s working hard to move past that which is so endearing to me. He’s also incredibly smart and well-traveled, reads all the time, and he’s a dive instructor. This is like my perfect guy, people. I’m still fanning myself. Kirsten, if you come across a boy like Rowan in your future travels, feel free to send him my way. ;)
And the romance! This is slow burn romance at its best. Totally swoonworthy. This is the kind of love story where you can feel their connection from the start, and even though you’re kind of dying for them to just make out already, you don’t actually want it to happen because you know that the slow-building tension and the little moments along the way (late night conversations while sharing a hammock are my favorite) are just going to make it so much better when it finally does happen. And hoo boy, Kirsten makes it happen. I’m still swooning.
If you can’t tell already, I am freaking IN LOVE with this book. I decided to start reading it around 1 am one night before I went to sleep (yeah, I’m a night owl), and I seriously didn’t sleep all night because I just couldn’t put it down. Eight in the morning rolled around and I could be found lying there clutching the book to my chest and grinning and sighing with happiness. I was pretty nonfunctional the next day, I can tell you that. But it was so worth it.
Whether or not you’re interested in traveling yourself, I guarantee you will enjoy Bria’s journey, bugs and all. And Wanderlove has gorgeous illustrations that are not only completely relevant to the story, but are drawn by the author herself! So. Cool. This book has a permanent place on my favorites shelf and I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Thank you so much, Kirsten Hubbard, for such a fantastic and heartwarming story!
And just as a final comment (I’m stopping soon, I promise! :P), <>Wanderlove happens to come out on my birthday, and I am so happy to be sharing March 13th with this beautiful beautiful book. And in the tradition of hobbits (because hobbits are awesome!), I want to give YOU a gift on my birthday! Well, one of you. I’d love to actually buy everyone a copy, but alas, my pockets are not that deep.
This was getting ready to be on my favorites shelf with 5 stars up until the last 100 pages or so, which just felt really abrupt and unsatisfying. StiThis was getting ready to be on my favorites shelf with 5 stars up until the last 100 pages or so, which just felt really abrupt and unsatisfying. Still, I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next book.
I’ll just say it straight up, I ADORE Greek mythology and retellings. Ever since sixth grade when we had our mythology unit and I made ambrosia and dressed up as Artemis and learned how to sing the Greek alphabet, something just clicked. So I was incredibly excited when I heard about Destined, and I’m thrilled to be able to report that it is an AWESOME retelling of the Pysche and Cupid myth.
That said, it is absolutely not necessary to be familiar with the Psyche and Cupid myth or even the Greek gods in general for you to understand and love this story. Jessie does a great job of making it enjoyable for those who know the myth as well as those who are stepping into the world for the first time.
And what a world it is! Jessie’s descriptions are beautiful, and she’s fantastic at creating the setting and making the reader feel like they are there. I could picture mortals wandering through olive trees with the hot Greek sun beating down on them just as easily as I saw gods just lounging around drinking ambrosia. (And then I started looking up plane tickets to Greece. :P)
While the setting is undeniably ancient Greece, there is also a modern slant to the story that I loved. It was so fun to have some of my favorite Greek gods speaking in modern phrases. Hearing Hermes say, “I’m just giving you a reality check, man.” made me laugh out loud.
Jessie has a very engaging writing style and I found myself speeding through the novel, hopeful and eager for Pysche to get her happy ending. She and Eros definitely have several obstacles to overcome, but isn’t that the way all the best love stories happen? And Pysche is a great character to root for. She’s caring, stubborn, and strong, and she’s just trying to deal with what has been destined for her. Oh, and Eros isn’t bad either. :) (Can I have a hot Greek god, Jessie? Kay, thanks.)
Destined is a fun and entertaining adventure through mythical Greece and I loved every minute of it. It will definitely indulge your inner Greek goddess (or god!). :P ...more
I know, it's a lame description, right? But that’s really exactly what this story is. We get to read aRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z
I know, it's a lame description, right? But that’s really exactly what this story is. We get to read about what happened from the moment Eliza and Cooper started talking at the paintball arcade where Eliza works, right up until she goes through his stuff and finds the incriminating list from the 318’s, thus ending their relationship and kicking off the events of One Night That Changes Everything.
Before That Night is a wonderful, fun revisit to the characters and story from One Night. It’s super-short (it feels super-short, at least), clocking in at only 42 pages, and I actually would have liked to see a little more of the evolution of Eliza and Cooper’s relationship. We get to see some of it, sure, but it would have been nice to have more moments of just the two of them getting to know each other and building the romance (and some more steamy scenes would have been okay too :D).
Clarice and Marissa make appearances as their usual hilarious selves, and Cooper gets to be sweet and lovely, as opposed to the slightly more villainous role he’s given in One Night. Eliza continues to be a fantastic narrator and I was glad for this prequel even just to get to hear her thoughts some more.
I would highly recommend reading Before That Night after One Night That Changes Everything, because it will take away some of the intrigue if you read them the other way around. But if you enjoyed One Night, I would definitely recommend reading this prequel.
The lovely Lauren is making this novella available for free on her website (although you can also buy it from Amazon if you so desire), and it can be found here....more
From the first page, Touch is a nonstop, action-packed paranormal adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat and unable to put it down. The writing is fast-paced and engaging, and almost before you process what just happened you’ll be swept away again into the story to learn something new.
I don’t generally read many “action” novels and I absolutely appreciated this change of pace. It felt a bit like X-Men and Heroes had been splashed onto the page and mixed with a little something extra to create this awesome YA paranormal romance novel and I loved it. Superpowers? Check. Evil organization? Check. Love story? Check. Secrets, lies, and betrayals? Check. All the ingredients are there and Jus Accardo definitely does not disappoint.
Dez is an awesome female lead. She’s spunky and feisty and brave, but she’s also down-to-earth and chill. She’s the kind of person I’d love to be friends with in real life. And Kale is also pretty adorable. As a prisoner his whole life he’s incredibly naïve and completely clueless about everything in the real world, and some of his interactions with Dez were hilarious. Their romance is sweet, but I do wish that it had progressed a little more gradually. Part of this is because I like my romances to be slow in general, but in this case I think my main issue is that Kale seems so juvenile because of his innocence, I didn’t really understand why Dez fell for him so quickly. I’m definitely eager to see Kale in future books after he’s gained some street smarts. ;)
Touch is an exciting start to a great new series, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. If you love paranormal romance, or even just a nonstop thrilling adventure, you don’t want to miss this book!...more
Who doesn’t dream of being able to travel through time? Getting to see historical events firsthand, vRead this review and more on my blog From A to Z.
Who doesn’t dream of being able to travel through time? Getting to see historical events firsthand, visiting people long since dead, or even just popping back to see a really great concert one more time. In Wander Dust, Seraphina Parrish not only finds herself taking mysterious uncontrollable trips, but ends up thrown into an entirely new existence of new rules, new friends, and new evil.
Wander Dust is such a fun novel, and the world that Michelle Warren has created is fantastic. Just like the kids in Harry Potter discover a whole new world at Hogwarts, Seraphina finds there’s more to Chicago than she ever thought possible, and exploring it with her is a wonderful journey. (And it really makes me wish there was some fantasy world in my life! How cool would that be?!)
Seraphina is a resourceful heroine who you can’t help but root for, and the supporting characters really make the backdrop of the story, ranging from hilarious to sweet and annoying to just plain evil. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of everybody. There were a couple of times where certain things bothered me (like Sera’s instant connection to a photo of a boy – I am not a huge fan of insta-love), but then things were always eventually explained in a way that made me not annoyed, which I definitely appreciated.
Of course time travel always has the potential to be incredibly confusing and headache-inducing, but the time travel aspect of the novel is done very well and I really enjoyed it. It would have been fun to visit even more places and time periods, but this is the first in a trilogy, so fingers crossed for more adventures in future novels!
With engaging writing that pulls you right in, nonstop action and discoveries, and a fascinating world to explore, Wander Dust is a great start to a thrilling fantasy trilogy. I can’t wait to read more!...more
I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for the excessive use of capslock in this review. My enthusiasm juOriginally posted on my blog, From A to Z.
I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for the excessive use of capslock in this review. My enthusiasm just COULD NOT be contained.
Okay, Hannah Harrington, WHERE have you been all my life? I am STUNNED that Saving June isn’t waaayyyyy more talked about. I am officially recommending it to every single person I know and insisting that they read it.
Saving June is so beautiful and heartfelt and raw and honest and I am just so so in love with it. Even though it’s a book about grief, it’s not as depressing or heavy as I was expecting. Harper has such a fresh, lively voice, and going through the grieving process with her feels so realistic and natural. I completely ADORED her. And her best friend Laney is such a hoot! As far as road trip companions go, these three are fantastic.
Okay, and the romance?? YES PLEASE. Talk about slow burn! Swooooon, my heart. This is my FAVORITE kind of romance, you guys. MY FAVORITE. It has everything I could ever possibly want. Snarky arguments and playful banter and the love-hate push-pull relationship that is just soooooo DELICIOUS to read about. Plus that oh-so-slow-building sexual tension that just builds and builds and builds until it EXPLODES on the page. Oh my god, it was so good.
And it’s all accompanied by the MOST AWESOME SOUNDTRACK EVER. (Yes, even the sexytimes. I have maybe been listening to ‘Touch Me’ by The Doors on repeat ever since I finished the book. MAYBE.) Music is such a huge part of my life and I absolutely LOVED how integrated it was into Saving June. As I started to get near the end of the book I began to regret not writing down every single song that had been mentioned, so imagine my utter delight when at the back of the book the lovely Hannah Harrington has provided us with the three main mixes mentioned in the story! THANK YOU, Hannah. Now all I need is to find a recording of ‘Saving June’ and I’ll be all set. :D
Saving June is sweet and sexy and funny and so lovely. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS BOOK IF: you like contemporary novels, you like books that deal with grief in a non-overwhelmingly depressing way, you like road trip stories, you like books that have a strong focus on music. But seriously, I recommend this to EVERYONE. I can’t believe I didn’t read it earlier. Hannah Harrington, I’ve got my eye on you. <3...more