I've already admitted to being a fan of Ms. Young, having read two of her paranormal books in two of her different series. When this new contemporary...moreI've already admitted to being a fan of Ms. Young, having read two of her paranormal books in two of her different series. When this new contemporary romance was released I wasn't as interested because I'm generally not a straight romance reader. However, The reviews and buzz gave me whiplash and ODS got sent to the top of a skyscraper TBR list. I dove in and finished it in two nights. First, let me say that the genre does not exactly fit the book: it's not strictly romance, it's actually erotica that has romance as well. An erotic romance novel. This is mature, steamy, edgy with a lot of emotional dynamic that is borderline dysfunctional and not meant for anyone under eighteen. That said, I hope every person over eighteen reads it. Ms. Young has outdone herself with this work.
Jocelyn "Joss" has recently graduated from college with a terrible past hurt that irrevocably changed her life, which she carries with her. Stoic and guarded, Joss lives her life with everyone kept at a safe distance and that's just how she likes it. When events transpire to force a change of scenery, she chooses a gorgeous new life and feels a clean slate has been put before her. Soon, her perceived future peace is shattered by a instant chemical attraction to a man she meets by pure chance. Braden isn't someone she wants to get close to. He represents everything she's worked so hard to avoid in the eight years since the tragedy of her family's sudden death. At this point I'm thinking: Okay? It is awful but.... then Young covertly introduces all these subplots that were so engaging I didn't know what new thing she'd land on the pages as I faced a new chapter. I loved the different friendships and supporting characters but what I loved most was the internal monologue of Joss. She would think something and then respond out loud with something different than what she really felt. That was her modis operandi. As the book progressed we begin to see her internal thought processes slowly sync with her verbal manifestations. Her struggle to become whole after her years of self-imposed denial and solitude made her reversal to health all the more sweet. As the reader I was really rooting for her character. I haven't said anything about the sex yet. WOW. It wasn't just sex scenes guys, it was in-your-face, HD TV live stuff. Joss is sucked into a bat of chemistry that she simmers and stews in. The description! The language! It was all so raw but told in a whisper. I don't know how she did it but it was never cheap, just real. Hats off to you, Ms. Young. You showed us and didn't tell.
Overall, with the glut of recently awesome contemporary romances out there: Flat-out Love, Beautiful Disaster, Easy, On the Island... if you thought those were great, this one is sure to be great for you as well.
Okay, so the only biased thing I'll mention is how much I personally LOVE the cover artist for On Dublin Street! The author deserves attention for this fantastic, earth-shattering romance in addition the cover artist who showcases it so well. (less)
I know, I know... so why review a book that is selling so well and has a boatload of five star reviews already? Because, it's THAT good! Did you go nu...more I know, I know... so why review a book that is selling so well and has a boatload of five star reviews already? Because, it's THAT good! Did you go nuts over Hunger Games? Sick and tired of all the sappy angel stories out there? Then you've got a great fit in Angelfall, because it's none of that. It's a take-no-prisoners read that will leave you really wanting the next installment.
The story is essentially about an angel apocalypse. The angels decimate earth and we are now under their strange rule. In this world our MC, Penryn, is busy looking after a wheelchair-bound seven year old sister and a Mom that is constantly bordering on unpredictable psychosis. The family slowly starves in an environment where water and electricity are sporadic at best and gangs have taken over suburbia. This is a dark, urban fantasy that has tension strung taut in a way that makes the reader stayed glued to the pages, wishing for Penryn's safety and dying over the sister's kidnapping. Did I say dying? Ugh! Ee paints such a startling and clear portrait of gritty survival, the reader can't help but be drawn in.
What I liked: the pacing and the flow. This story moves! And it does so in such a way that the reader is getting "fed" little tidbits of intrigue in a fairly consistent way throughout the entire tale. I love the MC. Penryn has never been soft, but she longs to be. Her inner girlie has never had a chance to manifest and she is left being the provider for her family after her father deserts them. I love a MC under pressure and Ee knows just how to cook it! I never feel pity for Penryn, but I root for her. That is the mark of a clever storyteller. Where you wish to assist the MC but you don't languish in their pain and angst. Awesome! I like the dark angel that she befriends and the mystery of their relationship as it evolves.
What I didn't care for as much: I thought it was a little short for a full-length and didn't feel like her relationship with Raffe was clear at the end. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be? I will definitely be picking up book two. This is the first angel book that has really made me want the subsequent installment. Romance and angel lovers might also enjoy The Saving Angel Series by Tiffany King. That series is "softer," with more romance and alpha male vibe. With the current trend in Angel Lit there is no shortage!
I have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossov...moreI have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossover work a try. It was so vital, so real, so engaging I thought about it every moment I couldn't get back to reading it! You know a book's good when you become sad that it's coming to an end, when you lose sleep over reading it, when you want to reach inside the narrative and defend and protect the MC from the vicious onslaught of her life. That's what Wishing For Someday Soon is. It's a powerful tale about a brave human being that sacrifices her very welfare for someone dear to her heart. When true joy presents itself she can't be sure that she can embrace it. The prospect of love and trust is so foreign to Katelyn that at first, she doesn't recognize it for what it is. This is such a powerful book. I am seldom moved to tears but found myself stopping the reading of it twice, to regain my composure so I could read further. It's a stunner, leaving the reader dazed throughout and yearning for more at its eventual end.
What I liked: I loved the way King presented the book so cleanly but still with realism. It wasn't this anemic performance of stilted and one-dimensional characters, oh-no. It was a deep narrative given by a 17-year old senior, having seen the inside of twenty different schools in so many years, connecting with humanity as little as possible. King showcases a paralyzing loneliness inside the confines of a narrow hope that Katelyn holds onto with surgical finesse. I was blown away. King was absolutely masterful in painting a picture of stifling and insidious abuse. But she didn't allow the reader to wallow in it. There was enough joy and potential for happiness interspersed during the novel that the reader isn't mired in sorrow. Those flashes of happiness, blooming romance and the protective males that King is getting known for, all comes into play in this terrific narrative.
What I wasn't that fond of: this isn't a series! I have high hopes for more books done in this style from King. And although I really liked her angel series, I am a Forever Fan now that I've read WFSS. It reminds me of Sophie and Carter and Flat-out Love. If you've read the preceding novels, this story is sure to be a good fit. Although the plot is utterly different, it evokes the same feelings as those.
Rich, riveting and unforgettable, WFSS is a read for lovers of real-life teens in tough situations that triumph over the challenges of their life.(less)
Okay, I'm re-titling this book to, "Flat-out Brilliant." This is an exquisite read that has all the elements to give it general appeal and still edify...moreOkay, I'm re-titling this book to, "Flat-out Brilliant." This is an exquisite read that has all the elements to give it general appeal and still edify the romantic. Wonderful. The author is obviously very bright, glib and knows exactly how to turn a phrase. WoW!
I've never read anything like this but somehow, and this may make a great deal of sense to a few and none to others, FOL reminds me of "Water for Elephants." I think it's just that good. FOL draws you in with its impeccable pacing and depth of story line, the intrigue of knowing that, as a reader, we're just skimming the surface and there is much more there. This is less a novel of romance, then by far a novel of self-discovery.
Julie moves in with her mom's old college roommate's family when her college accommodations fall through. At once she is thrust into a family dynamic rife with strangeness, mystery and subterfuge. Julie cares and finds herself bonding with the youngest member of the family, Celeste. A strange girl who is socially unavailable and awkward, Julie reaches out, and in so doing, learns more of a life lesson with the family than she ever could have hoped she would in college. I had the mystery figured out about mid-way through and knowing it did not lessen its impact in the least. It was shattering, heartbreaking and profoundly sad. The author knows what a sucker-punch it is and she closes on a happy note but the melancholy lingers. I found myself thinking about it a whole day later. Rare for me, usually, I'm already on to the next book, engaged in a new story. Not this time.
I did have a few points in the book I didn't like as much. The romantic interest at the end didn't seem to appear as taken for Julie as I thought he needed to be, given the build-up throughout the novel. And the ending seemed a little "rushed." After all the patient waiting to finally see everything come together felt like the bow was wrapped too quickly on the package. My final peeve ( and I know, flog me) is that Julie is an "old" name. It is not a name commonly found in the age group that the MC belongs in and that rung false to me.
Overall, a MUST read! I will read anything Jessica Park writes. She is so funny, with the tightest and brightest dialogue, I laughed out loud on many occasions while reading it. Genius!(less)
This was a really good, clean YA read about an unlikely romance that develops between two people that are outwardly not suited to each other.
This book...moreThis was a really good, clean YA read about an unlikely romance that develops between two people that are outwardly not suited to each other.
This book is more of a "4" star in the first half and a "5" on the latter. The first half has a rather plodding character development that was explored too much and was slightly redundant with the MC. The second half, having established the characterization, became an unveiling of Jaden finally deciding to stop being "safe" and choosing to live for herself instead of being a bottle in the ocean for others, a ship without a rudder. Her love interest, Parker, is the catalyst for her metamorphosis and it's great to read about.The thing that I loved about this book was the interesting twist in the end. It was riveting and played out like a movie scene. The entire book is worth reading to see how this ends up. I will be reading other works by Klein.(less)
I have never read anything like "Six Moon Summer." The narrative style is completely unique and that got a three star out of me just for its sheer dif...moreI have never read anything like "Six Moon Summer." The narrative style is completely unique and that got a three star out of me just for its sheer difference. It had a "diary" type feel to it. I really felt like I WAS Rylie, like I was seeing and feeling things through her eyes.
Rylie's character feels like a fifteen year old that's been dropped and has a small fissure that continues to "run" like a crack in the windshield that grows. Life for her has been challenging of late as she comes to terms with her parents split while being shuttled off to a summer camp.
Her loneliness is profound and she turns inward, spending a lot of time just wanting to be left alone. Rylie has unusual coloring and looks so she never is quite successful in her desire to remain incognito. The other girls are petty and never give her a break. I felt a lot of empathy for her. Eventually she is befriended by Seth who turns into a supportive friend. The author was really clever about "outing" people that were more-or-less a surprise and I really enjoyed the way she peppered werewolf legend throughout the book. It was interesting but not like I was being "educated."
Reine was brave and never shied away from violence or the rawness of how awful things can and do happen. I really dug that. The author must be a unique person to have written this, it's just such a different perspective than I'm used to reading and that was welcome. Sometimes the YA genre gets a "homogenized" feel that gets tiresome. This work is a fine example of a "break-out" feel that is really unique, as was the premise.
I really liked this book. Fans of "Ethereal" by Addison Moore and Amanda Hocking devotees may really like "Beckoning Light." BL has a really unique st...moreI really liked this book. Fans of "Ethereal" by Addison Moore and Amanda Hocking devotees may really like "Beckoning Light." BL has a really unique story about a world inside a world. I haven't read anything quite like the premise of this novel and was pleased to read something fresh.
Charlotte finds herself shuttled to live with her Uncle in the south after her father is relocated to an arduous location far north of where they currently live in Alaska. Once there, she and her older brother Kevin (hunk-o-love, btw) quickly acclimate to their new surroundings. Where Kevin jumps right in and assimilates with the basketball team, Charlotte is more cautious in her relationships and proceeds accordingly. Charlotte as an MC is an interesting combination of shy and independent and I liked her "voice" in the narrative. I was not too keen on Kevin's voice in the narrative switch. He just didn't sound like he thought like a guy in his internal monologue, but plays the protective and concerned brother well, and I loved that Ivy chose to do the POV switch; it's "brave" and different and I like those things from a story teller. The first half of the book dealt with some back story and building the characters while they integrate into their new lives.
What really captured my attention about halfway through was a happen chance discovery made by Charlotte that forever changes her life. The book leaps up in interest and engagement at the point when she meets her love interest, Calvin. I love the way Ivy establishes the premise of their connection and Charlotte discovers her real origins. It's very creative and interesting. Fans of parallel worlds, fantasy, gifts of nature and medieval-toned works will really love "Beckoning Light." The sequel releases in 2012, "Perilous Light." Looking forward to it!(less)
First off, I absolutely ADORE the narrative voice this author uses! It has a conversational internal monologue and dialogue that makes the reader feel...moreFirst off, I absolutely ADORE the narrative voice this author uses! It has a conversational internal monologue and dialogue that makes the reader feel like they're eavesdropping on the MC and her friends! "Destiny Binds," captures this essence and immediately engages the reader and you never pause to question the reality she's created; it's flat-out that good.
The premise is a little more mundane and centers around shifters but Blackwell's humorous dialogue and interesting characterization really help boost what might be a tired or overdone premise into something captivating. She has a thread of mystery woven throughout that centers reader interest and a slow revealing of many small surprises throughout that maintain it. The ending was climatic and left the reader hanging but not in an I-want-to-strangle-the-author-cliffhanger feel. More like a, "What's going to happen next? I'm dying to read the sequel!" The author is definitely clever and comedic and lets all that flow through the story in an edgy "out there" feel that I really enjoyed. The romantic inference for the next book is clear and I can't wait to find out who Scout will end up with!