Friday, April 4, 2014

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (DoSaB #3) by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (DoSaB #3) by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3
Published by Little Brown on April 8, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 528
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

picadillyblueThis review does not contain spoilers for Dreams of Gods & Monsters but does contain spoilers from the previous two books.

I was quite a bit nervous when I started Dreams of Gods & Monsters.  Don’t get me wrong, I expected nothing less than perfection from Laini Taylor.  That wasn’t what I was nervous about.  After only three books I’d come to love every character like they were my own friends and I was terrified of how their stories were going to end.  I’m pleased to report that while the ending wasn’t quite as happy as I’d hoped, I was very pleased with it, all the same.

To be honest, this isn’t a series where I actually expected a happy ending.  From the very first book it was clear that Laini Taylor wasn’t afraid to take chances and kill off some very well loved characters.  Knowing that, I kind of knew a little bit of what to expect from Dreams of Gods & Monsters.  I was on the edge of my seat through the whole book.   I laughed a lot, cried a little, and was left smiling like a lunatic at the end.  Like I said, it wasn’t exactly a happy ending but it was the perfect one for this story.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters is not an action-packed book.  From the epilogue of Days of Blood & Starlight, I expected to be immediately entrenched in this war between Jael and the Chimaera/Misbegotten.  I was quite surprised when instead we were taken back to before the epilogue and given a lot more detail about what exactly went down to get the Chimaera and Misbegotten together in those Kirin caves.  The whole book was like that.  There were times when I was expecting one thing (mainly some fighting) and instead I got negotiations and rational logic.  That’s not to say that there isn’t some fighting (and some deaths) but there was a lot less of it than expected.  However, that didn’t make me dislike the book.  There was so much going on and so many little pieces of the puzzle that didn’t seem like they could possibly fit together.  Laini Taylor has a way with weaving stories that completely takes readers by surprise.  Trying to figure out how everything was going to tie together in the end was enough to keep me hooked.

All of (well most of, RIP Brimstone) my favorite characters were back for this final installment.  Karou was as wonderful and brilliant as ever.  Akiva was his brooding self but with some new moods thrown in for variety.  Zuzana was her usual neek-neek  self (possibly even better than in the previous installments).  Mik was so super adorable.  He always puts a smile on my face.  Ziri didn’t play as big a role in this book as I’d expected but he definitely made an impression with his role.  Liraz played a bigger role than expected and I really came to respect her.  There were also a few new characters introduced and they really took me by surprise.  I don’t want to give anything away about them though so that’s all I’ll say.

Overall, I can’t possibly do this book or this series justice in a review.  Laini Taylor has cemented her place on my favorite authors shelf and I’m so eager for more from her.  If you haven’t already started this series (why are you reading this review?) you should really get on that.  And if you have started this series, finish it.  It’s one of the best trilogies I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

What others are saying about Dreams of Gods & Monsters:

The Bookish Manicurist’s review: “Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, the final instalment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, is epic.”

Reading Teen’s review: “I am utterly blown away by the brilliance of this book.”

Once Upon a Bookcase’s review:  “But I’m so pleased to say it’s the most perfect ending to the most perfect trilogy!”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski | Review

Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski | ReviewSong of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski
Published by Forever on February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 464
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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3 Stars

Since they were kids, Elias Kline and Brayelle Bates have been inseparable. When Bray moves to South Carolina, separating the two for the first time, they both at last realize that their innocent childhood friendship has developed into something much more. So when Bray finally returns to Georgia—and to Elias—things between them couldn’t be more perfect…until one fateful night changes everything.

Desperate not to go to prison for a terrible accident, Elias and Bray decide to run. As they try to make the most of their freedom, the two find themselves relying on a rebellious group of people who tempt the duo into a wild and daring new life. But they can’t run from their troubles forever.

As the consequences of their past catch up to them, the couple must finally face reality. Even if they can make it through the unimaginable, Elias knows the truth about Bray’s painful history, and in the end he may not be able to save Bray from herself…

picadillyblueI don’t know why I continue to torture myself by reading J.A. Redmerski’s books.  I didn’t care for her previous book, The Edge of Never, but I figured I’d give Song of the Fireflies a shot.  Needless to say, I feel like I wasted my time with this one.

Elias and Brayelle are two of the dumbest characters that I’ve ever read about (and that’s saying a lot.)  They have what you would call a very unhealthy relationship.  Elias has always been in love with Bray and Bray has always avoided any kind of serious relationship with Elias.  She’ll sleep with him but that is absolutely all she wants from him.  She sees relationships as a way to get hurt and nothing more.  Elias is a clingy guy who wants nothing more than to be with Bray.  You can see how this might not be a good combination.  They do eventually start a relationship and from there it is all downhill.

The whole story is how Bray does something horrible one night at a party and she and Elias go on the run.  They get into some terrible situations while on the run (such as having their car and all their belongings stolen.)  They meet up with some strangers one day and decide to stick with them even though they know that they might not be good people.  Along the way they drink a lot, do some drugs, and have lots of sex.  That’s about the extent of their relationship.  They don’t talk much, they just have sex.  The people that they are with have some secrets that eventually come out but so do Bray and Elias.  I’m pretty sure of the two groups of people, Bray and Elias have the worse secret.  Oh and along the way they have a run in with Camryn and Andrew from The Edge of Never.

Honestly, the only reason I gave this book three stars instead of no stars was that it was entertaining and the writing was actually pretty good.  I wanted to know how Elias and Bray’s story would end and so I didn’t DNF this one even though I thought about it a few times.  There was enough mystery and suspense to keep me reading.

Overall, Song of the Fireflies is not one I’d recommend.  If, for some reason, you decide that you still want to read it, get this one from the library.

What others are saying about Song of the Fireflies:

Nosegraze’s review: “I didn’t like Song of the Fireflies.”

Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “I got about half way through the book and found that I honestly didn’t care about what was going to happen next.”

I’d So Rather B Reading’s review: “Redmerski’s writing is emotional, passionate, and intense.”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa | Review

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa | ReviewThe Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood Of Eden #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 15, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

picadillyblue

I’m not sure how she does it but Julie Kagawa continues to write books that completely blow my expectations out of the water.  The Forever Song was no exception.  This final installment in the Blood of Eden series left me both sad to see my favorite characters go but it definitely answered all my questions and left me with a happy feeling.

After the ending of The Eternity Cure, I had some ideas as to what might happen in The Forever Song.  Some of those ideas turned out to be right and some of them were way off the mark.  However, I really enjoyed reading The Forever Song and finding out whether I was right or wrong.  I started The Forever Song expecting some happiness, lots of tears, and some really good fight scenes.  I got all of that and more.

Allie, Zeke, Kanin, Jackal, and Sarren are all back.  Allie was a little scary this time around.  In The Immortal Rules she became a vampire and believed she was a monster but readers could see the good in her.  In The Forever Song there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure if that good was still there.  Zeke’s “death” broke her in ways that becoming a vampire never did.  It broke her heart and killed her belief that there was still good in the world.  Her world narrowed down to surviving long enough to kill Sarren and get revenge for what he did to Zeke.  It was scary to see Allie like that.  (Think Elena without her humanity in TVD.)  Kanin was there to help her get through it and save her humanity.  Jackal, on the other hand, was cheering her along as she killed people.  I kind of pictured them as the angel and devil on her shoulders.  As for Zeke, well let’s just say that torture can change a guy and that was definitely the case with him.  Julie did a truly spectacular job with all the characters in The Forever Song.  (Seriously, I never thought I would love Jackal but I definitely did by the end of this book.)

It took a while for me to get to that happy feeling at the end though.  Seriously, Julie Kagawa likes to drag her characters through hell and back.  Also, I wouldn’t say they ever really get truly happy endings.  They get more realistic endings.  That was definitely the case with The Forever Song.  Allie, Zeke, Kanin, Jackal, and the rest of the characters readers have come to know and love, get endings that readers won’t really find all that surprising.  They fit with the personalities of the characters and the place and time that they live in.  I never expected Allie and Zeke to ride off into the sunset together and that’s not what you get with them.  However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like how things ended for everyone.  It truly was a perfect ending even if it did break my heart a little bit.

Overall, The Forever Song is the absolute perfect ending to the Blood of Eden series.  And while all my questions were definitely answered, I still wouldn’t mind a spinoff series about a certain secondary character.

What others are saying about The Forever Song:

Carina’s Books’ review: “It is a perfect ending to an already perfect series.”

The Reader Bee’s review: “Julie Kagawa has managed to amaze me once again with The Forever Song, the dark, disturbing, amazing conclusion to the Blood of Eden series.”

Reading Teen’s review: “Such an epic conclusion to an amazingly exciting series.”

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London

Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia LondonDefinitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London
Published by Entangled on October 28, 2013
Pages: 260
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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2 Stars

Her theory of attraction is about to get a new angle...

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice and it’s one of the worse ones I’ve read. I honestly don’t know why I kept reading when I felt like giving up pretty early on. Ophelia London just didn’t do enough with this to make it unique or entertaining.

Spring Honeycutt (yep, that’s actually her name) is an environmentalist wannabe who is completely full of herself. She wears her hair in dreads, becomes a vegetarian, and other really stupid things just to make herself seem more serious as an environmentalist. Last time I checked, that does not make you an environmentalist if you have no legitimate reason for doing the things you do. She was supremely annoying and self righteous, especially since her reasons for doing things were ridiculous. Henry was so much better than Spring as a character. I actually like him even if he was a little stuck up. At least he knew what he was talking about, unlike Spring. However, I totally did not get the attraction between the two. They had nothing in common and there was no chemistry between them. It was very forced.

The story was supremely dull and predictable. I honestly don’t have much more to say about it other than that. I forced myself to keep reading and I kind of regret the time I wasted on this book.

Overall, Definitely, Maybe in Love is one that I would definitely recommend skipping. There’s nothing redeeming about it and I felt like it was a waste of my time.

What others are saying about Definitely, Maybe In Love:
Wondrous Reads’ review: “I really loved this book and I can’t wait to read more by Ophelia London. 
 
The Autumn Review’s review: “This was a well-written, sweet, entertaining story that has some great twists that I didn’t see coming.”
 
Sweets Books’ review: “Overall its a great story and great characters, I wouldn’t mind reading other books on the other characters!”
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElect by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #2
Published by Forever on December 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 267
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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3 Stars

Would you die for the one you love?

Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

A while back I kind of tore apart the first book in this series, Elite. I really did not have very many good things to say about it. For some reason I decided to give the second book a shot and I’m actually glad I did. While I didn’t love it, it was a definitely improvement over the first book and I enjoyed it.

Trace and Nixon have matured a bit since the end of Elite. I wasn’t impressed with how their relationship was so hot and cold in the first book and that definitely improved with this book. Sure they were still really obsessed with each other but they seemed to know more about being in a relationship this time around. They talked to each other more and they tried to work things out together this time. They didn’t manage to work things out together but at least they tried this time around.

The story was a lot more intense than the first book and I wasn’t sure that was possible. This time things were officially life or death. Nixon and Trace love each other but their relationship is forbidden. How do you fix this? You have your best friend (who just happens to be in love with your girlfriend) pretend to date your girlfriend so that nobody suspects you. Yeah, that seems like a good plan. That’s not the real drama though. The real drama starts when the Sicilians come to town and threaten to take matters into their own hands if the killers of Trace’s parents aren’t found and brought to justice. Seems simple, right? Not so much. It’s up to Trace, Nixon, Chase, and the rest of the ragtag group of teenage mobsters to find out who did it and bring them to justice. Things are definitely intense.

Overall, I still had flaws with Elect but I ended up enjoying it much more than the first book. If you’ve already started this series, definitely continue it.

What others are saying about Elect:
 
The Book Bellas’ review: “This is an action-packed, mafia-themed book with some romance that includes a hint of a classic love triangle.” 
 
The Lusty Literate’s review: “I really enjoyed ELITE and was pleased to find that ELECT successfully continued the Eagle Elite thrill ride with drama and passion to spare.”
 
Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Elect was very different from its predecessor.”
Thursday, February 20, 2014

I See London (I See London #1) by Chanel Cleeton | Review

I See London (I See London #1) by Chanel Cleeton | ReviewI See London by Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School #1
Published by Harlequin on February 3, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 319
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

So this is definitely one of those instances where you should not judge a book by it’s cover. I hate this cover but I absolutely adore what’s between the pages. I See London is a fabulous new adult novel that exceeded all my expectations.

To be honest, I didn’t really have many expectations when I started I See London. I was just looking for a quick, fun read and I thought this one might be good. It was. I’m quickly becoming a fan of the new adult genre and it’s all because of books like I See London. The characters, the setting, the story, and the writing were all wonderful.

The characters in I See London greatly surprised me. Maggie started off very closed off and almost a little too perfect. She was very much a goodie two shoes. That quickly changed with the help of her new friends. Mya, Fleur, Samir, and everyone she met helped her come out of her shell and really grow as a person. By the end of the book she was definitely someone I could see myself being friends with. She wasn’t the only character that surprised me though. Every character in the book was a lot deeper than they originally appeared (except maybe Hugh.) Fleur was not such a cold hearted bitch, Mya wasn’t so perfect, Samir had a heart under his playboy exterior, etc. Chanel Cleeton did a great job developing each and every character.

The romance was obviously a huge part of the story and it did not disappoint. Samir and Maggie have undeniable chemistry from the start but that’s not all they have. They quickly develop a very real friendship. They have a lot more in common than they originally think and even though they bicker like an old married couple, they really do make great friends. The banter between the two of them was adorable. Hugh was also a good match for Maggie but I honestly didn’t see anything that spectacular about him. Their relationship seemed only skin deep.

There were a few flaws with I See London though. I think the biggest flaw had to be how unrealistic and overdramatic it was. I really couldn’t believe some of the things that happened to Maggie and her friends. It seemed like some things were blown way out of proportion. I won’t bring up specific examples because I don’t want to spoil anything but there were a few very obvious instances where this happened.

Overall, I See London was a very fun read. I look forward to continuing Maggie and Samir’s story in London Falling.

What others are saying about I See London:

Rampant Readers’ review: “The majority of the novel was captivating and interesting, and kept my attention in the book.”

Kimberlyfaye Reads’ review: “I See London does, in fact, end with a bit of a cliffhanger and a teaser that has left me all but counting the days until London Falling is released.”

A Life Bound By Books’ review: ” I See London by Chanel Cleeton whisked this reader off to the city of London with its university, club and elite life as college Freshman and small town girl Maggie takes a chance on a new exciting opportunity in another country.”

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab | Review

The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab | ReviewThe Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #2
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she's struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn't easy -- not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she's really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She's sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she'll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

The Unbound, the sequel to The Archived, is even better than it’s predecessor. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised since this is Victoria Schwab we’re talking about but I’m still amazed at her talented writing, wonderful characters, and captivating stories.

The Unbound picks up shortly after the end of The Archived. Mac is about to start at a new school and she now has to figure out how to balance her duties as a Keeper, her duties as a daughter, and her duties as a student. That doesn’t even touch her rocky relationship with Wesley Ayers. Mac has a lot on her plate and things get even worse when it looks like she is causing the disappearances of people. It’s up to her to solve who is really behind the disappearances.

Mac is one of the most kickass characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. She’s fierce, smart, capable, and funny. She needs no help saving her own life but she’s not always above asking for it. With the help of Wesley Ayers, Mac has to figure out what’s going on. They have to figure it out because the other alternative is that Mac is going to go down for the disappearances and she also might be losing her mind. But that’s all. Seriously though, you don’t want to get me started on Wesley. That boy is amazing. I can’t say that enough. I thought I loved him in The Archived but that was nothing compared to my feelings for him after reading The Unbound. That kid just gets better and better. Read The Unbound just for more of him if you don’t have any other reason.

The story is suspenseful and totally shocking. There were times when I honestly thought Mac might be going crazy. It was really hard to tell sometimes. I felt horrible for her. People that she interacted with were going missing and she was the prime suspect. There were times when even I thought maybe she was actually behind the disappearances. It was hard to tell and I loved that about The Unbound. And once I found out who was really behind the disappearances, I was even more surprised.

The writing is enough for me to recommend The Unbound. Victoria Schwab is one of the most amazing writers. I have read almost everything she has written and I will continue to read her books for her writing alone. The Unbound is no exception to that amazing writing.

Overall, The Unbound deserves a place on everyone’s shelves. I can’t recommend it enough. If you haven’t already started this series, do it immediately!

What others are saying about The Unbound:

Hell Is Cold’s review: “Because Schwab always delivers. I can count on her not to disappoint me, and I’m really glad.”

Never Too Fond of Books’ review: “The Unbound is absolutely another gush-worthy book.”

Read My Breath Away’s review: “In my opinion, a strong sequel raises the stakes of the overarching story that was started in the first book and wow, does The Unbound ever raise those stakes.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Where You’ll Find Me by Erin Fletcher | Review

Where You’ll Find Me by Erin Fletcher | ReviewWhere You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher
Published by Entangled TEEN on January 7, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 211
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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3 Stars

When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn't happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley's trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate's recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

Where You’ll Find Me is a fun, quick read that really didn’t surprise me in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it’s a rather predictable read that won’t really shock anyone.

Hanley might be one of the dumbest protagonists I’ve ever read about. She finds a random teenage guy living in her garage and one of the first things that pops into her mind is how attractive he is. I’m not even kidding. I don’t know about you guys but usually if there is some random person living in my garage, I think about calling the cops not about how pretty his eyes are. That’s not Hanleys reaction. She kicks Nate out but when he shows back up she decides to let him stay since it’s cold outside. No questions asked. This is even after he tells her that he can’t stay in a homeless shelter because they check ids. That’s kind of a red flag.

Nate is almost as bad. He’s this mysterious guy who is holing up in Hanley’s garage but he has money to buy food at the food court and clothes when Hanley wants to go on a date with him. How dumb is that? If I was homeless I would not be buying a new shirt for a date with the girl whose garage I’m living in. His reasoning for being homeless was not as bad as I expected and I actually found myself tearing up at his story. He was more fleshed out than Hanley and I appreciated that at least.

Hanley’s back-story really got on my nerves. She lost someone close to her and she completely shut down. She didn’t let anyone get close to her after that. That’s understandable to me but then she got mad at people for not trying to get close to her. She was very hot and cold. And then she meets a random homeless guy and decides to let him get close to her and know things that no one else does? It was unrealistic to me.

Overall, this review really doesn’t show any good things about Where You’ll Find Me but there were a few. It really was a fun read once I got past my issues with Hanley and Nate. If you have some free time on a rainy day, give this one a chance.

What others are saying about Where You’ll Find Me:

Conversations of a Reading Addict’s review: “This is a coming of age story that will break your heart into pieces at times.”

Closet Geeks and Slow Mo’s review: “The story was well paced and so well written, that I read this in one sitting.”

City of Books’ review: “Where You’ll Find Me is clearly a YA contemporary you don’t want to miss.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElite by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Published by Forever on July 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 338
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken is one of those books that I really don’t even know why I didn’t DNF it. To be honest, I’m not sure why a traditional publisher picked up this originally self-pubbed title. Fair warning: this review might get ranty.

Let’s start with the thing that bothered me most about Elite: the romance. Well, not really the romance but the love interest. Sure Nixon sounds sexy as hell but he’s a total ass! Since when is it okay to treat someone like shit and then say that you were doing it to help them? Oh and by the way, you think you might love them. No. That is not love. Nixon is a grade A asshole and I could not get past how mean he was to Trace. Oh and the secondary love interest, Chase, (because we really need a love triangle) isn’t any better. He helps set her up to look like this huge slut after one of his friends drugs her. Umm, no. So not okay. I thought I’d read about bad love interests before but these two take the cake.

Then there’s Trace. Where do I even begin with her? She figures she can’t win against Nixon and Chase and the rest of the Elect so she decides she might as well make fun of herself and maybe people will think she’s cool. Yeah, that doesn’t really work out for her. As if that’s not bad enough, she is the biggest cry baby I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. Every little thing sets her off. And she’s not one of those people who cries in private, she cries in front of everyone. Like that’s really going to make people like her more. Oh and the main source of her crying fits, Nixon, just happens to be the guy that she can’t stop thinking about. Of course.

The story makes no sense. This 20 something year old guy runs the school? Even though he’s not actually in charge of anything, everyone listens to him? Even the principal? How exactly does that work? It’s kind of explained later but it still doesn’t really make complete sense to me. Also, what kind of school lets their kids get away with this kind of bullying? There’s also segregation (for the good of the students) and other stupid crap like that. I don’t know about you guys, but I would leave that school ASAP.

There’s a lot more that I could rant and rave about but I’m going to try to wrap this up. The writing is crappy, the characters are annoying, the story makes no sense, and the romance did nothing for me. I truly wish I could get back the few hours I spent reading this book because it was a complete waste of my time.

Overall, Elite is one book that should have remained self-published. This is one book that I highly recommend you don’t waste your time or money on. Oh and as if one book isn’t bad enough there is going to be at least one more in the series.

What others have to say about Elite:
Tinley Innes’ review: “The best way to summarize this book is this: Twilight with the mafia instead of vampires.”
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers’ review: “This book had me laughing, had my heart racing and even breaking with the events that occurred.”
Thursday, May 2, 2013

True (True Believers #1) by Erin McCarthy | Review

True (True Believers #1) by Erin McCarthy | ReviewTrue by Erin McCarthy
Series: True Believers #1
Published by Intermix on May 7, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 222
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

True is a pretty solid addition to the New Adult genre. I had a few issues with it but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one book you won’t be able to put down once you start it.

Let me start off with the main thing that annoyed me about True so that I can get to the good stuff. First, the story starts off with the main character, Rory, getting sexually assaulted by some guy and then Tyler has to save her. Then, of course, the whole sexual assault thing is barely ever mentioned again. I mean, really? That’s not something that should just be shoved aside like it never happened. It really bothered me that it just happened, the girl was rescued, and they moved on. Don’t use sexual assault to help move the plot along. That’s not okay with me.

Other than that, I really enjoyed True. The story was fast-paced, the characters were a good mix, the writing was good, and above all, the romance was steamy! Erin McCarthy is a romance novelist so she definitely knows what she’s doing when it comes to sexy romance scenes but I’ll get back to that later. Once readers get past the whole sexual assault thing, the story turns awesome. There’s enough mystery surrounding Tyler that I was intrigued and I didn’t want to stop reading. And while some things were rather predictable, there were enough surprises thrown in to keep me happy.

The characters were really all pretty awesome. While Rory was a little stereotypical (nerdy girl who has never really been with a guy) she was a lot like me so I connected with her. She was shy around new people but once she came out of her shell she was really funny and sarcastic. Her friends, Kylie and Jessica, were hilarious. They were not shy about anything! They were not what you would typically expect as friends of a nerdy girl but I totally loved them and they were really good friends to Rory. Then there’s Tyler. I can’t tell you guys how much I loved Tyler. He was definitely kind of a bad boy but that was really just a front. He’s the sweetest guy ever! Tyler is definitely one guy who you won’t be able to help but crush on.

Rory and Tyler may not seem like they go together at first but Erin McCarthy really did take the time to develop their relationship rather than just throw them together. When the book starts they’ve known each other for a while but never been close. They start tutoring each other and they quickly learn that they have a lot in common and they really care for each other. From there, it gets hot. True has just enough sex to make it perfect. It’s not overdone, it’s not fade to black, it’s truly just perfect.

Also, True is the first book in a new series and I cannot wait for more. This is the end to Rory and Tyler’s story but the series will continue to have them in it. I believe the next book will be Jessica’s story. I’m already looking forward to it.

Overall, True is definitely a New Adult book that I recommend. It’s a quick read and perfect for a rainy day. Check it out if you get the chance!

What others have to say about True:

Obsession with Books’ review: “I really wanted to love this book but unfortunately there was nothing unique and a few issues seemed to be created just to add additional angst and drama, it was too convenient.”

Proceed from Memory’s review: “This is the first book I’ve read by Erin McCarthy and so far I am impressed.”

Tangled Up In Books’ review: “This just wasn’t it for me. It wasn’t executed to it’s highest potential.”