Friday, August 12, 2016

Vial Things (Resurrectionist #1) by Leah Clifford | Review

Vial Things (Resurrectionist #1) by Leah Clifford | ReviewVial Things by Leah Clifford
Series: Resurrectionist #1
on August 9, 2016
Genres: Horror
Format: ebook
Source: Author
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5 Stars

When the resurrectionists of Fissure's Whipp begin disappearing, eighteen-year-old Allie knows someone is after their blood—or, more accurately, the genetic mutation that allows their blood to heal wounds, save lives and even bring back the recently deceased.

Raised by her aunt after her parents' deaths, Allie knows staying vigilant means staying alive. She's trained her whole life to protect herself by any means necessary, from self defense classes to extensive weapons training in knives. Now, she’s gone so far as to befriend a homeless boy named Ploy who unknowingly trades a few nights a week on her couch in exchange for being a human tripwire to those hunting her.

But as Allie and Ploy's feelings for each other grow, Allie realizes this time, she'll need more than fighting skills and a sharp blade to beat a villain literally out for blood.

Protecting a girl he shouldn’t love, from a threat he understands too well, Ploy must face his past to save his future in Allie’s world—a world where bringing back the dead can cost you your life.

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a book from Leah Clifford but it didn’t take long for me to remember why I loved her first series.  Vial Things is the start of her new Resurrectionist series and while it definitely gave me the same vibe as her Touch trilogy, it really captured my attention with it’s unique new story.

Vial Things is the story of Allie, a teen resurrectionist trying to escape her gift.  She doesn’t mind the whole bringing people back to life thing but she doesn’t like that her family uses it as a way to make money.  She decided that the easiest way to deal with it was to leave it all behind.  That plan is a good one until resurrectionists start turning up dead.  Allie knows that someone is hunting them and she isn’t safe just because she doesn’t use her gift.  She teams up with a homeless boy named Ploy and together they set out to make things safe for the resurrectionists again.

Pros:

  • Characters: I knew I was going to like Allie from the start.  Yes she was closed off but that wasn’t really by her choice.  The only people in her life who knew what she was capable of wouldn’t accept her once she stopped using her ability.  She found it hard to trust others and she didn’t exactly have an easy time of making friends.  I found her to be really likable, even if she didn’t show a whole lot of emotion.  She was lonely and that was something that is so easy to relate to.  That loneliness didn’t stop her from being a total bad-ass though.  She was strong and fierce and willing to do what it took to survive.  Ploy was similar to Allie in a lot of ways.  He was homeless and not exactly fit for the streets.  It was easy to see that no matter how he acted, he wasn’t always as brave as he seemed.  Allie was a friend to him; one of the only ones he had.  He had secrets from her, that’s for sure but so did she.  They were both using each other for different reasons but as they used each other they got to know each other and started to genuinely like one another.  Neither of them were completely trustworthy and there were times when I questioned what exactly one or the other was going to do but that’s one of the things that kept me hooked and on the edge of my seat.
  • Backstory: The science behind the resurrectionists did confuse me at times but it was really interesting.  The ability isn’t something that everyone gets and it’s not something that just comes out of nowhere.  It’s a genetic thing that manifests in some children but not all.  As this is the start of a series, I understand that I probably didn’t get everything there is to know about the resurrectionists but I look forward to finding out more.  There was so much about the family dynamics that I feel like I didn’t get and I hope to find out more about that as Allie learns more about being part of a group of resurrectionists.
  • Pacing: The story moves along at a rather quick pace.  There isn’t ever really a time when you’ll want to step away from the story.  Things are constantly happening and new information is being learned at all times.  I had a hard time stepping away from Vial Things once I was really able to sit down and start reading.  It’s one of those books that hooks you early on and doesn’t let you go until the last page has been read.

Overall, Vial Things needs to be on your radar, if it’s not already.  Leah Clifford has a way with the dark and morbid and scary and I love it.  I look forward to reading more in this series.

Overall reaction:

 

What others are saying about Vial Things:

Insane About Books’ review: “The words disappeared as I read this story, and I found the building of this story  with anticipation and mystery completely brilliant.”

Novelknight’s review: “This is going on my recommendations list for the September newsletter (a little late for August unfortunately).”

Friday, February 13, 2015

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler | Review

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler | ReviewLast Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
Series: Radleigh University #1
on December 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 414
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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4 Stars

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

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Last Will and Testament has been on my TBR for a while.  Y’all know me, I’m a sucker for new adult novels.  This one was no exception.  I was hooked from the start.  In fact, I was so hooked I actually missed my train because I was paying no attention to anything but the book.

One thing that always gets me hooked is humor and Last Will and Testament was definitely not lacking in that department.  While it starts off on a more somber note, it definitely contains humor to balance the sadness.  Lizzie’s sense of humor is perfect.  She is snarky and witty and so easy to like.  There were times when I just wanted to applaud her for her ability to stay so humorous even after everything.  The banter between her and Connor was also perfect.  Connor did seem like a bit of a stick in the mud at first but once he opened up a bit more to Lizzie I started to like him.  Who could possibly go wrong with a sexy history nerd?

Lizzie and Connor definitely had their problems though.  They had a lot of back and forth going on for a while.  This was mainly on Connor’s part but Lizzie definitely helped it along.  One day Connor would be all over Lizzie and the next day he’d tell her they could never have a relationship.  The next day he’d be all over her again.  I understand where he was coming from but it was a little annoying.  Like I said, Lizzie didn’t help matters though because she was always showing up at his office or texting him.  I could see why he might be confused.

The romance was beyond steamy.  I had just gotten to a really good part when I missed my train and once you read the book you’ll understand why I might have been a little distracted.  Connor and Lizzie have some serious chemistry between them.  They  might not always like each other but they can’t deny that.  They also built up a pretty great friendship after everything they went through.  There was some serious drama with the two of them but they made it work.

The custody situation was an interesting aspect of the story.  I wasn’t all that impressed with how Lizzie handled taking care of her brothers but she was young and not equipped for a situation like that.  Tyler was 13 and Max was 7 and they both had issues that they needed adults to help with.  I was a bit disappointed with how much Lizzie left them alone.  I get that she had a lot going on in her life and Tyler was capable of babysitting but she left him in charge quite often, even when she was home with them.  I wanted to see her mature to a point where she was really there for both of her brothers and I don’t think she ever reached that point.

Overall, Last Will and Testament kept me hooked from beginning to end and definitely left me wanting more.  I’m eager to continue this new adult series.  I would highly recommend this one.

What others are saying about Last Will and Testament:

Emilie’s Book World’s review: “The latest in the string of awesome New Adult I’ve read is Dahlia Adler’s Last Will and Testament.”

A Reader of Fictions’ review: “Finally, since I forgot to mention it above, Dahlia’s NA some fabulous sassy humor, so if you’re into crude jokes and her Twitter feed, you’ll get some chuckles.”

SleepsOnTables’ review: “It goes so much deeper than the typical NAs we’ve seen before and I can’t wait for Radleigh University #2!”

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Party Girl by Rachel Hollis | Review

Party Girl by Rachel Hollis | ReviewParty Girl by Rachel Hollis
Series: The Girls #1
Published by Lake Union Publishing on February 11, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 360
Format: ebook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon
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4 Stars

Landon Brinkley is making her dreams come true. After years of poring over glossy photos of celebrity parties in People and US Weekly, she’s landed her Holy Grail: an internship with the fabulous Selah Smith, event planner to the Hollywood elite.

Moving from small town Texas to Los Angeles, Landon finds herself in a world in which spending a million dollars on an event – even for kids’ birthdays – is de rigueur. The thrill of working on A-list parties and celeb weddings is enough to get her through the 75-hour workweeks, the nightmare of a multi-day film festival, and abuse at the hands of a mercurial boss. LA is full of opportunity for fame, fortune and even love. But confronted with the seamy realities of the business, she is forced to make a choice: do whatever it takes to get ahead, or stay true to herself.

A roman a clef in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada, PARTY GIRL draws on the author’s real life experience for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the celebrity-obsessed world of event planning. From the party habits of America’s favorite underage singer to the worst Bridezilla of all (the kind that graces the cover of your favorite magazine), PARTY GIRL reveals the ugly side of Hollywood’s prettiest parties.

picadillyblueWhile planning out my winter break TBR, someone on Twitter suggested I read Party Girl.  I was hoping to get some books from my TBR read but after checking out some reviews and the synopsis, I decided Party Girl might just be the perfect read to start off my break.  It certainly had some flaws but it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m so glad I gave it a shot.

Landon is a bit of a country mouse.  She’s from Texas (like me) and shew as raised as a true southern girl with all the manners and charms you would expect.  To be completely honest, I thought the southern charm was a little overdone at points but not throughout the whole book.  Otherwise, I loved how Landon’s upbringing played a role in everything she did.  She was a little naive when she arrived in LA and landed her internship but she looked at life in a very positive way.  I don’t  know if I could have dealt with all the crap she had to put up with.  Her family and their role in her life actually ended up helping her through tough times and helped her bond with some of the people she came in contact with.  She used every aspect of her life to help her get ahead in her job.

The characters were by far my favorite part of Party Girl.  Landon was charming and sweet and I loved her even with her overly positive attitude and naivete.  She was open to new things and new people.  She didn’t let first impressions affect whether or not she got to know someone.  Her roommate, Max, was kind of like a porcupine.  She definitely had some defenses up outwardly but underneath it all she was really great.  She was funny and smart and very driven.  She had some secrets that she kept from Landon but she had a good heart and good motives.  Miko, Landon’s friend and coworker, was definitely the funniest character.  She had such an amazing personality.  She took charge but she always had fun.  She was a great asset to Landon, both outside of work and at work.  There was also the possibility of a love triangle but it luckily never amounted to anything.  Taylor was a sweetheart but he seemed like he could be a bit of a player.  I also just always saw him as nothing more than a friend to Landon.  Brody, on the other hand, brought out the flutters.  He was so cute.  Sure there were times when I thought he was a pompous asshole but he eventually grew on me.  He had a soft side to him that Landon brought out and she had an awkward side to her that he brought out.  Points to Rachel Hollis for having a totally awkward character that I couldn’t help but relate to.

The party planning aspect played a huge role in the book and Rachel Hollis definitely knew what she was writing about.  The details were intense but not overdone.  I loved getting a look into the lives of party planners and all the stuff they have to deal with when planning a party that only lasts a few hours.  Every aspect of the book was centered on party planning and it was a totally unique story.  If it didn’t seem like such a demanding job, I’d totally look into being a party planner!

Overall, Party Girl is the perfect read if you’re looking for something fun and flirty.  The romance was just right, the characters provided laughs, and the story itself had me hooked.  I look forward to reading more in this series.

What others are saying about Party Girl:

The Bookish Babe’s review: “Landon was such a winsome character, and I couldn’t help but to be drawn in by her infectious enthusiasm for the journey ahead.”

This Chick Reads’ review: “Even if the story reminded me a lot of “Devil Wears Prada”, it is a great and enjoyable read with so many lovely characters.”