I should hate this book on its premise. The plot sounds ridiculous, and there are so many sexotropes that it should automatically be rated as a one-st...moreI should hate this book on its premise. The plot sounds ridiculous, and there are so many sexotropes that it should automatically be rated as a one-star review. That being said, it was utterly enjoyable. The sexotropes were written believably and they didn't feel like useless filler. The characters were believable and likable, though each had their demons (tee-hee) to overcome. Their flaws were fitting and as realistic as they can be in a supernatural setting. Minus a few icky sex descriptions (though, in fairness, they were pretty rare and the sex was overall hot), I really liked this book. I'm definitely reading the rest in the series. (less)
This book was a very fast and very compelling read. The author's voice and storytelling grabbed a hold of me within the first few pages, and I read th...moreThis book was a very fast and very compelling read. The author's voice and storytelling grabbed a hold of me within the first few pages, and I read the book cover to cover in a few hours. I cannot wait to read more of Kimberly McCreight's work because this perfectly heartbreaking and painful but a wonderful read.(less)
This was an enjoyable read. There were elements of it I really liked, and I appreciate the premise of the book. Ember is an addict. She cr...more3.75 Stars.
This was an enjoyable read. There were elements of it I really liked, and I appreciate the premise of the book. Ember is an addict. She craves a high that only comes when she feels like she is truly doing something against her will, but like all highs -- especially those we really enjoy -- it is fleeting, and she is left feeling empty again. Ember craves that rush because she hasn't encountered someone who could make her feel that way both in and out of the forced fantasy.
Enter Lucas Crow. I liked his character very much. His no-nonsense approach was humorous at times, hot at times, and wasn't terribly over the top like you get frequently with this genre.
I won't spoil anything but the stuff with the brother might be questionable for some readers. It didn't bother me, though I could see it rubbing some the wrong way.
A few criticisms: The mixture of first and third-person speech was a bit jarring, but I got used to it.
Sex with the flu? I don't think so. There is nothing sexy about being physically ill, running a high fever, and in all reality, all snot-nosed and stuff that shouts, "Put it in me, Lucas!" The last thing I want when I'm sick is to have sex, even with an alpha male like Lucas.
The Instalove. Please, please, please, authors, stop it with the Instalove. That almost made me want to close out the book.
Other than those few things, I liked this book and would read other works from Sommer Marsden.(less)
This series is horribly overrated. That said, this was a good start to a trilogy but it later jumped the shark and did so unforgivably. As far as this...moreThis series is horribly overrated. That said, this was a good start to a trilogy but it later jumped the shark and did so unforgivably. As far as this book goes, I don't think I can find the willpower to write a long review. The ad nauseam over-description was suffocating at times. I found the label dropping to be supercilious at best and flat out fucking annoying at worst.
But none of that...none of that compares to the absolute hatred I developed for Anthony Rawlings. I am having a difficult time recalling a character more deserving of scorn, and listen, I've read some morally reprehensible characters and liked them aplenty. Usually the more diabolical a male lead, the more attracted I become. It's a flaw, so sue me. But Anthony Rawlings? No. I would sooner go on a date with a clown, and I am clinically phobic of clowns.
Truth be told, there are several Stockholm Syndrome books/relationships that I accept without objection. There are a few I even like and support. What goes on in this monstrosity of a series is not Stockholm. It's not a hero's journey. It's not even an antihero's journey. It's sickening abuse on every level, and it enough to make me want to vomit.
Anthony Rawlings is irredeemable on every level. He is not just another dominant male/alpha asshole character. He is not just another bad boy in the sack lead male. He is NOT a Dominant. I cannot stress that enough, and as I am writing it, I can actually feel my blood pressure rising so I am moving on from describing what he is and isn't. As much as the character of Tony makes me ill, what sickens me on an even deeper level is to read the reviews of this series. Women love Tony. They don't just forgive him; they worship him! There is nothing okay about that! It's disgusting and equally terrifying that thousands of women accept this as a hero's tale, a redeeming character arc, a...a...worthy of lust/admiration/love/respect lead male. I. Cannot. Stomach it. I would rather read about that pathetic, unworthy, abusive, sorry excuse for a man Christian Grey character that I loathe than I would ever want to read about this son of a bitch again.
I have to stop. I can't review this series. The first half of this book gets 3.5 stars. The second half of the book gets 3 stars. The last several chapters gets 4 stars, but the series as a whole gets 1. So I assigned this book 2 stars and felt I was being generous.
I have read the entire trilogy and have a strong opinion about the trilogy as a whole, which I will address in the reviews of the t...more(((Spoiler Alert)))
I have read the entire trilogy and have a strong opinion about the trilogy as a whole, which I will address in the reviews of the third book. I won't reference any of that in reviewing the first installment, which didn't make me want to eat a bullet...at least not In The Beginning.
Warning: you will see that phrase tacked onto a lot of sentences here. It's important to distinguish between initial impressions and the one at the conclusion of the book.
E.L. James's writing style was different from my usual choices and even preferences, but I was laughing aloud a few pages into the first chapter. The inner monologue of the protagonist, Ana, was hilarious In The Beginning.
Her first encounter with Christian Grey told me everything I needed to know about that character, and by the end of that chapter, I felt like I had a decent finger on who he was -- the classic, overused, uber-rich, utter alpha male that we see in so many kink and not-so-kink stories. I have no complaints whatsoever about his character portrayal In The Beginning.
As for the rest of it, "unrealistic" is being generous. He went from that classic alpha d-bag that we (quite often) love to hate and hate to love to something along the lines of, "I'm into BDSM, and you're too naive to know what that is but it doesn't really matter, and here's a contract and an ink pen. Get to going." *blink* Why that wouldn't send a newie running for the vanilla hills, I'll never know, but in true Ana form, she decides this would be a pretty good idea.
Christian's desire to protect her was, In The Beginning, obvious and at the forefront. There were plenty of interactions I didn't...hmm...approve of, but his intentions were decent. He made a plethora of mistakes, but the character is supposedly human, despite E.L. James's endless desire to see him as something of a god on Earth, so I can begrudge some basic mistakes.
But then, cue the entrance of the Drama Llama, and the next thing you know, melodrama is falling from the heavens like acid-laced champagne, and Ana spends the rest of the book wailing, whining, sniveling, and then worshiping this asshole. Christian Grey is an out-of-control, control freak who loses his temper too easily, uses sex as a resolution to relationship problems, and then uses his awful past as a means to justify his interest in BDSM -- and later, Ana became the "cure" to that disease. HUGE. FUCKING. PROBLEM. WITH. THAT.
I appreciate ending on a cliffhanger, especially when it is well done, but the end scene felt incredibly rushed to me. I did not understand Ana's strong reaction and abrupt exit. Champagne Melodrama. Cue fade to black.
This portrayal has reached a much wider audience than novels in this genre has before, and in that way, I am extremely frustrated that it gets the attention is does because this is not anything to model BDSM after, period. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't atrocious In The Beginning, but then it took a sharp left and became utter shit. (less)
No. No, it is not. I have been sitting here typing and erasing, typing and erasing, for the last fifteen minutes while...more This is not a romance novel...
No. No, it is not. I have been sitting here typing and erasing, typing and erasing, for the last fifteen minutes while I try to explain the power of this book but damned if I can do it. "The Siren" is like walking into the cliched dark and twisted forest. You have a good idea of what you're in for, have walked through many a scratchy set of trees before, but are in no way prepared for what's actually on the other side.
Listen, I don't like to praise books too highly too often because if everything is a 5-star meal then what's so damn special about a 5-star meal anyway? I usually only write about the ones that really move me, and there have been a good handful of books that have shattered my soul. "The Reluctant Dom" by Tymber Dalton. That one hurt. God, did that one hurt. It took me days to recover from it. "Tender Mercies" and "Comfort Food" by Kitty Thomas. They weren't on the soul-shattering level that TRD was, but they got me. They got me good on a different level.
"The Siren" is something entirely different. I didn't go into it with any real expectations, and I'm glad because the aftereffects are always more potent when I'm unprepared. I'm not going to give a lengthy review of this. I'm not even going to recount what happened. It would be lackluster and do no justice to the actual story of Nora. All I'm going to say is that if you are looking for a romance novel, this is not it. If you want rainbows, sunshine, and neat packages, this is not it. If you want a fairytale ending, this is not it. But if you want complex, raw, brutal emotion... If you want boundaries pushed, comfort levels tested (and obliterated with one scene), and end up feeling conflicted and more than a little worn? Yeah...this might be a book for you. (less)