I happen to come across this title as I was browsing through Amazon's Kindle Store, and it was the exact kind ofReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I happen to come across this title as I was browsing through Amazon's Kindle Store, and it was the exact kind of historical romance I was in the mood to read so I picked it up and moved it ahead of my to-read pile. Fantastic decision, because Eye of the Beholder is an exquisite romance novel! It was such a beautifully gentle and tender romance I nearly swooned.
I have read very little of 19th century American romances so I started with a clean slate. While I loved to read about arranged marriages in regency romances, there's still a difference, albeit small, between those and the marriage in this book, which resulted from ad-postings. Ad-postings! Soon enough however, the book made me realise that it is a beautiful foundation for a sweet romance - and now I'm hoping to read more romance books of this era! Most likely with the author too.
Mary Peters knows she is unattractive, which very much explains her lack of a marriage prospect. What makes her stand out as a character however, is that despite that, she knows her worth. She's independent and strong-willed, and whilst she is aware and is often times hurt by the fact that she is merely plain, she has accepted it and continually found a way to move beyond it. It was easy to symphatise with Mary as it is clear her world is outwardly judgemental, and even easier to admire her strength because she works to overcome this lack of outer beauty, which I'm sad to say, her (and our, for that matter) society almost labels as a disability.
Mary's insecurities and hurt does affect her and Dave's relationship in the book, but ultimately, she is not hindered by this. And the message that carries through is a positive one - it really is about building a marriage, trust and affection on the basis of inner beauty.
Eye of the Beholder has very varied group of supporting characters - there is Neil Craftsman, arrogant villain extraordinaire. Dave, Mary's husband, is a chivalrious, caring gentleman who from the very beginning has clearly appreciated Mary's inner beauty. It was a joy discovering a leading man that was not highlighted for his looks, but for his gentleness and kindness. Usually romance novels has excessive focus on how handsome the hero is, but Ruth Ann Nordin that no beautiful face can ever be truly memorable if an unpleasant person lurks behind it. There are assortments of other secondary characters and events that together highlights Mary and Dave's romance as well as the message of the book in general: inner beauty shines through.
The plot does have the tendency to drag as the conflict occurs towards the end; however, since Dave and Mary's marriage have practically begun from scratch, I felt that that some scenes were essential to show how they have progressed in their relationship.
Ruth Ann Nordin writes books that readers are bound to revisit again, and again, and again. Eye of the Beholder is one I shall read a lot in the coming years, that's for sure.
PERFECT! <3 I'm checking out the author's other works because I just fell in love with this!...more
Oh dear God this book is insane. It could have easily killed me with its hilarity, and to be entirely honest it mReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
Oh dear God this book is insane. It could have easily killed me with its hilarity, and to be entirely honest it might just be the most hilarious, most ridiculous book I've ever read. I wish I read this when I was younger - I'd have loved it! Or well...it could have easily killed me then. It's just too funny!
Tallulah Casey is seriously insane. In a good way. She is a character so full of life it's hard to not be uplifted whenever I open the pages and read about her adventures ... or I beg your pardon, misadventures. Her voice is genuine, and really a lot like a young teen. You can sense her naivety and insecurity, and it is easy to relive your very own interesting teenage experiences with her. Or compare it with hers, and with it comes the nostalgia. I think that's one of the best things about Withering Tights - as an adult, it not only filled with the the exuberance of a teenage spirit, but also made me reminisce the many misadventures of my own teenage life!
With a cast of equally vibrant characters with Tallulah, Withering Tights blossoms to a book with a life on its own. It's easy to get into the flow of the plot; apart from Tallulah's easy narration, one can expect hilarity at every other page, indignation in between, and a lot of fun mishaps sprinkled throughout.
A little caution on the narrative's tendency to exaggerate, though. Although admittedly, it is so very hilarious, at times it's bordering on stupidity rather than naivety - it's primarily what I disliked about the book, really. I felt that Tallulah as a character with brains was somehow sacrificed just so the humour could continue. My thoughts then, at those points were dominated by - 'surely no teen could be that stupid!' But there you go.
Having said that, I'm sure Withering Tights will be a hit for kids and kids at heart alike. It's hard not to like such a vibrant, hilarious book! ...more
I waited with baited breath for this book. As in, If-I-died-without-reading-it-I-will-haunt-Stacey-Kade kind of crReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf
I waited with baited breath for this book. As in, If-I-died-without-reading-it-I-will-haunt-Stacey-Kade kind of crazy. So quite understandably, there was a lot of expectations that I put on this book even before I had it in my hands. I loved The Goth and the Ghost so much it was hard to rival. Well folks, Queen of the Dead is just as good - it's ACE!
With Will and Alona's 'Help the ghosts to the light' project firmly in operation, there are countless misunderstandings, drama and pretty hilarious antics to be expected from this sequel. There is also a multitude surprises that I'm sure will catch many readers off guard, as they did with me - and one massive, dramatic, completely on a level of its own twist that left me awestruck. Pick up this book and look forward to the twist because damn, I was bowled over!
Having said that, QoTD is still primarily character driven. The stupendous plot is due to the characters' own decisions and one can see exactly how the characters are epitomised by it. I have fallen in love with Alona Dare right off the bat from G&G, I think I have mentioned it a couple of times. She is such a superb, vibrant, true-to-life character. Out of all possible Alona antics, I did not quite expect to be moved to tears by her in QoTD! But she did just that - her instantaneous connection with readers propel this book into an emotional read at some key points in the book. Alona, strong as she is, shows her vulnerability quite plainly in this book. We discover the little things that makes Alona Dare the girl that she is and while her bitchy side is forever present, readers also see the extent of her selflessness. It's hard for my heart not to go out to someone like that!
In QoTD we also dig up a lot about Will's past as well as his talent. I'm very surprised how this part turns out, because while it's only touched on on G&G, it's a huge part of the plot in QoTD and I think Will is as surprised as everyone else. Mina adds depth to this part of Will's life, and all the tension, rift and reflection that occurs as a result of that really reflects the dimension of the characters. It's superb how the characters grow and develop - even secondary characters. Mina's a little bit of a bitch by the way, but she's a quirky character you can't help but like anyway.
Fast-paced, with the right amount of romantic tension flavouring the plot and a superb array of characters, QoTD is a fantastic sequel indeed!
Having said all that, THE TWIST! THE TWIST! Makes me want to demands book three. Now. Right now.
I am once again ensnared by Rachel Vincent's The Soul Screamers Series. There is just that extra oomph in this seReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I am once again ensnared by Rachel Vincent's The Soul Screamers Series. There is just that extra oomph in this series that puts it above the many others I've read- I'm not going to deny how addicted I am to it. And in more ways than one, Kaylee Cavanaugh is my heroine of choice!
I was fascinated by the world of the bean sidhe in My Soul to Take and in its sequel Rachel Vincent does not let up in unleashing more of the horrors of the netherworld. Fortunately, I was fascinated by these too. I find it enchanting really, and Kaylee is a strong narrator who both satisfied and stirred my curiosity. I was continually surprised and horrified along with her; she's such a genuine character, one I consider as a reflection of myself in fiction. I think one of the characteristics that truly define her is what she gives the readers - the ability to see themselves in her.
Not only do we learn more about the netherworld, we also see Kaylee beginning to realise the extent and limitation of her bean sidhe abilities. Having just recently discovered her heritage, she is still set to explore it; but as always, danger is connected to exploration and she is not exempt. Thus, Kaylee takes us into action-filled adventures in both realms, dodging both raging hellions and condescending human adults alike. Spurred by her moral compass, Kaylee once again dives heads first into danger, but who wouldn't in her place? Rachel has truly and effectively conveyed her character's motives and intent behind their actions in My Soul to Save.
Apart from the fascinating mythology, the action-adventure that makes you fly through the pages, we also see more romance. But not only of Nash and Kaylee, but of the reaper's also. Tod - despite his tendency to always appear aloof - shows his one weakness in this book, and I'm sure I'm not the only reader whose heart went out to him. Although Tod messes up a a little at the end, one can understand why. Despite his ungentlemanly actions, I think the jury's still out on Tod's behaviour; for the romantics at heart like me however, he did what did for love, and that says a hell of a lot of things. I admired his assertiveness, no matter how disillusioned he ended up
Rachel's mythology, plus her fantastic set of characters has fully cemented Soul Screamers on my favourite YA series list! ...more
I'm not certain why I somehow still read books about someone infidelity when I know that all it ends up doing isReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I'm not certain why I somehow still read books about someone infidelity when I know that all it ends up doing is making me feel terribly agonised. It irks me to no end, but perhaps I keep looking for a book that gives an insight to both sides of the party. Well, Calling Romeo fits well, but it isn't the best read, I don't think.
I'm very torn about my response to this book. On the one hand, the trickling pace of the plot bored me. Too much narrative! I was tempted to skip through and just get to the ending. I disliked the ending; hated the message it could have easily given to the reader. On the other hand, I appreciated Juliet's hesitations because that is how it is. Unless one is unfeeling or morally apathetic, you would hesitate and reconsider to the nth degree your decision to begin an affair. I thought Juliet's thoughts and indecision - her consultations to friends even - were an accurate portrayal of that dilemma. But I'm not saying she justifies it - adultery for me is never justified, whatever the circumstance. Juliet does however, show that she isn't indifferent and has genuine reasons for her affair with Sykes. Admittedly, I believe part - a very small part - of the blame lies on Will, but as Juliet realises love is not always the happy side of the coin.
Calling Romeo is underscored by many subplots, and one can view the events from different points of view. And so when everything unravels, there is much, too much pain swivelling around the characters. I'm not exactly happy how Will handled Juliet's unfaithfulness, and how towards the end Juliet for me didn't feel as apologetic as she should be. Oh yes, there were many tears and pain but I didn't feel she was ultimately entitled to be angry at Will after her unfaithfulness, because whatever Will did or did not do, cheating surpasses that. I tell myself this though: she isn't me. She's a flawed character, and in that she is entitled to feel what she does. I don't think they resolved anything by the ending, and it was very vague, but there you go.
The plot is cliche. The characters are naive, sometimes foolish, sometimes selfish. It can be dragging. But ultimately, Calling Romeo is a book that builds on its imperfections. It made shed tears, it made me angry, it made me want to lash out at the ending, but at the end of it all it's a story of two people that isn't me. Therefore while I don't think it's the best book, plot or ending for me, it might just be for them....more
So I have been waiting forever for this book - since, admittedly, The Body Finder is my favourite debut of 2010 aReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
So I have been waiting forever for this book - since, admittedly, The Body Finder is my favourite debut of 2010 and Jay and Violet ranks as one of my favourite YA couples. The Verdict? Definitely on the good side.
Again, Kimberly Derting manages to deliver the perfect blend of mystery and romance. As in every sequel, Desires of the Dead narrates the continuation - including the repercussions - of everything that occurred in The Body Finder. Violet's abilities continues to 'haunt' her. This time, her actions lead a powerful government organisation to her (the FBI no less). Simultaneously, she endangers herself once again, the compulsion to answer to the echoes of the dead pulling her towards peril. At the same time, she and Jay becomes closer, more intimate in their relationship and as with any couple, they must face the trials and tribulations that land in their path.
I love how everything fits together in Desires of the Dead - recurring and new characters play intercolliding roles, how the new plot and mystery blossoms, and how - without neglecting the thrilling ride that is the plot - the romance is carried out. Kimberly's writing is superb and fits in just as perfectly as the rest.
Let me say this - the romance was amazing. I reveled in Jay and Violet's love - sweet, intimate and deep feelings anchor this two to each other, and it made me melt! There is a lot of adjustment to Violet in their platonic-to-romantic relationship. Although very much in love with Jay, there is a lot of adjustments made from him being Violet's BFF to boyfriend. It was very well played out. I would have been extremely happy if Desires of the Dead was only purely romance! At the same time, a new character lurking in the shadows will clearly return in succeeding books to make it even more exciting for everyone involved! Caution, to those expecting a lot of jealousy from Violety with regards to Jay's closeness with Mike - there's hardly any conflict in this. The blurb is slightly misleading here, but no worries, it'll make up for it!
Despite the slightly predictable outcome, it was still a thrill following Violet's brushes with the authorities, the new students in school, and the danger that seems to stalk her. The plot was constructed well, with hints and clues that lead you to one person while suspecting the other. And again, as with The Body Finder, we get a glimpse into the very emotional POV of the 'villain', feeding a very different aura to the book.
Although it was saddening to reach the last pages of a book I have waited a year to read, Desires of the Dead definitely lifted my spirits in that I'm pretty certain there will be more books to follow. It's once again exciting and patience-wearing to wait for the next installment in Violet and Jay's story! I am very much looking forward to what Kimberly Derting has in line for these two!
This book is so, so marvelous! It's mysterious, grue-some, heartbreaking and romantic at the same time. It has aReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
This book is so, so marvelous! It's mysterious, grue-some, heartbreaking and romantic at the same time. It has a very believable heroine, a sexy hero and a murder-mystery that had me on the edge of my seat!
Avery is - like I said - a very believable heroine. Although significantly ostracised from both her high school and her community, she feels like a girl-next-door who one could easily get to know. Her interactions with people are somewhat limited by her home-schooled background, but to those who she does befriend, she is both giving and understanding. She has a generous heart and I adore her for it. Sheltered by them all her life, Avery doesn't only feel lost in the death of her parents but feels like she's trapped in a sort of limbo, tormented by her lapsing memories.
Avery narrates the book with a voice with genuine grief. The melancholy but collected narration is honest and lyrical. Every word is captivating, every thought filled with emotions. My heart ached for Avery at many points in the book, but never did the narration make me feel like putting the book down. On the contrary, I read it in record time! I have none but praise for Avery and her lyrical prose.
I also love how the narration matches the gruesomeness of some part of the book while being flexible enough to equal the majesty of its romance. Ben and Avery share a deep, instant connection. Uncontrollable and life-changing, both are each other's salvation. There is a lot of discovery surrounding Ben Dusic, but it's left wide open for the sequel (I am wishing for more) to build on. The romance is sexy and seductive, and there's more than just one. I am hungry for more from these characters!
Low Red Moon has a good transition in the plot, from murder mystery to direct supernatural. Furthermore, the backdrop of the forest, and how most things happen at night gives a very eerie feel and setting. And whenever Avery and Ben gets together, this shifts to become a romantic atmosphere. A perfect fit for the plot!...more
I hardly ever think contemporary romance genre is a worthwhile read, and whilst I appreciate being proven wrong,Reviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I hardly ever think contemporary romance genre is a worthwhile read, and whilst I appreciate being proven wrong, I am terribly disappointed I am proven right once again. The premise of A Daring Proposition sounds romantic and comedic enough to entice my interest, but it more than failed me.
I hoped for a good set of characters for this book, as the plot felt like something that can only orchestrated by strong characters. However, even that was a failure. While both the heroine was given sufficient background story to build up her present character, it was only one-sided ; hence the hero is as lifeless as a rock. Characterisation in the present tense is empty at best. The narrative is in the third person but is unconventionally one sided, so it not only feels unbalance, characterisation becomes searingly lifeless. Furthermore, although I think it could have been interesting how the narrative is used, it did not deliver.
The plot itself is nothing special. The premise, as I have mentioned, sounds particularly intriguing. However, while it does exactly what it says on the tin, it stops right there. There are no thrills, no surprises, no twists. There were hardly ever any notable scenes. The only thing that surprised me perhaps, is the fact that it is already a new scene, as my arc copy does not distinguish where one scene ends and another begins. There is also quite a lengthy monologue that is not only confusing but one that dragged on and transformed into annoying - despite ambling on and finishing the book, I wish I had not bothered.
I usually stay away from anthologies as short stories just make me want to pull my hair out. There's more oftenReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf..
I usually stay away from anthologies as short stories just make me want to pull my hair out. There's more often than not little characterisation, interaction and plot development to satisfy my reading curiosity. But actually - for this anthology, none of those actually mattered! I was surprised by how interested I was, as a reader, in seeing how one plot can essentially be carved into different stories. Plus, I love the premise of the said plot!
It Happened One Season did not disappoint. Though there is effectively only one plot narrated four times, the differences that separates them from each other is what really counts. Apart from the guidelines provided for by that one plot, each writer's creativity can be seen in each of their stories. And they deliver. I found myself enjoying each one of them, and by the end of the anthology, I was not only completely engaged, I wanted more! And I thought I'd be bored by the second re-telling - I wasn't, one bit! It actually felt refreshing to read a new take on the plot and the repetitive elements only made the differences stand out. I thought was superb.
Out of the four I think my favourite is Jacquie D'Allessandro's Hope Springs Eternal. It has all the elements I look for in a short story and it certainly had me sighing and giggling. Having said that, the other three are almost as good. Very certain a lot of romance readers out there will enjoy this.
My e-copy is beautiful by the way - while the cover is nothing spectacular, the graphics on the inside pages meets the book well. If anything, it made me want to keep this one more! What a wonderful anthology - recommended!...more
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Not because I had some negative preconceptions about it, but because I hReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Not because I had some negative preconceptions about it, but because I have not heard a lot about it. Surely a book this interesting should be widely recommended in and around the book blogosphere? I would surely do to anyone.
At first I was put off by what appeared to me as a cliche relationship between inseparable best friends, only to be wedged apart by a gorgeous, mysterious boy who so happens to be the town's newest addition. I'm glad I persevered though; it is quite simply a refreshing, very original read.
Mortal Kiss establishes a good premise of an early mystery in its early pages, as well as the other elements that build up its plot. I was easily drawn into the little town of Winter Mill and throughout my reading experience I was constantly aware of flying pages, even unconscious of how much I have read at times. The pace does a wonderful job at putting forward the questions and unraveling the threads of mystery later on. I found myself thoroughly intrigued, and the answers to the questions are no less thrilling. I applaud the book for its originality, as although it has strong paranormal elements, it focuses on those elements where it is original and not on those so heavily retold in many paranormal novels.
There is a lack of characterisation somewhat, and throughout the book and even after reading there were several important characters who I felt like I didn't know. Others, apart from basic descriptions, lack fundamental characterisations. Hence, I There was also a small matter of not liking the main character much - I felt so much more from Liz than Faye, and it was a good thing the book was told in the third person, or else I would have disliked Faye so much more. She is, for me, a vaguer character. Naive, as well as confounding. Her erratic responses and feelings for both Finn and Luc also confused me and were not thoroughly explained. Her reactions to 'the other guy' in particular made her ultimate choice and her love for him dubious.
Nevertheless, a very riveting book with a refreshing and surprising twists and commendable originality. Thankfully, the intriguing plot outweighs the bad characterisations, so it emerges to be one good read indeed! ...more
I'm a new lover of everything dystopian, so when I was offered the chance to read Inside Out in advance, I jumpedReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I'm a new lover of everything dystopian, so when I was offered the chance to read Inside Out in advance, I jumped at the chance. Apart from Spy Glass, I was not at all familiar with Maria Snyder's work, so this was technically a new venture for me.
I loved it.
At first, it took me quite a while to get into the book. The first few pages establishes the setting and introduces our heroine, Trella. The book does this very efficiently, so despite the fact that I had to draw the basic cubic structure of the levels of Inside to aid me as I follow Trella along, soon you actually get used to the idea. I never since had any difficulties in following our heroine as she takes us readers on a very thrilling adventure.
The setting plays a huge role in how the plot progresses - and it is very claustrophobic. Pipes, air shafts, hidden rooms, cubes - you name it. The whole plot is executed in a very enclosed environment, but interestingly, as one finishes reading, it becomes clear that it is one of those book that comes from 'out of the box'. It is very, very cleverly imagined - it surprised me in exactly the way how I'd want a dystopian novel to.
I also feel like mentioning that I adored the way the social structure of Inside appears to be a reflection of the totalitarianism that modern governments seem to trudge towards. It establishes a sense of possibility in the plot.
I loved Trella as a heroine. She's fiercely independent, head-strong and daring, all of which makes her the perfect revolutionary icon. But she has many flaws, and all throughout the plot we see her being hindered by these flaws. She is cynical and distrusting and can be terribly stubborn. While secondary characters were not quite given enough focus and development, their backgrounds and back stories are not only criss-crossing, but also packed with jaw-dropping surprises and twists. I found it very clever how the author manages to surprise me again and again and again with her characters.
There is also a sprinkle of romance in this book, which was another surprise. At first I wasn't sure if there will a romance angle at all, and then I wasn't sure who Trella's mate will be (because there were quite a few to choose from) and when it all became clear...well, it was fun guessing! There was just enough romance to spice it all up and not change the flavour of the book, which I found very well done indeed!
If there were to be nit-picking the only thing I'd say would be that the high-tension scenes could have been built up better. Although there were several heart-pounding moments, I often found myself surprised that the climatic part is suddenly over. At points it felt like it was missing altogether, however that did not seem to bother me that much. Apart from that, nothing can be said about the action and sense of dread that Trella's adventures incites in the reader.
Inside Out will be appreciated by readers from across the board as there is a lot in this book to delight in -
A definite page-turner, complete with heart-pounding action and a cleverly thought-out plot. A near perfect dystopian novel!...more
I shall admit - while Once upon a Scandal is not the best romance book I've read, it definitely ranks high amongsReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I shall admit - while Once upon a Scandal is not the best romance book I've read, it definitely ranks high amongst the most interesting ones I've read. This book has a particularly pecular set of characters and settings, which - sucker for romance that I am - enchanted me to no end.
I have been drawn to the blurb, of course - a long-lost lover (Viscount Remington) who have deserted our heroine and is now suddenly back for her hand... yes I know, romantic. The cover is also gorgeous and sigh-worthy, right?
Although this is a stand-alone novel it genuinely feels like a short story befitting an anthology. There are only a handful of scenes between the beginning and the ending, all of which are lengthy, which obviously gives the book its volume. Which is why, the pace felt a little too quick, and also underscores why it feels like an anthology short story. The salvaging point though, is that they are all mildly interesting at least, and did not drag like it easily have. While they are not remarkable, the premise had me turning the pages in the hopes it gets better.
What really strikes out most are the characters. In particular, Jonathan - or Viscount Remington as he is mostly addressed - is a breath of fresh air to the many heroes of the genre. Unlike most gentlemen of his time, this character is affectionate, sensitive and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is very outspoken in what he feels for Victoria. On the contrary, Victoria is guarded and reserved, bitter almost in the second half of the book. They share a very peculiar relationship - I was not sure how to look at it, as it is the very opposite of consistent. They simply ricochet off different paths every time. Although there is an effort to include tenderness in their interactions, it feels a little bit awkward as one cannot be entirely certain as to their emotions.
While Once Upon a Scandal is supposed to be inspired by the fairy tale of Cinderella, I felt there was hardly similarities between the two, and would rather forget that little piece of tidbit. Also, the book is partly based in Venice, which felt like a complete waste as the setting hardly played a memorable role in the plot - sure, things happened in Venice, but it takes more than that to make a setting worth noticing. Having said that, despite the lack of tangible plot in the book, it ends rather vaguely - and so, should there be a sequel, I will perhaps pick it up....more
First page of Vampire Crush and I was already dying of laughter - I think this very much epitomises the book, asReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
First page of Vampire Crush and I was already dying of laughter - I think this very much epitomises the book, as I have found myself giggling the entire time I was reading it! Cute and light-hearted, this book is one for paranormal and comedy fans alike!
Sophie is one very entertaining narrator - she's witty, driven, curious as hell and investigative. Sophie is also competitive to a fault, and we see all these characteristics of her in the book. Funny enough, some of these characteristics drive and shape the plot. For instance, her curiosity and investigative streak leads her into discovering far more about the newcomers in her school than her getting-to-know-you article required. She diverts from a typical heroine by actually having a reason to follow the newcomers, although eventually she steps far beyond the boundary. It was quite a refreshing break, away from other 'I-have-come-for-you' vampire stories. She is actually just a bystander dragged into the whole mess by her competitiveness and curiosity and her connection to James.
Speaking of James - I adore the relationship between him and Sophie. Their affection is shown in a very non-convetional way, and as childhood friends, their history is rich, vibrant and more than full of laughs. Their antics are both funny and romantic at the same time, truly reminiscient of a best-friend-turned-boyfriend romance. Between them is a sea of endless insults and pranks, but their affection and attraction to each other is shown through each of these - and is very clear from day one! Their history puts weight on their affection, and boy does it end up being terribly romantic!
I love the general feel of the whole book - Sophie comes from a stereotypical family of four with a gossip-loving stepmother, a father in the business sector and a stepsister who can be both annoying and supportive on the same page. Her high school is just as typical, with a barmy and hilarious set of students (with or without the vampires). Take for instance Neal, who goes to school with his hamster wriggling in his pockets. Yeah, 'nough said.
There is that little bit of hesitation on my part when it comes to the climax of the book as its light-hearted tone made it difficult for me to take the plot seriusly. Despite the situation seemingly moving into intense and serious, the book never quite lets up on the humour, and so as a reader I was always expecting a prank or a joke or another - which meant I almost missed the climax as it happened. I have to say however, that Vampire Crush is definitely a light-hearted book ... that needs a sequel!
Such a charming book - I'm sure readers will love Sophie's comedic narration and step into her shoes some time. Not to mention James, the vampires and the happy-ish ending!
PS - I shall leave you with a quote that made me giggle: "... Men are always difficult to fathom. One moment they want to run away and elope, and the next they leave you sitting alone on a park bench in the middle of the night, ruined and with no place to go." Imagine that being said in a modern High school. Had me in stitches! ...more
Rachel Vincent should be a name readers should always, always categorise under 'bloody amazing'. Her shifters serReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
Rachel Vincent should be a name readers should always, always categorise under 'bloody amazing'. Her shifters series is noteworthy in the Urban fantasy genre and her newly published (in the UK, at least) Soul Screamers series is just as fantastic! I love it! It has in its pages the exact reasons why I love YA - and why it is bound to be one of my favourite series!
My Soul to Take hooked me from the very beginning. Despite paranormal YA being very popular in the market today, I am drawn to the book even before it began introducing its paranormal element. Rachel's writing is magnetic - her no nonsense prose is witty, direct and thoroughly enigmatic. The way it delivers exactly what is just right - without taking the wit off the narrative voice - is truly captivating. It is a very comfortable read, smooth in both its prose and pace. Before I knew it, I was half-way thru it!
I don't think I've ever read a book about bean sidhes before. I have come across the notion of course, particularly in highland romances, but I have yet to read one which focuses entirely on it. The Soul Screamers series fits the bill entirely, and I have been completely enthralled by its mythology. It is incredibly well-imagined, and so easy to drown in! It is not only rich and particularly exciting, it is also a joy to gather and discover more of it with Kaylee as I read along.
Kaylee Cavanaugh is one funny, sassy and witty heroine. At times even confused, as well as horrified by her abilities. She is the perfect complement to Nash's laidback, protective personality. While she is a risk-taker unaware of the consequences, Nash is a guarded and a careful assessor. This pair is - there is no other word for it - sexy. Yes, My Soul to Take is definitely more seductive than many YA books I've read - and I am not complaining!
Apart from the obvious pair, there are also a number of secondary characters that not only surprises you, but ones you know will play an increasingly important role in the succeeding books. One of those is Tod, who has a hugely surprising relationship to one of the characters - I will not ruin the surprise for you, but it has a completely huge twist I never would have guessed! The book has a whole lot of it on hand for the readers - brace yourselves! You're in for a definite treat! The fact that everything is well balanced with some very nerve wracking instances just adds to the general marvelousness of this series.
Fast-paced, engaging, enthralling, magnetic, seductive - My Soul to Take definitely has the best of YA!...more
I rarely pick up to read fey novels, but for once I am glad I started The Iron Witch - it turned out to be so bloReviewed @ Girls Without a Bookshelf.
I rarely pick up to read fey novels, but for once I am glad I started The Iron Witch - it turned out to be so bloody good it was impossible not to love it. As it turns out, this is the only book that has a fey element that worked for me. Surprisingly, it doesn't even revolve much around it; I was surprised and intrigued to find dark elves instead! What a phenomenal debut this book is - truly a pleasure to read.
Donna Underwood is a reserved sort of character. Inherently isolated from the rest of her contemporaries, it is easy to see that her character is born out of her experiences and difference from the norm. She is very observant and is weary of many things; at times even paranoid of what might crawl out of the darkness. Her longing for the parents she has lost and the happiness she had to give up is so palpable in her words it is easy to sympathise with Donna. It is also apparent that she holds many secrets and is yet to discover more, so readers are drawn to her very nature.
There are not many secondary characters in The Iron Witch but Navin and Xan are both (HOT - I mean...) noteworthy and will clearly play bigger roles in the succeeding books. Nav is Donna's best and only friend, and between them is a friendship that is tiptoeing on something more. Although we do not actually see literal proof of this, Donna and Navin share such a comfortable, secure relationship with each other, that is quite difficult not to draw any conclusions. Donna is very expressive of how important Nav is to her - which is why when gorgeous half-fey Xan enters the picture, the tension becomes immediately clear. How to balance two gorgeous boys? Xan is both strong and yet vulnerable. Head strong and willing to take chances, I feel that Xan is a worthy choice for Donna, although we can never truly rule out Nav. It would be interesting to see how the romance sparks further in the series, and for the record I am unequivocally team Xan!
The Iron Witch is written very eloquently and never beats around the bush. It is very good in setting up the mystery early on in the book and is equally good in parting with the answers in a controlled way - much like enticing readers with deliberate gaps in the plot and then filling them out afterwards. It has a clever way of ensnaring its readers into the dark and twisted plot. It is also a book with a touch of magic, alchemy and steps into the realm of supernatural. The Iron Witch felt like an adventure book, an action book, a magical fairy tale and a romance book all rolled together as one.
Like I said - a phenomenal debut from Karen Mahoney! ...more