Didn't realized that it's the same author who wrote The Nature of Cruelty! Which I actually didn't like. Heh. So yeah, I was like, she can write this...moreDidn't realized that it's the same author who wrote The Nature of Cruelty! Which I actually didn't like. Heh. So yeah, I was like, she can write this good, what happened with the other one? (god, I'm so mean) Anyhow, I really had fun reading this and I just met the most unconventional hero in my reading career. That doesn't mean he isn't as sexy as hell. Read this and see what I mean! :D(less)
I've always wanted to learn how to play a violin but never really got the chance. The closest I get on that was learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (...moreI've always wanted to learn how to play a violin but never really got the chance. The closest I get on that was learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I did actually have to coax and force my friend to teach me play it) which I have totally forgotten by now. Ha! But violin has always fascinates and mesmerizes me. So when I read the blurb of this book and learned that the main characters are violin prodigies I was absolutely sold! And boy was I not disappointed. Because reading Virtuosity was just as mesmerizing and captivating as listening to a violinist play.
Carmen was a character I instantly identified with. I was amazed and impressed by her accomplishments at a very young age and I truly felt the strong passion and love she had on being a musician. She was a very real and genuine character and although at first she let almost everything in her life be in control of her mother/manager who was totally overbearing and quite manipulative, she sooner realized that she has to start making decisions and choices for her own life.
Jeremy, although he started to be quite this arrogant and kind of a jerk guy I sooner found out that he was also this very soft and gentle guy who just also get nervous and insecure but covers it with his cool and proud facade. I love how he directly and indirectly contributed on making Carmen see how her life was and be an independent woman. Although he did make this mistake with Carmen I saw how he truly felt sorry about it and that his feelings for her were definitely genuine.
The romance here did happen a little too fast which in most case would have make me ran off to the other side but for some reason it worked for me here. Or more like, I actually didn't mind it because I just loved the characters. Ha! It was definitely okay though since as the story went on the development of Carmen and Jeremy's relationship and how it was explored felt really genuine and natural.
The musical aspect here was also really good. The playing was describe in such a very colorful and dramatic way and not really in technical way that might have my mind spinning in confusion. It was more on the feelings of the player and what the musical piece is trying to tell.
Overall, this was truly a great novel that centers about music, passion, love, discovery and choices. You really don't have to be a music lover to enjoy this book. It was beautifully written that I'm pretty sure it would easily make its way in your mind and heart. I recommend this.
Touch of Death was a fun and quick read. It was easy to get with the flow of the story and with the characters and understand what was really...more3.5 stars
Touch of Death was a fun and quick read. It was easy to get with the flow of the story and with the characters and understand what was really happening. It offered interesting points especially in mythology plus adding some twist about zombies. I actually sped through this! However, comes with its fast-paced writing was the feel that everything was happening in a rush. Thus also makings some part predictable and a little unconvincing.
The main character, Jodi Marshall, was a character that is easy to like. She played a very special and powerful character in the story however I couldn't seem to find some distinctive trait and quality in her that would have compelled me to really really like her and admire her character. Making her a little bland for my taste. Having said that she wasn't really a bad case of a main character. She has good qualities and principle but nothing really powerful or unique.
Alex, the love interest, started as a very intriguing character. I liked the bad boy and wicked side he'd shown in the beginning. I would have loved it even more if it hadn't been that toned down that much around the middle of the book when he and Jodi are finally learning and knowing each other. Still he's probable my most favorite character in this story.
I liked how Hashway combined the idea of Mythology and zombies. Adding to that, the mythological side wasn't really that conventional since it put one of the most known villains in the mythology on the good side. The only problem I had was that it felt rushed and quite predictable. I wouldn't have mind it being a little longer if it would make everything more credible and thrilling.
Overall, Touch of Death is a pretty entertaining and interesting read albeit a little lacking with some elements that might have made it even better. Still, I really did enjoy the overall. If you're looking for a fun, quick and unique paranormal read but doesn't have that too complex and mind-boggling world and plot, this is the right book for you.
Thank you Spencer Hill Press for providing me a copy of this book.
Mia's Heart was a fun, quick and lovely read. Although it has two of the things I wouldn't want together in a book - amnesia and love triangle - I was...moreMia's Heart was a fun, quick and lovely read. Although it has two of the things I wouldn't want together in a book - amnesia and love triangle - I was surprised to find myself not at all really bothered by it and I actually sped through this! However, I had some slight issues with it that prevents me from really liking it. Still, I enjoyed most parts of it.
Mia Giannis was a character I wasn't really sure about when I first read her. I liked the fierceness and the bad ass vibe about her but I'm not quite fond of her initial image before the amnesia. So when she lost her memories that had me pretty interested. I wanna see how this new Mia will turn out, I was fascinated by how she rediscovered her memories and found her true self.
Quinn MacKeyen and Gavin Ariastasis were the two love interest in this story. Now, love triangle isn't something I'm very fond of. As much as possible I avoid and steer clear of them however when I started this I didn't know this has one. Fortunately, the love triangle here wasn't the kind that is headache inducing. I admit that I'm a little sad because I was cheering the wrong team still I wasn't really devastated by it. Or maybe I was a little uncaring by it?
Now with the boys, Gavin Ariastasis was a fun fun character! I liked him instantly. He was Mia's best friend. He's a character that is laid back, easy going and yes, cocky. Yet, there's something in him that tells he's a pretty deep character. Quinn MacKeyen, well, like Mia said he's "deliciously American". Despite his good looks he was a really humble character. He could be every girl's dream of a boyfriend. However, he was described too perfectly and well, that's just boring. I was looking for flaws, even tiny bits, but nothing, he was too good to be true. So in the end, I guess, I just grew pretty indifferent about him.
I liked the story, but not like really like. Some parts I found quite shallow and the writing was a little more on telling than showing. Some things were handled lightly though I think they should be told with more depth. Nonetheless, despite the issues I had, I did enjoy most parts of this book. Almost all the characters were likable and I liked most was how the friendship between all of them grew. If you're looking for a light, fun and sweet read, you might want to check this out.
Thanks to Courtney Cole and Kismet Book Touring for providing a review copy of this book.
Freedom Road is a story of a girl's journey in rediscovering herself and reaching her dreams even when almost everything in her life seems t...more3.75 stars
Freedom Road is a story of a girl's journey in rediscovering herself and reaching her dreams even when almost everything in her life seems to be shattering and crumbling. Sam's story has definitely inspired and touched me in many ways. And this being a music-themed book had my heart even more captivated with it.
Sam is a very talented and gifted girl. Her guitar had become her solace from her very dysfunctional family and broken life. She developed a fiery passion for playing it and it became her dream to get into Julliard. However an "accident" happened that caused her to not almost be able to play. She was disheartened and discouraged and thought that she lost the only thing that really matters to her - her playing. But she met two people that truly cared and believed in her gift despite her new disability. Through them Sam found new confidence to continue playing and reasons why she should not give up.
For someone who knows how to play a guitar, I can say that Sam and I had developed quite a bond in this book. (Although my ability to play doesn't even reached quarter of hers. Haha!) I can say that I was really able to relate to her especially with her passion for playing the guitar. I understand why she was discouraged after the accident when some people might think that it wasn't really that big of a deal. I can imagine who hard it is for her to continue having that disability. But Sam is different, she is truly a gifted child. Her passion and love for playing is very remarkable and impressive. And so with the help of the people who truly cared for her she was able to stand up and believe in herself again. I also love how she was able to realize and learn a lot of things through her journey. Her character really progressed as the story went on and she became a very admirable character.
The writing is wonderful too. I can feel the intensity of Sam's passion in every word and phrases that describes her playing. The emotions were very well layered and I was able to really feel the heartaches and despair of the characters in this book especially with her family.
The secondary characters, Tad and Laird were both really great. I really adore the both of them. Tad was a very funny and interesting boy and I love how insightful he could be sometimes. Laird was just really sweet and supportive. Moments between him and Sam were just really cute and yeah, swoon-worthy.
Overall, this book is such a wonderful work. The plot line was very well thought and I love how the author showed insights about growth, forgiveness, acceptance and love. But most of all the passion for music. I was definitely inspired and touched by Sam's story. I recommend this. :)
The Truth About Faking is one sweet and cute read. I have always love the idea of two people faking a relationship but would eventually devel...more3.5 stars
The Truth About Faking is one sweet and cute read. I have always love the idea of two people faking a relationship but would eventually developed feelings for each other. Reading Harley and Jason's story was a fun and enjoyable experience.
Harley had a crush on Trent for quite a long time so when Trent's girlfriend broke off with him Harley made plans on how to win Trent over and be his boyfriend. However some of her plans went flying out of the window when the new student, Jason, came. Harley asked Jason to help her get Trent to notice her by fake-dating. When the two started spending more time together they became closer and noticed more things about each other. But Harley felt complicated about it and her feelings for Trent, to top it off some issues were arising between her family and their community.
Harley is a character that is fun to read about albeit a bit awkward and frustrating sometimes. Still she's a character that is easy to like. She did mistakes and wrong choices but that only made her character more realistic. What's more good was that she learned from it and her character did progress throughout the story. Jason. He's my favorite character in this book. He was never dull and I really liked his sense of humor. Plus he was really sweet towards Harley and had always been there with her even if she was quite hard-headed.
Harley's dad was a pastor so there were some religious aspects in this book. Although some parts felt a bit preachy it wasn't really that much to make me or some readers uncomfortable about it. I actually liked some of the messages this book had offered. And I think the issues were handled very well.
Overall, this was an entertaining and enjoyable read. The characters are great and fun, the plot was wonderful and sweet and the messages were lesson-filled and insightful. I recommend this.
Thank you Leigh Talbert Moore for the review copy of this book.
I was surprised by how much I actually liked this story. It was my first book of Samantha Young and I didn't even know that she'd published a number o...moreI was surprised by how much I actually liked this story. It was my first book of Samantha Young and I didn't even know that she'd published a number of young-adult books before this and this is actually her first contemporary adult book.
After reading this, I can say that Young is a talented writer and she sure knows what she was writing. The emotional depth and profundity of this book is very well showed and it successfully reached into me. I love how effectively she portrayed Jocelyn, the main character, that despite her flaws, mistakes and faults she was a character we understand. I love that she takes action; she knows she needed to see a therapist and she did it; she talk and thought of the things told on her and consider them. Although she gets to be stubborn and yes, definitely frustrating I can see how real and honest her character was written.
The romance was definitely a winner for me. Branden is the kind of guy you'd totally love to be with. He was very persistent (in a cute and very sweet way), understanding and patient. I love how he never gave up on Jocelyn despite her streaks.
This is not just some steamy romance novel because this book definitely has a lot more of depth that I had expected; it talks about friendship, acceptance, and forgiveness, overcoming fear and moving forward. This is a very worthy read. I would totally love to recommend this.
Jennifer Echols is the author that can still make me want to read more of her books even though most of it didn't really made me fall in love with the...more Jennifer Echols is the author that can still make me want to read more of her books even though most of it didn't really made me fall in love with them. From all the four books I've read of her Going Too Far was the only one that had successfully astounded me. But after reading Such a Rush, I'm glad to say that a new book from her has found its way directly into my heart! Such a Rush is a complex story yet a poignant and heartwarming one that deals with issues about family and I just loved how Jennifer Echols explored it through Leah, Grayson and Alex's story.
Leah is a very endearing character. She's tough and independent yet there's something in her that makes you feel so protective of her. She is a character that is so easy to like and care about. Her determination to get away from her current life through flying was something I really loved about her. Her passion with it was just very captivating and impressive that I myself can sometimes feel the elation she get through it with her narration. Jennifer Echols voiced her character in a very appealing way but with great realness and honesty in it.
Grayson is a complex and a very confusing character. He acted like a complete jerk but I can see that she cares for Leah a lot. He'd shown some of his caring and sweet side but still it didn't stop me from getting mad at his actions. I know there was something behind all the blackmailing but when I figured what it was all about I can't help but feel sad and sympathetic for him even if his choice of actions were wrong. He was emotionally wounded from the grief of losing Jake and his Dad. He was broken and was scared of having someone he really loved to lose again. In the end, I'm glad that he gained himself and I realized how invested I was to his character actually.
Jennifer Echols did an amazing job on exploring the importance of the relationship within a family whether you're blood related or not. I love how she showed and addressed the father-daughter like relationship Mr. Hall and Leah developed; the close relationship of the Hall boys and their father even though it was quite tainted by the past and how the loss of two of them affected the others. It was poignant, heart breaking but touching and moving. I love how the characters developed, grow and learned throughout the course of the story.
Although I find the pacing a bit slow it wasn't the kind that would make you feel bored about it. It would just make you want to know more and be eager to see what's gonna happen next.
Such a Rush sure lived by it's title. Reading this was indeed such a rush, it was thrilling and exhilarating. Meeting these characters and seeing them grew and developed through all the obstacles was heartwarming and lifting. Being with them as they fly and feel the elation with it was like having the same experience as the had. It was wonderful and utterly captivating. This is such a beautiful novel. I recommend this.
P.S. I can't believe I didn't mention this. There are actually smexy times here that just had me really swooning and grinning like a maniac. Haha! Just adding more reason why you have to read this! XD
I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was...more3.5 stars
I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was curious as how the author will pull it off. Well, actually it was more like I wanted to see a different ending, something that isn't really tragic or well, stupid because I really resent the ending of the original novel. Thankfully, I think the author did a very good job in portraying the story of Reed and Julia as the modern Romeo and Juliet and although the ending wasn't exactly what I had hoped for it was I guess, the best that could have come for a retelling of a tragic love story.
Julia and Reed comes from complete opposite world. The rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the responsible and the reckless. That isn't exactly a new setting to us but despite that it wasn't really hard to be swept and curious with the story of these two. Julia is a character that is easy to relate with and understand. Her emotions and feelings are very well voiced out making it even easier for us to understand her better. She did a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions but she's unmistakably a compassionate and strong person.
Reed is a character I'm very torn with. Not that he isn't likable but he was a character that I can't seem to have a firm grasp at. I saw the good in him, the vulnerable side, the reasons behind the addiction, his genuine intentions and I understand him, I really did and I did grew to care for him. Yet, despite all that it seems that he keeps on slipping away as the story goes on. It was sad and disheartening but I feel like the author purposely wrote his character that way.
The romance between the two was sweet and lovely. I love how the two met and how their feeling for each other developed, how they admitted it and how they fell into each other and didn't seem to care what people say about them. However, some part of me felt like it was lacking a bit of intensity, to completely convince the readers that they were indeed utterly, madly in love without words saying it. It might have made the ending even more compelling and powerful.
Nonetheless, Defy the Stars is lovely and heartwarming read although it ended still pretty tragic (not as much as the original Romeo and Juliet though) but the ending, for some reason I find encouraging. I was actually satisfied with it and it showed what should have been the right choice for the ending of a tragic love story.
Thank you YA Bound and Stephanie Parent for the review copy of this book.