Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Reviews, Tour & Giveaway: My Ex From Hell (#1) & My Date From Hell (#2)


My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, #1)
My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling
(Book 2: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy)
April 1, 2013
Te Da Media
272 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Romantic Comedy, Greek Mythology
(contains sexual innuendo)
Source: e-copy for Honest review
4 STARS
Book Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book one of this teen fantasy romance series. Compared to Kai and Sophie, Romeo and Juliet had it easy.
My Review:
 
I wasn't sure about the start of this one. It began as a bit of a telling, not showing situation, starting with Sophie writing a letter to her birth mother and then describing some events that just happened. I wasn't sure where she was going with it, and wasn't sure if I liked her personality or sense of humor yet. Fortunately, once she got past the telling portion, I felt like the story really started to take off. My worries over too much telling subsided as the story played out. The dialogue of the story actually became a strength and one of my favorite bits.

The characters were fun and intriguing. Some were not cool at all (Bethany), some were super fun and nerdy (Hannah), some were super loyal (Theo), and some were very suspicious (Kai). Sophie herself was quick on her feet, didn't skip a beat, and kept up her humor despite potentially dire situations. She is a strong heroine and a great lead role who will really carry this trilogy. I also loved how these characters interacted with each other, each bringing their own sensitivities to the table. Their banter really drove the book forward.

Not only were the character interactions great, but the storyline and direction were completely engaging and often unexpected. Okay, honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect. But each time the story progressed or modified, I felt like it was going in a place I didn't see coming. Truly impressive. Once I got past my tentative beginnings with the start of this book, probably around 10%, I had a hard time putting it down. Plus, it was nice to get some new Greek gods and goddesses to read about. I loved this new twist on Persephone.

Now, I didn't always love the bawdy humor, and at times the humor felt more mature than necessary. I couldn't always tell who the audience for this book was. The characters spoke with the inflection of high school students, but some of the material was a bit over-the-top, perhaps college-level or even adult-level. Though of course I know high school students can talk like this. But throw in the escapades and indiscretions of the gods and goddesses, and you can run into mature areas beyond YA. It makes me wonder how the rest of the series will play out and if future books will blend into that New Adult arena. We shall see.

This was an exciting start to a new Greek trilogy, with constant action, humorous banter, and an ending that leaves you ready and excited for the next book.
 
 

My Date From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, #2)
My Date From Hell by Tellulah Darling
(Book 2: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy)
October 31, 2013
Te Da Media
288 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Romantic Comedy, Greek Mythology 
(contains sexual innuendo)
Source: eARC for Honest review
4-1/2 STARS
Book Blurb:
Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.

Yeah, right.

With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?

The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.

Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

The YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology fireworks continue to fly in My Date From Hell. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book two of this teen fantasy romance series. Breaking up is easy; dating is deadly.
My Review: 

I liked this one even more than the first. This book was packed full of action, new characters to add that special something to the story, old characters bringing even more to the table, and twists and turns that kept me focused and eager to see where things would go next. Between the hunt for Sophie's memories, the craziness and "date" between Sophie and Kai, the menace of Bethany, and the new love potential popping up, this was a real page-turner. The conflict that Sophie feels is really well portrayed. We also continue with the humor and banter from before, which also helps drive this story forward. Never a dull moment.

There was terrific character development throughout, both main and minor characters. We get more gems of backstory on some of these characters, who are more than what first appeared, and I love that we are getting these tidbits a little at a time. It is helping my perspective on them. Because let's be honest... the long and illustrious love lives of the Greek gods and goddesses is a little icky for me when we match them up with na├»ve 16-year-olds, even if said gods/goddesses look like teenagers themselves. So I'm glad we continue to learn more about them and I'm hoping we will be more and more exposed to the good aspects of their pasts, not only the incorrigible parts.

I'm still having a hard time categorizing this series. The tone and setting is young adult, but the innuendo and sexual nature at times of the character's conversations and the god/goddess behavior would push this into the adult category. Not that there is any actual sex happening, and even the kissing is not explicit or graphic. It's just the nature of the sexual innuendo used and the humor there within, which at times would really fall into the New Adult category. So I'll say in general I would place this in the Mature Young Adult category with caution.

The ending has a cliffhanger, but it is a very well-played cliffhanger. It's the perfect set-up for the next book, but not in an obnoxious way. I must give the author props for the well-played twist and subsequent ending in this book. Really wish I had the next book, but the anticipation will not kill me, just make me stronger in my resolve and eagerness to see how it all plays out. Well played, Ms. Darling, well played! Can't wait for the last book!
 
 
BOOK LINKS:
 
MY EX FROM HELL:
 
MY DATE FROM HELL:
AMAZON (99 cent promo until 11/1)  *  GOODREADS
 
 
GIVEAWAY!
2 signed copies (1)of My Ex From Hell and (1) of My Date From Hell - International, (3) eBook copies in mobi or epub – International
 Click GIVEAWAY image below to enter:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NGE1MDEyNTkzNmEzMjcwYWY1N2NlODA1YWVlMmE3OjI3NA==/
 


About the Author:
Tellulah Darling
noun
1. YA romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she's compensating.
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter.
3. Sassy minx.
Geeks out over: cool tech.
Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.

Sassy girls. Swoony boys. What could go wrong?

Author Social Media Links:
Website: http://www.tellulahdarling.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tellulahdarling
FB: https://www.facebook.com/TellulahDarling
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6429243.Tellulah_Darling
 
Author Contest:
Tellulah is also hosting a contest on her site to give Sophie's power (her vines of light) a cool name because everything she's come up with sucks. The winner will get a signed copy of My Date From Hell, a t-shirt featuring a design of one of Kai's tattoos and will have their power name featured in the final book of the trilogy. Contest runs Oct 21-Nov 7. Details and entry (as of Oct 21) ENTER HERE!
 
To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpts click here or the AToMR tour button below.





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Book 3: Divergent series
October 22, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books
544 pages
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Source: Personal purchase
Book Blurb:
One choice will define you.What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
My Review:

I'm avoiding major spoilers in this review, and in doing that please forgive some vague notions and references, but understand I hate it when people spoil books for others, so I will try very hard not to do that to you :)

I read Divergent four times and Insurgent twice, because I loved them. I was blown away by those two books. But at the end of Insurgent I was very nervous about where things were going to go next. It felt like the beginning of something new. And in a sense, it was. In reading Allegiant, it felt like something, or rather several things, were just off. Here are some of my issues with Allegiant:

1. Reading Allegiant felt like I was reading the beginning of a completely different series. I don't mind that it was different, except that the differences lost the flow and integrity the first two books had for me. Even though I could see the connection Roth was trying to make, the storyline still felt disconnected from its predecessors.

2. The pacing dragged for me, which was so unlike the way the first two books were. My nerves were also very high considering people trying to spoil everything for me, so I had to avoid a lot of internet stuff. If it weren't for that spurning, it would have been very easy to set this book aside, because it was slow. I was actually very tempted to set it aside and read something else, but my investment in this trilogy and those spoilery people out there helped me maintain my focus. The first time I read Divergent, I read it in a day, then immediately re-read it. Allegiant took me longer and I wasn't compelled to flip through the pages as quickly.

3. Too much info-dumping. There were several info-dump sites, and it just really took away from the pacing and story. This is another reason why this book felt like the start to a series rather than the end of one. Part of me expected Roth to add a fourth book because there was so much added info.

4. There were plot holes in the end, and I think if this book had been more thought through, it could have been extended to a fourth book, the storyline reworked to flow better and convey Roth's message and intention better. Also, I found it odd that this scientific society that develops these highly complicated serums, that they couldn't create serums or other advancements for other medical issues.

5. The character development was off, or lacking. If anything, I think most of the characters regressed. The squabbles between the main characters were quite annoying and even redundant. While the other characters just seemed to fade into the wallpaper, offering bits and pieces here and there, but not nearly the forces they were previously. The other characters felt wasted and didn't offer very much, except for the intermittent heartbreak or a splash or jealousy for effect. And honestly, I just didn't love Tris and Tobias as much in this one the way I did before, though I probably liked Tobias slightly more because he wasn't as full of himself as Tris was. Her character development made her out to be so great and so wonderful and always right and it just didn't work for me. At least Tobias could be humble, and I did appreciate that.

6. The dual POVs slowed everything down. This factored into my previously stated pacing issues. There also wasn't a clearly distinguishable voice between Tris and Tobias. Several times I had to go back to the heading of a chapter and find out who was narrating. More often than not I had mixed up the character in my head and thought the opposite person had been speaking.

7. The action plateaued for most of the book. There were a few good, intense scenes, but they were resolved quickly. Even the climactic scenes in the end weren't really all that climactic. There was a lot of thinking and self-reflection and philosophizing.

8. The message just didn't work for me and wasn't as poignant as I think Roth intended. And while I can appreciate the attempt, the message of this last book, even the message(s) didn't feel complete.

9. I also can handle an ending that's not all rainbows and kittens, but the ending still has to make sense to me. This one, while I can see Roth's reasoning, still didn't feel necessary. Or make complete sense. I have multiple issues with it. But the ending was not the deal-breaker for me. I don't mind a twist to an ending, and welcome authors who want to go against convention. And this one could have worked if it had not been for things that had already happened in the book.

10. Plus, this book on a whole, was just way too depressing. Kinda made me want to pull an Al and jump in the chasm. I don't know if it was for shock value or because Roth is just a negative "life sucks" kind of person or because this is her perspective on the future and that everything needs to be tragic, but on the whole Allegiant was just depressing. Not that we didn't have our tragedies in Divergent or Insurgent. These are not happy-go-lucky books. But Allegiant just took it a step further, a step too far.

Do I have anything positive to say? Well, there were a few lovely moments between Tris and Tobias, some meaningful thought and intentions to the story. I think for some people, this book will work really well for them. I've seen high ratings on this book from others, and I'm glad that this book lived up to their expectations and they gleaned enjoyment from its reading.

Personally, I just feel let down, and once again, it's not because of the way it ended, but the overall book itself. I know many people are disappointed with the ending, and if I'm being honest, I am too. But overall, even if it had ended differently, this book still would not have been at the same caliber level as the first two books. I tried very hard throughout the entire book to give Roth the benefit of the doubt and not put preconceived notions and expectations into this book. I know the first two books were a lot to live up to, but I don't think I've been let down by a book like this in a while. So am I glad I read it? Still not sure. Would I recommend it to others? Good question. I think that would depend on if you are a series-finisher and how dedicated you were to the first two books. Will I re-read it? No. I even told my husband to read the first two, and then let his imagination run for the third.

2 STARS

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: The Iron Traitor


The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)
The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
(The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)
October 29, 2013
Harper Teen
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
(contains a few curse words)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
(though I also pre-ordered the paperback)
Book Blurb:
In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.

My Review:

Simply stated: I loved it. Go read it.  

About the storyline:
The story picks up right after The Lost Prince, and in true Kagawa style, the entire book is filled with action, adventure, humor, tragedy, anticipation, suspense, and thought-provoking situations. We also get reunited with our favorite characters from the original Iron Fey series, which is a huge treat. Plus, a couple of these fey tend to be scene stealers, though Ethan tried to hold his own. I flew through the first three-quarters of the book, then I slowed way down because I realized it was about to end, so I dragged it out. And I loved it. I will warn you, it ends on quite the cliffhanger, but with an inkling of... something. I don't know. I'm afraid to even guess what's going to happen next. What I do know is that I really want the next book, like yesterday. And I'll say that, even if you hate cliffhangers (like me), this is completely worth the read and the suspense until next time.

About the characters:
I love looking at everything through Ethan's eyes. I love Ethan. He's such a wonderful protagonist for me. We know how he grew up, we know the trauma he's endured from the previous books, but now we're seeing how he's even changing the rules for himself. Something he never in a million years intended. His thought process, his conflicting emotions, they are so well written and portrayed. His brooding, hardened exterior is his own glamour used to protect him, but I love that deep down inside he's a total softie. I love his relationship with Kenzie and what she brings out of him. Plus, Kenzie is her own special force, a firecracker and a gentle hand. She's a real treat as a heroine - someone who may be physically weak, but has the heart and soul of a fighter. Then there's Keirran, who is just a mixed bag. I feel so sad for him, the isolation he grew up with, the uniqueness of his abilities, the little boy underneath all the power he truly isn't ready to deal with. He's also so tender, loving, and sweet with Annwyl, and their story is so touching. But on the flip side, he makes these ridiculous decisions, ignoring the consequences, and he can be flat-out scary... often. There's a lot going on with him in this book. A lot.

Bottomline:
Julie Kagawa continues to impress me with her amazing writing. She has created this fantastic world, these complex stories that completely draw you in, and these characters you give your loyalty to and call your own. The Iron Traitor is another amazing read, and I eagerly look forward to the next book and what's going to happen next. If you haven't started this series, you need to.

5 STARS
 
Buy on AMAZON  *  Add to GOODREADS

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (31) & Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

What I Read/Finished:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (re-read)
My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
 
What I Listened To:
The Enchantress by Michael Scott (finished)
Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card (started)

Reviews I Posted:
Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle (my review)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (my review)

What I Attended:
Book Signing with Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, and Abbi Glines

STSmall_thumb[2][2]
Stacking The Shelves, hosted by
Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Won from Author:
Collide (Collide, #1)  Pulse (Collide, #2)
Collide by Gail McHugh (signed)
Pulse by Gail McHugh (signed)
 
Purchased:
Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Finding It (Losing It, #3)  The Final Descent (The Monstrumologist #4)
Invisibility  Gorgeous
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Finding It by Cora Carmack (signed)
The Final Descent by Rick Yancey
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan (super sale)
Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick (super sale)

Used Book Deals:
The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)  The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey
 
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Audiobook Review: Ender's Game


Ender's Game (Movie Tie-In)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
January 1985 (originally published)
Tor Teen publishing
368 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi (Young Adult?)
Source: Personal purchase
Book Blurb:

The worldwide bestseller, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, with featured cover art from the major motion picture starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.

Once again, the Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who?

 Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

 Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. He excels in simulated war games. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game.

Isn’t it?


My Review:

I really enjoyed listening to Ender’s Game on audiobook. The cast of narrators did a great job discerning the characters. And please note, Orson Scott Card leaves a message at the end of the 20th anniversary audiobook, and he himself states that the best form of receiving this book is by listening, whether by individual read-aloud or a full cast as in this audiobook's case. I must say that personally I  am very glad I listened to the book in this format. So if you decide to listen to the audiobook, not only should you enjoy the book, but listen to OSC speak at the end. I found it to be a quite fascinating and a real treat.
As for the story itself, I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I found the storyline quite genius. I went into this read completely blind on what this book was about. I knew the movie was coming soon, so I decided to read it and additionally set up a book club meeting with my oldest son’s literature group so they could read it and discuss it together, with me as moderator. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, so I wasn’t sure what I would think. Well, I’ll tell you, I loved it.

This is not a light read. We spend much of the time in Ender's head, but we also get the perspectives of Ender's siblings, some of the adult staff, and the occasional other character. This rounded out the story and the complete cast of characters, good or bad, really brought the story to life. There is danger and brutality. These are kids yet they are geniuses with the weight of the world on their shoulders. But like even the commonest of man, there is dissention in some of the ranks and competitiveness. There is a military-type setting and with that we bleed the line into physical and emotional forms of potential abuse. Is there a limit on how far we should go to save humanity from this outside threat? Is the cost on our children too great? There are so many questions asked or inferred throughout the story and I found it really thought-provoking and far deeper than I had expected.

My students, for the most part, also really enjoyed this book, even with it's brutality (though one student decided it was too much for her). There were a few situations that were uncomfortable for them, but they understood the story. They also understood the similarities and differences between Ender and his siblings. They got it. And they got the big picture, which I commend OSC being able to be understood by 13-year-olds. This is a book that crosses generations.

I realize this isn't the most thorough or detailed of reviews. But I do not want to give away the entire plot or spoilers. I loved going into it blind. I realize this type of read isn't for everyone. But I will say that, though I am not generally a Sci-Fi person, I loved this story because it wasn't so much about "aliens" but about human interactions, human agendas, right and wrong and gray areas. It made me think but also entertained me. It made me wonder but also gave me answers, and sometimes those answers were not what I expected. I look forward to more in Ender's world.
 
5 STARS
 


Friday, October 25, 2013

Feature & Follow (19): Bookagram!

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #120

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by both Alison Can Read and Parakunkee’s View. This is a great way to gain blog followers for book bloggers, follow other blogs, and get to know each other. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we get to answer. You can find more info about this meme here.

Bookagram:
Photograph your fave read in a funny place.
 
Picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite child. Since I don't want to offend my three sons or my shelf of books, I will just pick six OF my favorites, but in no particular order or preference. (Two books per child equals six books, displayed in my son's drawers. Yes, I'm cheating and justifying, but I'm okay with it. You're lucky I didn't just take a photo of an entire book shelf.)
 
 
MY PICKS:
The Bible (with the ladybug cover)
Vain by Fisher Amelie
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Light in the Shadows by A. Meredith Walters
 
 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Brightest Kind of Darkness

Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1)
Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
June 27, 2011
357 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Personal purchase
(currently FREE ebook on Amazon)
Book Blurb:
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.
My Review:

I've heard many good things about this book (series) so I was glad to finally be starting it. But with much hype comes some trepidation, wondering whether it would live up to said hype. In general, I really liked this book. I found it very captivating and I got caught up in the story and the characters. Though perhaps I wasn't as hyped up about it as others, I did find it to be a solidly good read and between an intriguing plot and engaging characters, I look forward to more.

The premise of the storyline certainly grabbed my attention. I'm conflicted about the plot in regards to tampering with "Fate", and perhaps that was the author's intent all along. Maybe because I'm confusing it with "Reality" and that bad things happen in life, even to good people, and we can't prevent it all from happening. But the question of whether you would do something to prevent something from happening in the future if you knew it was about to happen is an intriguing one. Some choices seem more obvious than others, but to what cost? I think this is why I wouldn't want to know personally. But that's not Inara's reality. She does see the next day every night in her dreams, and for the most part has tried to leave things alone... until now. Part of me wants to hug her for trying to protect her friends, and even her frenemies, from harm. The other part of me is afraid she's messing with too many things she doesn't really understand, and the consequences are just going to get worse and worse. But I think that was the point. And as the story progressed, I got more of a sense of where the author was taking things, which then got me more excited to find out where she was going to take things next.

The characters themselves were well developed and drawn out. Inara was in a very conflicted position and I do not envy her one bit. But I loved how she stood up for what she believed and looked beyond the surface, especially with Ethan. She is a solid and 'real' heroine. As for Ethan, I loved his character. He is haunted, mysterious, and hiding so much, but he is a deeply compassionate and kind soul. He is also a survivor on one hand and a fierce protector on the other. I liked the way the friendship between Inara and Ethan developed. I'm not against insta-love, but in this case it was nice to have a paranormal read that didn't include that aspect for once. This gradual development was probably my favorite aspect of the story's progression. Their kind natures, paranormal abilities aside, made them kindred spirits in my eyes so it felt natural that they would be drawn to each other. Inara's lack of honesty at times drove me a little nuts, and Ethan's mystique was very engaging, all making for intriguing developments. This is a couple I definitely want to read more about.

And how about what's going to happen next?! By the end, I have several questions answered, but then a bunch more rushed into my brain, leaving the next book(s) open for so much more. I'm intrigued and curious about the rest of this exciting series for sure!
 
4 STARS
 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (19): ROME

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I loved the first two books of this series, Rule and Jet. For some reason these books really struck chord with me, so I'm really looking forward to the next book, Rome. Now these are companion novels, so they can be read as stand-alones, but I'm glad I read the first two, and look forward to more about these characters from this author.

ROME by Jay Crownover
(Book 3: Marked Men series)
Expected publication date: January 7, 2014

Rome (Marked Men, #3)
 
Book Blurb:
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.

Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .


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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (23): My Ex From Hell


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read    
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Ex From Hell
(The Blooming Goddess Trilogy: Book 1)
By Tellulah Darling
Published: April 1, 2013

My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, #1)
 
I just started this one, so I haven't gotten very far. Too early to tell how much I like it, but it certainly has an interesting premise and quirky characters.
 
Teaser from eARC loc 187):
 
"You should totally write Valentine's Day cards. 'To my chemically compatible partner. Hope we enjoy a mutual interest together on this fine day.'"
 
 
Book Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology smackdown. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book one of this teen fantasy romance series. Compared to Kai and Sophie, Romeo and Juliet had it easy.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (30) & Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

What I Read/Finished Last Week:
The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Divergent by Veronica Roth (4th time reading)

What I Finished Listening To:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Reviews I Posted:
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins (my review)
The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith (my review)

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Stacking The Shelves, hosted by
Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I love used bookstores! I love new books, too, don't get me wrong. But used bookstores make me feel like I'm on a treasure hunt, especially when I find that special book.

Purchased:
If I Should Die (Revenants, #3)
If I Should Die by Amy Plum
 
Used Bookstore Scores!
 Dark Eyes (Dark Eyes, #1)  Me Before You  The Locket
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1)  My Life Next Door  Wake (Dream Catcher, #1)
Cupcake (Cyd Charisse, #3)  Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider, #8) Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War (Abarat #2)
Dark Eyes by William Richter (signed)
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Locket by Stacey Jay
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Wake by Lisa McMann
Cupcake by Rachel Cohn
Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz
Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker