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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-23 21:46
The Awesome by Eva Darrows (2017 Review)
The Awesome - Eva Darrows

The Awesome by Eva Darrows
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Margaret Cunningham isn't your typical teenager. For one, she's well acquainted with the monsters that lurk in the shadows - well, most of them, anyway. Unable to aid her mother in hunting vampires, Maggie goes about rectifying the rather frustrating issue. As it turns out, her virgin blood works against her, its purity potent enough to send the bloodsuckers into a deadly and uncontrolled frenzy, and that's not good for anyone. Problem is, with little friends, and a small amount of social skills, the quest for "The Sex" may be the most difficult job yet.

(WARNING: this review may contain spoilers.)

I admit, the stylised and colourful artwork of the cover is nice to look at and undoubtedly draws the eye. As such, it was a pleasant gift to receive and probably one of the most unique covers in my sizeable collection. Now let's get to the actual review, shall we?

One thing's for sure - I would've enjoyed this one a lot more in my teenage years. For me, on a personal level, my sense of humour has changed considerably in the last decade, and whilst there were moments that brought a smile to my face, I just couldn't fully appreciate the adolescent banter (and the abundance of synonyms for "penis"). Regardless, the book was short enough that it didn't impede or become a chore to pick up, and overall there's one word I would use to describe it as a whole - fun. It didn't require much energy; the writing was quirky, and the plot easy enough to entertain. Certainly not a masterpiece, and nothing that'll stay with me for a long time to come, but it succeeded in filling up a few hours.

A major aspect of the story is the close bond between mother and daughter, however I found it a stretch to call it a normal parent-child relationship, and it struck me more of a friendship than anything else. Maggie referred to her mother by her first name, and Janice even went so far as to push her daughter into losing her virginity as quickly as possible, which seemed completely irresponsible and truthfully, a bit weird. Indeed, sex had a large part to play, and it all came down to Maggie striving to take her hunting apprenticeship to the next level. In Darrows' universe, monsters are public knowledge and often a threat to society, however we learn throughout that they don't necessarily have to be evil. Vampires however, the freshly turned in particular, simply can't resist that virgin allure, and thus we have the general plot - a seventeen year old trying to use sex to get a promotion.

Sounds a tad off, right? Either way, I tried not to overthink that aspect, and instead take it for what it was supposed to be; which was, first and foremost, lighthearted amusement. Maggie's inner monologue didn't irritate me much at all, as I'm generally fond of over-confident, snarky protagonists. Yes, she was immature as all hell, but she wasn't the worst, and by God, I've been infuriated by some main characters before. I digress...

Several events unfolded along the course of the book, and it was by no means boring as the story spiralled in different directions. As characters were introduced, they were likeable, but not lovable. I especially enjoyed the zombie side-plot of Julie, despite feeling it wasn't properly explained or concluded (the living dead need love too). The romance between Maggie and Ian was cute, regardless of the somewhat questionable means by how they originally met. Janice, well, I touched upon her further up. I'm not saying she was a bad mother... Or am I? I'm really not sure. As I said, it was weird.

It occurred to me more than once, that this would've been a decent first instalment of a series, however as of writing this review, I believe Darrows has no plans to continue with Maggie's adventures.

Notable Quote:

She skimmed the tip of her finger around her mouth to capture any unappealing smudges, and then did Duck Face. Duck Face was supposed to be a 'come hither' kissy pucker thing, but it more resembled a genetic deformity. I was pretty sure if I wanted The Sex, Duck Face was not the way to go.

© Red Lace 2017

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/23/the-awesome-by-eva-darrows-2017-review
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text 2018-02-23 19:29
Reading progress update: I've read 366 out of 386 pages.
Taming Him - Kennedy Fox

Loved it so cute

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review 2018-02-23 07:10
Review Tour - Cross Stroke
 
Title: Cross Stroke
Series: On the Edge #1
Author: Elizabeth Hartey
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
 
 
 
 
 
Tracey…
 
One night left my heart shattered and my reputation ruined, and now my only hope is to transfer to another university far from home. Although I’m a champion figure skater and am used to succeeding, I can’t dump the burden of distrust and intimacy I’m carrying.
 
But when I literally crash into the cocky captain of the hockey team, sparks fly, and the attraction is as undeniable as it is unwanted.
 
No way is this arrogant hottie the one to help me move past my fears. Or is he…?
 
Dak…
 
Overwhelmed with guilt and remorse, I can’t forget the tragic accident that killed my first love. To avoid ever feeling that kind of agonizing loss again, I vow to stick with one-night stands with every puck bunny who glides my way and focus on keeping my position on the hockey team.
 
But after I meet a feisty figure skater and am then thrown together with her as a lab partner, I find I want to melt the icy walls we’ve built around our hearts.
 
If we don’t strangle each other first.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cross Stroke Playlist - YouTube
 
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 
Dak
 
The courage to be responsible for someone’s life and happiness again is something I lack in a big way. In the end, being responsible for someone else’s life and happiness is what a real relationship is all about. Being with the one special person you want feels great…most of the time. However, if something goes wrong, it can be decimating for both people. Once you cross the relationship line, both people possess the power to destroy each other. I know what it’s like to be bulldozed by love. I can’t risk it again. But did I already cross the line by kissing her the way I did? Because she’s all I think about, all I see when I close my eyes. I don’t get this.
 
I thought I loved Abbey with all my heart. I thought we would be together for the rest of our lives. I guess we were. I just didn’t know the rest of Abbey’s life would be so short. But if all those emotions for Abbey were real, how can I be feeling what I’m feeling for Trace now? She’s so different than Abbey. I’m consumed by the guilty feeling that if Abbey had lived, in time I might’ve fallen out of love with her and destroyed her in a different way.
 
We were both young. I’m not exactly ancient now, but three or four years in time and experience in college can make a world of difference. I’m a different guy than I was when I was a freshman, learned a lot about life and love. That doesn’t mean I know for sure what the future holds and I don’t want to do anything to Trace to hurt her somewhere down the road. She deserves way better than me.
 
See what I mean about relationships? I’m a perfect example. A few months ago, I had figured out how to live my life on my terms: hockey, school, surfing, the casual hook up with the next consenting hot girl to come my way. Now I’m a f…ed up mess trying to figure out what I’m feeling for Trace. She deserves more than this guarded, emotional wreck.
 
 
 
 
Cross Stroke (On the Edge, #1)Cross Stroke by Elizabeth Hartey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tracey & Dak literally run into one another. She is starting over, since her chance at happiness was ruined at the last school she attended. This time, she plans to keep to herself and study.

Dak is immediately attracted to Tracey. They have a lot in common. The both love to skate, hate to be considered anything but the best, and both want to be the boss.

This story starts your heart pumping right from the very first chapter. The characters have excellent banter, heat, and ton of competition thrown in. I loved how fun and easy this story was to read. I never wanted to put it down. I simply cannot wait for the next book in the On The Edge series.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a lover of the northeast US, Elizabeth moved with her husband to the Poconos several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, she has finally found time to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing novels. The wild ride of writing books is one of the most difficult things she’s ever done in her life. But the opportunity to get her stories out of her head and down on paper and send them out into the world is also one of the most wonderful things she’s ever done. A dreamer at heart, romance is the genre she spends most of her time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. And having readers fall in love with her characters as much as she does is almost as exciting as giving birth (just not as painful!) When not juggling work responsibilities and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking the beautiful hills and woods around her home, swimming, knitting, watching old classic movies and traveling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2018-02-23 01:11
Animal Graph
Animal Graph (SFF Post-Apocalyptic) (Graph World Book 1) - M. Black
In the recent future, a nuclear war has changed the face of the world.  The Americas are ruled by a dictator, King Borran, who enforces a rigid class system.  The Prestige receive access to  health care, food and safe living conditions, while everyone else must fend for themselves.  Anyone who has been burned by the radiation is now an outcast.  Beyond this, Borran wants control and has implemented a system to create a stronger army by combining animal and human DNA in order to give humans animal traits.  The result is a human with an animal graph, but the animal graphs can be unpredictable and deadly.  In order to perfect the animal graphs, Borran experimented on prisoners.  Jin is imprisoned for stealing bread for her family when she is experiment on and graphed with a poison dart frog, Harpy eagle and Jaguar.  After her Graphing procedure she is released into the jungle to be hunted by Borran's soldiers for practice.  While figuring out her new capabilities, Jin is assisted by another Graph, Adan.  Adan seems to know a lot more about their predicament and is skilled in survival, but Jin has trouble trusting the fellow Graph. 

Animal Graph introduces us to an exciting and dangerous new dystopian world for YA readers.  We are immediately thrown into the action with Jin as she is released from prison and trying to figure out her new graphs.  I was very intrigued about how the world came to the state it is in, how Borran functions and how the Animal Graphs work.  This is revealed as Jin recounts her time in prison, her family and as she meets Adan.  Jin was very easy to get to know and seemed like someone that I would like to know in real life.  After Jin met Adan, the suspense intensified and I was hooked further into the story.  I was personally very interested in the human and animal connections that were made, not only with the Graphs, but through thought connection.  I think Jin's connection with Jade the Radguar, a radiated Jaguar is the best relationship. I am really excited to see what else the Graph powers can do as well as what other animals can be graphed with humans in the next books.  Faced-paced writing, an action-packed story line and short chapters kept my interest up throughout the book. 
 
This book was received in exchange for an honest review. 
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review 2018-02-22 21:58
The Cruel Prince / Holly Black
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black

Holly Black is my latest author crush. It helps that many of her books feature the Fae and Fae characters are one of my favourite things.

The Cruel Prince was one of those books that I asked my public library to order and then fidgeted while I waited for it to arrive and to be catalogued. It was worth the wait, in my opinion. It may be a young adult book, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it too.

I like Black’s version of the Fae—they don’t play nice, they aren’t always fond of mortals, and there are rules that both sides have to follow. Jude is a mortal girl, living in the Fae world, trying to fit in despite the sneers of her contemporaries at school. She and her mortal sister are picked on and disparaged by the princes and princesses of the Realm of Faerie. And, of course, there’s a boy—Prince Cardan, the cruel prince of the title—who captures her imagination, though maybe not in a good way. Jude decides that if she can’t be accepted by playing nice, perhaps she can scheme and plot her way to a protected position in her adopted world and she proves to be highly adept at it.

It’s pretty obvious where this story will be heading in the second book—Jude & Cardan obviously have some chemistry, despite the rather evil trick on Cardan that Jude indulges in. However, it’s not immediately clear how Black is going to change these passionate enemies into a couple. Now I just wish there wasn’t a whole year to wait for the next installment.

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