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review 2014-11-07 22:48
Chasing Power - Sarah Beth Durst

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book can be easily surmised as fun. Admittedly though, I am a tad disappointed after having my mind blown byThe Lost earlier this year. This book doesn’t even begin to compare on the level The Lost sets but considering the two books actually aren’t that similar, I don’t think it would be fair to compare them.

The major selling point of this book is adventure, it’s why it’s so fun. I mean these kids are trying to find magical stones that will grant the person who has them invincibility. Who doesn’t want to be invincible (certainly not me)? There is also a bit of myth/ancient history involved which makes it all the more exciting, for me at least.

Kayla is a great main character. I love that she is willing to go so far to take care of her family but at the same time, what kept on bothering me was that she was just a teenager. She had powers yes, but she was inexperienced in using them and she really should have confided at least a little bit in her mother. No matter how good the intentions, it’s never good to keep a secret of that magnitude.  That said, her loyalty wasn’t a bad quality, I loved that in spite of everything, she recognized that her mother was not the bad guy here. That her mother always wanted what was best for her even if what she thought was best did not line up with Kayla’s ideas about what was best for herself.

In fact, I loved that there were actually good flawed parental figures in this book. There were bad ones, but they were counteracted by the good ones; the parents who in spite of their not so good actions, were never portrayed as evil or even as plain old bad since their children realized that they were not in fact the enemy.

I also loved Selena. I loved how she was not the perfect best friend and actually had issues of her own. She may have been confident but she was also insecure about certain things and did actually need to stand up for herself.

Daniel was also just as fun to read about. I loved that the fact that he was hot wasn’t particularly emphasized. It was in the beginning but as Kayla got to know him better, the emphasis was less on his beauty and more on the fact that he was actually a great guy. What I liked most about him though was his determination to get his mother back; at the same time though it was one of his worst characteristics considering it led him to lying and what have you.

The romance is one of the things that did not work for me though. I expected more considering that the two actually complemented one another but before the relationship had even had any real time to progress, they had already fallen in love and I just ended up being disappointed.

The plot also ended up falling apart when things became rushed towards the end and everything ended up being wrapped up neatly in a bow. It’s one of the reasons why I was so disappointed in this book. It started off beautifully and I was so excited to see where it would all go and how things would turn out but it just didn’t go as well as I had hoped. There wasn’t enough focus on the ancient history/myth for my taste and I wish we actually found out more about the past then just the brief mentions we got. All of this could have linked to something so full of awesomeness yet that wasn’t the case and that made me sad.

I felt like there was a lot of potential in the world building itself too but the fact that it wasn’t explored as much as possible didn’t bother me as much as the fact that the plot ended up not being as awesome as it could have been.

On top of that, I hated how some things wrapped up. As I mentioned before, I felt like the ending was too neat and that there were just some knots that could have been tied a whole lot better than they were.

With all my disappointment expressed, I have to say, this is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone who just needs something to read. It’s fun and adventurous and while it’s far from perfect, you’ll still have a good time. I know I did.

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review 2014-09-10 04:14
Good brain candy
Illusions of Fate - Kiersten White

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Illusions of Fate is a book that would have completely won me over pre-blogging, but now, not so much. I still had a lot of fun reading it but the problem is that I am somewhat of a critique; I now notice things that might have completely escaped my attention before I became a blogger and that’s why I didn’t love this book.

For starters, the characters were all great from a glance but if you dig deeper… there weren't much. Jessamin herself sometimes annoyed me and made me want to shake her but her sense of humor won me over. She wasn’t what I’d call an admirable character, but she worked for the purposes of the story. Finn, the love interest, was similar. He was sweet in spite of the initial misunderstandings, but there wasn’t much else to him. He was pretty flat aside from that. Eleanor was a nice addition to the story and probably the only secondary character that wasn’t almost completely forgotten about afterwards. My favorite character was Sir Bird though. He was a strong, brave bird that defied authority and did what he thought was right and you couldn’t help but want to cuddle with him.

The romance was kind of the similar to the characters. It was pleasant but not much else aside from that. I didn’t think of it as insta-love or slow burn or anything. It was just there and it was nice to read about. The two were all right as a couple, however, I did wish Jessamin have paid more attention to Finn and realized his intentions so that they wouldn't have had to dance around each other for so long.

The plot was pretty meh to be honest. Things were happening and I understood that and it was paced well enough, but there weren't enough to satisfy me. The resolution came out of nowhere, and the twist surprised me and not in a good way. Twists are great when they surprise you and then you can go back and connect the dots, but when you literally cannot even understand how that happened, that’s not a good thing.

This probably has something to do with the lack of world building. There just weren't enough. I mean, it was good enough to keep the book going but not nearly enough to satisfy me as a reader. What it did was make me have more questions than not and the lack of world building also made it harder for me as a reader to connect the dots as the story progressed. In fact, there were a LOT of things just forgotten about after being introduced. Not just secondary characters but other secrets brushed over but never fully explored.

With that said, the little world building we DID get was fascinating. The idea that the nobility possessed magical powers was an interesting one and the whole shadow jumping thing (which kind of reminds me of the whole mating thing in pnr featuring shapeshifters) was intriguing as well. There was definitely a LOT of potential in this world, but the fact that it was a standalone made it harder for it to be explored.

It makes me wonder what this would have been like it weren’t a standalone; if it had been part of a series instead. That said, I am glad that it is one. We DO need more of them because as much as I love a series, I could use a bunch of standalones in my life.

The one thing this book has done though is encourage me to pick up other books by the author. I wasn’t a fan of Paranormalcy(AT ALL) and I had been wary of giving the author another shot, but I think I am ready to read some of the other books by her that I had wanted to read at some point.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read. If you’re not as concerned about details as I was, and just want a nice story to fall into, this would be perfect.

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review 2014-07-28 22:55
Missing the OOMPH factor
Deadly Secrets - Sarah Barrie

***This mini-review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book has everything going for it yet the main reason I cannot rate it higher is that it seems to missing the ‘oomph’ factor. I adored this book, yet at the same time, I never fell in love. I rooted for the couple; I adored the main characters; I swooned at the romance; and I was at the edge of my seat because of the intensity of the plot. Yet, after I finished this book, that was it.

Jordan and Reid both suffer from what I'd like to call "the-pretty-people-syndrome" and while their attractiveness is brought up several times in the book, there is so much more to them than that. Both of these characters are well developed and you cannot help but enjoy reading about them.

The romance between the two won’t fail to make you go "aww" at times. It’s a love-hate relationship, and boy, did I love reading their interactions. They get off on the wrong foot, but as they get to know each other more, they started developing feelings for one another. I’ll admit to feeling a sense of  'insta-ness' to their romance because of the short period of time within which they develop their feelings, but that didn’t stop me from shipping the two.

The plot takes the cake though. I have to give the author kudos for developing such a highly entertaining mystery element to this story. She doesn’t try to throw in weird twists to mess with your brain but she doesn’t need to; she isn’t trying to hide things from the reader - she makes the readers live in the moment worrying about the characters and hoping things work out.

This isn't the best romantic suspense out there but I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the genre. Its a quite the read and it won't fail to entertain you.

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review 2014-06-08 21:51
Entertaining if not the best thing out there
Out of Control - Sarah Alderson

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

If nothing else, one can always count on Sarah to deliver a book that is fun. This book is far from perfect but in spite of all the issues I had, I still ended up enjoying it and I wouldn’t expect anything less from Sarah because to this day, I haven’t read a single book by her that I didn’t enjoy.

This book, like her Lila series, is full of action and will keep you on your toes and on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what will happen next.

Her characters, for the most part, are pretty lovable but Liva could be hard to get behind at times. I absolutely loved how she was willing to take a lead and while she needed help, and WANTED it too, she could actually take care of herself. Her emotional baggage, however, could at times be tiresome. I felt like if she hadn’t been so set against not feeling and constantly feeling guilty, it would have been easier for me to enjoy her character a lot more.

Jay on the other hand was pretty damn awesome, like the rest of Sarah’s love interests. He was swoon worthy and oh-so-sweet. I loved how supportive he was but at the same time I was a little surprised by his willingness to help her. It could just be the cynic in me but I wouldn’t usually risk my life to help someone I had just met, but again, had he not helped her the story would have been completely different and most likely not nearly as enjoyable. My only other qualm with him was when he said he was a fast learner and asked Liva to hand him a gun. Yeah.. no. You cannot be a fast learner when it comes to guns because there are so many rules you need to know before you can actually use a gun safely. It bother me a little when he said that but not nearly enough to take away from my overall love for his character.

The one thing I cannot make up my mind about, even now, is the romance. It had an insta-love feel to it especially when Liva went on and on about how he made her feel again after she had forced herself to stop feeling. Add to that the fact that they had barely known each other for a day so I definitely ended up having issues with the romance but at the same time, I enjoyed it. It’s probably Sarah working her magic and making me like something that would have usually ended up becoming a huge problem for me and would have ended up taking from my overall experience of the book but Sarah knows how to captivate her readers so that wasn't really a huge problem.

The plot didn’t let me down. I saw the major plot twist coming from miles away, but even so, when it was finally revealed, my heart was beating erratically and I was biting my fingernails and trying to read as fast as I possibly could to get to the bottom of it. It was just so well done. It was full of action and there wasn’t a single minute when I was bored. There were some situations that were probably unrealistic but it just works. Sarah knows how to make it work.

Even with my problems, Out of Control was a thoroughly entertaining read and it also dealt with an important issue in today’s world, human trafficking. It was one of my most anticipated reads and while I’ll admit to being let down, I still enjoyed it and thought it was totally worth it. Reading it did make me extremely nostalgic for the Lila series though.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a quick read that while is not the best thing ever, will not fail to keep readers on their toes and will grasp their attention and not let go until the end.

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review 2014-03-01 15:00
Them pretty covers tell lies
Arclight - Josin L. McQuein

**This review has also been posted on Tangled in Pages


Arclight was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and after I got the book, I kind of shelved it and forgot about it. That is until I got my eyes on the sequel. At this point I hadn’t read any reviews of Arclight so I dove into the book knowing nothing but the synopsis. If I had bothered with the reviews, I probably wouldn’t have so much as bought this book because.. love triangle alert. You know what the sad thing is though? The love triangle isn’t actually my main problem with this book. I loved it for the first 60 or so percent. This was an assured 4 star read until then and I was flying through the pages. 


The book opens with an attack by the Fade. At this point we don’t know much about anything except that light is safety because the Fade are allergic to it and that our MC suffers from amnesia. She remembers nothing from 'before' and she also happens to be the only person to have survived the Fade. People died to rescue her from the grey. She represents hope to many, hope that there is still a world outside the arclight but at the same time, she also represents the death of loved ones to certain kids. There are rumors about her being fade proof but they don’t work in her favor. Kids in her class despise her and are constantly getting in her face.


Marina is a pretty decent character. She didn’t actually annoy me. For the most part she isn’t actually stupid. It’s hard to actually talk about her because I don't actually have anything to say. Her character made no significant impact on me. She was realistic and well nothing about her shines out. She is dull as far as characters I’ve encountered go. I mean the twist that came later on? I guessed it so far in the beginning it’s ridiculous. The point I am trying to make here is that Marina was neither a good or bad character. She was just decent. She was easy to follow and you could understand her actions. Also she did not go on and on about how Tobin was absolutely gorgeous (I still have no idea whether he is or not).


Now Tobin, Tobin was someone who grabbed my attention. He may have been passive aggressive in the beginning. Hating her but also saving her at same time but I couldn’t help but like him. Marina is the reason why his father isn’t alive yet he is the one that helps her instead of all the other kids. He has more reason to hate her than they do but he decides to save her life. Before we even go anywhere with this, it wasn’t insta love, no he hadn’t decided he loved her and hence decided to save her, he saved her because that is what his father would have wanted. Tobin feels very real to me, he clings on to hope that his father is alive and he also tends to turn into a rage beast when someone says something about his father. It seems childish and angsty, but he lost his only parent, give the guy a break. It’s healthy to express anger. It’s one of the stages of grief. 


The romance (before the love triangle was thrown in) was well developed. It could definitely read like insta-love but for me it worked. They are two people, all alone in the world and so they depend on each other. They’re initial exchanges aren’t exactly hostile but neither are they full of love either but that changes. They cover each others backs, save each others lives and hence a bond forms. Their relationship starts blooming and no I love you’s are said. This brings me to the love triangle (which also happened to be strike 1). The love triangle adds a measure of angst that is NOT appreciated. I am a hater of all things love triangle so it’s a wonder I didn’t run in the other direction as soon as it was mentioned. I felt like it was completely unnecessary but this also ties in with something I’ll talk about later. As far as love triangles go, this isn’t actually horrid (if you can look past the amount of angst it adds and how it was completely unnecessary). The female lead actually has a good reason to be confused. It makes complete sense and there isn’t an obvious choice at the moment because Marina herself has no idea what she wants. She doesn’t know who she is and until she figures that out, neither of the guys will come out the victor of her affections. 


My ranting skills will now be unleashed as I talk about strike 2 which was when we learn about the reality of Fades. Up until that point, I thought, no I HOPED that this book wouldn’t go down that road. I thought that for the first time ever, the leaders of the society weren’t out to ruin lives, that they actually meant well but that was all a lie. It was just building up for that supposed big blow. It ruined the whole book for me. I might have been able to swallow the love triangle but this was the last straw for it took what I liked most about this book, and smashed it into pieces. It took away from the dark and scary atmosphere and it almost felt like I was in a rainbows and sunshine land. Where everything is perfect. Where everyone lives in harmony. Well let me tell you something, HELL TO THE NO. Things don’t work like that in the real world. Hell I COMPLETELY understand the supposed villain who I feel like is actually a victim because she is surrounded by brainless people with no sense of self-preservation. Perhaps I am one of those annoying people who think humans are better than everyone else but I am not completely sure about that. There are some things that just aren’t meant to be and the reality about Fades wasn’t. It pissed me off and I just couldn’t. 

I cannot enjoy a book that paints these disease stricken people as good. They destroyed humanity at one point, how did they suddenly turn good, and what the hell are they doing breeding and living in families? Are you telling me that they are human? BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT. Let me repeat that if you didn’t get it the first time around. THEY ARE NOT FUCKING HUMANS and I for one would definitely not want to hang out with them. Now I am not saying the whole family thing is only something humans do, it's just the way it pains these creatures, it feels like they are basically humans with a few 'advantages' and that does NOT work.

(spoiler show)



The whole situation basically ruined the world building for me. I loved the world building up until that point. I was immersed in this world the author had created and then it had to go down the drain because no good things can last. 


It pains me to give this book such a low rating but I cannot say I regret buying it. It does look pretty on my bookshelf. With that said though, I am not completely sure I want to read the sequel. I don’t want to dive back into that world after the ‘twist’ the author threw at us but that may change in the future.

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