I had been looking forward to reading The Queen of Swords since I siI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I had been looking forward to reading The Queen of Swords since I signed up for the blog tour and was impressed with the level of creativity, writing style, and new take on vampires, not to mention the blending of history and the paranormal.
There are many things I loved about The Queen of Swords - a few of which I listed above. Cat and Graham were intriguing and absolutely made the story. I found the Tarot card readings interesting, especially since I've had mine read before. Cat's practice of white magic held me captive, and I agreed with her feelings about organized religion. It was refreshing to read about a witch who wasn't portrayed as using magic for evil.
I can't express enough how much I loved Mason's writing style, and her new take on vampires was a welcome change from the usual. I don't want to say too much about how they're different so as not to give anything away, but suffice it to say, I was just about to think there wasn't anything new that could be done with them. I was happily wrong!
The chemistry between Graham and Cat was sizzling hot. I'm totally into Scotsmen now. They really are meant to be together, at least in my mind, and while I didn't want Cat to be in danger, I wanted them together somehow. I rooted for them all the way.
Another aspect of The Queen of Swords that had me invested in the story was the blending of history and paranormal elements. I will say that there are many terms I wasn't familiar with, but I read this on my Kindle and easily found the meanings. If you read a paperback copy, I'd keep Google close by in case you aren't familiar with the terms either.
The Queen of Swords had vampires, faeries, witches, romance, and suspense. There's nothing more I could ask for! I recommend this to anyone looking for a sizzling hot romance with a dreamy quality. ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour, which can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
INVOKING NONNA iI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour, which can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
INVOKING NONNA is a tale of a young girl named Maggie who begins searching for answers regarding her family history and who she is. Told from multiple POV, the story is mostly from Maggie's point-of-view and explores the issues with which she comes face to face - finding out who she really is and her family roots, handling the different reactions to her beliefs, and building the relationship she wants with her mother.
Maggie and her mom, Laura, have an unusual mother-daughter relationship - they're both witches but don't acknowledge it to each other. In the beginning I had a hard time understanding their relationship. They aren't close though Maggie desperately wants to be and seem to rarely interact. They definitely never talk about family - Maggie knows next to nothing about her roots, but once she's assigned to do a genealogy project for her history class, everything changes.
Not only does Maggie begin to find out more about her family, but Laura also recognizes her daughter wants to learn the craft and begins practicing openly and teaching her. The more Maggie learns, the more complicated her life becomes. As if being a teenager wasn't already complicated enough! But she handles it better than I would have because she's resilient and unafraid.
There's a great mix of heavy emotions as well as lightness and fun to balance out the heaviness. Ruby was a character who added humor to the story, and I adored Maggie and Ruby's friendship. They reminded me of my friendships in high school. Everyone needs a Ruby in her/his life! INVOKING NONNA is a story I loved every moment and found myself wishing the story had been a bit longer as I'm anxiously waiting for the next book! ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
SALT is a book that I think is eithI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
SALT is a book that I think is either going to be loved or not so much. I could see things about it that will work for some readers but not others. For me, the story worked for what I wanted from it, and I didn't want to put it down. There were a couple of reasons why I couldn't give SALT a five star rating, so first I'll explain what didn't work for me before moving on to what did.
Only two things bugged me about SALT - firstly, Penelope's likeness to Harry Potter (Penelope even mentions the series). Both Penelope and Harry both somehow survived when their parents were killed because they're different from everyone else. The second part is Penelope constantly saying she has to become an Enforcer so she can research the demon who killed her parents and took her powers. I felt like I wasn't trusted to remember her mission, but I remembered all of it, I promise! These issues are just mine personally and weren't to the point where I lost my fondness for this book.
What did work for me were Penelope and Carter's interactions - they were my favorite scenes in the book. The level of snark was so much fun to read! There was something about the two of them together that made me want to know more. When they were around each other, things could happen that only did when they were together. This was interesting to me and made me think they were like two halves that not only fit together but needed to be together.
Penelope's grandmother is a tough love kind of character. At times I wondered why she doesn't show Penelope the kind of love and affection Penelope must be craving after losing both of her parents. Plus, she seemed to favor Penelope's sister. Luckily, Penelope's grandfather and sister both seem warm, caring, and supportive. Maybe I'm being too harsh. She has most likely built up walls to protect herself from further pain after losing her daughter (Penelope's mother).
I felt like I was on the edge of my seat hoping the secret of Penelope's lack of magic wouldn't come out. Have you ever been so nervous while reading a book that something awful is going to happen to a character you like? That's how I felt while reading SALT. There are more secrets being kept by the people in her life besides her own secret, which also kept me glued to my Kindle.
Overall, SALT proved to be a fun read with the awesome interactions between Penelope and Carter. I could have read an entire book of just conversations between them!...more
I just love Jenny! She's so...everything! Everything I love in a heroine! I thought from the first book that this would be a series mostly about werewI just love Jenny! She's so...everything! Everything I love in a heroine! I thought from the first book that this would be a series mostly about werewolves (I didn't pay attention to the title of this one), so I was happily surprised when Jenny takes on a case involving a nasty coven of witches. I love this series! Full review coming soon! ...more
Christy and Adam are the perfect pair of best friends in The MidnighI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Christy and Adam are the perfect pair of best friends in The Midnight Spell. Christy is wildly dramatic, fun loving, and a fiercely loyal friend. I loved her to pieces! I could see myself being friends with her and would want her in my corner any day. Adam is more mellow, contemplative, and the calm to Christy's storm. He's level headed and fiercely loyal to her. While she believes in magic with every reason to do so (she really is a witch), he doesn't, yet they're best friends anyway. They respect each other's beliefs, and their personalities complement each other.
I adored Christy and Adam's parents. Christy's parents have been married for ages but are still as in love as though they're teenagers. I loved them! Adam's mom is supportive of her son being gay, so that's a non-issue in this story. I loved her! These parents listen to their kids, and the lack of family drama was a nice change of pace. I found myself jealous at times that Christy's parents seem to understand her so well. I think she takes them for granted sometimes, but no matter what, teenagers are going to feel embarrassed by their parents.
What was an issue with Adam being gay was the lack of safety around his classmates. He's been beat up before back in sixth grade, and I think the anxiety that it could happen again was always on his mind. He only wants to find love, which seems impossible being the only gay guy in a small and close-minded town.
The sudden appearance of the new girl, Olivia, seemed almost too good to be true. Some might say she's abrasive while others might say she just speaks her mind. She fits right into the group as if she has always been there.
Mark is the new boy at school and arrives the morning after the spell Christy casts. It seems too good to be true for Adam. Mark and Olivia were both mysterious and I kept looking for clues as to who or what the evil was that came to town. I couldn't decide if it would be most obvious or least obvious, and I liked that I couldn't decide.
The tone of the book, though evil comes to town, was lighter than I was expecting, and I was happy with it. I thought from the synopsis it would have be serious and dark, but there were a lot of happy moments and times I laughed out loud. I loved the writing, the characters, the dual narrative split between Christy and Adam, and their friendship. I highly recommend The Midnight Spell to anyone looking for a young adult paranormal novel - this will grab your attention from the beginning until the end.
Favorite Quote: "Whoever decided to paint the lunchroom a burnt yellow must really hate kids."...more
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review through the We Love YA Books group on Goodreads.
I thought the authorI received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review through the We Love YA Books group on Goodreads.
I thought the author gave an interesting new take on vampires, witches, and the idea of soul mates. After moving away to escape her past, Amelia Caldwell soon finds out what she thought was a simple birthmark is actually where she has been marked by a vampire. She holds the vampire's soul and is his soul mate. In this book, the idea of soul mates isn't just an idea, it's a physical reality for Amelia and Mitchell, and I think that was exactly what gave this story a boost and made it different from other vampire novels.
Amelia was a strong character and didn't fall all over herself in Mitchell's presence. She remained her own person as much as she could even though Mitchell's hold over her was intense. It was a relief to finally read a book with a strong female character in a plot involving the idea of soul mates. I ended up resenting the control Mitchell tried to exert over her and was hoping against hope that Amelia would find a way to undo the spell. By taking away her freewill, Mitchell created exactly what he feared--their love soon turned to hatred, and I knew that was going to happen. Love just doesn't work that way.
I rated this 3.5 stars out of five because I felt there could have been more action; the story lulled at times. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment of the series and finding out more about Amelia. What memories from her past are painful for her? What's her powerful secret? I really want to know! ...more