ASSURED DESTRUCTION had originally interested me since it was a different type of contemporary that dealt with issues involving data privacy, social n...moreASSURED DESTRUCTION had originally interested me since it was a different type of contemporary that dealt with issues involving data privacy, social networking and technology. I did end up having a few issues with the characters in the story, but overall I still enjoyed this short read!
My favorite part of the novel was, not surprisingly, the technology-related part of the novel. The first third or so of the novel had hooked me in by explaining the workings of the Shadownet, how Janus created her “friends’” profiles, and how she used her technology in different ways. Of course, on the other hand if techie stuff bores you, you probably wouldn’t enjoy this part as much as I did. However, these details were exactly what I had been expecting out of the book, so I really enjoyed this!
The plot and pacing were also strong. The whole book only measures 185 pages, but each is filled with mystery and/or action, whether it be when Janus uses her coding and hacking skills to track a culprit, or when she’s breaking in or out of a place she might not be allowed in. The story was also able to engage and somewhat mislead me as to who might be the culprit, which just made me more motivated to try to finish and figure out the culprit! And as a bonus, the book ties up a good amount of ends, so it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but still has enough unsolved mysteries and openness for me to come back for more!
However, in a way, that fast pace and short length was also detrimental to my enjoyment of the characters. Janus was understandably naïve and seemed obsessed with her imaginary friends online, but probably didn’t have enough time in the book to really develop into a heroine I could connect with or admire. I also thought the book could have done without the romance or love triangle, since they didn’t add much to the story or grow on me either.
All in all though, I still enjoyed ASSURED DESTRUCTION because of its concept and pacing. If you’re looking for a different type of contemporary or mystery, or a novel revolving around technology, you might enjoy this read! Older male readers might also enjoy this novel, too (:(less)
Check out my tour stop for the book here to read an excerpt!
Before I get through the gist of this review, let me just say that I loved this book. And...moreCheck out my tour stop for the book here to read an excerpt!
Before I get through the gist of this review, let me just say that I loved this book. And that anything I might continue to say may sound like complete gibberish. Because holy geez, Of Silver and Beasts was amazing! So many feels, magic, action - everything I love!
Let's start off with the plot! Like most YA fantasy or adventure stories I like, there's action, fight scenes, magic, etc. Basically the quick, readable, entertaining stuff that usually keeps me reading. What I didn't expect though, was how the novel really hooked me in, keeping me past midnight to finish. Sure, usually the action in any novel will maintain my interest, but the different feels in the novel also captivated me. For the sake of not spoiling the plot, let's just say "bad things" happen. Though I hated that bad things had to happen, these things do keep me reading! It seemed like every time something devastating happened, I just had to find out what happens next, in hope that Kal somehow will save the day. Eventually, she would do something to help out, only to have something else happen to someone she cares about. Of course this cycle went on and on until the book ends, while I cry for more.
But the story wouldn't be this captivating without the feels. SO. MANY. FEELS. As I said before, there are some pretty bad things that happened, but there was one particular thing in the end that I just hated. And of course by that, I also mean that I loved it, however much sense that makes. Admittedly, you can somewhat predict it would happen, but still, it's so devastating! Again, however much this might make sense, in my head it was like, how-could-you-do-this-to-me-argh-why-why-why-where's-the-next-book-how-dare-you-end-it-this-way-but-wait-i-love-you.
And of course there's the characters! Kal initially came off as a bit cold of a character, but definitely a strong one. However, I liked that eventually you get to see her more vulnerable side, when her loved ones are faced in terribly dangerous situations. I also admired her undying loyalty towards the Queen and her duty - I can't imagine doing something like that myself! The rest of the Nactue Guard was also admirable, though I'd love to see more of them! (Or *slight spoiler*what's left of them dun dun dun...)
Like the one in Astarte's Wrath, the romance here in Of Silver and Beasts was also slowly developed, but just as sweet, intense, and delicious. Unlike Astarte's Wrath or many other fantasy-romance novels, however, the romance isn't so much the center of the story, or very obvious from the beginning. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the development of the romance and the love interest himself. Trust me, the romance is definitely swoonworthy and full of chemistry.
One more thing I feel like I should mention is the world. The part of the world you see in the majority of the novel is much darker than I expected, with a gladiator ring and ferocious beasts of sorts. Mercury, technology and different gods also plays a vital part in the world, though I'm hoping there's more of that explained in the next book. Overall, though, I thought the world Trisha Wolfe built here was solid and intriguing!
Clearly, Of Silver and Beasts is a novel that I just can't stop fangirling about! I enjoyed everything in the novel, and was immensely swayed by the different emotions and characters. If you're looking for a NA fantasy, dark fantasy-romance, or paranormal romance, pick this one up ASAP - you won't be disappointed!
* Thank you to Trisha Wolfe & the Tuff Girl Legion for the review copy!(less)
Usually when you think zombies, you probably think something along the lines of The Walking Dead or a gory horror movie. The Grave Winner, on the other hand, is more of a fantasy-zombie hybrid, with both enchanting magic and romance you might expect from a fantasy novel, kick-butt action and creeps you might expect from a zombie novel, and strong characters and storyline a reader would want from any story!
As a whole, I really enjoyed the characters! Leigh is your classic kick-ass heroine, whether she’s fighting off evil witches, zombies, or cheerleaders. But at the same time, she’s also a loving, normal girl who cares for her best friend, father, and cute little sister. I personally admired her ability to keep a clear head and put her family and friends’ well-being before her own, especially when there were zombies, her mother’s death, and high school drama to deal with. By the end of the novel, her character really grew on me!
Other than Leigh, I also really enjoyed Jo’s character. She was a really quirky and happy character, which I always adored and always added light to the story. And just like how Leigh stuck by Jo through thick and thin, Jo also stuck by Leigh. In a way, Jo even reminded me of Jenna in Rachel Hawkin’s Hex Hall series, by always making me smile even in the most serious (and maybe inappropriate) situations.
I think the only character I had trouble connecting with was Callum, mostly because I found the other love interest Tram to be much more swoonworthy. Usually love triangles don’t work for me since I find myself liking one interest much more than the other, and unfortunately, this one is the same case. In my opinion, Tram was much sweeter, a lot more loyal, and just all around a great guy. And as much as I like the friend-turned-lover path, Callum didn’t appeal to me as much since he always seemed to change his mind about Leigh. Nevertheless, I did admire his loyalty to Leigh. Hopefully more of his relationship with her, not only as a lover, but also as a friend, will develop in the next book!
Which brings me to the rest of the storyline! What I think makes it so appealing is that there’s something that might appeal to every kind of YA reader. For fantasy readers, there are the powers, rituals, witches and spells. For the romance fans, there’s, of course, the love triangle (though, again, I’m Team Tram all the way :D). For action fans, the quick pace and large number of fight scenes will definitely satisfy them. Even for contemporary fans, the different relationships between characters and classic high school drama might appeal to them. I personally enjoyed this combination of action, magic, and character, as it just made me even more engrossed in the story.
Above all, The Grave Winner was a book that I immensely enjoyed. Though I had issues with the love triangle, its quick paced storyline definitely compensated. I’d recommend it to fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as they would probably devour the magic and action as I did! Otherwise, I’d suggest it if you’re looking for a quick, action-filled fantasy read!
* Thank you to the author for providing me a review copy of this book!(less)
I’m not much of a New Adult reader (though I’d love to read more!), so most of what I read from the New...moreCheck out more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
I’m not much of a New Adult reader (though I’d love to read more!), so most of what I read from the New Adult genre happens to be contemporaries. And even by chance, if I do get to pick up a good New Adult fantasy novel, it’s usually an epic fantasy, not an urban fantasy. So when THE FORGOTTEN ONES came along, I was thrilled at the prospect of maybe getting to read one! That being said, I would probably say THE FORGOTTEN ONES ended up being an interesting and somewhat entertaining story, but not one that wowed me or had tons of New Adult-y content.
Part of the reason is because the first half or so of the novel read more like a contemporary romance, rather than a fantasy novel. Combined with the fact that the book itself isn’t very long, it made me feel like there wasn’t enough magic or fantasy in the story. And to be completely honest, though I thought the love interest and romance were sweet, I didn’t feel like there was much special about it either.
I was also iffy on the heroine, Allison. On the positive side, she’s strong in her own way by taking care of her schizophrenic mother and rescuing her comrades when they’re in need. However, sometimes I also found her point of view a bit dull, as I don’t feel like her character develops significantly. And this is more of a personal thing, but I’m also sick of the cliché that a heroine likes a guy, and the guy likes her back, but they can’t be together, especially since I think her excuse for not being with Ethan was a bit weak. But again, that might just be me.
One last, but more minor, thing that bothered me was that the story also seemed to follow some clichés. For example, you have that Allison isn’t actually completely human, since she’s actually part fairy. Realistically, how many times have we seen that scenario before?
And now to the positive stuff! I found that once Allison starts her adventure into another world, the story had a bit quicker pace and a more fantastical feel to it. Because of that, I, of course, was more engaged into the story. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I’ll say there’s much more drama, magic (think beautiful fairy courts, spells, curses and creatures!), betrayals and secrets involved, which, erm, tends to attract my attention :p There were even a few small twists I didn’t expect, which I hope will develop more in the next installment!
Overall, though I’d say THE FORGOTTEN ONES didn’t turn out to be what I expected in the beginning, I still relatively enjoyed the story by the end. This novel would probably appeal to YA or NA fans looking for a quick read that’s not too complex in its fantasy world, as there are still contemporary elements, but still having some magical elements. NA contemporary fans might also enjoy this novel, since quite a bit of novel read just like a contemporary book.
* Thank you to the author & IFB Blog Tours for the review copy!(less)
This review originally appeared on my tour stop for the Be Notorious tour! Make sure to check out the awesome-tastic giveaway and read an excerpt!
WHEN...moreThis review originally appeared on my tour stop for the Be Notorious tour! Make sure to check out the awesome-tastic giveaway and read an excerpt!
WHEN EMPIRES FALL is the type of book that I'd think would make a good TV drama - it's complex, dark, intriguing, and will just pull viewers (or in this case, readers) along within each episode, making them want more during and after each installment. Nevertheless, it's definitely a book that mystery, suspense, or adult fiction addicts will fall in love with!
What probably attracted me the most was this book's complexity. I definitely wasn't coming in thinking this would be an easy read, but I was still surprised by how intricate the characters were. Right from the beginning, you're introduced to quite a few POVs, including Madison, Grant, and Linc, who are siblings, Charlene, their mother, Cyrus, their grandfather, and Marshall, their uncle. By the end, a few other characters are also introduced, including Wyatt (Madison's ex), Lynette (Linc's love interest), Quinn (Grant's love interest), and Detective Hughes. Though this many POVs might seem too confusing, but I personally enjoyed it, since each person had a different voice and different dark secrets to deal with.
And on top of that, you have the plot. It's a lot darker than I usually encounter, considering I'm a mostly YA reader, but it pulled me in nonetheless. Throughout the novel, you deal with murders, secrets, suicides, betrayal - whatever you'd imagine in a drama. Though sometimes I felt like some of the plot devices were overdramatized, sometimes this suspense and drama pulled me in even more - I just felt like I had to discover more of the Vassers' secrets! In fact, eventually when I finished the book, I almost immediately jumped into the next. So if you're looking for a complex but interesting story, definitely check this one out!
I also liked the central theme of family in the book. Though sometimes the family members could get on each other's nerves, the bottom line was that family was the most important, however corrupt or pathetic you thought your family was. You see this idea play out through the book, and it's really admirable that the Vassers managed to stay together despite the difficulty. This will be another thing I'm looking forward to seeing in the next book (:
My only question was concerning the romance. It was sweet and a good break from the rest of the drama in the book, but sometimes I also felt like it was... unnecessary. I did like Quinn & Lynette - both were really, really sweet characters. But at the same time, you could see predict their relationships from the beginning. Additionally, though this wasn't as much of a problem in Lynette & Linc's relationship, I found it hard to believe that the romance could go on without a lot of difficulty. However, I did like their relationships, and hope to see them grow in Rise of the Notorious!
All in all though, WHEN EMPIRES FALL was a fantastic read! It's dark, complex, and mysterious, which was exactly what I was looking for. If you're an adult or mystery reader, definitely consider checking this one out!
* Thank you to the author for a review copy of the book!(less)
SACRED BLOODLINES was a quick, easy, and entertaining read, because of its fluid language, likable and...moreCheck out more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
SACRED BLOODLINES was a quick, easy, and entertaining read, because of its fluid language, likable and relatable characters, and fast-paced plot. Though I had a few issues concerning how some of the story developed, overall I still enjoyed this read!
The best part of this book is just that it's so readable! Originally I had sat down, planning to read only a few chapters at a time, but I ended up devouring over half of the book in one sitting. This was probably because the language flowed well in my mind, and that the plot was full of action! Too many times when I read fantasy, there's too much info-dumping in the beginning, or a really slow build-up. In this case, however, even the beginning flowed smoothly and didn't bore me for a bit.
I also liked the magic behind the Guardians. It wasn't too original, but I was still interested in the different spells, elements, weapons and techniques they wielded. The Oracle also interested me - I specifically remember her saying that she technically wasn't on anyone's side. And though it wasn't too prominent in the book, the idea of bloodlines, and powers awakening after the last Guardian in your line dies was also pretty interesting ^__^
As for the characters, I felt they were... "okay". They're all likable, and each one of them has their own quirks, but I didn't feel like many of them were extensively developed. Gabriel, for example, is a great kid - he's brave, kind, strong, smart, etc. But by the end of the book, though I liked his character, I didn't completely connect to it, because I felt like I didn't know enough about him!
The book's originality, though, was probably my biggest issue with the book. Though it was extremely readable and an enjoyable read, it seemed like a lot of cliches followed the characters. Your main character, for example, starts off as an orphan with mysterious powers. Eventually it turns out that his "hallucinations" weren't actually hallucinations, since he has magic powers. And then there's an attractive and nice girl he falls in love with, as well as a prophecy saying that Gabe's the one who will save them all...
I feel I should also mention the religious aspect of the book. Though it's not super in your face, there's a distinct presence of Christian ideals. Michael, the elder in the book, often mentions not straying from the right path. Your villain also happens to be Mammon, and the other demons in Hell. This didn't personally make me uncomfortable, but if that kind of thing would bother you, I'd suggest skipping this one.
Overall, however, SACRED BLOODLINES was still a read that I enjoyed. I'd probably recommend it to middle grade readers, as the plot and characters aren't too complicated but still are fun to read! Christian fiction readers might also enjoy this novel, as there's a good balance between religious aspects & fantasy.
* A review copy of this book was provided by the author for the tour. Thanks!(less)
The first half or so of the book was pretty good, but the rest just went downhill for me :/ I couldn't quite connect with the character, make sense of...moreThe first half or so of the book was pretty good, but the rest just went downhill for me :/ I couldn't quite connect with the character, make sense of some of her decisions and thinking, and thought the romance took up too much of the plot. This IS a book that romance fans may enjoy though.
Check back here on April 6 onwards for my tour stop of the book, also featuring a giveaway with 7 chances to win a copy of this book!
It's been a while since I read a witch or wizard book, the last being SPELL BOUND by Rachel Hawkins back last year in 2012. Then when I got an invite for this book and saw the blurb (and, erm, the gorgeous cover), I was pretty psyched about the book! That being said, I definitely got my fix for a good witch-type of book, though I still had a few issues with the book...
My favorite part about the novel was probably the world and magic Mark Jay Harris created in the book. When I came looking for a good book about witches, I was really looking for something that could either totally creep me out or overwhelm me with fantastic magics. Harris's version was probably a combination of both - he had a good amount of spells, wand waving, cauldrons, and black cats, but also incorporated the darker side of witch hunting. Whenever Sam or Serena were explaining different types of spells, (especially the "blind man" and "deaf man" - imagine having a trick like that on your side!) I found myself completely immersed in the writing and magic of it. The idea of Warders, Oracles, Guardians, and witches or warlocks, and how they all came together also really interested me.
The down side to that, though, was that sometimes there seemed to be a lot of info dumping. This might be because I was reading the eARC on my phone, but it seemed like it could go for a large number of pages just describing the history. Personally, while I enjoyed the general story, sometimes it was a little too much.
As for the characters, personally I thought they were "okay". Like in many cases in the YA world, I thought they were likable but a bit undeveloped. Darren, for example, really is a nice guy, but I couldn't completely connect with his character. The same was true for Sam, Serena, Mike, and Andrea. I have to admit, though, that Sam or Mike had this sense of humor and snark that definitely brightened the mood and made me crack a laugh (:
The plot, though, was probably my biggest issue with the book. Firstly, I found that it could be really slow moving at times, especially when Darren didn't know about his powers or was just learning about it. In fact, I didn't feel like the action or excitement didn't come in until about 60% into the book. A lot of the book is also spent on Darren feeling guilty about liking Samantha. I also felt like after some really obvious foreshadowing, some of the "twists" in the book became obvious.
However, the part of the plot that I felt had a good amount of action was much more exciting! At that point, I couldn't stop reading until the very end. In a way, I felt like this suspenseful and break-neck ending was worth going through the somewhat slow moving beginning.
Nevertheless, overall I did enjoy BEWITCHED. It has a great concept surrounding witches and warders, and one that I definitely would love to explore more, hopefully in the next books. Fans of paranormal romance, other InkSpell titles like COLONIZATION by Aubrie Dionne or THE STAR CHILD by Stephanie Keyes, or readers looking for a quick fantasy read will probably enjoy this novel (:
* An eARC of this book was provided for review purposes. This did not influence by opinion of the book.(less)
Make sure to check out my tour stop for this book to read a smexy bath scene from Xarion's POV (;
Imagine being bound to s...moreRating Clarification: 3.5 / 5
Make sure to check out my tour stop for this book to read a smexy bath scene from Xarion's POV (;
Imagine being bound to serve for the rest of your immortal life, your powers and wills forever under the command of one ruling family. Then imagine falling in love with the one who holds that command over you, knowing ASTARTE'S WRATH, plus touches of humor, adventure, fun, and magic.
One thing you should know about this book is that it’s mainly a romance book. And if you’ve read my reviews or blog for a while, you probably know that usually this is a book no-no in my book. In this case, however, I loved the sweetness (and not to mention major hotness – think BATH SCENES) of Star & Xarion’s relationship. It’s probably that their childhood-friends-to-lovers relationship is the type that I’m always weak for, but it was also that they seemed to have such great chemistry together. Therefore if you’re usually a big romance junkie, you’ll probably fall in love with their story!
That’s not to say though that the story didn’t have its conflicts. Regarding Star & Xarion’s relationship, you have the problem that Star is supposed to serve Xarion for eternity, and is forbidden by Kythan law to be with Xarion. You also have the stirring war between Cleopatra and Octavian, and the mystery of the newly created Kythan race controlled by Octavian. And on top of that, there’s the fact that Egyptian Guardians are tired of being slaves and start to lean towards the Octavian side. This combination of plot lines made it so the story wasn’t only focused on the romance, but also on the problems of their world at the time, which just pulled me more into the story.
I also liked the heroine, Star. On the surface, she’s the type of strong, warrior-type heroine you see so often in YA – strong, smart, caring, etc. Over the course of the story, though, I feel like you’re really able to get into her head and her heart to learn her strengths and vulnerabilities, which made me care more for her character. For one, she’s totally loyal to those that she cares about, which I really admired. Star is also the one people around her depend on in order to make some of the harder decisions, even if they may be a bit rash.
The world and magic were also fascinating! In case you don’t know, this book is set in Ancient Egypt, which is a setting that I was already fascinated with. Unlike most books though, Wolfe didn’t choose to focus on the gods, but rather the Guardians and their different magics, which is something I didn’t really expect. Rather, it still incorporated parts of Egyptian mythology, but also added sparks of the author’s own imagination. I can’t wait to see how this magic plays out in the futuristic world of DESTINY'S FIRE, too!
And the ending! I commend Trisha Wolfe for doing that, since I know that so many other authors might have ended it in an… “easier” way. I don’t want to give the ending away, but I’ll just say it’s a near perfect balance of sadness and hope, and really tugged at my heart.
ASTARATE'S WRATH was in one word, captivating. The romance, magic, characters, plot and ending all captured my mind, pushing me to read on until I came to the last word. If you’re a fan of romance, YA fantasy, Ancient Egypt, or of this novel’s predecessor DESTINY'S FIRE this is a must read!
* Thank you to Trisha Wolfe & the Tuff Girl Legion for a review copy of this book!(less)
FRACTION OF STONE is one of those books that might not have a ton of action, but, to me, was still a fascinating read, mainly because I loved the characters and the different issues it dealt with. By the end of the book, I fell in love with the world and characters, and was left wanting more!
I'm the type of reader who, for some reason, loves reading about broken characters. Their pain, development, and eventually, redemption is just so moving for me to read. In this case, I feel like Kelley Lynn portrays this difficult journey and the associated emotions perfectly. Rydan, for example, is forced to make a decision between staying in his life of luxury, but not really connecting with anyone, or to save the one person who he could ever relate to. He also had to deal with the fact that while Rydan was learning from a teacher and being pampered, Akara was ruthlessly whipped, starved, and absued by her captors. Akara, on the other hand, learns the value of life and the company of others, while trying to forget her painful past. And to top it off, both also have to deal with exhaustion after running and using their magic, as well as being hunted fugitives. Yet, though both Rydan and Akara are distinctly different, the two characters are able to stay strong and selfless, as well as to heal each other, survive, and eventually, save the world.
While reading, I also enjoyed exploring the world in the book! I especially liked the different settings of the world, like the Sutaka village, Drier Forest, old Namaqua village, and Distarkant Forest (I mean, no sunlight - imagine that!). The concept of the Gia Stone, and how its magic was vital for the world to survive, as well as learning the history between the Tarmack, Liasam, and Namaqua was also really interesting! Hopefully these ideas will also be explored in the next book!
And I'm not sure if this was on purpose or not, but the author also made me think. It was like my experience with THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER - there were just really heavy issues which occasionally made me put down my Kindle, and just sit and ponder. Specifically, who would be "worth" saving in the world, especially if it seems like everyone is hunting you down? And is it worth sacrificing a few people in order to save a lot more? Personally, I felt like this showed me that the book wasn't shallow at all - it made me think, while tugging at my heart.
My only issue with the book was with the plot. Though the general story was interesting, I felt like at times, the story could drag. The basic story structure was also pretty basic, as I felt like the book focused more on Akara & Rydan's character development and thinking.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed FRACTION OF STONE! At times the story might have dragged, but I was still entirely immersed in the characters, world and different questions I had in my head. This is a book that will appeal to many fantasy readers, as well as people looking for a book that's a bit darker and heavier. Definitely read this book soon if it's on your TBR, or if it looks like something you'd enjoy!
* A review copy of this book was provided by the author for the blog tour. This did not influence my opinion of the book.(less)
THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE was the type of book that I started with the intention of reading just a few chapters, then realizing I had finished the whole book in one sitting. For me, it was a near-perfect weekend read, with smart characters, fun, mystery, and excitement!
Many times, authors make the mistake of making male POVs sound unrealistic, whether it be making their voices to “feminine” and dramatic, or picturing the guys a little too perfectly. Rest assured, in THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, this is not the case. Cooper, your main character, had a witty, sometimes snarky, and hilarious voice, and I really enjoyed it! Moreover, his eventual character growth and development from a mostly self-centered teen with his own goals, to someone who truly cared, supported, and loved others was wonderful!
Of course, the other side characters were also well written! Though Cooper’s relationships with them weren’t perfect, you definitely see the friendship and sense of family between them. Along the way, you meet Lucy, who’s pretty mysterious but I ended up liking, Grace, a liberal punk-girl with a sweet heart, and Ryan, Cooper’s super supportive “brother”. Other more villainous side characters, like Blake, were obviously unlikable, but still brought an interesting side to the story (:
The storyline also never ceased to intrigue and entertain me. Right from the beginning, you’re introduced to Lucy, Lucifer’s sister, and her proposition to Cooper to “redeem” himself by forming a relationship with Grace, then immediately thrown into the action. There was also plenty of mystery and questions for me to ponder on, as well as a few very unexpected twists along the way, which, of course, just made me more interested in the book! :D The eventual romance between Grace and Cooper also didn’t overcrowd the storyline, but was still satisfying & sweet.
Another thing that really interested me, though, was the book’s concept. As I mentioned before, Cooper is sent back into a second life of a sort in order to redeem himself, after he set fire to a school. Though this might seem simple, along the way, you learn that there’s something more to the deal, and more to Cooper’s identity and memories. The magic and mythology of it all just excited me!
My only complaint would have to be that I wanted more. To me, the book was ended relatively quickly and easily, and I wanted more of the characters and their wittiness, more of the mystery and fantasy I was hooked on, and more of my questions answered! Nevertheless, there will probably be plenty of stuff to build off of for the second book, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next!
Simply put, THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE was a great read. With a combination of light and witty humor and an intriguing concept, this is a book that will appeal to many YA readers, especially if you enjoy fantasy or paranormal romance. If you’re looking for a weekend adventurous read, definitely check this book out!
(* On a side note, there are a few mentions of God, though religion is not prominent in the book. Nevertheless, if you’re the type of reader who is very uncomfortable with reading a book with a slight religious presence, this might not be the book for you.)
* A review copy of this book was provided by the author for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book.(less)
EXHALE by Jennifer Snyder focuses on the idea of falling in love with a guy, though another guy is in love with you. Sounds a little familiar, right?...moreEXHALE by Jennifer Snyder focuses on the idea of falling in love with a guy, though another guy is in love with you. Sounds a little familiar, right? Except this time it’s a bit more complicated – the two guys are twins. Overall, I felt like Snyder had a good basis for the storyline, though I felt like some aspects of the book could be developed more.
For this review, I’ll be organizing it into positives & negatives, since I found that each aspect of the book had its on merits and faults.
Characters: The Upside: The characters were, well, normal. They aren’t the smartest, most perfect, or nicest characters, but they did resemble normal teenage characters. Kat’s voice in particular sounded authentic, as she felt emotions that aren’t the purest of intentions, but definitely reasonable and realistic for a teenager. As the book went on, you also see a really sweet side of her, which made her a more likable character for me. If you’re looking for an authentic voice, one that isn’t “too perfect” or phony sounding, you may love Kat’s voice!
The Downside: I still felt like they were undeveloped, and at times, really unlikable. In Kat’s case, though I ended up caring for and liking her at the end, you don’t get to see the very depths of her character. In my opinion, her relationship with Missy also seemed questionable – in the beginning of the book, Kat mentions that she’s afraid of mentioning any conflicting opinions with Missy, and often receives glares from Missy whenever Kyle flirted with Kat. Missy just didn’t seem like a “true” friend, let alone a best friend.
Plot: The Upside: Though the book is short, there’s also a good amount of emotion portrayed. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a pretty sad event that occurs, and Kat completely shuts down afterwards. Personally, it was heartbreaking for me to see such a breakdown and guilt from a sweet character. In fact, it might be a bit unfair to characterize this book as only a “romance” book – it also deals with harder issues and being able to let go, or exhale the bad things in your past.
The Downside: As I’ve mentioned many times, the book is short, so many things fell undeveloped. In the plot’s case, I felt like Snyder could have done so much more about Derek and Kyle’s conflict. Kat’s eventual redemption, though ending sweetly and happily, also seemed a little quick to achieve. I guess overall I would have appreciated more development or details in the story.
Language: The Upside: Some of Snyder’s quotes just connected with me. One good example is her quote about inhaling and exhaling – it was just great! Her language also allows a lot of emotion to be depicted in the plot, which is always an upside or me.
Life moves on, Katie, even in times when we don’t want it to the most. With every inhale, we have to exhale. That can apply to life sometimes too, and we have to take in just as much as we have to let go.
The (Slight) Downside: I’m not sure if this was because I converted my original review copy to Kindle format, but at times the sentences would be broken or run-on, which was distracting for me. This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using Amazon or B&N to buy the book though!
All in all, I did end up liking EXHALE. Short, filled with beautiful language, and a sweet romance and ending, this could be the perfect read for Snyder’s fans, the beach/weekend, or for fans of YA Contemporary authors like Sarah Dessen or Susane Colasanti. Readers of shoujo manga-esque books would probably enjoy the romance and pace of the book!(less)
SURRENDER is probably one of those books that many people will end up loving, recommending to everyone, giving 5-star reviews, etc., while a few people like me will be sitting in the corner wondering what they missed. It wasn't that the book was badly written, but in the end, it failed to WOW me. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of the story and the world building, and enjoyed a good part of the book.
First thing's first: The world was absolutely beautiful. I love Paille's descriptions of the merfolk and their land, as well as the different forests, people, and creatures inside it. I also liked the idea of elvens, learning with elders, venturing towards the "Land of Men", and eventually marrying the land. Like any well-written fantasy book, lots of magical powers also surface and were cool to read about, like Kaliel's ability to communicate with trees and merfolk, and Pux's fun abilities. Overall, I guess I loved the magic, beautiful prose, and detail!
What turned me off though, was the characters & romance. The romance was always there, and I felt like a lot of the book could be focused more on developing the magic and action in the story. It also felt a little like insta-love; in fact, after one encounter, both Kaliel and Krishani were always thinking I can't live without you. This then led me to be unable to connect with the characters :/ But, again, this is the type of romance SO many YA readers like, so this book may appeal to those readers.
And the plot! Honestly, if it wasn't for the ending, the book would have ended up getting 2.5 or 2 stars, but I guess I'm a sadistic human being I enjoy that type of ending? I don't want to give too much away, but compared to the large amount of romance-focused plot in the beginning, I found the ending to be much more exciting.
Overall, I guess I still have mixed feelings on the book - I loved the world and the ending of the book, but can't ignore the fact that the characters and romance threw me off. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a more mythology-centered less-romance-focused book, this wouldn't be the book for you. However, if you're a HUGE fan of romance, or of paranormal romance novels, this book will definitely be for you (:
* A review copy of this book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book.(less)
I'm actually a HUGE time travel geek. Like, when I was in middle school, my friends and I would spend my time figuring out how I could get my hands on a Time Turner (hey, we were kids!) or watching Back to the Future. That being said, when I read a book with a complex form of exploring time travel, I was stoked! Fortunately, that was the case with Time's Twisted Arrow (:
Throughout the book, I was glad that I was completely immersed in Walker's form of time travel. It's pretty complex compared to a lot of time travel books I've read recently - think alternate time lines, meeting yourself, safe houses where time doesn't change medallions, stable points, time travelling genes, and so much more! Admittedly, in the beginning there was some info dumping, but as the book went on, I loved seeing how the "rules" of time travel worked out. By the end of the book though, I felt like everything definitely made sense and was just fun to read about!
I was also captivated by the story! There were quite a few twists, some completely unexpected on my part, which just pushed me to read more. Plot events also hit you pretty quickly, so I never really felt bored. The ending also wasn't a cliffhanger (which, on a side note, I feel like there are a lot of these days...), though I'm still looking forward to the next book :D
I also enjoyed the different aspects of the world Walker created. Specifically, I found that historical Chicago was interesting to explore, with its fairs, "important" people, general setting, etc. The Cyrists, a religious group that's created in an alternate timeline, were a bit creepy but also original at the same time, since they're formed based on the Chronos gene and are also focused a bit more on economy, rather than a single "God". I suppose if you're looking for a book with something different, definitely check this book out :D
My only large qualm about this book was that the characters and romance seemed a bit underdeveloped. While they were likable and sweet, and I was a bit sad when some of the characters disappear, I still felt like I couldn't bring myself to fall in love with Katie, Katherine, Trey, or Kiernan. The romance was about the same case with me - it's sweet, but I didn't completely fall in love with it. I should also mention there's a love triangle, and while it wasn't totally annoying, again, I didn't completely fall in love with the idea.
Overall though, while I had a few issues with characters or romance, I loved the story, world, and concepts of time travel that Rysa Walker presents in Time's Twisted Arrow. Fans of time travel books like Ruby Red or So Close to You or YA paranormal romance in general would probably enjoy this novel! (:
* A review copy of this book was provided for the author for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion on the book.(less)