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review 2016-06-11 08:59
Darkness, forgiveness and endings (but not where and when you think)
Ties that Bind (The Complicated Love Series Book 3) - Neeny Boucher

I was provided a free copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review as part of a book-review tour. Having read the three novels I recommend that the whole series is read to get a better grasp of the story and the characters. See my other two reviews for full details.

In book three of the Complicated Love Series, we follow the story of Dina and Riley from where we left them in book two, when they had worked through some of the issues that had ended their previous marriage, but there were still many secrets and actions the characters had taken that their loved one didn’t know about, ensuring further complications. Again the story is told in alternating chapters from each of the protagonists’ point of view and there are some jumps in time where we get to learn more about the events surrounding their wedding and then the traumatic divorce, which had been referred to, but not discussed in detail. There are fewer changes in time (I wouldn’t call them flashbacks as they seem to come at points in the story where both characters are thinking about that particular event and they’re not exclusively narrated from one of the character’s perspective) than in book 2, and the narration is more straightforward, although it also swings to extremes, reflecting the emotions the characters go through. When things seem to have been solved between them, with all secrets revealed and both of them accepting the other for what and who they really are (and in the process accepting themselves too), thinks get much darker.

There are some sex scenes (I would rather call them sexy and passionate) but less explicit than in book two, and there is a hilarious scene early on in the book involving a cat. Well, there are several funny scenes involving that cat. Again there are funny and sad scenes in the novel, although I found them more finely balanced than in book two, with the ups and downs a bit less extreme.

I was particularly touched by the conversation between Dina and Riley’s Mom, a character that had been particularly difficult to understand up to that point. On the other hand there is a psychiatric diagnostic offered as an explanation in the novel that as a psychiatrist I had my doubts about, but even with that I enjoyed the ending.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters I had come to love in the previous book, and gained respect for some of the ones I didn’t like that much. Gabby, one of my favourite characters, comes into her own and she sizzles. The style of writing was again easy to read, dynamic and with great dialogue exchanges. A fitting conclusion to the series.

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review 2015-05-05 00:52
Hodge works her magic again
Crimson Bound - Rosamund Hodge

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

After falling in love with Cruel Beauty last year, I was ready to see what else Rosamund had to offer. When I found out she had a new book coming out, and that it would be a retelling of Red Riding Hood, I was over the moon! This book was absolutely, a 100%, worth the wait. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning finishing the book and I loved every single minute of it. Here are reasons why you should read the book.

1. The fantastic female lead. Rachelle is badass and she is almost an anti-heroine but you cannot help love her and want to cheer for her because even though she doesn't believe it, we know that she is a fantastic human being at heart.

2. Armand. ARMAND WAS SO SWOON-WORTHY and I cannot even. Whoever said good boys finish last? I know I didn't because good boys like Armand are definitely not going to finish last. The thing about Armand is that he is so pure of heart and so good but he isn't helpless. He is confident and knows how to take charge. He is a wonderful human being and I love him.

3. The romance. While the romance needed some more development (in my opinion) I will definitely say that it was one of the more enjoyable ones I've read. Armand and Rachelle do not have a case of instalove and it's so great seeing them fall in love with each other (even if it was a little sudden). They work well together and I just love them, okay?

4. The world building. Given how great it was in Rosamund's debut novel, it's not surprising at all that she put so much effort into developing this new world and it's intricate details.

5. The plot. It's well paced and maybe you'll even pull an all nighter reading the book like I did.

So basically, you should read this amazing book.

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review 2015-04-25 23:44
Rook - Sharon Cameron

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

When I read the blurb for this book, I knew I would love it. It sounded like such a Rashika book and I could already imagine how much fun I would have with the book.

We are thrown right into the action so it was, at first, quite hard for me to keep up. I was confused about what was happening and as I progressed, the initial confusion made it so that I would have to flip back to the beginning to understand what was happening. So yes, that did become a problem for me (to the point where I wasn’t sure of a character’s approximate age until the end of the book, and I was off by a LOT) but, once you get into this book, it will suck you in and have you flipping pages and looking at the clock, hoping that you still have plenty of time left to read.

The identity of the Rook surprised me a little (you find out early on but the only reason I won’t mention it is because it’s fun to find out for yourself) but I am glad the author chose that character to be the Rook because they are so strong and clever and just so fantastically themselves.

Sophia is a great main character. She is badass in the actual sense of the word. There are so many things she pulls that made me want to high five her. She is the kind of character I love in spite of her faults. Never once did I want to shake her, even if she did something I wasn’t completely okay with me because I was a 100% on her side.

Rene was a beautiful creature and I beg that you keep your slimy little paws off of MY RENE (yes I just laid my claim to a fictional character in my review for the book). He is just so fantastic and I imagine that had this been an adult book rather than a YA, there would be cold showers involved. He is a swoon worthy character AND I LOVE HIM. He is more than just a love interest. He is a fishy little creature who is clever and won’t fail to charm your pants off.

Their relationship is also a thing of beauty. They get off to a rough start and once the sparks start flying, the lack of relationship drama is actually surprising. There are so many ways the author could have made their relationship a hot and cold thing yet it was never that. It was  just pure gorgeous development with one major bump. They trust each other, she confides in him and she actually, for the most part, doesn’t have secrets from him. ISN’T THAT BEAUTIFUL?

This book also had a very enjoyable plot line even if I wanted more in terms of action. It isn’t that there isn’t much going on -- the stakes were pretty damn high – but I just wanted a little more in terms of what they were doing and how they were doing it, and just some more of ass-kicking ya know?

I also found the plot to be pretty believable considering that the Rook isn’t actually old. The Rook doesn’t do all the things on their own, the Rook actually has a group of people they trust to help them and I also really liked the way things worked out. With the people taking charge of their situation instead of the Rook. The Rook, while having seen their suffering and the pain, cannot possibly take leadership for something like that since they haven’t had to put up with it and I really liked that.

I also really liked the secondary characters! My favorite being Tom, followed by Benoit. I love that none of these secondary characters are just there, they actually play a part, and they have stories that we get to know. They have miniature arcs and along the way, we get to learn more and more about them which just made me love them all the more.

I was a little disappointed by the world building. This book is set in such a gorgeous location and I wanted to see that explored a little more. This book is also set in a post-apocalyptic world but we only get minimal information on that, just enough for us to understand the world some and while I was upset we didn’t get more, it was also understandable since there are other things going on in this story for everything to be fit into one standalone novel.

This was such a spectacular read and I loved almost every minute of it.  It does take a while to get into but once I adjusted to the situation, I devoured the book and had lots of fun. It is definitely a read I’d recommend to all you readers who is looking something adventurous set in the future.

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review 2015-04-24 20:40
You NEED this book in your life
All the Rage - Courtney Summers

***Find this review, and an opportunity to win a copy of the book on The Social Potato

This book is one of the worst books you will ever read and I mean this in the best way possible. This is a HORRFYING READ and one that will shock you and amaze you. This is a read that will make your eyes water if not make you outright bawl about how unfair things can be.

This is my first ever book by Courtney Summers and if this was anything to go by, I know all of her other books will be amazing.

I went into this book expecting my heart to be torn apart and it was. IT WAS SO TORN APART. I was constantly taking breaks to watch a sitcom (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt if you are wondering) to find some comedic relief and to ease the pain I was feeling.

One of the ways in which this book was slightly easier to read was that we are dealing with the aftermath of the rape instead of a before/after kind of situation (although there is a before/after timeline).

Romy is the main character. She is such an amazing character too and I don’t know where to begin describing her. It’s so hard to be inside the mind of someone who is being bullied because she ‘cried rape’ and someone who feels like they would be better of dead. To be in the mind of someone who is filled with so much self-loathing is hard but given the way people reacted to the situation, the way they refused to look at her side of the story, it’s hard to blame her. All you want to do is hug her and tell her it’s going to be okay but how do you expect her to believe that?

What I adore about this book though is that even though everyone is a complete asshole to her, her mom and her mom's boyfriend were there for her. They don’t treat her like crap. They feel her pain and you can feel their helplessness as they try to find a way they can make this right for her. But how do you do that? How do you right something when the most powerful person in town is involved and will prevent you from doing so? It’s heartbreaking but I love that they are there for her in any way they can be.

There is also a beautiful creature named Leon in this book who I love. He is perfect. And I think one of my favorite things about him is that he has no clue what Romy has been through. So his beautifulness(and I am not just referring to physical beauty), and the fact that he is so considerate isn’t because he already knows what Romy is dealing with, it's beacause he is just a kind and considerate person in general and I love that! I love that when Romy tells him to stop, he stops and then the way Romy reacts to that action is beautiful. It’s a little hard to be understanding of the way Romy sometimes treats Leon, and I wish she would give him a chance, but it’s so hard to blame her considering what she goes through on a daily basis. The shit she has to put up with is ridiculous.

This book touches on so many important subjects like bullying, and victim blaming and it handles them beautifully, with the respect they deserve. I keep using the word beautiful when this book is anything but. I just don’t know how else to describe the way, and with the delicateness, in which Courtney treats these issues. She does not play around. We are not thrust into a world where the main character hasn’t told anyone or is hiding from what happened or even has a lot of people supporting her. She is alienated because she dared to tell someone what happened,and people constantly pick on her in the most subtle of ways as a result. But Romy, Romy still keeps her head up and marches through this. She is filled with self-loathing but somehow she still manages to get through this and I love it!

I love this book! I don’t want to say I do because I don’t love what happens but I love how the author has dealt with the issue at hand.

This is a painful book to read, I am not going to lie. It’s going to frustrate you that all of these fucking douchebags REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE HER PAIN and MAKE FUN OF IT. It’s fucking ridiculous that she gets mocked about it but this is what happens in our society. There are not many perfect situations where people are supportive of what happens. It’s disgusting that we live in a society where women are terrified to report cases because of their fear and it hurts but the most wonderful thing about this book is that while it’s completely realistic in it’s portrayal of the situation, it also leaves us with a sense of hope. This is not a book about happily ever afters but this is also not a book that is about the hopelessness of the situation. It  gives us something to hold on to because there will always be hope no matter how bad the situation and it is SO IMPORTANT to remember that.

This is a gorgeously written book that everyone, and I mean everyone, needs in their life. It is so crucial for people to read and for people to understand that these are things that happen. It isn’t some big bad thing you hear about on the news and can forget about a day later, they are real things that happen.

I love this book and I love Courtney for writing it and I just hope that someday, we will live in a world where we don’t constantly sham or victim blame women for the pain they have been through.

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review 2015-04-19 00:32
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

This book was everything I wanted it to be, yet there are aspects of it that didn’t work for me as well as I had hoped they would. 


The first half of the book was gorgeously written but at the same time, there wasn’t much happening. We saw relationships being built, which is important, and worlds being developed, which is also important yet it was slow paced and sometimes, I would have to force myself to read on.


Tamlin was definitely a highlight of the book for me and he is just such a beautiful creature. I loved seeing Maas’ take on the beast and I loved the neat ways in which she made the re-telling her own.


I am not big on fae, so going in, I was worried that my own bias would affect my enjoyment of the book and while there were things I wish that could have been different, I also really enjoyed the aspect. It gave the re-telling a very original outlook.


What I also loved was the cast of secondary characters, from Lucien to the sisters, they were such a varied (in terms of personalities) group and I enjoyed reading about them. They all undergo development over the course of the book and I love seeing the relationships Feyre had built with these characters.


They, in their own ways, brought about Feyre’s own growth process which was a beauty to watch. It’s so realistic too. The change within her doesn’t occur overnight, although calling her cold hearted from the start would be a lie. She has never been cold hearted, but her childhood has caused her to harden up and can you really blame her? From a young age she became in charge of people older than her. She had to risk her life on a daily basis to put food on their plates and was that fair to her? I don’t think so.


She is such strong character and while there are times, especially in the last quarter of the book, where I became frustrated her, I think overall, she is a character I cannot help but admire for her strength, loyalty, determination and kindness!


The romance is so beautifully developed in this book. I ADORED seeing Tamlin and Feyre become closer and I loved seeing them grow to trust one another. In a relationship like theirs, there is always that question of believability. I mean, Tamlin is old so out of all the women he has probably met and had relationships with, what makes Feyre special? A lot of things. Their relationship is fantastic. There might have been things that would have bothered me had I not been shipping them so hard but they work beautifully as a couple. They can confide each other, help each other and just lean on each other and it’s beautiful.


My biggest problem in this book came in the form of a creature named Rhys. I despised him and my problem with that is that I am not sure we are meant to despise him. I worry about where the author may choose to go with his character and the role he plays in Feyre's life. It seems as though things are being set up for something but I believe in Tamlin and Feyre’s relationship too much and hopefully, all my worrying will be for naught.


Another thing that didn’t work so well for me is the way things ended. I want to be more specific but I cannot be. One of the resolutions just didn’t work for me. It isn’t a fault with the book itself but something I, as a reader, have never enjoyed so it made that aspect really hard for me to roll with.


I realize I am being a little vague here but you got to deal with it. How will you ever know what I was talking about if you don’t read the book? *hint hint*


This is a gorgeously written re-telling, that did the original tale justice. I love the originality of it and I cannot wait to see what else awaits us in the future instalments (hopefully only good things).

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