At A Glance Holy Carnivorous Trees Batman! The Good Hands down, you have never read a story like this. What a concept! Okay, before I go squeeing allAt A Glance Holy Carnivorous Trees Batman! The Good Hands down, you have never read a story like this. What a concept! Okay, before I go squeeing all over, let me just say Blood of the Earth is the first book from a spin-off series (Soulwood) from the Jane Yellowrock series that I love. Though the style is similar, this is a whole other playground. I can't even really describe what the book is about without going off on a tangent, so here is a glimpse: crazy cult people, blood, carnivorous forests, missing vampires, deadly shapeshifters, creepy magic, and Rick Freaking LaFleur. Yeah, pretty much perfection.
Nell was all sorts of awesome. She was raised in a strict cult most her life but now that she left the church, she is trying to assimilate to her new life. Nell is immersed into an even dark world as she is tantalized into helping the PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, find a very important missing vampire that may have been taken by Nell's old cult. Nell ever so slowly comes out of her shell as her new ragtag team investigates a string of kidnappings and murders. I found it so interesting how Nell was a little bit of a void in the beginning. She doesn't have much of a personality but that's the point. The new personalities around her bring out her real feelings. She lives isolated for the most part so having people invade her space is challenging for her but that's how she learns about normal social interaction and how to handle different supernaturals. She really is a unique heroine. She's not physically strong or good with weapons. But she does have this certain ability that will make you shit your pants!!! Freaking creepy and frick. Even Nell is a little creeped out my herself. I won't reveal anything else about it though.
For those of you who read the Jane Yellowrock series, you might be a little pissed that Rick is in this series. But let me tell you, he is not a happy man. He's made his mistakes and he is paying for them. And, the best part, Nell tells him off so good I literally stood up and cheered. Okay, enough Rick bashing. He is a good leader of the PsyLED so you have to give him a some props.
The story flowed well. The mystery was multilayered and captivating the whole time. The characters really made this book though. Every character was awesome, but if you want to know why, you have to read this book. You can even read it and understand it without reading the Jane Yellowrock series first. Some things might go over your head, but it's not that big of a deal. I am soooo excited to continue this series. The Bad Nada damn thing. The Snuggly No snuggly in this one, though I did see a possible romance brewing for the future. Very subdued though. Final Thoughts Read Blood of the Earth!!!!!! Like, now! Or when it comes out. ;) That is all.
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At A Glance What a great ending to a great series.
The Good NOOOOO! It’s over. The world it ending. Life as we know it is kaput! Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but when I found out this was the last book of the series I wanted to hit lots and lots of things, and maybe a few people. ;) So, yes, this is it. No more Mythos Academy. But what a hell of a ride, right?
This was by far the best book of the series. Almost everything I would complain about with each book was blessedly not present in Killer Frost. The pacing was perfect. I wasn’t bored for a second, and the story as a whole felt solid and complete. Each character got their own little happy ending (for the most part) and it all felt right!
Gwen has grown so much since book 1. She has lost most of her insecurities and shyness and has become her own woman and warrior. She took this story by the balls and kicked ass and took names. Gwen refused to be pushed over or intimidated. She took a lot if risks in Killer Frost because it felt right and that’s all that mattered. She didn’t let anyone stand in her way, even her friends. She finally realized that this fight with Loki and the Reapers was bigger than her and that sacrifices had to be made. But that didn’t mean she would let another of her loved ones get hurt. Never that. Gwen became the badass rule breaker I always hoped she would become and I loved reading every second of her journey.
I loved how much strategy Gwen and the others came up with this time around. I didn’t like the feeling of randomness and luck with the battles in the last books. This time Gwen almost always had a plan and they made sense. She didn’t go into anything blind or unprepared. And the support from her friends was so heartwarming. That has always been my favorite part of this series, the amazing friendships these kids have. I think anyone would be lucky to have loyal and caring friends like Gwen has gained.
The writing, as always, was great, and the dialogue was funny and natural. I would recommend Mythos Academy series to all YA lovers. I hope to see these characters again someday. Hint, hint, Estep!
The Bad I wanted a little more time with Logan and Gwen together. It felt like Logan was MIA for a good part of the book. And for three-fourths of the story Logan and Gwen’s relationship was rocky. The past was still haunting them and only at the very end were they starting to be okay.
The Snuggly Even though I wish there was more good times with Logan and Gwen, I still loved them together and was happy with how their relationship fared i the end.
The loving was very YA, just kissing.
Final Thoughts If you loved this series from the beginning, then you will be blown away by the ending. It was almost perfect. Everything and everyone had an ending that felt right. If you haven’t, you should start this series soon! Highly recommended.
Quotes “They always have a plan within a plan within a plan. You should know that better than anyone. “
“No matter what happens, no matter what we do, no matter who or what comes between us, I love you. I want you to know that.”
“Self-sacrifice is a very powerful thing, especially if you do it of your own free will.”
“All I could do was stand there, clutching the candle, and let the intense rush of power wash over me again and again, each wave a little hotter and brighter than the one before, and sweeping more and more of me away with it, as though the violet spark at the center of my being was melting like the white wax of the candle should have been.” ...more
At A Glance Origin is the best book of the Lux series so far.
The Good For some reason, even though I loved this book, I am having trouble writing this review. So I think I will just ramble and see what I come up with instead of pointing out certain things like I usually do.
I am walking away from this book so damn excited that I got to read Daemon’s POV (it was a dual POV with Katy as well). As a girl, I always want to know what a guy is thinking, so getting Daemon’s true feelings for Katy was amazetastic (oh yeah, I just made up a new word. Spread it around, my minions! ;) And, boy, does Daemon have some strong feelings.
Origin starts off close to when Opal ended. Daemon wakes up to people trying to keep him from saving Katy from their enemies’ clutches. Not because they don’t love Katy, they just don’t want Daemon to get hurt. Daemon is having none of that sh*t. He goes out guns blazing to save the girl he loves. He will do ANYTHING to save Katy, and he proves this by doing just that. There are casualties along the way, but nothing will stop Daemon from this mission. He is a man possessed, possessed with love and determination. Daemon makes my ovaries all tingly in this book (oh yeah, I just said that). I can’t help but want what Katy has. Daemon has no limits when it comes to Katy’s safety, and my weird brain thinks that’s romantic.
Katy handled her situation pretty well. I loved that she both played along and rebelled against her captures. Though I wish she wasn’t so easily manipulated, I still loved her determination. Daemon was her rock though. When they finally see each other again, Daemon keeps them going, keeps them hopeful for survival and a future even when the road ahead of them seems bleak.
I loved the new character Archer. He is the strong, handsome, but deadly type. You never know what he is thinking or who’s team he is on, but deep down you feel like he is a good guy. I want to see more of him.
The action was great. The story was amazing because so much happened that nothing can ever be the same, no going back to a normal life for these aliens and their friends. There is a cliffhanger ending, but I am use to it by now, so it didn’t bother me.
The Bad There isn’t really anything bad about this book I can point out, I just didn’t feel it was quite 5 star worthy. Other books have excited me more, other books have made me feel more for the characters. Know what I mean?
Okay, wait, I just thought of something I didn’t like. I don’t mind when characters are killed off, I actually liked it sometimes because it causes so much drama. But Armentrout killed off characters in Origin like it was going out of style. It was a freaking free for all. I didn’t see a point to all those deaths one after another.
The Snuggly Katy and Daemon have taken their relationship to a whole other level in Origin. I really truly feel their love is impenetrable. I loved getting Daemon’s POV on their relationship. These two love each other so much it almost hurts to read about.
The sex is young adult but still satisfying for older readers. I love how Daemon makes it so fun and playful.
Final Thoughts I would highly recommend Origin. If you love the Lux series then you are going to love this book. Be ready for changes though. A lot happened in this book and it might upset some people, but it will excite a lot of people. Highly recommended.
Quotes “So I was thinking, there’re eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There’re one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day…There’re one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?…I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you…I want a year’s worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade’s worth of hours, so many that I can’t add them up.”
“As close as you’re riding me, man, I feel like I need to take you out to dinner or something. At least, I should get your name.” He punched in a floor number, smirking. “People call me Archer.”
“I want to get to know every freckle and every curve on a personal level.” “I think you did that last night.” “Nah.” He shook his head. “That was just a meet and greet. I want to know their hopes and dreams.”
“A certain bone-deep understanding occurred and my hand tightened around the smaller one I held. It weren’t stars we were staring at. The sky was falling.” ...more
At A Glance Despite not liking Ashton in the beginning, this was another amazing book by K.A. Tucker. Loved the story and the characters (I even loved Ashton in the end).
The Good First off, I think I connected with this book so much because Livie and I had so many things in common. Livie is the peacemaker, the one who has to fix everyone else. Me too. Livie has a set path for her future and she wasn't going to let anything detour her. Me too. Livie has a breakdown when she gets a C- on a test. I spent one Halloween wallowing in self-pity when I got my first B- on a paper. I just relate to Livie so much, so I understood a lot of what she was going through.
In a way, I liked the story of One Tiny Lie better than Ten Tiny Breaths. Not by much, but there was something about this book that just spoke to me more. It had awesome college parties, good friendships, school issues, and, of course, boy troubles. One Tiny Lie is all about Livie finding her true self, and not becoming the person she thinks her parents want her to be. She has one hell of a journey too. There was rarely a dull moment. Especially after this one huge party. A party where Livie comes out the other end completely changed. This book revolves around what happened at this party. And, wow, what a party it was!
Livie was very similar to her younger self in Ten Tiny Breaths. She is still smart, determined, and focused. Then her therapist, Dr. Stayner, messes everything up. He makes Livie do some crazy things, things that she would have never done without a little push. And through those crazy adventures, Livie finds out that her planned out future is not so attractive anymore. She has other needs and wants. And she wants Ashton. Livie never denies that Ashton is bad news. He has so much baggage and problems, but she can't help but see something "more" in him. I sympathized with Livie as her feelings grew even when she tried to deny them over and over. She knew some of the things she was doing was wrong, but she couldn't help herself, not when Ashton was involved. I think many of us can relate to once dating that guy that just drove you crazy, made you veer off your path a bit and try new things, even if some of them were naughty. That's Ashton. I think Livie did the best in her situation. She had her ups and downs, but she always analyzed her choices and made the right decisions.
Ashton was a bundle of naughty and nice. More often than not, he was a huge, cocky asshat. He knows he can get any girl and he knows how to press people's buttons. He seems so carefree, but deep down he has demons and a troubled past. He hides it well though. He knows he is not good for Livie but he just can't seem to help himself. He is drawn to her and has to touch, talk, smell her every chance he gets. Though he hurts her a lot more than I preferred, I knew he was a good guy deep down. He just needed to man-up and stop letting other people get in the way of their perfect chemistry.
I could not put this book down. The writing was beautiful like always. The plot held my attention and the drama/fun was never ending. Tucker has a real talent at creating amazing and multi-dimensional characters. I just wish I had the next book in the series right now.
The Bad The main problem was that I didn't like Ashton for the longest time. Ashton is painted in a very bad light at one point and we aren't set right until far into the book. I had to assume that Ashton did these despicable things and I just couldn't accept it. It was wrong. And how could Livie fall for someone who she thought did these things? I just didn't get it.
The Snuggly Thank you, Tucker. We finally get our steamy scenes. Tucker held nothing back this time. The sexual tension melted the words off the pages. And the sexual play was TANTALIZING! We also get sex scenes. WooHoo!
Ashton and Livie don't seem like the perfect couple at first. They both have issues, but they also have such compassion for each other. They see the special "thing" in each other and want to hold on to it. I love them together.
Final Thoughts Get this book now! I would recommend that everyone try this series out. It has heart, it has passion, and it has personality. I think any new adult lover could easily fall in love with this series and this book. Highly recommended.
Quotes “1. I’m brilliant 2. I’m charming 3. I’m hung like a thoroughbred 4. I’ve stopped all philandering 5. I’m highly skilled, as you’ve learned the other night. P.S. Stop staring at my hands. I know what you want me to with them.”
“Because you're not a one-night girl, Irish." Leaning in to place a kiss on my jawline, he whispers, "You're my forever girl.”
Texts between Dr. Stayner & Livie(with a little help from Kacey): "Dr. Stayner: Tell me you did one out-of-character thing last night Livie: I drank enough Jell-O shots to fill a small pool, and then proceeded to break out every terrible dance move known to mankind. I am now the proud owner of a tattoo and if I didn’t have a video to prove otherwise, I’d believe I had it done in a back alley with hepatitis-laced needles. Satisfied? Dr. Stayner: That’s a good start. Did you talk to a guy? Kacey(answering for Livie): Not only did I talk to a guy but I’ve now seen two penises, including the one attached to the naked man in my room this morning when I woke up. I have pictures. Would you like to see one? Dr. Stayner: Glad you’re making friends. Talk to you on Saturday”
“It’s not funny, Kacey!” I hiss. “That guy forced himself on me!” She rolls her eyes but then, after a long pause, she sighs. “Yeah, you’re right.” Reaching over, she pinches the guy’s arm without hesitation. “Hey, buddy!”
“You do that to her again and I’ll sneak into your room and rip your balls off while you sleep, capisce?” she warns with a pointed finger. Most times my sister’s threats involve the mutilation of testicles.”
*Free book from publisher for honest review*...more
At A Glance I loved the romance and dark story in Crash into You, but I found myself frustrated with many characters.
The Good Even though I whine some in The Bad section, I really did love this book. I think it is almost impossible for me not to love a story from Katie McGarry. Her characters have so much emotion, so much power to draw the reader in. I get so sad when I turn the last page of one of McGarry's books because I know I have to wait months to a year for the next book.
This was a hard story to read at times. I felt like it was the darkest/scariest by far. Rachel and Isaiah seem to get deeper and deeper into so much crap you just want to scream with each chapter. But, between all that stress and excitement, is the sweetest love story. Two teens from the opposite sides of the tracks come together to make the most beautiful couple.
Rachel seemed to grow up with the perfect rich family. But really she has been brought up as the replacement daughter for the one who died. She has not been able to live the life she wanted, until now, with fast cars, hard money, and tatted boys, well, one tatted boy in particular. Money goes missing and Rachel is blamed. Now she must pony up or bad, bad things will happen. Isaiah to the rescue! I loved how these two didn't know each other at all but they both risked so much to save the other without a second thought. Rachel seems to have everything she could ever want, but really her family is not a good lot. They are selfish people. Rachel has so many problems, like panic attacks and anxiety, because of them. She is very meek in a lot of ways, but she grows into someone strong and confident by the end. She is also very innocent, which would usually be annoying ,but she has so much heart you can't help but like her.
Isaiah has been a little broken since the last book. He thought he and Beth were always going to end up together, but that was not the case. He still cares for her but won't let anyone in to comfort him. Isaiah now focuses on staying fed, sheltered, and alive. Then Rachel crashes into his life and takes him on a bumpy ride. Isaiah has always been one of my fav characters. He can get whiny and petulant, but you can't deny his life has been crap, he deserves to whine a little. Isaiah always has a tough road to travel it seems. But when he meets Rachel, things just seem so much better, even as they get worse. She brings light to his darkness and he can't help but be addicted to it. I respected Isaiah so much in this book. He really did grow into a responsible and respectable guy.
We see most of our favorite characters from the other books in this one. It felt good to see how they were doing. As always, the writing was amazing. The pacing was perfect and the dialogue felt natural. I can't wait for the next book.
The Bad Rachel's family were just ridicules. I hated them every step of the way, especially her brothers. They aren't the worst family in the world. They don't beat Rachel or abuse her but they have effed her up emotionally. They are the ones that made Rachel this meek girl who doesn't stick up for herself, it almost made me sick a few times. And even when their family issues were brought to light, nothing really changes. These people don't become any better because they only reason they finally started really caring for Rachel is when something so traumatic happens they had no choice.
However, some of it is Rachel's fault because she doesn't go to them when she should have. She made her situation worse because of her fears and I just thought she was being childish. Isaiah, also a little childish at times. I think overall I was more frustrated with these characters than in the other books. But not enough to dock my review with more than half a star.
The Snuggly Sometimes Rachel and Isaiah separately annoyed me, but together they were amazing. They brought out the best in each other. There was kissing, touching, and the like, but everything was still YA-ish.
Final Thoughts Even though some of the characters were annoying, I still loved Crash into You. It had heart, it had action, and it had substance. I even liked that surprise ending. Wasn't expecting that. I would love to read more about this couple and see them together farther in the future. Highly recommended.
Quotes “You can ignore me, Rachel, and you can try to treat me as a friend, but none of that will erase the fact that I think about kissing you every second I’m awake and dream at night of my hands on your body. And it sure as hell won’t erase that I’m terrified by how much I like you.”
“When I’m with you, even my past seems like a bad dream,” he says. “I’ve sat on this hill a hundred times, and all I used to see were lights that represented places where I wasn’t wanted, where I never belonged. Now, when you aren’t with me, I look east and know one of those lights represents you, and I don’t feel alone anymore.”
“The first moment I saw him, the night people clamored over each other to step out of his way, I was frightened. The guy with earrings and tattoos and an energy radiating danger. Now-inside and out-all I see is beauty.” ...more
At A Glance I really, really wasn't expecting Through Glass to be so amazing. It's like a punch in the face with a velvety soft glove.
The Good WTF did I just read? Mind Effing Explosion! I don't know if I feel excited, sad, happy, or dirty walking away from this novel. Throughout the whole book I kept doubting it's excellence. I thought, 'okay, here is where it's going to get boring' but then the action kicks you in the gut the next page. Or 'okay, this is where it all goes downhill, it's already peaked' Nope, it just got more exciting. Through Glass is one of those rare gems that you might pass over and never realize what you are really missing. And you will be missing out on a lot if you never read this book.
I have to admit, I was skeptical on the monster front. Come on, monsters? I am use to vampires and werewolves, but fantastical monsters called Ulama? I didn't buy it. Then I totally did. I loved the world Ethington created. The darkness, the unimaginably horrible monsters, and the death. It was all so dark, but there was always light at the end of the tunnel. Kinda.
Lex drives this story. She is just like any other girl. She loses hope when the monsters take over but keeps living for the sake of Cohen. Lex and Cohen may not be able to talk or touch but they do have each other as the world around them dies. And then everything changes. Lex has to find a way to survive on her own, with the monsters on her tail. I could NEVER have imagined how much story was left after the big 'incident that broke my heart.' Lex kinda became a badass. Lex's life gets worse and better at the same time as she explores the world she hasn't been a part of for 2 years. A LOT has changed. Even among allies, the darkness of the world finds a way to tear down Lex, but she keeps getting back on her feet. I think I am going to like this girl more and more as the series goes on.
Cohen was so snarky and fun in the beginning. He is the boy you want to fall in love with. He's your best friend who gives you passionate kisses. But when the monsters come Cohen becomes Lex's only hope. He keeps them strong during the worst times of their lives. I was devastated with what happened to Cohen but I have hope. I can't wait to see what Ethington does with his character.
Through Glass has the most amazing plot. The twists and turns never stopped. The sense of foreboding was constant. It's a very tense read. You will be glued to this story from beginning to end. I just sat there with wide eyes, 3am, not able to put this book down. The dread Ethington induces in us with the Ulama and the never knowing who to trust and what their motives are made this experience so enjoyable and frightening at the same time. I can't wait for the rest of the series.
The Bad The only thing that bothered me was the repetitive wording and sentences. It happened a lot during the first half of the novel. I think it was suppose to be artistic but I found it annoying.
The Snuggly This is the my chronological order of emotions when it comes to Lex and Cohen and what they went through: Awwww, so cute...Oh God, I hope they survive...Wow, they really love each other...NOOOOOO, why????...This can't be happening, this can't be real...Oh thank you, thank you, there is hope...Crap, this is not going to be good...Please let there be a way for them to be together.
I can't believe what these two went through. Their love for each other shines through so much even though they don't get to spend a lot of time with each other. I really, really hope their story work outs.
No sex, just some hot, mind-blowing kissing. Can be read by a young adult audience.
Final Thoughts Read this book! Read this book! Read this book! It's so close to 5 stars. I would recommend this book to almost everyone. Highly recommended.
Quotes “He stood there on the other side of the glass with his hand pressed against the pane as he looked at me; his own tears streaming down his face."
"Night had come and eaten everything”
"I had heard the screams of death in the air, I had felt them rock through me. I had heard the ones yell as they fought back, only to die anyway. The black monsters had killed the people those pleas belonged to.”
At A Glance Manic was just as good as Tragic, the first book of the series. Even with the rush ending, I loved the story and especially the new characters.
The Good Manic picks up right where Tragic leaves off. Rook is ready to fulfill her contract as a body art model. But she isn't prepared for the cameras filming her 24/7 and the strain this job puts on her and Ronin's relationship. Unlike Tragic, we get a little action and mystery with Manic. Rook's past is catching up to her, and only Ronin, Spencer, and Ford can help her now.
I loved Rook even more in Manic. She is becoming more independent, doing what is best for her, not her relationship. She kind of regrets signing the body art contract so fast though. I think anybody would once they found out what it really entails. But Rook makes the best out of a bad situation. I loved how she got so comfortable with her nudity. It was actually hilarious, especially when she forgot she didn't have clothes on and just walked around like normal. Woops! I think Rook handled Ronin and his asshatery pretty well. I trust that she will never let a man run her life ever again. Rook has made the most progress as a character and I can't wait to see where Huss will take her next.
Ronin got on my nerves this time around, but I liked all the drama. His priorities are a little messed up and he needs to learn how to let Rook make her own decisions and mistakes. Ronin turned out to be a bigger mystery than we first thought. He has a past that we only get bits and pieces of. But we know it involves is "friends" Spencer and Ford. I want to know more!!!
Spencer confused me a bit. He seems so chill and relaxed about everything around him. But his interactions with Rook got awkward. There is obviously more going on behind the scenes that we are not privy to. But I still love him. He is so fun. Ford was...was...complicated. He starts out as a jerk, major doucheness. But he has a method to his meaness. He obviously has feelings for Rook but isn't good at showing them. But the question is, are his feelings genuine or are they payback for what happened between Ronin and him all those years ago? Lol, cryptic, right?
It was exciting to see Rook's past come back to haunt her. I was wondering when that was going to come to a head. Huss' writing was awesome just like before. I could totally picture the body art and how much it looked like real clothes. Now I am dying for book three. Rook's life is only getting started and I HAVE to know what is next for her.
The Bad The only thing I didn't like about Manic was the rushed ending. The build-up to the 'big event' was good but then everything unraveled then got resolved in about 10 pages. And it went down in a way that made me think less of our three boys. I thought they were smarter than that. Sorry, I can't say too much without spoiling everything.
The Snuggly Rook and Ronin's relationship really take a hit in this book. I felt bad for Rook as she struggled with keeping Ronin happy while having to get naked in front of all his friends and co-workers everyday. Ronin was kind of an ass about Rook's position but I also understood his concerns. I wish his focus was more on Rook and less on his drug addict friend though. But I think they are a strong couple even when fighting and questioning their relationship.
Very steamy sex scenes. And the sexual tension was off the roof between Rook and the rest of the guys. I know that seems wrong but you will understand when you read this book. It could not be helped. Suitable for a new adult and adult audience.
Final Thoughts Bring on book three. I don't want to wait. I love all these characters so much, faults and all. I am so happy I found Huss and all her writing glory. It's hard to turn the last page of her books without a satisfied smile on your face. Highly recommended.
Quotes “You scare me, Rook.” “Why?” I ask, puzzled. “Because your future is making itself right now, this very moment. And you have no idea it’s happening. I want you so completely it hurts. But you and I are in two totally different places.”
“I’m not trying to fix you, I’m just trying to give you the tools to fix yourself.”
"Your first impression of Spencer should be dumb. Your first impression of Ford should be well-dressed asshole, but maybe a little on the weak side. Your first impression of me should be honest, trustworthy guy. Your first impressions would be dead-ass wrong in all three cases."
“I’ve never dated a girl like you, Rook. You are everything I want. I love all your parts. I love the wary parts, the defiant parts, the independent parts, and your innocence and vulnerability. I want you next to me and when you’re not there I feel like a part of me is missing.”
At A Glance Mind. Explosion. If you aren't reading this series, then something is wrong with you. And I mean that in the most respectful way. ;)
Caution: I get a little rough and sweary when writing the Foul Mouth book reviews. These books bring it out of me.
The Good You know what, Raley? I don't even trust you anymore. I don't know if I want to punch you in the throat or lick your brain. Seriously, that ending. My brain has still not processed it. That's one hell of a knee in the crotch. Didn't see that one coming. You might as well have paid a hobo to jump out and flash me his junk and add little tassels on his testicles just for sh*ts and giggles, but even then, that wouldn't have been as shocking as what you did. And damn you to hell, I loved it. So effing amazing.
Anyways, I guess I should get to the review. Though ranting at Raley a little more would be more satisfying, but duty calls. Let's start with what this series is about. King Henry Price (effed up name, I know, but kind of what makes the whole thing funnier) is one of a few who have special abilities in which they can manipulate energy and...stuff. Sh*t, I don't know, its complicated, get off my back (Yeah, my inner King Henry coming through). Anyways, they are called mancers. They are recruited to a special school to learn about their abilities. This series follows the personal recordings of King Henry. He tells us about his time at the school and his life after the school. Sounds simple. It's not. King Henry's life is full of complications, danger, and a lot of swearing. In each book, we go back and forth between the recounting of stories of young King Henry (15) and older King Henry (23). I really, truly love this set up. Because both King Henrys are awesome. Young King Henry is a mixture of smart, stupid, and horny while older King Henry is more a mixture of smart, stupid, and horny...wait!! I have to rethink this. No, sounds about right.
King Henry is a one of a kind character. He's a jerk. No doubt about it. He's even mean sometimes, but it's always in good fun. He may call you a fire crotch but he would put himself in the line of fire the next minute to save your life. You have to take the sour with the sweet. I think this book is a major turning point for King Henry. His on again off again girlfriend, Valentine, is back in town. Val needs King Henry to convince her sister, Christmas (I swear, I want to pop out a kid just so I can name her Christmas. I never thought of that as a name until now), that going to the mancer school is the only option for her unless she wants to go insane by age 30. Spoiler: But as King Henry and Val's family sit down for dinner to have a talk, men in combat gear come and snatch Christmas up for God knows what reason. Now it's up to King Henry and Val to get her back. But the people behind the kidnapping are some scary mofos and no one is brave enough to take them on, except King Henry.
I was so happy to finally get to know Val more. She seems like a complicated character, and she is, but she is also so simple. She doesn't play games. She is up front and almost as aggressive as King Henry. She is the only one who truly put up with King Henry's crap all these years and still stayed friends with him. She never tried to change him, she loved him for his humor, his courage, and even his foul mouth.
This story blew my mind. The twists and turns about blew my socks off. The action kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The humor, as always, was top notch. If you want to laugh, if you want to be shocked, if you want to be entertained, then read this series. The writing is different and it works perfectly for the feel of the book. These books have personality, a whole bunch of face-smacking personality. And after that ending, there is so much tasty possibility for the rest of the books. This sh*t is going to get real, people!
The Bad All I can say is that it took me a little longer to get use to the writing style this time around. But after a chapter or two I was fine.
The Snuggly I was so happy to see a little romance this time around. The Foul Mouth books are not romantic by any means, so it was a pleasant surprise to find it in The Foul Mouth and the Troubled Boomworm. I am a girl after all, so I got all doey eyed just seeing King Henry go gooey over Val. It was freakin' adorable.
Expect a lot of cursing and sexual references. And a little sex.
Final Thoughts Love! I have a whole bunch of sloppy love for this book. There are three or four series in my life that would be hard to live without and the King Henry Tapes is one of them. Everyone needs to give these books a chance because they will give you bookgasms. Lots and lots of bookgasms. Highly recommended.
Quotes "Fine!" Raj sulked, accepting his broken state and giving up on just the tinniest bit of his usual polite and reserved attitude, "I'm in love...with Miranda."
"Can people be in love with gingers, is that allowed?" I asked.
Terminator seemed to think both sides over before motioning towards Matrix to holster his weapon. There was no argument once the decision was made. "Don't think this means you're going to survive this," he warned.
"I always plan for death," I mouthed off, "find it keeps me alive."
"I don't want to leave you."
"Worried I have a concussion?"
"...More like sure you have one, given that you're King Henry Price and you haven't looked at my breasts once this entire time."
At A Glance You know that feeling when you finish a f**king amazing book and you just sit there, shivering from your bookgasm, basking in the giddy high of fiction art? Yeah, Magic Rises was better than that.
The Good If you haven't read this series by now, something is wrong with you (just kidding *cough* but not really *cough*) But seriously, anyone who knows me, knows that the Kate Daniels series is my FAVORITE series of all time. When I first got into reading, urban fantasy was my choice of drug, and that has never changed. And that's all because of Ilona Andrews (a married writing duo, but I will refer to them as one person for the sake of this review). Ilona is spot on in everything that makes fiction so damn enjoyable: the humor, the action, and pacing, the detailed plots and storylines, the descriptions, and the supernatural aspects. They are all flawless. And Magic Rises is another example of perfection.
I want to get this out now, even if you are not a huge fan of urban fantasy, please, please try the first two books of this series (some say they really get into it by the second book). Not one person who I have recommended this series to has been disappointed. They have all come back with 4 and 5 star ratings for every book. You cannot go your whole life without at least trying this series out. It would be a travesty.
Okay, okay, on to the review. I couldn't devour this book fast enough. I had a pit in my stomach the whole time, stressing out that Kate and Curran were walking into a trap, and I loved every minute of it. The frightening parts seem a little more bearable knowing that Kate and Curran are so capable of taking care of themselves and others. And they are smart, they know it's a trap, they are just that confident. Total badasses, right?
I care about these characters like they are my family. I know it's weird, but I can't help it. They feel so real to me. I think it's the dialogue. Ilona is the all-star in writing dialogue. It flows so naturally and is packed with wit, sarcasm, and sincerity. I dare you to read this book without laughing and cracking a smile every page. I straight up laughed out loud throughout all of Magic Rises. Even during the serious parts, Ilona doesn't hold back even then.
OMG, the action. I don't even know what to say. It's so real, it's so detailed, it's so f**king awesome. No one writes action like Ilona does. It's art the way she does it. You can tell she does extensive research to make sure all the movements, sword swipes, and offensive and defensive strikes are realistic and factual.
The background detail on supernatural creatures is beyond even my expectations. The mythology is so well organized and integrated into Magic Rises I am still speechless. It blows my mind how in-depth Ilona goes when it comes to the history of every creature.
Kate is still the badassiest badass ever made into being. She is really taken on a rollercoaster ride of f**kedupness in Magic Rises. She is hit hard as more shapeshifter children turn loup (crazy, mindless monsters). She can't help but think that if she ever had children with Curran, this might be their fate. And even though the cure requires Kate, Curran, and the team to walk into a trap, they do it anyway. Kate would do anything for her pack. Even face pure evil. And she does. I love Kate's commitment and love for Curran and his pack. Even when they don't always show it back, she takes her responsibilities to keep them safe seriously. But I also love the Kate who needs to fight, to cause pain, to kill. Kate's vicious side is what makes her so fearless and strong. Without this scary side of her, she would have never survived the world she lives in. We see a lot of different side's of Kate in Magic Rises, and I loved every one of them. Especially jealous Kate. Oh yeah, that made for so much fun.
Curran scared me a bit in this book. He does some crazy things, but I never really doubted him. He's still my Beast Lord. Uh, I mean Kate's Beast Lord. Yeah, that's what I meant. *looks around for any signs of Kate* Hey, that bitch is scary, don't judge. The rest of the gang made an appearance and they were all wonderful, just like I remembered them. Derek is walking a fine line though. I am worried for his future. I hope something good happens to him soon. And, I have to warn you guys. An important character dies in Magic Rises. Some of you are going to be mad. Their death will change a lot of things. Personally, I like when authors kill off important characters. I like the change up. I was sad, but honestly, there is no love lost between me and this character. But I know some of you will be devastated.
I could go on and on about this book. But I think you got the hint. Read this series, read this book, become obsessed with Ilona Andrews like the rest of us.
The Bad That's blasphemy just hinting anything was wrong with this book.
The Snuggly Oh jeeze, Curran and Kate are put through the ringer in this book. It was so hard for me to watch Kate struggle with what was going on with Curran. She reminds me a lot of myself, by shutting down emotionally when people mess or play with her feelings. So I totally got where she was coming from, her reactions made perfect sense to me. But no matter what, I will always love Kate and Curran because I know that they will always end up together. There is literally no better "made for each other" couple out there in the world of fiction. They are soulmates in ever sense of the word.
There is a pretty hot sex scene or two that will get your blood boiling. Nothing over the top though. Personally, I want more details, but that's because I have no limits when it comes to Curran. He should be mine. I want to know every inch of his body.
Final Thoughts I gave Magic Rises my special 6 stars because it was perfection from beginning to end. Which reminds me, the ending was perfect, a little sad, but mostly happy. In my eyes, Ilona Andrews can do no wrong because she is consistent in her awesomeness. You can tell this author never gets tired of her work. She has found her calling. If that doesn't make you want to read this book, I don't know what will. Extremely recommended.
Quotes “You’re taking a nap? Come on, Kate, I need you for this fight. Stop lying around.” “You must think you’re funny.” “Just saying, you have to pull your own weight. A hot body and flirting will only get you so far.” “Everything I do, I learned from you, boy toy.” “Boy toy?” Curran asked. “Would you prefer man candy?”
“Aha! So I’m not crazy.” “You are most definitely crazy,” Derek said. “But in a deranged, endearing way.”
“Five minutes later, we were rolling around on the helipad as he tried to muscle his way out of my armlock, after slamming me onto the helipad. “I finally realized the source of your mutual attraction,” Saiman said, his voice dry. I looked up. He was standing a few feet away. “Do enlighten us.” Curran tried to roll into me to break the lock. Oh no you don’t. “You both think violence is foreplay.”
“One time I was dying in a cage inside a palace that was flying over a magic jungle. And some idiot went in there, chased the palace down, fought his way through hundreds of rakshasas, and rescued me.” “I remember,” he said. “That’s when I realized you loved me,” I said. “I was in the cage and I heard you roar.”
“Are you hungry, baby?” Curran asked. “Starving.” “I think we should go to dinner.” “Great idea.” “What are you going to wear?” “My badass face.” “Good choice,” he said.”
“Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind ... I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.” ...more
At A Glance If I could turn this book into a man, I would chitty chitty bang bang him all night long!
The Good I'm going to be totally honest. I didn't really remember signing up for this tour and when I saw it on my schedule, I looked up the book and read the blurb and was like, "Really, I signed up for this? This doesn't sound that great." Begrudgingly, I sat down to read it. After the first couple chapters, I mentally whipped myself for judging this book so harshly just from the blurb (which isn't bad I just wasn't feeling it that day). Touched mindf**ked me. Everything about it was so thrilling and fun that I had to move around while reading it to walk off the excited energy it instilled in me.
Before I go further, I did want to say that this book has a totally urban fantasy feel even if it's not labeled as such.
Marnie, Marnie, Marnie. What can I say about her? She is a badass in some ways, effing hilarious in most ways, and horny always. She rivals some of my favorite heroines of all time, like Kate Daniels, Cat Crawfield, and Rachel Morgan. She has spunk, she has insecurities, she is every woman...but with paranormal powers. Marnie may not have skills with a gun and she may not have super strength but her mouth makes up for any of her downfalls. I swear, if I could say the things she does I would be a happy woman, a laughed at woman, but a happy woman. Marnie really steps into some major crap in Touched. Almost everyone wants a piece of her. Some want to kill her, some want to make her suffer, and some just want to do her against wall. You know, the usual. But Marnie is damn good in scary/bad situations. She may not know it but she is the ultimate survivor. She does everything but pull a rabbit out of her butt to save herself and others.
Harry is Marnie's vampire companion. Their relationship is based on shared benefits. All vamps and psychics work together. I wont say too much since it'll be fun to find out on your own. Harry and Marnie's relationship is both an emotional nightmare and adorable friendship. I want my own vampire teddy bear that always puts me down as he picks me back up. Yeah, yeah that's not healthy, but damn reasoning! Sometimes I hated or straight out distrusted this silver tongued vamp. He has more than a few secrets. But even when I hated him, I loved him. It's like he has an unnatural draw even through the pages.
Mark Batten. *girly sigh* As Marnie likes to say, if he was any more of an a**hole he would be a sphincter. FBI agent Batten is everything you hate/love in a man. He knows how to take charge, to keep a girl on her toes. He is so mean sometimes but you can tell he has a huge capacity to love, it's just buried deep inside. He's the bad boy teenager you loved so much when you were young but he's all grown up...and now hunts vampires...and knows how to use a gun...and likes to sit with his legs open, in tight jeans, so you know what you are missing. You will not like him in the beginning, but he will grow on you. He can ride me up against a bathroom door any day.
The action was superb in Touched. I literally got tingles with every fight scene. I felt like I was there watching the whole thing in real-time. Aalto is also a great writer. I got so lost in this book time after time, it was hard top put down. The pacing was perfect. The paranormal elements were different enough to make the story feel fresh. The character development was amazing, obviously. I feel lucky to have read this book.
The Bad Though I gave it 5 stars, there were two things that irked me in Touched. First, Marnie's insistence on putting herself in dangerous situations without being armed. She may not have known every situation was dangerous until it was too late, but if I was being stalked by a killer, I would be armed even in the shower.
Then, I was so peeved when we were left hanging with some unanswered questions. Marnie finds out about a lot of secrets being kept from her by people close to her but she never confronts them.
The Snuggly Holy love triangle Batman! Best. Love. Triangle. Ever. So yummy yummy. Batten and Harry were both so fun, but in their own ways. Batten's a-holery and Harry's condescending, uppity attitude worked well with Marnie's snarkiness. It's funny how you don't even see the love triangle until it's too late. Like a drive by love triangle. Sneaky, sneaky, Aalto.
There is sex in this book and hot damn I wish there was more because it was HOT! Even Marnie's flashbacks to her fast romp with Batten was oh so sexy. *shivers*
Final Thoughts If I don't get a chance to read book two of the series, I will cry. This is now a must read series for me. I want to read about all these characters again and again. I really don't see how anyone could not like this book. Very highly recommended.
Quotes I straight up LOLed at this:
"Amateur dunce," Batten corrected, taking a pull from the beer bottle Harry put in his hand. "There's no way you're a professional anything."
"Goes to show you haven't had my very pro blow job yet." I gave him a neener-neener smirk and poured myself a Dr. Pepper on ice while Harry choked out about a hundred old English admonishments that no one else in the room understood.
"Funny things occur to you when you're dying. Bleeding out for the second time in three months, I thought deliriously, I could have used that damned No. 2 pencil. And: I think Batten waters down his cologne. How can I prove it? And then: I'm going to die, here. I don't want the reek of vomit to be the last thing I smell." ...more
At A Glance I. Die. You know the dreaded question: If you were stranded on a deserted island and you can only bring five books with you, which ones would you bring? Most readers would panic because the idea of only 5 books is sickening, but it seems that question is not so hard for me anymore. Because, hands down, The Sea of Tranquility would be one of those five books, and I would enjoy it again and again for years on end. That's why I had to give it my rare 6 stars.
The Good I had to wait some time to write this review after reading this book because I needed time to let the awesomeness soak in. If I hadn't, I would be a rambling mess of emotions. Even now, I don't know what to say. How can I describe the perfection of this book? Maybe it's not perfect for everyone but I can guarantee that most of us readers will fall madly in love with The Sea of Tranquility. Right now this book has almost 14,000 ratings on Goodreads and is averaging a 4.56 star rating. That's pretty damn amazing.
Let me start off by saying that this is not a perfect romance. This book is more about two troubled souls, who have horrible pasts of lose, who find kinship with each other. It's a slow build and it's so worth the wait. Nastya and Josh remind me of the peanut butter and jelly in a PB&J sandwich (yes, that's what I had for lunch today). They couldn't be more opposite in their structure, in their overall essence, but together they meld and blend into rightness. It just takes that one time for them to come together and you know from then on they should never be separated. And then you see how similar they really are.
And let me also mention that this book may seem slow in the beginning, but believe me, it needs to be that way. You can't jump into something like this without having your heart be ripped into shreds. You have to be eased in. This book packs so much emotion that I still feel raw weeks after reading it. The writing is not just words and sentences. It's art incarnate. I don't know if I have read a better written book in all my life. The dialogue is both witty and soulful. The pacing is perfect for this kind of book. The characters' inner thoughts broke me, then healed me, then broke me again. I was an open wound for a couple days while reading this book, and I loved every minute of it. I think my bottom lip even quivered from time to time as I forced myself to hold back the tears.
This is definitely a character driven novel. Millay goes above and beyond when making Nastya and Josh into real people. I never once thought that I was reading a book. I felt like Nastya and Josh were recounting their lives up close and personal. Even the side characters like Drew became real to me. I know these characters more than I know any family member, best friend, or even myself.
I don't think anything with a beating heart could not feel bad for Nastya. She went through a heartbreaking and tragic experience that no one should have to endure. And because of this event, she has stopped speaking, to anyone. Being mute can make it hard when you go to high school, but when you dress like a Russian hooker on purpose, it's apparent no amount of teasing or bullying will ever affect you. Nastya is the living, breathing version of the doorknob sigh reading "Do Not Disturb." Everything she does is to keep people away. After losing a piece of her soul, she wants nothing to do with the world. But then she meets Josh. And for the first time in a long time she's interested...interested in interacting and living. Nastya is troubled and emotionally fragile but she is also a very strong person. She has to be with what she's gone through. She's bright and talented, even if she doesn't think so anymore. But what she needs is to heal. And even Josh may not be able to do the job, because sometimes we have to heal ourselves first.
Josh has lost everyone some way or another. And when everyone close to you seems to die, you kind of become a social void. The high school kids are a little afraid of Josh and he likes it that way. He'd rather be left alone. Then the mute and exotic Nastya comes into town stirring controversy and Josh can't help but notice. But it's not until Nastya starts forcing herself into his daily routines that Josh starts to see the girl no one else sees. He sees someone emotionally damaged but beautiful nonetheless. She's unique and mysterious and Josh wants to solve the mystery of her past but he let's Nastya reveal things on her own time. He gives her the space she needs and offers her security in his house and his garage where they work on his woodworking together. Josh is quiet and understanding, which is exactly what Nastya needed.
The Sea of Tranquility was powerful, deep, and beautiful. It has everything a reader can hope for in a book. The plot was well thought out and executed amazingly. And the mystery behind Nastya was handled so well I still feel tense from the suspense. Ugh, I wish I was a better writer because I still don't think I even skimmed the surface of what this book is like or how it made me feel. It's indescribable.
I have to mention how perfect that ending was. I was a little nervous it was going to be a sad ending but no, it wrapped up everything very well and even has the best last sentence ever in the world. My heart broke into happy little pieces then formed back together stronger than before when I read the last page.
The Bad How dare anyone suggest something is bad about this book!!! :)
The Snuggly Mercy! Nastya and Josh have the most complicated, messed up relationship. They start out ignoring each other, then become awkward friends, then you think there can be more after a special night, then Nastya ruins it all, then Josh makes it worse. You will want to yell and scream when it comes to these two. They are both emotionally stunted and how they even became friends is beyond me. But you will also love them to the little red recesses of your heart because no two people deserve to be happy more than these two.
We get a sex scene that isn't graphic. It's appropriate for YA readers. However, there is a sexual assault scene. So be prepared.
Final Thoughts Remember, this is not a full blown romance type of book. The romance and relationship building takes forever, but it's perfect for this book. You just have to give it time. This is a character driven book with a lot of tragic elements but has inspiring moments in it that makes it so worth all the heartbreak. VERY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Quotes “People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.”
“I wished my mother was here tonight, which is stupid, because it’s an impossible wish.” He shrugs and turns to me, drowning the smile that cracks me every time. “It’s not stupid to want to see her again.” “It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”
“There are so many things that can break you if there's nothing to hold you together.”
“We're like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that's what I need. Someone to explain me.”
“People who go around advertising their birthdays are douchebags. It's a fact. You can look it up on Wikipedia.”
*Free book from netgalley for honest review*...more
At A Glance Though I didn't love Walking Disaster as much as Beautiful Disaster, I was still blown away by how much I came to love Travis even more. His side of the story really changed my outlook on his and Abby's love story.
The Good Let me warn you that Walking Disaster is not a standalone. It's imperative that you read Beautiful Disaster first to understand Walking Disaster. Now that that's out of the way, OMG, I loved this book so much. I could not put it down. Walking Disaster broke my heart then glued it back together, and I still wanted more.
It's hard not to love Travis and all his faults. But we see in this book it's not all about faults; it's about defense mechanisms. He lost the only woman he ever loved when his mom died when he was a kid. Now, as an adult, he doesn't want to give another woman a chance to leave him. I loved Travis so much more after just the first scene of the book. He has so much more depth than I first thought. Every choice and action he made made more sense this time around. We still see him as rough, possessive, and determined like we did in Beautiful Disaster. But after Walking Disaster, we see a sweeter but more intense Travis. We see his rages up close and personal. His depression and downward spiral after he lost Abby. It was all so magnified it was hard to take sometimes. But that's what makes a book so amazing, the emotions it makes you feel. And though his love for Abby still bordered on obsession, it was still exciting as hell to watch them together. OMG, and when it comes to why Travis calls Abby Pigeon: Perfection. It was so romantic, cute, and goofy all at the same time.
This book does not make Abby look good but it was fascinating to see her actions interpreted in Travis's eyes. They are such very different and very similar people, it's insane. I loved seeing what it was about Abby that made Travis fall in love. He didn't even know what hit him until it was too late. He was caught by her uniqueness, her strength, and her reserved but occasional wild side.
I also came to love Travis' sfamily. Even though they aren't perfect, they really are a close-knit unit that help each other every step of the way. I can't wait to learn more about them in future books.
Sweet Baby Cheeses, The Epilogue. That was some crazy crap. At first I didn't like this new insight into Travis and Abby's future, but after thinking about it, it makes things so much more interesting. I swear, I read that part of the book with my jaw on the floor. CRAZY! I also loved the Prologue with Travis's mom. The best parts of this book are the Prologue and Epilogue.
If you loved Beautiful Disaster, I don't see how you couldn't love Walking Disaster. It's more intensity, more heartbreak, and more Travis. And more Travis is always a good thing.
The Bad Though I loved this book, I felt more of a connection with Beautiful Disaster. I actually found myself hating Abby through Travis's eyes, and I almost wanted him to get rid of her for good. So I guess I didn't feel like this book really captured their relationship like Beautiful Disaster did. Plus, Abby was very absent in this book. A lot of her dialogue was passed over. So you have to remember a lot of Beautiful Disaster to love Walking Disaster, because it was like this book was more of an add-on than a separate entity.
Though I was happy to see Jamie skip over some scenes and conversations so that the book wasn't a copy of Beautiful Disaster, I found myself annoyed at the same time. It was like some vital things were taken out and the overall feel of the story was changed.
The Snuggly This has new adult type of sexual content. So, yes, there are mild sex scenes. We even get a peek at Travis with other girls, which made me a little sad, but I knew it was necessary. But through Travis's eyes, his and Abby's love seemed so much more stronger when they were together. I really liked that.
Final Thoughts I couldn't put this book down. It may not have been quite as good as Beautiful Disaster, but it was still one hell of a book. I straight up love Travis, in all his crazy glory. Highly recommended.
Quotes "I decided a long time ago I would feed on the vultures until a dove came along. A pigeon. The kind of soul that didn't impede on anyone; just walked around worrying about its own business, trying to get through life without pulling everyone else down. With its own needs and selfish habits. Brave. A communicator. Intelligent. Beautiful. Soft-spoken. A creature that mates for life. Unattainable until she has a reason to trust you."
"Even though we'd put each other through hell, we'd found heaven. Maybe that was more than a couple of sinners deserved, but I wasn't going to complain."
“I was now in a situation where I didn't have to prove myself, because the one person that fully accepted me, my best friend, was now a permanent fixture in my life." ...more
At A Glance Though I liked Pushing the Limits a little better than Dare You To, I still felt like I was in book nirvana the whole time.
The Good I feel like I've died and gone to book heaven. Katie McGarry knows how to bang out an awesome book. I have to admit, young adult can get on my nerves sometimes. But Katie knows how to write young adult for people of all ages. The emotion, the chemistry, the passion. It all comes together to pack one hell of a punch.
Beth's life has been anything but perfect. She has spent her life protecting her drug addict mother from everything, especially her mother's abusive boyfriend. But when Beth is forced to choose between letting her mother go to jail or taking the fall herself, she chooses the latter. Now forced to live with her Uncle Scott, who she feels abandoned her to her life of misery years ago, Beth has to learn to live in a new town, go to a new school, and learn to trust the people who love her.
Saying Beth is troubled is putting it lightly. She smokes pot, drinks, and gives people a hard time before they have a chance to hurt her. She is defensive because she feels like everyone has ulterior motives. That's what she is use to. I have to admit, Beth was hard to like sometimes because her attitude was pretty bad. But she was somewhat justified to be angry at the world. No person should go through what she has. I was so happy when her Uncle Scott came to rescue her. Though I felt like he didn't have a right to force her to change everything about herself, I'm happy he didn't take her crap. She needed that forceful motivation to become a person she can respect. Beth really had a lot to learn in Dare You To. She had to figure out that it isn't her job to save a mother who doesn't want to be saved. She had to learn to love herself. Ryan was a big influence in helping Beth deal with her life and her problems. She more often than not pushes him away but he is persistent, and that's exactly what Beth needed.
Ryan seems perfect on the outside. His baseball future is looking bright, and he has a respected family in the community. But behind the scenes his parents barely talk to each other and Ryan's brother is banned from the house. Ryan has a bad case of living his parents' dreams. He loves baseball but he also likes the idea of going to college, though his father wont hear of it. The only thing Ryan does without his parents permission is crush on Beth. He knows she's damaged, he knows he's not suppose to like a girl like that, but he can't help but feel drawn to her. She's different from anyone he has ever met, and that's refreshing. Ryan was far from perfect and didn't treat Beth that well in the beginning, but he had some of the most beautiful moments with her that it made me fall for him. I think that's what McGarry is so good at, taking flawed characters and making you love them despite their downfalls.
I loved how the sparks flew every time Beth and Ryan got together. You just knew they would fight and clash in every possible way but McGarry made you crave every disagreement, every confrontation. You wanted to yell at them when they hurt each other and you wanted to jump in joy when they finally let the world disappear and focused only on each other. The push and pull between these two was nerve-wracking but exciting. Their relationship was beautifully imperfect, and that's how I like it.
The writing was amazing. I could let McGarry's poetic writing enrapture me every day. She can drag emotion out of the most cold-hearted person. The action was even good with some scary fight scenes. It was hard to watch the physical and verbal abuse though, but it gave the book depth. I am still sad that Isaiah doesn't get his happy ending. He deserves someone special.
Also, Echo and Noah from book one make an appearance in this book which I loved.
The Bad I was a little sad that this wasn't Beth and Isaiah's story. I love Isaiah. But Ryan did grow on me. I don't think I am the only one who thought Beth and Isaiah were going to get together.
I do feel like Ryan and Beth were less likable than Echo and Noah. They have to grow on you is all.
The Snuggly The romance was pretty hot but still YA-ish. It was hard for me to picture Ryan and Beth together at first, but they definitely had chemistry. Expect kissing, touching, and a minimal sex scene. And I have to say, the sex scene made me laugh. Let's just say it was realistic and I liked that, but it still made me giggle.
Final Thoughts Even though Pushing the Limits was better, Dare You To was an amazing sequel. I loved reading every minute of this book. McGarry blasts us with emotion and raw character development to epic proportions with Dare You To. I think every McGarry fan will love this story. Highly recommended.
Quotes “You're a lot like that bird in the barn. You're so scared that you're going to be caged in forever you can't see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.”
“That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.”
“Beth feels likes this storm. Constant and persistent as a whole, but the more I get close and try to clutch the individual drops of rain, the more the water falls out of my hands.”
“Quiet anger frightens me. The drunks, the idiots, the ones that rage easily - them I can handle. I know when to step out of their way. It's the ones that hold the anger in, the men that think about what they do and how they do it, that scare me. They're the ones that cause damage.”
*Free book from publisher for honest review*...more
At A Glance I've died and gone to heaven. Why, oh why must it end? Can I just live in this book?
The Good Decimation... Yes, ma'am, may I have another? This book will tear you apart, stitch you back together, then decimate you once again. Reading Unravel Me was like reading macabre poetry in a cold, dark room with just a sliver of hope sunlight peeking through the bars of my window. It is both a salvation and a torment. Why must good things come to an end? Because Mafi likes to torture us, that's why.
Juliette... Where to begin? I feel so lost and found at the same time. Like everything is so clear but also muddled. Okay, let's start with Juliette. We met Juliette in Shatter Me and she was effed up a mess. Being locked up in a prison with no human contact will do that to a person. But we saw her grow and fall in love after Adam rescued her. In Unravel Me, we see Juliette revert back to the shy, self-deprecating, emotional timebomb we have come to know. All her old insecurities came rushing back as the people in Omega Point, a place that is suppose to be a safe haven, started treating her like a leper. With her ability to kill with just a touch, no one is willing to go near her. And the fact that she has killed people before causes everyone give her a wide berth, even the few friends she had. You can't help but feel bad for this girl. It can't be easy to be the freakiest amongst freaks people with special powers. Though I feel Juliette often brought on the misery herself by not even trying to engage people, my heart still broke every time she cried in defeat. Juliette did try to be strong but blow after blow brought her farther into a pit of disappear. But by the end, there was definitely light at the end of the tunnel. I think Juliette will find her resolve because it's there, it's just hidden beneath layers suppression.
Adam... Adam was his same sexy, caring self. His love for Juliette is so strong it's frightening. I truly think he could not live without her. In the beginning, they had some hot moments. I was surprised they both didn't combust from the sexual tension. Any of us would be lucky to have a love like they do. But then this horrible HUGE revelation about Adam's power comes and all bets are off. Juliette and Adam's relationship takes a hit and I truly don't know how it is all going to work out. Adam is beyond devastated, he is broken. :(
Team Warner... The biggest surprise was Warner. I love hate him so much sometimes. He has done some horrible things in the past but the question is, can the devil be redeemed? In this book, we really get the full impact of why Warner is the way he is. Warner is not naturally a cold killer. He has been raised and formed to be heartless. Only Juliette can see the real Warner, the one who lays beneath the surface, the one that can love care. I didn't think it was possible to ever see Warner as the good guy. Really, he's not, not yet anyways, but oh the possibilities. And then there is Juliette and Warner...together. I hate to admit it but they have the most out of this world sexual chemistry ever, it's not even right. Them together makes sense, and by the end, you want it to happen. I know, crazy, right? Don't throw things at me when I say this because it must be said. I am so TEAM WARNER. AHHHH!
The War... Unravel Me takes us further into the war between the corrupt government and the rebels. We see how the people of Omega Point are rallying together to fight The Reestablishment. With their unique powers on their side, I can see the rebels having a fighting chance. But no one could have predicted what the bad guys were willing to do to win this war. We can only hope things will get better from here.
She's A Poet And Didn't Even Know It... The action was really good and the pacing was spot on because Unravel Me kept my interest the whole time. But, as always, it is the writing that hits this book out of the park. This series is not your basic book. This is art in the form of words. It's as close as a novel will ever come to poetry. I want to live in Mafi's head for forever just a day. It must be like Disney World for book nerds.
The Bad Juliette continues to self-deprecate and make horrible decisions because of her whacked out emotional/mental state. At one point I just wanted to yell at her, tell her to get her ass up and stop whining.
The Snuggly Holy Sexual Tension, Batman! Have you ever read a book that actually made you shiver? Not a chill, not a twitch. A bone-deep shiver that eats consumes your being and takes over your body. When sexual tension is so solid, so consumable that all you want to do is ingest it, gobble it up till there's nothing left. Well, that's what Unravel Me is like. I have never read a hotter YA book in my life. If you thought Shatter Me was naughty, then you will pass out, dream of the Hemsworth brothers feeding you calorie-free chocolate drizzled on their bodies, and wake up naked and crying after reading Unravel Me. And yes, we get some sexual touching this time and it is delish.
Final Thoughts Trying to review Unravel Me is like trying to describe Starry Night by Van Gogh to a blind person. No matter how hard you try, the full impact of the piece can only be fully realized by experiencing it first hand. There is nothing more I can say other than, READ THIS BOOK NOW! Chop, chop. Stop dilly-dallying. Highly recommended to EVERYONE.
Quotes All I know next are his arms, the desperate edge to his voice when he says my name, and I'm unraveling in his embrace, I'm frayed and falling apart and I'm making no effort to control the tremors in my bones and he's so hot his skin is so hot and I don't even know where I am anymore.
“The man is moody as hell.”
“I am not moody—”
“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ ‘No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.’ When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked—”
***** I want to study the secrets tucked between his elbows and the whispers caught behind his knees. I want to follow the line of his silhouette with my eyes and the tips of my fingers. I want to trace rivers and valleys along the curved muscle of his body.
"I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette--" ...more
At A Glance How the hell can a zombie book be romantic and poetic? I don't know. Ask Isaac Marion because he pulls it off without effort.
The Good Brains? What the hell did I just read? As long as I live, I don't think I will ever read another book like Warm Bodies again. This is not a normal zombie book. This book has love, humor, courage, and hope. What if not all zombies were mindless killing machines? What if they wanted to feel, to talk, to smile? Warm Bodies takes us through the mind of a zombie with thoughts and feelings. R may not be able to remember his life before he died, but that doesn't make him any less hopeful for a real life. His urges only intensify when he eats the brains of this guy Perry who happens to be in love with a girl. I think the concept of zombies reliving memories from eating their victims' brains was genius. It gave the zombies a reason, a purpose. And as R started to fall in love with Julie through her boyfriend's memories, I knew this book was going to keep my attention the whole time.
Braaaaaaiiiins!!! Warm Bodies was so many things, I don't even know where to begin. Okay, let's start with the humor. I laughed my ass off through this whole book. Zombie humor is my new favorite thing. Only zombies can make eating brains, getting married, "having" children, and walking mindlessly around seem hysterical. I really didn't expect the zombies to have such a structured system within their community, and by community I mean the airport they hang out at. But they actually have weddings, adoptions, schooling, sex (you have to see how zombies have sex, you will die laughing), and they even strategies when they go hunting.
More Brraaaaiiiins!!! This book also has its fair share of gore. Sure, R seems nice, and he even feels bad when he kills people, but Marion does not hold back on the reality of what zombies do. They eat people alive. It's horrific and gruesome and Marion describes it all with great detail. But then he goes and mixes it up with heartfelt moments. Moments where you forget R probably has warm flesh between his teeth, that he has a piece of brain in his pocket for later. You start to see R in a different light because we are with him every step of the way. He's not a bad guy, he's just dead...and hungry. And when he starts to protect Julie from the other zombies, you almost want to cry. He is so sweet. He does everything possible to make her comfortable, even facing his own final death to keep her safe.
Say No To Brains! There was also a lot of action in this book. We go through a couple bad guys. First, it's just other zombies who want to eat Julie, then it's the Bonies trying to stop the progress of the zombies healing themselves, and last, Julie's father. I won't even start with him because I am still a little confused by his situation. I also loved the themes in this book. Even it's tone. They all live in a dark world that is dying out slowly, but there is hope. Julie and R bring hope from some special place we will never understand. It may be silly, but sometimes love does concur all (did I seriously just way that?). I also loved how Marion never really reveals how zombies came to be. The world-building is pretty minimal since we are in the head of a zombie the whole time. It worked well though.
Will Work For Brains! And last, I have to talk about Marion's writing style. His prose is just freaking amazing. He doesn't just write a zombie book, he paints us a zombie book. His writing is very poetic and deep. The meaning behind every word was not lost on me. Some of what he writes is interpretive. It causes you to think, to analyze what he is truly trying to say, not just the words he uses. And turning R into a poetic zombie who sings Frank Sinatra was perfect. We needed to get past his zombie exterior somehow, especially since the romance is a major factor in this book. So humanizing R into an intelligent, analytical being was the perfect way to do it.
What Do We Want? Brains! When Do We Want Them? Brains! I can't wait for the movie. It seems like they followed the book very closely when making the movie, which is nice. I also wanted to mention that many people see this as YA book but I don't see it that way. Sure, nothing hugely sexual happens to keep it away from a YA rating, but the book has a more adult feel to me, or maybe a new adult feel. In the end, almost anyone can read this book, as long as they can get past the whole zombie romance. I know that has been the biggest complaint with readers so far.
The Bad The only thing that didn't work for me was the ending or to be more accurate, the last fighting scene. Some of it was confusing and some of it was anticlimactic. I expected a little more.
The Snuggly Though this book is very romantic in a lot of ways, the physical romance is very minimal. I think that's a good thing since R is a zombie. That's just gross. But the way R and Julie fell for each other was simply beautiful.
Final Thoughts Maybe this book isn't for everyone, but I know it was sure as hell for me. It had everything I often look for in a book: humor, action, romance, a unique twist on an old concept, and a writing style that appeals to me. I am just sad it had to end at all. I hope everyone who gives this book a chance can see it for what it is: Amazeballs. Highly recommended for everyone.
Quotes Sorry, I went a little overboard on the quotes. I just couldn't decide which ones to leave out, so I didn't.
In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.
My friend "M" says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can't smile, because your lips have rotted off.
I crush her against me. I want to be part of her. Not just inside her but all around her. I want our rib cages to crack open and our hearts to migrate and merge. I want our cells to braid together like living thread.
I notice a female on the opposite conveyor. She doesn't lurch or groan like most of us; her head just lolls from side to side. I like that about her.
Eating is not a pleasant business. I chew off a man's arm, and I hate it. Of course if I don't eat all of him, if I spare his brain, he'll rise up and follow me back to the airport, and that might make me feel better. I'll introduce him to everyone, and maybe we'll stand around and groan for a while.
We sit against the tiles of the bathroom wall with our legs sprawled out in front of us, passing the brain back and forth, taking small, leisurely bites and enjoying brief flashes of human experience.
"Good...shit," M wheezes.
He is gaping at a late-night soft-core movie. I don't know why he does this. Erotica is meaningless for us now. The blood doesn't pump, the passion doesn't surge. I've walked in on M with his 'girlfriends' before, and they're just standing there naked, staring at each other, sometimes rubbing their bodies together but looking tired and lost. ...more
At A Glance Except for the slow beginning, The Edge of Never rocked my book socks off. I want more already.
The Good Here's The Story... Camryn has had one of the worst few years of her life. Her parents got divorced, his brother is in jail, and her boyfriend, someone who might have been the love of her life, died in a car accident. Trying to move on with her life, she planned to move in with her best friend and start a new job. But after one fateful night at a club that went horribly wrong, Camryn just has to get away. She knew she always wanted something more in her life, and she is determined to find that on the road. With just a few belongings, Camryn boards a Greyhound bus to anywhere and nowhere. But she never expected to find Andrew on her journey. Camryn has closed her heart to love, but Andrew is slowly wedging his way in. Now on a road-trip together, Camryn is finding it harder to ignore her growing feelings for Andrew as he makes her feel alive for the first time in a long time. But Andrew has secrets that can ruin everything. Will Camryn be able to live through another heartbreak?
Laughing and Crying... Just. Wow. This book kicks you in the stomach, rips your heart out of your chest, and runs away laughing. Seriously. I had to sit alone for a little while after finishing The Edge of Never and just process the whole thing. There is such raw emotion emanating from each page. I wanted to laugh half the time and cry the rest. I am a little sad that it's over. I want to spend more time with Camryn and Andrew. I miss them.
Camryn... Camryn's past broke my heart. She has had bad thing after bad thing bring her further down into a spiral of sadness. She really does try to continue on with her life, but the sense that something is missing, that sense of adventure that has been stirring in her won't go away. And after what happened with her best friend, I think Camryn felt like it was the last straw. When Andrew came into the picture, Camryn was so grumpy and standoffish it was cute. Andrew thought so too. I totally understood why she kept Andrew at arms length. Letting people in after so many have let you down or left you is hard. But it was also frustrating. I just wanted to yell at her, "Love him already, you both deserve it!"
Andrew... When I first found out we also got to experience this book through Andrew's POV, I squealed like a little girl. Andrew opened my eyes to so much more of the world than Camryn did. Without his POV, this story would not have been as compelling. Andrew had so much passion, but he also had a past that had affected him greatly. I felt for him every step of the way. Especially when he was waiting for Camryn to finally admit that she loved him. When his secret was revealed, I wanted to punch him and hold him at the same time. I was genuinely surprised, I never guessed this twist.
Bone Deep... The writing was well done and the story was beautiful. The characters all made me feel something bone deep. The relationship between Camryn and Andrew built slowly from friendship to lovers to something so much more. These two are so intense it was hard to handle sometimes. Andrew pushes so many boundaries I was often left giggling or red with embarrassment.
In The Moment... The message behind this book is inspirational. To live in the moment. To never let love pass you by no matter the heartbreak that can come from it. To live everyday like it is your last. I want to be more like Camryn and Andrew. I admire them and respect the paths they chose. The Edge of Never is like a breath of fresh air.
The Bad The only part that really sucked was the beginning. It was soooooo slow. It finally picked up around 40% the way through. So yeah, be ready to grit your teeth and bare through the beginning before you get to the good stuff.
The Snuggly Though the feel of this book is New Adult, the sex is Adult. Well, I think so anyways. Andrew does not hold back anything and he loves to talk dirty, and it was SO FREAKIN' HOT! I loved how Andrew drew Camryn out of her sexual shell. I ended up blushing as much as she did. Hehehhe.
Final Thoughts I would love for there to be a book 2. I want to know even more about Camryn and Andrew. They fascinate me. Their love is so raw and consuming it made this story that much more amazing. This is a very highly recommended read.
Quotes “Heart always wins out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its way.”
“I don’t think you ever really fall out of love with someone. I think when you fall in love, like true love, it’s love for life. All the rest is just experience and delusions.”
“I think if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I've known you for a short time, but I feel like I've known you forever.”
"She looks slightly relieved, until she realizes I was making fun of her and she sticks her tongue out at me and crosses her eyes. Not sure why that made me want to do her in the backseat, but to each his own, I guess." ...more
At A Glance Hehehehehe. I just want to giggle every time I think of this book. It's hot, sexy, and hilarious. The perfect trio.
The Good Here's The Story... Saying Jocelyn is messed up is putting it lightly. She has worked hard at burying her emotions and forgetting her traumatic past. Friendships and relationships are a no-no because they only cause more pain in the end. Determined to start over, Jocelyn moves to Scotland to become a writer. First mistake: having a roommate. Ellie is sweet, kind, and inviting. But Jocelyn tries to keep herself distant even though Ellie is slowly crawling into her heart. Then comes Ellie's brother Braden. Second mistake: meeting Braden while naked. Yeah, no going back from that one. Braden is hot, charismatic, and charming. And he has his sights set on Jocelyn. But Jocelyn will not disrupt her perfect balance of solitary and aloofness for anybody. Then Braden proposes a 'just sex, no relationship' arrangement. Who can turn down a few nights with a sexy man with an accent? But Jocelyn doesn't know that Braden wants more, and he always gets what he wants.
Switching It Up... I have never read a book like this before. First off, its a romance but an unorthodox romance. In On Dublin Street, it's Braden who chases Jocelyn. Jocelyn is the one with relationship and intimacy issues. Because of her past, she doesn't trust getting close to people; she has become emotionally closed off. She continues to push Braden away while Braden tries to find new ways to win her over. I liked the somewhat role reversal, the idea of the woman not wanting a relationship. But don't feel too bad for Braden because he is a serial monogamist. But what did you expect. He's freakin gorgeous. Women throw themselves at him and he has every right to partake as long as he is single.
Jocelyn = Jennifer... Another thing that sets this book a part for me is that Jocelyn reminds me of myself...in a small way. She is a fantasy writer and hides her emotions. That's me in a nut shell. Sad, right? That's okay, it's still fun to pretend I am a real person. Maybe if I wish hard enough the blue fairy will come and make me a real girl. :) All I need is Braden to walk into my life and bam! Call me Jocelyn. Okay, enough about me and my robot emotions.
Jocelyn... I think Jocelyn is one of my favorite female characters of all time. I love strong, independent women who don't always go goo goo over guys. Jocelyn doesn't take Braden's crap. She holds out being with him longer than any sane girl could have abstained. Her stunted emotions made her unique and fun to read about. Her past is pretty horrible and I totally got why she is all messed up. I felt for her even when she was letting down the people around her. You can't always be there for other people when you yourself have issues to work out. It made her human and real because no one can handle every situation with grace. It was nice to see her grow and deal with her past, no matter how reluctant she was.
Braden... Braden is all sorts of yummy and charming. But he also comes across as an all around good guy. His relationship with his family and sister is the sweetest ever. He is understanding when it comes to Jocelyn's freak outs. He's also successful, rich, and lickable. Okay, okay, I'll stop. My brain is in the gutter today. Braden was one of the most perfect leading men ever. I literally can't think of one bad thing to say about him. He is a gentlemen in public and a tiger in bed. He can chitty chitty bang bang me any day. OMG, someone stop me! What does that even mean???
I'm a Real Girl Now... I felt all sorts of emotions in this book (yeah, yeah, earlier I said I was an emotional robot, but I didn't say I was consistent). It went darker then I could have guessed. Young pretty much almost ripped my heart out a couple times (hey, it may be small and shriveled but it still beats, people). On Dublin Street will take you on an emotional rollercoaster as you follow this couple as they weed through their past hurts and find love in each other's arms. (Wow, that last sentence was so profound I want to quote myself somewhere). But this book also has loads of hilarious moments where you will cry from laughter. Braden and Jocelyn are a perfect combo to brighten anyone's day.
The Bad I was going to give this book 4 stars. But once I started writing this review, I realized I liked it a little more than 4 stars but still not quite 5 stars. What stopped me from giving it 5 stars is that it took me a little while to really get into it and the ending was too rushed for my taste.
The Snuggly Ummmm, yeah. Expect some very steamy sex scenes. Though this book is not full-on erotic--which to me means a lot of sex with heavy sexual language--it toes the line for sure. It has crude language and detailed sex scenes but there is barely a handful of actual sex scenes. Still not for the faint of heart. But really, the awesome sex took this book to a whole other level. It added the perfect amount of spice.
Final Thoughts I am so happy people suggested this book to me. On Dublin Street blew my mind. It was different and fun to read. You know I'm mainly a paranormal reader, but I can't pass up the few contemporaries that know the meaning of a great story and characters. I will be looking into Young's other books because she really surprised me with this one. Highly recommended.
Quotes Best Quote Ever right here but very naughty. You have been warned: “A**hole.”
“Just for that, I expect you to wrap that dirty mouth of yours around my c**k tonight.” He narrowed his eyes on me.
I couldn’t believe he’d just said that to me in a fancy restaurant where anyone might overhear. “Are you kidding?”
“Babe,” he gave me a look that suggested I was missing the obvious, “I never kid about blowjobs.” Our waiter had descended on us just in time to hear those romantic words and his rosy cheeks betrayed his embarrassment. “Ready to order?” he croaked out.
“Yes,” Braden answered, obviously uncaring he’d been overhead. “I’ll have the steak, medium-rare.” He smiled softly at me. “What are you having?” He took a swig of water. He thought he was so cool and funny.
“Apparently sausage.” Braden choked on the water, coughing into his fists, his eyes bright with mirth as he put his glass back on the table.
"Are you okay, sir?” The waiter asked anxiously.
"I’m fine, I’m fine.”
“You’re good with the words, I’ll give you that.” “I’m good with my hands. Will you let me give you that?”
“I would say it was nice to meet you, but I was naked so… it wasn’t.” ...more
At A Glance I want to marry this book and have beautiful book babies with it.
The Good Abby is trying to live the straight and narrow life. She has a sinister past that she never wants to relive. Enter sexy, dangerous Travis. He likes to fight in the ring, sex up the girls, and flirt with everyone. But Abby seems oblivious to his charms. Trying to find a way to spend more time with Abby, Travis makes a bet with her that pretty much guarantees that Abby is stuck with him for a month. That's when the fun begins.
Holy sheep shearers this was a fantastic book. It wasn't perfect but a book doesn't have to be flaw free for me to love it. When I finished this book, I missed reading it right away. I almost reread it the next day. I could not put it down and I don't even know why. Did you ever read a book that just hit you in the right way? There is something about the combination of the characters, the story, and the romance that made me fall hopelessly in love with Beautiful Disaster.
First, we have Abby. I admired her right away. She's smart, funny, and kind, but she also knows how to have a good time. She's not afraid to voice her opinion or call Travis out on his crap. She was also flawed which made her feel real. She was way too stubborn sometimes and dragged out Travis's suffering for too long. But even the things that annoyed me about her were all part of the experience. I was genuinely surprised by what was revealed about her past but she handled it very well. I was like the characters in the book that got even more enamored with her once we found out her secrets.
Travis went through a lot of stages as a character. At first he is so cocky you want to grinned your teeth. Then he is so sweet your teeth almost hurt. Then he becomes so crazy, obsessed, and needy you want to pull out your own teeth. (Okay, where the hell did my sudden infatuation with teeth come from???) Travis took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I loved every minute of it. I think because he became best friends with Abby first, his love for her ran so deep that once they got together it physically hurt him to be apart from her. Even though it was a bit much, it was also cute. Who wouldn't want a guy that loved you that much?
I was thrilled when Abby and Travis finally got together and so dejected when they split; it was like I was living their lives as well. I was emotionally invested in this story the whole way through. I think that's what McGuire is so great at: She draws us into the story without effort. I forgot I was even reading a book. I could picture every scene, every tear, every sexual encounter. (hehehe) Hey, don't judge, I have to get my kicks somewhere. ;)
Even the side characters were amazing. America, frick yeah!!! Abby's best friend, America, is like the best friend we all want. She is loyal and supportive like no one I know. And Shepley, America's boyfriend, is the sweetest guy EVER!! I love him as much as I love Travis. Even Parker was interesting. I hated watching Abby be with Parker while Travis drowned himself in other girls. *Sighs* I wanted to yell at Travis and Abby as they tortured each other by denying their feelings. But it made for great entertainment!
The pacing was spot on, the plot was well written, and the drama was plenty. McGuire gave us flawed characters that made mistakes but knew how to love with all their hearts. McGuire made me love the contemporary romance genre, and that's a hard thing to do.
The Bad I don't have to wait for perfection to give a book 5 stars. I rate based on how much I loved the book, no matter the good or bad. Suffice it to say, I loved this book with every fiber of my being but that doesn't mean it was perfect.
There were three things that bothered me the most. I think this book was more about obsession rather than love. Travis was OBSESSED with Abby, and though I think they did love each other, this kind of obsession would be dangerous in real life.
I also think Travis was too violent. I got uncomfortable as he beat people's faces in many a times.
The ending was not my version of perfect. I can't say much since it would be a major spoiler but I don't like decisions that big being made by such young people.
The Snuggly So this is my first New Adult book. I was wondering how far the authors went when it came to sex. All I can say is yummmmm! I think this is the perfect amount of sexual content for older teenagers and so on. It's hot but not hugely detailed like you would find in an adult book.
Abby and Travis may have had a disastrous type of romance, but it was still endearing and sweet. They were also sizzling and hot together. It really was the perfect combination.
Final Thoughts I am like depressed now that I am not reading this book this minute. I think I caught Travis's obsessive tendencies because I am bananas over this book. I have the ebook but I think I want to buy the physical copy just so I can hold it and sniff it. Woah, who said that? I think many people will love this book, and, unfortunately, many will not like it at all. It's not for everyone, but it sure as hell was for me. Personally, I think this is a must read. Highly recommended.
PS: I am seriously going to reread this book right now. After talking about it so much, now I have to relive it.
Quotes “To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart," he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute f**king horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!” In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face. “WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “It's dangerous to need someone that much. You're trying to save him and he's hoping you can. You two are a disaster." I smiled at the ceiling. "It doesn't matter what or why it is. When it's good, Kara... it's beautiful.” ...more
At A Glance Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not like any other book I have read before. The writing and imagery is beautiful and the premise is completely unique. I die a little inside every day having to wait for the second book to come out.
The Good Here's the Story Karou has a unique life. Her days consist of drawing fantasy scenes in her sketch book, learning language through wishes, and collecting teeth for her monster friends. She was raised by monsters, nice monsters who have cared for her since birth and now have her collect teeth for a mysterious reason they have yet to reveal. It's a lonely life sometimes but at least she has some sort of family. Then everything changes when winged strangers mark certain doors around the world. These marks change Karou's life forever. Now separated from her family, Karou finds solace with one of the winged beings who hates the monsters she's involved with but loves her for everything she can't remember.
A New Favorite Author... The biggest thing I want to gush about is the beautiful writing. It was so descriptive and lyrical. It flowed flawlessly and rhythmically almost like a poem. I could picture everything in my head to precision. I almost feel like I had just watched a movie because all the pictures and scenes are still running through my head. Taylor knows her way around words, that's for sure. She built up the mystery and suspense in a way that made it hard to put this book down. And she is perfection when it comes to showing instead of telling. I can't wait to read more of Laini Talyor's work.
Karou... Karou, our blue-haired artist, was everything I would want in a protagonist. She has a mysterious past, she is smart, funny, and strong, and she has depth beyond imagining. I was drawn into her world and her role in it. I knew there was more to her than meets the eye and when all is revealed it is both heartbreaking and mesmerizing. Her part in the supernatural war is far more important than anyone can guess. Well, that's what I think anyways.
Akiva... Akiva is on the opposing side of the war. But even though being with Karou is against all the rules, he can't help himself. He is drawn to her, it's a pull that goes soul deep. He just has to convince her that she is more than just Karou. Akiva has many up hill battles ahead of him. His life is closely tied to Karous but he is hiding things that can ruin everything they ever had together. I feel bad for Akiva because I believe he is a great person but he has done some unforgivable things. But I have hope for him and Karou.
Zuzana is the Sh!t... I had to give Karou's best friend, Zuzana, her own paragraph. I just love everything about her. She is my favorite best friend character in all of bookland. She is beyond hilarious, she cares without prejudice, and...and...did I mention she was hilarious? I actually couldn't wait for her to come on the scene. You have to experience her to get what I am saying, it's hard to explain her because I can't do her justice with just words, that's Laini's job.
This is a SPOILER: I have to mention why I loved this story so much but it will spoil the surprise for some people who have yet to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone. You have been warned: I loved the concept of this story. Two races, the monsters below and the monsters above, call them demons and angels if you will. They both fight a war for war sake. They do not discuss compromises because neither will yeld to the other. And thousands are dying for reasons barely remembered. One side sees the war through gilded eyes and the other wants freedom but at the price of their souls. Neither will stop to see reason, which means this war is far from over. Is there ever really a winner when a society sacrifices it's own to win a war?
The Bad Only a few things to mention here. First, the POV shifting took me a little while to get use to but in the end I barely even noticed it.
When I thought back to this book after reading the last page I realized not a lot happens for a portion of the book. The first half is amazing, descriptive and beautiful, then the second half focuses on Akiva and Karou and them doing...nothing. Bad, bad pacing on Laini's part. The whole point of this book is finding out who Karou really is, which we only find out in the end. When it comes to action and story climaxes, it lacked a little in the second half and then was awesome again at the end.
The Snuggly There is definitely some yummy chemistry between Karou and Akiva. I like how deep their bond went, even farther than any of us could have imagined. It felt pure and...right. Any sexual activity or mention of it is YA-ish, so it's pretty safe for the teenager crowd. But it is still very hot and romantic. I love everything about Karou and Akiva being together.
Overall I enjoyed almost everything about Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It has mystery galore, it has a romance like no other, and we get left on a cliffhanger that was actually very exciting and not annoying like so many other cliffhangers I have read. This might just be my next favorite series. Highly recommended.
Quotes “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.” ~~~~~~~~~~~
“She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.” ~~~~~~~~~~~
“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him.” ...more
At A Glance I really loved this book. It was beautifully written and intense. However, with all the hype I expected a tiny bit more.
The Good Here's The Story... Caleb's focus for years has been to end the life of the man who has ruined countless lives, especially the life of the friend who saved Caleb from slavery. All Caleb has to do is train one last sex slave to get close enough to this monster so Caleb can kill him. But choosing Olivia as his victim proves to be a bad decision. Olivia is different and stirs something in Caleb he long thought dead.
Olivia wakes up to a world of darkness, pain, and humiliation. She doesn't know why, but Caleb has kidnapped her and is set on training her for something. He takes her on an erotic but scary ride that tests her strength and mental state. For despite Caleb's rough treatment, Olivia finds herself falling for him. She knows this is wrong but she can't help her growing feelings, no matter how bad she wants to escape her new horrific reality.
WTF... WTF did I just read? I don't know if I should be afraid or thrilled. I am leaving Captive in the Dark stunned. It was so horrible and endearing at the same time. How the hell does that happen? I have to give props to CJ for writing a book like no other I have ever read. I think my brain has turned to mush because I don't even know how to write this review.
Olivia... Okay, I will start off by saying that I LOVE Olivia. She is so brave and vulnerable. I think she acted like any of us would in that situation. She tries to hold on to her dignity by being difficult and unrelenting in the beginning but Caleb soon beats most of that out of her. But even when she becomes submissive, she still has this fire within her. I think Caleb brings it out of her. She takes chances to save herself even if they are dangerous. You would think Olivia would be an unappealing character for the fact that she starts to have feelings for her tormentor/kidnapper. But CJ makes us see the real side to Stockholm Syndrome. You easily sympathize with Olivia even as she hates Caleb one minute then seeks him out for comfort the next. Olivia even realizes that this isn't healthy, but she can't help herself. What would you do when the only human contact you had was both your enemy and your savior?
Training,,, What makes it all brilliant is that Caleb is amazing at manipulation and breaking down a person to their very soul. I don't think any normal human being could resist his methods of submission training. He uses a mixture of abuse and pain with kindness and gentleness. He beats the holy hell out of Olivia then massages her to relieve the pain. He treats her like a plaything then soothes her with kisses and comfort. He makes sure that after he mistreats her, she comes to him on her knees for security. He even uses the sexual pleasure he can give her to train her body to feel pleasure despite her reluctance.
Caleb... Caleb is a hauntingly effed up character. His career as a sex slave trainer was not what he wanted for his life. The abuse and slavery he experienced as a child has lead him to this path. All he wants is revenge, and he will use Olivia and anyone else to get it, no matter how much it starts to bother and hurt him. But all his years of training slaves for a horrible future is finally getting to him. This makes him a complex character, for you love and hate him. It feels like you shouldn't like him at all but his past makes you feel for him. And his few hints of kindness endears him to you no matter how hard you try to fight it. When he is terrible to Olivia, you hate him, but that glimmer of hope that he can be a better man keeps you glued to the page. You just never know what he is going to do next.
Disgusting... I have to say this though, this book is disgusting...but in a good way. It's so dark and perverse you can't look away. It's also intense and suspenseful. There is never a dull moment. You walk away from this novel heartbroken, disgusted by its brutality, and emotionally raw. I find this to be a good thing because anything that can make you feel this much is worth reading.
I Love/Hate You Captive in the Dark... Captive in the Dark deals with a lot of issues. Stockholm Syndrome for one. I never thought I could know what it feels like to have such a horrible ailment, but after reading this book, I feel like I am walking away with Stockholm Syndrome for this book. I want to hate it but I can't help going back for more. It's wrong, but I love it's brutality. The complexity of the situation these characters are in is so beyond me that I had to keep reading to see how CJ was going end it all because I had no clue.
Mindf**k... The writing was simply beautiful. We delve deep into the characters heads, more so with Olivia. I think that's how it's easy to sympathize with Olivia and Caleb even with their flaws. In the end, both characters, as well as the reader, are left psychologially messed up. Good times.
It's a Thinker... I like the questions this book raises as well. How much does it take to break someone? What are people willing to do to survive? Is pride worth the pain or is it okay to submit? At what point does the price of revenge go to high? CJ deals with these questions in a way that makes it impossible to leave this book for a second. You better be good at holding your bladder. I am for sure reading the second book of the duet series, Seduced in the Dark.
The Bad I can't really say there is anything bad about this book. It is rough to read sometimes but that's not really a bad thing. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the fact that so many people raved about it that I expected a little more. My expectations were to high. That doesn't mean this book wasn't amazeballs, it just didn't hit me as hard as my 5 star books. However, I did name this as one of my fav books of the year so make sure to take that into account.
The Snuggly As you probably know by now, this is not a gentle book. It has BDSM, pain, and sexual humiliation. It's not the roughest book I have ever read, but it does mess you up a little bit psychologically. Because you love/hate Caleb right along with Olivia. There are some very sweet moments too, so I think many people will like the kinda romance going on.
Final Thoughts Captive in the Dark is like a mind-f**k on steroids. It will leave you shaken but excited. And though I was blown away, I did feel like a little something was missing. I don't know what was missing, but it doesn't matter, because it didn't take away from my enjoyment of this book one bit, it just means one less half star. With that being said, everyone should read this book, well, probably not young adults, it would scare the crap out of them. Highly Recommend.
Quotes “He was my tormentor and my solace; the creator of the dark and the light within.”
“Caleb was a strange person, cruel and inhuman; a monster, and yet, at other times, he seemed so capable of something like caring. He made me cry and scream and shake with fear and nearly a split second later he could make me almost believe he wasn't responsible for any of it. He could hold me and make me feel safe. How was that possible?”
“Each day I was more vulnerable than the last. Each day he stripped away more of my sense of self. And now he'd taken the last of it, the last of me. But who did that make me? An extension of him? Someone new? I didn't know. Didn't want to know.”
The Dark Duet Series: Book #1: Captive in the Dark Book #2: Seduced in the Dark ...more
I am doing it. Finally, I am biting the bullet and finishing this series. I have put it off long enough. I didn’t want it to end. I love all the characters so much. I still have two more books until the actual end, thank God, but reading Ever After is so bittersweet. One step closure to saying goodbye. I don’t wanna!!!
The progression of this series blows me away. The characters have changed, magic has changed, the world has changed. Some changes are for the better, some are not. Some changes rip your heart out, put it in a blender, drain all the vital juices, dry it out, grind it into powder, and let demos snort it all up. Ever After had all those changes.
Rachel is still very flawed but she has grown so much. Her signature self-pity is still front and center, but that’s why I love her. Why can’t you feel sorry for yourself when bad things happens? No one else is going to. As always, Rachel and her friend’s lives are in danger, but shit gets super real in this installment. Spoiler: not everyone makes it. Rachel always does her best to save the world and she does a fine job this time around. Especially with her friends’ help.
Trent is a major player in this one. I hated him in the beginning of the series, and sometimes I still do, but he keeps growing on me. I loved his decision in the end. I could feel his remorse and determination to make it right.
Al was a big player in this one too. I have to admit, his and Rachel’s relationship is my favorite. Who would have ever imagined me rooting for the asshole demon who makes Rachel’s life more complicated and dangerous? Their friendship is so odd but scary adorable. You can tell he is so team Rachel, though he would never admit it.
Jenks is still my fav pixie ever. The best supporting character ever as well. He’s hilarious, brave, and just plain awesome. Ivy was MIA for most of the book and I was okay with that. We had enough characters to fill in.
The ever after is such a scary place to me, hell, it’s where demons live, hello, so I love any book that focuses on it. We got to learn so much more about it, as well as the demons and their origins. Their story pulled at the heart strings.
Ku Sox and Nick can suck it! I hate them so much. Great villains though. Great plot. Lots of action and mystery. I felt satisfied with every aspect of this story.
I just couldn’t think of anything big I didn’t like.
Rachel and Trent are getting there, but they still are holding back, for legit reasons. We get a pretty hot kiss though. The sexual content is low, so a YA reader could enjoy this.
Have you ever heard of that saying, “I hate to see you go but I love to watch you leave?” That’s how I feel about this series. Ever After was a great addiction to the ever expanding story, and I am excited to see how it all ends. Highly recommended.
“What are you doing now?” Al questioned “Seeing if your circumcision is gone? It is. My expression went blank, and Trent hesitated. He looked at me, and I put a hand to my mouth, face flaming. “Oh. My. God. Trent. I’m sorry” “Um” Trent said, clearly at a loss. “Call me tomorrow,” Al said seriously, “I’ve got a curse that will take care of that. Unless you like the snake in a turtleneck look”
“I am yours,” Trent gasped through clenched teeth, and my hand sprang from him, thinking I was betrayed. Trent fell to a knee, looking up at me, pleading. “I. Am. Yours. Claim me, Rachel! Damn your morals and claim me!”
“I want…” he said, then hesitated, taking a breath of air and lifting his chin. “I want one pure thing in my life,” he said loudly, his voice ringing in the red-tinted air. “I want one thing I can point to and say, ‘That is good, and it’s a part of me.”
“Piss on my daisies, we have to save the demons!” ...more