As Primale of the Chosen, the fiercely loyal Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of his race. But his first mate, the Chosen Cormia, wants not As Primale of the Chosen, the fiercely loyal Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of his race. But his first mate, the Chosen Cormia, wants not only his body but his heart for herself. As tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, Phury must decide between duty and love…
One of the things I love about The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is that there are several plot lines going on at once. This way, if I don't care for the main h/h plot line, I can still enjoy the book overall. I know for some people these multiple story lines don't work, but it's something I love in a series. This was the case with Lover Enshrined. I think this is my least favorite book in the series thus far, mostly because I wasn't really all that invested in Phury and Cormira's story. However, there were so many other great story-lines that, overall, I enjoyed the book.
Lash is going to make an excellent villain. He's so tormented and evil!
We really start getting the Qhay storyline going here. I'm so rooting for these two to get it on. Sigh.
As always I love John Matthew. I've been scanning some of the reviews of Lover Mine and there seem to be two camps: those that love John Matthew and those who are less than impressed with his beta status. I'm totally in the fangirl camp in regards to JM. I'm so pumped to read Lover Avenged and FINALLY, Lover Mine. However, I intersperse my reading with other titles. I can't just read Lover Enshrined, followed immediately by the other two. I get burnt out reading that much of one world. I have to mix it up. So I figure I've got about 5 or 6 books to read yet before I get both of these finished. God I love this series. Even my least favorite in the series doesn't dishearten me. I know Ward has some great things in store in the next two books. I can hardly wait. . . :D Sorry this wasn't much of a review. . . but it's all I had in me today! ...more
This book first appeared on my radar way back when Kristie(j) posted her review then her subsequent quest to get EVERYONE to read it, much like her NoThis book first appeared on my radar way back when Kristie(j) posted her review then her subsequent quest to get EVERYONE to read it, much like her North & South crusade! I don't know why I didn't read this sooner. Kristie hasn't steered me wrong yet between Ride the Fire, North & South, and the Joss Ware Envy series; I should know by now to read everything Kristie tells me!
I don't know that there's a lot for me to add with all of the amazing reviews of Broken Wing but if you're a girl who loves a tortured hero, they don't make 'em much more tortured than Gabriel St. Croix.
This is one seriously damaged soul, so drawn into himself, having experienced nothing at all of love, he can't imagine anyone expressing any kindness towards him. His perceptions of people's actions and intentions toward him are so skewed, your heart just breaks for him. Especially when Sarah says or acts out of complete kindness or generosity and he immediately assumes the worst and often lashes out unnecessarily.
You might think, as a reader, that this would grate on your nerves however, I think it's an accurate representation of the psychological and emotional damage that people who suffer the kind of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that Gabe endured.
While Gabriel has serious issues and the book deals with some disturbing content, I think James does an excellent job of giving the reader just enough information regarding Gabe's past without crossing a line into gratuitous descriptions of his abuse.
Sarah is an excellent heroine, almost too perfect in my opinion though. She's so forgiving and understanding and always manages to react to Gabe's outbursts with the perfect amount of patience and sympathy. She's exactly the type of woman Gabriel needs, however she just seems so perfect it would have been nice if she had some flaws!
This is definitely a hero centric story, there is a large chunk of the story where Gabriel and Sarah are separated but if you're like me and enjoy a good tortured hero, no doubt you'll fall in love with Gabriel! You HAVE to pick up Broken Wing. I love it!
Alright y'all, I won't pussy foot around it - I was disappointed with this book. As I mentioned in my Goodreads discussion I think a lot of it had toAlright y'all, I won't pussy foot around it - I was disappointed with this book. As I mentioned in my Goodreads discussion I think a lot of it had to do with my expectations. With Lover Enshrined I went in not expecting much based on a lot of blogger reviews; most people said it was their least favorite in the series. Because I started it with such low expectations, I actually ended up liking it a lot more than I had anticipated.
With Lover Avenged I went in expecting more, something better than Lover Enshrined and was pretty disappointed. I really didn't love Rhev all that much. *ducks* I enjoyed him in the other books but as a main hero he kinda fell flat for me. As others have mentioned I loved him with Bella, Nalla, and his mother. But with Ehlena...meh. I actually liked Ehlena a lot though. I thought her reaction to finding out the truth bout Rhev to be pretty realistic. I'da been pissed too. To me she was one of the stronger heroines of the series, but I still just didn't LOVE their story.
One thing I really enjoyedwas the Wrath/Beth storyline. We haven't seen that much of them since Dark Lover and it was nice to see more of their relationship post-HEA.
I think another reason I didn't like this one as well is because aside from the Wrath/Beth sub-plot I didn't care much for the other ongoing plots. There wasn't enough with John/Xhex (I know Lover Mine, can't wait!), there was like NO TEAM QHUAY in this one. *stomps foot & pouts* Now, I almost always just skim the lesser sections. I'm paying a little more attention now that Lash is Mr. Evil. But there just wasn't enough keeping me engaged in this one.
Overall, one of my least favorite in the series. Actually when I think about it, I enjoyed Lover Enshrined more because of all the other overarching sub-plots. It's official, this one is my least favorite of the series. It was just not satisfying enough....more
I figured since this was the only book I finished in March (le sigh), I better get my review up!
I've loved Scott's books since my very first introductI figured since this was the only book I finished in March (le sigh), I better get my review up!
I've loved Scott's books since my very first introduction with Bloom, which up until now was my favorite. But I can officially say that The Unwritten Rule is now my favorite Elizabeth Scott book. While there's nothing terribly unique about the story line:
Somewhat shy, insecure girl likes the nerdy boy turned hottie over the summer. Insert gorgeous, snotty best friend who takes sudden interest in newly hot nerd-boy resulting in an instant love triangle!
What is unique, is Scott's ability to write characters that are complex and turn a familiar plot-line into something exceptional. For example, Scott wrote the "gorgeous, snotty best friend", Brianna, in such a way that while you know she's the "villain" of the story, you can't help but feel sorry for her because of her family life. Meanwhile, while you're rooting for the main protagonist, Sarah, you're also frustrated with her for letting Brianna walk all over her and for not TAKING ACTION when it comes to Ryan.
I'm always a little concerned with this storyline, if an author fails to make readers empathize with the protagonist, then she's just becomes "that girl" that's after her best friend's boyfriend. However, Scott effectively demonstrates Sarah's efforts to be happy for her friend and avoid Ryan. Leaving the reader rooting for her to ditch the bitch and get her man!
Scott, with The Unwritten Rule and its hidden yearnings, stolen kisses, friendship, and first love, has hit the mark!...more
This was not one of my favorites. After Noah and Ellie's book I thought the series was coming back around to actually focusing on the main H/H. I likeThis was not one of my favorites. After Noah and Ellie's book I thought the series was coming back around to actually focusing on the main H/H. I liked this, I like all of the Virgin River books, however, I'm more interested in Adien and getting his story. ...more
A Clockwork Angel is the first book in Clare's new Infernal Devices series. Now, it's been awhile since I've read the Mortal Instruments series. So IA Clockwork Angel is the first book in Clare's new Infernal Devices series. Now, it's been awhile since I've read the Mortal Instruments series. So I had a bit of trouble trying to recall all of the background on the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Because the characters in A Clockwork Angel are the ancestors to Clary, Jace, etc. I kept trying to relate them back to the Mortal Instruments series. However, I have a horrible memory when it comes to recalling books. I read so many and I just don't retain a lot of the details that other readers seem to be able to recall. It's such a pain! I was kind of frustrating myself trying to remember all the stuff from the Mortal Instruments series that it was hampering my enjoyment of the story. So when I decided to just stop trying recollect everything and enjoy this as a stand alone title and not how it related to the Mortal Instruments series, I was able to immerse myself and enjoy the book. And enjoy it I did! I LOVED this book. I think I'm going to end up liking this series more than the Mortal Instruments series. I think the world that Clare has created works so well in the historical context. I think that is part of why I enjoyed this book so much!
The characters Clare has created with Tessa, Will, and Jem are complex. Tessa, clearly holds traditional views of women in her society. I think these views will be tested and eventually altered as the series progresses. In this book we already saw Tessa growing more independent and stronger. Doing things I don't think she ever imagined she could do.
I love Will. He's clearly a tortured hero, which is one of my literary weaknesses. I love his self deprecating, sarcastic sense of humor. I love the banter between Tessa and Will. I cannot wait to discover what his deep dark secret is!
Jem is the antithesis of Will. While I didn't love him as much as Will. I think he's an interesting character especially with his "handicap". I don't see him as a love interest for Tessa; I think it's all about Will for her. But I think Jem is and will become a great friend to Tessa. But I am decidedly Team Will, no doubt!
I loved the idea of the clockwork army, so creepy and the whole book has that Victorian horror novel kind of feel to it. I mentioned before but I really think Clare's world works really well in this historical setting. This was an excellent start to what promises to be another excellent YA fantasy series!
Before I begin this review I want to take just a minute to talk about reader expectations. I know I've mentioned this in previous reviews. Sometimes,Before I begin this review I want to take just a minute to talk about reader expectations. I know I've mentioned this in previous reviews. Sometimes, as readers, we start a novel having certain expectations. Sometimes you have low expectations and then are pleasantly surprised by a book. Other times you have such high expectations that no book could possibly live up to and, every once in a blue moon, your exceedingly high expectations are met. Lover Mine is one of these books.
Fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been waiting for this book since we met John Matthew as a lonely, scared "pretrans" in Dark Lover. We watched him grow, mature, change, fall in love, and get his heart broken. In Lover Mine, John and Xhex finally get their HEA but, as per usual with the BDB series, not without heartache and pain.
At the end of Lover Avenged, Xhex disappears having been kidnapped by Lash and is now being held prisoner. The Brotherhood, John specifically, is losing hope of finding her alive. However, as we all know, Xhex is a fighter and is not about to sit around and wait to be rescued. Xhex busts through the invisible barrier Lash has erected around her thanks to his waning strength. The rest of the novel is basically John, Xhex, and the rest of the brotherhood hunting down Lash. After a few twists and turns and a road block or two our beloved, John Matthew gets his female. I know this isn't much of a summary but those of you who read the series know the plot, those that don't well, all those details would just be overwhelming!
I was really nervous about reading Lover Mine. This was John Matthew's story and I wanted it to be perfect. But how often does that happen? Like I mentioned, it seems I had such high expectations that I didn't know how Ward would be able to live up to them. But she did. Not only did I love John Matthew and Xhex's storyline but we finally got some more Qhuinn/Blay face time.
One thing I'm really sad about going forward from Lover Mine is, what I assume will be, the lack of John Matthew's point of view. Since Dark Lover, we've always had a glimpse into John Matthew's head. However, Ward usually doesn't revisit previous hero/heroine's POV after she's given them their HEA. One huge exception was the return of Wrath's POV in Lover Avenged as his sight continued to deteriorate. It's just so sad, for me, to think about not having John Matthew's POV anymore. I am looking forward to more from Qhuinn and Blay and I really hope we get their story!
Anyway, I've fallen, like many before me, into a post-Lover Mine funk. I'm not ready to move on from the Brothers just yet. So I started The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide, that's right I hadn't read that yet either. And reading through it I'm half tempted to re-read the entire series. However, I have sooo many books in my TBR pile the idea of re-reading so many books makes me feel guilty! But I'm seriously not ready to move on from the Brotherhood just yet. I am feeling another intesnse read though. I was thinking I might acutally tackle An Echo in the Bone, the newest Outlander book. But I'm not sure...
Lover Mine is vying with Lover Awakened as my favorite BDB novel!
Those of you that read Lover Mine did it live up to your expectations? Also, are there folks out there that STILL haven't read this series? If so, what are you waiting for? (No seriously, that's not a rhetorical question, I really wanna know!)...more
When I first read all the rave reviews of Echols' Going Too Far, I was psyched to read it. I love a good YA contemporary romance and am always lookingWhen I first read all the rave reviews of Echols' Going Too Far, I was psyched to read it. I love a good YA contemporary romance and am always looking for new authors. Although I liked Going Too Far, I didn't love it, and I certainly didn't think it lived up to all the hype. However, I did enjoy it and was hoping I 'd LOVE Forget You. Alas, I liked this one much less than Going Too Far.
Why? Simple, Zoey. The main character. I, frankly, could not stand her. On one hand I really felt sorry for her. She has this horrible father. I mean BAD. Then her mother tries to kill herself and is admitted to the loony bin. And her horrible father threatens her, demanding she tell no one about the incident, including her two best friends. He then makes Zoey feel like she can't say or do certain things for fear people will also think she's crazy, like her mother.
She's having a helluva tough time. Right after her mom's incident her Dad and his new girlfriend head out to Hawaii to get married leaving the seventeen year-old Zoey alone. Sigh. Talk about bad parenting. So, I feel for her. I really do. However, the night her mother attempts suicide. Zoey does something drastic and out of character (which is understandable considering the ordeal she's been through) by losing her virginity to Brandon, her man-whore, player of a friend. Maybe not the best decision ever but ya know we all make mistakes, we do stupid things when we're hurting or in pain. That's not what bothered me.
What bothered me was for the entire rest of the novel she referred to Brandon as her boyfriend and somehow equated this one time incident as a relationship. I'm sorry honey but a one time hook-up does not a boyfriend make.
I can somewhat understand her motivation behind this. She's in this uncontrollable situation and keeping up appearances has always been part of who Zoey is. Brandon is the football captain and having him as her boyfriend would, in her mind, help keep the appearance of a normal life.
I can't express how obnoxious and annoying I found it every time Zoey said something to the effect of Brandon being her boyfriend. I felt so bad for Doug, because you know he felt just as frustrated with this ridiculous notion. I loved the scene where he suggested she get a card that she could whip out every-time she was going to use the " Brandon Boyfriend Excuse"(BBE), as I've been referring to it in my mind.
Doug. He was the books saving grace for me. I loved him. The bad boy rep but really he's a nice guy. I really wanted to smack Zoey upside the head every freaking time she used the BBE with Doug. Bitch, he's not your boyfriend, grow a brain! Gah!
Despite my complete annoyance with Zoey I have to say that Echols can really write one helluva love scene. She manages to make it hot and sexy and completely believable between two teens. I also loved that she doesn't shy away from generally tabooed topics such a masturbation. The incident is brief but I cheered when I read it. I remember my first time reading about *gasp* masturbation when I read Judy Blume's Deenie and I like to see authors tackling such subjects!
Overall, I was just so annoyed with Zoey's insistence that Brandon was her boyfriend that I could NOT find enough empathy to move beyond it. And not even Doug could get me past it. But never fear readers, I seem to be in the minority in my thinking. If you can get past Zoey's bonehead assumptions you'll probably enjoy it. However, I couldn't and it really impeded my enjoyment of the novel. ...more
With The Sky is Everywhere, debut author Jandy Nelson has penned an honest, heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting, and, at times, surprisingly humoroWith The Sky is Everywhere, debut author Jandy Nelson has penned an honest, heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting, and, at times, surprisingly humorous, novel about the complex nature of grief.
Lennie, having lost her sister, has to navigate, often stumbling and falling flat on her face, through this new reality; this world without her be-loved sister. This paradigm shift has an effect on all her relationships: with Toby, her sister's boyfriend, Sarah, Lennie's best friend, Gram, and her Uncle. She has to redefine who she is without Baily and in the context of each of these relationships. Then there's the new guy, Joe. The guy who never knew Bailey. The guy, whose infectious smile can, for brief periods of time, make her forget her all encompassing grief.
Halfway through this book, I thought "there is NO way someone couldn't like this book."
So, I hopped on Goodreads to see the kind of ratings the book was getting. I was delighted to see it was mostly four and five stars. Then I saw a two star. I had to see what this person didn't like about this book. This book that so accurately and honestly portrays the sadness, anger, frustration, guilt, and confusion that accompanies losing a loved one.
Much to my chagrin this particular review compared it to.....Twi-fucking-light. Why, oh why does everyone seem to compare every YA book where a girl has a choice between two guys to Twilight?! I was actually pretty taken a back. Aside from the two possible love interests, this book has nothing in common with the popular vamp novel. And as much as I was entertained by Twilight it is a far cry from being as well written and deeply emotional as The Sky is Everywhere.
The reviewer also mentions how selfish Lennie is and yes while I agree, to an extent, I also think Lennie deserves a break. Grief sucks. It makes you do irrational things. Things like kissing your dead sister's boyfriend to drown both your sorrows even when you know it's wrong. Things like shutting out those closest to you when you really need them most. Grief isn't rational. It can make you a little selfish, a little bitter, a little angry.
In the story, Lennie, her Grandmother, and her Uncle are all grieving the loss of Bailey. It isn't until near the end of the novel that Lennie realizes she's been pushing her family away, not considering the fact that their attempts engage with her were not only to comfort her but that they too were seeking comfort for their own loss. She realizes how thoughtless she's been. She has that "a ha!" moment where she realizes just how hard it is for everyone else. So yea, it took her awhile to come up for air and realize, "damn, everyone else has been drowning here too". But she does, and I think she deserves credit for that.
Something else I loved about the book were the poems Lennie wrote. The poems were at the beginning of every chapter and give readers additional glimpses into Lennie and Bailey's relationship and is another avenue for Lennie to express her grief. They really add to the story.
I really wish I could do a better job of expressing how wonderful this novel is. As long as you don't mind a more serious read, I have no doubt you'll enjoy The Sky is Everywhere!...more
Wow. I was completely blown away by If I Stay. This slim, wisp of a novel packs quite an emotional punch. Forman effortlessly balances humor, love, anWow. I was completely blown away by If I Stay. This slim, wisp of a novel packs quite an emotional punch. Forman effortlessly balances humor, love, and loss in this unique twist on the traditional "teen death book". There are currently a lot of YA books out dealing with death; the loss of a parent, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend or friend however, Forman has a unique twist on the topic.
In a dramatic twist of fate, the main character, Mia, has been in a car accident with her parents and younger brother. She is the lone survivor, barley holding on to a life she's not sure she can face without her family. With her physical body comatose, Mia is on the cusp of the afterlife. She's in a state of limbo with an impending life or death decision.
Through alternating flashbacks of her life and her present state, we learn about her relationships with those closest to her: her parents, brother, boyfriend, and best friend. We learn about her budding career as a cellist with a bright future at Julliard. We want her to choose to stay, to fight, to live. Our hearts break for her monumental loss and sympathize with her fear of a future without her family.
If I Stay is quite possibly one of the most touching stories about family, love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit that I've ever read. My review is sparse and, I feel, inadequately conveys the emotional response that the book elicited from me. So I'll simply say that I would highly recommend this book! ...more
I love this series it is so heartwarming and uplifting. This is like the warm, fuzzy blankets of book series. The stories envelope you and you wish ViI love this series it is so heartwarming and uplifting. This is like the warm, fuzzy blankets of book series. The stories envelope you and you wish Virgin River was a real place. This is the 11th book in the series and, as with many other series, there are reader favorites. I still don't think any can compare with Jack and Mel's original story, I was really looking forward to Adien's story. I was a little disappointed in Sean's story. When I started Moonlight Road, I was a little worried because I wasn't sure I was going to like Erin, but for all of her bossiness and uptight persona she was a great heroine. I think of the most recent additions to the VR series: I liked Noah & Ellie's story the best I think the writing in Forbidden Falls was some of the best since the first 3 books. The story really focused on the H/H. My least favorite was Angel's Peak, I thought that, again there was too much going on and there wasn't enough development of Sean and Francie's story. Although, I wonder if Carr thought their previous history would suffice. So Moonlight Road was my second favorite of these three stories. I thought Aiden was great. I was a little frustrated a Mel in the Jack/Mel side story they had going on. You knew she would do the right thing but it was a little frustrating at times. All in all, this was a good addition to the series. I wonder if we'll see the last two Riordan brothers, Paddy & Colin, get their own stories.
I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review. ...more
It is a rare occassion for me when I can't finish a book. There have been very few books where I simply can't go on. More often than not, if I have aIt is a rare occassion for me when I can't finish a book. There have been very few books where I simply can't go on. More often than not, if I have a did not finish (DNF), it is because I'm just not in the mood for a particular genre and I will eventually go back and re-read a book when I'm in the right mood. In the case of The Replacement, I've been struggling through this book, according to my Goodreads updates, since October 19th. I read the first twenty-two chapters. However, I'm throwing in the towel. I've got too many other books to read and while there are some things I like about the book. I'm not going to be able to finish it.
Normally, if I have a DNF I don't review it, not because I don't want write a negative review, but because for the most part it's usually not the book's fault. It's usually my mood. However, I picked up The Replacement as part of my Debut Author Challenge so I felt the need to go ahead and post why this was a DNF for me.
I actually really liked the premise behind the novel. Changeling, faeries, creatures of the night, what have you that require a sacrifice from the local community every seven years in exchange for keeping the town generally happy and safe. Very pagan, very interesting. I think Yovanoff did a really good job of creating a creepy atmosphere. Her descriptions were very good and I definitely enjoyed the ambiance of the book.
What didn't work for me were the characters. I really felt no connection to any of the characters including our main character, Mackie Doyle. I kind of felt sorry for him, but only slightly so. I think his relationship with his sister, Emma, and his best friend, Roswell, could have been engaging. I wanted to know more about them. But, in the end, I just couldn't connect, I didn't feel ANYTHING toward the characters. I can't feel apathetic towards characters. Give me a character to love, or even hate but I have to feel something for the characters. I'm really bummed I didn't like this better because it had such potential!
If you're looking for a good creepy read, this may be just for you. If you're looking for a well written, character driven story. . . you might want to pass.
Whew, now that I've let go and decided not to finish the book, I totally feel like a weight has been lifted. How do you all deal with books that aren't working for you? Do you tough it out? Do you move on? I'm kind of frustrated that I waited this long to give up on the book. I could have read at least two other books in the time I've been struggling through this one. Sigh. ...more
**spoiler alert** Since I returned from New Orleans, I've been avoiding the interwebz for the most part. Mostly because I did not have a copy of Mocki**spoiler alert** Since I returned from New Orleans, I've been avoiding the interwebz for the most part. Mostly because I did not have a copy of Mockingjay yet and did not want to accidentally stumble upon spoilers. So, while I waited for Mockingjay to arrive, I re-read both Hunger Games and Catching Fire. The day I finished Catching Fire my copy of Mockingjay arrived, it was fate, no? Ok, it was UPS, but whatever. Anyway the following review will be ripe with spoilers so it will be hidden in order to protect those who do not want spoilers.
I think we all had theories about what would happen in Mockingjay. Who would live, who would die, who Katniss would end up with, if anyone. But one of the reasons I love this series and Suzanne Collins is her ability to surprise readers. Well, she surprised me at least. I never dreamed she would have the Capitol essentially brainwash Peeta into a Katniss killing machine. Nor that her relationship with Gale would come to such a tragic end.
I've always been Team Katniss, not necessarily overly concerned with which boy she ended up with, but if I'm totally honest, I was always a Peeta fan. I understand some of the arguments Team Gale had however, personally I thought that when Katniss took Prim's place in the Reaping, her life was irrevocably changed and any future she MIGHT have had with Gale was lost.
I have to say that with each book felt so sorry for Katniss. In the Hunger Games she was a pawn in the Capitol's game, in Catching Fire she was manipulated and used by the Rebels, and again in Mockingjay both the Capitol and the Rebellion were jerking her around. I loved when she killed President Coin. I had a very bad feeling about her from the minute District 13's utilitarian, regimented system was described. The Districts would have been trading in one totalitarian ruler for another. I was glad Katniss killed her even if it meant not getting to directly kill President Snow.
I have to say that, on the whole, The Hunger Games series is one of my all time favorite YA series. I love that Katniss is such a strong heroine. She had to make difficult choices and often her decisions weren't the most popular but she did what she thought was right and she fought till the bitter end. She is one badass chick. If you all haven't read them, I would highly recommend both of Kristen Cashore's books that also feature some seriously kick ass heroines in Graceling and Fire. Katniss, Katsa, and Fire are some of my all time favorite YA heroines!
Mockingjay was, like the previous books, filled with action, anger, pain, sadness, self discovery and self sacrifice, love, hate, revenge and, ultimately, a bittersweet ending. After I finished it, I sat on my couch staring off into space trying to work out my feelings. I was happy, sad, and angry. At the Capitol, the Rebels, Gale, Peeta, Katniss. Mockingjay was a wild ride but after consideration, I loved every minute of it!
Since I've finally read it and reviewed it I'm off to engage in discussion and debate with others! I can't wait to see what others thought! ...more
The first thing that should be mentioned about this book is that it is NOT a paranormal teen book. We're not talking were-wolves here. I think with thThe first thing that should be mentioned about this book is that it is NOT a paranormal teen book. We're not talking were-wolves here. I think with the cover (which I love!) and the flood of paranormal teen books out that that should be made clear!
KJ who has, in her father's words, "blossomed" over the summer but, unlike many other teen novels where the ugly duckling turns into a beauty, she doesn't miraculously become popular. Love it. I think it's a good lesson for teens (and the rest of us) that being skinnier, taller, shorter, prettier, etc., etc., is NOT going to solve all of our problems. KJ, as it turns out, is still as much of an outsider as she ever was.
I loved the whole pro-wolf/anit-wolf sentiments in the book. At first KJ sees the issue in black and white but when she learns more about the issues on both sides I think she comes to see that, in the end, not everything is black and white, there are a lot of shades of gray. That doesn't just apply to the wolves but to the people in her life as well. I think it's interseting to note that this issue isn't fabricated, it's based on real issues facing wolves, environmentalists, naturalists, ranchers, etc. You can read about "the story behind the story" on the author's website.
This book is ultimately about KJ's relationship with people: her father, Virgil, and the town as a whole. I also loved how there's no tidy HEA for KJ and Virgil like I've seen in many of the other teen books I've read lately (ie. Perfect Chemistry & Rules of Attraction). I think it was Nath who's mentioned several times that she doesn't buy the HEA type ending in YA books. I tend to agree but this one has a very realistic ending for KJ and Virgil. Although I expect some people will have wanted. . . more. But I think it was perfect for this book!
In a nutshell, I LOVED this book. I thought it was smart, extremely well written, and completely refreshing. This is Kristen Chandler's debut title and I will be looking forward to more from this author....more
Rules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles' trilogy about the Fuentes brothers. I read the first book, Perfect Chemistry, in February anRules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles' trilogy about the Fuentes brothers. I read the first book, Perfect Chemistry, in February and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'd seen a lot of great reviews about it but for some reason I didn't think I'd like it. I was so wrong! So, I had high hopes for Rules of Attraction, but alas, I was disappointed in Carlos' story. I finished this a few days ago and have been trying to pin-point just what exactly I found wrong with the book; it boils down to the fact that I didn't connect with Carlos. There was something about his voice/point of view that lacked the spark I felt when reading Alex's book.
I like the alternating chapters with Carlos and Kiara's points of view. I really liked Kiara, she's a little out there, not your typical teenager always concerned about what others think of her, despite her stuttering problem. She really seemed to know who she was and wasn't looking to Carlos to "complete" her, even though in the end he did. She seems pretty secure in who she is, and I found that refreshing. I also enjoyed her family especially her father and little brother.
Carlos, oh Carlos. Why didn't you do it for me? Your brother Alex was AMAZING. You, on the other hand, were kinda "meh". I'm not sure how to explain what I thought was lacking. However, when I was reading there were several passages where I literally rolled my yes. What Carlos was expressing was, I assume, supposed to come off as profound and insightful but, to me, it came off as forced and insincere. For example the following excerpt, just doesn't ring true; to me, it felt inauthentic :
"I expect everyone in my life to leave me at some point. Since Destiny, I haven't allowed myself to get emotionally involved with anyone. If I let myself care about someone, they'll leave me, push me away, or die. That's the way it's been, and will always be."
I guess with Alex's book I really felt for him: he had the burden of being "the man of the house", he was trying to protect his brothers from falling prey to gangs, his struggles, both internal and external, felt flushed out and fully realized. I really felt Carlos's story lacked this intensity and development of character. It's not that I disliked the book overall, I was left slightly unsatisfied and felt that the spark from Perfect Chemistry was missing. Looking through the reviews/ratings on Goodreads, I seem to be in the minority. I wanted to like this one as much as Perfect Chemistry but Carlos just didn't do it for me....more