I loved Amanda Heger’s debut, Without Borders. It was funny, touching, and compelling, and it featured memorable characters. One of those characters
I loved Amanda Heger’s debut, Without Borders. It was funny, touching, and compelling, and it featured memorable characters. One of those characters was Marisol, who gets her own turn in the spotlight in Semi-Scripted.
Marisol goes to LA from Nicaragua to attend conferences and interviews in the hopes of winning a grant for her family’s clinic, which provides medical brigades into isolated parts of Nicaragua. Evan moved across the country with dreams of becoming a TV writer, but his internship at a late-night talk show involves little more than rounding up game-show rejects to fill the audience of a show whose ratings are so low, they're kept on air on a week-to-week basis. Seemingly as different as can be, Marisol and Evan have a few things in common: neither of them wants to disappoint their families, and they both have big dreams that they’re willing to work hard for. Thrown together by chance and kept together by strange circumstances, the pair form a bond that slowly builds from friendship to something more.
Semi-Scripted is such a fun, different book. It had me giggling from the beginning, and it was easy to root for Marisol and Evan, both separately and as a couple. Their interactions were hilarious and adorable, and at times really touching. I loved how Evan reignited a spark in Marisol - a lust for life that she’d tucked away in her drive to help keep her family’s clinic afloat. Through adventures, strange situations, and Evan’s openness, Marisol remembers what it’s like to laugh and have fun. I loved how strong and driven both these characters were, and that they each had their own unique side stories that gave the book extra depth.
Semi-Scripted, like Without Borders, is different from anything I’ve read. This book is fun and funny, a mixture of wild scenarios and real-life emotions. Amanda Heger is definitely an author to watch. I can’t wait for more from her!...more
Can't. Contain. Excitement. As if a Phantom retelling wasn't exciting enough, the fact it's written by AG Howard, mistress of luscious words and the daCan't. Contain. Excitement. As if a Phantom retelling wasn't exciting enough, the fact it's written by AG Howard, mistress of luscious words and the dark and twisty...yeah, I can't freaking wait! ...more
While I was reading The BeThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
While I was reading The Beautiful and the Cursed, I had a couple people ask me how it was, and this was my response: YA + historic fiction + Paris + gargoyles + hot Scot + beautiful writing = The Beautiful and the Cursed. Basically it had all the elements of things I love in books, and it didn’t disappoint.
Between the stunning cover and the title of this book, I was instantly drawn to it. When I read the synopsis, I was certain it was something I’d enjoy. I was hooked within the first few pages as we were introduced to Ingrid and Gabriella Waverly, who had just moved to Paris from London with their mother, and discovered their brother Grayson, who had come to Paris early to get things ready, was missing, and that girls were disappearing around the city.
There was so much to like about this book. Ingrid and Gabriella were both strong characters; they sometimes struggled with their propriety, since life in Paris - where people were a little more forward-thinking and open-minded - was so different from sheltered society life in London. Despite that, they were both independent, intelligent, and determined, and I liked them both.
Then there were the gargoyles and all the lore surrounding them, which I found fascinating. I’ve never read any books about gargoyles, but ever since I was 17 and saw the ones perched on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, I’ve had this strange fascination with them, and it was one of the main things that originally drew me to this book. Ms Morgan did a fantastic job of building a world in which gargoyles came to life, and I liked that they had a society of their own, with rules, leaders, punishments, and duties. Luc, the gargoyle in charge of the abbey where the Waverlys were living, was a complex character, and I loved the push and pull between him and Ingrid.
The story alternated between each girl's point of view, as well as Luc’s and occasionally Grayson’s. At first I thought it would be really confusing, but it wasn’t. It was interesting to get the story from different perspectives, know what characters were thinking, and see their progression firsthand rather than through the eyes of another character. Ms Morgan has a really great writing style - beautiful, yet simple, and memorable without being flashy.
Now, I mentioned a hot Scot, right? Nolan was just one of the boys we’re introduced to through the course of the story. While I liked Luc, it was Nolan that I really loved. He was a ‘detective’ helping search for Grayson, and investigating the disappearances around Paris.
The Beautiful and the Cursed had a bit of everything: romance, action, intrigue, paranormal creatures that will both fascinate and horrify, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. It was beautifully written, rich in detail, and wonderfully originally. The ending left a lot of questions unanswered, so I can’t wait to find out what happens in The Lovely and the Lost. ...more
If You Find Me is one of tThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
If You Find Me is one of those rare books that quietly creeps into your heart and mind and never leaves. From the very first page, this book grabs your attention, piques your curiosity, and tugs at your heart.
Because of circumstances beyond her control, Carey had to grow up extremely fast. She was a caretaker to her sister Jenessa, and was more of a mother to her than her own mother ever was. All the horror and heartache she had to live through made her strong, smart, and brave. I found myself connecting with her instantly; she fascinated me, but I also wanted to fold her and Jenessa in my arms and hold them tight while shielding them from the horror of their lives.
This book was not easy to read. There were parts that made me feel sick, made me cry, made me wonder how there can be such evil and cruelty in this world. But there were also parts that made my heart soar because they were so full of hope. Carey’s strength and her ability to overcome adversity amazed and inspired me. There were moments that were sweet and funny, and moments where Carey seemed so innocent and vulnerable in the face of so many horrific things I just wanted to weep.
If You Find Me was full of wonderful, memorable characters. I adored sweet little Jenessa, who was innocent in so many ways despite the circumstances of the first few years of her life. Charlie and Melissa were incredible, and while I wanted to claw out Delaney’s eyes at times, there was a part of me that understood her and knew that she was needed because it wouldn't have been realistic if Carey’s life was suddenly all sunshine and roses.
About halfway through the book when there didn’t seem to be any sign of romance, I found myself hoping there wouldn’t be a romantic element (which is saying a lot since I’m a romance junkie). I hated the idea of Carey possibly being healed by someone else when she was so strong on her own, and was working so hard to heal herself. But then Ryan appeared, and he was…perfect. He helped Carey and was there for her without being the reason she healed, and I loved that. He was tender and sweet and understanding, and everything Carey deserved after so many years of being treated horribly.
Despite being heartbreaking beyond words, If You Find Me is also full of hope, triumph, and courage. It’s beautiful and poetic and inspiring. It was one of the most compelling books I’ve read in awhile, and I found myself unable to put it down, reading it late into the night because I needed to make sure Carey and Jenessa would be okay. I admire and respect Emily Murdoch so much for writing this book - the world needs a book like this, and she pulled it off with style, grace, bravery, and so much heart. ...more
The beloved gang from Iowa is back, and this time their adventures take place in bonnie Scotland. The Passport to Peril series has been a favourite ofThe beloved gang from Iowa is back, and this time their adventures take place in bonnie Scotland. The Passport to Peril series has been a favourite of mine for many years, and with Bonnie of Evidence, the eighth installment, I felt like the series had been infused with new life. Something about it felt different, while still staying true to the essence of the series and sticking with what makes the Passport to Peril books so amazing.
I was really excited to see Etienne along for the trip this time, and I thought the addition of Emily’s parents added not only more depth, but also new levels of hilarity to the story. All the old favourites who we know and love from the previous books are back, and at this point I feel like I know them so well they’re like real people. I know how they’re going to react to certain situations, but not in a ‘that’s so predictable’ way - more like they’re friends that you know really well and know their habits, but who still manage to surprise you. And while the humour is familiar, there are new elements too. This is one of those series that never fails to make me laugh out loud.
In eight books, I haven’t once been able to solve the mystery. It’s so tightly woven, and it’s always the last person you would suspect, which I love. I was glad Emily didn’t do too much of the actual sleuthing herself this time and didn’t become obsessed like she sometimes does.
Besides the humour and the mystery, my other favourite part about this series is that I get to live vicariously through other people’s travels. I’ve always been fascinated by Scotland, and I honestly felt like I was there myself. Maddy does a terrific job of dropping in details about a location - interesting facts, descriptions, history, etc. - and I find it all fascinating.
Bonnie of Evidence is definitely one of my new favourites in the Passport to Peril series. Full of humour, suspense, adventure, and wacky, loveable characters, with the lush backdrop of Scotland that will make you want to don a kilt and head for the Highlands, Bonnie of Evidence is a must read....more
If you’re looking for a fuThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
If you’re looking for a fun and frivolous contemporary YA read, The Secret Diamond Sisters might be for you. This is the type of book that would have appealed to me as a teenager when the thought of suddenly finding out you’re related to someone super rich and you get to move somewhere really cool where there are endless parties and tons of hot boys would have been something I’d have fantasized about. As an adult…I had a lot of issues with this book. It makes me really sad to say it because Michelle seems like a sweetheart, and the book had such a promising premise, but there was just so much about it that didn’t work for me.
My first big issue was the characters. I didn’t really like them and I didn’t connect with them. Savannah was 15, Courtney was 16, and Peyton was 17. They were about as different as sisters could be, but it was clear they cared about each other, which I liked.
The story was told from all three sisters’ POVs, plus a girl named Madison who lived in the same building and would be going to the same school as the sisters in the fall. I have theories about Madison, but since nothing with her character really came to fruition, her POV seemed unnecessary and made a long book even longer. Despite there being four different POVs, I tended to think of Savannah as the main character for some reason - maybe because her POV was first, or perhaps because Courtney and Peyton talked a lot about how they’d tried to keep her sheltered from their mother’s issues and how they felt the needed to protect her in Vegas (even though they didn't, but I'll get to that).
Savannah was incredibly shallow, but in an innocent, naïve sort of way. She seemed like an accurate portrayal of a certain type of 15-year-old girl - insecure, obsessed with boys, materialistic, competitive, and looking for love, affection, and approval in all the wrong places. When she found out who her dad was, she wanted the best of everything and was the most receptive to suddenly having endless supplies of money at her disposal. There were times when I found her innocence almost endearing, but there were also times when it made me shake my head and roll my eyes, or made me want to shake her in exasperation. She needed some serious guidance and wasn't getting it from anywhere. She was so obsessed with fitting in and trying to live up to the image of being a Diamond that at times it made her a spineless pushover who would do anything to be seen as cool. A lot of the things she did just didn’t sit right with me.
Courtney was probably my favourite of the sisters. She was smart, driven, and a hard worker. If Courtney was my favourite character, Peyton was definitely my least. She was a 'rebel' and had a huge chip on her shoulder. Her attitude sucked through the whole book, and she was constantly doing and saying things that made her massively unlikable. She was different for the sake of being different, and did things because she thought it would get attention or make someone mad or whatever. She was basically an immature brat. Something else that bothered me: Courtney and Peyton both kept talking about how they had to look out for Savannah, and they said they’d keep an eye on her, but neither of them did. They both let her leave with guys they didn’t know (or like), and they didn’t discourage some of her more questionable behavior.
Besides the characters, my other main issue was the plot - as in, there really wasn’t one. The whole book took place in the span of a week, and everything happened very quickly. Within the first night the girls were there, two out of three of them did some seriously questionable things. There was a lot of instalove/lust/obsession with all three girls. There were so many boys in this book I had trouble keeping track of them all. There was also a lot of underage drinking. This doesn’t normally bother me in a book, depending on the situation and how it’s handled, but it was mentioned constantly. I don’t know if that’s what life is really like in Vegas for teenagers but it seemed like nobody could function unless they were drinking and/or getting hammered. And the real kicker: the girls’ mother was an alcoholic who’s in rehab.
The synopsis makes it sound like there’s a bit of mystery to the book: “But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.” What truth about their past? We learn almost nothing about their past. As I said, I have a theory about Madison, but we didn’t actually learn anything, and nothing was resolved because nothing happened. I know this is the first book in a trilogy, but I have no idea where it could possibly go from here. At almost 400 pages, the book felt like it was never going to end. The premise sounded really fun and exciting, which makes me think it could have been one great book where stuff actually happened rather than a trilogy that’s dragged out needlessly.
I feel like I’ve ripped this book to shreds, which makes me really sad, because I hate doing that, and even after three + years of writing reviews, I still feel bad writing this type of review, even though I’m being honest. There was one thing I liked about the book: the setting. There are definitely not enough books set in Vegas. I enjoyed ‘seeing’ Vegas, especially the Venice and Paris hotels, and the whole Phantom of the Opera thing won points with me because I’ve wanted to see it since I was a little girl and love the movie.
I will say that I think The Secret Diamond Sisters would make a fun TV show. There's definitely enough drama and romance - now if there was more conflict and a few more likable characters, it's a show I would watch and consider a guilty pleasure show (like the Real Housewives).
If you’re curious about The Secret Diamond Sisters, I encourage you to give it a try. Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Plenty of people seem to absolutely love it and not have any of the issues I had with it, and I hope you’ll be one of those people. ...more
See that thing over there? That's my crumpled, bruised, and shattered heart. From beginning to end, this book broke my heart in so many ways, but it aSee that thing over there? That's my crumpled, bruised, and shattered heart. From beginning to end, this book broke my heart in so many ways, but it also made me laugh and swoon and fall in love.
Full review to come (when I stop rocking and crying in the corner)
Scarlet is one of my favourite books ever. I’ve always loved the legend of Robin Hood, and the idea of Will Scarlet being a girl…and not just any girl…blew my mind. It was a brilliant twist, and the entire book tugged at my heartstrings, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me fall in love with Rob, Scar, and the band.
I was so excited when AC Gaughen announced that Scarlet's story was going to be a trilogy. Scarlet and Robin’s story didn’t feel like it was complete, so I waited anxiously for Lady Thief, wondering what would happen to this couple. Within a few minutes of finally having the book in my hot little hands, I knew my heart was going to break, and I was right. Lady Thief was much darker than Scarlet - at times, so much so that it was hard to read. I kept catching myself rubbing my chest as if there were an actual ache in my heart.
But don’t let that put you off. Obviously I loved this book since I’m giving it 5 stars - it’s just one of those books that you love even though it rips out your heart and tramples it.
Whether I’m dense or whether it really was that brilliant of a plot twist (I’m going to go with the latter), I didn’t see the big twist coming in Scarlet. The same thing happened in Lady Thief, but I feel like I should have guessed this one, especially since I grew up watching the Disney version of Robin Hood (and still watch it regularly with my nephews). There were so many unexpected twists in this story. Even though I’ve loved anything to do with Robin Hood my whole life, I don’t actually know the legend all that well, so whether things will be predictable for Robin Hood buffs, I’m not sure, but I was stunned in all the best ways at the turns this book took.
Then there were the characters. I loved Scarlet in the first book, and I loved her even more in this book. She’s strong, loyal, fierce, cunning, and so much more than she gives herself credit for. Even when things got dark and twisty, she never gave up and she never lost hope, and that was what I loved most about her. Even as I was a sobbing wreck at the things that were happening to her, I felt this hope and faith emanating from her that just amazed me. Robin was as swoony as ever, loving Scarlet with his whole heart, and wanting to protect her. I think it was their relationship that made my heart ache the most; things between them at the beginning of the book were difficult, and I kept putting the book aside because it was hard to read. The little moments between them were among my favourite - you could really see and feel how much they love each other.
There were other familiar faces, like John and Much, and some new faces. I absolutely loved Much in Lady Thief. I wanted to squeeze him so many times. He was an amazing friend to Scarlet, and like her, he’s worth so much more than he gives himself credit for. The new characters…I don’t know how much I can say without getting into spoiler territory. There’s a familiar face from Robin Hood legend (I actually squealed out loud when he made his appearance), and a few other people, some of who were horrible and evil, and two in particular that were incredible and added so much to the story. I really want to talk more about them and give them the credit they deserve since they were so memorable, but just know that even though Scarlet seems to be surrounded by evil, there are people on her side, fighting for her and watching out for her.
Sequels can often be a letdown, especially when the first book was so epic, but Lady Thief is action-packed, suspenseful, and full of amazing twists. It’s a book that will leave you breathless, speechless, aching, and yearning for more. It’s heartbreaking but also uplifting, sad but hopeful. It made me laugh, cry, rage, and swoon.
Now begins the painful wait for the final book in Scarlet and Robin’s story…*sigh*...more
This was my first time reaThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
This was my first time reading anything by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, and I am seriously impressed. I’d heard mixed things about Burn For Burn, so I went in a bit tentative, but I ended up enjoying it immensely.
Lillia, Mary, and Kat all have very distinctive personalities and voices. Lillia is rich, popular, and smart; Mary is shy and basically a nobody; and Kat is loud, crude, and pretty much an outcast. The fact that the girls are so different and seemingly have nothing in common makes them perfect allies because nobody would ever think of them being friends or having a reason to work together for a common goal. I thought it might get confusing having three different points of view, especially in first person present tense, but it was so well done. The way each girl’s story was revealed bit by bit had me not only curious but also invested in their stories. I was eager to know what brought each of them to that point in life - where they would come up with this idea of getting revenge on the people who hurt them.
One of the things that made this book so great is that it’s almost like a guilty pleasure. On the one hand, you know that what the girls are doing is wrong, but on the other hand, there are times it seems justified, and I found myself siding with them and even rooting them on at times. I knew I shouldn’t condone it but then the other part of me was like ‘those people deserve what they get!’ What I also liked was how it wasn’t all black and white; none of the people they were getting revenge on were all bad - they each had redeeming qualities or moments where you doubted what the girls were doing. It made for a really interesting back-and-forth and added the perfect amount of tension throughout the story.
I love books about friendship, so I was pleased to see genuine friendships develop between Lillia, Mary, and Kat. It could have gone so wrong with blackmail or disagreements or someone backing out, but they actually become friends and start to depend on each other for more than just their revenge schemes. By the end I was truly invested in these characters.
And that ending!! It was such a fantastic cliffhanger ending, the type you rarely see in contemporary YA, even if it is a trilogy. I’d recommend having Fire With Fire ready to read when you finish Burn For Burn so you can see what happens next.
Han and Vivian’s writing is seamless. Great characters and great setting, combined with lots of drama, emotion, and a story that will keep you guessing while flipping the pages at top speed, make Burn For Burn a winner in my opinion. ...more
I’ve loved Robin Hood sincThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
I’ve loved Robin Hood since I was a little girl, so when I heard about Scarlet, I knew I had to read it - Will Scarlet as a girl? Brilliant. Despite my excitement, part of me was worried for several reasons - what if I didn’t like this version and it affected how I felt about Robin Hood in general? The synopsis hinted at a romance between Robin and Scarlet, but I’ve been in love with the idea of Robin Hood and Maid Marian since I first saw the Disney version at age four or five, so I couldn't imagine accepting a relationship between Robin and anyone else.
I needn’t have worried. Not only was Scarlet well written, it was an incredibly original, fascinating, compelling take on the Robin Hood lore. It captured me from the first page and held on tight, making me laugh, cry, fall in love, and yell at the pages. It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces then pieced it back together and healed it.
Scarlet has a bit of something for everyone - humour, action, suspense, romance. It’s full of unexpected twists, tension, and enough funny moments to balance out the serious ones.
As for the characters, Scarlet is quite possibly one of my favourite characters ever. She was so real, she practically leapt off the pages. Strong and tough, independent and clever, she was a fascinating contrast of hard and soft, fierce and vulnerable. More than once I wanted to wrap my arms around her and tell her everything would be all right. Underneath her rough exterior was a scared, damaged girl who didn’t think she deserved anything good in life. Just when I thought we knew everything there was to know about her, another layer was exposed, and it made me love her even more.
Robin made me fall in love with Robin Hood lore all over again. Younger than in most of the stories out there, he was just as complex and layered as Scarlet, and the interactions between them made me swoon, made me angry, made me laugh, and even made me tear up more than once. The rest of the characters, particularly John and Much added so much dimension to the story. John was fun and flirty (I have to admit, I kind of fell in love with him too) while Much was steady and loyal. The four of them were like a band of misfits brought together by Robin, and I rooted for each of them for different reasons.
Overall, I thought Scarlet was absolutely brilliant. These characters and their stories, while somewhat familiar, were also brand new in the best ways possible, and I know they’ll stick with me for a very long time. I would (and will) recommend this book to anyone, but particularly those interested in Robin Hood lore, historical fiction with an authentic feel, and stories with lots of heart....more
Initial thoughts: That endThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Initial thoughts: That ending!! *shakes fist* Must...have...The Calling...NOW!
Review: The Gathering is the first book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. In it, we’re introduced to Maya, along with her friend Daniel, and the new boy in town, Rafe, who all live in a small medical research town on Vancouver Island. Maya’s best friend Serena died the year before in what was considered an accident, but Maya believes there’s something more to Serena’s death, especially when odd things start to happen - things that seem to be connected to her in one way or another.
I felt like The Gathering was the perfect start to a series - right away, we’re introduced to a mystery. The tension and mystery build throughout the book as secrets are slowly revealed, usually causing even more mysteries to unfold. The foundation is laid for the characters to grow and develop, and we slowly get to know them better, but it's obvious there's more to come later in the trilogy.
I liked Maya very much, and found it easy to connect with her. She was strong, independent, and smart. Her natural instinct with animals went beyond simply being in tune with them, and again, that laid the foundation for interesting revelations to come.
Daniel and Rafe were great male leads. They were both mysterious, and although we learn a lot of Rafe’s secrets, he’s still a conundrum. Is he genuine or is he really a player who’s putting on an act? I found it hard to get a good grasp on his character, but that intrigued me. He and Maya obviously had a strong connection, and I look forward to seeing how things progress. I especially liked Daniel, though. There’s something more there - his strong intuition and ability to ‘persuade’ people made me curious. He’s an amazing friend to Maya, very protective and intuitive of her feelings, and I loved him for that.
Overall, The Gathering puts an exciting, unique spin on shape shifters. The story is full of thrilling, heart-pounding action that had me almost breathless at times. The secrets and mysteries keep coming throughout the book, and then the ending leaves you practically begging for more. Fans of Kelley Armstrong will love this book, and if you’ve never read anything my Armstrong, I definitely recommend The Gathering. ...more
Exciting, action-packed, aThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Exciting, action-packed, and fast-paced, The Padre Predator is a terrific, thrilling mystery that is full of surprises.
Carrying on from The Padre Puzzle, Jimmy and Angella are attempting find the breach of security within the government, while tracking down terrorists and atomic bombs.
I loved that you never knew who to trust. Every time someone seemed to be in the clear, something would happen to make them look guilty again, and every time someone looked guilty, something would happen to seemingly clear their name. It made for an exciting mixture of tension and suspense.
As in The Padre Puzzle, Jimmy is a likable, believable character. He's tough as nails, clever, and quick-witted...and quick tempered. His faults made him human, and lent credibility to his character.
The whole terrorist mystery was so tightly woven, I had no clue how to unravel the mystery, and I just went along for the ride. It was so scary, because it was believable. You know something like that could actually happen, and it's terrifying.
If you're looking for a mystery that will keep you guessing, while at the same time keeping you on the edge of your seat, and mixing in enough humour to lighten the heavy overall tone, I definitely recommend The Padre Predator. Don't forget to start with The Padre Puzzle, the first book in the series! ...more
I’m not used to reading boThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
I’m not used to reading books from a male perspective, but I really enjoyed The Padre Puzzle. Jimmy was a very real, well-developed character. He’s a cop through-and-through - sharp senses, good instincts, and a natural curiosity.
I thought the setting for the book was great. I’d actually never even heard of South Padre Island; without overdoing the details, the author gave a description that allowed me to picture it all clearly.
The concept for the book was very original and interesting, and had enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I loved that the author also threw in lots of action and some amusing anecdotes to lighten the mood, and that Jimmy had a good sense of humour.
The cliffhanger ending was very exciting, and I when I finished reading, I was glad the author was kind enough to send me the second book so I don’t have to wait long to find out what happens! The next book definitely has a lot of potential as far as the mystery goes, and as a romance junkie, I’m curious to see what will happen between Jimmy and Angella.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Padre Puzzle. I’d recommend it to mystery and police drama fans, both male and female. I’ve recommended it to my mum, and I’m also going to keep this book in mind if I ever need a present for a guy who enjoys reading!...more
Note: Since this book is aThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Note: Since this book is a sequel, there will be spoilers regarding the first book. With some sequels, you don’t really need to read the first book, but this is not one of those cases. Unless you want to be completely lost and miss a lot of references and inside jokes, you should read A Scottish Ferry Tale first. And I really do mean that - you should read it!
I adored A Scottish Ferry Tale. It’s one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far in 2012. I enjoyed Scotland by Starlight very much, and thought it was a great sequel, but I enjoyed the first book more. Sometimes you read a sequel and you end up wishing the author had left well enough alone, but I loved getting to follow Cassie and Ralph as they continued their journey in life and love. I thought they were such a great couple - they were flawed, they made mistakes, they got angry, they fought, they had very real emotions, but at the base of it all they were deeply in love.
There was less tension in this book, and less emotional complications and obstacles for Cassie and Ralph. I have to admit, I enjoyed the tension in the first book - that will they/won’t they excitement. Scotland by Starlight was like a glimpse into their every day lives, and I enjoyed that a lot. It was still funny, sexy, at times heartbreaking, and always very believable.
I enjoyed the secondary characters just as much in the second book as the first. It felt like being reunited with old friends. I also liked that there were subtle subplots worked in there, too. It all worked very well. It made me wish I had a bigger family or lots of friends to have gatherings with the way Cassie and Ralph did with their friends and family. I could picture it all so clearly - the chaos, the noise, the laughter, the camaraderie, the music, the food, and I loved it.
Overall I enjoyed this book, and this series, very much. I know that Cassie and Ralph will stay with me for a long time.
(view spoiler)[The epilogue almost ruined the entire book for me. I realize something like that must be a hard decision for an author to make, because they know it won’t make some people happy, and I respect the author’s decision, but I can’t say I agree with it. Cassie and Ralph’s love story stretched across two books and was epic, and then she dies?! WTF?! I was shocked and heartbroken. It left me with this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was beautifully written, but I just really wish she hadn’t done that. (hide spoiler)]...more