Sweet Reckoning is an explosive ending to a popular trilogy, a book that almost didn’t get published for an indefinite amount of time. While many will be preaching the words of Wendy Higgins, I unfortunately will not be joining the ranks of adoring fans.
I think what clinched the reading experience for me was how disconnected I felt from the story as a whole. The chemistry between Kaidan and Anna wasn’t as on point as I expected it to be, the plot twists weren’t as shocking as originally anticipated, and the ending felt subpar. I don’t anticipate that many others will feel the same way that I do, because this book has a lot of desirable elements. Wendy’s writing ensures that you’ll have a fun time reading. I also appreciated how much Anna has grown as a character. She’s significantly changed ever since we were first introduced to her in Sweet Evil. When I first got into her head two books ago, I got the impression that she a little annoying with how she vigilantly tried to maintain her innocence. But she’s a badass now! Anna is fierce and has a significantly better tolerance of vulgar terms. Even though that aspect doesn’t really matter, it plays a large role in a supposed prophecy that focuses on Anna and how she’ll put all the demons back into heaven.
Overall, Sweet Reckoning seemed too innocent. Maybe it was the fact that nothing truly challenging happened to Anna. I had a epiphany at the climax because I was thinking of how every Nephilim was either for Anna or against her. However, if they were against her, they were secretly for her, so she kind of had everything handed to her on a silver platter. Perhaps I’m glorifying the reality of the situation, but I never felt the true sense of danger in each situation, except for maybe this one section that I can’t disclose because of spoilers. It seemed that wherever Anna went, she had multiple allies to defend and protect her. While having a substantial amount of allies isn’t a bad thing at all, the fact that Anna was never surprised by anything because someone had told them beforehand what was going on really bothered me. The feeling of innocence also was in part to the fact that I had completely forgotten Sweet Peril and was underwhelmed by a lot of things because I didn’t remember many of the character relationships.
The ending was really rushed, and it was a big reason why I ended up deeming the book three stars. I feel like a plot twist was incorporated to add a sense of urgency, but then the initial impact wore off quickly. Basically, the problem was talked out of. They stopped threatening each other, bickered over all these different things, fought for about five minutes, and then everything was over. Kind of anticlimactic. if you ask me, and also I was a little disappointed with the happily ever after of the ending. Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril had all of these bittersweet sacrifices that I dared to hope the same thing would happen. Unfortunately, nothing did. There was one instance that was supposed to instill emotion, but I was still underwhelmed by it, despite how much I wanted to feel moved.(less)
Kasie West is officially one of my favorite authors, securing her position as one of the most talented authors I have ever had the privilege of reading. Her stories are lighthearted, captivating, and spine-tingling, Split Second being no exception.
From the first page, I was impatient and eager to see Addie and Trevor reunite, due to how strongly I shipped them ever since Pivot Point. Split Second picks up a few months after its predecessor, as Addie and Laila began dealing with the events of Pivot Point. With the added perspective of Laila, we still got to see the life inside the Compound and life outside, the best of both worlds. Laila was witty and her personality had me laughing out loud, especially her relationship with Connor. I didn't expect to enjoy their romance together, but where Addie and Trevor's relationship was cute and tender, Laila and Connor's was racing with sexual tension. My only issue with Laila was that she continuously strung Connor along, manipulating him even though she obviously had feelings for him. It wasn't a very prevalent issue, but something that bothered me when Laila completely disregarded Connor's feelings.
I didn't think I could love Addie and Trevor any more, but Kasie proved me wrong in one of the most satisfying methods possible. And given that I could barely remember any of the tender moments shared between the couple in the first book, it was a miracle I could still feel the same feelings that I did then. Split Second establishes the attraction between the two early on and further develops it as they share new moments that are actually palpable. The most heartbreaking thing about falling in love with Trevor through Addie's eyes is that Addie feels something extra lurking underneath the surface, like there was something she was missing, whereas Trevor was only meeting her for the first time.
Split Second is more romance-oriented than anything else, but it still contains the paranormal element that lacks in proper development, but with such compelling characters and relationships tying them together, who cares? The pacing is wonderful, as Laila and Connor work together to expand Laila's ability and Addie copes with what happened to her after their encounter with Bobby. The chapters meld together, and the events in one girl's perspective is carried over to the next, ideas and theories bouncing back and forth. The paranormal aspect is never lost on the actual story, and Kasie juggles two budding love stories and intense paranormal pacing like a seasoned pro. You would never be able to tell that this is her third book in two years; instead you'd think it was her tenth book in two decades, because the themes and mood of this story are spot-on and expertly executed. (less)
I loved Mind Games like no other for its wonderfully unique and weird story, but I didn’t feel the same way about Perfect Lies, despite how excited I was to begin this story. Perfect Lies was boring, confusing, and ridiculous, completely unlike its predecessor.
Perfect Lies, not unlike Mind Games, is told in Annie and Fia’s two points of views, but at different time periods that eventually join into one mutual point in time of “during”, where each chapter was a specific amount of time “before”. (i.e. Two Months Before, Nine Minutes Before, etc.) What first threw me off was the huge gap in between them, which baffled me. I quickly adjusted, and eventually continued with the flow of the story, even though I already had a disconnection to it. Then, when Annie was at the chapter heading of “28 Days Before,” but Fia was at the period of “Twelve Hours Before,” they were going through the same event, or had just met up someplace. Either I was highly delusional while reading this, or the time truly was an issue. It wasn’t as if they’re two climaxes were at different points of time, which is what I originally suspected. It turned out they both were referring to the same event, which in no way accounted for how they could be experiencing the same exact thing at different times. Even without the time issue, the length between their perspectives made it hard to follow two different plots at one time.
My next issue was the plot. With Fia, her narrative takes place in approximately five days. That’s not a lot of time, all things considered, so I was expecting a lot to happen. However, nothing happened. At all. Annie’s narrative began months before, giving us some time to recap what Fia had been doing while she was separated from Annie through a series of visions. However, the time between that was spent with Annie randomly wandering around doing nothing. Since it was also a year since Mind Games, I had forgotten everything there was to know about it, like what the Lerner group was, who Rafael was, and what was even happening. Because of my confusion in the first place from how separated they were, I was already disconnected from the plot, but with nothing happening aside from them running around doing nothing except maybe talk, I sought out excuses to stop reading this book.
While Fia is unique and volatile, just as I loved her in the first book, Perfect Lies stepped up her instability. While it was a fascinating facet of her inner dialogue that I enjoyed getting to dive deeper into, however it also hindered how well I enjoyed the book. I had no idea why she even decided to do half of the things that she chose to do. Fia’s inner dialogue consisted of her inner dialogue ranting about absolute nonsense, and I felt both bewildered and intrigued by her behavior. (less)
And yet another book fell victim to my book slump. It started off on a rocky note, morphing into a promising read by the end. But I couldn't ignore my feelings that occurred in the beginning no matter what I tried to do.
Waterfell's fatal flaw lied prevalently with the main character Nerissa. To put it lightly, she was so...stupid. She had no concept of what was going on around her, and she was oblivious to her surroundings. Let's be honest I saw half of the plot twists coming from the very first chapter and after clues kept hitting her over and over again in the head she just kept thinking, "No even though this is a really obvious clue there is no need to pay attention to it what are you talking about?" It happened multiple times throughout the entire book and by the time the big "plot twist" came about, lo and behold, Nerissa was shocked over her revelation, like she had never considered that as a possibility. It was kind of idiotic, in my opinion, how desperate Nerissa was to believe something and to get away from her fears that she would so blatantly ignore facts.
I suppose it wasn't fully because of Nerissa, but also because of the direct contradictions in the book. One second, Nerissa was being told that X wasn't a fairy, and the next thing you know, X actually was one. (Let the record show there aren't fairies in Waterfell it was merely utilized as an example.) She was reassured once, and she ate it up just because that was what she wanted to believe. Additionally, she was a total brat, and she was selfish, taking her own needs into consideration first or letting them affect other people who weren't involved at first. Nerissa spent most of the book in a feud with this one girl, and it got so bad that she almost threw away a field hockey game just because she refused to pass the ball to her. What?
The insta-love was also a major issue throughout the book. Nerissa met Lo and a few days after she couldn't even think straight around him. This kind of ties into her naïveté as a character, because a lot of her attraction was due to something that tied in with the plot twist. I could've forgiven that issue, since the plot twist was so obvious, had Nerissa not been 100% clueless to it. Either way, Nerissa and Lo were attracted to each other within a few chapters of the book, it so bad on Nerissa's part that she couldn't even speak around him.
While Waterfell did keep me engaged plot-wise, the overall effect had a negative impact. Much of the problems came from Nerissa's characters and the overall predictability of the plot. There were also a few issues with the writing and dialogue, but they were all overshadowed by the two big points mentioned above.(less)
Daisy Whitney's Starry Nights had it all: a gorgeous backdrop for the perfect depiction, the right blend of characters, yet it still fell flat.
I was honestly disappointed with how long it took me to get through a 300-page book such as this. The plot moved at a snail's pace, boring me beyond belief. From the synopsis, I thought Starry Nights to be a suspenseful and engaging read. Instead, I got a boring novel that kept me from reading it out of sheer lack of interest. While I know a lot of the beginning was used to set up the concept of Renoir's curse, it did anchor the plot. There wasn't anything to raise that anchor and keep the plot going, except for a romance that was flimsy at best. With the suspense, romance, and art history sections all vying for attention, something had to give. And that was the romance.
The romance developed way too quickly, because Clio and Julien went out for a few dates and then were confessing their love for each other. Furthermore, when they first met, Julien was having inner rants on how fabulous Clio was. The idea that Clio and Julien could even have a relationship blew my mind; in fact, I thought the whole was a little far-fetched, painting a blurry line between why the paintings came to life only at night and how touching your hand to a canvas worked without getting into trouble. There was literally a few paragraphs at the end of the book explaining how Julien got away with what he did with the paintings. One time, someone claimed to have stayed in the museum and waited until it closed to emerge from his hiding spot. First of all, how do the guards patrolling such a well-known museum check and find him? Why don't the security cameras catch him? There is a fine line between unrealistic—something I can understand for a story—and so out there I can't even sympathize with the story.
However, the one thing I loved about Starry Nights was the premise by itself. Not only did the freshly depicted foreign setting appeal to my romantic side, the incorporation of art history was unique and special. It was set in Paris! What's not to love about that? The hopeless romantic in me swooned over one of the most romantic places in the world. And then there was the art history aspect that hadn't been a major factor in a YA story before now, which created a luscious background to the story. All of the artists and the useless trivia I learned from reading this book is more than I've probably learned from going to a museum myself, and I love useless trivia.
While Starry Nights did leave me disappointed, I would definitely recommend it to those who have a soft spot for paintings and art in general. It's cute more than anything, and perfect for a younger young adult audience.(less)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, much to my delight, started with a bang and ended with one. There was high-quality action sprinkled in the middle, even though I use the world "sprinkled" very, very lightly.
In the beginning, we had a plethora of things going on, discovering that a vampire had crashed a party and killed everybody there except for two people: Tana and her ex, Aiden. There was also another vampire tied up to a bedpost, which automatically created an ominous and moody atmosphere. I was excited to see where things went, and even though I had a few misgivings initially, I found myself enjoying the buildup that created the essential air of suspense and danger necessary for the rest of the story to work.
However, one of the issues I had was the world-building. The world Tana lived in was fleshed out and detailed, but I didn't like the way Holly presented it. It was kind of like a subtle info-dump, where she spent whole chapters getting into the world, and it started to overpower the actual plot for the sake of painting an accurate picture. I appreciated her efforts, but it was heavy and jerky compared to the rest of the story. I enjoyed the background information, I truly did, because of how much it taught us about each individual character and their unique character traits. After a while, it became overwhelming with all of the new information we had to retain in such a short period of time.
Tana lived in a bleak, hopeless world, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn't about fixing the world or finding an escape. It was learning to live with her problems and all that life threw at her. I enjoyed the premise; surprisingly, I didn't find the vampire idea to be unoriginal and dull. It was adventurous in its own way, catching my attention almost immediately. The plot, though, was another factor that I must touch upon. For a book as big as it is, weighing in at 400 pages, not much happened. There was a lot of shopping, though. I didn't expect it to bother me, but it did. Holly spent pages going into great detail about what Tana bought with the money she got earlier, and I could honestly care less. I didn't want to read about her shopping trips, I wanted to read about the high stakes fights and struggles she went through in the last portion.
Desperate, brutal, and depressing, the vampire world Holly Black has created captured my attention and heart, although the plot that came along with it disappointed me more than I bargained for. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a perfect read for those who enjoy unique vampire stories.(less)
Within the first few minutes of opening Some Quiet Place, I knew that it would be different from all of the other books I've read. I was right, although I'm having a hard time figuring out if that's a good or bad thing.
Elizabeth was a peculiar character because she didn't feel a single emotion; she saw a personified version of them whenever someone felt that emotion. It was an interesting new idea, and I have to admit: at first, I was enraptured. For your main character to have no emotions yet be relatable is a hard feat, because what if readers don't connect with your protagonist for that very reason? I had that difficulty at first, struggling to relate to Elizabeth and her dysfunctional life. I respected and admired her as a character, but I could not connect with her. She was by no means a flat character, but at the same time her voice was a monotone.
Furthermore, Some Quiet Place was above all else intensely confusing. There were tons of different characters, and I couldn't distinct which one from which, so whenever they were brought up again, I had to think for a while before I understood to whom Kelsey was referring to. Consequently, the large list of characters made it impossibly hard to really care about any of them, so each plot twist was lost on me. I also would have liked a little more world-building in terms of why Elizabeth could see emotions. I got an explanation for probably everything else, except why she saw emotions instead of felt them.
As with most young adult books, there must be a romance stirred in somewhere. And there was. I actually loved the love interest, Fear. He was aloof, protective, (hot), and charming. Fear was a complex and intriguing character that kept me entertained for hours on end. What allured me to him was just him. He was so different compared to the other love interest (yes, my dears, we have a very small love triangle), and I just kept on coming back to him. The secondary characters like Fear really shaped the story and Elizabeth's character, even if they were so many of them that I stopped keeping track.
Fans of Kate Karyus Quinn's Another Little Piece will fall head-over-heels for Some Quiet Place. Filled with suspense, romance, and enough creative ideas to last a lifetime, Kelsey Sutton's debut novel has the power to sweep its readers away.(less)
After investing my time for two installments in the Tempest trilogy, I didn't think any harm would come of finishing it off, considering I highly enjoyed the first two books.
Unfortunately, I found so many flaws that I had not previously noticed. One of the more prominent issues was how awful Tempest was as a character. She tried to be strong and unflappable, but when it came down to it, she always let other people do her work for her or assist her in beating down the bad guys. I hated how she was prepared to run away instead of fighting for what she believed in. I can't quite fathom why Tempest behaved the way she did, but she was so selfish. Never did she stop thinking about herself and her needs, and never once did she even care about her city. Tempest only cared about herself and maybe three or four other people, and everyone else didn't even flit through her mind once. I don't remember seeing a single thought where she worried about the people in her city.
Tempest Revealed, being the very last book in a trilogy, has to end with a bang that will leave you with a lasting impression. You expect the ending to be that of pizazz and sacrifice, but that's not what happened. The big showdown that happened between Tempest and Tiamat basically happened within two or three pages; it glorified everything and made it seem like what happened was like eating a pie: straightforward. Additionally, the resolution was picture-perfect. To avoid giving away any more than I already have, I'll just make another one of my odd metaphors. Let's say a marshmallow and a strawberry both want chocolate's attention. Chocolate ends up with a strawberry, and the marshmallow hooks up with a graham cracker, which actually benefits chocolate.
Speaking of the romantic outcome, the sequence of events leading to Tempest's choice completely infuriated me. Mark was so bossy, he just couldn't stop telling Tempest what to do and controlling her, as if he had that right. Actually, BOTH Kona and Mark flipped out if Tempest didn't listen to one of them. I mean, I know Tempest isn't the smartest fish in the water (see what I did there?) but at least give her some credit. She's not some puppet, and as much as I really hate her sometimes, I wished everyone would give her some space. However, despite all of the flaws, I just kept on reading because something about Tempest Revealed was just addicting.
While disappointing and less than what I expected, Tempest Revealed is addicting, and it has its really fabulous moments. I'd recommend it for anyone who loves Tracy's other novels. It's emotionally perfect, but maybe technically flawed.(less)
I tried to love this one. I really did. But we didn't have a very healthy relationship.
The dialogue was simply atrocious. They said the most unrealistic things to each other, and it was painful to experience I can't even begin to explain how much I cringed from how cheesy and ridiculous some of their lines were. Additionally, our characters were so inconsistent. After Obsession was told in two point of views: Alan's and Aimee's. The hard thing about it was that two different authors wrote each perspective and it did nothing for anybody. In Aimee's point of view, Alan would be making jokes and then when we saw things through Alan's point of view, he was dry and dull and so serious. The way that they were portrayed was directly contradictory with the way they actually were. When the characters tried to align themselves with the other's image, it just sounded foreign and awkward and horrible.
Another thing that grated my nerves was how they were said to be strong characters, and yet they continuously relied on other people to bail them out.
It was always, "Aimee/Alan's in a dangerous situation again."
"Oh, that's okay! There are these holy spirits and stuff that are going to save them/call for help/keep them from dying."
"So they're cool then?"
"Yep! They just begged out loud in the most ridiculous way for some great spirits to help them. 'Onawa, help me! Protect this house from eeevviiiillll and guard myself!' Now those spirits will save their butts and you can go back to sleep."
"Awesome. I knew Alan didn't need me!"
"...You're his brain..."
Finally, I have one more issue with After Obsession--Aimee's complete naivete. Picture this: New guy comes to town and all these crazy, creepy stuff starts happening. New guy happens to be half Navajo and into his heritage, like, a lot. People start dying and acting weird. Hmm, who could possibly be behind all of this? No, it's definitely not this mysterious new guy. No way, it's actually this creepy ghost/soul/spirit that Aimee's mother said was trying to haunt her. Oh, and the mom also had bipolar disorder and was called crazy, before she allegedly committed suicide. What's wrong with that picture? I don't know much about bipolar disorder, but if it was bad enough that the town people called her insane, then obviously something's up. It annoyed me to pieces that Aimee didn't even consider the more logical conclusion.
I could go on and on, breaking down every single thing wrong with After Obsession, but the major things were the relationship that moved too fast, the complete idiocy of our characters, and the ridiculousness of the dialogue.(less)
I have one word to describe Insomnia: addicting. We have a fresh idea incorporated with flawless execution, and I couldn't get enough of JR Johansson's debut.
The dominant topic here is both exhilarating and unlike any other. Parker has a special ability to experience the dreams of the last person they made eye contact with. The only catch is that he doesn't get any real sleep because his brain is active during all of the dreams. I truly felt so sorry for Parker because when he finally got the chance to get one night of well-deserved rest, who could blame him for wanting it again? Even as he spiraled downward into insanity and obsession, I still couldn't help but love his character and his voice. JR keeps Parker's inner turmoil from becoming unbearable, but she still gives us enough to understand why he does some of the things he's doing. When things get even more rough for him, seeing him fight to make things right and his angst truly made all of Insomnia shine.
The creep-factor here was so intense and scary that I was wishing I could hide under the covers and never come out. The ending is a little disappointing because of our magnitude of characters, which in turn led to a lack of build-up for some characters, which led to a not-so-shocking ending when we find out who was behind everything. However, the creepiness of the mystery itself is intimidating and could compensate, for the most part, for the last few scenes. Parker is so messed up in the best way, with inner monsters and self-doubt and the need to protect all of his close companions and loved ones. In addition, Parker himself caused a lot of the creepiness, which I loved. When your main character is the primary source for all of the endless crazy, you know you have a good story.
While reading Insomnia, you accumulate a few questions regarding how Parker came upon this unfortunate condition, let's call it. Near the end, I grew slowly more distressed because I still hadn't received my answer. Contrary to where you think I'm going, I wasn't worried anymore by the end. JR set us up with a promise of more to come and a small sneak peek of how Parker may have gotten his insomnia. It did enough to both satisfy me for the time being and get me pumped for the second book in the series, and not just because I want to see more of Parker and his compelling point of view.
Addicting and so creepy you'll be running for a night light, Insomnia will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning, turning the pages over and over and over again until you flip to the last page. It's a perfect contender for fans of the scary mystery.
PS—This publishes on my birthday! I LOVE IT.(less)
I just couldn't finish it after 50%. Nothing was interesting me, and Michael's constant complaining started to irk me more and more as we went on. The...moreI just couldn't finish it after 50%. Nothing was interesting me, and Michael's constant complaining started to irk me more and more as we went on. The plot was so boring, there was practically no world-building, and I just couldn't get through it. I don't remember anything from the book when I last put it down. I stopped it when I got bored to read a different book, and then that book turned into two, then three, and soon I'd been putting this away for a month. A month is when I draw the line, and if I don't feel motivated to read it and finish it, then I know that I'm never going to finish it.
While I can see what other people might have liked about it, I thought Michael was whiny, the plot went nowhere and was way too predictable, and the supporting characters irked me too. (less)
Anna's voice is perhaps one of the best I've ever read. You really get into her head and figure out what she's thinking. Additionally, I love her wit. She's so funny and quick that you can't help but laugh at her responses to certain questions. Her passion for magic was also so admirable, because she had done it for such a long time and it made her unbelievably happy. I have a certain soft spot for the books that contain these smidgens of bright spots in our main character's lives. Although Anna does grow a significant amount in terms of her relationship with her mom, she's always known that she wants to entertain people with her magic act, which made me think, "There's a girl who has her head screwed on straight."
Born of Illusion is essentially a historical fiction with a significant element of magic. It's magic, but not glamours of fey or the spells of wizards. It's classic Harry Houdini-style magic. Speaking of which, Houdini even lived when this book took place, so he made a few appearances, which I relished because although I don't know much about Houdini, Teri's take on him was a sweet spot. Furthermore, we have a bunch of tricks that got incorporated into the story, like unlocking yourself from a bunch of chains or undoing a tight knot that binds your hands together. That element along gave all of the story an extra "Oomph!" which, in turn, made me ecstatic beyond belief at the originality.
Ambitiously plotted, Teri Brown weaved several things to make the story fly by with the endless amount of hububaloo. I couldn't get enough of the way this plot was mapped out, making it effortless to follow along and read through Anna's point of view. However, with all of the hububaloo came the inevitable confusion. (Don't forget I confuse so easily that it isn't exactly surprising I was this flabbergasted.) I will be the first to say that there was too much going on. There's quite a large cast and most of them have a very significant factor in the story, so we have to spend a lot of time building them up, which leaves a little bit of space left to deliver the plot in a coherent manner. Born of Illusion, in the end, was slightly more anticlimactic than I had anticipated because of how much happened in such a small period.
Original, captivating, and riddled with magic, Born of Illusion will have you spoiling to go to a seance or a magic show in the very near future. This one is a definite hit for historical fiction fans and even people who don't mind historical fiction but would rather stay away from it!(less)
Rogue, the thrilling conclusion to the Croak trilogy, was just as hilarious, witty, and gripping as I expected.
I had read Scorch half a year ago, but with almost no recollection of it as I began Rogue, I had high hopes. Just like its two predecessors, the dry humor and wit was palpable, and I was cracking up at the sarcasm oozing out of each page. If you loved Croak and Scorch purely because of its hilarity, then Rogue will be everything you anticipated. Uncle Mort, Lex, and Driggs were a riot, and they definitely kept the book from feeling heavy or run-down with the dense premise. I don't know how Gina did it, but every joke just continued to get wittier and wittier; I was surprised that she hadn't run out of comments to make. Not only that, but Lex's inner dialogue was just as laugh-out-loud worthy. The small little comments she added in here and there was enough to not only make me laugh manically, but it was also enough to make Lex's voice really pop.
One of my favorite aspects of the Croak trilogy—with the humor leading the race, of course—has always been how relatable and fun the characters are. It was so easy to relate to Lex, and her motive behind the things she did made it impossible to hate her, no matter how much everybody else wanted to punch her face. She even considered herself evil, but at the same time, she was so detached from her opinion that it led me to the conclusion that she didn't believe what she said about herself. It doesn't make sense, the way I'm portraying it, but you could tell in Rogue how Lex was just trying to do the right thing; at least, what she thought in her heart was the right thing. She was just so passionate about her family and loved ones and being a Grim.
I was feeling iffy in the beginning, and wondering if I would love Rogue as much as I wanted, but I should never have had second thoughts. What this final book was ultimately about was Lex's character development and her as a Grim. Drawing upon the comment I made earlier about how Lex thought she was evil, she grew so much from Croak, and even from the first few pages of Rogue. While I thought the ending was a little rushed in some parts, the last few chapters tugged at my heartstrings, where Lex came in a full circle, completing the entire trilogy. There was some ambiguity, and even with that one cliché scene where I wanted to fall over, it was a touching ending nonetheless.
An achingly heartbreaking tale of sacrifice, love, and wit, Rogue is a surefire hit and one of the best paranormal books I've read in a while. Those who have not begun the Croak trilogy have been missing out!(less)
While I certainly enjoyed Transparent by Natalie Whipple to a certain extent, there were a few issues that prevented me from fully loving it.
Overall, I enjoyed Transparent. It had those core qualities: originality, characterization, language, and romance, all of which were executed with flying colors. But the fact that I'm really tired of seeing books that always have these common qualities must have turned me off. If I highlight this one thing I liked, it seems like the same thing I highlighted in a previous review. As I read, I was looking desperately for something that I could say with a definite, "This part blew me away." I needed something that would leave me kind of dazed, and leave me with a message. There were definitely a few parts that were above average, but only one portion significantly stood out to make curb my opinion and rating.
I absolutely hated Fiona's dad. He was sinister and evil and the ultimate charmer. His presence enhanced the overall feel by so much. Without him, I might have thought everything was way too cheesy, but her dad added this uncharted sense of danger to Transparent. Obviously, when you want to strangle someone (basically most of Fiona's parental figures), it's a good sign because you're particularly passionate about them. I would strangle Fiona's dad, oldest brother, and mom within inches of their lives if I could. I hated/loved them that much.
Transparent does have its fair share of plot inconsistencies, when you think about it. There's the prominent factor of how it's normal that a majority of the population has these special superhuman or unnatural talents. What perturbed me even more was the fact that there was no explanation. There was a brief paragraph or so explaining it early on, and then it was the end of the world-building. Maybe there was more, but the fact that I couldn't remember any of it for the life of me was a huge problem. I wanted to understand this world Fiona lived in. I wanted to hug some of these characters because of how vulnerable were because of these odd gifts they possessed. Most importantly, I wanted to feel as if I had been transported into this world as well.
Then again, I hate most science fiction, so coming from me, this was a definite score. Transparent will be a science fiction gift sent from above for fans of this particular genre, and I don't hesitate recommending it to those who are!(less)
Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan incorporates both mystery and paranormal genres into one book that makes for a fairly enticing premise.
When we're first introduced to Llona, our protagonist, you don't understand exactly what her power is until later when we slowly piece together what's going on. What I liked about this was the fact that Rachel didn't dump all this information on you within the first few chapters; she gave you enough to explain the current situation, and built up that information until you had all you needed. The way the exposition is done in Fractured Light is so vital to the rest of the book because this idea is so original and so untouched that you need a lot of information. However, you can't just have one chapter all about information and nothing to drive the plot forward, which is what Rachel balances so easily and effortlessly in Fractured Light.
Another aspect of Fractured Light that I loved was the fact that there was a fantastic romance. The romance was just so insanely sweet that I was grinning like a total idiot by the time I'd gotten to the end because like I said above, Rachel has this uncanny ability to manipulate what would be a regular cliche into a totally different subject that...isn't. If you know what I mean. Christian and Llona had this kind of romance that was your typical forbidden romance but at the same time it was the kind that took your breath away in the sense that it progressively got better and better and better until you had no other choice but to explode from all of the FEELS.
Along with such positives we also get some negatives, revolving mainly around the plot. For one, it felt at times that nothing significant was happening concerning the plot, mainly the fact of the mystery. I was expecting a high-action novel with a lot of intense moment but I didn't get that at all. Although there were moments where I was eager to discover what happened next, others were kind of dull. This, I have found, is a direct resultant from the fact that the plot was so very predictable. By the time I met some of the characters I thought, "Oh he's going to be the bad guy. He's going to help her. She's going to be someone important to Llona. She's going to die." And the vicious cycle goes on. Of course, not ALL of these things happened; I'm just modeling examples.
Fractured Light will appeal to many readers who like their romances progressive yet sweet, their plots mild yet entertaining, and their premises fresh yet creative.(less)
Can I just say how epically awesome that cover is? I usually don't talk about covers, but this one give you a billion and a half reasons to buy Apollyon, just based on the cover. And the fact that the inside is just as beautiful as the outside doesn't hurt either. (I sound like a lovestruck boy. Just ignore me)
If you've read Elixir, the novella between the contents of Deity and Apollyon, then you basically understand a large amount of what happens between the events of the two novels. (Find the novella for free here) Elixir is told in Aiden's point of view, which sets you up for Apollyon. It's not necessary to read this novella first, but it definitely is a great filler in between! The main thing I was worried about with Apollyon was that Alex would be an unlikeable character. But, Jennifer managed to balance Alex's personality so that she was likable and didn't put me off.
Another thing I liked about Apollyon was how the plot didn't just focus on Alex. There's a lot of stuff that goes down in this new installment to the Covenant series, and while Alex played a large part, a lot of new events happened to keep the readers guessing. Furthermore, Jen is not afraid to make us wail with despair, and cause the main characters distress and grief. When you raise the stakes, you get one heck of a really kick-butt book. And Apollyon did just that; it blends action and really hot romance into one amazing book!
Jennifer L. Armentrout is known for her extremely hot romances, and Apollyon is no exception! In Half-Blood, Pure, and Deity, we get to know Aiden and Seth, get to choose who we want to end up with Alex, and reap the benefits of reading through these make-out sessions. (Okay that sounded totally pervy, but you get what I mean. Kind of.) Apollyon, like Deity, is all about Aiden St. Delphi, who is the perfect fit for Alex! And he is the kind of love interest that everybody wants in real life, with the good looks and the glowing personality. He's charismatic, which makes it easy for us to fall for him, and the way he unconditionally loves Alex melts the heart.
The only disappointing aspect of Apollyon was the writing. It has a lot of that "tell, don't show" kind of aspect, which leaves very little to the imagination. As a result, some of the chapters ended up a little bland and boring, despite how intense some of them were.
A wonderful addition to the coveted and treasured Covenant series, Apollyon lays everything on the table, bringing sacrifice, new and high stakes, and a love story that will transcend time.(less)
Just like the first book Croak, Scorch delivers a witty and imaginative story, adding suspense to the series and setting up for a fantastic ending.
Easily enough, the banter between Lex and Drigss is ever-present and hilarious. Gina Damico manages to balance the intense story line of Scorch with a light, fun dialogue between all of our characters. Lex, our protagonist and narrator, is a very complex character, who doesn't really agree with the standard reaper rules but still wants to stay true to these same exact rules. We are introduced to these characteristics fairly early on, and what I loved the most about Lex was how badly she wanted to do good with her ability as a grim reaper. Our other leading characters, where most of them were Junior reapers, but they were all so compassionate and real and tough. On a side note, I just need to tell you how much I love Lex and Driggs as a couple. Driggs was just as hilarious as Lex, and they were both so awkward and real and...it was just entertaining beyond belief.
Funny person + another funny person = MAGIC!
Most of Scorch centered around an uprising in the reaper town of Croak, kind of like a dystopian rebellion. All of the adult reapers, or Seniors, were fighting against the reapers-in-training, or Juniors, arguing that Juniors should be banned from Croak, given what happened before. This got me so pumped up and prepared for the third book because of how unjustly the Juniors were treated. I was all like, "NO DON'T BE MEAN POTATOES!" Because the amount of judgment on the Seniors' parts because of a FEW Junior's actions was totally unspeakable. It was despicable and at the same time made me love all of our characters (not the evil ones) so much more.
Another thing I loved was how suspenseful and utterly shocking Scorch's plot was. Since it's told in third person, everyone has secrets, even our narrator Lex. Some of the discoveries we made were so heart-wrenching and nerve-racking that I was about to break down into tears if the current situation wasn't solved, and fast. I couldn't put it down; everything about it just grabbed me and refused to let go. Gina managed to tie everything together so the revelations made actual sense, and she ended the book with a satisfying ending that, at the same time, created a perfect set-up for the third book in the series.
Hilariously awkward yet utterly shocking, Scorch by Gina Damico will capture your soul from page one and rip it apart and put it back together and then rip it apart again. (Kind of like Voldemort!) Fans of hilarious action novels will devour this series.(less)
I originally bought this on behalf of a friend (I bet you can ALL guess who that is) but I'm so happy I decided to read it myself before passing it on!
The Shadow Society started like a typical paranormal romance, in the high school scene. There was a girl, Darcy, and a mysterious love interest, Conn. Before you denounce this novel, bear with me. That part was only present for probably three or so chapters before we hit a spike in the plot, and dove into the real action. Darcy went onto this whole adventure, learning more about herself, and she may have fell in love with Conn along the way. Darcy herself was a normal girl, mainly just trying to graduate high school and get into a good art school, before her entire life just flipped over.
The romance was, hands down, my favorite part. Okay, I'll admit, maybe not my absolute favorite, but it gave me those undeniable romantic flutters. It started off with something that could be considered insta-love, BUT. BUT, BUT, BUT. The romance escalated and that initial attraction turned into something deeper and intimate. I couldn't help but smile at Darcy and Conn's moments together; they were just so epically cute!
Aside from the romance, there was also an action-packed plot that made you go, "WHEE!" The idea of Shades was extremely promising to begin with, and Marie delivers all the way through. I would've liked a little more emphasis on Shades, however. There were major plot holes concerning the Shades that I hope are resolved, like what split the two worlds? Why are Shades on our planet? There was a little paragraph describing how Shades probably came to be, but I didn't find it to be wholly satisfying at the end. Hopefully the sequel will have more information on Shades.
The Shadow Society is an intriguing paranormal that include parallel universes, a realistic heroine who will grab at your sense of adventure, and a romance that will make your heart ache. This is a definite recommend!(less)
I think I'm in love with Gina Damico. First, she hooks me with a promising story of grim reapers, and then she made me crack up innumerable times during Croak.
First, we need to talk about Croak's protagonist--Lex. She was gutsy and impulsive and I loved every minute of it! Every last word. She had the dangerous chick vibe going on and then at the same time, she was compassionate and caring about what was going on in her life. Lex didn't take things sitting down and she didn't stop until she got what she wanted and she was satisfied. She was aloof and broody but at the same time, underneath those layers of I-don't-care-now-get-away-from-me, she was extremely loyal and would do anything for the ones she cared out, whether they be friends, family, or even strangers she didn't know as long as she felt they deserved help and support.
Another character I loved was our love interest, Driggs. From their first awkward and hilarious encounter to all of their equally awkward moments afterwards, I loved the romance and chemistry between them. Driggs was the best possible pairing for Lex and he was always there to protect and hold Lex back when she was provoked. Everything about their relationship had me swooning one second and laughing until my stomach hurt to the point where I thought it was going to explode the next.
I also loved the mystery aspect of Croak. It wasn't just a story on how Lex learned how to use her scythe and become a competent reaper. It was a mystery that unfolded slowly as Lex lived life as a grim reaper. The mystery was unpredictable as well, and also extremely intriguing. At the end of Croak, everything finally fell into place, but not before I had my fair share of gasps and "Oh no he/she didn't!"s. Additionally, it wasn't a random add-on used as a flimsy plot device to create suspense at the last second. It was something that was gradually built on that led to a heart-stopping ending.
Gripping, mysterious, romantic, and definitely hilarious, Croak will grab your heart and won't let go until the very last page. Croak is full of twists, turns, and shocking surprises that will have you questioning whether anyone can possibly be that cruel. Seriously. Someone get me that sequel NOW.(less)
Ciel has some seriously loose morals. She's so...WANTON. (Vocab word!) Like she was kissing two guys back to back which was jst a little quirk I notic...moreCiel has some seriously loose morals. She's so...WANTON. (Vocab word!) Like she was kissing two guys back to back which was jst a little quirk I noticed. I mean, this is adult, so I probably won't be reviewing on my blog anytime very soon, but her morals were all over the place and she was really indecisive, which was a little good and bad.
And the background was a little confusing at first, but I got it afterwards. Other than that, this was a great read especially for adult fans! :) Definitely worth it, trust me!(less)
Rachel Hawkins has done it again! In School Spirits, we're introduced to the Brannicks' story, and their fight for survival, where we don't have any cute Prodigium, but we certainly have a beautiful adventure nonetheless.
Izzy Brannick, who's sent to Ideal, Mississippi to investigate a ghost haunting at a local school, isn't the best defender of evil, all things considered, but she's hungering to prove to her mom Aislinn that she can handle her own missions. What first endeared me to Izzy was her fiery nature. Subsequently, I fell more and more in love with her, which was a major reason School Spirits flew by so quickly for me. One second, I was ten percent of the way through, and the next I was fifty percent, and the next I was done. It certainly didn't surprise me, since Rachel has done this to me before, where the pages flew by at a blinding speed, so I was glad and sad I finished it so quickly. Glad because it meant I truly enjoyed it, but sad because there was no more left to enjoy.
As expected with Rachel Hawkins, we expect a lot of that normal snark that all of her characters have. Only this time, it wasn't there. I kept expecting Izzy or Dex or Anderson or Romy to bust out a snarky comment to make me laugh crazily, but it never came, which disappointed me so much. Aside from a few puns here and there, I was quite forlorn over the lack of that classic Rachel-snark that I knew could be put it into School Spirits. It's not the fact that Izzy is a plain Jane, but it's rather the fact that I expected her to be so gut-wrenchingly funny from her character traits and what I picked up from her.
Our love interest Dex definitely needs some discussing. He had his own little backstory, and it was made extremely clear very early on. I liked that mystery aspect of it, since the ghost-haunting case was 90% solved by the first half. To avoid boredom, I made a lot of theories about Dex, and I enjoyed seeing whether I was correct or wrong. I even ventured outrageous guesses, like, "Dex is a unicorn. No! He's a ghost hunter! Wait, he's her COUSIN!" Obviously, this was me having a little too much fun, but fun regardless. Additionally, it was an entertaining way for me to test my own detective skills, so I could be just like Izzy and her friends.
Fast-paced, and shocking, I loved every minute of School Spirits. Fans of the Hex Hall trilogy will fall in love all over again with School Spirits. (less)
Chantress was a really surprising read for me, not only because I found myself enjoying it, but it also came with the fact that my three-star ratings are usually associated with some of the tour books I receive. But that was not the case here.
What I loved most about Chantress was the this whole Chantress idea. As a singer myself, I really could sympathize with Lucy's struggle to learn how to sing. She went through hours and hours and hours of scales and songs, and she did it with such determination. Lucy wasn't one to keel over and admit defeat as soon as things got tough, and in a way it was really inspiring. It kind of made you think that if she could be this heroine who saved the day, when she started off as a plain Jane, then you could definitely do it, as well. Not to mention, she had a fantastic group of supporters who would risk everything to help her right the wrongs in the world.
With every heroine, there usually is a love interest that will swoop her off her feet and carry her off into the sunset. In this case, that love interest's name was Nat. I didn't really agree with their romance, considering the fact that they encountered each other possibly once or twice in the entire story. Subsequently after, Lucy's friends were noticing how Nat looked at her with such desire, that the romance felt too rushed. There wasn't anything physical that happened, but it still felt like a fake attraction from the beginning. Their relationship didn't develop any further either, until maybe the very last few chapters.
However, another very positive aspect was definitely the plot. I just kept turning and turning the pages until I reached the very end, and then I was wondering where all the time went. I just couldn't help but get lost in the story of Lucy and her heritage; soon I was on the last page and wondering where the last three hours had went. It was definitely something that Amy accomplished with flying colors and I loved every single second of it. Also, because Chantress didn't focus primarily on the historical fiction part, and more on the paranormal part, even if you despise historical fiction, you will definitely really enjoy this one!
Unique and inspirational, Chantress is perfect for those who love or hate historical fiction, and it's perfect for those who love paranormal stories with an engaging plot. This one will not disappoint.(less)
Entice by Jessica Shirvington, the sequel to Embrace, was equal parts thrilling and a satisfying sequel in the Violet Eden series. In Entice, Violet and her friends dive deeper into the idea of the Grigori, unmasking what Violet's destiny is, and just what it takes to get there.
As I was beginning Entice, I was honestly clueless. I had completely forgotten half of what had happened in Embrace so I was left scratching my head over the names and the terms. The only thing I did remember was the fact that Violet and Lincoln are friends. I wish that Jessica had recapped a little more about what had happened in Embrace but it's mainly my fault for forgetting most of the storyline in Embrace after reading it so long ago.
However, on the positive side, I love the romance that held strong in Entice. I love how Lincoln cares so much for Violet and he wants to protect her even if it means putting himself into danger. The romance between Violet and Lincoln is so electrifying that I could keep reading the Violet Eden just for the romance. Of course, there were also many more really fantastic qualities about Entice, but the this point kept me so engaged. The attraction between Violet and Lincoln felt so real and pure that I couldn't help but silently root for them. They had swoon-worthy moments, tender moments, and frustrating moments where I just wanted to push them together and tell them to kiss already.
Entice's idea is so ingenious it's impossible not to like it. There were so many different types of angels—dark and light angels, and then even more of a variety within those two categories—and so many more layers and "castes" of angels. I appreciate how Jessica took so much time and effort in researching the angels and incorporating so many ideas into her story without making it seem too full and overloaded.
Furthermore, her secondary characters were so rich and full of layers. The villains had me despising them and some had me pitying them. Not only were her main characters really complex and dynamic, Jessica made sure to carry that same admirable quality into her supporting characters. The roles they played in the story were so major and none of Entice's characters were there because they needed to be.
One thing that was also a turn-off was the fact that Violet seemed to be that "special" case who had some epic destiny. This happens a lot in YA books, because usually you have nothing to write about otherwise. Of course, revealing what her talents would be spoilery, so I've made up random examples. Violet was not only The Best Baker That's Ever Lived, but she's also The Only Person in the World Who Can Bake This Super Hard Recipe Right. Okay, those are pretty lame cover-ups but you get my point.
Overall, Entice was enthralling, adventurous, and although I had a few bones to pick with it, it was most definitely worth the read.
After the big kaboosh that was Sweet Evil, you expect Sweet Peril to be even a bigger kaboosh, or at least not fall prey to Second Book Syndrome. Luckily, Sweet Peril did all of those things.
Anna Whitt, our protagonist, resident nice, innocent girl, is surprisingly not what I expected her to be. Yes, I read the first book and I got a fair glimpse of who she was as a person, but her innocence act eventually started to make me want to gag and spit. I mean, who's really that nice, full of empathy , and innocent? Also while being the daughter of the Duke of drugs and alcohol? I can understand her wanting too remain with all morals intact, but the way she acted over the littlest things...it just didn't work. Anna constantly went on about how she needed to be good and how she couldn't be any different from her usual pure self. Oh my God, please give me a break. These days, the odds of a teen being that perfect is unheard of. Especially when she's in love with a guy like Kaidan.
Aside from that, everything else was phenomenal. Kaidan, especially. Can I just gush and gush and gush over how fantastic he is as a character? He's your typical bad boy, and he is such a grapefruit. No, you didn't hear me wrong. He is a grapefruit. I have an explanation though! Because I had just eaten a red grapefruit and finished Sweet Peril moments before, my mind was a little cloudy. As I was thinking of how I could describe Kaidan to a friend, grapefruit just popped into my mind so I used it. Because that particularly grapefruit was red, like the color of Lust, which is Kaidan's sin. In addition, grapefruits are sweet yet kind of sour, which is exactly Kaidan's personality, if you translate those qualities into human traits.
Sweet Peril is the perfect read for those who are fans of romantic tension. With a character like Kaidan, who's hot and sexy and can drive a girl mad, you can't really expect any less can you? The scenes between Anna and Kaidan are both hot yet totally adorable. Although you don't see Kaidan until at least halfway through, Wendy Higgins has a way of successfully transitioning you to that part without losing too much of your interest. Then when he actually shows up, you better get some fans ready for a swoon overload. The way that Wendy delivers on the Kai/Anna scenes is reminiscent of a guilty pleasure. It's enough to take in moderation, but you still crave it whenever you can't eat that food. Which is exactly what you could call Kai. A guilty pleasure.
Oozing with romantic tension, a hot YA book boy, and everything that made Sweet Evil fantastic, Sweet Peril doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Fans everywhere will enjoy Wendy Higgins' latest novel.(less)
JL Bryan has managed to take two things I am absolutely in love with and put them together into one awesome book: fairies and music. The fairies because the Iron Fey is my favorite series ever, and the villans in Fairy Metal Thunder were fey, and the main characters in the Iron Fey were fey. Music because, well, I technically am a budding musician. If you put that into a book full of action, adventure, and creativity, then you pretty much have my most latest obsession: Fairy Metal Thunder.
Fairy Metal Thunder may be a short book, but it packs a lot of punch. Every page oozes with a lot of action and adventure. There isn't a dull moment in Fairy Metal Thunder and it's fast-paced and the plot moves really smoothly and quickly. Contrary to what you may think, with the fast pace, you still get to see that character development in the beginning that's key to the rest of the novel. Even though the story is told in third person, which throws me off occasionally, I still felt really attached to the characters and I wanted to know what they were thinking.
The writing style used in Fairy Metal Thunder did throw me off at first, and I didn't feel very invested in the story, but soon after I felt like I had jumped into the story and I was Jason's shadow. As soon as I got into the story the pages flew by and I was at the last scene just like that. The scenes were extremely vivid and well explained, and I really connected to every aspect of the story as soon as I had gotten used to the writing style that was used to write Fairy Metal Thunder.
The story of Fairy Metal Thunder was so original that you fell in love with the story as soon as you flipped that first page. The premise of these fey musical instruments was so out of the box and I haven't seen anything else like it. Fairy Metal Thunder is an extremely fun book that would appeal to almost any young adult out there looking for a nice, short paranormal read in between heavier books. While many paranormal books are extremely dark, Fairy Metal Thunder is shrouded with a lightness despite the overall concept. However, the concept of Fairy Metal Thunder is fairly dark and there are unicorns, trolls, and so much more.
A fun, thrilling fairy book, Fairy Metal Thunder will have you captured by the originality of the idea and the amazing storyline.
Once again, Jennifer Armentrout doesn't fail to impress me with her writing style, her characters, and her constant snark. Pure was just as good as Half-Blood and I am practically salivating to get my hands on a copy of Deity. I'm even more excited that my copy of Pure was signed to me and, not to mention, I got to meet Jennifer recently and she is totally awesome. I stalked her like crazy and abducted all her swag. So if I ever send something to you it might end up in your package.
In Pure, Alex only got stronger. She was a dynamic character who had learned her lesson in Half-Blood and she was much more cautious about where she was stepping. I loved how sarcastic and witty she was, too. She would have the best comebacks to pretty much everything and I was always laughing at most of them. Obviously, not as good as Daemon from Jennifer's Lux series, but a close second. As always, she was tough, yet she had feelings. She was so loyal to her friends and the people she loved that it just made my heart ache at times. And that plot twist that really tested Alex's boundaries? That was heartbreaking and at the same time genius.
Also, in Pure we got to know Seth better. In Half-Blood Alex and Aiden formed a relationship and in this novel we got to see the other half of the love triangle. It still seemed like Alex was still head-over-heels for Aiden but we started to glimpse some bonds forming between her and Seth. I'm still Team Aiden though, thank you very much. I just can't get over that picture that Jennifer chose for his button in the YA Crush Tourney. I mean, it's so...ack! *stares* And besides, I always like the guys with some really complicated past.
The pacing in Pure was also amazing. Every page had so much action and I loved all the new sub-plots introduced. There was a new concept introduced and every page filled itself with a ton of content and nothing was every dry or lacked something. Everything just moved by so fast and I just couldn't stop reading! I kept turning and turning the pages begging for it to keep going, and now I really wish I had a copy of Deity. I'm feeling Jennifer Armentrout withdrawal. I really am.
Beautifully written and a wonderful addition to the Covenant series, Pure will have any fan of Jennifer's previous works swooning and wanting more.
Don't let this cover fool you. While it may seem lackluster and commonplace, just another indie author's novel, that is definitely not the case. For Ever is a paranormal romance, it's not a historical fiction, it's not nonfiction, it's not whatever the cover screams in your mind; it's a paranormal romance, and a pretty good one at that. It is a little Twilight-esque in some areas of the novel, although I enjoyed For Ever way more than I ever did Twilight. Seriously. Way more.
I really did like Wren when I first met her. She's not a very strong character, but she isn't whiny. Although she relies a lot on Ever's help throughout For Ever, Wren was still loyal and dedicated to her friends and family. Near the ending of For Ever, Wren was faced with a gut-wrenching choice and she ended up making a really honorable choice to protect her friends. I mean, every human is selfish, we all want to live, but Wren is a loyal, devoted character and she stayed that way throughout most of the novel. However, Wren did get to me sometimes. It seemed that she was in love with Ever only because of his rakishly good looks, but what about what was on the inside? There wasn't much substance in their romance which kind of turned me off.
The plot of For Ever was definitely intriguing. For Ever was more of a romance, and then a paranormal novel rather than a paranormal romance. If you appreciate there being a dominant quality of romance in a paranormal novel, then I will be the first to recommend For Ever to you. The novel was more about the fact that Wren and Ever were falling in love rather than Wren's ability to read minds and Ever's. However, as a romance junkie, I did love the romantic element to it and I thought it was a nice touch and I really enjoyed that aspect of For Ever. If you aren't a big fan of a dominant romantic quality in a novel, I would pass on For Ever, but if you do like that, then For Ever would definitely be recommended to you.
I ate up For Ever. The way that For Ever is laid out made it extremely easy for me to just sit back and absorb it. I didn't have to read, I could easily absorb the story and I didn't have to provide any effort to read For Ever. The writing was extremely well done and the pages just flew by for me. I was on page 10, but then I looked up and saw that hours had gone by and I was almost done with it. The writing flowed smoothly and didn't trip me up and jerk me around like some novels' writing style do.
With well-developed main characters, a smooth writing style, and plenty of romance, For Ever will come highly recommended by many readers.
After reading multiple positive reviews of Shade, I was more than excited to start it for myself. After turning that very last page of Shade, I could understand what everybody loved so much about it, but it fell a little short for me. The craziest thing that prevented me from loving this book was...believe it or not...the cover model. In Shade, there was an intimate scene between Logan and Aura and I could envision it happening, and Aura was the cover model, and...just...ugh. No. No, no, no, no, no. I've had this complaint before with separate books, but I can't shake that scene from my head and it was completely distracting for the rest of the book. Don't ask me why, it just was.
In addition, the initial world-building fazed me. Like, a lot. For example, I had no idea what the "Shift" was. Obviously Aura was struggling to find out why the Shift had started, but I jumped in blind when I started Shade and had no real conception of what was going on. I wanted some type of explanation of what the Shift was instead of running back and forth aimlessly trying to understand what it was and why Aura was so set on researching it.
And, my last complaint was I didn't believe the romance. Like, at all. It wasn't the most convincing romance relationship out there, despite how most of Shade was built based on the romance. I personally thought Aura and Zachary was a much better couple, and it may just be me, but I am totally #TeamKilt. But Shade was dedicated to Aura and Logan's relationship, although I didn't feel they had any strong connection. It felt like Logan was all wrong for Aura also, because Aura kept saying how she'd never be Logan's first and foremost love, that his love of being in front of a crowd would.
However, those were very minor, even though I managed to squeeze a paragraph out of each of those issues. The writing was extremely amazing and I will definitely be on the look-out for more of Jeri Smith-Ready's books, depending on how the whole Logan-Aura thing is solved. The writing kept me from putting down the book and although I struggled with a few things, it was still totally worth the read and a gripping novel with an original premise. And besides, who doesn't love a foreign maybe-love interest?
Overall, Shade was a gripping novel, although some aspects of it didn't draw me in as well as I would have wanted at first.
In the epic finale of the treasured Unearthly series, Cynthia Hand delivers all you could ever want in an end to a series with Boundless.
As the ending to a trilogy, Boundless has a lot of pressure going for it. It has to wrap everything up, make you reminisce over the previous books, and end up a series with a bang like no other all at once. So, it's not bad for anyone to assume that Cynthia Hand was going to deliver on a fantastic last novel in her Unearthly trilogy. This, my friends, is what happened. There was a plot to drive it home, with our ending that both infuriates and satisfies a reader beyond compare. If you've read any other spoiler-free review of Boundless, you'll understand when I say that a review is really hard to write given the amount of information you have to process. It limits the amount of plot events to tell your friends, but it also proves to make a fantastic novel.
Another thing that I was going crazy over was the romance. The Unearthly series has, arguably, one of the best love triangles. It leaves you feeling torn between these two boys Tucker and Christian, because both are favorable and strong love interests. Sometimes one might slip to the back to let another get his moment, but overall these boys were insanely well-matched. And even if you hate one boy, trust me, by the end of Boundless you will love both. Obviously, the point of a love triangle is to keep you torn between two boys so what fun would it be if I told you who Clara ends up with? Okay, I'll tell you. *whispers* She ends up with either Christian or Tucker! It isn't a love square so you can stop holding your breaths.
Past that total things-only-Eileen-is-entertained-by moment, my only one complaint is the ending. Yes, Boundless does satisfy most readers, but I felt that there was more that could've been said. I'm going to make up a totally random example to demonstrate my point. Let's say Clara was choosing between a cake and a pie, and decided to eat the cake. Boundless had a way of making you wonder, "What happened to the pie? Did Jeffrey eat it? What happened to Jeffrey? He was in the room just a while ago with Angela. Hey why is Angela holding that fork?" One question just led to another and I felt it led the ending to feel rushed.
Boundless delivers on a captivating finale to this treasured-by-many series, with romance, sacrifice, and heart-pounding thrills. Fans of paranormal romances should definitely try this series out!(less)
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout was a surprisingly underwhelming read. Every expectation I had set was unfortunately not met, despite the hype this addition to the Lux series has been getting upon its release.
Jennifer is known for her extremely hot romances, especially the ones between Katy and Daemon. However, in Opal, the romance had been reduced from a boil to a simmer, and a lot of the scenes between our protagonists were really mushy, sweet scenes. This is the first thing that went wrong. Looking back, I realize that the main thing driving the plot forward with the Lux series was these hot romantic moments. Now, since there aren't any more of those things, I felt like nothing else could've moved the plot forward from where it began. It got so bad that by the end, I didn't care one little bit what happened to Katy and Daemon, although my brain was telling me to feel something; my heart just refused to cooperate. (It's cheesy line day here!)
Another problem I had was the tell-not-show aspect of Jennifer's writing. While there are a ton of examples of figurative language, see of the writing still came off as stiff and un-exciting. Randomly, if Katy "giggled" one more time, I think I would be under the risk of snatching her out of Opal. And subsequently throwing her against a wall.
However, Opal's strong point was the plot. I loved the intensity of it, and although the writing downgraded its initial impact, I still could tell how insanely amazing the plot was. It became more intense than the first two books, switching from a cautionary, safe plot to an explosive, never-ending whirlwind of action. We learn a lot more about our characters, and a lot of the characters introduced in Obsidian and Onyx make a reappearance in Opal as bigger characters.
While a slightly unsatisfying read, Opal does manage to hype me up for the fourth book with its enticing plot line and strong characters.(less)