As fun as they are to read, there are a certain set of misconceptions I have with YA dystopias. Almost always, there's a headstrong heroine, a "good" rebel group and a "bad" controlling government and a sweet romance to top it off. Sometimes there's also a bit of action, which is always fun, and an awkward love triangle, which could be annoying. STARGLASS, however, completely goes against those perceptions, making it one of my favorite reads of the year!
Many times you have a strong, kick-butt heroine, who's brave, loyal and kind. And even though each "strong" heroine might not particularly stand out, I still enjoy and really admire their strength. Terra, though, isn't quite your typical YA heroine. In the beginning of the book, she's a much weaker character. However, it's what I think a normal person would do in her situation, whether it be to make someone else happier, or as an attempt for her to fit in better. So, despite the many differences between us (to just name a few, her religion and the fact that she lives on a spaceship), I still felt like I could connect and somewhat relate to her character. Moreover, Terra's character development was spectacular! By the end of the book, she's so much more independent, while still being a girl that you could still relate to. It was really encouraging to see her learn how to live for and discover herself!
I also really enjoyed the romance! With the setup of the characters, there could have easily been a cliche love triangle, but North smartly avoided it. Specifically, the romance is done more subtly, actually avoiding romantic development with both of the expected interests. Instead, there's a sort of star-crossed lovers set up, in which Terra, literally, searches for her fated lover in her dreams. But despite how cheesy I might have made it sound, I loved the hints of romance in the novel.
The world, however, was my favorite part of the novel. The scientific part was absolutely fascinating; just to name a few aspects, citizens have babies growing in tubes, clock towers and watchers control the seasons and diseases is virtually nonexistent. Though this aspect might not be for everybody, I also enjoyed how Judaism was incorporated into their society - it really distinguished the world and added another layer of sorts. However, the setup of the world also really made me think. As Phoebe North said in her review on Goodreads, STARGLASS isn't a fairytale, or Terra would be able to simply defeat the "evil queen". In the midst of finding herself, she also has to figure out who's "good" and who's "bad", and what's simply "better" for the world.
The only reason why this book isn't getting five stars is since I was, admittedly, a bit lost in the beginning. At that time, I wasn't completely sure what exactly was going on or what everything is. The plot also was a bit slow moving in the beginning. However, the story did get exponentially better by the end of the book, with plenty of twists and heartbreaking moments. (Not to mention that ending!)
STARGLASS wasn't just a debut that defied my expectations, but one that thrilled, captivated and fascinated me. Its complex world, characters and plot are sure to capture any dystopia fan! Even if you're not usually a dystopia fan, I'd still recommend this book - it's unlike any sci-fi novel I've read before.
* I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion of the book. This review expresses my honest opinion. ...more
I’m usually not a huge fan of novellas, because usually I feel like they’re much too short and need more development. Sunbolt, though, was clearly an exception. Not only was Sunbolt extremely exciting to read, but it felt as though there was a lot more depth in the story.
As usual, our heroine was absolutely fun to follow and kicked butt! Hitomi was feisty, brave, sneaky and determined – everything you’d want in a heroine. Throughout the story, Hitomi was captured, stabbed, tortured and ridiculed. Yet despite it all, somehow she always kept her head focused and was able to find a solution to whatever problems the world threw her into. I also admired her ability to keep her emotions in control. There were so many times in the story when Hitomi could have threw a tantrum or have a mental breakdown. But, again, she was able to keep her main goals and the greater good in mind.
The side characters were well-written. First you have the Shadow League, with two of Hitomi’s loyal friends and companions. I really admired not only their bravery, but also the fact that the two of them weren’t involved in this awkward love triangle. Though a bit cliché and predictable, the princess and prince were also interesting characters and definitely have potential to grow in the next installment. My favorite, though, was by far a creepier character you meet near the end of the novel – he really has a fascinating history and a personality I’d love to know more about. Hopefully we see all of these characters in the next book!
My favorite part of the story, though, was the world. To put it simply, Sunbolt is set in this fantasy-dystopia type of world. The more dystopic side stems from the controlling government and lords and the opposing and defiant rebel group. Meanwhile, on the more fantastical side, there’s all sorts of spells, magic, creatures and vampires. There’s definitely a lot of potential in this world, and I can’t wait to see what the author does with it!
Thrilling and captivating, Sunbolt is by far one of the best novellas I’ve read. I highly recommend this for fantasy fans – you’ll be enchanted by the book’s mysterious world and strong characters!
* A review copy of this novella was provided by the author. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
If there's one thing about PARIS LOVE MATCH, it's that it's an extremely readable story. I definitely had mySee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
If there's one thing about PARIS LOVE MATCH, it's that it's an extremely readable story. I definitely had my separate issues with the book, but ultimately I enjoyed the novel because it was so easy for me to continue reading!
The main thing in the book I had a problem with was Sidney. Maybe I misunderstood her in some way, but to me, she just seemed really shallow! Exhibit A: many times in the novel, instead of, I don't know, maybe trying to find out what the dead man stole or what the hell was going on, she wanted to smell nice and shop for new clothes. Seriously? Her life was at stake, and she cared about new clothes? That just seemed utterly ridiculous to me. Then there was the way that she treated Piers. Up until about three fourths into the novel, though Piers practically did everything Sidney wanted, she still acted like Piers only cared about himself. She literally told him that he didn't care about her, even though he went with her to buy clothes and everything.
Because of that, I also didn't really connect with the romance. First of all, I didn't really like Sidney's character and only got to tolerating her at the end of the book, so I couldn't really imagine her as a love interest. Moreover, there's not much romance until very late in the novel, and the change seemed very abrupt. Like, Piers would go from "I should try to survive and take care of Sidney so we don't die" to "Sidney is the most beautiful woman I've ever met and we need to be together forever". So, I didn't really feel the chemistry >__<
However, as much as I disliked Sidney, I loved Piers! He was such an adorable, considerate and sweet character. I really admired his bravery and selflessness, especially when Sidney was a b- he was faced with danger and trouble. And of course, he's smart but still able to take action when its needed. Who wouldn't love an adorkable geek who comes to your rescue?
As for the plot, it was simply easy to read and fun! I can honestly say it's not the type of thing I could find myself entangled with, but it was definitely entertaining. It's a bit crazy, really - there's exiled dictators, stolen paintings, diamonds, trained killers, car chases and some pretty intense diving scenes. Surprisingly, Blackwell also kept me guessing - I couldn't figure out what exactly was happening until a decent amount into the novel. It's kind of like an action movie - totally easy to watch (or in this case, read), entertaining, a bit flashy, maybe not totally memorable, but enjoyable.
The bottom line? I was iffy on the romance and Sidney, loved Piers, and completely gobbled up the plot. I'd also say that it's different from a lot of the NA contemporaries you read, as there's not as much romance or emotion, but much more action. If you're looking for a quick and unique NA read definitely put this on your TBR!
* I received a review copy of this book for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion....more
I’m sure we’ve all read about that one bitchy girl or character in the novel that’s just there to make the protagonist absolutely miserable. Usually I end up just feeling pretty indifferent about her, wanting to slap her silly or feel slightly annoyed at the author for using yet another cliché. Remember Nova, who always seemed to hate Andromeda no matter what she did? Well, in RECONNAISSANCE, instead of staying in Andromeda’s head, you’re in Nova’s. And as a result, I even ended up loving this book more than the first!
Nova’s definitely a much different character compared to Andromeda. I feel like she’s much less of a “Mary Sue”, which is probably the reason why I liked Nova a lot more than Annie. She’s still a pretty caring and brave person, but she knew her limits and that she couldn’t save everyone. I also thought she was a lot less frustrating. I remember in Colonization, I felt really frustrated with Andromeda in the beginning, because all she did was complain about who she was assigned to, and thought she was too good for what she received. Nova, on the other hand, worked her hardest towards her goal from the beginning, and tried her best to do with what she got stuck with. I admired her ability to do things instead of complaining, as well as her constant will to survive. She’s the type of heroine that I really see as kick-ass!
On that topic, I thought it was interesting to get into Nova’s head. You know how teachers or parents tell you that bullies are actually just people who feel insecure about themselves or have had hard pasts? Well, here you’re able to learn about what had happened to Nova, and how she tries to deal with it. However cliché it might sound, Nova really did have a hard past, which made me sympathize with her. And in my eyes, it also made her a much more believable character to me.
I also found that the plot was more exciting. For one, the novel immediately throws you into the action. Moreover, there’s still that sense of scientific discovery and new world, as you see Nova and her crew learn about the different technology and creatures in the ship. But there’s a more traditional sense of adventure, as Sirius and Nova blast creepy creatures, explore the ship and simply try to survive, which I ended up enjoying the most. Who doesn’t love a good number of action and fight scenes? The whole experience was much more exciting for me, even throwing a few twists here and there!
The only problem I had was with the romance. In the end, it was pretty sweet, but it felt a bit forced during the middle of the novel. Especially since Sirius and Nova were literally fighting for their lives, I couldn’t feel their chemistry. I also had a hard time believing that Sirius could get over Andromeda that quickly and easily. It also felt a bit cliché and predictable.
With a new perspective and adventure, RECONNAISSANCE not only delivered a satisfactory sequel to COLONIZATION, but also even surpassed it. There’s much, much more action, and I ended up liking Nova a lot more than I thought I would. Fans of the first novel definitely need to check this book out, since I found it much more enjoyable than the first. And if you’re a sci-fi romance fan and haven’t started this series yet, you definitely need to do so!
* I received a review copy of this book for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion....more
Unfortunately, I am one of those people that often judges a book by its cover. In particular, if the cover isSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
Unfortunately, I am one of those people that often judges a book by its cover. In particular, if the cover is gorgeous, I somehow automatically have higher expectations. And, well, just by judging by the cover, THE GIRL IN THE WALL honestly doesn't seem like the type of book that would become one of my favorites, or completely engage me. Well, obviously it did and rose above my expectations!
Surprisingly, I found that the two different POVs in the novel was a very strong point in the novel, since you can really see both sides of their story in detail. Sera, on one hand, is a sweet, nice girl from the beginning, and, of course, is in social exile. From the beginning, she's the character that I found really likable and just sympathized with. Ariel, on the other hand, is more detached in the beginning, the stereotypical, cold popular girl. However, as the story goes on, you also see her broken inside, simmering with anger and full of pain, and can't help but sympathize for her, too. They're both such different characters, yet you can still see the memories of friendship between them. Through it all, they always sacrificed everything they could for each other, and were like sisters. You're really able to see them try to make sense of their past, while trying to rebuild that friendship!
The basic storyline is also well written. The plot wasn't just exciting or interesting - no, it makes your heart pound and keeps you flipping pages until you're finally done. As the characters try to survive and break out of the house, there's plenty of classic scheming, fighting and, of course, sneaking around. On top of that, there's still the underlying mystery of who exactly was responsible for this whole mess. But best of all, there's a real sense of suspense danger, as a good number of people start to die and the stakes go higher. The author truly put the "thrill" in thriller!
I also really enjoyed the romance. Luckily for me, the romance wasn't the focus of the novel, but was just enough that it felt like there was enough. Both romances were developed relatively slowly, but definitely sweetly and satisfying (: In fact, the only real issue I had with the book was how realistic it might be. For one, I didn't think in their situation that those trained killers would let the characters roam as freely as they did. Moreover, the ending, though very satisfying and entertaining, seemed to come too easily.
In conclusion, THE GIRL IN THE WALL was not only a novel that entertained me, but also one that tugged at my heart and captivated me. Though at times maybe not as believable, the characters and suspense were crafted expertly. If you're a fan of YA contemporaries or thrillers, you have to pick this up! Because, as cliche as this might sound, though the cover might not give the best impression, the story inside is definitely what counts.
* A copy of the novel was provided for review by Cuddlebuggery's LBBA program & Lelia @ Buried by Books. This did not affect my opinion of the novel....more
Note: Though LOVE RESOLUTION is the third book in the BLACK CATS RECORDS series, I read the book as a standalone. The book can be read as a standalone, though, as always, if you have time I’d also suggest reading the first two books for more background information and stories (:
Alongside with parallel worlds, dreams, and “issue” books, music is one of the sub-topics I absolutely love to explore in stories. Being a self-proclaimed music geek myself, I just love seeing characters’ love and connection with it fleshed out. So of course LOVE RESOLUTION came up, and I jumped at the opportunity! Needless to say, with lots of entertainment value and characters I came to really enjoy, this book did not disappoint!
The best part of the book is definitely the music! By no means do I consider myself a music industry expert, but I think Mankin did a great job in depicting it. After all, musicians definitely don’t have easy lives, and constantly have rumors and tabloids following them. It was also great to see Avery and Marcus’s dedication to their music, despite their worlds falling apart. I also really enjoyed seeing the concerts through the musicians’ eyes – even I know it’s a very stressful and tiring situation, though it’s also one that’s very rewarding when you let your soul out. If you’re looking for an exciting music read, definitely try out this series!
Avery was also a great heroine. Throughout the novel, Avery does make a lot of mistakes and sometimes completely breaks down. But through her journey, I never really felt annoyed at her decisions, even if they were a bit stupid or ended badly. Avery really seemed like a real person and was good at heart. Moreover, I liked that she wasn’t afraid to take control of her relationship with Marcus when she thought it was getting out of control, rather than letting it get out of hand. By the end of the book, she also seemed to have grown stronger and more independent, which I really admired!
However, I had mixed feelings about Marcus. Overall, he genuinely seems like a nice guy, but sometimes he seemed to controlling or reckless. There was also a time in the middle of the book in which he just seemed fickle about his relationship with Avery – one moment he’d want to declare his love to Avery, and the next he’d avoid her like the plague. At one point, Marcus even wants to decide what Avery should wear and who she should talk to. By the end, I think he does get better, but towards the middle of the book, I wasn’t sure about the romance towards the middle.
I really liked the side characters, though! The rest of Brutal Strength was always really supportive, as was Samantha and Justin. I also really enjoyed Avery and Justin’s interactions with their father – it was really encouraging for them to recover and forgive each other first and foremost as a family. Surprisingly, I also ended up really enjoying Bryan or “Bullet”. Though he really did seem like an ass at first, he also turned out to be a great friend, and, err, less of an ass then the rest of Tempest. Hopefully we’ll see more of these side characters in the rest of the series!
LOVE RESOLUTION is a great addition to the New Adult genre, providing an entertaining mix of rock-and-roll, romance, friendship, and down-to-earth characters. I’ll definitely be looking for the next book in the series – apparently it will be featuring Bullet and the rest of Tempest! If you’re a NA or romance fan, this is the perfect book for you – there’s plenty of sexy and exciting romance, as well as a fun look into the music world!
* A copy of the book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
Essentially, I think that Peregrine Harker and the Black Death is a book that’s like your typical middle graSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
Essentially, I think that Peregrine Harker and the Black Death is a book that’s like your typical middle grade adventure. First, Peregrine – he’s all kinds of intelligent, adventurous, brave and selfless, and never hesitated to snoop especially even if it wasn’t the best idea. I couldn’t help but root him on in his adventures! Speaking of which, his story was exciting and so much fun to read. There was so much action and creativity around every corner, whether Peregrine was trapped in, escaping an exploding building or, literally, running for his life.
However, this novel also suffers in its lack of complexity. The novel’s classified as Young Adult on Goodreads and NetGalley, but as I’ve mentioned, it’s really like a middle grade novel. The plot, despite enjoyable and fun, was predictable. When compared to a lot of YA mysteries I’ve read, the underlying mystery of the book was extremely easy for me, and possibly many others, to solve. The characters, though likable, were also undeveloped. Even our main character Peregrine didn’t really show much complexity.
Though perhaps simple, Peregrine Harker and the Black Death was a novel that I ultimately enjoyed. I especially recommend this book for middle grade fans or readers looking for a simply fun story – this read is pure fun!
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
So after the first Lily Drake book, honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second. Everything seemedSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
So after the first Lily Drake book, honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second. Everything seemed to be wrapped up nicely in LIFE AND DEATH OF LILY DRAKE – Lily was happily married to the love of her life, she had her adorable son Keaton safe, she had took down one of the most powerful austere, and she had a great job lined up. There didn’t seem to be enough loose ends that I thought could create a story as full of action as the first. Of course, Nelson proved me completely wrong, delivering a story even more suspenseful than the first!
The highlight of the story is definitely the plot! Like the first, there was plenty of action and snark, which I expected. However, I found that there were more… surprises, I suppose, in the plot than I expected. One of the (very small) problems I had with the first novel was that it was relatively easy to predict what would happen to Lily, and who she was probably going to choose. Here, though, I found that I didn’t quite know what was going to happen, which of course adds to the excitement! Overall I’d say Nelson was much more creative with the plot. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
On top of the plot, you also have the characters! I’d say you don’t see as much of some characters, like Rose, but of course our favorite two vampire cousins are still as lovable as ever. Even though there’s a plot event that keeps them apart, you can still see the rivalry and friendship between Mathias and Valentine. That’s not to say that their relationship is completely without bumps though – both Lily and Mathias are tested when Valentine disappears, and they don’t really know what do with themselves. The bottom line is, though, that the three are always there for each other, along with Rose, Buchard, and all their trusted companions.
Another unexpected thing I liked was the new part of the vampire world we get to explore. Throughout the novel, you get to see a different side of their dark world in New Orleans in the form of a club of sorts. It thoroughly creeped me out – but it fascinated me at the same time! And obviously New Orleans is in a different state than Mount Vernon, so you also explore a different state and land, with distinctly different laws and vampires. If you’re looking to explore more of Lily’s world, you won’t be disappointed!
I’d say my only complaint is with the ending of the novel. First of all, it ends with a cliffhanger *sad face* It’s both a good thing and a bad thing for me – it definitely left me wanting to know what happened, but also disappointed me, since I have to wait another year >__< I also felt like this was the one part in the novel where I knew what would happen, based on the many cliché wedding movies I watched.
Nonetheless, ’TIL DEATH DO US PART was a great continuation to the Lily Drake series. Fans of the series definitely won’t be disappointed, and will also be left wanting for more as I was. If you’re an adult paranormal or vampire fan and haven’t picked up this series, don’t miss out! There’s a great combo of romance and action (plus non-insta-love!), that appeals to both Twilight fans and not-as-much fans alike!
* A copy of this book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
In the Young Adult or New Adult realm, there’s definitely a good number of “issue” books out there – some beautifully written and totally memorable and some not as heart wrenching or riveting as I thought they’d be. THE TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE, however, falls more in the middle, as I didn’t completely hate the book, but still felt conflicted over how easily some of the plot events were solved.
I’d say the book’s best aspect is that it’s an extremely quick read. As you’d expect, THE TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE features a really cute and warm-fuzzy type of romance. I couldn’t help but stupidly grin and fall for Knox! The story also moves quickly, detailing Leigh’s transition back into her old life and new friends and lovers. I have to say it’s predictable, especially if you’re familiar with the typical New Adult contemporary romance, but I still ended up enjoying it (:
At the same time, though, that quickness is also one of my biggest issues with the book. This doesn’t solely apply to the novel, as it’s definitely an issue I’ve had with other NA contemporaries, but Leigh and Knox’s relationship did seem to progress pretty quickly. As a result, the ups and downs in their relationship also seemed to happen and pass swiftly, too. Leigh also seemed to change herself and deal with her issue relatively quickly and easily, considering the severity of the situation and her history with her parents.
Still, THE TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE did stand out to me because of how Leigh developed and dealt with her situation. I don’t want to spoil the novel, so I’ll refrain from mentioning the exact issue, but I liked how the author portrayed the situation. Despite the fact that I thought that the issue was resolved quickly, how the public, community, and Leigh’s family and friends reacted was realistic and broke my heart. I also liked how the author ended the novel, despite the fact that I, again, thought it came too quickly. By the end, you also see a good amount of character development from Leigh, as she finds her own voice and encourages others to do so.
THE TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE was, overall, a likable, quick and encouraging read. There aren’t many New Adult novels that I can say are more than just a “cute read”, and this novel is one of them. New Adult, contemporary or Sarra Cannon fans definitely need to check this book out!
* A copy of this book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
ARMORED HEARTS is an imaginative and engrossing tale, following the unexpectedly magical journey of a boy whoSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
ARMORED HEARTS is an imaginative and engrossing tale, following the unexpectedly magical journey of a boy who can – literally – fly! Though it starts off with a slow beginning, ultimately I enjoyed the story’s creative inventions and fairy tale like magic!
The best part of the story is that it’s so imaginative! Garrett’s flying knight adventures, for example, reminded me a bit of a bedtime or children’s magic story. There was also an unexpected bit of Scottish and Fae lore, which I always love learning about. My favorite part of the world, though, was Tabitha and Jessamine’s “Bonnet” Club inventions. This is the more “realistic” or steampunk side to the story, with inventive automations that range from airships to factory machines to mechanical animals – all of which were invented by women, in a time where they definitely weren’t expected to even work!
Speaking of which, I also really enjoyed the female characters in the novel. They all had their own quirks, but when it came down to it, all strong and brave people. As expected, Jessamine was probably my favorite – she never cared about what others thought about her, was curious and innovative, and was always willing to go on an adventure! Despite Garrett’s attitude and the expectations of society, she was also never discouraged by anything. Tabitha, Garrett’s sister, was similar to Jessamine in her innovation and refusal to sit idle, but was also really sweet and understanding of Garrett.
Garrett, though, was one of the things in the book I had trouble with. On the bright side, his character does end up growing by the end of the novel and becomes a much kinder person. I also found myself quietly chuckling to myself with his occasional snark. But what really bothered me was his sexism, which doesn’t really change all through the novel. Here, you see all these strong heroines that constantly support Garrett. Yet, he doesn’t seem to acknowledge that they are his equals. Throughout the novel, he literally says that thinking too much is unhealthy for women, and that they should run away in the face of danger. I mean, I get that he cares for Tabitha and Jessamine, and that the world he lives in underestimates women. But I’d like to think by the end of his adventures, he would at least acknowledge them as equals.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed ARMORED HEARTS. It’s a novel that’s full of imagination and strong female characters, as well as a pretty exciting ending! Middle grade fantasy fans or readers looking for a short, steampunk-fantasy would probably enjoy this novel – its magic will enrapture them!
* A copy of the novel was provided for the tour. This did not influence my opinion of the book....more
Even though there have been so many second books that have proved me wrong, I still can't help but go into aSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
Even though there have been so many second books that have proved me wrong, I still can't help but go into a second book apprehensively. And just having read INBETWEEN about a month ago and finding that it's one of the only paranormal books I really enjoyed, I initially was really apprehensive of BLURRED. And of course, Tara Fuller has proven me wrong again, creating an even greater story!
Anaya was such a sweet and loyal character, and I absolutely loved her! Despite the fact that Anaya is viewed as this sassy, beautiful and strong reaper, throughout the book you see her struggle between following the rules to get what she has wanted for years, or following what she thinks is right. Well, we all know that usually the righteous heroine has to follow her heart, because that's just what's the "right thing" and how YA paranormal books work, right? Here, though, I think Anaya's struggle made her an even more endearing and believable character. After all, realistically Anaya's conflict made sense, and she was still an extremely kind person at heart. And eventually, through it all, her struggle seemed to make her a wiser and stronger person.
I also loved Cash! If you've read INBETWEEN, you probably remember that unfortunate body jacking incident. At that time, as much as I'd liked Finn, I felt horrible for Cash. Hopefully this isn't too much of a spoiler, but it became obvious then that Cash had ended up being on the unlucky end of a sort-of love triangle. So now, you see him try to deal with being stuck there, on top of being, well, almost dead. However, though Cash becomes a much more standoffish character, I couldn't help sympathizing with him and rooting for him, too. Through the book, he goes through so much, and you see him struggle with trying to stay on the "good" side and try to figure out what's going on. At the same time, he sees Emma with Finn, but still tries to save her. Yes, he's broken and sometimes a bit rude. But he's also unbelievably sweet and definitely a swoonworthy hero <3
Did I mention how good Anaya and Cash were together? In BLURRED, the romance is definitely one of the central themes of the story, but like in the first book, I found that I didn't mind as much. I wouldn't say the romance is exactly like insta-love, though there is an unexplained gravity between them (it is explained later, though). There is an obvious chemistry between them, and I loved seeing them together. Just like how Emma and Finn supported each other, Anaya and Cash supported each other too, and I loved that!
I was also happy to see Finn again! At first things are pretty awkward with Cash, and they're cold to each other. But eventually, you see them work together not only for Emma, but also for each other, as friends. It was really encouraging to see them support each other! However, for some reason I found Emma a bit more annoying than when I read INBETWEEN. Especially when we were in Cash's POV, sometimes I found her character to be unrealistically "good". I also felt like she never really acknowledged that Cash was previously in love with her.
BLURRED was overall a novel that was sweet, intensely romantic and definitely enjoyable. If you're a fan of INBETWEEN, fear not - "Sequel Syndrome" has definitely not struck this one! In fact, I'd even say that BLURRED was even better than INBETWEEN! If you didn't enjoy the first book as much because of Emma, I'd also still say to check this out at a library or something, since I enjoyed Anaya even more than Emma, and found that there's a lot more danger, twists and excitement than I had expected. And if you haven't started this years and are a fan of paranormal romance, you need to pick this up - you definitely won't regret it!
* A copy of the novel was provided from the publisher. This did not affect my opinion of the book – this review expresses my honest opinions....more
OUR SONG starts off with an extremely slow beginning. There’s not much for me to say, because, well, not muchSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
OUR SONG starts off with an extremely slow beginning. There’s not much for me to say, because, well, not much really happened. I’d say for the first thirty of forty percent of the book, basically Olive goes to school, talks about her parents, Amie, and Derek, and sulks a bit. So, yeah. I got a bit bored :/ But once Nick came in the picture, things definitely got moving faster, and the book becomes more like your typical sweet YA story. They go on some really, really cute dates (think wide, flowery fields and rainy days!), and of course I did some serious swooning. After all, how can I resist a sweet, smart and British-accented guy? (;
I also eventually came to really enjoy Olive’s character. She’s really just your normal teenage girl, who’s a bit naïve at the beginning, but really sweet at heart. I couldn’t help but sympathize with her pain, and eventually root for her to succeed! Her character also really grows by the end of novel. By the end, Olive is much more independent, less afraid and in general, much more free-spirited. It was also really encouraging to see that she could get up by herself, especially after all the things that happened to her. She simply becomes her own person and discovers her own identity.
Amie was also a great character! She’s a bit weirder and more outgoing than Olive, which is part of the reason I loved her character. From the beginning, she was never afraid to be herself, and always supported Olive in whatever she chose to do. When she thought Olive was making a mistake, Amie also didn’t hesitate to tell her so. I also liked that she didn’t follow many of the best friend clichés – she wasn’t overly sarcastic or the classic beautiful best friend that the main heroine was jealous of.
However, what really set OUR SONG apart from most other YA contemporaries is the “song” Olive always heard in her head (after her accident, Olive has vivid memories of a song, and hears it in her head almost everywhere she goes). The song itself was intriguing and somewhat haunting. But its existence and part in the plot were what really pulled me in! Whenever Olive was having a flashback, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the beauty and mystery of the song. And when what truly happened was revealed, all of the emotions, mystery and beauty of the song really came together!
OUR SONG, though slow in the beginning, was still a well-written and enjoyable story, as its realistic characters and lyrical scenes really pulled me in. I recommend this to contemporary fans or previous readers of Jordanna Fraiberg – they’ll swoon for Nick, root for Olive and be haunted by its song just as I did!
* A copy of the novel was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book – this review expresses my honest opinions....more
With great amounts of humor, cutesiness, romance, and geekiness, ANIMATE ME was a near-perfect contemporary romance! I did have some small issues with the book, but overall it was an enjoyable and satisfying read!
One of the things that originally attracted me to ANIMATE ME was the aspect of animation and comics. I'd like to think that I'm a pretty big fan of them, though I admit that I had almost no clue about how this process worked. That being said, I really liked that Clampett gives the reader a chance to look into that fascinating world! There's the little things in the setting, like the workplace, drawing board, meetings, the start of getting his comic book published etc., that truly made me curious and excited. Even Brooke and Nathan's conversations about animators made me chuckle (:
I also felt like Nathan and Brooke had great chemistry! There's plenty of instances where I find that the couple in a novel is really sweet and likable, but I can't feel their "connection". This might sound cheesy, but I really did think Nathan and Brooke had that connection and were great for each other. Both of them were such sweet characters with many similar traits, but also had many differences in their family life and goals. I really enjoyed learning about both of them and seeing them become close friends, and eventually lovers!
However, ANIMATE ME also shines with its side characters. Since this is mentioned in the blurb, I don't consider this a major spoiler, but there's an uprising of sorts against Arnauld, who's basically your big bad boss guy. Throughout this process, you see each of Nathan's family members and friends come together in their own unique ways, all to support this one person. I think the only way to really explain it is comparing it to those moments in movies where you see all the people a hero has made friends with along the way to help with a "final battle". Again, true, it may be cheesy. But it's heartwarming, and again, entertaining to read!
Another thing about this book is that it's a very readable and short read. This might be a good thing or a bad thing, but I found that the plot is just pure light, fun, and sweetness. Obviously, I personally really enjoyed this - the ending, though a bit predictable, was satisfying and warmed my heart, and the banter between the characters made me smile plenty of times! In my opinion, there's also a good deal of "cheesiness", like when you see Arnauld (literally) portrayed as an evil monkey man, and the mushy but adorable proclamations and acts of love. But again, I ended up really enjoying it, because it was so fun to read!
But I also found that ANIMATE ME was still more than just a sweet, fluffy read. For one, the different sketches you see throughout the book are great - not only do they look amazing, but they also add to my idea of Nathan's persona! And not to mention there are some, erm, let's just say "hotter" scenes too (;
ANIMATE ME is a contemporary story that entertained and delighted me from beginning to end, whether it be through its stunning sketches, literal laugh-out-loud humor, and downright adorable moments. Readers looking for a light, well-written adult or new adult contemporary romance should definitely check this on out ASAP!
* A copy of this book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
So “New Adult” is defined as the genre that explores that strange period of time when you’re transitioning frSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
So “New Adult” is defined as the genre that explores that strange period of time when you’re transitioning from adolescence to “true” adulthood. It’s about learning to grow up, let go, and discover new things. Of course, most of the time I don’t think I get to truly see that in New Adult. Like I mentioned before, there aren’t many New Adult novels that I find are much more than just “cute stories”, even if they’re extremely well-written. THE WISDOM OF HAIR, though, was a completely different case for me. Engaging, touching, and truly inspiring, the story really brought alive Zora’s journey and discoveries.
Surprisingly, I found that I really liked the beauty or hairdresser element of the story. It wasn’t that I was expecting to completely hate it, but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought! Like the blurb says, changing your hair is really like trying to change your life. And that theme of sorts is really shown through the book in interesting ways. I was intrigued by the huge significance and meaning behind beauty and hair!
I also really enjoyed Zora’s character! Kim Boykin does a great job bringing her character to life, whether it be through her goals, personality or identity. Throughout the book, you get to know her as a completely loyal friend, a caring lover, a conflicted daughter, and a really sincere person. She also really grows throughout the book, changing from a more naïve girl to a more experienced, independent and forgiving person. I especially admired her ability to do what’s right for herself and take control of her life. And like any realistic character, she has her own flaws, which, of course, made me love her character even more!
But the novel isn’t all about Zora. It’s also about how her best friend Sarah Jane discovers true love and makes decisions about her own future. It’s about Zora’s “second family” the Farquhars, and how they learn to accept others and support Zora. It’s about Zora’s mother, and how she deals with her past and family’s future. It’s about how Winston deals with what truly happened with his past and how he will deal with Zora. All of them came together, in order to weave a family of sorts for Zora, with their own set of touching stories.
THE WISDOM OF HAIR was absolutely stunning in its emotion, depth and inspiring and developed characters. Really, it has anything I’d look for in a New Adult or Contemporary novel! Chick-lit, NA or contemporary readers need to read this novel ASAP. Even if you’re not the hugest fan of New Adult, I’d still suggest picking up this novel – I feel like it’s different from all the NA contemporaries out there!
* A copy of the book was provided for its blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
ASSURED DESTRUCTION had originally interested me since it was a different type of contemporary that dealt with issues involving data privacy, social nASSURED 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 (:...more
As much as I like the New Adult genre, it’s inevitable that there’s a ton of clichés rising, too. I’m sure if you’re a frequent reader of the genre, you’ve seen that there are plenty of sweet and short but predictable romances. Secret for a Song, though, was luckily a more unique NA read, as it brought something new to the table with MS while still weaving a familiar but sweet type of romance I have learned to love.
In the beginning, I had trouble getting into the book. Even though I was initially attracted to the fact that the book was about a girl with MS, I found it hard to connect with Saylor since she seemed so self-centered. I mean, I get that she has a disorder, but it didn’t make it any easier for me to connect with her character when I couldn’t understand why she’d want to hurt herself just for more attention.
As the book went on, though, it was definitely easier for me to enjoy Saylor’s character. I think part of the reason is that you get to see more of how she thinks, which probably made me sympathize with her more. However, most of it was probably because of her character development. Rather than solely wanting more attention for herself, Saylor learns to value her health and life more. She also became less self-centered in my eyes, as she gives up so much for her newfound friends. It was really encouraging to see Saylor not only take control of her own life, but also help others!
And oh goodness, Drew! Talk about swoon-worthy! Despite his disease, Drew always pushed himself so he wouldn’t waste his life, and even when he literally fell, he would always get back up. He was also constantly faithful to everyone he loved or cared about, even going to the point of sacrificing his own health and interests. And, of course, there’s the many, many adorable things that he did for Saylor, including (but not limited to!) writing and singing songs for her, listening to music together and cabin getaways. In a way, he reminded me of Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars – both were, of course, totally swoon-worthy, never gave up, quirky and tugged on my heart.
The ending, however, is what really made this book for me. Does anyone know about this when I’m saying talking about when I say that the ending is expected, but you really don’t want it to happen, though you know it will happen anyways? Well, that pretty much sums up what happened here. I’ll just say that the ending is pretty heartbreaking, but hopeful enough for our main heroine that I’m happy with it. And while the ending isn’t totally happy, I thought it brought the book together and further showcased Saylor’s growth.
Though I had some trouble with the beginning, Secret for a Song was definitely a book that I enjoyed. It’s definitely one of my favorite New Adult reads so far, as the story is really more than just a cute romance and features a developing heroine. Contemporary or New Adult fans need to check this book out – they’ll love the combo of something new, like MS, and a familiar but absolutely delicious romance (:
* A copy of this book was provided for the tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
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. AndCheck 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!...more
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!...more
I’m not much of a New Adult reader (though I’d love to read more!), so most of what I read from the NewCheck 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!...more
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!
WHENThis 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!...more
SACRED BLOODLINES was a quick, easy, and entertaining read, because of its fluid language, likable andCheck 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!...more
Featuring an intriguing kidnapping case and an adorable and admirable group of young sleuths, Tim Shoemaker’s BACK BEFORE DARK was an absolutely delightful and fun mystery! The story immediately starts off with a kidnapping incident, in which your main character’s cousin, Gordy, is taken by the park after spotting a lone backpack. From then on, the mystery persistently continued, going through a good number of twists and turns. I liked that like many younger young adult or middle grade mysteries, the answer to the mystery isn’t directly revealed until the very end, although there are plenty of clues! Because I found that there was one particular character that just seemed out of place, I actually felt like the true culprit was easily predicted. Nonetheless, the mystery was suspenseful, exciting, and simply enjoyable!
The characters, though, were probably my favorite part of the story! Tim Shoemaker really does a great job of portraying undying and forever-loyal friendship. I really admired the loyal, brotherly love between Cooper and Gordy, as they always believed in each other and stayed loyal. It was also a bit heartbreaking to see Cooper’s guilt, especially since Gordy was so important to him. I also admired Hiro’s smarts, strength, and cautiousness, which truly make her a great detective. Lunk ended up being my favorite, though – his character seemed to grow throughout the story, and his strained but still pure friendship with the others interested me. Overall each character was integral to the story, but each had different personalities and traits that greatly contributed to it.
A few notes, though – firstly, there is a good amount of religious content in the story. It’s not the main idea behind the story, but its presence, especially when Shoemaker talks about Hiro, is definite. I personally didn’t mind this, but I also realize it might make some readers uncomfortable. BACK BEFORE DARK is also the second book in the CODE OF SILENCE series, but I read it as a standalone and still enjoyed it. If you want more background on the characters’ last mystery and their past regarding Lunk, I’d still suggest reading the first, but it isn’t necessary if you have the chance to pick up this installment.
BACK BEFORE DARK is best characterized as an entertaining read that would particularly appeal to younger readers. However, it’s also the type of read that may appeal to contemporary readers of all ages, serving as an exciting read for younger readers, and a fun, light read for older ones! If you’re thinking of picking this book up, keep in mind that there is religious content. But if you’re fine with that and think that the characters & story would appeal to you, definitely try this book out! Otherwise, fans of the CODE OF SILENCE series, Christian fiction, middle grade contemporary or mysteries would also enjoy this novel!
* Thank you to the Publisher & Book Nerd Tours for the review copy of this book!...more
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[3/5]
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....more
If you take a look at my past WoWs, you might notice that a good number of books featured involve parallel worlds or different dimensions. So as one might imagine, when BITTER ANGEL, I was pretty excited to read and review the book! Well, I’m happy to say that the book was pretty enjoyable overall, though I still had some issues with some parts of the book.
As expected, my favorite part of the book was actually the beginning. Basically, Lila lives the same night twice - once with her friends, celebrating, and once with her boyfriend Jay. However, her night with her friends definitely doesn’t go exactly as planned, and Lila barely escapes with her life. As I mentioned before, I’m usually really attracted to novels that feature parallel worlds, and I think Megan Hand was able to portray this really well. On top of that, Lila’s adventure was also exciting and full of suspense, as you see her clinging on and trying to survive. You can’t help but hope for the best for her while rooting her on!
After that, though, was where I started seeing issues. First of all, I found it hard to believe Lila could immediately jump back and try to “save the day” after she suffered such a traumatic event, especially one that involved a gang rape of sorts. From what I know, most people are unable to even recover after such a short time, let alone try to save potential future victims. Throughout the story, I also felt like lots of her decisions were reckless or not well thought through. For example, at one point Lila decides to follow a guy in a taxi, though she knows she doesn’t have enough cash on her. And of course after she finally gets to where she needs to, she doesn’t pay the taxi driver properly and runs off. There’s even a dumpster diving scene, which I found pretty ridiculous, considering that this story happened in a span of a day.
But again, I did admire Lila’s bravery. Though reckless, Lila is really determined and refuses to let any of her comrades get hurt. In that light, she shines as a great heroine, doing things that ordinary people wouldn’t dare to do. At times, I even found her strength a bit too strong, as you see her withstand so many things. Even then during the story, I still couldn’t help but root her on!
I feel like I should also mention Jay, Lila's love interest. As a whole, I really liked his character - he was always loyal and loving towards Lila and wasn't afraid to take action in order to save her. He wasn't a perfect character either, as you see his internal conflict to let Lila stay independent or protect her in his own way, and his struggle to restrain a more violent side that even Jay might fear. But at the same time, I also felt that his character wasn't as developed as I wanted his to be. Specifically, though we had a general idea about his history and personality, we never really get to know the gritty details or specifics, instead focusing on Lila's goal of battling injustices. Nonetheless, I did end up liking his character.
BITTER ANGEL, though frustrating and questionable at some points, was still overall an engaging read, as I couldn't help but be completely immersed in the sense of mystery and suspense in the novel! I'd say that if you're looking for a quick and exciting mystery and seem to like Lila, this is definitely the book for you. If you're a fan of New Adult contemporary, this might also be a good read if you're looking for something different, though still featuring New Adult elements.
* A copy of the book was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book....more
OTHERBORN is a novel that had so much potential – it’s a dystopia that features “dream walking” of a sort andSee more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
OTHERBORN is a novel that had so much potential – it’s a dystopia that features “dream walking” of a sort and the idea of parallel worlds. What’s more fantastical than that?
I’ll start of by mentioning what didn’t quite work for me. For the most part, I had mixed feelings about our heroine, London. She’s definitely a strong, brave and kind heroine, but at times she seemed too pigheaded. There’s one point, for example, that she refuses to let another character drive a truck and insists to do it on her own, despite the fact that she had no experience at all, and there was someone else clearly more qualified. I mean, I get that strong heroines usually want to help your comrades as much as possible. But there’s a difference between that and recklessly just thinking of your own pride.
I also had a problem with the romance. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but I felt like the romance got into the way of the storyline. This usually doesn’t really work for me, and unfortunately, it didn’t work for me here, either. There would be times, for example, that instead of focusing on surviving and the state of her friends, London would be sulking that her supposed love interest didn’t like her as much as she’d thought he would. There’s also a sort-of love triangle that I thought the book could have done without :/
And now onto the good stuff! I thought the world built in OTHERBORN was great! Anna Silver’s descriptions really give you a good image of the world, and I loved it! The world was realistic, desolate, interesting and a bit dark, and one that I definitely look forward to exploring more. There’s also a fantastical element of the world that absolutely fascinated me. I do have quite a few questions about the world – like, what’s the harm of making “New” songs if oil is supposed to be conserved, or how the Tycoons somehow made the rest of the world stop dreaming – but hopefully we’ll see more of this mysterious world in the next books!
Aside from the romance, I also found the general storyline interesting. It’s a bit more slow-moving in the beginning, but once the pace picks up, it doesn’t drag again. There’s all kinds of exciting things – action, fight scenes, magic, dreamwalking – you name it! It all builds until the heart pounding end, which just you begging for more!
Because of its action and intriguing world, OTHERBORN was still ultimately a book I enjoyed, despite my issues with its romance and main character. It’s a book that has a ton of potential, so I’ll definitely be back for more! Paranormal romance or dystopia addicts will also be engrossed with London’s exciting journey!
* A copy of the novel was provided for the blog tour. This did not affect my opinion of the book – this review expresses my honest opinions. ...more
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 sRating 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!...more
Most of the time when I’m iffy about one half or so of the story and totally psyched about the other, iCheck out more of my reviews @ Moosubi Reviews!
Most of the time when I’m iffy about one half or so of the story and totally psyched about the other, it’s when I love the initial action and excitement in one half, and a bit disappointed in the other. In THE LAST ACADEMY, however, it was a bit different. It seemed like in the beginning of the book, there wasn’t as much action. However, as the book went on, I got more in to the story, until the end, where I was totally immersed.
Specifically, in the beginning I was just bored – it seemed like it would be a more juvenile, mean-girl, boarding school type of book, with Cam checking out hot guys, making some friends, and arguing a bit with her roommate. Then when Cam’s friend disappears, it got more interesting, as Cam starts to take action and solve the mystery, while Barnaby Charon starts making mysterious appearances and you learn about a darker side about Cam’s fellow students. And by the end, there’s a pretty big twist that I loved, since it made me think about Cam’s choices and made the story seem to have a lot more meaning.
The question you might have, though, was if going through the slow beginning was “worth” getting to that exciting end. Personally, I thought it was worth it, because I loved the ending and reasoning behind it that much, and because I also enjoyed the middle of the novel. If you’re worried about the plot, though, I’d suggest either reading a copy from the library, an excerpt online or a few preview chapters before you buy it, or checking out other reviews on Goodreads.
As for the characters, except for Camden, I felt similarly about them as the plot. Mark, for example, didn’t seem like anything special to me in the beginning of the book. Like the classic YA love interest, he was gorgeous, blonde, kind, and obviously attracted to the heroine. As the story goes on, though, you learn about problems he has at home. Then finally at the end, it turned really interesting, as you see the strength, emotion, conflict and reasons behind Mark & Cam’s relationship, and how Mark got to where he was. This was almost the same for the other side characters, like Nora, Tammara, and even the teachers, as you see their own stories and unfold and fall into place.
Camden didn’t as much annoy me in the beginning, but also developed throughout the course of the book. Though I truly felt bad for her at the beginning of the book when she felt lost and betrayed, sometimes she seemed a bit whiny. However, soon you see that she’s a strong, smart and somewhat snarky heroine with a genuine voice from beginning to end. I also admired her determination during her investigation and her willingness to support others, even if they weren’t the nicest to her.
THE LAST ACADEMY was a book that I eventually immensely enjoyed because it ended up surprising me! It was a bit slow in the beginning, but this twist that I keep on mentioning really made it worth it for me. Again, I’d recommend reading an excerpt or a copy from the library before buying a copy or looking at other reviews on Goodreads. However, I’d also recommend this book to people who like novels set in boarding schools, might not mind a slow beginning that allows for development (and, again, an awesome ending!), or younger readers, since the setting might appeal to them. (:
* Thank you to the publisher & IFB Blog Tours for the review copy!...more
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....more