There seemed to be a lot of storylines going on and it could have seemed messy, but somehow it all worked. I really almost felt like this was more ploThere seemed to be a lot of storylines going on and it could have seemed messy, but somehow it all worked. I really almost felt like this was more plot focused than romance— at least for the first half of the book. While I appreciate gradually building up a romance between the two lead characters, it was a little too slow of a build. It felt like there wasn’t much in the way of romance until much later. Once the ball got rolling, I actually thought that Joan and Martin were pretty cute. It’s just too bad that their relationship hadn’t been given more time to be further developed. A good chunk of the book was wasted opportunity of them staring at each other when their interactions could have been pushed along faster. That said, even if the romance seemed a bit late, I basically loved every other part of the book. I liked the whole premise of Joan being this escaped thief trying to stay one step ahead of the cohorts that threw her under the bus to save their own skin. It was different than the stereotypical naïve heroines that have been in the last few historical romances I’ve read. Joan’s backstory in general really drew me in. I probably would have read a book that was focused solely on Joan on the run without any romance added— that’s how interesting I found that part to be.
There was one thing that truly bothered me for a huge chunk of the book. To be completely honest, the relationship between Joan and Martin started out weird for me. I just thought it was a bit gross that he was lusting over someone who he thought was his cousin. Like, I guess people did that back then, but it was this creepy aspect of their romance that sort of loomed over the story and kept me from getting fully immersed in them together. However, I did feel better once it was laid out that Daphne was only related to them by some ridiculously convoluted lineage because I had been under the assumption that they were first cousins or something. After that, I was perfectly fine with the entire situation. I just wish that it had been revealed before the book was already halfway over.
Overall, indifferent for certain parts, but it all came together for me in the end. I really liked the final showdown where the characters from the different chapters showed up and the plotlines converged together. Those few chapters of the cabin in the woods were my favorites and the action had me on the edge of my seat. I did feel a little put off by the timing of Joan and Martin getting back together. The pacing was kind of awkward and rushed. I got to the final few pages and I honestly had no idea how there was going to be time to give Joan and Martin their happily ever after. The wrap-up of all the misunderstandings was literally no more than two pages. It was just slightly disappointing because I thought the whole situation could have been executed better. I was on the fence if I would read the next book because Colin didn’t really catch my attention, but I loved that excerpt! That scene where Colin babbled on and basically word vomited the worst possible thing he could say was hilarious and definitely won me over.
- I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. -...more
To be honest, I don’t have much to say about this. It’s weird because I actually really liked this when I started reading it. The whole dynamic involvTo be honest, I don’t have much to say about this. It’s weird because I actually really liked this when I started reading it. The whole dynamic involving character A trying to win over B who’s getting hitched to C, while D tries to foil A’s plan and ironically ends up falling for A was so much fun. I loved how complicated the situation turned into and I was excited to see where things ended up going in the storyline. The opening scene was what really won me over. I couldn’t stop laughing at how Lucy just burst into Jeremy’s room in the middle of the night and basically accosted him. It was so cute and I couldn’t help but ship them after seeing them interact. Lucy was an alright enough heroine. I kind of got secondhand embarrassment at her schemes, but in a way, I kind of liked how she wasn’t afraid to make a fool out of herself in order to get something she wanted. However, I loved Sophia ten times more. Lucy was always going on about how much she hated Sophia, but I couldn’t even side with her because Sophia was just that sweet of a person. She was one of those characters that you can’t help but like. The part where Sophia and Lucy were writing a letter to the cousin was so adorable and I found myself wanting the two of them to become best friends.
After (view spoiler)[Lucy and Jeremy got married (hide spoiler)], I kind of began to lose interest. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the change of plot, but I kept reading anyway. I wouldn’t say that the rest of the book was terrible, but it really started to drag. The best way to explain it is that something interesting would happen, but it would only last a couple pages before leading into a part of the story that that was boring for the next fifty pages. By the time Lucy and Jeremy finally resolved their misunderstanding, it had gotten to the point that I didn’t even really care about them anymore. I mean, the writing wasn’t bad, but the plot felt so dragged out that I just ended up feeling so disconnected from everything.["br"]>["br"]>...more
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. The cover is absolutely beautiful! The idea behind it seemed interesting as well. It’s been over a year since I goI won this in a Goodreads giveaway. The cover is absolutely beautiful! The idea behind it seemed interesting as well. It’s been over a year since I got this in the mail and after trying multiple times to get into the storyline, I’ve decided to just put a nail in it. It’s not that it was bad. It was just one of those books where you just aren’t feeling it. I might decide to pick this up again, but it will probably be many years down the line....more
Oh my god, I loved this sooo much! I swear, this author can write any fairy tale retelling and I’ll obsess over it. The world building is just amazingOh my god, I loved this sooo much! I swear, this author can write any fairy tale retelling and I’ll obsess over it. The world building is just amazing. I’m a sucker for Disney, but there’s nothing that compares to the original grisly Grimm stories. Compared to (view spoiler)[Bluebeard (hide spoiler)] from ‘Kill Me Softly’, I was a little less excited about Snow White. However, strangely, I think I actually liked this book ten times more. It was less of an introduction to Beau Rivage and more of a jump straight into the plotline. Also, the character development was on point, which was a problem I had with the first book.
I think I might be in the minority here because I actually really liked Viv. She was flawed beyond belief— bratty and selfish. I mean, there were times when she was a total bitch and I was like ‘oh my god stop pissing off people and burning bridges’, but there was never any part of me that ever disliked her. I thought of Viv more like a product of her circumstances. If I was stuck in this crappy curse, I probably wouldn’t be all sunshine and roses either. It’s weird because I felt that way about all the characters in the book. Instead of disliking them, I just felt sorry for them. In a way, I couldn’t blame them for acting the way they did. They were all destined to play these parts whether they wanted to or not. Regina was a prime example of this. The scene between Henley and Regina where they talked about their curses really tugged at my heartstrings. The whole situation was just so sad how you could try your hardest to be a good person, but you’re cursed to play the villain in someone else’s happily ever after. Regina might have been terrible, but I liked that I could understand why she was the way she was. She felt human and not this corny stereotype. I think that the best villains are shades of gray and not just black and white.
As for the plot, aside from the typical pit stops in every Snow White story, I had no clue where things were going to go. I definitely wasn’t expecting the (view spoiler)[Rumpelstiltskin (hide spoiler)] story to come into play. I never would have guessed that those three stories would mix so well together. The part where Viv fell into the deathless coma sleep freaked me out. I don’t know. I always thought that (view spoiler)[she would fall asleep and then wake up when Jasper kissed her. However, it was more like a paralysis. You’re fully aware of everything going on, but you can’t do anything. I couldn’t imagine being stuck waiting like that for years. When Jasper was thinking about not even trying to wake her, I could kind of understood where he was coming from. However, seeing it from Viv’s point-of-view, him doing that was so beyond fucked up (hide spoiler)]. The ending in general just had me on the edge of my seat. There was this real sense of urgency. It was like there was this giant clock counting down until everything went to hell and I had no idea how Viv was going to get out of the whole situation.
Overall, I can’t explain with words how much I loved this. I hope to god that the author keeps writing books from this world. To be honest, I don’t even care what fairy tale it is as long as I get to read it. I’d be happy with Layla, Caspian, or any random person from town. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Whoever the ghostwriter was for this did a terrible job. I love mysteries, but I was so bored by the lack of plot twists. It’s established from the beWhoever the ghostwriter was for this did a terrible job. I love mysteries, but I was so bored by the lack of plot twists. It’s established from the beginning that the thief was Roger Hoelt, so it was pretty much a matter of waiting around for Nancy to catch the guy. In general, the plot was just so dull. It seemed like the author’s sole goal was to stick in as many facts about Amish people as possible. The bulk of the story was Nancy vaguely wandering around in search of this lady’s stolen furniture. But she never actually ends up really getting anywhere. I swear, she spent more time eating pies and going to quilting circles than actually trying to solve the mystery. Also, there were a lot of filler events that added absolutely nothing to the plotline, such as Nancy (view spoiler)[getting slingshot hit by this little Amish boy and spending the rest of the day sleeping on the couch or Nancy saving another kid from getting hit by a beam (hide spoiler)]. I felt parts like these should have been cut out, so that the author could have developed the actual mystery aspect better.
Overall, I was fairly disappointed by this. The writing seemed lazy and I thought that the ending was anti-climactic as well. The scene where Mr. Hoelt (view spoiler)[locks the girls in the attic and yells ‘you will die first!’ (hide spoiler)] came off as really cheesy. Maybe back in the day this was considered suspenseful, but I couldn’t stop myself from cracking up.["br"]>["br"]>...more
This wasn’t as good as the first book, but it wasn’t bad. I spent the entire story wondering which of the roommates was the crazy one. The author didThis wasn’t as good as the first book, but it wasn’t bad. I spent the entire story wondering which of the roommates was the crazy one. The author did a wonderful job keeping you guessing because to be honest, they all seemed a little off to me. All of the characters were written in a way that made them seem suspicious. Even the most normal character, Danni, was paranoid as hell. About two-thirds of the way in, I figured out who the psycho was. There were two very blatant hints dropped and I automatically knew it was this certain person. I liked the reasoning for why they did what they did and how they ended up at the college. The one thing that bothered me was how Pete (view spoiler)[started to warn them about Jordan (hide spoiler)]. I wish the author would have explained why that was said, but after that one time, it was never mentioned again....more
I won this from a Goodreads giveaway ages ago. Unfortunately, I just wasn't into this. After trying multiple times to power through, I've finally deciI won this from a Goodreads giveaway ages ago. Unfortunately, I just wasn't into this. After trying multiple times to power through, I've finally decided to throw in the towel. I normally love historical romances, but this was very dull. The writing style made me feel like I was stuck in the middle of an assigned reading for school. If a year has gone by and I'm still struggling to get past the first few chapters, it's probably just not going to happen....more
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. While I didn’t want to compare this to ‘Fifty Shades’, it was difficult not to. I know that ‘The Submissive’I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. While I didn’t want to compare this to ‘Fifty Shades’, it was difficult not to. I know that ‘The Submissive’ came out before, but even if I had read this one first, I still would have loved the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy a hundred times more. Despite the low rating, I actually really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the story. The sex scenes were good. There might not have been any type of emotional connection between the two characters, but I was expecting that to develop later on in the book.
Unfortunately, the last section of the book is where everything went downhill for me. I was so excited for the angsty drama that would follow after Abby (view spoiler)[ended things with Nathaniel (hide spoiler)], but I was very annoyed with the path the story took after this incident. People always rag on ‘Fifty Shades’, saying that the relationship is unhealthy and Christian is a psycho. However, at least in ‘Fifty Shades’ I could see a genuine connection between the two main characters, messed up as it was. The romance between Abby and Nathaniel was a total disconnect. To be fair, I believed that Abby had feelings for Nathaniel. It was Nathaniel that was the problem. Towards the end of the book, I felt like Nathaniel’s character did a complete 180, to the point where he seemed like a different character. I actually preferred cold, distant, dominant Nathaniel over the sappy guy he turned into once he told Abby that he was in love with her. The two of them always had very good physical chemistry, but I never bought into the way new Nathaniel was acting. The story could have been way better if the emotional aspect of their relationship had been dealt with properly.
Also, I didn’t like Nathaniel's big reveal to Abby. I thought it was very creepy that he (view spoiler)[had been watching her for like eight years. I could kind of understand if a girl frequented a coffee shop because a really cute guy worked behind the counter every Tuesday. I can even understand taking the time to work up the courage to talk to said guy. The thing is Nathaniel had no reason to even be where he was. He was just lurking around with no cover or purpose. Also, as a confident and sociable millionaire, it shouldn’t take him eight years to find the courage to talk to Abby. Either strike up a conversation or move on (hide spoiler)]. I’ve managed to get over far more disturbing actions of characters, but I think the fact that I never connected with Nathaniel as a character played into me not wanting to cut him any slack. One of the things that bothered me the most was that Abby didn’t seem at all perturbed by the things he was saying. In terms of Nathaniel’s logic, what he did wasn’t that big of a deal because (view spoiler)[he only watched her when she was working at her library job. I’m sorry, but just because you don’t follow someone home and hide in their bushes; it doesn’t mean you aren’t a weirdo (hide spoiler)]. Once I heard Nathaniel’s story, I was just done with the story and wanted the book to end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I won this from a goodreads giveaway! I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m all for ridiculously stupid humor because god knows I sometimes haveI won this from a goodreads giveaway! I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m all for ridiculously stupid humor because god knows I sometimes have the maturity level of a thirteen year old boy. However, the entire book just seemed full of silly things, most of which fell flat. I get what it was supposed to be, but everything was just too unrealistic. I liked Spencer by the end of the book, but in the beginning he is one of the weirdest people. I’m sorry, but if this was real life Spencer would either be in jail, fired or on probation for some of the things he did. What kind of police chief kicks in someone’s tail lights and threatens to impound their car for months unless they get in the car with them? It was even worse when Spencer broke into Gladie’s house in the middle of the night and she woke up with him in her bedroom. He was like ‘no biggie, I’m just here to catch a couple hours of sleep before I have to head back to the station’ and I was like ‘WTF IS THIS?!!’. Oh my god, that was so freaking creepy!! I know it was supposed to be funny, but it screamed creeper more than hilarious.
The story did grow on me the more I read and I did end up enjoying this. There were moments where Gladie said or did things that made me laugh. My favorites were when she got into some awkward moments with Fred from the police station and the car scene up in the mines. I liked the matchmaking tips at the beginning of each chapter as well. ...more
I won this book from a first reads giveaway, so I’m going to be completely honest. Well, I pretty much loved Charlotte from the very beginning. I likeI won this book from a first reads giveaway, so I’m going to be completely honest. Well, I pretty much loved Charlotte from the very beginning. I liked how she wasn’t a conventional romance heroine. She had more substance to her than fawning over parties and pretty clothes. When Reed showed up at her house, she was anything but the doting aunt to her niece and nephew. But you never thought she was a bitch or a coldhearted person. Her reactions to the things that happened in the book felt very real. There were moments that she made rash judgments or did something stupid, but she could admit when she messed up. It was nice to read about a heroine that had self-respect and who wasn’t willing to settle for a loveless relationship.
My problem lay with Reed. As a love interest, he didn’t really grab my attention. It made me laugh how he was always fixing Charlotte with disapproving glances when they first met. However, as the book went on, I felt like he was a bit bipolar. One minute he was glaring at her and then the next he was smiling genuinely at her. It made me fairly confused and I just didn’t get his character. Also, there were times that he was kind of odd. He would say certain things that were meant to sound sexy, but they’d come off as awkward. To be honest, I was actually rooting for Jason the majority of the book. The minute he stepped on the page I was won over. He was so charming and I liked his shameless flirting. I ended up wanting Charlotte to fall for him instead of Reed. Of course, he (view spoiler)[ended up being a psycho/murderer, so that kind of put a damper on things (hide spoiler)].
Overall, there were highs and lows. The beginning and end were really good, but the middle seemed dragged out. For the most part though, I enjoyed this. There was one scene at a dance where the chapter ended on a statement that had my jaw dropping. I was seriously thinking ‘oh my god, sh!t’s gonna go down!!’. The last hundred pages or so got drastically better. From the moment Reed (view spoiler)[asked Charlotte to marry him (hide spoiler)], I started to love his character. Reed seemed to have more personality and became more likeable. He grew on me and by the end of the book I was definitely rooting for him.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was pretty lukewarm to this book at first, but once the action picked up, OH MY GOD! I seriously sat down and read it straight through. Next thing II was pretty lukewarm to this book at first, but once the action picked up, OH MY GOD! I seriously sat down and read it straight through. Next thing I knew, it was 3 am and my brain was complete mush from powering through. There was just something very easy about this book. I’ve seen some reviews that pick apart the story, but I was too sucked into the plot to think too deep into the world building. The tone of the book was so depressing. I wasn’t outright sobbing, but there was just something so unfair about the things these teens were subjected to in the Program. It was one of those times where you’re desperately hoping that the characters will find a way out of their predicament. Most books will have the protagonist pull off some risky plan at the last moment, but there was none of that here. I felt terrible for Sloane and how helpless she was in the situation. It was such a downer to read this story and realize that ‘this or that’ was going to happen and they had no control over it.
While I wasn’t sure in the beginning, I actually really liked the writing style. I thought that the way the memory loss was handled was done very well. There were wisps here and there where you could see that something was slowly going wrong. There was this scene that took place after (view spoiler)[Realm wiped Sloane’s memory of the day (hide spoiler)] and there was just something very eerie about it. Speaking of less depressing parts, I thought the déjà vu moments between Sloane, James, and Lacy were so cute. (view spoiler)[None of them remembered each other, but I liked how little tidbits from their lives pre-Program popped up in their conversations, such as Lacey talking about Evan (hide spoiler)].
The best part of the book had to be Sloane and James relationship. I don’t normally read books where the characters are already boyfriend and girlfriend, but I loved these two so much. I didn’t feel any of the disconnect that I normally get when I’m thrown into the middle of a book relationship. They seemed a bit codependent in the first section of the story, but, with the world they were living, I didn’t blame them. There was something so tragic about them, like they were drowning and all they had was each other to keep them afloat. The flashbacks were a huge part in making me feel invested in their relationship. They felt real and I spent the entire book wishing that they’d get their happy ending.
Overall, I loved this book. You just know a book is good when you go to stop reading and you keep deciding to pick it back up and read a little more. The one thing I have to ding it for is how the set up for the sequel was executed. The story had been moving at a nice pace and then, all of a sudden, this whole rebel thing was squished into the last few pages. Other than that, it was amazing.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It's finally over!! I'm glad that everything became happily ever after, but a part of me is sad that the journey's done and there won't be more books.It's finally over!! I'm glad that everything became happily ever after, but a part of me is sad that the journey's done and there won't be more books. I'll be honest, there were parts of this book that annoyed me to no end. I wasn't a big fan of the whole psycho crazy on the loose and the Jack Hyde drama. It was all just kind of stupid to me. I would have been happy with Ana/Christian drama and not all that other crap. It became a bit too much thriller like for me personally. I really liked the beginning and the end though. Ana and Christian on their honeymoon was super cute and I liked how the flashbacks were weaved in.
I was really into this towards the end. Once Ana found out that (view spoiler)[she was preggers (hide spoiler)], I couldn't put the book down and I had to keep reading. Firstly, situations like that are like crack to me and I love any drama thrown in. The main reason I liked it was because Ana finally grew a backbone. I've constantly complained about how many times Christian stepped over the line and while Ana would be pissed at him, she ultimately would forgive him two paragraphs later. I was so freaking happy when Ana stood up to him. She didn't let him off the hook for being a douche despite the way he tried to seduce his way out of things. He said truly terrible things to Ana and I secretly was cheering her on and wanting her to verbally hit him back.
The conclusion was just perfect and everything ended on a good note. There are still a few things I don't quite understand and I wish I knew what was up with Mia and Ethan, but for the most part I got all the closure I wanted. Ana and Christian have certainly came a long way from the first book. I was glad that they'd sorted through their demons and found happiness with each other and their pasts. I still have mixed feelings for Christian though. I'm torn between thinking he is super sexy and attractive and thinking he's a douchetastic psycho. He has moments where he's nice and loving and then there's moments where goes into control freak mode. I couldn't believe that Ana let him get away with many of the things he did. A few times he said some very creepy things and it took some of the heat away from the book for me. Ultimately, I guess I did love his character, flawed and all. Knowing why he acted that way made me a little more sympathetic towards his actions.
The epilogue was cute and I loved all the extras at the end. Toddler Christian was sweet in a sad sort of way. I thought it was adorable, but it was horrible seeing his thoughts as a little kid. My favorite though was when they had Ana and Christian's first meeting but from Christian's POV. I was interested because in the first book he seemed so calm and aloof. I laughed at how all that lay behind that cool facade were perverted thoughts about how he wanted to take her to his playroom/ cane her/ bend her over his desk/etc. So funny! A great ending to this series...["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I never thought it would be possible to love a book so much when I hated absolutely all the characters. A moment didn’t go by where I wasn’t cursing tI never thought it would be possible to love a book so much when I hated absolutely all the characters. A moment didn’t go by where I wasn’t cursing the actions of someone in the story. Strangely, this didn’t bother me or keep me from enjoying the story. I guess you would say it was a good hate. The one exception to this might be Waverly, who seemed the most sane and reasonable. She did go off the deep end a bit towards the end, but I still liked her. I’m honestly in awe by this author. This is one of the rare times that I find myself sucked completely into a story and invested in the characters. It’s not as wonderfully creepy as ‘Glow’ and the egg harvesting, but it makes up for that with other things. This book mostly focuses on the characters reactions to everything that occurred in the first book. It’s sufficed to say that most of them are traumatized and it results in various mental breakdowns and moments of psychotic rage. It was interesting to see how each of the kids were affected by what the New Horizon and what Anne Mather’s had done. The longer I read, it got a little Lord of the Flies on me. There was still a focus on the ongoing conflict from the first book about getting the parents back, getting revenge on the New Horizon, etc. As far as sequels go, I wasn’t disappointed at all.
The person I hated most of all had to be Kieran. I was only like seven pages in and he already had me contemplating murdering him. I take back any vaguely nice thing I might have said about him in my review for the first book. He had a few moments where I thought he was being reasonable for once and then two seconds later he’d do something stupid and petty that negated whatever respect I’d had for him. The only time I might have liked him was towards the end of the book, but that was probably just because he was up against Anne Mather’s who instantly trumps when it comes to me hating someone. I really thought it was disgusting how he used his preaching and religion to manipulate the other crew members. It seemed like he was mostly out for himself and didn’t care about any of their opinions. I even recall someone referring to him as a dictator. Even though I can understand why, the way he treated Seth was horrible. I liked how Seth told Kieran that Kieran was just as bad as him. It reminded me of this movie I watched called ‘Land of the Blind’. A horrible, ruthless dictator is overthrown by the ‘good’ guys, only for the new leaders to end up being just as horrible and ruthless. Kieran was just a selfish douchebag, concerned about power rather than what’s best for the ship. The whole Empyrean (view spoiler)[blowing up (hide spoiler)] could have been avoided if Kieran had just listened to Seth instead of blowing him off.
The biggest surprise of all was Seth. Other than Waverly, he is my ultimate favorite. After the first book, I was prepared to hate his guts again, but somehow he changed my mind. The book starts with Seth in the brig for trying to kill Kieran and start a mutiny. He’s had a lot of time to think after his tirade and realize what he’s done was wrong. I wanted to be annoyed by the personality switch, but it was done in a way that was realistic to me. The way he was portrayed in ‘Spark’ made me more sympathetic to his character and I was willing to forgive any crappy thing he’d done before. I honestly never thought I’d say this, but I’m seriously hoping that Seth and Waverly get together. They’re actually kind of cute together and I got so happy when Seth (view spoiler)[finally kissed her at the end (hide spoiler)]. I got so sick of Kieran telling Seth he would never be good enough for someone like Waverly.
The ending had me pissed, but in a good way. The cliffhanger was terrible. You can’t leave things like that and make me wait a year. I feel like the next book is going to be f-ing AMAZING! There’s bound to be ten times the conflict and I need to know what happens to the characters after this latest travesty. I’m sure Anne Mather’s will give me more reasons to hate her and Kieran will annoy the crap out of me. I’m more interested to learn more what’s been happening on the New Horizon. I’m feeling like there’s some brainwashing going on. However, the thing that had me most pissed concerned Seth. WTF is going on here?! I was so giddy about a certain thing and then (view spoiler)[Seth decided to stay behind on the Empyrean. If I was Waverly, I would be so damn furious that I risked my life to save him and then he’s like peace, I’ll stay here (hide spoiler)]. There better be some logical explanation for that. I’m probably going to look around other people’s reviews to see if they understood that part.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more