“I am no longer in denial of the truth….After all that has happened, I am now looking ahead and into the future instead of searching for what happened…”
My Thoughts: I would first like to thank Maryglenn at The Poisoned Press who graciously sent me a copy of Disconnected to review.
As someone who is majoring in English, I am very familiar with grammar and mechanics rules and become frustrated when I see mistakes. Unfortunately, there are quite a few grammar and mechanics errors in Disconnected. At times, I found myself to be too distracted by these errors which detracted from story.
Additionally, I do not enjoy the “insta-love” in this book. I certainly don’t mind “insta-attraction,” but there is legitimate insta-love and love professions when the couple, Milly and Blake have not even had a first date. It is a little absurd to me as Milly is a mature and sensible protagonist in the book. Also, I wish that Cronkhite delved more into Blake’s story. He alludes to having personal issues which give him depth to his character and make him relatable to Milly. Unfortunately, Blake and their relationship do not delve much deeper than a superficial level.
Besides these issues, I find Disconnected to be an extremely enjoyable read. Recently, mental illness is becoming less “taboo” in our culture, and I appreciate Cronkhite exploring these topics in her book. It gives genuine depth to the characters while shedding light on this topic.
Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and plot twists in this book. The mystery elements in this book are so intriguing that I could not stop reading it until I solved the mystery. The plot and writing style are so addicting! And, let me tell you, those are some MAJOR plot twists that are so unpredictable. These aspects correlate with the high rating that I ultimately give the book.
My Rating: ★★★★ 4/5 stars!
Recommendation: I’d recommend this for those who enjoy mysteries and psychological thrillers. (less)
A longer review will come. In short, I expected more from this book. The last 130 pages were great. The first 200 fell very short for me. Details to c...moreA longer review will come. In short, I expected more from this book. The last 130 pages were great. The first 200 fell very short for me. Details to come. Still a good book which I like!(less)
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.
Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.
Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.
But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.-Goodreads summary
Publication Date: December 6, 2011.
Favorite Quote from the Book:
“Karma is a cruel mistress.”
Hushed is provided to me via Netgalley from the publishers in exchange for an honest and respectful review. Upon reading about this book on Netgalley, I knew I needed to read this book. A book about serial killers is right down my dark alley-horrible pun intended. And, the book starts with a murder; like the victim, I found myself gasping for air as I quickly turned the pages throughout the book.
Unfortunately, this heart rate inducing writing sort of stopped as the main character, Archer meets his love interest, Evan, which is within the first 15 pages. I am not one of those people who hate romance in a novel; in fact, I quite enjoy the books that give me the warm and fuzzy feelings amidst some drama as long as it appropriately fits in the plot line. In this book, the romance did not overly enthuse me. Mostly, I find it to be not explained. Prior to Archer falling for Evan, he is madly in love-you could probably classify it as an unhealthy obsession-with Vivian. Suddenly, Archer is attracted to Evan which is fine, but I find myself wondering when is Archer going to “come out” to the readers. Simply, his romantic feelings are kind of random and not thoroughly explained.
This lack of explanation is certainly something that carries throughout the novel. Besides the romance, I had many questions regarding the plot that I never feel like are fully answered. Many of my questions pertain to the latter half of the book, especially the ending, and to those of you who wish to read the book, I will not disclose them. Just be forewarned, the latter half of this book is full of holes that the author never really fills.
Regardless of my disappointments, this book has its good qualities. The author does write some pretty great action-packed scenes, and she certainly knows how to capture her audience. Despite the ending having its loopholes, it does contain some heart-gripping, rapid page turning moments which leave you breathless and desiring more.
Overall, it is a decent read; it is not my favorite, but it is good.
★★★ 3/5 stars!
I’d recommend this to those who enjoy mystery and thriller books! (less)
A compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter—smuggled out of Russia before the revolution—continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences
In her riveting debut novel, The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, Jennifer Laam seamlessly braids together the stories of three women: Veronica, Lena, and Charlotte. Veronica is an aspiring historian living in present-day Los Angeles when she meets a mysterious man who may be heir to the Russian throne. As she sets about investigating the legitimacy of his claim through a winding path of romance and deception, the ghosts of her own past begin to haunt her. Lena, a servant in the imperial Russian court of 1902, is approached by the desperate Empress Alexandra. After conceiving four daughters, the Empress is determined to sire a son and believes Lena can help her. Once elevated to the Romanov’s treacherous inner circle, Lena finds herself under the watchful eye of the meddling Dowager Empress Marie. Charlotte, a former ballerina living in World War II occupied Paris, receives a surprise visit from a German officer. Determined to protect her son from the Nazis, Charlotte escapes the city, but not before learning that the officer’s interest in her stems from his longstanding obsession with the fate of the Russian monarchy. Then as Veronica's passion intensifies, and her search for the true heir to the throne takes a dangerous turn, the reader learns just how these three vastly different women are connected. The Secret Daughter of the Tsar is thrilling from its first intense moments until its final, unexpected conclusion. -Goodreads summary
Publication Date: October 22, 2013.
Favorite Quote from the Book:
“It's important to believe in something bigger than yourself.”
As you can tell, I picked up this book from Barnes & Noble for its beautiful cover and the concept of three different, possibly related, plots. I am pleasantly surprised to say that I loved this book!
Firstly, I adore the writing style. Laam writes with plenty of factual information and combines this research in her plots. I never feel too bogged down by the historical information as it is elegantly weaved in her prose. Additionally, she switches these plots and their historical information easily so readers can follow the different time periods. In fact, Laam concludes these different plots with readers wanting more. For example, she frequently ends a chapter with a major cliff hanger/plot twist. Therefore, readers want to continue reading in order to find the solution. Simply, the writing style is factual, eloquent, and addicting.
In addition to the writing style being addicting, I adore the characters in this book. The main protagonists are all women, and they are some pretty strong ladies! They all are daring and smart, but they have flaws which make them relatable. Also, I like how Laam approaches the sometimes taboo topic of strong women in history. Admittedly, much of history does not discuss the awesome women, but Laam presents some interesting women, especially the Empress and her mother-in-law. Therefore, this book is a great reminder that there are other women in history that have surpassed ordinary measures in order to be great, but we, like Laam, need to seek out them!
Normally, I am disappointed by books with multiple plots as I find the major ending plot twist to be a major disappointment. However, this book’s ending has me still in shock. It is fantastic. I so desperately wish that I could elaborate, but I do not want to spoil it for anyone. Seriously, you must read this book in order to read this ending because it is amazing!
My Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars!
Recommendation: I’d recommend this to those who enjoy historical fiction and mystery books. (less)
When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny wh...moreWhen eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that's a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life. Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he's not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.-Goodreads summary
Publication Date: October 3, 2013.
Favorite Quote from the Book: “I would learn and understand this gift. In time, I would love it. I belonged here. This was who I am.”
Judge the Book by its Cover: Not a typical YA cover; it’s different. I enjoy the cemetery setting with the raven as it alludes to important features of the novel. After reading the novel, I see the relations this cover has with the novel, and I appreciate authors and cover artists who spend time making covers like these possible.
Things that Made Me Happy: The character Judy has the admirable quality of determination to do good deeds with her powers. Despite being recently introduced to her abilities, Judy ceaselessly uses her knowledge (and discovers methods to use her powers) in order to benefit others. She truly is a caring character and is admirable to the audience.
Things that Made Me Unhappy: Sadly, many elements make my unhappy about this novel. Initially, I was extremely excited about the genre; a post-apocalyptic zombie book with some magical elements sound extremely appealing to the reader. However, the plot summary and publisher’s blurb is extremely misleading. Yes, this book is a post-apocalyptic zombie book with magic, but it also has a middle age historical feeling combined with steampunk, urban fantasy, and romance elements. In short, this book is a combination of too many genres. Due to all these genres, none of them are properly treated in the novel; they are simply introduced and never fully explained so as to introduce more elements of various genres. Indeed, this can be appealing to a reader, but it is unsatisfactory because none of these genres are treated with dignity and professionalism. Rather, they are imitations of other books. Honestly, this book has so much potential but it is hindered by involving too many other book genres.
Thus, the combination of all these genres make the world-building nonexistent and unbelievable. For example, the apocalypse that created the zombies is stated in the novel, but it is not explained. Readers are left questioning what exactly caused and happened in the apocalypse and how zombies are created from it. If this initially would have been explained towards the beginning of the novel, I believe this would have substantially aided the world-building in the novel because the totally unbelievable magical, steampunk, and urban fantasy elements could have been explained rather than suddenly thrown in the plot line. It’s disheartening because there is no explanation of any of these genre elements, especially the magical elements. How are certain characters magical and others aren’t? Is magic familiar in the world or do the sorcerers need to hide it? When an author introduces these genre elements, especially fantasy, in novels, he or she wants to secure the world building which is something Cleary fails to do in this novel. These are rather pertinent questions to the plot line which aren’t really answered which again leave the reader frustrated.
Of course, there is romance in this novel, and you guessed it! There is also a love triangle. I believe on page 46 of this 338 page novel, Judy expresses interest of one of these men ON THE FIRST DAY SHE MEETS HIM. She knows nothing about the man; he just shows up when she wakes up, and suddenly Judy is recognizing his “gorgeous attributes” as he gives her this internal longing inside her body. Give me a break. Cut the hormones. Not every teenager has THAT MUCH angst. Additionally, the other man is presumably much older than her; from his description and actions, I assume he is in his late twenties or early thirties. The romance and love triangle are just unnecessary and detract from the other genres. Really, not every young adult novel needs to include romance or even a love triangle to be appreciated and adored by the audience. Honestly, it is getting overdone and typically isn’t executed well.
One would think I am done with my negative feelings about this book, but I am not done! Additionally, many elements of this plot are predictable and blatantly stated by Cleary throughout the novel. When a plot twist occurs, the reader is not amused because this has been stated by the author previously. One of the greatest pieces of advice that I have received regarding writing fiction is to “Show. Don’t tell.” In this novel, there is an abundance of telling and limited showing. Since everything is rather predictable in this book, I frequently got bored and, again, this added to my frustration. Overall, the predictability, overemphasis of every character’s “suspicion,” and the suspected plot twist make this book dull.
Lastly, I believe the word “awkward” sufficiently describes the writing style of this book. Frequently, actions and days would pass without any sort of hint that the scene is changing. In other words, the transitions are weak and the sudden switch in settings lead to confusion. For example, Judy’s sudden arrival in town when she is at home in the previous sentence leave readers questioning about the turn of events. Likewise, the chapters’ endings are just as random in the novel, too. Judy is eating, and the chapter ends; Judy is saving a friend, and the chapter ends. The differing resolutions at the chapters just aggravate the readers. Simply, there is no consistency with Cleary’s writing style whether its settings, dialogues, or chapters’ resolutions.
My Rating: ★ ★ 2/5 stars!
Recommendation: I wouldn’t recommend this book as a high-priority TBR book for anyone; however, if you have a day to yourself, and you enjoy an eclectic novel and don’t mind inconsistencies, then read this book. It’s not awful; it’s just not my favorite book. (less)
He stood, walked around the booth and pulled me to my feet. ‘I love you too, Savannah. So much. And I know it’s fast. Too fast, but so good.’ He pulled me against him, brushed my hair out of my face, and said, ‘Too damn good to stop now.’
Judge the Book by its Cover:
To be honest the cover does not do this book any sort of justice; it makes the book look a trashy erotica novel. I’m not a huge fan of this cover.
Things that Made Me Happy:
Well, this was officially my first New Adult novel, and I’m extremely pleased. As a college student, I found this to be quite the perfect genre for me, as I sometimes find young adult books to be too immature and adult books tend to be irrelevant to my life.
First, I absolutely adored every character in this novel, particularly Savannah and Luke, our lovers. I’m always hesitant when reading romance because 90% of the time the characters are cloaked with extreme desperation for love and acceptance, which make them look rather pathetic. However, Savannah and Luke were some of the toughest and truthful romance characters that I have ever read. They both have serious skeletons in their closets, which affected their daily lives, but they found comfort and solace in the other’s company. When one was suffering, the other was supporting, which reflected a relationship’s idealistic qualities. Moreover, the characters’ flaws made the relationship more believable. No relationship is perfect! Therefore, Savannah and Luke learned to confront their problems and remained true to the other.
As previously stated the relationship felt believable. Savannah and Luke underwent a series of fortunate and unfortunate events that they confronted together; additionally, I experienced the heartwarming and heartbreaking moments with them. While times got tense, Savannah and Luke were able to find the comfort within their relationship. As this is how most healthy relationships work, I was extremely satisfied with these romance elements.
Overall, Too Fast was short and sweet but an impactful romance that offered beautiful glimpses into the powers of love, loss, and companionship.
Things that Made Me Unhappy:
Nothing! I loved this book; it was such a surprise!
★★★★★ 5/5 stars!
I’d recommend this book to those who enjoy New Adult Contemporary Romance.
*This book was sent to me via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!*(less)