The Academy is a book that was recommended to me by somebody (I forget who now) absolutely ages ago. It's been on my TBR file on my Kindle forever, anThe Academy is a book that was recommended to me by somebody (I forget who now) absolutely ages ago. It's been on my TBR file on my Kindle forever, and one day while I was waiting for something (probably the doctor's) I decided to give it a go.
Set in the future, The Academy is told from the heroine, Kristina Jameson's point of view. Kristina has a twin Kristopher, who's father expects to enroll in an academy for boys, in order for him to get a commission to the space corps. The problem is, Kristopher has no interest in flying his own ship, all he wants to do is study music, something which is unacceptable to their father, who's keen for them to uphold the family tradition. Kristina on the other hand would love nothing more than to go the academy, she's the one who excels at astro navigation and inter-dimensional calculus. Unfortunately for Kris, she's a girl and so her only option is to attend charm school. Something she's clearly not interested in.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Kris manages to fool her way into The Royal Academy by pretending that she's Kristopher. She ends up rooming with an outwardly surly young man called North, and ends up inadvertently making an enemy of one of the main bully boys in the school.
When Kris lands in a dorm room with North, she realises that she may not have thought things through, especially when it came to how to manage her personal hygiene in private. The showers were communal, and the students were restricted in terms of when they could make use of the them. This opportunity to shower was so limited that Kris was unable to shower for a few days, until help came from an unexpected quarter.
This was really a delightful story, and Kris was an engaging heroine. North seemed rude and surly when he first appeared, but gradually him and Kris developed an awkward friendship, that turned into something rather wonderful. Kris was teased because she was smaller than the other boys, so North was instinctively protective of her, obviously having no idea that Kris was in fact a girl. North develops feelings for Kris, and is very confused because he's always liked girls.
I loved the ebb and flow of the book, it moved along at a fairly brisk pace, and didn't really have spare moments for my mind to wander off. I think the author handled the confusion of North coming to terms with his sexuality really well, and even though the reader knows that Kris is a girl, there was a moment in the book that North's feelings for Kris overrode the confusion and shame over his sexuality. There was a really beautiful moment in the book, where North throws off the shackles of his predetermined sexuality, and embraced his new feelings for another 'boy'. I can't lie, I may have cheered a little when that happened.
The villain of the piece was a scrote called Broward and he was the absolute worst. I think that he was actually the weakest part of the story because Ms Andrews made him cookie-cutter, "I will murder you in your sleep" bad, and so there were no layers to peel back, he was just an asshole who needed to die. Sometimes readers prefer to have black and white feelings about their villains. I am not one of those readers. All Broward needed was a handle bar mustache to twirl and his cookie-cutter-ness would have been complete.
That was pretty much my only niggle, ok maybe that and the obligatory campy homosexual teacher.
Overall a really solid effort by Ms Andrews, I eagerly await her next YA book.
Sarah Mayberry is one of those authors that I trust with my reading time. It doesn't matter whether she's writing a category book or a full novel, sheSarah Mayberry is one of those authors that I trust with my reading time. It doesn't matter whether she's writing a category book or a full novel, she always manages to infuse so much heart into every page. I loved Mel and Flynn together, and separately. Mel had been through an emotionally abusive marriage, and she'd come through it, albeit proverbially bruised and battered, and a lot more unsure of herself than she used to be. I loved that even in her vulnerable moments, she was self aware enough to understand that she was broken, and she wanted to get better.
The relationship between the Mel and Flynn was lovely. I loved that Flynn was the one who wanted the Happily Ever After, and Mel was the one who just wanted a casual relationship, it was a nice juxtaposition from the norm.
I think if you're familiar with Mayberry's writing and you've liked what she's done previously, then prepare to enjoy All They Need, and prepare to fall in love with Flynn....more
Oh I loved this book so much. Loved Eveline, loved Graeme, loved the plot. I loved everything about it. Well done Maya Banks, another bloody good readOh I loved this book so much. Loved Eveline, loved Graeme, loved the plot. I loved everything about it. Well done Maya Banks, another bloody good read....more
I'm a total sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story, and I have to say, Let Me Be The One was fantastic.
This isn't a book that will grab you by theI'm a total sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story, and I have to say, Let Me Be The One was fantastic.
This isn't a book that will grab you by the nuts and totally screw with you, it's not full of TSTL moments instigated by the heroine, or moments of assholiness from the hero, no no, not at all. This book was a gentle spring day, with occasional bursts of rain, but mostly filled with sunshine.
I know the above sounds kind of whimsical, and dare I say corny, but that's how Let Me Be The One made me feel.
It was great to once again meet a heroine who not only had common sense, but also one who's vulnerability and sensitivity didn't turn her into a walking, talking moron.
Vicki Bennett was a sculptress, who'd met Ryan Sullivan back when she was in high school. They'd immediately connected, after Vicki saved Ryan's life.
Connecting with her peers had always been an issue for Vicki, as her and her family never stayed anywhere long enough to make any real friends. But Ryan changed all that.
This excerpt in the prologue when Vicki was recalling their first meeting, made me feel all warm and fuzzy:
"Ryan made everything seem so easy though, as if the only thing that wouldn't make sense was them not hanging out.
By the end of their trip to the art store and back, she knew all about his seven siblings, he knew she had two annoying little brothers, he'd told her what he liked about baseball, she'd told him what she loved about sculpting, and she'd been invited to dinner at the Sullivan house.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The best one she'd ever had."
Because Vicki was an army brat, just over a year later, her and her family had to relocate again. Vicki was devastated to be leaving Ryan, but the two of them kept in touch for the next fifteen years, through emails and phone calls.
Vicki had been secretly in love with her best friend, but because she didn't believe she was Ryan's type, and didn't want to irreparably damage their friendship by confessing her love, she kept her feelings to herself.
Years later, newly divorced from her artist Italian husband of ten years, Vicki comes home.
Ryan is of course ecstatic to see her again after all this time, because unbeknownst to Vicki, he'd also harboured his own secret crush on her when they'd been teenagers.
Ryan was a hero to die for, which is weird, because out of all of the Sullivan brothers, his book wasn't one that I was particularly looking forward to reading, but I have to say, Ms Andre did an amazing job with his story.
What I loved about Ryan and Vicki's relationship was how their friendship really rang true to me. Of course I, as the reader knew that they were secretly in love with each other, but that knowledge didn't detract from the essence of their friendship. They genuinely enjoyed being together, and only wanted the best for each other. The sudden realisation that they could be more, only added to what I thought was already a cracking story.
There were no huge moments of conflict, they didn't argue needlessly, they were honest with each other, and actually, the only issue they had, was that neither knew that the other felt the same way.
Let Me Be The One was a book that had you routing for both the hero and the heroine, I was desperate for them to realise that they were in love with each other, but fear of ruining a great friendship kept stopping them from making a move.
However, when 'the move' came, it was epic. Their love scenes were hot, made all the hotter, by the fact that as the reader, I'd had to endure countless near-miss kisses. I have to say though, the anticipation of their getting together, made the wait, worth while.
Like I said, this isn't a book that's chock full of conflict or action, fanfare or explosions, instead it's a book about two great friends who made it an absolute pleasure for this reader to watch them fall deeper in love....more
Please be warned, there are major spoilers ahead, and it's a ranty review with lots of swear words, do not read if you haven't read Mockingjay yet. YoPlease be warned, there are major spoilers ahead, and it's a ranty review with lots of swear words, do not read if you haven't read Mockingjay yet. You have been warned.
I LOVED the first Hunger Games book, and raced through the second installment knowing that the third would be all about Katniss and the rebels fighting against the cruelty of the Capitol and trying to bring them down. I also knew that Katniss and the Rebels would prevail in the end, her family would be safe, and she would decide who she wanted to be with between Peeeta and Gale. I totally knew that that's how things would work out. I knew it. I did. I KNEW IT. Sigh.
I finally come to the third book.
In this final installment, I foolishly expected Katniss to become the architect of her own destiny, I expected her to come into her own, make her own decisions, and not be dragged along by everybody else who had their own agenda. She'd pretty much had no choice in anything she did throughout the first two books, and to my utter dismay, it was the same with this one too. I kept on with the book though because I understood that sometimes destiny can be forced upon people, rather than those individuals choosing their own paths to it.
Then, when it looked like The Rebels led by Katniss (well, Katniss was just the figurehead, she wasn't leading shit) were on the cusp of victory, Suzanne Collins decides it would be a great idea to kill off Katniss's sister, her main reason for doing everything she's done ever since Prim's name was called at the Reaping. What. The. Actual. Fuck?
It was bad enough that her beloved Cinna was killed off, Finnicke killed just after his wedding to the love of his life, Peeta's memories Hijacked, and Gale badly wounded over and over again, Ms Collins then decides to land the biggest blow of all by having Prim blown to bits. In front of Katniss. Really Ms Collins? Fucking REALLY????? I was RAGING!!!
One of the other reasons that I'd looked forward to the final book was to watch President Snow get his comeuppance. I wanted to revel in his downfall, and glory in the fact that Katniss would have her final revenge for all the people he'd cruelly murdered. For Rue, for her father, for Cinna. But no, once again Ms Collins had to royally fuck that up for me by introducing a last minute villain, who in my opinion, should have been the example of how powerful people don't always have to be morally-bankrupt. But no, we get Coin, the president of the 13th District, who along with everybody else has her own agenda when it comes to Katniss, and is really no different to President Snow.
I can't tell you how mad I was when it was revealed that Snow wasn't the one who ordered the silver parachutes that killed all those children, including Prim, I mean come on, what the ever loving fuck? I'd been invested in Snow's villainy from the very first page of the first book. He was evil incarnate, there was nothing he wouldn't have done, yet, we get this half-assed plot where the person who Katniss is basically working for, is the person who gives the orders for Prim and other children to be blown to bits, in order to expedite the Capitol's surrender. Really Ms Collins? REALLY!!!!!
And even after that atrocious bit of plotting, Katniss never gets to make a choice between Gale and Peeta, her choice is made by default. What the fuck? Where was the happy-ending? Surely the reader could have at least had that to cling onto after the author unceremoniously had Prim blown to bits? RAGING!
Katniss had grown so much as a person, yet in the end, she was still a passenger to fate and other people's ambitions for her. She never wanted children, but even that was more or less forced upon her. When I read the very last word, all I wanted to do was to delete the book off my Kindle. If it wasn't for the fact that I'd loved the first book so much, I really would have.
As I read this book, and can't remember whether it was ok or not, I'm going ahead and giving it just one stars. I'm pretty sure it was a freebie, butAs I read this book, and can't remember whether it was ok or not, I'm going ahead and giving it just one stars. I'm pretty sure it was a freebie, but I don't even remember that. Sigh....more
This was such a fun book. R.L. Mathewson has been a real find, (this is me ignoring the odd typo in my Kindle copy) and I have to say, I've enjoyed thThis was such a fun book. R.L. Mathewson has been a real find, (this is me ignoring the odd typo in my Kindle copy) and I have to say, I've enjoyed the majority her books, and Playing For Keeps was no different.
Usually I hate wimpy females, but I have to say I didn't feel that way about Haley at all. I got her and I was able to empathise with her, and it was quite clear from the beginning that she was fully able to stand up for the things that she really believed in. You understood more about how she'd ended up being this passive person when her family were introduced. They were mostly douchebags, especially her mother, but she did have a great granny who was especially good at wielding her cane. Comedy gold, she was!
Jason was basically a good guy, and although he'd done his best to aggravate Haley since she'd moved in next door, it was fairly obvious that he had a soft spot for her.
I loved their relationship, and I have to say, there were moments during the book where I actually laughed out aloud, and that is such a rare occurrence when reading romance books these days.
I can't help but chuckle to myself when I recall some of the extreme measure Jason went to, in order to stop Haley from dating other guys, whilst denying his own interest in her. There was a particularly funny incident involving him being found by one of Haley's over-amorous dates, tied up on her bed, in just his boxer shorts. Hilarious.
One of my favourite plot lines in the book was commitment-phobe Jason and Haley sleeping in the same bed out of necessity once, then finding that neither can sleep well without the other, which led to mostly Jason climbing through Haley's window to sleep in the same bed as her. I really loved those scenes, and it was something I'd never come across in a romance book before, so bravo to Ms Mathewson for coming up with it.
Ms Mathewson is a fantastic find, and I look forward to more books from her in the future. ...more
I totally raced through catching Fire because in my mind, it was just a filler until the main course, which of course the third book should have been.I totally raced through catching Fire because in my mind, it was just a filler until the main course, which of course the third book should have been. It takes some effort to recall exactly what happens in Catching Fire if I'm honest. But still, it was good enough for three stars....more
Not quite as good as Easy, mostly because I spent a fair amount of time hating Reid, the selfish asshole. I preferred the heroine, because although shNot quite as good as Easy, mostly because I spent a fair amount of time hating Reid, the selfish asshole. I preferred the heroine, because although she could have easily been a Mary Sue type character, she had enough un-angelic traits that made her more believable. She could be a tad judgemental, especially when it came to Reid, but seeing as he was such a monumental arsehole, I totally got why. What I did like about Dori was that actually she was pretty self-aware, and she did question her behaviour whenever she caught herself being uncharacteristically harsh with him. What Ms Webber does well in this book is to develop Reid's character. He went from being a total asshole who had never taken any responsibility for his actions, and had never cared about anybody else in his entire life, to somebody who wanted the girl he'd fallen in love with to have everything she wanted, even if that meant letting her go.
In the end Reid won me over, and I applaud Ms Webber's great writing for this phenomenon, because quite frankly, even halfway through the book, I had my doubts that she could redeem him to my satisfaction. A good solid three out if five stars for Good For You....more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found the heroine engaging and the hero was lovely. It was nice to see these two people who had always disliked eachI thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found the heroine engaging and the hero was lovely. It was nice to see these two people who had always disliked each other intensely, first of all fall in lust, then eventually in love. I do love Sarah Mayberry's writing, she has a way of making the reader empathise with even her most unsympathetic characters. I have to say though, Violet and Martin were both great characters. On the surface, Martin was stiff and uptight, and Violet was seemingly free and easy, yet both of them had backgrounds that explained why they were the way they were. Another fantastic book from a wonderful weaver of romance stories. ...more
Loved, loved, loved this book! I don't read college set romances very often, but I read the blurb for Easy after it was recced to me, and I was hookedLoved, loved, loved this book! I don't read college set romances very often, but I read the blurb for Easy after it was recced to me, and I was hooked.
There are so many things that I loved about this book, that it's hard to know exactly where to start, but I have to say, it was great to have two protagonists who were equally likeable. Lucas was a hero to die for, smart, protective, strong, yet sensitive, ( mostly due to the traumatic events of his past) the kind of guy you wish you'd met at college. Jacqueline was a fantastic heroine, very relatable, and just an all round good person. I liked that all the characters were fully fleshed out, and even the ex-boyfriend wasn't your usual cookie-cutter bastard. Of course he was a dick, but for all intents and purposes, he was a dick who as it turned out genuinely cared about his ex girlfriend.
Although there's an attempted rape and an actual rape in this book, I felt it was handled very sensitively, and when the rapist finally got his come-uppance, I actually cheered out loud.
To me, Easy was a book about survival, overcoming personal tragedy, sisterhood, and falling in love. A good ingredient for any romance methinks.