Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Dial Books (15 Aug 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803738897 

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Cover:  A really great, gothic cover, that definitely suits the descriptions of the setting in this bok.

I picked this one up because I thought it would be a good read for October, a nice, gothic, slightly creepy tale for Halloween.  But I have to say I was disappointed.
I found it slow to start, it didn't really grab me.
I found the writing style that I had seen as described as gothic, and hauntingly beautiful, was just boring really.  And I found it I bit repetitive.  There's only so many times you can read, 'bad,bad,bad', 'dark,dark,dark', etc,etc,etc.  It was trying to be all tense, but I just didn't appreciate it.
I found the characters annoying and frustrating.  Violet- I didn't connect with her at all.  Her reactions were so nonsensical that I just rolled my eyes.  She knows River is a bad guy- one moment it's all 'I hate him.  He's evil.'  Then they get all snuggly.  Annnnnd repeat.
Her friend-but-not-really Sunshine was just pathetic.  'Guys like it when girls scare easy'.  Her whole philosphy was sickening to me.  I wouldn't say I'm a feminist, but it's CERTAIN she wasn't.

Something that really irritated me was the names of these characters.  I mean, seriously:

River West.  Violet White.  True White.  Sunshine Black.  Rose Redding.   Blue Hoffman.

Even typing them makes me want to vom.
It's as if she picked out names using the game of Twister.

The setting was fantastic.  A small town called Echo by the sea, old, crumbling mansions.  The old buildings had such atmosphere.  So the potential for that really gothic tale was there.  But it fell flat for me.  I didn't feel the tension.  Any horror.  Any scare factor.  Or creepiness.
Over all this was an ok read for me, and it would have been much better for me personally with different characters.
2.5/5 stars.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Trust In Me (Wait For Me #1.5) by J. Lynn

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 715 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperImpulse (24 Oct 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Language: English

From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WAIT FOR YOU, this is the story of Cam and Avery’s sizzling romance as you’ve never seen it before, told exclusively from Cam’s perspective…

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up – he can’t get this feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. What will it take to help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery’s life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

Cover: A cute, sweet cover that I really like, but not as much as Wait For You's cover.

Wait For You was one of the first New Adult books I read, and it remains a favourite.
I love contemporary romace books that have alternating points of view, so I missed that in Wait For You, so when it was announced we would get the same novel in Cam's POV I was highly anticipating it.  I loved Cam.  He is the perfect New Adult hero.  Totally swoon worthy guy.
Having his perspective made you fall in love with him even more- which I didn't think was possible.
As always Jennifer L. Armentrout's writing is fantastic.  I love how she writes chemistry and attraction, and her characters personalities make you instantly love them.
I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it if you've read Wait For You.
4.5/5 stars.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled (14 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620610116
  • Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

    Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

    Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

    The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

    But then everything changes…

    I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

    No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies….
Cover:  I'm loving this shade of purple.  Oh and the sexy couple on the cover that are perfect for Daemon and Katy.  Yeah I love them.  Seriously two of the best cover models ever.
After blazing through and freaking loving book one- Obsidian, I couldn't wait and immediately picked up Onyx.
I found this one to be  slower pace wise than Obsidian and I loved Kat in book 1 but for much of this one she was face-palm inducing.  Her thought processes and decision making were infuriating and backward, and really painful to read.  Mostly regarding Blake.  How she could be so blindly stupid and trust him after Daemon said lord knows how many times not to trust him.
Other than that...I still loved it.
Daemon has a lot to do with that.  The sexyness, the arrogance, the sarcasm.  And when he stars saying to Kat that he finds reading sexy?  Yeah I may have swooned.
Over all everything was amped up in this one- the attraction, the suspense and mystery- mostly surrounding the DoD and Daemon's brother Dawson.  The ending eing a big reveal to lead on to book 3- which I'm really looking forward to starting.
The sexual tension and chemistry between Daemon and Kat just sizzles off the page.
This has become one of my new favourite series.  I still loved it- but it wasn't as perfect as Obsidian mostly because of Kat turning into Bella Swan for a moment there (I hate to use that as a comparison, but it's an accurate one).
4.5/5 stars.
I highly recommend this series and am really looking forward to more of it unfold.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rock With Me (With Me In Seattle #4) by Kristen Proby

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 514 KB
Print Length: 298 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484807944 

Front Man Leo Nash from the world-famous rock band, Nash, is the last person on earth Samantha Williams would trust. She's already learned about loving a celebrity the hard way and isn't signing up for another lesson.

Every time Sam gives Leo attitude, he wants to knock that chip off her fragile little shoulder. What the hell did he ever do to her, anyway? He's not used to women treating him like he's poisonous, and he isn't about to let her run away every time he gets close. He's had enough of people running away to last him a lifetime...when this one runs, he gives chase. But, catching Sam isn't as hard as he thought.

The sexual attraction between them is so thick, Sam can practically hold it in her hand. There's no way she can deny herself the promise of pleasure being with Leo would provide.

But, pleasure always comes with pain and when secrets are revealed and trust is challenged, who will run and who will chase?

Cover: I like this cover in theory, but the cover models...I find them kind of creepy.

In the build up to this book's realease, I saw it everywhere, and that is what made me start the series.
Before reading this book, I found the rest of the series ok.  Book 1 was so-so, book 2 was fantastic, book 3 was my least favourite.  So I didn't know what to expect with this one.
I enjoyed this one a lot.  Nash and Sam had fantastic chemistry and their unconventional romance was so sweet.  I loved them.
Definitely loved this one.
4/5 stars.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Hardcover: 391 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (23 July 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385743203

 In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.


Cover: This has become one of my favourite covers. It's so gorgeous in person. I'm really pleased that they slightly altered the cover before it's release, it now has a kind of luminescent glow about it and it more suited to the world/time setting. It's so stunning.

Beauty and the Beast has to be my favourite fairytale.- so when I saw that there was going to be a YA re-telling- that was me sold. There are quite a few fairytale re-tellings out there, but there aren't very many Beauty and the Beast ones. Hence me pre-ordering it.
It's been really difficult to not read it as soon as it arrived, but I had to hold off as it was chosen as the Buddy Read Pick for September. So by the time it came to read it, I was practically chomping at the bit.
I found the beginning a bit slow, and it seemed the author tried to make it come across 'deeper'- more meaningful, and more poetic than it was or needed to be. There were a few instances of this in the book. It was just uncessary and slowed the book right down. When this wasn't happening, the writing style was simple and straight forward- and it flowed really well.
I loved having both Isra and Gem (aka Beauty and the Beast's) point of views. It was so interesting to get both sides- and what was even more interesting is- at times you weren't sure who was the Beauty and who was the Beast as they both had traits of both, and then bam, as you think you have it sussed, it's turned on its head again.
Bo. There was something about him from the get go- I didn't like him. So I didn't particularly enjoy having his POV in there. I don't really think it was needed. Just having Isra and Gem's was perfect. There wasn't even that MUCH of it in there, so it came across as even more uncessary. I didn't like that he presented a kind of love triangle aspect-but-not-really- which is not something I enjoy.
The dystopian world aspect put a totally new slant on an old tale- and I was sceptical that it would work for two reasons-
1. I'm not a massive dystopian fan, there have been a couple I have thoroughly enjoyed, Divergent and Acid, but for the most part it's not a go to genre for me.
2. Beauty & the Beast is iconic- I'm used to the story playing out in a medieval castle or something, how would it transfer to a futuristic setting?
I was proved wrong on both counts. It worked fantastically well. I loved it as both a dystopian novel and as a fairytale re-telling.
This actually quite a dark undertone to it. The sacrficing of the queens, the suffering of the Desert People and the whole convenant- what the queens advisors push to happen to Isra.
The build up towards the end was really tense. I almost didn't want to read it because I didn't know how things were going to pan out, and I didn't think my heart could take it if bad things...well bad things did happen but I mean IRREVERSIBLE bad things were going to happen to the character I came to love, and I didn't think my heart could take it.
I really appreciated the fact that it's a stand alone novel. It's nice to find a great novel that is not part of a series.
The last few chapters- OMG THE FEELS! So emotional!
The prologue was really beautiful. A perfect way to end it.
4.5/5 stars!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Dusk by Eve Edwards

Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141337397
Dusk by Eve Edwards is a beautiful love story set against the brutal back drop of WWI.

A love worth fighting for.

When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn't expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop of wartime London, an unlikely but intense romance blossoms. And even the bloody trenches of the Somme, where they are both posted, cannot diminish their feelings for each other.

But Helen is concealing a secret and when a terrible crime is committed there are devastating consequences for them both.

When lives are being lost, can true love survive?

Cover:  Something about this cover immediately drew me in.  It's so relevant, a perfect match for the story.

I loved this book.
I'm a big fan of historical fiction, but normally gravitate towards ones set in the regency period, and am in general, just a big history nerd.
Dusk is beautifully written.  It's about a couple whose lives and relationship is caught up in the first world war.
I loved how it was told.  It wasn't linear.  One chapter would be set as Helen and Sebastian are getting to know each other, and the next could be set two years later at the Somme.  I enjoyed that going back and forth.  
This is definitely an emotive read.  There are some passages that almost made me tear up.  It really brings home the loss suffered at that time.
But I really felt for Helen and the injustices she faces towards the end of the book.  The author really makes you feel for her.
Both Helen and Sebastian are likable characters that you root for.  
Helen- a downtrodden young girl, cast as plain by her father, and considered to be in her sisters shadow.  Becomes a nurse to aid the war effort.
Sebastian- an artist that feels the pressure to enlist.
I do think you may get more out of this book if you're familiar with the events of World War I, but I wouldn't say it's a requirement.
While this may sound like a safe romance read, it's not.  There's far more going on than that.  I actually wanted MORE romance in it.  I wanted more of Helen and Sebastian together.  I feel we didn't have enough of that to really make their romance feel real.  I understand they become separated by the war, but I wanted to see more of them together.
Cliff-hanger ending.  Evil.  Need second now!
Highly recommend.
4/5 stars.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones [Movie Thoughts!]

I've heard a lot of mixed things about the movie- from both fans of the books and from movie critics- but of course- being a fan of the books myself, I was going to check out the movie, even if with every movie adaptation I'm equal parts excitement and hesitation.
But I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I tried to clear my mind of the book as much as possible, and just go into it like I would any other film.
I loved Jace.  I was unsure when Jamie Campbell Bower was cast, but he was really good!  The Jace-Wayland quips and humour were so on point, he made me love that character all over again.  
Simon was also well cast.  I liked him a lot.
Wish we saw more of Magnus.  While I didn't think he was well cast, I wished that he had more screen time so that it would have given me the chance to change my opinion.
Valentine was an excellent villain.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers wasn't an obvious choice, and when I heard he would be Valentine, I couldn't really picture it.  But he played a great villain.
Clary was ok for me.  Looks wise I think she was a great match, but the 'breathy' delivery kinda bugged me.
I was definitely hooked and didn't feel the overwhelming sense of disappointment the way I did when I first saw the Twilight or Beautiful Creatures adaptations for the first time.
Soundtrack was really great!
I'm looking forward to watching it again, and to purchasing the DVD.
4.5/5 stars.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Visited by Janine Caldwell

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 420 KB
Print Length: 185 pages
Publisher: Janine Caldwell (25 May 2013)
Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

Cover:  Quite a pretty cover.  Perfect for the story.

I didn't really enjoy this one.
This is a 'be careful what you for story.
After falling off a roof and being healed by what we assume is an alien for 98% of the freaking story, her life changes.  How she wanted it be- changing her body, her stepfather is gone, and her best friend has finally become her boyfriend.
So the story is really about her finding out she didn't want what she thought she wanted.  And right at the end we discover the aline that saved and become a friend, isn't really an alien.  Oh and there's a bad guy trying to disrupt his mission.  That was really a something of nothing sideline.
Over all I found this book really boring.  It didn't hook me in in any way at all.
I didn't like Joanna's character at all.  I didn't like her attitude towards anything or anyone.
1/5 stars.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled (8 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620610078
  • Starting over sucks.

    When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

    And then he opened his mouth.

    Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

    The hot alien living next door marks me.

    You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

    If I don't kill him first, that is.

Cover: With my favourite colour being green- I was automatically going to be drawn to this cover...but then along with the swoonworthy cover model that is a perfect match for Daemon, makes it an awesome cover.

Ahh...the hype around this series is phenomenal- I have legitimately not heard a single bad thing about it.  So that was a lot of high expectations- and because of them the first three books have been sat on my bookshelf for over a year.
But I'm pleased to report I freaking loved it.
I blazed through this...I would have got through it in just a day if I didn't have work.  But even with work I got through it in just over two days- it was that fast paced.
I loved everything about this book.
The plot...yes you can draw similarities to Twilight.  New girl moves from sunny city to small/quiet town, strange but extremely good looking family in town, life saved in seemingly impossible way and the discovery that they're not human (SPOILER: THAT'S NOT A SPOILER).  But it's not alone in this comparison.
So on paper it could have been a disaster.  But was just fantastic.  Jennifer Armentrout really pulled it off.  Everything flowed so well, I was totally engrossed and didn't want to put it down.  I resented every interruption to my reading...yes that includes work.
The characters were also brilliant.  Everyone 'felt' different.  No cookie cutter characters unless they were supposed to be stereotypical.
I loved Katy.  I loved that she was unashamedly nerdy.   Her love of books and book blogging/vlogging made her instantly relatable.  She was just so likable.  I also enjoyed the references to 'Waiting on Wednesday' and In My Mailbox posts.
Daemon.  Oh Daemon.  Arrogant.  Sexy.  Funny.  Did I say sexy already?  I'm just about ready to have his babies.  He's become one of my favourite fictional heroes.  Plus I TOTALLY LOVED the extras at the end of the book of three of the chapters in his POV.  
His sister Dee is just so adorable.  She's just so bright and bubbly!
Over all, I'm sure everyone has read this by now, but if you haven't you must.  It's become a new favourite of mine and I can't wait to get started on book 2 as I can't wait to see how this series develops!
5/5 stars!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Booking Through Thursday 03/10/13

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week.

Which is better (or preferred) … stories with multiple character points of view? Or stories that stick to just one or two at most? And, why?

This was really intersting to think about, and as with most things, it falls somewhere in the middle for me.
Multiple character perspective can be really helpful, and bring a lot to the story- it makes the story more well rounded as you're not only seeing one person's point of view, you're getting more insight not only on more than one character's perspective, but you see MORE of what's happening outside of what only one person is seeing.
But I find multiple points of view can realy drag a story down.  'Too many cooks...' and all that.  For example in a recent read, Faithful by Kelly Elliot, this was supposed to be Heather and Josh's stpry, and yet we eneded up with about 6 perspective, that just wasn't necessary and actually detracted from Josh and Heather.  That's an example of when multiple perspective just didn't work out.
However there are times when it's fantastic.  For example Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes is a YA fantasy novel that's about different kingdoms, and different charcters ranging from peasants to princesses- and the differences in the kingdoms leading to possible war.  This was necessary!  But it didn't slow the story down, and everyone 'felt' very different. You were never confused as to whose POV you were curretly reading.
I LOVE to have alternating chapters in YA/NA contemporary novels.  Having both points of view is just fantastic- for example Echo and Noah in Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718178122
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a story about love, life and lobsters...

    Meet Don Tillman.
    Don is getting married.
    He just doesn't know who to yet.
    But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman.
    One thing he already knows, though, is that it's not Rosie.
    Absolutely, completely, definitely not.

    Telling the story of Rosie and Don, Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project is an international phenomenon, sold in over thirty countries - and counting.

    Don Tillman is a socially challenged genetics professor who's decided the time has come to find a wife. His questionnaire is intended to weed out anyone who's unsuitable. The trouble is, Don has rather high standards and doesn't really do flexible so, despite lots of takers - he looks like Gregory Peck - he's not having much success in identifying The One.
    When Rosie Jarman comes to his office, Don assumes it's to apply for the Wife Project - and duly discounts her on the grounds she smokes, drinks, doesn't eat meat, and is incapable of punctuality. However, Rosie has no interest in becoming Mrs Tillman and is actually there to enlist Don's assistance in a professional capacity: to help her find her biological father.
    Sometimes, though, you don't find love: love finds you...

    Cover:  I love this simple, quirky and totally relevant cover.

    I loved this book.
    I'm a massive Big Bang Theory fan, and from page one I immediately thought Don was Sheldon Cooper's doppleganger.  This book was like reading an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
    Don is a genius, but socially awkward.  And dating is just disastrous.  So he devises a questionnaire to find the perfect wife.  Along the way meeting Rosie- who meets none of his requirements.  While helping her find her real father he discovers that despite the odds, he has fun with Rosie- which seemingly defies logic.
    I found the whole premise, characters, writing- hilarious.  It was just a light, fun read.  Don's perspective, and inadvertent humor were a pleasure to read.
    One of my favourites so far this year.
    5/5 stars.