* I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*
Choose Your Own Adventure books work, in print.* I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*
Choose Your Own Adventure books work, in print. I don't think the technology is quite there for Kindle books though, and that was a huge detriment to this book. When we got to the "Choose which character to follow" I chose Ellie, and then I had the option afterwards to continue on with the story (which I chose) or go back and read everyone else's stories (which I didn't do), so by the time I finished the book I felt like I had missed out on a lot of the other characters' stories, but at that point, it was too annoying to backpage through my Kindle to try and go back to read their other stuff, so I didn't.
That said, what I did read was decent. I'm not in to politics, but I found the whole private school full of politician's children to be somewhat interesting. The characters are all pretty well fleshed out and compelling, but I think the author's spread themselves too thin for such a short book. We follow I think 4 different "main" characters and don't really get into the meat of any story with any of them. This book just didn't feel like a complete novel. :(
I am curious enough about the characters that I will continue on with the series and see how it goes. This book ends on quite the cliffhanger for Ellie and I'm dying to know how that works out for her!...more
**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review**
I've rated this 3, but it's probably more like 3.5.**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review**
I've rated this 3, but it's probably more like 3.5. I actually really liked it - so much so that I started reading it when I got off work at 430 am and liked it so much that I stayed up to finish it.
Some parts of the book were a bit far fetched (like the random walking in to a pro football player's party, and the whole coming back to get her lost scarf and ending up staying to watch tv and play poker thing...), but I liked it. I'm a big fan of the rock star/sports star trope and Allison Parr did it pretty well.
I love how snarky Ryan and Rachael are to each other at first - I fully admit I also love the hate-turns-in-to-love trope too! Their constant arguing was funny to read and their eventual relationship progressed sweetly.
I know a lot of people will dislike that we first meet Ryan while he's getting a blow job from a groupie - but I liked that he wasn't Mr. Perfect from the start. So many times in the rock star/sports star trope we get heroes that are just too perfect - and Ryan definitely was not!
A lot of people also will dislike that Rachael can be a total bitch, but I found her insecurity to be pretty realistic. I thought, actually, that Ryan was a little too defensive when Rachael would get upset with him, especially when he was getting a blow job when they met. He acted really offended that Rachael was upset by having unprotected sex and I was annoyed with him for that.
Even so, this was a fairly good book for the genre. The characters were unique (Rachael being Jewish is something we don't often see in romance novel heroines) and the story flows really well - it's paced in such a way that you keep turning the pages wanting to know what happens next.
I'm very curious to see what this author comes out with next. Definitely a good first novel. :)...more
I don't usually like novellas. They're just too short and always leave me wanting MORE MORE MORE. However, I'm addicted to Brigid Kemmerer's ElementalI don't usually like novellas. They're just too short and always leave me wanting MORE MORE MORE. However, I'm addicted to Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series and as soon as I read the blurb for this one I HAD to read it. I couldn't stand Quinn in Spark and I was curious about Nick, so getting a little insight in to their relationship and Nick's head was something I've really been looking forward to.
While it was short, this book REALLY makes me want a full length Nick book! I know the third book is a Hunter book, but I've heard rumors the next one is about Nick (please please please).
I don't think it's a big spoiler to say that Nick is having sexual identity issues - he's dating Quinn, but he finds himself attracted to her dance partner (a guy named Adam). I don't usually enjoy reading M/M (mostly because I like to imagine myself in the female part of a romance novel... who doesn't??), but reading about his inner conflict was quite fascinating. Usually gay characters in YA are already self confident and sure about their sexual preference and know what they want. Nick definitely has no idea what he wants and is scared about the reactions of his family and friends if they find out.
Gabriel's book was my favorite, so far, but I have a feeling I'm really going to like Nick's. Nick has this inner insecurity that I think we all feel, but he doesn't come across as a pathetic weakling. Can't wait to see more by Kemmerer!
**I received a free copy of this novella from Netgalley.com. Thank you!!!**...more
**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review**
I'm a big fan of Karina Halle, ever since I read Si**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review**
I'm a big fan of Karina Halle, ever since I read Sins & Needles. After that, I picked up every single book of hers that was out (the entire Experiment in Terror series) and devoured them! When I saw this on NG, I HAD to request it and I was so happy when I got approved!
I read it immediately and loved it! I thought I wrote a review awhile back, but apparently I was wrong. :/
The Devil's Metal is about a rock band whose lead singer has quite the interesting past, and a music journalist/groupie who is fresh out of school and ends up touring with the band.
I don't want to give away too much because part of the fun of this book is discovering the story behind these characters as you read - but I will say that Karina knocks it out of the park again. Her characters are (as always) well fleshed out, gritty and realistic, interesting, and all around awesome. She also sneaks in a little of the horror element that fans of her Experiment in Terror series will know and love.
Definitely check this one out! I purchased the sequel and haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I can't wait!...more
This book was sweet and cute and clean - basically a generic romance for teens. It just didn't have that WOW factor. The plot line is one that's overuThis book was sweet and cute and clean - basically a generic romance for teens. It just didn't have that WOW factor. The plot line is one that's overused and Hawthorne does nothing new with it here. Girl likes Douchebag guy. Sweet guy likes girl. Girl takes awhile, but eventually realizes Douchebag guy is a douchebag and falls for the sweet guy. Happily ever after.
Kate was one of the most oblivious and idiotic romantic heroines I've ever read. She met Brad (her brother's college roommate) once and "fell in love" with him. Right from the start she can't give any reasons why she's head over heels for him except that he's hot. She even says "What else is there?" when her Aunt asks her what other reasons she has for liking Brad.
The setting for this book is a ski resort where Kate and her two friends (all high school seniors) have to share a 3-bedroom condo with her brother Sam and his two friends (Brad and Joe). Brad is the roommate that Kate has a crush on.
As soon as Brad enters the picture it's made VERY obvious that he's a complete dirtbag. One of his first lines is about how his favorite things are "driving fast and kissing babes." He hooks up another girl on the very first night of their vacation and moves in to the other girl's house for the duration. His lines are all skeevy and douchebaggy, he moved in with another girl, and Kate still thinks he's the most amazing thing since sliced bread.
Enter Joe. The other friend of her brother's. It's made VERY obvious from the start that Joe has a thing for Kate. He's super sweet, super attentive, flirtatious with her, asks her on a date, kisses her, and is generally awesome. But she is wishy washy about it for the majority of the book (gotta get conflict SOMEWHERE I suppose).
It bugs me that authors don't realize the best characters are not 100% evil or 100% good. Making Brad a complete tool and making Joe Mr. Perfect makes them BOTH boring. There was never any 'love triangle' or any reason for the reader to ever believe that Kate wouldn't come to her senses and go for Joe instead of Brad.
I had two other issues with the book.
1) Were they or weren't they all having sex? It's kind of implied that they were. ALL of them. Kate's friend Allie sleeps in the same bed as Sam. Kate's other friend Leah moves in with a ski instructor for the duration of the vacation. Brad moves in with his new girlfriend. Kate sleeps in the same bed as Joe. While there isn't any explicit mention of sex, it's kind of implied that everyone is pretty much doing it like jackrabbits and that's something that annoys me in a YA novel - especially one that is otherwise packaged as a sweet and clean romance.
2) The "Kate-have-a-good-time fund" .... DROVE ME ABSOLUTELY NUTS. How many times did this saying need to be uttered? ZERO in my opinion, but instead it's brought up OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I know it's minor, but I admit I have occasional pet peeves and this is one of them.
Overall, the book was just mediocre. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it that much either....more
This is more of a 3.5, but I'll round up to 4 because I'm a fan of Jennifer Armentrout's other stuff.
Wait for You is good, but it's just not anythingThis is more of a 3.5, but I'll round up to 4 because I'm a fan of Jennifer Armentrout's other stuff.
Wait for You is good, but it's just not anything special in the NA genre. It's well written, characters are fleshed out, decently paced, interesting plot... but it just doesn't have the same spark for me that the Lux or Diety series have.
Avery is way different from the rest of JLA's heroines. She's skittish and weak and for awhile, it was difficult to like her. She was realistic, but she definitely wasn't my favorite. I tend to prefer strong heroines, the weak ones drive me nuts.
Cameron is perfect, but he tends to be too perfect. He's amazingly good looking playboy, has a sexy tattoo and a six-pack, all the girls fall all over him... but the minute he meets Avery he is a sweetheart who turns in to a one-woman man. I struggled to find a flaw with him and I have a hard time believing a guy can be THAT perfect.
I found the back story and the conflict between Avery and her parents more interesting and complex than her relationship with Cameron. Cameron chases after Avery like a puppy dog for the majority of the book, until she finally gives in and starts dating him.
That said, the story was still cute and a fun read. There just isn't much originality here. ...more
I went in to this book expecting to dislike it because I don't like the idea of a male prostitute (er, escorAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I went in to this book expecting to dislike it because I don't like the idea of a male prostitute (er, escort), but so many reviewers I like had good things to say about it so I decided to give it a shot. Glad I did, because it was surprisingly good!
However, in order to like it I had to get past a few small grievances.
1) The pen name of our main character is Claire Kent (aka, the same name as the author of the book). This drove me nuts.
2) A best selling romance author is 26 years old and a virgin. I don't know. It's possible, but it just seems unlikely.
3) Very clinical and unsexy first few sex scenes. After reading the first sex scene, I was tempted to put the book down. Ander was very clinical about it - describing exactly what he was going to do in a very matter of fact way. Like, "We are going to watch a porn movie now. After that, you will be aroused and I will put this plastic mouth guard in before I give you oral sex." (That is not a direct quote, but that is about how UNsexy the scene was)
Fortunately, the book starts to take off after that. Once Lori actually loses her virginity and she and Ander start having more and more appointments, their lovemaking got hotter and hotter. My favorite scene - ELEVATOR SEX! Woo, that's when Ander finally let go and we got to see a little of the wild side.
Escorted flops a little at the end, becoming slightly cheesy and predictable, but overall it was very sweet. The progression of the relationship between Ander and Lori was as realistic as it can get when you're talking about a male prostitute and a romance author. I believed in them and liked them both and really enjoyed seeing their story unfold.
The big problem I had with Rocked Under is that the characters are so awful until the last couple of pages that they're nearly impossible to like.
SOMThe big problem I had with Rocked Under is that the characters are so awful until the last couple of pages that they're nearly impossible to like.
SOME SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!!
Our main character, Emma, is a Brit who recently transplanted to a college in the USA (can't even remember what school or even what state!). She is roommates with her American cousin, Ashley, and neighbors with the frontman of a local rock band (Scott) who happens to be good friends with Ashley.
The entire plot is Emma and Scott dancing around their attraction for each other in the most obnoxious ways possible. We spend most of the book reading about Emma being attracted to Scott, but refusing to act on it because 1) her parents have a fucked up relationship and 2) Ashley told her Scott is a player.
Emma spends a large amount of time drunk in nightclubs, allowing guys to kiss her and feel her up while Scott watches. Scott spends a large amount of time having almost public sex with girls while Emma watches. And while they're watching each other, they appropriately seethe with jealousy.
Scott also likes to punch people out and is constantly beating up guys that hit on Emma - he's probably worse about this than Travis (of Beautiful Disaster fame). I personally do not think it's romantic at ALL to have a guy (who is not even the girl's boyfriend) constantly yanking other guys off the dance floor and punching them out just because they danced/kissed the girl. I can't even count the number of guys that Scott punched. The only one who deserved it was the boyfriend, Adam, that Emma had for awhile.
Speaking of Adam, for 30% of the book, he is referred to as Adam. At around the 30% point, he suddenly becomes "Ad" which is just weird. Adam is not THAT long of a name and doesn't really need to be shortened!
Further on Adam... I just don't get this character. For a LONG time he is a sweet, nice guy, then after he takes Emma's virginity he suddenly turns in to a major prick? Like, the personality switch nearly gave me whiplash. It came out of nowhere and up until right before the virginity losing scene there were NO signs of it.
Back to Scott and Emma...
I don't know. These two were just a mess.
Scott does try to start things with Emma several times and she rejects him, over and over and over. Then she cries when he goes after other girls. If you're going to reject the guy, you don't really get ownership over him anymore! You don't get to say who he does and doesn't get to sleep with. You had your chance (or should I say CHANCES).
I just didn't like either of them, and when I can't stand the main characters I don't really care about rooting for their relationship to work out. I found myself just rooting for them to finally get it on so the book would be over so I could stop reading about Emma dancing at Soundz and acting skanky while Scott acts like a drugged out manwhore....more
*I received a free copy of this book for review from NetGalley.com. Thank you!!*
I finished this a few days ago and I'm still not sure if I liked it much. The book definitely didn't grab me and I had to start and stop it several times, reading many other books in between. The main character (Harriet) is difficult to like. While I enjoyed the quirky, socially awkward side of her personality, her complete lack of honesty drove me nuts.
The premise of the story is that Harriet is a geek. When she gets nervous, she spouts off random facts and is generally clumsy and awkward. Her best friend is a fashionista with dreams of becoming a model who forces Harriet to attend some sort of fashion show thing. While there, a REALLY obnoxious scout sees Harriet and decides she MUST be a model. He takes some photos of her, and when her best friend finds out she is extremely jealous.
So when the scout calls later and offers Harriet a meeting with a top fashion designer, she accepts but doesn't tell her best friend (or her step mother). At this point, the book kind of veers off and teeters with being a romance, but not really, as Harriet goes to Russia to do a modelling assignment for some big name designer. She has to work with a cute male supermodel named Nick that I wish we saw a LOT more of.
The "mean girls" in this book are stereotypical and over the top. At one point, the mean girl gets in front of the classroom and asks the class who hates Harriet and gets every single person to raise their hand. I just don't see this happening in real life, but maybe kids have become even crueler since my high school days.
Actually, almost every side character in this book is an over the top stereotype. The modelling scout is overly flamboyant to the point of being annoying - especially with his extensive array of nicknames for Harriet. The fashion designer is overly rude, harsh, and mean. The other models are all bitchy and catty. While I know some stereotypes are derived from truth, I'm not a fan of books that constantly reinforce them in such an exaggerated way.
I do like that Harriet (and her father) have to take responsibility for their lies and bad decisions. They both spend the entire book twisting things around and lying in order to get their way without their loved ones finding out and I was happy to see real consequences for those decisions.
My biggest issue with the book was the love story. I LOVE LOVE STORIES! However, this one just skirted with it and ended with a kiss that seems to come out of nowhere. Harriet meets the love interest (Nick, no surprise there) only two or three times and I wouldn't even say their conversations are flirtatious. While she is swooning over his good looks, he does nothing overtly romantic to make the reader think he's even interested in her as anything other than a friend. I just felt like there was no build up to their love story and the book would have been better off with the romance part either cut out completely or fleshed out a LOT more.
The book was also poorly formatted in a way that was really jarring to read. There would be several paragraphs in a row, then suddenly a break of blank space that makes you think the scene is over, then more paragraphs of the same scene. Also, there are ENORMOUS pics of sunglasses that show up in completely random locations. I thought at first they were between chapters, but they're not - they show up mid scene and were so distracting I sometimes forgot what was going on. I didn't mark down for the formatting, because this is a galley, but I usually get much better.
I didn't find out this was a trilogy until I finished and started reading other reviews. The book definitely works as a stand alone and I'm curious now to see what else in in store for Harriet....more
I think my biggest issue with Love and Leftovers was that it's written all in verse/poetry. While some parts of it are poignant, it's difficult to reaI think my biggest issue with Love and Leftovers was that it's written all in verse/poetry. While some parts of it are poignant, it's difficult to really delve in to the characters. I feel like we barely scratched the surface to any of them, including the protagonist. Perhaps that's because this is a 400 page novel but only has enough words to fill a 'long' novella (100-150 pages).
I don't know. I hate to say it's bad, because it's not. But it's not good either. I just think the style isn't for me. ...more
Everneath got a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews from reviewers I know and trust, but as I was reading I was wondAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
Everneath got a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews from reviewers I know and trust, but as I was reading I was wondering if we were reading the same book! It's not that I thought the book was bad - it was alright - but these same people are very stingy with the glowing reviews so I think I was expecting more!
I like the premise of the story - a retelling of Persephone/Hades in a modern day/high school environment. However, I think the execution was lacking. A lot.
MAJOR spoilers below!
The thing is, I feel like authors are too afraid to make their hero do anything truly bad. You CAN have a likable hero who isn't perfect (primo example - Dex in Karina Halle's Experiment in Terror series!).
Let me back track a bit before I get back to that.
The basic plot line is that Nikki was in a relationship with Jack. Something happened to make her "forfeit" willingly (aka pretty much kill herself / give herself to the underworld/hell/Everneath). However, she gets to come back to the real world for six months before she has to go back to the Everneath forever.
I'm not quite sure WHY she gets to come back. We're told a little of the mythology behind Persephone and Hades, but we never really see why Nikki is allowed the opportunity. It was a little confusing.
We are eventually told what happened to make Nikki "forfeit" herself and when we find out, WOW. All I could say was "That's it? For real?" I was expecting some kind of ultimate betrayal from Jack, but instead it's nothing like that.
Jack's ex girlfriend came out of his room. That's it. Nikki didn't catch them having sex. She didn't catch them kissing. She didn't catch them with their clothes in disarray. She just saw the ex walk out of his room.
Jack has been her friend for years and her boyfriend for months that she's completely in love with. He was the "player" who NEVER had a girlfriend until Nikki. While I understand her having some insecurity, was seeing something THAT simple and small enough to put her into a state of despair bad enough that she would be willing to basically go to HELL over it?
I was really disappointed that Ashton didn't have the balls to at least make Jack make a mistake big enough to send Nikki into a depression. Instead, Jack didn't even do anything wrong. The ex girlfriend was just there in his room when he got back, trying to seduce him, and he kicked her out right away.
I think my biggest issue with the book is that Jack is just too perfect. The guy has no flaws. He's ridiculously good looking, popular, football player, head over heels in love with Nikki, aka perfect in every way. I'm sorry, having dated a lot in the past, BEFORE Nikki, doesn't count as a flaw!
Perhaps I just prefer more realistic characters instead of the vanilla Bella Swans we see so often in YA Romance/Paranormal these days.
That said, the story wasn't bad. The writing was good, I really felt Ashton did a great job portraying Nikki's despair when she returns from the Everneath (after 100 years!). The plot moves along fairly quickly and it was an easy read.
I plan to finish the series. I just think it could have been a lot better!...more