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**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Romancing the Running Back is the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Romancing the Running Back is the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats series. The Santa Fe Bobcats series is an adult sports romance series about a professional football team. I have not read the first three books in the series, but I thought this one was the perfect one for me to jump into the series with, because it was the wedding (planning) for the couple from the first book, Cassie and Trey. We get to see the couple from the first three stories, and it let me decide which ones I wanted to read, but the main focus was on Josiah and Anya, making it totally seamless for a new fan to the series to be able to jump right in and start with their story.
I loved how opposite, at first glance, Josiah and Anya seemed. He is an eco friendly to the extreme conservationist, and she is a purely aesthetic (at least on the surface) person. There is a lot more to Anya, but we don't learn just what that is until later in the story. Anya and Josiah butt heads with each other early on, making for one of my favorite tropes- the bickering and bantering. It was so much freakin' fun just to watch the two of them go at it. Even knowing they were going to end up together, it was fun to watch them forced together to help Cassie and Trey with their wedding. Eventually, the magic started heating up between them and they started to enjoy each others company. It was a slow transition, and it was really well done.
Bottom line: Romancing the Running Back, while being the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats series, it is easy for a new reader to the series to pick up with their story first. It was flirty fun, and a really great story. Whether you start with book 1 or book 4, check out this series if you love sports romances.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: https://bookbriefs.net**
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert delivers the next book in her sizzling O'Malleys family series, hailed as "The Godfather meets Romeo & Juliet." FORBIDDEN PROMISES features Sloan O'Malley and her mysterious new next-door neighbor, Jude MacNamara.
Forbidden Promises is the fourth book in the contemporary romance series, called The O'Malleys by author Katee Robert. I have read several of Katee's books in the past and really enjoyed the steamy romance, including book one in The O'Malleys.The Marriage Contract, so I couldn't wait to continue this series. I enjoyed getting to know some of the O'Malleys, and this is a series that I really want to go back and read books 2 and 3, which I missed. This series follows the three powerful Boston families- the O'Malleys, the Hallorans, and the Sheridans.
Forbidden Promises follows Sloan and Jude. Sloan is an O'Malley, and Jude is out for Sheridan blood. If I thought The Marriage Pact was intense, the stakes were notched up even higher in this book. While, I was able to figure out what was going on, I feel like I would have had a much better idea and insight into the characters, if I had read this series in order. I think I would recommend new reads stick to the reading order of the series. YOu will get to know the characters better that way. Either way, I love the intense mafia-esque drama that Katee Robert has created. These books are so addictive.
Bottom Line: Forbidden Promises is great for fans of steamy political/mafia-esque romances. If you like family dynamics and drama galore, with great characters this is the book for you. Plus the romance is really excellent!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Annabeth Neverending is a debut young adult novel by Leyla Kader Dahm.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Annabeth Neverending is a debut young adult novel by Leyla Kader Dahm. This book really hit all the right points with me. I love books that focus on different historical societies, and Egypt is one of my favorite. Instead of a traditional review, I am going to give you a list of reasons why I enjoyed this book. If you are like me, and these are selling points for you, check out Annabeth Neverending.
Egypt setting- As I just said, I love all things Egypt. I loved how the author Leyla Kader Dahm integrated historically accurate facts into her story. I thought it added a layer of depth to a great young adult romance. Reincarnation- I don't get to read too many young adult books that focus on the concept of reincarnation. (In fact, I think the last book I read about the subject was Michelle Madow's Remembrance)The main character is the reincarnation of an Egyptian Princess and the two guys I am going to mention in my next reason, are the reincarnation of Annabeth's bodyguard and the other is the evil ruler Kha. Oh the intrigue! (I really mean that- I ate it all up.) Hot twin brothers- C.J. and Gabriel are along for this adventure with Annabeth and I loved them. (even when I hated them, I loved to hate them.) A great adventure through ancient Egypt! The plot of Annabeth Neverending moved right along and the adventure the three charcters went on was a ton of fun and completely riveting to me. The cover- Yes, yes I know this should technically be a reason to read a book, but I do. I just love how pretty the cover is. I think it also does a great job depicting the story. I think the reincarnation image was beautifully done.
Bottom line: Annabeth Neverending is a really great book for fans of reincarnation romances and of Ancient Egypt and the time of Pharoahs. Author Leyla Kader Dahm does a great with her debut novel. It is a lot of fun to read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Come Back to Me is the first in a new adult contemporary romance series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Come Back to Me is the first in a new adult contemporary romance series, called (you guessed it)-Come Back to Me by Mila Gray. Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson's new adult and adult books. I have read and really enjoyed some of Sarah's other books and I have to say this author is immensely talented. I have read a side splitting-funny book (The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft)) as well as a mystery/thriller (The Sound). And now she brings us a heart wrenching love story in Come Back To Me. I love how talented and versatile both Mila and Sarah are. ;) Even though all of her books are very very different, they are each so wonderfully well done.
When I first found Come Back to Me, I read the summary and filed it away in my brain as a tear jerker, and to only read when I was in the right mindset. (Is that strange that I like to be prepared for potentially sad books?) But then I put it on my review calendar and promptly forgot all my warnings. So yes, even though the summary clearly states that at the beginning of the book, the main character- Jessa, finds out that either her brother or boyfriend have died in the line of duty, when the book started out with that humdinger of a chapter, it shook me. I was in for a rough journey. Because they don't tell you who it is then! In fact, right after that crazy first chapter, they go back in time and tell the story of Jessa and Kit and their romance.
I absolutely loved their story. Mila Gray has such a way with words. But in the back of my mind I just kept thinking- Riley or Kit? Just like Jessa was in the first chapter. I was always ready for the other shoe to drop. Eventually I forgot the worrying in the back of my mind and fell into the romance of the story. I can't say enough good things. The characters come to life before your eyes and you feel every single emotion they do. I ran the emotional marathon in this story. I was all over the place. If you love great romances- this is a great romance. Jessa and Kit will steal your heart. But Come Back to Me may also break it. (and put it back together. And break it again, etc.) Come Back to Me is an emotional read- but one that is so worth it! I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Burning Midnight is a standalone young adult science fiction fantasy by**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Burning Midnight is a standalone young adult science fiction fantasy by Will McIntosh. And guess what? It features a male protagonist. Do you even know how excited I was to see a character like Sully? I loved him. And I loved Burning Midnight. Everything about this book made me excited to read it, and once I started, even more excited to keep reading. I loved that the world is much the same as the world as we know it. Burning Midnight takes place in present day New York City, and all the regular things like facebook, ebay, and flea markets exist. The one big difference is that little colored marbles (called orbs) are scattered throughout the world. They just showed up one day and no one knows where they came from.
People soon discovered that if you found a pair of the same color orbs and you "burned" them, meaning you held them up to your temples, that you would absorb some sort of talent from the orbs. Each color, represented a different talent. The better the talent, the more rare the orb. And the more rare the orb, the more money you could sell them for. The talents were really cool, ranging from everything like running faster to perfect memory recall.
Will McIntosh has done a really excellent job creating a world that is well thought out, imaginative, and fun to roam around in. I loved hanging out with Sully, Hunter, Mandy and Dom. I was really hooked waiting to see what was going to happen next. And as soon as we learned what the title referred to, (midnight is a midnight blue orb that is way bigger than the rest of them. Everyone is searching everywhere to find its' match so it can be burned.) I was even more excited. There is a lot of stuff going on in Burning Midnight and the book seemed to gain momentum as it went on. I loved that it was a standalone, but at the same time, I would have liked to have seen the end stretched out a bit so we could have gotten a second installment in. I really enjoyed this world, and these characters. The ending took me by surprise, and while it wasn't something I normally go for, I liked it in this case.
Bottom line: if you like science fiction books and fantasy books that are set in present day settings with a burst of magic thrown in, Burning Midnight is a plot that you will completely love. The gang of characters is delightful and the action and world building are spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and would recommend it all young adult readers. And did I mention, the main character is a guy? Double points for that.
The Keeper is the second book in the Vega Jane series by Dav**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Keeper is the second book in the Vega Jane series by David Baldacci. I'm going to be honest, I had no idea that David Baldacci even wrote young adult books. I have read, and really enjoyed a few of his adult action thrillers, so I was pretty pumped when I saw there was a new young adult series out. The Keeper is the second book in the series, but it is promoted as being able to stand on its' own. And I think it does. That being said, I do still wish that I had read the first book, The Finisher, first. I wasn't really lost at all while reading the keeper, but I think I would have gotten a fuller picture of the characters had I read the books in their intended order.
The Finisher and the Keeper both follow the same main character- a girl named Vega Jane. I loved the atmosphere of the story. It was very intense, and had me flipping pages quickly. There is an air of desperation, as the main characters try and outwit the Quag and escape the village. I loved the world that David Baldacci created, which is why I am kicking myself even more for not reading The Finisher. I loved the magic and the creepy feeling of the Quag. It all made The Keeper seem much more fast paced and intense. I can easily see this turning into a blockbuster movie hit. I think it was written to be shown on a big screen.
These characters have a lot thrown at them, and this book is pretty lengthy. The kindle edition comes in at almost 500 pages, so there is plenty of time for multiple plot twists and road blocks. Personally, I am really into longer length books- especially when they are high stakes- like this one, because I love seeing the heroine overcome something big, just to be hit in the face with something else. (does that make me weird?) and I feel like there just isn't enough time for that to happen repeatedly in shorter books. I enjoyed my time spent reading The Keeper, and I can't wait to read The first book now. But don't be like me- read this series in order. I think you will appreciate it more that way.
The Last Faerie Queen by Chelsea Pitcher, is the sequel to The Last Cha**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Last Faerie Queen by Chelsea Pitcher, is the sequel to The Last Changeling. In fact, I believe that this is a duology, which means it is the sequel and conclusion to the Last Changeling series. I believe the series name for this one has changed. Last year I had the series marked down as The Faerie Revolution, but now when I check goodreads it comes up as The Last Changeling series. I absolutely loved The Last Changeling, so I was super super excited for The Last Faerie Queen to come out. I loved The Last Changeling a little more, but it was a close battle.
The Last Faerie Queen picks up with where the last book leaves off and you absolutely must read them together. I,. myself was a little lost because a year had been between my reading of books 1 and 2. If possible, read these two book back to back for maximum enjoyment. ;) Chelsea Pitcher certainly kept me on the edge of my seat while reading. I had no idea which direction she was going to take the story in. At the start, so much was open ended that it could have gone in any number of different plot paths, and I loved that. It made reading The Last Faerie Queen very exciting.
Elora and Taylor and the whole gang are back to wrap up the battle that was started in the first book. The Last Faerie Queen is full of action, intrigue, romance and adventure. Elora is trapped in the middle of a war, both a prisoner and an active participant. She is an enigma, and I loved watching her grow as a faerie and person, and watching her wage war within herself. Being around Taylor and his friends was a great aid to her personal growth, just like it was in the first book. She came even more into her own in this novel.
This series is a pleasure to read. I don't know how else to say it. The pacing of this book is great and the words just seem to flow from the pages.If you like Fae stories and are a fan of paranormal romance, The Last Changeling Duology is a great one for you to check out. I thought the ending did a great job wrapping things up but I would be more than happy to see the characters come back for a book 3. At this time, however, I do believe it is slated to be a duololgy.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Concealed is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, call**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Concealed is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, called The Lakewood Series, by Sarah Kleck. I loved The Concealed. I knew from the summary that it was going to be magical and mysterious and it totally delivered! Now, of course, the mysterious part completely blew my mind and excited me even more than I thought. I loved the direction that author Sarah Kleck took this story in, but it would be a completely spoiler for me to tell you. I will say this- it is one of my favorite sub-genres of fantasy & magic, and it was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. (ok, heck- just click the spoiler box if you want to know more about the secret society alluded to in the summary) (view spoiler)[The Concealed- and the entire Lakewood series is about Merlin and the Lady of the Lake! It is their romance story. I was super excited to see that the society had to do with protecting the descendants of Merlin, Arthur and others. What a cool idea! (hide spoiler)]
Poor Evelyn starts the story out by losing her sister- her last remaining family member. And then only a scene or two later she is packing up all of her belongings and leaving her home town to go away to school at Oxford completely alone. My heart broke for her. I could feel her despair and loneliness. But soon she meets up with her own friends- Felix and Sally. Felix rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go. He was always in Evelyn's space. I just wanted to tell him to back off. But I was never too worried because Evelyn was completely taken with the mysterious Jared.
I thought The Concealed did an excellent job of giving you enough answers so you would never be frustrated, but keeping enough information out of the readers reach to keep you desperate for more. (at least I was.) I could not put this book down. I need the second book asap! And, as an aside- the romance was great too. It wasn't rushed, but when we finally did get to it it was super cute and wonderful. The Concealed put a big smile on my face. I can't wait for more from Author, Sarah Kleck.
A Reluctant Assassin is the first book in the Order of the MoonSto**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
A Reluctant Assassin is the first book in the Order of the MoonStone series by J.C. Morrows. It is a young adult fantasy romance, that is light on the action/adventure and heavy on the romance. Perfect for fans that love a good love story in the background of a high fantasy universe. This is also a clean book, so it would be appropriate for young young adult readers as well as older readers. I really enjoyed A Reluctant Assassin. I had a bit of a snafu with the Prince early on, but overall this was a good read.
The Prince has to marry as soon as possible, "for his kingdom". He was very much against the idea of marrying for the wrong reasons. I really liked that about him. I admired that he wanted to get to know girls. And actually get to know them. What irked me was that from the moment he saw Kayden, he knew she "different" and "real" and the one. And I just didn't see how he could go from wanting to get to know which ladies had substance and which didn't, to being totally taken with just one of them.
That being said, after the somewhat shaky first meeting, I really liked watching Kayden and Dvarius interact. If you are looking for a high speed action and adventure fantasy, this might not be the book for you, but if you love the castle setting and you are looking for a sweet and clean romance, this is the perfect series for you to check out. There is a bit of action excitement at the end, and I think there will be more to come in the next installment, but for this first book, author JC Morrows does a great job of setting the stage and letting us get to know the characters really well. I thought this was a solid first book in a new series, and I think the next one will be even better.
p.s. I also have to say that I just love the cover! Her assassin's outfit is on point! ;)
Dirty Deeds is the third book in the Mechanics of Love series by Megan**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Dirty Deeds is the third book in the Mechanics of Love series by Megan Erickson. It is the story of Ivy's sister- Alex. I am going to let you guys in on a little confession...I totally thought this was the second book in the series. I had no idea that Megan Erickson snuck book 2 by me completely. I am so bummed that I missed Brent's story. I have to go back and read that ASAP. The second book is also where we find the link from the Payton boys to the new girl at their garage- Alex. ivy is Brent's love interest from book 2, and Alex is her sister. I was able to figure it all out on my own, and wasn't lost at all while reading, but it would have been nice to have known all that going in. (which is why I am telling you guys)
Dirty Deeds is every bit as good as the first book, Dirty Thoughts. I might have even liked it more than Cal's story. Alex has been hurt in the past, that you can tell right from the start when she won't even say her ex's name. He is just "he". Slowly, as the story unfolds, Alex shares more and more of her past with Spencer and the reader. I really liked this because it never felt like Alex was forcing her sob story on anyone. It just came out naturally as she shares parts of herself.
And Spencer was a breath of fresh air. A couple of times while I was reading, I thought I had spotted a few well placed character cliches (nothing wrong with them! I just like to think I am really good at predicting them.) but then Megan Erickson had to go and blow my record out of the water. Every single time I thought something was cliche about Spencer, he went and proved me wrong. I can't adequately describe how much I love him. How unassuming he is and how fresh he felt as a character to me. His beauty was in his subtleties. I loved how taken he was with Alex, right from the start. And not just for the obvious reasons. He really liked her as a person. (which I know seems like a given, but I really really felt it from him.)
I am so in love with Megan Erickson's books. She is such a solidly great romance author. He stories always feel fresh, the writing and characters are always perfect and the romance is just the way I like it. I can't get enough of her. Someone please bring me book 2 so I can read it ASAP.
The Shakespeare Conspiracy is an action thriller that is very much**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Shakespeare Conspiracy is an action thriller that is very much in the vein of The DaVinci Code. Except, for fans of the playwright, William Shakespeare. (obviously.) I loved that the author, Jeffrey Hunter McQuain is an actual expert on William Shakespeare. I thought that was evident from the writing and plot. I loved the way he was able to weave in the smallest of accurate details. It worked really well and added some fun for the reader of the story. I have a passing knowledge of Shakespeare from college and my time studying at Oxford, but it only really scratches the surface on what there is to know about this man, and about his professional career.
Jeffrey Hunter McQuain does an excellent job of making this book seem polished as well as loose and approachable. While the author may be an academic, The Shakespeare Conspiracy reads very easily. I got swept up in Christopher's journey really quickly. I loved all the clues and hints in Shakespeare's works. The anagrams were my favorite! If you are a fan of The DaVinci Code, this is the next book you should be reading. The Shakespeare Conspiracy is fast paced and thrilling. It was a great read.
Never Never is a Peter Pan retelling told from Captain Hook's perspecti**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Never Never is a Peter Pan retelling told from Captain Hook's perspective. This standalone novel is Brianna Shrum's debut book and I thought she did a really good job with it. I loved that it was Hook's story. It was reminiscent of the kind of hook and pan from Once Upon a Time, so if you love Hook in that show as much as I do, this is a book you will want to check out. It features an evil Pan, and a more nuanced, but very much bent on revenge Hook. This Hook doesn't hold a candle to Storybrook's Hook, but it did come much closer than I expected it to.
Never Never follows Hook throughout his life, starting out when he was a small boy. This was his first run in with Peter Pan, and it was clear that as soon as Peter tricked Hook that his hatred started. And it only grew throughout the story. Hook is a very different person than many of Peter's lost boys. He did want to grow and, and further he wanted to go home. It was then that I started to feel for Hook. But don't get me wrong, he is not a woe is me, misunderstood-villain-that-is-really-a-hero. Maybe he is misunderstood, but he is also not a pure of heart person. He is not a hero. He is still Captain Hook and his story is the one that you know well, but that was kind of what I loved about Never Never. Author Brianna Strum takes the story that we all love, stays true to the events in it, but still manages to make us see the characters in a different light. It was really cool. There were many shades of gray to labeling Hook as a Villain. It was a highlight of the book for me. I always find it interesting to see a person change throughout their life and to see how their experiences shapes them.
The romance between Hook and Tiger Lily was a pleasant surprise as well. I didn't think Never Never would have quite as much romance in it. I have always seen Hook as kind of a solitary figure so it was both an adjustment and nice to see him interact with someone he genuinely cares for. I didn't love Tiger Lily (especially towards the end) but she was an interesting character.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of retellings, you should add this one to your TBR list. Especially if you like retellings from the point of view of unexpected characters. Whether you love Hook or you hate him, I think you will enjoy Never Never.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**How do you talk about a book that just shattered all of your expectatio**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**How do you talk about a book that just shattered all of your expectations in the most unexpected ways? I feel like quoting big brother while reviewing The 5th Wave, saying "expect the unexpected". This book felt totally new to me and, I think that was what I loved most about it. I decided to pick up this series because a lot of exciting things are happening surrounding it this year. The first book is being made into a movie, which releases in January and the final book, The Last Star, is coming out on May 24, 2016 so I thought now was the perfect time to finally read the trilogy. And I have to say, I can't wait for the movie!
The 5th Wave is the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy by Rick Yancey. It tells the crazy story of 5 waves that hit the earth, each one more terrifying and different than the last. I'll tell you snippets of each of the first four waves, but the 5th one is something you will have to read the book to experience. (click the spoiler to read teasers of each of the waves- I don't really give much away though so it should be pretty safe to read even if you have not yet read the book.) (view spoiler)[1) E.M.P blast that took out all forms of technology. 2) A worldwide earthquake 3) An airborne Ebola virus 4) Aliens! trained to kill humans assassin style! (hide spoiler)] There is a lot going on all at once in the 5th wave. But I have to say Rick Yancey does a terrific job dealing with the chaos and still making it easy for the reader to follow the story.
Cassie and Evan, the two main characters were great. Cassie's narrative was unique and completely fit with the choas of the story all around her. And Evan, well I just have to know what is going to happen with him in the next book. The author leaves you hanging at the end of this book, but like I pointed out earlier you have the movie and second book to tide you over. Fans of young adult Dystopian and of thriller books with a darker edge to them need to read The 5th Wave series. I am kicking myself that it took me this long to read them.
Stupid Love is the third and final book in the New Adult contemporary r**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Stupid Love is the third and final book in the New Adult contemporary romance series, Stupid in Love. Stupid Love is the story of Memory and Jace. It is a companion book to Stupid Girl, and Stupid Boy, but like the first two books it focuses on a new couple. This is a very popular trend in new adult. Series books, each featuring a novel that "stands alone" about a different couple. While I typically like series to follow the same characters, I do enjoy romances in this vein if the characters are well done and if each book is able to feel complete on its' own. Cindy Miles does an excellent job with each of those things, and it is for those reasons that I love her Stupid in Love series so much.
Stupid Girl made my favorites of 2014. I loved it so much! I really liked Stupid Boy a lot too, but it was hard to recreate the love that I felt for Olivia and Brax, the couple from the first book. Stupid Love came right in the middle of books one and books two as far as my love of the couple. Olivia and Brax are still my favorite but I did love Memory and Jace a lot. So if I had to pick, I would say that I enjoyed this book less than the first book, but only by a little. It is my second favorite in the series.
Memory has had a hard past, and she still has some secrets that are held just out of reach of the readers (and Jace) for most of the story. Nope, I'm not ruining the secret! I loved watching Memory and Jace interact. Their story line was nothing revolutionary in the world of New Adult. Set at college- memory has lost her parents and Jace works and like to keep his nose out of drama, but it totally worked for me. Cindy Miles does such an excellent job with he characters and with telling a story and building up her romance that the cliches worked in the favor of the story. I really felt every single struggle and up and down. Stupid Love,and the whole stupid in love series, feels very emotional and raw. I just love this series.
The Stupid in Love Series is an excellent addition to the new adult genre. The romances are rich and gratifying. These are feel good books and they are so well done. If you have not read this series yet, you need to. But start with Stupid Girl. Each of the books work as standalones and can be read independently, but Stupid Girl is so amazing. So trust me and read that one first. Stupid Love is a high quality romance between two tortured individuals. If you are a fan of new adult romance that is well done, this series is a must read!
Forbidden is a young adult mystery by Eve Bunting. It is a dark and mys**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Forbidden is a young adult mystery by Eve Bunting. It is a dark and mysterious, quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the dreary, almost foggy atmosphere of the little Scottish fishing village, and I really liked how easily digestible the book was. It took me just under 2 hours to read Forbidden, and I walked away feeling like it was a complete story, not a novella. The romance in Forbidden is a nice aside but it is by no means the focal point of the story.
After Josie's parents both pass away from influenza, she is sent to live with her estranged aunt and uncle. When she gets to the town, everything seems a little strange. Just a tad off, including her Aunt and Uncle. It was hard not to get wrapped up in the creepy little town that Eve Bunting created in Forbidden. I could never pin down exactly what was going on. Eve did an excellent job of maintaining a mysterious air about her writing up until the very last minute. Was it something magical? Was it something nefarious? What is something obvious? And then what on earth was the deal with Eli, and why was everyone calling him Forbidden?
Forbidden was a fun little jaunt with a mysterious read. It would have been perfect to read on Halloween, and I love the author's aside at the end of the story where the inspiration for the tale came from. If you like darker, quick reads that have a hint of romance (but not too much) then Forbidden is the book for you. Seriously, check it out if you love a good atmospheric read.
Use Somebody is a standalone new adult contemporary romance from author**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Use Somebody is a standalone new adult contemporary romance from author Riley Jean. If you like long standalone books, this is a great one for you! I personally love standalone books that are longer in length because I feel like I really get a chance to know the characters. Similarly if you crave really emotional romances, this is the book for you. Use Somebody takes you on a slow burn journey that ends up being really beautiful and completely satisfying. It is one of those books that will leave you with a smile on your face.
But it didn't start out that way for me. I spent probably the first 15-20% of the book totally confused. I didn't really know what was going on. I knew the story was about Scarlett but the story jumped in time and after the time jump Scarlett seemed like a completely different person. I had no idea what happened or even who the guy was in the beginning of the book. I kept expecting him to show up at her new job. But, even though they are slow coming, eventually you get more answers. And eventually I fell into a pace once I realized that Vance was the new main guy.
Scar and Vance have a very authentic and slow progression from co-workers, to friends to better friends and then to more. I loved watching them interact and get closer over time. And all the while we are getting to know Scar better as more and more of her backstory is revealed. Scarlett and Vance have a beautiful story to share and I am really glad that I stuck with it after the confusing beginning because what I got to read ended up being beautiful.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Undeniable is a young adult contemporary romance by Liz Bankes. First o**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Undeniable is a young adult contemporary romance by Liz Bankes. First off, I should say that I saw this book as more of a crossover between young adult and new adult. I think it will appeal to both upper YA readers as well as NA readers. Undeniable is a quirky and fun contemporary romance story that plays out a fantasy of almost all teens. Gabi lands an internship on the set of her favorite tv show and starts a whirlwind romance with an up and coming actor. I mean, come on, who hasn't thought about the possibility of running into, and hitting it off with your favorite actor? (I know you are lying if you say you haven't) Also, I wanted to say how much I liked the cover of Undeniable. I love that it is mostly greys with some pops of color. Gabi, however didn't match the description and image I had in my head, but that is a minor point.
Gabi is a kooky young lady. Some might even say crazy. Ok, I say she is totally crazy. She is a lot to get used to at first. The book is told in first person so she is your narrative. And she is scatterbrained and loose lipped. The result is a ton of short sentences that don't always logically flow. It was almost stream of conscious in that aspect, but after a while you get used to the rapid fire thought and learn to just hang on for the ride. You are at Gabi's whim. She grew on me as the story went on. I really liked that we got to see both her present with Spencer as well as slowly had her past with her ex boyfriend Max revealed.
The romance in Undeniable is really cute. The summary does a great job of pointing out that it is equal parts sweet and sultry. I really liked Spencer, even though he is way too much of a flirt for my tastes. He has a big enough personality to roll with Gabi and unpredictable nature. That was what I liked most about him. He wasn't deterred by the crazy. If you like European settings in book and you like the world of Hollywood (or London) acting, then Undeniable is a really cute read for you to try out.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Licked is the first book in the romantic comedy series, the L.A. Liaiso**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Licked is the first book in the romantic comedy series, the L.A. Liaisons series by Brooke Blaine. I freakin' loved this series. Licked is one of those books that had me laughing out loud the whole time. It blew all of my expectations out of the water. Before we go any further, and I am sure that you can tell this from the summary, but Licked does have a bit of a love triangle. BUT WAIT! Before you immediately say pass, let me explain. It is a love triangle, but it is so not a typical one. I can say with confidence that while the love triangle, that is so not the point or the beauty of Licked. The main character, Ryleigh picks between the guys rather quickly, and Licked is their story.
Ryleigh is the owner of an ice creamery and booziery. Yes you heard that right- ice cream and a bar! what a concept. And I loved that her concept was just as eclectic as she was. She is wonderfully retro and quirky. Heck, all of her ice cream flavors are naughty. I got such a kick out of hearing her describing them. And she calls one scoop of ice cream a "castrated ball", which she then went on to explain as the perfect upsale technique because no one wanted a castrated ball, they wanted a full set of balls AKA two scoops. Oh my gosh, I just loved her. She cracked me up.
Now let's talk about the guys, and they are both excellent guys, so I am not at all ion fear that I will give away which she ends up with. First, there is Cameron, Ryleigh's high school crush. I loved how sweet and considerate Cameron is. He seems like one of those genuine guys that was nice in high school and now. And then there is Hunter- Cameron's roommate and best friend. Hunter has a bit of an edge to him. He seems to smolder more than Cameron. (does that make sense?) At first I was worried that Hunter was going to be a "bad boy" and it was going to be good v. bad, but I was really happy to be proven wrong. Hunter holds his cards close to his chest, but he is really a good guy. I knew Ryleigh was going to make a good choice regardless of who she ended up with. And I am very pleased to report that there is no love triangle drama between the three of them. It was all very mature and that made the eventual couple's love story so much better for me.
Bottom line: if you like your romances on the romantic comedy side and you love quirky female leads, and guy hotness galore- Licked is the book for you. I don't know who the next book is going to feature, but I do know that I will be reading it! You need to read Licked- get ready to laugh your butt off.
How to Be Brave is a debut young adult novel by E. Katherine Kottaras.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
How to Be Brave is a debut young adult novel by E. Katherine Kottaras. It is a really beautifully done standalone novel about a high school girl that is learning how to be brave, but really just learning how to be herself after her mother's untimely death. I really enjoyed the main character, Georgia. I thought she was all at once a breath of fresh air in young adult novels, but at the same time so quintessentially teenage that it is impossible not to relate to her in some way.
How to Be Brave is a really cute story about Georgia and her friends and her high school life. And as a bonus it is a list story! You know what I am talking about- main character is sad about missing out on something, or some event happens in her life (or is about to happen) and she makes a list of things she wants to accomplish. The event in How to Be Brave was Georgia's mom's death. Her mom wrote her a note and told her to "do everything" and to "always be brave". I loved the list of things that Georgia and her friend Liss came up with. I thought they were a mix of really original items, with a few classics thrown in for good measure to "get the guy". I loved how the list story line played out. I was completely 110% loving How to Be Brave, and then the author threw a major curve ball into the mix and I didn't know how to take it. The book ended up taking a bit of a different turn than I originally expected, but it ended up being a really interesting turn. I didn't always agree with the actions of the main characters, but their journey was pretty great, and Georgia is a star in my eyes.
How to Be Brave is told alternating between classic dialogue chapters with random verse style stream of consciousness interspersed throughout the story. I thought that was a unique flair to the narration. I really dug it. If you like well done, and beautifully different young adult stories- How to be Brave is one for you to check out.
Cadence is the first book in a new adult series, called the Ruby Riot s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Cadence is the first book in a new adult series, called the Ruby Riot series. Ruby Riot series is a rock star romance that is a spin off of the Blue Phoenix series. I have not yet read the Blue Phoenix series, but I absolutely love love love how the author worked the spin off series in. Ruby Riot is a newer rock band on their way up the charts, and they are touring with the hugely popular Blue Phoenix. And if that isn't a cool enough tie-in, Cadence brings together the two rock groups from the separate series together via Blue Phoenix's drummer Bryn's younger sister Tegan joining the tour. And guess who she has her eye on? That's right- Jax of Ruby Riot. I thought that was a really, really inventive way to both tie together two different series, but keep them separate enough that they have no problem standing on their own.
Tegan is her own woman. She speaks her mind and has no problem holding her own with anyone. I loved that about her. I didn't know quite how it was going to mesh with Jax. Rock stars are used to getting what they want, and it seemed like so was Tegan. And I was right, there are so many battles of the dominant personalities (in different ways) in Cadence, it was kind of fun to read. Jax was half infuriating, half adorable, and gosh darnnit if I didn't love him for that.
I don't read a ton of rocker romances, but when I am looking for something bold and in your face, I love to pick up a rock star book to get my fix. And this was a larger than life read. It was a little bit of a cliche with all of the parties, drinks sex and rock and roll, but that isn't really a bad thing. It was what I wanted when I look to this kind of story fix. However, If you like slower build romances that are not quite so crazy, this might not be the genre for you. Cadence was fast paced, and totally fun the whole way. I felt like I was on the road alongside Blue Phoenix and Ruby Riot. And just like any tour, there are twists and turns and surprise potholes waiting for you along the way. Cadence makes me want to go back and grab all the Blue Phoenix series novels and get to know the band a little bit better.
Bottom Line: If you love rock star romance and you are looking for a loud, in your face fun (and a little bumpy) romance, check out The Ruby Riot series. Cadence delivers.
The Prophecy of Shadows is the first book in the young adult fantasy/my**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Prophecy of Shadows is the first book in the young adult fantasy/mythology series, called the Elementals by Michelle Madow. This series says it is aimed for fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle, and I think they are right on point with The Secret Circle. What I liked most about The Prophecy of Shadows is the blend of witches and elemental magic with mythology. I thought that was a cool take on a mythology story that I have not seen done before. I have read contemporaries, fantasies, and romances from author Michelle Madow and she really has a talent for being an author that can write diverse genres of books well. I always know that I will enjoy her story telling. And I did with The Prophecy of Shadows.
The Prophecy of Shadows follows new girl Nicole. When she shows up to her new school, she is placed in a mysterious honors class, which happens to be a code word for the classes for students with magic powers. From there, she is swept up in a whirl wind adventure that must have seemed like something out of a dream for her. Not only did she have powers, but strange things started happening to her and some of her class mates. Strange, even for kids with powers. I really liked how fast paced The Prophecy of Shadows was. You don't really have too much time to do anything but keep reading and try to keep up with Nicole and her classmates because they are off on a prophecy journey pretty quickly in the story. I loved deciphering the clues, and I cannot wait to see what is going to be in store for them next.
The Prophecy of Shadows does a good job of laying the groundwork to their world. I know we will see more of white, grey, and black energy magic. (as well as all the colors.) And with some of the creatures that we got a glimpse of in The Prophecy of Shadows, I know there is bound to be lots more adventure for the gang. I can't wait to see what happens next plot wise. It is going to be a wild ride, and I am super excited about it.
I loved Nicole. I thought she was a strong character, and I admired her conviction and morals when it came to her choices throughout The Prophecy of Shadows. (especially when it came to Blake.) In fact, my only hold up with the story is Blake. I just can't seem to get on board with him. He does nothing for me, and the fact that he wanted to keep everything with Nicole a secret gave me icky vibes. I didn't feel their kind of budding romance at all. I really hope he proves me wrong in the next book, but as of right now, I am hoping for a new character to come into play as a love interest for Nicole.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of witch stories and of mythology this is a mash up of the two that you should check out! Book one is fast paced, and does a lot of world building and setting ground work. Michelle Madow has set up the Elementals series to be an action filled, fun ride and I can't wait for more!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Right Kind of Mistake is a flirty, sweet and fun new adult contemporary**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Right Kind of Mistake is a flirty, sweet and fun new adult contemporary romance that centers around hockey players. I loved Cam and Haylie's story, even though it did feel a little short to me. I would love to see a full length novel about them. If you like novella length stories that are not part of a serial (they feel complete on their own) then Right Kind of Mistake is exactly the book for you.
I loved the characters and the romance. Haylie is a college student that has been burned by her hockey player ex- boyfriend and Cam is his teammate that has had eyes for Haylie for as long as he can remember. I loved how sweet and pure Cam felt towards Haylie. It made me like him almost instantly. Even though it took Haylie much longer to warm up to him, it was fun watching Can try and win her over.
My only qualm with Right Kind of Mistake was the length. I thought it was very well written, and the characters and plot were very engaging but I wanted to see Cam and Haylie's story fleshed out a lot more. The book was about 110 pages and I wanted it to be three times that length. I thought everything moved a bit too fast for me. Goodreads and amazon do say that this is book one, but I am not sure if the second book will feature a new couple or if it will be a continuation of Cam and Haylie. I, for one, hope that it is a much longer continuation of Cam and Haylie's story. Like I said, I think they have a ton of potential and would make a wonderful full length new adult novel. I would read three more books about them if they were at the 300 page mark or so. If the second book is going to feature a new couple, I would enjoy that too, but would prefer that to be more around the 300 page mark as well. Author Rebecca Thomas' writing is solidly good and she does a wonderful job of making the characters likable.
Bottom Line: Great characters, great romance, tons of potential, and I definitely want to see more of these characters and this couple, but it was too short of a read for it to be an all time favorite. If you are looking for a quick- get right to the nitty gritty, sweet romance, check out Right Kind of Mistake. I think you will love it!
Burn For You is the third book in The Protector Series, an adult contem**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Burn For You is the third book in The Protector Series, an adult contemporary romance series centered around Chicago Firefighters and Police. I didn't not read either of the first two books in the series, and in fact this is the first I have ever heard of author Stephanie Reid, and I am like a kid in a candy store having discovered her now. I want MORE! I cannot wait to read the first two books in the series, but you don't need to read them in order, they really do stand alone great on their own. I don't love the cover. It kind of feels like a 90s soap opera romance to me, but that is the only thing I didn't love about this book. I love that this book centered around an arson investigator. I am now on the hunt for more arson centric books.
You know when you start reading a book and a giddy excitement builds up inside of you somewhere along the first couple of chapters? And you think, "YES! This is going to be a GREAT book." That was how I felt when I started reading Burn For You. I just knew that this book was going to be a hit with me. It is told in dual narrative between Vic (toria) and Jason, and I knew from reading the first of each of their respective chapters that I loved both of them. Vic is a girl that has had a crush on her brothers best friend for years, and she tries do hard just to get him to notice her at all. Jason was a little bit harder to get to know. Right away it is clear as day that he is such a great guy- really genuine and he honestly cares about doing right by people, but past that- he is locked up tighter than a vault.
I loved watching Vic, or Toria, as Jason calls her worm her way into the puzzle that is Jason. Burn for You is the kind of book that you can't stop reading, but at the same time you just want to slow down to draw the book out more. I loved their story so freakin' much. It just felt like magic coming off the pages. It has been a good month or two that I have felt this kind of raw love from a book. I am addicted to Burn for You. It is easily one of my top picks for 2015 favorites. If Stephanie Reid is an author that you have not read yet- you need to fix that ASAP. Whether you start with Talk to Me (book 1) or Burn for You, it doesn't matter. Burn for You is on my must read list for contemporary romances.
Game Changer is the first book in the adult contemporary romance series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Game Changer is the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, called Playing Games. I thought that Game Changer has crossover appeal to fans of new adult as well as adult. The characters are in their 20s and they, or at least one of them, has a career that is pretty college adjacent. I really liked reading Game Changer. Don't let the title fool you, it isn't so much about playing games with each other, well maybe a little bit, but not as much as I expected. I found Maci and Liam to be very genuine with one another and that was refreshing. Sure, there were secrets but they didn't feel like they were playing games. I found most of their games to be centered around actual games (of the video variety).
There were many things I liked about Game Changer. I liked how smitten Liam seemed with Maci. he was just so adorable in his pursuit. It didn't seem contrived or cocky in any way. In fact, Liam had an innocence about him with his feelings and interactions with Maci and I could not get enough of his adorableness. I also really liked the setting in Tampa, Florida. I am familiar with the city, so everything was very easy to picture for me.I thought the plot was well done and the romance was great, and felt very natural.
I loved the chemistry and romance between Maci and Liam, but as the book went on, the more I wanted it to be a standalone. I wanted their story to wrap up, not because I don't want to see more of them- I do! But I just felt like we could have gotten to a good spot with them in one, slightly longer, book. (am I the only one that thinks this about some books?) I am interested to see all of what is going to happen in the next story. I know that book 2 is already out so at least I don't have to wait to see what is going to happen. If you like contemporary romances with a nerd flair, check out the playing games series.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Mine is the third book in the Holton Woods series by HelenKay Dimon. I**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Mine is the third book in the Holton Woods series by HelenKay Dimon. I have not read books 1 or 2 in the series, nor had I even heard of the series before reading Mine. I had no problem keeping up with the story or the characters, so I can confidently say that each book stands on its' own. CIA and Military is a trope that I don't venture into very often, but for the right book and the right plot line I am happy to try it. And there was just something about Mine that spoke to me. It is a really engaging read and a fantastic romance.
I loved the clash and mixture of two dominant personalities. Natalie and Gabe have incredible chemistry. Natalie is ex CIA and people want her dead. Lots of people. Gabe comes into the picture to keep Natalie safe, throw in lots of obstacles, off the charts chemistry, quick witted banter and really smart writing and you have the formula for a romance that you will not be able to put down. I don't know if it is just me, but I really love to watch the head on clash of two dominant personalities. And that is exactly what you get with Natalie and Gabe. They are each really different, and their pasts manifest differently in their presents, but both of them are used to getting what they want. Watching them interact was so much fun for me. It brought a level of intrigue to their romance.
I also thought it was interesting that Natalie was the more gun shy when it came to commitment in Mine. I would have initially pegged Gabe as that person, but I was totally wrong. HelenKay Dimon is a masterful author. I cannot wait to dive into more of her books. (as an aside, she joins the ranks of my not-so-secret list of lawyers turned authors that I love to read.) If you like the high tensions of an on the run romance, and like government agent/military/bodyguard romances Mine is a fantastic one for you to check out! It is really well done.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Sanctuary Bay is the collaborative effort of authors Laura J. Burns &am**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Sanctuary Bay is the collaborative effort of authors Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz. It is a young adult mystery that was totally mind warping. In a really good way. This book really had me on the edge of my seat. It takes place at an exclusive boarding school, and right away the authors did a great job setting the spooky atmosphere. As soon as the main character, Sarah arrives, she finds out that there is no leaving the island- not to shop, or visit town, not to get packages and not to even talk to people. There is no internet or contact with the outside world. I knew something creepy was going on. But I was instantly hooked. And as the story unfolds, it just kept getting more and more twisted and intense.
I love boarding school settings. And when you throw in a super mysterious setting, and secret societies, I just have to check it out. Sanctuary Bay was all that it promised and even more. It reminded me of the movie, Shutter Island. A psychological thriller, that just kept catching me off guard. Authors Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz zigged when I expected them to zag, and they went off the freakin' charts when I expected them to stay the course. To say they took me by surprise is a complete understatement. Sanctuary Bay is a book that you need to read closely and stick with until the very last page because thee is a lot going on. I loved the characters and the plot had me reading as fast as I possibly could so I could see what was going to happen next. I skipped dinner, I was so engrossed! (and trust me, that does not happen with me.)
Bottom line: if you like books that mess with your mind, Sanctuary Bay is one that you need to be reading like yesterday. But be sure to block off an afternoon and a night because you will not want to put this one down. Perfect for fans of creepy boarding school settings and of the movie Shutter Island. Read Sanctuary Bay and then come talk to me, because I want to chat with you about a lot of things!
3.5/5 Firsts is a standalone upper young adult novel by Laurie Elizabeth**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Firsts is a standalone upper young adult novel by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. Firsts was a lot edgier of a story than I was initially expecting. The main character made me cringe more than once. I mean she is kind of a train wreck, but not once- not even at any one point- did I not enjoy myself with Firsts. I really, really liked this book. I know it won't be for everyone, but there is just something about Mercedes that got to me. Even when she wasn't a good friend...at all...I still couldn't give up on her. And I am so glad that I didn't. Even Mercedes deserves a happy ending and I loved the way Laurie Elizabeth Flynn wrapped everything up. Firsts was a fun and, strangely enough, satisfying read.
Once I started reading Firsts, I didn't really know what to expect. It is about this super smart girls (she has her sights set on MIT) who is quiet and unassuming. And heck, she even does "good deeds" for her fellow classmates. Of course, her good deeds are letting the boyfriends of the school practice their first time on her, so they can make it super special for their girlfriend. Didn't see that one coming, right? She had the weirdest logic behind her side gig. She really, honestly thought she was helping these guys and their girlfriend. I know, I told you she was a train wreck. But don't go thinking I am bashing her- I told you I really like her. In the strangest, weird way, her journey was something that I just didn't want to stop reading.
She has some great friends, both old and new, and Zach is such a great guy. More than anything I wanted Mercedes to grow as a person- for him. Because he deserves that. I can't stand cheating, and I don't condone what Mercedes was doing, but if you put that aside, Firsts has some really great writing and character development. I just couldn't seem to tear my eyes off the page.
Bottom line: Firsts will be great for fans of upper level, edgy YA with messed up characters, on their own messed up journeys. If you like reality tv and/or CW tv shows, Firsts is right up your alley. Grab a bowl of popcorn and let yourself enjoy it!
In honor of Halloween, I decided to dust off an old witch series and do**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
In honor of Halloween, I decided to dust off an old witch series and do a review of the entire series. There are 15 books in the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I started reading the Sweep series probably about 6 or 7 years ago (before my blog) when my Borders was going out of business. They had the first three bind up volumes for next to nothing so I grabbed books #1-9 (there are 3 books in each bind up) for I think $5-6 total. Once I started reading I really got into the witchy atmosphere and elemental vibe of the magic in Sweep, so I went back to Borders and grabbed the rest of the books that were out. Books 10-15 I had to get individual novels because their bind up wasn't out yet, and consequently my series doesn't match, which makes me kind of mad.
The Sweep series started out really strong. I read the first 4 books in no time at all and I couldn't get enough of them. I read them all back to back, which I find myself doing more and more when I have a bind up. I will read the whole massive tome as if it were one super long story. Morgan, Cal, and Hunter completely drew me in. I think the first 4 or so books were close to 4.5 or 5 star reads for me, but then as I hit book 5 and beyond, I started to lose interest.
The characters started to annoy me in rotation, and the plots started to drag on. I think this was a case of the series going on too long for my liking. The later books started focusing more on side characters, and that didn't really do anything for me. Especially since we were right in the middle of the overall story arc, so the side stories (books 11, 14) were distractors from me and I would have preferred them to come after the series was done, or put in as novellas. Looking back on my notes from books 11-14 they all centered around the same thing- not enough Morgan and Hunter. Here is my snippet of what I thought of book 13 when I was reading it.
"This book was a side storyline from the main characters, and personally I don't enjoy those as much. Morgan and Hunter were barely in the book at all. Alisa was the focus of this installment and we got to learn about her family. It was a good story but with only two books left in the series I had hoped to have more about Morgan and Hunter."
In book 14 we finally got back to the main storyline and I liked that more. It dealt with a growing discontentment with the council, which was something that I was waiting for the entire series. It was the one plotline that I was hoping would turn up more and a main reason I stuck with the series. My sticking point with the series, other than the side plots that were literally full books long, were the fact that Morgan and Hunter have not really developed as a couple. They started out with a lot of character growth but for the past 3 or 4 books they have kind of been stuck in the same place.
Overall Series: this series is very long and it has a lot of highs and lows. Some of the books are really great, and others were a total snoozefest for me. The magic and the council elements were really well done and they were the highlight. Read the Sweep series if you love all things wiccan and witches and cann't get enough books about them. You can probably get some pretty good reals on the bindups. But in my opinion this series was only average overall, and got worse as it went on. It picked up at the very end (books 14 and 15), but it took too long to get there.
Losers Take All put a huge smile on my face. It was funny, heartwarming**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Losers Take All put a huge smile on my face. It was funny, heartwarming, different, and full of love-ably quirky characters. At Jack's school, they are sports OBSESSED. Their last principal keeled over in the middle of a school run, and their new principal is even worse. He has decreed that all seniors must take part in a school sport team. Jack's friends band together to form a C soccer team, and make a pack that they will always lose. I thought their act of "rebellion" was pretty funny. And what happens after is even funnier.
Jack's father was a huge sports legend at his high school and he is still a town hero, so I know that must have been hard for Jack at home. I really liked how David Klass used sports and social media/school politics in Losers Take All. It is a parody of sorts, full of humor but not so far removed from real life. I could see something like this happening today. The pressure from schools, parents and even social perception to join all the clubs and teams and to be well rounded, which means playing a sport, and doing something artsy, and something academic, etc. Don't get me wrong- I love sports, but I think you should want to play them if you are going to join a team. Call me crazy.
Losers Take All is a book that will have you laughing, have you cheering and rooting for the most love-able group of teens. I love that this book is told from a male character's point of view. Jack is great. And watching his act of rebellion turn into something more was really special for me. Watching Jack and the rest of the team play soccer was a highlight as well. They were a hoot. I think there is something for everyone in Losers Take All. Some romance, some sports triumphs, lots of sports fails, and so many laughs. Whether you are a sports fanatic or if you don't even know the difference between a tennis ball and a golf ball, check out Losers Take All. It will put a smile on your face.
Troll is a totally new take on paranormal. It is the first in a new you**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Troll is a totally new take on paranormal. It is the first in a new young adult series, by the same name, from author Ashley C. Harris. I don't know about you, but I have never read a young adult paranormal book that features trolls. And I am a little ashamed to admit that my understanding of them is practically nonexistent.(the closest I have to a depiction in my mind are from frozen haha) Troll takes the reader on a fast paced exhilarating journey underground to the world of the trolls. Plus there are the knights, who are the enemies of the Trolls. Plus, there is a romance and mystery surrounding Wilhelm and Abby. Yep, lots going on to keep your attention.
I really liked the mystery surrounding Abby, and Abby herself. She was my favorite part of the story. I was really interested in Abby's friendship with Leo, but he was mainly in the beginning of the story, and I found the that part to be really confusing. Even after reading the whole book, I am still a little confused. (I get the main gist, but it was really jumbled.)
Another highlight of Troll for me was watching the warring nature of the Trolls. Wilhelm in particular. I loved that Ashley C. Harris didn't make apologies for their slightly mean nature. They take children, they kill knights- and people, and they even have fun doing it. That is who they are, and that is who Wilhelm is. The change in him while he was around Abby was subtle, which I also appreciated. He didn't wake up one morning, suddenly in love. He is who he is, but that doesn't mean he is a villian. Far from it. Watching him with Abby was a lovely slow burn romance, and I thought it was perfect for the mood of the story.
The trolls v. knight aspect of the story was where I had my biggest hold up. It is where almost all of my confusion stemmed from and it kind of felt incomplete. I really hope that there will be a prequel added in to give us some back story on the knights and on the trolls. I would love to know why they are the way they are today. When did they start fighting? Why? It wasn't really addressed. I know there was some more information at the end, and it looks like we are going to get some answers in the second book, but I still think a prequel would be well served to story the readers some of the history of the trolls, and of the knights.
Bottom Line: If you like paranormal books and love reading about new creatures and new takes on them, check out Troll. It was a really interesting read.