Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fighting For Infinity

Fighting for Infinity by Karen Amanda Hooper (Final Book in Trilogy) - 4.5 STARS 

SynopsisEvery moment, every lifetime, every decision—including her choice to erase—has led Maryah to this. 
Two outcomes are possible: an infinite happy-ever-after with her kindrily or the final severing of her relationship with Nathan. 
Closer to the enemy than ever before, Maryah unravels the diabolical plan that Dedrick has been manipulating into place for centuries. Revelations, secrets, and lies surface faster than Maryah can process. She doesn’t know who to trust, what to believe, or how to save her loved ones from the desolate future Dedrick is so close to executing. 
Guided by an enigmatic raven-haired prisoner, Maryah fights body and soul to save Nathan, her kindrily, and countless others. But is her love strong enough to alter a prophecy written in the stars?
*Netgalley provided a complimentary copy for an honest review

Overall: Action and Adventure with lots of paranormal 
Characters:  Maryiah, Nathan, Rina, Carson, Krista, etc.
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? No
Book Boyfriend: Nathan
Genre: Paranormal Adventure 
Sex Scenes: No
Setting Arizona and somewhere unknown 

Overall-
Holy Wow! I freaking LOVED this book. This installment was action packed, intense, and rampant with questions, and answers to something bigger than I could have ever guessed! To be honest, I did not love book 2 of the series. I truly felt that book 1 and 2 could have been merged and that 2 wasn't really necessary, at all. That said, after reading the cliff hanger, I was dying to read book 3.  And boy was I thankful for that cliff hanger. After that I couldn't NOT read the last book (at least regarding this story line.) And the third book did not disappoint. I absolutely loved it. From the very beginning I was enthralled. I devoured this novel, with rapt attention. The story line picked up, all the pieces started fitting together. I loved how even the smallest of pieces, things that seemed trivial had meaning and a place at the end. I was truly surprised by a lot of the twists and turns. 

One of the great things about this book is that from the moment you start reading it, there is constant motion, and movement within the story line. Its not even that there is never a "dull" moment, but every moment has purpose which really comes to fruition through out this book. Each chapter we have new important information. I honestly, could not read fast enough! 

I loved that there was action, there was adventure, but the general "movement" of the plot didnt always need literal action, instead it was sometimes just facts that kept me intrigued and my interest piqued. Every second was enjoyable. 

There is a HEA here, with the option to continue, whether its with Maryiah or another character, there is plenty of potential, and unlike some books that have a sub story line, these characters have all impacted the main story of Maryiah and Nathan so much, that each character would make for a great standalone. (Especially Krista and Carson, or Dylan and Rina). 

Characters-
I really enjoyed this particular installment more than any of the others. This book was deep, personal, and held tons of actions.

While I was a little annoyed at the lack of action and direction of the characters from Book 2, that was definitely not the case in book 3. I was really surprised by how deep Maryiah gets and how emotional Nathan's storyline with her goes. I felt truly connected to them by the end of the book. 

I also loved loved loved getting to know some of the other characters, like Rina, and Krista and Carson. These characters all touched me in different ways for different reasons. At first I was weary of Rina, I didnt know what to think, how to feel about her, and her connection but by the end of the book, I found myself really falling for her story and connected to her emotional turmoil. 
Krista and Carson are by far one of my favorite couples of all time. The author did a really amazing job of showing how different couples cope and love one another, which is most certainly appreciated. 

What I didnt Like-
There isn't much to say on this point. But I was disappointed with the lack of explanation during Maryiah's learning experience. I felt like the entire book was leading up to that point (and the ending) but then there was hardly any explanation on how she learned to harness power.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Curse Breakers

Curse Breakers by Denise Grover Swank - 4 STARS

Synopsis--For more than four hundred years, the Curse Keepers guarded the barrier between the human and spirit realms. All that changed the day Ellie Lancaster met Collin Dailey. Prophecy demanded they defend the world from evil…even as it ignited a passion that threatened to consume them both.
Now Ellie faces a frightening new life, abandoned by the man she loves and tormented by malevolent spirits unleashing their vengeance upon the earth. Her only shot at protecting humanity—and herself—from the demon scourge is to claim the mark of the god Ahone as her own. Finding it means trusting Dr. David Preston, a handsome professor of Native American studies whose skepticism is surpassed only by his attraction to Ellie. Together they must finish what the Curse Keepers began, defying the forces of darkness to face hell on earth—and unlock the truth of Ellie’s destiny.
Overall: Adventurous and Romantic Fun!
Characters:  Collin, Ellie and David
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Book Boyfriend: David
Genre: Paranormal Adventure and New Adult Romance. 
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting Virginia

Overall --
The second book in the Curse Keeper Trilogy really took me for a spin! As usual, I couldn't put down Ms. Grover's book. I was addicted. I enjoyed the second installment as I knew I would. It had everything, romance, adventure, paranormal/sci-fi elements. Everything written by Grover always has a point, no piece is unnecessary, and her writing is truly enjoyable and admirable. 

We pick up right where we left off from book 1. Grover does a great job of integrating what happened in book 1 smoothly into book 2 in case you forget what happened when you pick up book 3. 

Ellie is still a firecracker, but we see her quite a bit more vulnerable in this installment. After her dad has sacrificed himself, Ellie struggles with figuring out not only who she is, but who she is supposed to become, all the while trying to remain alive. Ellie is a woman with a mission, but with a broken heart and a near broken soul. Her connection with Colin is still very prevalent and you see her struggle with coming to terms with their relationship and connection and his betrayal. Im actually surprised though by the way things turned out at the end of this installment, Im none too pleased I might add.  Ellie, while always independent is fighting even harder now to distance herself from those around her, and unfortunately for her, she somehow always manages to attract more attention. 
Andrew Stetson
Collin

I admit the soul issue was a bit confusing and annoying at times, I felt the pacing was a bit slow at times, perhaps to give the characters more time to connect and build; generally though I got the feeling the book was drawn out for the third book. 

I enjoyed following Ellie on her escapades, but thought she was sometimes reckless, with her own life and with Davids sometimes. And while I liked David, his introduction into the book was great, I really wanted to root for Colin. I wanted more of him, more time with him, and more time for him to redeem himself for his prior bad acts. I think David was a great addition, but I was disappointed that I didn't get more of Colin, and I hope a love interest is introduced so there is a HEA for everyone! 

This installment had it all adventure, action, romance, mystery....I wasn't blown away, but I was hanging on to the edge of my seat and I CANNOT wait for the final book to come out!  


What I didn't Like

I gotta say, much like Grover's other paranormal book, this one CAN be a bit confusing. And confusing to the point where I simply don't understand parts of the book. I am usually pretty good at following along. But every once in a while, in this book, I felt lost, confused or that the explanation provided left me a bit short of a full understanding. BUT generally, I didn't mind it. What I REALLY disliked was David Preston's character. I mean, I like him, but I don't. Its one of those things where the character itself is well written and a necessary character, but his role, is one I was less than happy with because of my liking to Collin. But who knows, maybe the next book will make me happy. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Asylum


Asylum by KA Tucker (Book 2) 4 STARS

Asylum (Causal Enchantment, #2)Synopsis
Tucked away in Sofie's wintery asylum with no hope of release for years, Evangeline must come to terms with her situation: the curse still plagues her, she's now hunted by a 
two thousand-year-old vampire, and the guy she's in love with tried to kill her. 
Plus, she's locked up with a cranky Max and the Forero kids—two people everyone 
seems to prefer dead over alive. Things aren't looking good.
Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, Sofie struggles to keep forty trapped and bloodthirsty Ratheus vampires at bay and a desperate Viggo from killing Evangeline's friends, all 
while hints stir outside the walls of the NYC vampire asylum of a war brewing 
between the Sentinel and the witches. 
Is there any hope for Evangeline and Caden? Can Sofie control the rival powers? Is the fate of 
Earth predestined? 
Mountainside House

Cover- Attractive
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes (2 of 4)
Recommend if You Like...
Book Boyfriend: Caden and maybe Julian
Genre: Paranormal New Adult 
Sex Scenes:Nope
Setting - New York City, A mountain, and an island in South America

Overall-

New York Mansion
After devouring book 1 I moved on to Book 2. I couldn't resist, I HAD to know what happened! I was not disappointed (other than it ended) This book ended with a little more finality than Book 1 though, which made me feel better, because I could devour this without forcing myself to get the next one immediately. If you liked Book 1 you will surely like this one. It picks up RIGHT where we left off, but in case you don't read them back to back KA Tucker does a good job of reminding you about the events from Book 1 without throwing them back at you. (Thank you.)

This book follows the same characters on a continued adventure, and is told is dual perspectives, Sofie and Evangeline. I wasn't sure I was going to like hearing Sofies side, I wasn't sure I liked her or not. But after reading this I love her. She is quite the genius. I feel bad for her, and I understand her so much more after hearing from her and what she is going through all in an effort to protect those she loves. In this book, we follow Sofie as she struggles with the vampires stuck in New York, while Julian and Evangeline are stuck on a mountain top somewhere unknown.

Ben Barnes as Julian
I am surprised that nothing more transpired between Julian and Evangeline, but was pleasantly surprised by the secret she learns about Julian. By the end of the book, I understand his role, and why no triangle was created, which I appreciate (thank you).

This book, much like Book 1 really took me by surprise. I was expecting it this time, but still I was thrown into this world and couldn't come up for air until I was done. I fell in love with these characters and their world, never wanting to leave.

I was really worried when I started the book, thinking how is this going to work, more has to happen, and in the first few chapters I was worried that the plot would develop but wouldn't really go anywhere, and BOY was I WRONG!

I had a lot of fun traipsing around with Sofie with her dirty secrets and spells, while getting to know her, and yet at the same time, relaxing with Julian and Evangeline while they figure out whats going on around them and learning all about one another. Life doesn't go to well for any of these characters and everyone is eventually betrayed, proving nothing ever goes as planned.

But in the end, everything turns out how it should, er, kind of. I mean it all turns out acceptable ;-)

I love Evangeline's sweet and loving yet fiery personality. She is so caring and loving, and it really shows in all of her actions. At the same time its still very clear that she is naive and a little too trusting, Im glad she didn't lose all of that so easily though. I appreciate that she is changing without it being too drastic. I love her and Caden and hope that their love story finally works.
I even love Sofie and hope that she finds love with someone, even if its not what I think. As for Julian Im undecided on him as of now.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Anathema

Anathema by KA Tucker- 4 STARS

Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1)Synopsis
Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.
When Evangeline meets Sophie after literally stumbling upon her cafĂ©, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash. 
With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities... like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined. 
Brianna Brown - Google Search
Sofie - Brianna Brown 
In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed

Cover- Attractive  
Page Turner: Yes, eventually. 
Series Cont.? Yes (3 more)
Recommend if You Like...
Book Boyfriend: Caden
Genre: Paranormal New Adult 
Sex Scenes: Nope 
Setting - New York City And unknown location 

Overall-

sexy men
Caden
Sheesh!! Why didnt anyone tell me to read this sooner?! I got this as an Amazon Freebie and it sat on my Kindle for AGES before I finally decided to read it. I don't know, something about the synopsis was off putting. I tried starting it a few times, but couldn't get past the first chapter, but finally I dove in. And Boy am I happy I listened to all the reviews!!! This was an amazing book! And I don't expect anything but from KA Tucker.

First and foremost, I HIGHLY recommend this series if you like KA Tucker or paranormal romance. There are witches, vampires, werewolves and so much more with a lot of delectable moments….BUT I will warn you, it takes a little time to get into this one. The plot is great, with LOTS of twists and turns and surprises. But I won't lie, I absolutely hated the beginning of this book. Unfortunately, the first few chapters are extremely awkward, uncomfortable or generally utterly unbelievable. Now based on the synopsis, I was expecting this, to an extent, but I also didnt know what I was getting into, so Im left a little frustrated and confused. I continued reading though, knowing that it must get better and Im glad I stuck with it. After the first few chapters it became AMAZING! I couldn't stop reading this book. Thrown into this world with this gang of people with so much going on it was sometimes hard to keep up!! But I was more than happy with it.
Evangeline

I loved the way KA Tucker developed her characters. I never knew what to expect, who's allegiance was an honest one, who was really telling the truth, who should Evangeline trust?! I couldn't decide if Caden was good or bad, and I certainly didn't expect that ending!!! I like that as the narrator I get to see and hear what Evangeline is going through, coming from her own broken past and then dealing with the fall out of something out of her own control, falling in love and learning the ropes of what family and friendship really mean…it was really fun.

Through Evangeline, I fell for Caden, in my eyes he seemed so sincere, and beautiful. He seemed the most honest and I appreciated the difficulty that Evangeline went through to understand whether her feelings for him were true, and the risks that she takes for him.

This plot had so much going on, it was hard to not only keep up but to figure out the truth. Sometimes that can be annoying, but I think KA Tucker really made it work. She always gave enough information, that I felt satisfied, and always explained things properly and in detail so that I could understand the crazy information. I love her writing style, it was easy to get wrapped up in her world! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Burn Out

Burn Out by Kristi Helvig 5 STARS

Synopsis-

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in. 
When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

*I was provided an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Overall-
Jessica Stroup as Tora
Holy cow! I DEVOURED this book. And now Im upset. Not only is it over. But theres another book, that is not coming out any time soon.  This is one of the best books of the year. Debut author Kristi Helvig did a spectacular job of intertwining dystopian and sic-fi. The twists and turns in the novel really kept me going. Even though the book is told over the course of only a few days, a great deal occurs during this time. I absolutely LOVE the main character Tora. She is so feisty, sarcastic and one tough girl. It was a mix of Almost Girl (tough) and ? (sarcasm and humor). 


Mike Warren (gif) from tv series "Graceland" (I hope this show is good)
James- Aaron Tveit
I also really enjoyed the chemistry she had with the different characters and the ever changing dynamics. The author really did a good job of keeping Tora in character, and keeping everything genuine (obviously we're 300 years in the future so realistic isn't the right word, though given the timing its possible, but genuine in the sense where it never felt like Tora was being random or not herself, she remained her sarcastic un-trusting self throughout regardless of emotions and the ever changing nature of the world she was surviving.
Candice Accola as Britta
The author did a fantastic job of world building, I could truly picture this burnt out world. The author merged current issues with the foreseable issues and created quite the landscape and background plot. I was inspired and in awe of how natural this book felt and how easy it was to follow Tora on her journey.


grey damon - Google Search
Marcua- Grey Damon 
I absolutely loved Tora. She is one kick ass girl. I loved her narration, it was completely on point. A lot of authors get this part wrong, putting too much emphasis on the hormonal emotions which "takeover" and never mentioning the issue. Instead, Tora recognizes her hormones and frequently chastises herself for those feelings, constantly reminding herself whats at stake, but in such a manner that it feels completely normal, and natural. I also love her quirky, sarcastic and tough girl attitude. I appreciate that she at least has quite a few reasons to feel so pessimistic and to be untrusting of others. I felt connected to Tora as the main character, which is often hard to do. She was smarty and witty, but had to make so pretty tough decisions. I honestly am mad at myself for reading this because the next book is not even close to being out yet and Im dying to finish!!!!


Dustin Milligan as Alec
I also really enjoyed James, the way that Tora gets close to him and then struggles with her thoughts, knowledge, emotions, hormones and the end of the world as she knows it! A lot for one girl to deal with. But I like that her and James build a quasi relationship but that she doesnt just throw all her eggs into one basket, she is still weary and doubtful, she is still cautious which I think is important, that makes the book more about the journey than the love story.

Mike Colter- Kale 
The supporting characters were also really amazing. I loved each of them in a different way! I couldnt get enough of the sarcasm and banter between all the different characters. Each one had their own personality. The author manages to create very distinct pictures of these characters and remain true to the world they live in, providing background as well as current story lines so that the reader can really connect with each one. Every moment had such purpose, and drive for moving the book and story forward.
Im so sad to be finished with this book! And I seriously cant wait till the next. Its a mixture of Hunger Games with an element of science fiction that really grabs you and you dont want it to end!

FINAL VERDICT --- LOVE IT.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We Were Liars

We were Liars by E. Lockart  -- 2 STARS

We Were Liars

Synopsis-A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

*Netgalley provided an ARC to me in exchange for an honest review

Overall -
I really hate giving this a low rating, but in no way is my rating an indication of whether the book was good or bad this time. Instead, I actually mean this book just wasn't for me. This review will not be a full review, because honestly, this book is unlike any other. Let me start over.


Im in limbo on this book and where to rate it. Part of me feels that the author wove a beautiful story about a young girl who, after a traumatic experience, has lost her memory of the event and struggles in her daily life, mentally and physically. Another part of me, the critical part, felt there was a lack of world building, a lack of character development, and I found myself lost in time frequently.

Cady
The style of writing here is different, and unique, which is partially why I didn't like the book all that much. I typically like young adult books, and this theme/plot seemed intriguing. I even liked Cadence "voice" but what I didn't care for was the broken prose, which instead of making me fifteen really just annoyed me. It felt choppy and the timing felt "off",  I couldn't tell when Cady was in her current time or remembering something, which often led to me being confused. There was a lack of world building, leaving the reader to assume her surroundings, basically an island near Martha's vineyard, where everyone is extremely wealthy. Except, I have never been to MV, or anywhere near there really. So aside from wealthy and preppy, I don't have a whole lot to go off.

Cady, the main character is likable enough, but that about covers the characters I actually "liked". I didn't even like Gat, her love interest. I felt he way trying too hard to be pretentious, and failed. I understood the family dynamics well enough, but again, the choppy prose, left much to be desired here. I didn't understand the mothers relationships whatsoever, and often wondered why they were even mentioned.

Gat (or close enough)
By the end of the book, I admit, I was pleasantly surprised with what the traumatic event was and what transpired. Truly, this is where the author captured me. And its the reason I gave the book any stars. After all my ranting, the ending, brings me full circle and made me realize what a precious book this really was. I was not only surprised, (shocked even) but I teared up. The author managed to evoke emotions from when all along I was annoyed and frustrated. Was that her intent, I do not know. What I do know, is that while I didn't care for this book in general, I in no way want other people NOT to read it because it wasn't for me. There are great things about this book, none are really mentioned here (but to name a few, the homes on the island are well described, the friendship between the cousins, the liars, is very interesting and strong, the adults are obviously ostentatious in every way, which is shown in numerous way). The problem really for me, was the writing style was bothersome, and if I hadn't been provided an ARC I wouldn't have finished it. (BUT I'm glad I did, because the ending was worth it after all!)

Confused yet? Yeah me too.