Thursday, August 29, 2013

OriginOrigin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full review to follow...

Just finished (in 1 day).  Need to process.  Having a very (very, very) hard time with the many feels the ending has left me with.  I swear to alien babies everywhere that JLA is trying to send me over the edge with these endings.   Seriously. Killing. Me.

This is what it was like when I finished the book:
"Man, it was so quiet you could hear a grasshopper karate chop a fly" ... and then when I realized that, in fact, it was the end...I was screaming (no, SCREAMING) at my e-reader for hiding the additional book-length of text that * should * have followed the last sentence.
Completely. Killing.  Me.

I need to go do some yoga or tai chi...or get a drink.  Anything to help process the feels.  * cries *

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Add to my TBR list with your latest great read!


These are the Books (currently) In My Nook.  
Looking for some great suggestions for my TBR list...
So, what are you reading?  Share your latest find!

Monday, July 29, 2013


 ~In anticipation of the Origin release ~
StuckInBooks, JustABookLover and KBooks present
August 1st - 3rd

( Re-)Read Obsidian, (Shadows), Onyx and Opal!

Sign up for the readathon and get the details for the awesome prizes they have planned!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Feels...the amazing Feels.

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I have had a hard time writing a review for this book - not because I have anything negative to say. Quite the opposite, in fact. I absolutely loved this book (and Shadow & Bone), but they are so different from any of the books I normally read...I wanted to do them justice.

This is the second book in The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I read the first book - Shadow & Bone - late last year. Just let me say it was incredible and unlike any book I had read before - I loved it. I was waiting (impatiently) for the second installment, with little worry as to the quality of a sequel because the first book was that good. I was correct to feel this way. There was no reason to worry about any 'sequel syndrome' because this book was even better than the first.

What I loved:
The writing style is beautiful, and Bardugo has created such a rich world - full of color, texture and language, poverty and opulence in a complex hierarchy, vividly realized through detailed description.

Alina's evolution as a main character. She comes into her own a little more and accepts that her power is part of who she is. She is more assertive. There is also her realization of the consequences of her power, and recognition of her darker side...where she hungers for more. It is her struggle to remain true to herself, and do what she must to make things right to save Ravka - regardless of it is what she wants for her personal life, that makes it poignant and bittersweet to read.

In fact, all of the characters are amazingly developed and fully present in these books. What makes this book even better than the first, in my opinion, is that the characters have all grown and matured based on all that they have been through.

Mal: I adore his protectiveness and true love of Alina...he is real, someone we all know in our lives. We see new depth in this character, his pride and insecurities...what he is willing to do for Alina, even when he does not agree with her ideas. Things are not all sunshine and roses for them in this book. There were times when I really, really disliked his behavior and attitude...but in the end, theirs is a quiet love forged through a long history together. The question is, will it be enough to see them through, or will other factors outside of their own hearts decide the fate of their love?

The Darkling: Oh, he is beautiful - even in his darkness. He is all raw power and desire, sensual and dangerous. His powers have grown tremendously since his experience in the fold. He wants Alina for his own purpose, but I honestly think he actually cares for her...well, as much as he is able. At the very least, he understands her. He is not physically in very much of this book. He does remain in Alina's thoughts, his words and an ethereal presence haunt he is still a large part of the overall story.

We are introduced to Sturmhond, a supremely charismatic Privateer who helps Alina and Mal. He is confident, extremely witty and looks at life with a fair amount of amusement. He is also not one to take for granted, because he is very resourceful, has a loyal crew and is deadly when necessary. However, he has his own secrets to be revealed. He also happens to be my favorite character in this book, if for nothing other than his witty banter. I am a sucker for witty banter.

The emotional twists and turns, ups and downs, ins and outs that this series takes you on is both exhilarating and exhausting...I had knots in my stomach, laughed and cried, felt joy and sadness, hope and despair. Oh, but it is worth every single one of the feels you endure.

Simply stated, the story is riveting and beautifully told...the characters are powerful and believable. I am yet again in the unfortunate position of waiting impatiently for the last book in this trilogy - Ruin and Rising, due out in 2014. If you have not yet started this series, please give it serious thought - you do not want to miss this experience.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Holy Hotness that is Frigid

Frigid (Frigid, #1)Frigid by J. Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

My Mini-Review:
Holy Hotness, JLA has done it again.

What I loved: Their friendship/history, the love story, the swoon factor of Kyler...even the added suspense which mixes things up.

Two college students - best friends, who have known and loved each other since they met on the playground - but refused to admit their feelings to themselves, much less each other- get stranded alone in a mountain cabin during Saint Snowmas ("a nor'easter on steroids") over the holiday break. Throw in some major hormones, and lots and lots of feels (at least on my part when reading)...oh yeah, and the fact that there may be someone crazy on the outside trying to kill them... and you get the latest amazing-ness from JLA.

Let me pause here to say that I do not watch horror movies, and normally do not read crime/suspense novels because they make me a nervous, twitchy mess. It's stressful I tell you!

But- in this case, there is more than enough hotness to outweigh any nervous twitches I may or may not have experienced. Jennifer Armentrout has created many of my most favorite book boyfriends - and Kyler is the newest name on that list. This guy is ... yeah, that good. The story is one that makes you feel all good and gooey inside..warm and fuzzy, and perhaps a little worked up ...because, yeah...Kyler.

Read this book if you have liked any of JLA's other books, like NA or if you just like a good book with lots of feels.

So looking forward to the next JLA/J.Lynn book!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1)Hope(less) by Melissa Haag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest those are the only type of reviews I give.

3.5 / 4 Stars

Honestly, I did not know what to expect when I read the synopsis...because lets face it, its rather vague.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Our world is being judged and we remain unaware.

In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny sparks she sees in her mind represent the people around her, but she doesn't know why she sees them.

A chance encounter leads her closer to answers she's struggled to find, and into a hidden society where fur is optional.

Judgment? Teenage superpowers? Hidden society? Fur...optional?  Well, we all know there is no shortage of werewolf stories available ...and most are not my thing...but I was open to giving this one a go.

I am glad I did.  This book was a great read!  Not only was it unlike any other paranormal/werewolf story I have read, it was a sweet romance.  The main character is Gabby, a girl who has been in foster care and moved around quite a bit due to a strange ability to attract the male population (quite inappropriate to have your foster father/uncle/brother following you around!).  So Gabby has started to avoid people most of the time and her trust in men is close to nil.  Gabby also has another ability - which is to see dots of light in her mind, which she has deducted represent people around her.  One day she discovers a dot of light in her vision that is a different color, and when she investigates, she meets a grandfatherly werewolf.  He introduces her into his world and acts as both friend and caretaker.  On one of the trips to the werewolf compound, she meets a special wolf who is not willing to let her go.

Ultimately this is the love story between Gabby and Clay.  This is not your typical do not expect any Insti-Love here.  In fact, our leading man doesn't even speak until 2/3 of the way into the book (gives the Strong-Silent type a whole new meaning).  He isn't your typical "hottie"...and is described as quite the opposite - dirty clothes, no shoes, long hair in his eyes, long beard covering his mouth...definitely not your average male lead. will love Clay despite his described appearance and lack of verbalization.  Why?  Because actions speak volumes louder than words.  Clay's actions speak his love and affection for Gabby louder than any words ever could. Trust me, he puts up with a lot of crap to win this tough chic over!  I absolutely loved the build up to this was sweet, it was slow and it was real.  Clay was definitely my favorite person in this book.

What I liked best:
The relationship between Clay and Gabby that built slowly.
The fact that Clay did not speak for most of the book, but showed his feelings and desires through his actions.
The werewolves in this story were "normal" - not needing to be chained in the basement on a full moon, or out of control rage monsters.
The character development and pace of the book are both really good.

What I didn't love:
Sam. He seemed to care for Gabby, but ultimately seems like he used her for intents unknown.
The book ended without a clear answer about Gabby's abilities, this "other" type/aura color of werewolf, and what was meant by "Our world is being judged" in the synopsis - so I gather they must come into play in future books?
The end of the book seemed a little awkward/rushed.

Unique, great romance, interesting characters.  Even if you don't normally like werewolf stories, give this one a chance - Clay is worth it.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Today's Book Haul!

" can’t run from your past, no matter how hard you try."

"The thing about love, is even when it destroys you, it has a way of mending what is broken. And in the shadows, you can still see the light."
"Can love triumph forever?"

Now the only problem is which to start first!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Revival (The Variant Series, #1)Revival by Jena Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 One minute life is good, happy...normal. In the blink of an eye, it can all disappear. Alex realizes this the hard way when seeing her boyfriend in the arms of another girl initializes a change in Alex where no electronic device is safe in her presence. Her normal high school existence ceases to exist as she goes from school sweetheart to social pariah.

Only to then be stalked, trapped in a burning building by a madman, rescued by a gorgeous - yet annoying - guy, and transported to a cabin in the wilderness for her own safety. One thing is would never be the same again. Alex meets others who have special abilities like her own and receives a crash course into a world she never knew existed.

What I liked:
*This book was paced really well and had lots of action. I liked the style of writing - it draws you right in. I found the book very easy and enjoyable to read.

*All the characters are well written. The main character Alex is really likable and I wanted her to find out what had been hidden from her and to find out about her family's past. I enjoyed all of the Grayson family - Declan, Kenzie, Brian and Nate. Their relationships all seemed very real and it was easy to care about them, as they cared for each other. Cassie is a great best friend, and I like how Kenzie fit right in to their friendship too.

*There was enough possible "love triangle" tension building between Nate, Declan and Alex to make you look forward to see what will happen next. Declan tries to not care (but really does), Nate has a lot of secrets (but obviously has feelings for Alex, too) and Alex is just trying to survive and NOT have any of THOSE feelings for either of the two new gorgeous guys in her life.

*I liked the story line. Yes, its a little x-men meets Kyle XY meets Roswell. But, hey I liked all of those too. In the end the story is its own.

What I was not sold on:
*The Agency. Some random "Govornment" agency is aware of the "Variants" abilities and want Alex. They want her enough to go after her, but are terrified of her at the same time. They want her badly enough to lure her to them, but in the end don't keep her...not really explained why they caved so easily.

*So, the 'bad guy' in the plot, Masterson is creepy. He wants Alex too...and has a prime opportunity to snatch her...and doesn't. Stating he has other business to take care of, but he will be back. He generously wants to give her time to finish her regular schooling, as he know Spring Break is almost over??! Huh? How oddly responsible for a raving lunatic.

*Do I like Nate or not? I wanted to like him, but he has SO many secrets. How does Aiden fit into this, and more importantly - how does Alex fit in?? There were a LOT of unanswered questions at the end of the book.

In Conclusion:
This is a nice easy YA read, with likable characters and an interesting twist to a kids-with-powers concept. I would recommend to any who like light sci-fi. I thought it was an enjoyable story and will be looking out for the next in the series.

*I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair review*

Friday, April 19, 2013

Apollyon (Covenant, #4)Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been holding off on this review to give the book time to stew in my brain...really because it was hard to form a coherent thought once I finished.
When I tried, it sounded something like:  "wait, what?!" and then "no way" and moved on to "holy crazy powers, apollyon" with lots of swoon, cursing at random Greek gods and then tears and then it was pure gibberish. No good.

So...after meditation, relaxation classes and a few xanax, lets try again.

Oh. My. Freaking. God.  This book is epic!
I absolutely adore Jennifer Armentrout's brain and thank her immensely for putting her thoughts on paper (or e-book) for my fan-girly, obsessive, stalkerish enjoyment.

This is no filler book to reach the big ending.  This book is full of action, but more importantly it is full of answers to a lot of questions and does help set up Sentinel quite nicely.

Alex is now an Apollyon and we see the evolution of her growing and coming into her own.  She matures and is able to see the larger picture, even when she doesn't like it.  Thankfully, she keeps her snark intact.  Love her.  The full implication of her future weighs heavily on Alex and we see her accepting her new responsibilities.

A lot of this book is about the emotional and mental struggles that Alex goes through on her journey.  Is she strong enough to maintain her independence from the connection? Does she forgive and try to help Seth? Can she forgive herself for what was said and done in her awakening?  Can she forgive Aiden for the Elixer? What is right and what is wrong and where does she go from here?

Aiden lets himself loosen up - not just in front of Alex, but the others in their group as well.  He is able to express his feelings for Alex and things progress in their relationship despite what anyone else may think (this is where things got so swoony in my pre-xanax and meditation moments).  I love this guy. He is I seriously turned to a puddle of gooey mush reading about his smiles, laughter and openly discussing his feelings for Alex. And he is still smoking hot in his Sentinel uniform. Is it getting hot in here?!?

Seth is still connected to Alex and angry that she seems to be able to function without him.  I vacillated between really not liking him and feeling sorry for him (in his akasha addicted state).  Sometimes he seemed like a little boy looking for love...and other times he was a real @%$%!  I think he believes he is doing the right thing, and really does care for Alex.  In the end though, I thought he seemed weak...and I pitied him.  For all his power, he isn't strong enough to get past his childhood insecurities to see the possibility of him being used and lied to for other's personal gain. I don't know, maybe there is hope for him yet.

My favorite god Apollo is back, another trip to the Underworld where we get to see Caleb, the (remaining) Furies and other visitors from Olympus make appearances, even Alex's Mom is once more present ...Apollyon really is full of action, adventure, love and heartbreak.

Jennifer Armentrout's writing is stellar, and this book will not disappoint. The entire Covenant series is *amazing*, and this is the best yet.  I am absolutely unrepentant in my concupiscence for Sentinel!  In other words...I can't flipping wait!!

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Reaper's Novice (Soul Collector  #1)Reaper's Novice by Cecilia Robert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 Star Review

Reaper's Novice is the first book in the Soul Collector series written by Cecilia Robert.  I would like to thank Ms. Robert for the copy of her book in exchange for a fair review.

The premise of the story is a new twist on the Grimm Reaper, but the head Reaper himself is not a main character in this book.  Instead, we meet Ana - a regular high school girl with normal high school problems.  In order to save her family from tragedy, she offers her services to Grimm (aka Ernest) as his Novice.  In doing so, her life changes irrevocably.  This book is about her initiation into this new world, while still trying to maintain her relationships with her family and friends in the 'real world'.

What I liked:
*The main character Ana was really well written.  She was strong, stubborn and smart...with a huge heart.  Her family and close friends were her entire world.  Zig, Ana's best reaping buddy, was another favorite character.  He was very funny, loyal and obviously cared about Ana a lot.  My other favorite character was Bastian, the High Priest (extraordinaire) of the Draangel (those of Dragon and Angel lineage).  In fact, mostly all of the characters were very well written and developed with clear purpose in the book.

*The descriptive writing and clear creativity used to imagine the Other world (where Grimm and the other beings that co-exist) on the page was fantastic. I really enjoyed reading about Grimm's palace, the Draangel's club, the Mirrorlands and learning about Ana's heritage.

*Even the sadder moments (and there are a few) made me like the characters, and the book as a whole, even more.  Ana is a regular girl who has experienced fear, love, loss, self-sacrifice and pain...yet still manages to put her love of her family first.

What didn't work as well:
*The pace of the book is all over the place.  It is slow in the beginning, but then picks up...only to slow down again, but then takes off once more to the finish.  I started the book and almost put it down as a (DNF - Did not finish)...which would have been a mistake.  You will need to push through the slow bits to get to the good stuff. It will be worth it.

*There are a LOT of secondary characters that you meet through association to Grimm (and are tied to Ana, as you will later discover).  A second story line is introduced and it becomes clear that Ana is more than she appears to be.  It can be confusing with regard to who wants Ana for what purpose.  I hope this gets clearer as the series goes on.

*Rolf.  As Ana's love interest, he did not cut it for me.  From being MIA, to the jekyll-hyde routine (when the truth comes out)...even when he was being sweet, he never inspired the warm & fuzzies for me. (Zig on the other hand...just sayin').

In the end:
Overall this is a great new twist on the Grimm Reaper concept and a good new YA read - with great writing and likable characters - that is a sure bet for your reading pleasure.  I know I will be looking out for the next book in the series!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Real life has been getting in the way of my reviews and blogging, but I am still reading and will be back shortly to post my latest finds.  Until then, do as the sign says.  Happy Reading!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ha! Yes, this circular logic is one I am very familiar with.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Boyfriends

I have a long list of acceptable responses..

BreatheBreathe by Elena Dillon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great new YA book by Elena Dillon - 3.5 Stars!

I was immediately drawn into this story from the first page.  Heck, the first line: "Most days I can almost forget someone murdered my sister."  I mean, who can resist finding out what happened after that kind of opening?!

I liked the main character Jasmine a lot.  She had an inner strength and beauty that she did not recognize. Her family is starting over in a new town on the opposite side of the country. Jas had to deal with fitting in to her new environment, going to a new school and making new friends.  She had taken on a lot of responsibility for her younger brother and sister as well.  Her relationship with her siblings Caedan and Lily was funny and realistic.  I liked her Mother and the dynamic they had as a family - especially a family that had gone through what they have.

Jasmine ended up falling (literally) for one of the hottest guys in school, Easton.  He was a gentleman...and sweet, gorgeous and very swoon-worthy. His brother Trenton, was adorable and their entire family is large, loving and loyal.  (I would hope that Dillon would explore more with these characters - as Chase and Trenton surely have stories to tell!) OK, Jas and Easton's relationship  was a little on the insti-love side, but I was willing to look past it in this case and still enjoy the story. Easton was protective, honest and very understanding with Jas.

This book had a little of everything - the 'new girl' finding her way, good friends doing normal high school stuff, parental relationships and sibling rivalries, romance ... and a darker element of suspense and mystery involving sinister text messages, phone calls and flowers.  Jasmine discovered her nightmare of the 'Monster' was also to become her reality.  Could she save her family and friends?  Could she save herself?

I had not read much YA with suspense and mystery, but I did enjoy this book very much. I liked Elena Dillon's writing style and character development.  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

*An ARC was received in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

To Stand Beside HerTo Stand Beside Her by B. Kristin McMichael

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Leila is a courier, and a really good one. She is strong, resourceful, courageous and compassionate. She has a lot of friends, but also a lot of enemies in kingdoms across the land - whose leaders wish to possess her. Leila is able to get out of almost any situation...but it wasn't until she met King Nalick that she found a reason to stay.

I enjoyed reading this book, and really liked Leila, Nalick and Anatolio. The story was fast paced and full of adventure and twists. It was a unique YA/Fantasy story line and did not feel like something that I have read before.

I did wish that I could have gotten a more personal perspective into what the characters were thinking (I have a personal preference for stories written in 1st person and this book was not). I wanted to know more about Nalick and Anatolio. I wish there was more of a build up in the relationship between Leila and Anatolio, as he is such a large part of the story. The last 1/3 of the book seemed a little rushed and a lot of major events were glossed over with little or no detail. The end of the book, while not a typical ending, was not an issue for me. A little sad, a little awkward maybe. There is definitely room for the author to pick the story back up and continue in a second novel.

Overall, it was interesting and a good read. I would recommend to anyone who likes the YA/Fantasy genre.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jordyn (A Daemon Hunter Novel, #1)Jordyn by Tiffany King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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This is the first book in the Daemon Hunter series, but is also a spin off of the Saving Angels series...which I did not know originally (and have not yet read). I did not feel that I had to have already read that series first however, as I understood all that was happening in this book without it. (Though, perhaps beneficial if you want to connect more with the secondary characters.)

Jordyn is the main character and she is a witty, sarcastic, snarky female (yes, ok sometimes a little whiny too)...who could kick some serious Daemon (and Angel) ass. I liked this girl - her quick wit and banter between other characters made me LOL on a number of occasions.
Jordyn doesn't remember her past, and is always being told how "special" she is. She has powers that are unknown and still developing as she finds herself. She has amazing strength, endurance and fighting skills to go along with her confidence and bravery. Despite her abilities, and her friends and 'family' that surround her, she feels alone.

Emrys - a Soul Trader, wise-ass, and general bad influence on Jordyn (facilitator of place traveling and tattoo accrual). However, there appears to be some real connection between the two as their romance grows. He was actually really very sweet to Jordyn - and is the one person in her life that makes her feel "normal". Yes, it was slightly on the insti-love side for me...I would have preferred more build up and back story. We have yet to see what Emrys' is really up to.

We also meet Jordyn's friends and family...Guides and Protectors, and an Arch Angel. They were nicely developed in this book, but I did not have any real connection to them (which may be why you would consider reading the Saving Angels series as well).

Overall, I was happily surprised to have like this book as much as I did. I enjoyed the characters and the dialog. I think the book was a little short (I just wanted more!) and I think there could have maybe been a little more story to the romance development ... as well as the Soul Traders interest in Jordyn.

I will definitely be reading the next book and am looking forward to continuing Jordyn and Emrys' story.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Black Moon (Paige Tailor, #1)Black Moon by Jessica McQuay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author, Jessica McQuay, for a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

My thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit.  Its different from what I have been reading lately and a nice change.  I have read other books about the Fae, and other supernatural creatures co-existing...but not quite like this one.  I must say there was a lot about the story that was unexpected...and not in a bad way.


What I liked:
The description of the settings - especially the Fae lands of Varulean.

I really liked the character of Naialah.  I wish I knew more about her, but I liked her strength and attitude and the way she dealt with Paige's childish tantrums.

While I was waiting for the big bulgy-muscled male fairy to come along (maybe Kheelan, since he was introduced...but never mentioned again) to be the friend/love never happened.  Instead we meet Naialah, a female...not really sure what she is...but non-Fae as Paige's instructor and friend.  It ends up, I was ok without the big bulgy male lead.  It was hinted at that there may be more than friendship involved with Naialah and Paige - and while never stated outright, it seemed apparent that something is there.  It should be interesting to see how it is handled and how this relationship develops in future books.

The description of Paige's grandparents. They oozed disapproval and disdain at their half-Fae granddaughter and her antics.  The grandmother is much colder and aloof - very Faery Queen like.

What bothered me:
Paige's mother.  The relationship is kind of superficial, though we are told that Paige tells her everything.  When revealing the big "secret" to Paige about her being part Fae, she lies about why she hasn't been back to her home world of Varulean in telling her daughter she had been banished.  Truth is that her grandparent's had paid to have Paige's father killed because her mother refused to go home and instead stayed on Earth's plane, living with a shifter and having a child together. Even knowing this, Paige's mother decides now that Paige knows the secret, its time to go back and visit.  Which is just confusing, as she had just said she was banished...and hence should not have been allowed back.  Right?  Anyway, to go back knowing the truth was just wrong in my opinion.  I mean, did she think her parent's had changed that much?!

The werewolves.  They are there, one is angry and wants to hurt Paige. Why? They are all following her. Why?  Their purpose is never detailed in this book, at all.  The pack Alpha is dead and he really didn't have much of a purpose...and it appeared to me that he was really ineffective as a pack leader.  Why were they employed by the King and what end?  What happened to the remaining wolves?

I didn't connect with Paige.  I thought I might in the beginning, but her actions were terribly immature and thoughtless.  She was kind of disrespectful and egocentric.  I guess some teens are like that though...I just could not connect and I didn't really like her that much.

In conclusion:
An overall good read that was different and enjoyable.  I hope that future books are able to clear up some of the questions and issues left unresolved here.  I would definitely read more from this author.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

*Happy Dance*
Thank you Harper Collins Publishers for my ARC of Period 8 by Chris Crutcher.  I am looking forward to reading this as soon as I finish my current book (another ARC of Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay).

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cam's Cookies Rock My World

Wait for YouWait for You by J. Lynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**4.5 STARS**

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First, I was so happy my blog got to be a part of the cover reveal for this book...and incredibly happy that it was released early! I love JLA's books and was SO looking forward to reading Wait For You.

Second, I am a HUGE fan of both Aiden and Daimon (because, lets face it - Jennifer Armentrout can create totally crushable, swoon-worthy hotness in her male leads) and, though I have a hard time believing it possible, I love Cam even more. There, I said it.

What I loved about this book? Everything. The story, the characters (both lead and secondary), the setting, the humor, the drama, the relationships. All of it.

This book contains some serious issues that are both horrible and realistic, but written with respect and handled really well.
Our MC Avery has been through hell, at the hands of a boy and her parents - lived through heart-breaking sadness, loneliness, experienced hatred and was treated as an outcast. She is incredibly strong and resilient. A survivor.
Cam. *Swoon, Sigh, Repeat* He is perfect in his imperfections. A real guy you could run into in the world (yes, please). Incredibly confident, loyal to family and those he loves, funny, sweet and beautiful. He has his own past and can be kind of ...well, a guy. But, that only adds to why he is so lovable. And he has a pet tortoise. I heart Cam.

Even the secondary characters were great - Brit, Jacob, Ollie...loved them all. I include Rafael in this category too...he rocks.

There was no insta-love..but rather an aggressive effort at NOT being in a relationship (at least for Avery) outside of friendship. I loved the friendship she and Cam shared - the stargazing, the movie watching, the egg cooking, the baked goods eating buildup of sexual tension was awesome. There was plenty of laughs and back & forth banter...and when they finally fall into each other, plenty of sweet kisses and swoony moments. *Swoon, Sigh, Repeat*
Oh, and yes...I would eat Cam's cookies anytime, any place. You heard me.

What I took from the story is that no matter what may have happened in your past, it does not dictate your future. You can decide who you are, and who you want to be...nobody else, and no past event can define you - unless you let it.

Go get it, read it, love it...but know that Cam is taken. So are Aiden and Daimon. No, really...mine.

*Minor warning to those who notice these sorts of things...there are a lot of grammatical errors present in the book (wrong words used, tenses, punctuation etc). I normally don't notice these things much (because honestly, I mess those up regularly myself!) and the fact that I did notice at all may say something...about the editing. But, honestly it did not detract from the story for me, and my love of the book as a whole.*

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rush Crush

Never Too Far (Too Far, #2)Never Too Far by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me be totally honest...I HAVE A SERIOUS CASE OF RUSH CRUSH.

Never Too Far starts off where Fallen Too Far ends, and brings you right back into the heartache and sorrow Blaire is experiencing at the end of the first book.  I was completely pulled back in from page one.  As much as I was anticipating Never Too Far (and seriously, who wouldn't be after the ending of the first book!), I was nervous that I would not like the characters as much this time around...that the story wouldn't hold up to my hopes or expectations.
I was wrong...I fell in love with Rush all over again (though there were moments where I wanted to freaking slap him silly - a week Rush, really?!? *slap*) and Blaire was as independent (read:stubborn) and lovable as ever (though there were times I just wanted her to go off on Rush, like she did Cain...because, honestly - he deserved it.  She seemed to lose her confidence and second guessed herself on every little thing...damned hormones).  The romance between Rush and Blaire was sweet and the sex was HOT! Melt your panties hot. Yum!
I absolutely LOVED Woods and Bethy...hell, even this book. They were all fabulous and I for one cannot wait to learn more about Woods and hear his story - he was seriously sweet in this book.

*Spoiler Alert*
The one thing about this book that I didn't like as much was that it seemed rushed along -especially at the end.  It really felt like there should have been another chapter or epilogue because the ending was rather abrupt.  It was a happy moment, and I was thrilled for Blaire and Rush...but I just wanted more.  More closure. I wanted the birth story, or at least a glimpse at Blaire and Rush as parents.  Oh, read from Rush's point of view the birth of his baby would be amazing. I would like to know what happens between Blaire and her father...have they come to some sort of understanding...has he decided to be present in her life?  What is the relationship between Rush's family now that the truth has come out?  What is up with Grant's behavior toward Nan (please please do not let him have been the one in Nan's room *shudder*). What happens with Jace and Bethy?

Well, thank goodness Abbi Glines has decided to write a 3rd book (way to go fans who pushed this to #1 !!) and we can hopefully get answers and resolution...and a happily ever after for these characters whom I love so much!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wait For You

I am SOOO excited to share this with you all.  I have been waiting (not so patiently) for this book to come out - and not only do I get to reveal the cover...the book has been released EARLY!! 

What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?

“J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author 

“For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud, fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES 

“I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this one. It really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books

“Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes

“For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic

“For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms

“I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?


Some things are worth waiting for…
Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.
Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.
Some things should never be kept quiet…
But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

WAIT FOR YOU is available now!
 J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Heaven & Hell

I am in heaven.  I am in hell.  So many books have just come out that I have been waiting to read.  Plus, having purchased both Never Too Far by Abbi Glines and Shattered Promises by Jessica Sorensen today...while at work, and unable to immediately start reading...was pure torture.  Torture.  Lunch was just a tease.  Full time employment is seriously cutting into my reading schedule!  AND, I was already reading Ethereal Knights by Addison Moore, too.  

So, right now I am on Chapter 2 of Shattered Promises, Chapter 6 of Ethereal Knights and Pg.433 of Never Too Far.  Oh, and Jennifer Armentrout has been teasing us online that we may not need to wait as long for Wait For You (release date March 4th...or is it?!?).  *Happy Dance!*  Check back soon for a possible Cover Reveal for Wait For You!!

If you haven't gotten these yet - what are you waiting for!  ;)

Happy Reading!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

While I am thinking about it, I wanted to remind you that there are a few books coming out soon that I know I have been waiting for!  The dates I have listed were taken from the author's blogs/websites:

Never Too Far by +Abbi Glines  
Release date February 26th  
Can. Not. Wait.  #IheartRush

Shattered Promises by Jessica Sorensen
Release date February 26th
One word:  Alex

*WHY, oh why must you ladies make me choose which to read first!!*

Wait For You by Jennifer Armentrout
Release date March 4th

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Release date April 2nd
Oh, Travis...I have missed you.

So yeah, mark your calendars!  I will be stalking B&N, waiting to hit the 'buy now' button!!

Happy Reading!!

Just Released!!

Ethereal Knights  (Celestra Knights)Ethereal Knights by Addison Moore

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Looky Looky what I have my little hands on!  Ethereal Knights was just released this evening by Addison Moore to Amazon, Smashwords and will be on Barnes & Noble soon...check out her website for more information on where you can get it.  Check out her blog:

This is Ethereal told from the POV of Logan and Gage.  Will be happily off reading now...make sure you check it out!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Butterfly or Angel?

MetamorphosisMetamorphosis by Erin Noelle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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3.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
Scarlett MacGregor has lived a very sheltered life courtesy of her over-the-top controlling parents. Having never been to a co-ed party, much less on a date, Scarlett has relied on her books, her music, and living vicariously through her best friend Evie to keep her sanity as she's patiently awaited her freedom from their rule.
When Scarlett and Evie go away to college, Scarlett quickly meets Ashton, Dylan, and later, Mason, and is thrown into a crash course of like, love, and lust. With Evie's help, she must figure out the difference in the three and which one she wants before she ends up without any of them.

Well, first I will say that this is a great debut in the NA world by Erin Noelle.  I liked the writing style and thought the use of other 'book boyfriends' was cute (and extremely easy to relate to).  Also, I would like to know what Scarlett is drinking with her juice to make Ash, Dylan and Mason want to be with her...cuz, if its bottled, I want it.

Lets get to the good stuff...
Ash.  Ohh, Ash.  He and Scarlett have an immediate connection.  Too bad he is a self-proclaimed man-whore.  He wants Scarlett, but is also afraid that he isn't what she needs right now ...that she needs to come out of her cocoon and experience life before he thinks about being with her.  Regardless of the fact that he finds himself needing and wanting her as much as she wants him, he continues to push her away. She is Pshyche to his Eros.

And there is Dylan, Scarlett's Abercrombie Frat Boy.  He is cute, likes to spend time talking (and making out with) Scarlett on Saturday nights when they meet at a friends party.  Scarlett likes Dylan, but feels something is a little off - as he can only see her on Saturday nights...and she doesn't feel the same connection as with Ash.  But hey, he kisses great.

Last we meet Mason.  Oh. My. Mason. Yes, yes you will like this Hot, Bad Boy, Rock God with the tats and piercings...and a heart of gold.  He rocks Scarlett's world as he coaches her in all things intimate (and believe me things get steamy and yummy and where can I get one of him?!). She is his Angel.

What I liked:
I enjoyed the relationship between the best friends Scarlett and Evie.  She was Scarlett's only real friend growing up due to her parent's over-protectiveness.  Evie was great, and I liked her a lot.

I liked the references to other books (and book boyfriends)- with the intention of finding real life boys to match the types of guys they most like in their books.  Heh...sounds like a plan to me!

I liked the male leads - mainly Ash and Mason.  They each had connections to Scarlett.  They each had some hot & steamy moments and you find yourself liking each of them for very different reasons.

The secondary characters were all good, and developed well enough to play their part in the story.  The pace was good and kept the story moving.  The book had just enough quirky, just enough angst and a good amount of plain old drama to keep you satisfied.

What I didn't like as much:
You could see hints building up to the major 'climactic event' kinda knew something was coming.  But, when it happened I had to stop and re-read the page.  Honestly, I was like 'Wait, what?!'. Its rather abrupt, yet at the same time heartbreaking.

I felt like some of the decisions Scarlett made were rather immature and some of the twists and turns in her thinking and actions were not necessary to get to the same end (in my humble opinion).
Lets be honest...Scarlett is indecisive. C'mon girl, you can't keep both Ash and Mason all to yourself while you choose who you want - leave some hope for the rest of us!!

My Thoughts:
Yeah, you should read the book.  I found myself liking Ash, but liking Mason too.  I couldn't decide whom I wanted Scarlett to end up with...there was no clear answer. Personally, Mason had a slight edge for me - just because I felt he was there for Scarlett and more real with her...and didn't continually push her away when she got too close.  I mean really, who doesn't love a bad boy?

But, oh my goodness...the ending. Lets just say, you may not see it coming.  You may be ecstatic or heartbroken, but the fact is - the story doesn't end here.  I for one am looking forward to book two where the battle of the wings begins.
Will she be a Butterfly or an Angel?

Thank you Ms. Noelle for a great ride.  I can't wait for the next book.  I really hope you decide to entertain us with multiple POVs - because I would love love love to know what is in Ash and Mason's heads when they wage war for Scarlett's heart.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1)My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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3.5 Stars

This book takes place at the University of Maine, where we meet Taylor and Hunter. She is feisty, a little damaged, and totally unable to keep a certain new roommate out of her thoughts. Hunter is seriously swoon-worthy, with his own baggage but a fabulous sense of humor and H.O.T.

What I liked:
*The relationship between Hunter and Taylor was slow and built up over insti-love.
*The sexual tension / frustration that builds is Ahhhh-Mazinggg!!
*Hunter. Yes, all of him. Total swoon-worthy hunk of man. Tattoos, plays guitar, sings, witty, smart, not a slob and can cook really, really well.
*Hunter never gives up on Taylor, is there for her at every turn...Even when she absolutely doesn't deserve him, in my opinion.
*The secondary characters are all pretty well developed and serve a purpose for being there.

What I didn't like so much:
*Taylor's massive attitude. I thought she was a little immature, judgmental and overly skittish. In short she really was bitchy. Yes, I guessed the 'big secret' fairly early on, but as much a I can empathize - her attitide still seemed to be overly dramatic.
*The slow reveal of the "secrets" between Taylor and Hunter.

Overall the book was a good read and I enjoyed Hunter to no end. It may bring to mind Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire...but in fact, the stories are very different and stand on their own.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*Spoiler Alert*

This and other reviews on Goodreads:

Jade is our main character and we see the story evolve through her eyes.  She experiences panic attacks and has learned to control her anxiety with medication and counselling.  Jade loves her little brother - who enjoys nothing more than reading his fantasy novels, but is forced into a multitude of sports by a demanding Father who insists that sports will make him a man.  Jade's mother is re-living high school (and drowning her depression of moving to the city and an unhappy marriage) by getting involved in every PTA function available - including going to Prom.

Jade loves the zoo which is a couple blocks from their house and watches the zoo-cam regularly, particularly the elephants.  She sees a boy with a baby on the webcam and he catches her eye because he is cute, but also her imagination with who he is and if the baby belongs to him.  Eventually Jade gets a part-time job at the elephant enclosure and learns a lot about the animals from their caretaker.  We meet Sebastian and baby Bo when they return to visit the elephants once more.

Jade and Sebastian get to know each other more, and there is a definite connection.  As we hear Sebastian's story of single fatherhood at such a young age, we discover he is hiding a big secret that could affect not only him, but his 18 month old baby boy, Bo.  Jade's parents eventually find out about Sebastian and his secret, which causes her mother to make a call to the authorities and puts Sebastian, his Aunt, and Bo on the run again.

Jade's parents go through their own evolution, as her mother's indiscretion with the HS Librarian is discovered by other students and brought to Jade's attention. Her Father moves out and starts to do things he enjoys again, and Jade's little brother is relieved to be rid of endless sporting commitments.

Sebastian and Bo are still in touch, and moving to New Mexico.  Jade decides she knows what she wants and who she wants to be with.  She transfers from her 'safe' university near home to start living free from her fears, at a school in Santa Fe.

This story is about finding yourself in the chaos of your world.  It is about discovering what we as people are willing to do for family and for love. 

North of Beautiful

North of BeautifulNorth of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really touching and lovely book.  It is one of those stories that you need to let pull you in...and you may need to push through the fist couple chapters and get used to the continuous cartography references (which really are beautiful once you have read the whole book).  But... it is so worth it in the end.

At first I thought the story was going to be rather superficial...a girl with a birthmark and her struggle to cover it up in the haste to avoid ridicule from her classmates and maintain an image of 'normalcy'. I was wrong.  The book encompasses so much more depth of emotion, and covers serious issues like divorce, a verbally abusive parent/husband and the fallout in a family it causes, foreign adoption & cultural acceptance, body issues, true beauty, and love.

This is really a story of relationships.  Parents and children, Mother and Father, Brother and Sister, Boyfriend and Girlfriend, Friends.  This is a story of self discovery...of learning what is important, what is real.  This is a story of growth.  This is a story of love. Love of oneself, for who you are and love of another - which can only truly happen when you accept yourself first.

The love found between Terra and Jacob is sweet, and evolves with realism.  I loved his character - even without the usual bulging muscles and washboard abs descriptors - he is amazing. His own story is compelling and adds so much to the book.  I really liked that even though this book is told in Terra's POV, you see and feel the stories of other characters, playing out in her eyes.  This book is thought provoking and beautiful, and I am so glad to have experienced it.

See for yourself.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Too much glitter is not a good thing.

Need (Need, #1)Need by Carrie Jones

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

**Spoiler Alert**

This Review can also be found on Goodreads

This is the story of Zara, a girl who watched her step-father die, and lost her own will to participate in daily life. Her mother, fearing for her mental well-being, sends Zara to rural Maine to stay with her Grandmother (because everybody knows a mentally unstable person should be isolated in the wilds of a sparsely populated area). Zara is a regular encyclopedia of phobias (though it is never really explained why she knows them all well enough to list them, as she does...repeatedly). In Maine, she meets mean girls, hot boys and true friends all in one day. What she learns is that most of the people she now knows hide secrets about who, or what, they really are.

As she unfolds the story of a mysterious pointing man/stalker, who seems to have followed her from her home in South Carolina, with his trail of gold glitter - Zara comes to understand that the people around her that she thought she knew best are actually shifters. Her grandmother is a were-tiger, her boyfriend is a werewolf (or dog, as she liked to refer to him) and one of her friends is a ...were-eagle. Yes, Eagle.

As it happens, the gold dust apparently indicates that the mysterious man is a Pixie. No, don't laugh. Only Pixie Kings leave trails of gold glitter, so the King himself is after Zara. She believes he wants her to be his Queen. Why? Because she and her friends found it on the internet. Google is good, people.

“Pixies have to be invited in, like vampires. I read it on the Internet."

See now, I need to jump in here and say that this is one of the things that kind of bugged me about this book. Anything that was too hard to explain, or too difficult to dive deep enough to build a believable back story, was just explained away with the internet or a random library book. Come on now, work with me. Suspension of disbelief is expected in a Fantasy book...but give me the Fantasy part, not a lazy attempt at explaining away things that were never thought enough about to actually come up with plausible story!

OK moving, it turns out that the Pixie King is not after Zara to be his Queen. He is after her mother...because HE is Zara's FATHER. Hold on, I am having a Darth Vader moment ... ... Ok, better now. Yeah, so Zara is part pixie and is the bait to get her mother up to Maine so he can keep her and take part of her soul so he won't have to kidnap local boys (only boys will do) and suck their blood to maintain control and power. What? What part are you confused about?

Well anyway, Zara's mom falls for it and manages to get to the Pixie hideout to turn herself over to her Baby Daddy in exchange for Zara being let go. Zara doesn't like the thought of her mother being trapped in the Pixie Kings secret hideout (mansion) in the woods that is glamoured to the human eye forevermore. SO, she and her shifter grandmother, boyfriend, and 2 friends decide to use railroad ties, barbed wire and forks, spoons and knives to trap the pixies in the house (they don't like burns) with a rickety fence like structure - after her mother walks out the front door and makes it outside of the barbed wire circle unchallenged, of course. DO NOT ask me why duct-taped spoons and forks on the outside of the windows keeps the Pixies inside (and/or scared). I just don't know.

This is the first book in a series, so obviously there is no end or any hope at resolution in this book. So, be prepared if you like to see a story through to the end.

My thoughts:
First, the characters are superficial. I did like Grandma Betty...she had spunk. Zara was annoying at best and the rest were bland, undeveloped.

Second, the "romance" is contrived and based solely on how hot she thinks he is, and how cute he thinks she is...there is no substance. Her thoughts on her were-boyfriend are limited to how bulgy his muscles are and that his eyes are dreamy. His sole purpose is to 'protect' her. He is channeling his inner Edward. And Edward does it better.

Third, The whole introduction of pixies (to a girl who was not yet aware of the whole were-factor) was like 'oh, we think the pointing dude is a pixie' and Zara was all like 'yeah, i totally get that'. What the bloody #@*! ??

Fourth, Do I really need a fourth? Ok, fine. Fourth, the dialog was forced. It didn't flow, to the point where it was a little painful to read, where you could tell it was trying to be funny...but just wasn't.

Fifth, the plot was thin, lazy. There was hardly any back story to anything. The ending, which I assume was to be a climactic scene was very ... anti-climactic. A letdown. Uninspired.

In short, I will not be spending more time with this series.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Flight...doesn't quite soar with me

Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1)Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5 stars *Spoiler Alert!*

Started my review...deleted...started again...deleted.  Can I really begin my review with 'Well, I didn't hate it'?  Because I really really wanted to like it.  I read the synopsis and thought...Yes, ok - sounds interesting.  And really, I did like the premise of the story originally!  Reality is...well, I didn't hate it.

Our girl Allie is on her way with her flirty/boy-crazy BFF, Jess to New Orleans so they can work in Allie's (mostly absent) father's newly renovated hotel for the summer.  Allie has just broken up with her boyfriend and she has decided to swear off men.  They enter the Crescent City Hotel and Allie immediately locks eyes with a hot guy in the lobby.  So much for the no men thing.
Meet Levi...the hot (aggressive, confident, arrogant, bossy, doesn't-know-how-to-take-no-for-an-answer, infuriating, yet once in a while sweet) guy and his group of friends. After a couple of outings, Jess goes too far for her own comfort with one of Levi's friends and decides to leave the job, the boy and her friend behind to go home. Inexplicably, this also causes a rift in the friendship to the point she and Allie barely speak.  Umm, ok *shrugs*.  Enter Hailey, one of Levi's friends, to take the newly available BFF spot. (#convenient)

After hanging out for a couple weeks, Levi decides to tell Allie his secret...or show her, rather. See, he and his friends are shifters...crow shifters to be exact. Yes, I said in the bird.  They have big wings that come out of their back, but they stay humanoid otherwise - and they can fly (as Allie discovers when Levi pulls her off of a tall building), they are strong...and surely have some other super-human powers that we will discover in the next book.  And there are things like vampires (at the bottom of the paranormal society totem pole...they suck blood, you see), werewolves and werecats as well.  And the crow shifters are the leaders of this hierarchy.  Oh, and they are rich. Of course.
And Allie's reaction to all of this is, not a mental break with intensive psychiatric, she doesn't freak and get the hell out of dodge...not at all. She is cool with it - no biggie!  Well. Ok.

So, after knowing each other for a couple months...Levi takes Allie out on a 'real date' to a fancy restaurant and gives her this bright shiny ring with rubies on it.  She is a little wary (she believes this is a summer fling that will end when she goes away to college).  But yeah, she still takes the nice ring.
On the way home, there is kissing, groping and steaminess - a veritable spike in hormonal activity, which leads these two back to the 2BR Hotel suite Allie's staying in (did I forget to mention that earlier?) to explore their hormones in the dark together.  Soooo, the next morning things are all good...until Allie discovers she can't get the ring off.  Huh!
Hailey, being the good crow-shifter BFF, explains that the ring and the er..consummation..while wearing said ring, now makes Allie tied to Levi as his 'mate'.  Yup.  (And the ring can't come off.  Well, maybe if she amputated her finger or something, but apparently its like fused on there good.) Yeah, Levi did that...without telling her what it meant.  Douche!! Jackass!  Controlling, manipulative asshole!  WTF??!  Etc.

Allie THEN freaks and leaves town.  What the BFF neglects to mention is that her new 'mate' is the crown-Prince of ...well, whatever this paranormal society is called...oh wait!  I believe its The Society (Yes, that makes her the Princess) and, she is unsafe outside of New Orleans - which is the seat of power.
(Just stay with me here...)
Long story condensed...kidnapping, attempted rape, rescue, returned to New Orleans, talks to/doesn't forgive Levi for asshole-ishness, she is told she cannot leave the city for her safety (and to keep her other family safe  - it would be bad if she were to expose them to this life) so forget Princeton, and then onto a forced engagement party.  The End.
Wait, what?!  Oh that's right.  Book 2.

My thoughts:
OK. So, I liked the setting of New Orleans.  The description of the locale was pretty great. I actually liked the premise of different shifters, and a society of these paranormal beings with a royal hierarchy. It could have been really good.
I liked the IDEA of the main characters...they had real potential.  Levi was a guy, if done well, you would love (and love to hate).  Allie is a girl you could really like (smart, independent, stands up for herself) as lead character - but there was just something missing.

What was missing:
1.The characters.  Yes, I just got done saying I liked them...or really WANTED to like them.  However, there was no depth.  Very little character development whatsoever.  It was all ...they did this, they did that, they said this...blah, blah.  But you never really feel the relationships between the characters. You never really gain any insight into what any of them are thinking...even Allie's thoughts are shallow and vague...flat. The different relationships between ALL characters in the book are surface only, and makes it hard to really care about them (or believe they really care about each other).  Extremely disappointing, because I think that it could have been really good with proper development.

2. The dialog.  Holy crow (see what I did there?), it was bad.  I had to actually force myself not to skip dialog. Honestly, I found myself adding descriptors into the sentences as I read them (about how the words would be said, the expressions on the faces, the little impressions that give insight and feeling to the words) that were just...missing.  When I read some of the dialogue I thought - no, this is not how a college Freshman going to Princeton (!), and a guy going into his Senior year at Tulane would have a conversation.  It was immature and unrealistic (read:middle school).  The thought processes/arguments for the events that took place the way they did, were weak and didn't appear to be well thought out...contrived.  Pet peeve of mine was the seemingly excessive and gratuitous use of "Really?" and "cool" by our girl Allie.

3. Major glossing over of LARGE parts of the whole supernatural world that was introduced, but never all... in the book. Yeah, secret basement headquarters under the Hotel (read:upscale batcave?).  Levi says Allie can ask anything she wants, but refuses to answer pretty much everything.  Then Allie just doesn't ask anymore.  There are so many loose ends and unexplained elements to the whole 'Society' - that it leaves you confused as to why it was ever brought up to begin with.

4. The fact that the ending of this story is that the girl must essentially give up her family (to keep them safe), her Ivy League education (because she won't be safe on her own), and be engaged to a guy who tricked her (by lies of omission) and took away her choice for her future due to his own selfishness.  But, yay...she is a Princess.  (Kill me now.)
And yes, I get the concept of letting go of one version of your life to start another...I just don't believe this was executed well in this story.

#Frustrated.  I wanted to like this story a lot.  I liked the idea of it, and parts were ok. I wanted SO much more.  I am not sure I will be able to continue in the series...which kind of irritates me because I think the story line could be interesting.  I just do not think I could endure the lack of development and dialog for another whole book.

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