Tuesday, December 31, 2013


HALO by Frankie Rose (previously named Rashka) -4 STARS 

She has no name. 
She has her knives; her training; her halo. 
The first and second give her the tools and the skill to defeat the opponents she is pitched against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until… 
When a newly-named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blonde boy, who she refuses to let save her. Still learning how to process the onslaught of her new feelings, the sights and sounds of Freetown are overwhelming and strange. There are a hundred differences between her old home and her new one, but one thing remains starkly similar: the matches. Yet where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets. 
Freed from the oppression of a society who stole her right to feel, the true horror of her old life leaves Kit wondering if she really has been freed at all. Would she be better off without the crippling horror of all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain?
Raksha is the call of the dead. The rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.
You have been called to the fights

*ARC provided by net galley in exchange for an honest review.

When I started this book I wasn't sure what to expect. But this book surprised me. I really fell in love with the characters (Kit and Ryka) and the story line.  It reminded me of Gladiator meets a Knights Tale with some futuristic elements. (maybe Elysium?). It was a VERY different and interesting read for me and I really want to read the next one. I loved the development and world building. The author did such a great job of taking the main character, devoid of emotion and showing the ever changing and ranging motions of a young woman, no longer immune to emotions.   So intriguing. It was dark, scary, romantic, with possible witch craft and lots of plots for death and overthrowing the government.Generally speaking I did like the book and while there were some negatives (discussed below) I found myself engrossed in the novel and wanting the read the next.

Plot and Characters--This was quite the turn for me. At first, I was intrigued by the premise, and the more I read the more engrossed I became. The plot follows a Falin soldier who's halo is knocked off during a battle in the Sanctuary, confused yet? When she begins to realize she's been drugged her whole life, she takes off into the unknown only to find a similar type of battle occurs out in wild, but she also happens to find a new family and to fall in love.

What kept my attention in this book was more the way Kit built her relationships and learned about herself and her surroundings than anything else. Note though this book is full of violence. Even so. The book has a lot of great romance and wit, sarcasm and dark humor.

I loved that the main character,Kit, a female and a badass. And not in the same way Katniss Everdeen is a badass. Kit can take care of herself. She is strong, defiant, complicated, and in the process of learning how to feel.  Everyone has a weakness, for Kit its the new emotions, though I wish I would have experienced this more with her. She never gives up and is always willing to fight for those beliefs! Love her.

As for Ryka. Oh boy. He is so confusing. And he is supposed to be. I was right there with Kit and her crazy emotions. Does he like her? is he just putting up with her? whats going on with them?! But in the end I truly loved him. He needed her to figure herself out before he was willing to let her know anything more. Ryka is the kind of guy that is stubborn and honest but it can be cruel at times, not intentionally though. He was protective and caring and always seemed to know when Kit needed him.

Taylor Kitsch in HALO as Ryka
Taylor Kitsch as Ryka. 
The negatives: it dragged a little in the middle, where the author tried to get the reader to know the characters better.  Also there were definitely some things that struck me as odd and out of place. For instance, I was confused that Kit seemed to adapt so well to the new environment, considering he prior drug induced emotionless state. I was also thrown that the one place she left, seemed to be the exact place she ended up. Kit went from being a warrior, to being a warrior- neither of which seemed to be of her choosing. The one aspect I really hated was the religion- I understood the aspect, I think to some religion is an answer, and its acceptable for the topic to be in the book, but I was really bothered by the barbaric nature of some of the scenes. I dont know why Kit would want to live in that environment. I agree with some other reviewers as well that the idea of breaking in, seems beyond what the group outside the walls would do, given theres no real reason for them to help those on the inside. But perhaps thats to be answered later.

I think what kept me most confused throughout the book, was why families would essentially sacrifice a child to be a Falin...what family wants to sacrifice their child for money, watching them train and fight to the death? Perhaps its too dark to understand.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Until We End

Until We End by Frankie Brown- 4 stars

Until We EndSynopsis-
It's been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven't left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn't as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter. 
Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing - kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it's a suicide mission. Cora doesn't care. But Brooks can't let her go

*Received an ARC via net galley in exchange for an honest review

I enjoyed this book a lot. It was short but "sweet" It had plenty of action and a little romance. There were plenty of intense moments, action, romance mystery; it has it all! Honestly I truly liked this one! When the book first started, I admit, I wasn't optimistic. But the author REALLY thought things out. It reminded me of Hunger Games in that respect. Where certain pieces were so thought out in the beginning that once I learned a fact later, the others made perfect sense. Like the blonde hair, and the greenhouse, and later the entire scheme. I have to say this one really impressed me in general though The ending was so interesting and intriguing, but now I can't wait to read the next book!!!

I could totally see this happening. The idea is intriguing. But its been done. Sure, its nothing new. BUT, it doesn't go zombie, and it doesn't get too dystopian. It reminded me of Ashes, Ashes. (a book I loved). Cora makes some dumb moves, and obviously is new at survival, which was sometimes annoying, as a reader you see it coming! Yet at the same time, those moments make it all the more believable. Was the book entirely believable no. But it entirely interesting. :-) I liked that there was a twist of romance built in, and it never once felt forced. The chemistry was always there, and the author built on it over time, reminded me of External Forces. I am looking forward to the next book! (assuming there is one!) The twists and turns that came out throughout this book kept me fully engrossed in the book and I was sad to see it come to an end.

Brooks-- I wasn't sure about Brooks at first, he made me uneasy and nervous for Cora. I never could figure out what his end game was. Did he have ulterior motives or something? But I was pleased in the end with his final role and how it worked out. He was sweet and protective, but Cora never ceased to amaze him or the reader, and nor did he, which was always a nice surprise. I liked the relationship he built with Cora and that as a reader you slowly get to know him just like Cora did. I am team brooks all the way.

Gage Golightly PictureCora- I liked Cora a lot. She wasn't perfect, she made mistakes, and didn't think everything through. She certainly thought with her heart and not her head, but her strong willed determination could be felt through it all. I felt that her character also developed throughout the book, starting naive and ending up being more self sacrificial and recognizing that life is not as it seems can be the most terrifying revelation but she seemed to deal well with all the cards she was unfairly handed. Im a fan! She was well developed in generally, but also grew as a character throughout the book, both of which are important to me as a reader.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Out of Tune

Out of Tune by Michelle D Argyle - 1 STAR 

Out of TuneSynopsis-Twenty-year-old Maggie Roads’ parents are legendary in the country music world. She wants nothing more than to follow in their footsteps, but the limelight isn’t reserved for singers who can’t carry a tune, let alone keep a rhythm.
When her parents tell her they’re getting divorced, Maggie decides it’s time to leave home and take her future into her own hands. Moving in with Cole, her best friend and sometimes boyfriend, might not be the best of ideas, but she’s got to start somewhere. Their off-and-on romance gets even more complicated when Maggie crushes on her new voice teacher, Nathan, who unlocks her stunning potential. A sensational music career of her own is finally within reach, but Maggie might need more than perfect pitch to find what she’s really looking for.

*Netgalley provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Overall--This one was difficult for me to review and read. I loved Breakaway, so I really wanted to like this one. Unfortunately it never happened. I felt no connection to the characters, and I felt frustrated with the characters, their behaviors, their actions or lack thereof and the entirely overly scripted conversations. (not to be mean). There was a consistently lack of connection to the main characters, many of conversations and characters felt contrived, forced and often awkward. I absolutely hated Maggie. It seemed that at her age she was privileged, spoiled, selfish, dependent and annoying, with little personality. And considering the plot, the book never made me feel like I was getting anywhere with the characters. I think the one character I did like was Cole. He at least seemed genuine. 
I hate writing bad reviews, I do. Its uncomfortable for me, and I end up feeling mean. But I also know from experience that one cannot grow without harsh criticism. I think this book could have used some revisions, specifically in the plot and development of the characters. At the end, I felt like I was back at the beginning. I would have liked for the relationship with Cole to take off more, and for the singing aspect with Nathan to have been less. In the end, I finished the book, because I don't like not knowing what happens, but was disappointed anyway. But Im still a fan of the author so I will keep reading her work. One book I don't like won't forever keep me away! 

Plot - Generally, the plot was interesting. I thought that the idea sounded different, perhaps an angst romance plot with some singing, think pitch perfect but more angst less comedy. But thats not what I ended up with. Instead I read way more about Maggie's inability to "hear" and be in tune with music. And followed her as she battled herself with the vying gentlemen. Now Im all for love triangles, but I did not care for one that felt weak. I never felt that there was a connection between Nathan and Maggie. I think the twist with Maggies parents, and with Cole were interesting and deeply saddening, but unexpected and certainly piqued my interest. I would have liked to see Maggie and her relationships develop more but considering the length it was acceptable. 
Maggie-Ugh I hate Maggie. She was so selfish, and annoying. For being 20 she sure was immature and lacking in confidence even though she's been in the spot light forever. I didn't understand her. I got the trust issues and the friendless thing, even the singing issues (which got really annoying) but I felt that she got annoying sometimes when she would get whiny and immature regarding some small issues. Perhaps I just don't understand because I can't relate. I didn't care for her relationship with her parents, which seemed awkward. But she was wonderful when it came to Cole, thats where the author got it right! 

Cole- Poor Cole. He seems to be a genuinely nice guy to Maggie. It was evident he cared about her throughout, and once we know his secret, it explains his behaviors. I think of all the characters I know Cole the best. His love for Maggie was obvious and sweet, but also heartbreaking. I could see his pain. But it was also very touching, he was giving up one love for another, trying to keep happiness in Maggies life when all else seemed to be failing her. I truly loved their interactions and would have liked to have seen more. 
Nathan- Aw what a sweet guy. But seriously. What guy is actually this sweet and hot and intelligent?! I mean he seemed almost too good to be real at times. (which I guess is true…) I liked his role, which was to help Maggie develop in more ways than one, but was disappointed with the level of depth the author went into n building his character. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Isaura by Ruth Silver (Book 3)- 3 STARS 

Isaura (Aberrant)Synopsis--SECRETS WILL BE REVEALED.
Olivia has little choice but to head into the dangerous Gravelands, as the new government wrestles with fixing the damage to society. If traveling through outlaw territory isn’t frightening enough, Olivia learns she has exposed her secret and is hunted by those she trusted. In a race against time, her life and those she loves are in jeopardy.

* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley

Overall --I'm going to be perfectly honest here, I didn't really like this book until about 50% of the way in, and even then I still have quite a few problems. However, I gave this book 3 stars for the plot line and the ending, which I commend the author for, she actually gave the book a good ending, one I could live with and be happy with. There was finality without being depressing or abrupt. Which I REALLY appreciate. And lets be honest here, the third book is always the hardest (in my opinion) because by now your readers have expectations, hopes, feelings and attachments to characters and to the story line, ending it properly, for the fans and for yourself can be difficult.

What I didn't like….where to start. I don't want to bash on the writing or the author, thats certainly NOT my intent. But I do want to say a few things about this book that I didn't like. I think for anyone who's been reading this book, you will read the third regardless. And you should. Its worth it. However it is not without its faults. The biggest frustration I had with this book was the pacing and style. I felt disappointed this time around because I constantly felt confused, (until about 50% when things started to get back to "normal", i.e. the same style as the other two books) It felt as though I was being rushed through a story line that had yet to be flushed out. There were tons of inconsistencies, that when reading felt really weird and confused me further (for instance at one point in time, Olivia makes reference to how she hasn't seen Joshua "since he left for Torv" as if this was so long ago, but from my reading of it, he left for Torv the day before she makes this statement, and yet later on in the story Im told it was quite a bit longer, but never how long…the timeline felt really messed up). Not knowing a timeline throughout most of this book really messed with my thoughts and feelings on the different stories and I would have liked to have this fleshed out more. And frankly I never felt like the "Isaura" thing was ever fully explained or explained well for that matter. It seemed like I was supposed to just know what was going on…Lastly, I felt like the story in and of itself could have been more fleshed out, more descriptive at times.

In the end though, at about 50% it seemed to go back to the typical style and was back on track. Were there things I didn't like? Of course (I would have liked if she hadn't skipped intimacy altogether between a married couple instead making these scenes awkward…). BUT I also liked that the story was innocent and sweet. That true love was such a powerful weapon in this novel and series. I say true love because its the love Olivia and Joshua have for one another that really kept them going at times and fighting for freedom.

Cover- Pretty
Rating: PG 13 
Overall: A good ending to an interesting trilogy. 
Characters:  Joshua, Olivia, Isuara, Cate, Adelaide Rane, Henry
Page Turner: Sometimes
Series Cont.?  Final in Trilogy
Book Boyfriend: Joshua
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian 
Sex Scenes: No
Setting - Republic of Cabal 

Daren Kagasoff -as Zach ConjuredJoshua--I feel like I didn't get to know Joshua as much in this book as I did in the others, his presence just wasn't as strong to me. I still love him, and think he is quite the gentleman but I also feel let down. His interactions with Olivia seemed short lived and not as genuine. I still loved him though, he was devoted to Olivia and always so strong and considerate.

Olivia--I don't think Olivia went through a whole lot of changes in this book, that was mostly seen in the last one, but I appreciated that some of her decisions and thought processes proved her selflessness. Although it did seem that she always had a plan in this novel, and tried making the best of the bad situations, questioning things more than before. It never hurts to have your husband by your side either. I like that she is strong willed and determined but also sweet and caring.
People: Aimee Teegarden

Other Characters- I enjoyed the other characters throughout this book like Adelaide, Rane, Cate, Elsa, and Henry, but felt that I didn't really get to see them or get to know them like I had in some of the other books. At times I would have appreciated a second narrator so that I could get to know people better, but in the end Im happy with the way things turned out for everyone.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mid-Season TV Posts

Alright, its about that time of year where the shows go on hiatus for the holiday season, and the mid season shows will start in January. Some shows will be over soon (Homeland has two episodes left!) others are just on a break. (Hart of Dixie) At this time though, Im just giving an update in general because its been about 8-10 episodes into the shows. I will update over time.

In no particular order.

sAlmost Human- ISo far I like what Ive seen! It reminds me of continuum. (which I love) I think it can be a good show, give it time. WILL WATCH

Beauty and the Beast--Wow oh Wow. LOVING this season. I am really enjoying this season of B&B, I think the new plot line is fascinating. I was hesitant at first, but CW has managed to make the plot work and become quite interesting. When last season ended, I wondered what could they possibly do, and how are they going to drag it out, but Im loving what they have done. Causing the rift between the two main characters adding in more action, drama, love triangles, and the moral issue and this show has become explosive. It went from, WILL WATCH to MUST WATCH

Blacklist --I am a fan of the show, but Im not diehard about it. I enjoy it, its enjoyable and interesting. I am dying to know who is Lizzy's father! I need to know what happened! But I wish more would happen week to week with the sub plot. This show reminds me of Law and Order SVU the side story slowly moves in the background of a big weekly story. I would prefer smaller weekly stories and more action on the main characters and their relationship. WILL WATCH

Hart of Dixie--Oy vey! This show has gotten out hand. I can barely watch it anymore. Aside from some of the terrible acting, and the terrible plot lines, this season is by far the worst. I love Rachel Bilson, and Im a big fan of the Zoe/Wade relationship, but my likeness of the show ends there. Whats worse? This show has introduced Joel/Zoe. It was bad enough that she didn't pick Wade. Or even Lemon's cousin, but Joel is the worst character introduction in the show yet. Her relationship with him is so incredibly boring and I find his character worthless in so many way. I see the turns the show is trying to make, introducing a possible love triangle issue with Zoe/Wade/Zoes cousin, but lets all be honest, we just want Zoe and Wade to get back together and be happy!!! This show went from WILL WATCH to IF I HAVE TIME ILL WATCH.

Homeland--Wow. I am absolutely shocked at the ending of this season and not in a good way. Homeland ended in what could have been seen as a series finale. Ruining a good thing if you ask me for next season. Sure the story can go many places. There are always more terrorists to find, right? Except one of the main reasons I love the show, the relationship between Carrie and Brody is what I love watching,  But now, Im not sure I will continue. I lost what I love most. NOT SURE. 

Hostages--I like this show, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe and watch. At first it felt so raw and believable (okay maybe not) but then as it kept going to got more and more out there. Im hoping that this is a one season show with finality. I like it but don't really want to invest another season into it.

Originals- I am loving this show, not sure how far they can take it, but Im sure they will think of something! I have enjoyed the show so far, all the characters are really coming together. Cami is one of my favorite as is the main guy, they have really brought the show to life for me! The background witch story is also very interesting. This has definitely kept me entertained! WILL KEEP WATCHING 

Vampire Diaries -As usual I love VD. But I have to admit this season has been pretty boring. I miss Klaus. I miss Tyler. And the new characters really arent doing it for me. The whole Katherine dying thing is weird, and kind of annoying, she just keeps whining! I do like the addition of her daughter though thats a nice twist. I will obviously KEEP WATCHING

Haven - Eeek! Haven ended on a good note. This season I lost a lot of interest. I was not nearly as invested as previously. This season was so different than the others. It was focused on how the troubles can be cured or were started rather than fixing each trouble as they come and Audrey's love triangle. The barn was the focus. I have to be honest, I wasnt captivated. The show has really lost some of its appeal to me. But in the end, the final 10 minutes proved to be really great! Leaving us on a wonderful little. WILL KEEP WATCHING

Tomorrow People--I am a huge fan of this new show! I absolutely freaking love it. It has everything from mystery, action, romance  to drama and crime with science fiction mixed in. I love Robbie Amell too, he does such a great job of being the hero and love interest all while trying to find himself. I also like the love triangle which isn't the main focus but has come into play here there. The finale of fall was interesting, and left me very upset that it was over for a month!! Come back! MUST WATCH, WILL KEEP WATCHING

Reign - I am a fan of this show as well. Not quite like Tomorrow people, but I do enjoy this one. I like the main character a lot, Mary. She is beautiful and charismatic. I also like the story line, which is obviously NOT the true story. I liked the ending of this finale, as it really leaves things open for where and what Mary will do next. KEEP WATCHING

Revenge- OMG!!!! I can't believe  who shot Emily!!! and now its on break! what?! unacceptable! I saw previews for the next episode so obviously I know a little bit about what happens, but waiting is painful. This season so far has been better than last, but I must admit, that I agree with other fans who feel that Emily has gone a little too dark. Aftet the initiative last year it seems that Emily went from being sweet on the outside and dark on the inside to just being dark, no wonder Daniel falls for another. Not to mention Im not a fan of her and Aiden, I mean she is supposed to be with JACK! Ah but alas, I am truly interested in seeing where this goes! KEEP WATCHING! 

Once Upon a Time- Hm. VERY interesting. This season to me has been less than stellar. I watched but wasn't as invested as other seasons. This whole Pan thing I found to be dragged out a little too much. BUT, the ending of the fall finale was intriguing! and it sparks new interest in me! I want the pirate and Emma together (I may be alone there though) and I am certainly interested in seeing where this whole new "world" goes. should be entertaining! But, Im not as invested as I used to be so Ive downgraded this one. to WILL WATCH WHEN I HAVE TIME 

Grimm- Not much of a finale, but I like the show overall. I have to admit there isn't much to say on this one. Its pretty straightforward. I will keep watching, but probably downgrade to when I have time. WILL WATCH WHEN I HAVE TIME 

Nashville- Eek. Okay so first let me just say that I have been half bored with this season. First off, I am NOT happy about Scarlett about Avery being together I wanted her with Gunnar! Im also REALLY bored with the whole Teddy and Rayna storyline. I wanted Rayna will Deacon, so Im upset about that. But I have loved Juliette's storyline this season. I like that she isn't quite as BAD as she used to be, sure she made bad decisions still, but not on the same immature level as before. I am dying for her to be with Avery! I love their relationship. I am really looking forward to the next part of the season. KEEP WATCHING

Scandal --Hm. I have REALLY LOVED this season. I mean it is just as intense as the others. There are some oddities but they seem to work themselves out. I am dying for Olivia to be with Jack and not the president. Im intrigued with all the ongoing plots between the death of VP's husband to Olivias mother to Jack taking over! Its going to be an intense end of the season!!! MUST WATCH