I absolutely love the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover, which is why I picked this up. I really expected a lot of this book to be pretty similar to that series since Marked Men is full of the stereo-typical bad boy alpha males. In a way Better When He's Bad had some of the same elements, a lot really, except for she took that stereo-type to whole new levels of bad boy, or at least that's what she attempted.
Bax was unashamedly an asshole and a criminal. Crownover really tried to make this boy actually bad rather than just the rough exterior. Unfortunately I think this fell short. The fact that she ultimately kept relaying that Bax had became a criminal initially to survive and take care of his mother, kind of just set back that asshole bad boy image she was trying to pull off. If she was trying for bigger and badder and really wanted her guy to come off as actually bad, I think she would have done better to go all the way. Don't make excuses, make him the biggest badass ever! I just think that she failed to reach what she was shooting for because in the end she wanted to make him just redeemable and likeable enough to sell to the readers. But lets face it, sometimes when conditions are right, we've been made to like a real bad boy even when we wish we didn't. I mean look at Javier from the Artists Trilogy by Karina Halle, or Barrons from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. That's just to name a few. There are ways to make your bad boy be a real shit and still get people to accept it and like him regardless. Or make us love to hate him. Whatever. I just think if you're going for that, then do it all the way! Or else all you really have is another typical NA stereo-type, which is totally fine, but don't try and sell it for something more. Phew....sorry to get all ranty on you guys there!
The story line was interesting, I enjoyed the plot twists. I also enjoyed the setting, Crownover tried and succeeded in making the Point come across as almost it's own character. It was super seedy and you had the feeling that maybe it was the neighborhood that shaped these desperate delinquents. Either way it was clear that the Point left its taint on the characters. Dovie and Bax together were alright, I just for some reason couldn't bring myself to get invested in them. Honestly I found Dovie to be a little annoying at times. Mostly at the beginning of the story her whole I want him but he's a jerk, and I am scared of him got old. I also found it odd that she deemed most of the male race as not worth the trouble, but Bax and all his scariness and jerkish ways were apparently worth getting naked for, and pretty early on too boot. Basically this is Dovie in a nutshell...
I guess I was just hoping for a different story here. This was still a decent one, and clearly I'm in the minority because a lot of people seem to love it. Better When He's Bad just wasn't what I was hoping it would be.
***There are massive spoilers ahead. You have been warned.***
So, you know that feeling you get when water starts inexplicably pouring through the ceiling and you're powerless to do anything other than place a yellow Moshi Monsters bucket beneath the deluge and pray to all the gods that the flood will dry up because you've already begged the apartment upstairs three times to call a plumber, and they've lied each time, promising they're on it, and then one of your cats for some reason known only to felines, makes the decision to get into the bucket, panics when he feels the water dripping on his head and flies out, tipping the bucket over and spraying water everywhere, then proceeding to dash around the house shaking and drenching all your belongings including a £four-and-a-half thousand leather couch? You know - that feeling? That's the same feeling I got whilst reading Wither (albeit on a smaller scale) of despair, helplessness and then uncontrollable desperate laughter, because really - what else can you do but laugh until your sides hurt when the whole debacle is this ridiculous?!!
Wither by Lauren Destefano is a red hot mess. I award one star for the beauty and theatre of the cover but my fondness for this book ends there. Let's not forget that beauty is after all, only skin deep. Or in this case, one-thickness-of-cardboard-cover deep.
We begin by meeting Rhine, our pure hearted heroine after she is kidnapped and chosen to be a child bride to the inexplicably stupid, Linden along with two other girls - Cecily and Jenna. The girls are forced to live an imprisoned life at Linden's beautiful estate of lies under the watchful eye of his father, Vaughn who hides some supposedly dark secrets. A whole lotta shit goes down as Rhine battles for her freedom and makes a half hearted attempt to wrestle with her conscience. Or something or nothing.
My partner and I love to take road trips. Sometimes for a specific reason, sometimes for no reason at all except to feel a little freer. It can be a bit claustrophobic living downtown, all the buildings pressing in on you and surrounded by neighbours who talk to their hands and insist on leaving couches lying in the street outside our apartment building. A couch has no place outdoors. However, I don't drive. So it's always left down to my partner to get us safely to out destination and scarily this can be somewhat dicey as he always, inexplicably falls asleep at the wheel. I'm not talking after hours of driving in the dark, the street lights all bleeding into one as his eyes grow heavy due to the endless concentration. I'm talking about at like, 2 o'clock in the afternoon, an hour into our journey. I ask him why?!! How does this happen every time?!! He tells me the motion of the car, the sounds of the engine lull him to sleep. What?!! My partner has been driving for 25 years, you'd think he would have learned by now that whilst driving is not an ideal time to take a nap. It's kind of a necessity that while your controlling what is potentially a lethal weapon weighing over a ton that you fucking stay awake!! So my task for our little impromptu trips is always to shake him every 10 minutes, open and close the windows and crank the radio right up. Sorta takes some of the magic out of the day when I'm wondering at what point we're gonna end up in the ditch.
You know another situation where it's beneficial not to fall asleep? Whilst reading. Sure, it's not life threatening if you happen to nod off with a book in your hand, but it sure helps you make some headway into the story if every time you pick it up, the next thing you remember is not waking up in a puddle of drool, a painful crick in your neck and desperately wondering what you're now late for this time.
Claire de Lune is like a sedative. Every time I sat down to read it my head grew heavy, my limbs turned to lead, my breathing got deeper until I was fast asleep and my pets saw their opportunity to sink their claws into my leather couch, eat my house plants and play all the other pranks they delight in having me wake up to when they spy that I decided to take an afternoon nap. If you have trouble falling asleep, your problems will be over if you pick up this book.
You'll also enjoy it if you love reading about constant mother-daughter arguments, diving into giant plot holes and logic leaps and listening to a teenager angst and fret for 336 pages. If this doesn't sound like your idea of an engaging and enthralling adventure, then step away from the book.
Claire is having just the bestest time ever at her wicked 16th birthday party when - Oh My Gawd - she begins turning into a werewolf, all the while falling for Hawt Matthew. Claire's mother reveals that night that her family are part of an ancient bloodline of werewolves, all the women beginning their transformation at 16 years old. All of a sudden Plain Claire's life gets a lot more interesting - she must learn to deal with the reality of her true identity and figure out a way to keep it a secret from nice-but-dull Matthew and her best friend, Stereotype Emily. And the worst of it? There's a rogue werewolf on the loose, murdering innocent townspeople and Matthew's father, as some top scientist guy, is leading the hunt to track down and rid the town of werewolves forever.
If you loved Twilight, I've got a feeling you'll hate The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. There's vampires in both. And a bland love interest. That's where the similarities end. Because where Twilight is packed with simpering, soggy romance, hormonal staring and shivering, The Immortal Rules is filled with bloodied heads rolling along dusty floors, wild eyed zombies clawing for a beating heart to chew on and burning buildings collapsing to ash around us.
Allison is a street kid, struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by vampires. Humans live a caged existence, trapped in cities under the guise of protection by the vampires from the Rabids, that prowl beyond the wall, created by Red Lung virus which has swept the earth, killing the vast majority of the population. In reality, these humans are used like cattle as a source of food for the vampires who bleed the Registered regularly to sustain themselves, leaving the Unregistered, like Allison to fend for themselves, starving and without shelter. Following a near-death experience, Allison is transformed into a vampire by the formidable master vampire, Kanin only to be driven from the city, alone in the wilderness when it transpires that he is the most wanted vampire in the city due to his involvement in the downfall of humanity. Wandering and somewhat desperate, Allison happens upon a band of travelling humans searching for the safety of Eden, a city apparently existing without vampire intervention where humans can live free and at peace. A whole lotta shit goes down as Allison struggles to hang on to her humanity as the monster inside her becomes increasingly desperate to be released.