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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 2015-04-19 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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review 2014-10-22 06:54
The Aussies do it again
Every Breath - Ellie Marney

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

The two books I came across this year that were pitched as some hybrid of Sherlock made my priority lists and while one let me down, Every Breath most certainly did not. Every Breath was FUCKING AMAZING. I guess I’ve kind of come to expect that from Aussie YA though. The Aussies have it right, a couple of exceptions aside, they know how it works. They know us cray teens. They feel us, yo.

Now that I’ve said that, I have no idea where to go. Do I start with the amazing characters, the fantastic plot, or just the general excitedness I felt while reading this amazeballs mystery? Or do I instead talk about how much I love the main characters as a couple and how they are the ship to ship?

So many things to talk about but not nearly enough words to do so. Isn’t that every reviewer’s problem?

I figure I’ll start with the beginning. With Rachel.

Rachel is an amazing female lead and oh so relateable.I love how she isn’t all happy and isn't easily adjusting to the new move her family had to make for financial reasons. While she’d give anything to be back, she has also made friends and isn’t casted as a loner cliché. In fact, one of the sub plots deals with her adjustment to the city and how she grows to embrace it. Of course, it isn’t some 180 degrees turn, hell no. It’s just her maturing about the situation they are. It’s wonderful to watch her develop and she is just such a realistic character. She is also pretty mature but then again, she has moments when she is not.She isn’t always wiser than the world, she can be naïve, she makes bad decisions, she says hurtful things. It’s what we teens do.

James Mycroft could be my one true love. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. MY PRECIOUS. But seriously. I have to admit, he wasn’t a 100% perfect. I did have some problems with his characterization but even as I say that, he was realistic. I am not going to dwell into my problems with him because most people won’t care and it all comes down to personal tastes. Moving on to the good. Have I mentioned he was fabulous? HAVE I? Because I should. Again and again and again. I think he is one of the best tortured guys I have come across.  He has the whole tortured vibe but he isn’t a jerk. He’s just eccentric. He is also just an amazing friend. You wouldn’t think he could be but he is. He cares for his friends and while he can be self-centered at times, he is not malicious.

Can we talk about the romance now? Can we talk about how perfect these two are for each other because they are? One of the things I adore about Aussie YAs is how mature the relationships tend to be. Once they realized there were feels involved, they didn’t do the awkward chicken dance around it. That’s the ship you wanna ship. Where even when mean things are said, they work it out in a way that  is respectful to the other person. They are supportive, for the most part, they know each other’s deepest darkest secrets and they aren’t perfect!

The plot keeps you on your toes. Of course, it isn’t ‘OMG MINDBLOWING’ but it was definitely exciting. I love the way they work these things out. Given James’ super smartness, it isn’t surprising he manages to figure things out so easily, but he doesn’t always work everything out right away which makes the mystery a little more realistic. It isn’t that the mystery is unpredictable because it isn’t but it isn’t predictable either which makes it all the more fun. Some of the leads they had did sometimes throw me off though because there didn’t seem to be enough supporting evidence. The puzzle pieces did fit though once the mystery was solved so I wasn't too worried about that.

I think the best thing about this story was just the secondary characters. Mycroft aside, the secondary characters took the cake. There was depth to them and they weren’t just flat characters. In fact, they were essential to the story, they weren’t just plot devices. Rachel’s brother was a fantastic addition and the story wouldn’t have been complete without Mai and Gus.

I am really looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing where things will go from here.

If you’re looking at this and wondering if the hype is telling a lie, let me reassure you, it’s not. Go grab yourself a copy. NOW.

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review 2014-08-13 16:47
Gritty and emotional
One Kick - Chelsea Cain

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

Before I say anything else, I feel the need to point out that if you’re interested  in this book because it sounds ‘fun’, you might want to reconsider because it is anything but.

This is a book I was looking very forward to reading after having heard wonderful things about the author’s Gretchen Lowell series (to which I own the first book) and I wasn’t let down in the least. This book is very emotional, and at times even hard to read, because you become so overwhelmed. That's not really surprising once you realize that this book deals with serious issues like pedophilia and child pornography.

Kick was rescued a decade ago from a man who kidnapped her when she was 6 and sadly, she would never be the same again. Her time with the man has affected her in ways that can and WILL make you feel so emotional. What’s even worse is that somewhere in the back of her mind, he’ll be ‘daddy’ to her since her own father left barely 4 months after she was returned. In spite of all that, Kick is still a very strong female lead, especially given her circumstances. Once she was returned, she trained herself so that she would always be able to protect herself and that no one would ever be able to force her to go ANYWHERE. Kick can literally kick your ass and knows many ways to kill you without having any weapons on hand. That’s what grounds her.

She also spends a lot of time paying attention to Amber Alerts and trying to save other kids; the kids that might have otherwise never went missing if she hadn’t auto nuked the files on her abductor’s computer under his order.

Then she meets Bishop or, more appropriately, he sneaks into her house and finds her and gives her an opportunity to help save some of the kids that recently have gone missing. And so they go to places from Kick’s past and try to connect the dots to find the assholes who took these young children.

I think what makes this book even heartbreaking is the flashbacks we get of Kick’s past, from when she was Beth and we see how that has an affect on her presently. How when near the presence of her abductor, she forgets she’s Kick and feels like the helpless child who obeyed his orders. The feels.

What makes this book so strong, aside from Kick, is the entourage of secondary characters - from James to Bishop to Mel and to even Frank - they are so well-developed. None of them are flat. They are all well-rounded characters with complicated pasts of their own (in the case of James and Bishop) that make them who they are today. Even in the case of Mel. You may not like him, I mean, who would? But the author characterizes him so well that even though you may hate him, you see that he is a very complicated character who in spite of his perversions actually cares for Kick.

There's no romance in this book, but there is a hint of one which would definitely be interesting to see developed considering how complicated the characters are.

This book is a mixture of a plot and character-driven book, and both aspects of the novel are very strong. The plot was well-developed and while there are several questions that haven’t been answered, I am sure they will be in the future instalments. This book in itself was wrapped up very well leaving us with enough questions to look forward to in reading the sequel but nothing that would torment us *cough* cliffhanger *cough*.

I absolutely adored this book. It was moving and emotional and really, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a gritty suspenseful read.

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review 2014-07-09 17:35
Satisfying Conclusion
Sweet Reckoning - Wendy Higgins

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

Before I start, it should be said that my rating doesn’t really reflect whether or not this was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy and I can whole heartedly say it was.

This trilogy, I should advice, is not for everyone. Fans of JLA will love it, but if tons of cheese aren't something you’re fond of, you might want to skip it. It’s weird, considering I myself have little tolerance for cheesy stuff, but Wendy Higgins makes it work. These books are the perfect guilty pleasure and are terrific brain candy. And while I cannot say I loved them, I can most definitely say I thoroughly enjoyed them.

I think one of the strong points of this series is the world building. The author’s take on nephilim/angels/demons is original in many ways and brings something new to this sub-genre.

The characters themselves are an interesting bunch as well. There are some I am not overly fond of and there are others I adore, but they all have something to add to the story and I love that they had depth to them.

Anna has come such long ways since book one, and unlike the last book, I didn't have a problem with her in this one. One of the major reasons is that once she finally wraps around her head some things, she becomes determined and strong. Of course, when I say strong, you shouldn't imagine "badass", because in all honesty, Anna is anything but that, but she is something. Something that allows her to become the center of what will happen and allows her to take responsibility and call some of the shots.

I am not going to say much about Kai, but you should know thatKai will never let you down with his swoon-worthiness. He continues to be supportive, protective, and, in spite all his kick-assery, sweet.

Anna and Kai never fail to put a smile on my face and I was so glad that after all their struggles, they could finally have a relationship. The problem with this was that their relationship really became cheesy, to the point where I couldn’t help but roll my eyes half the time.

One of my biggest problems with this book is also the fact that everyone's in a relationship with everybody.I am the kind of reader who hates that sort of thing. It just really bothers me. I don’t like it when all the characters in a book are happy-happy and in a relationship. I feel like that takes away the struggle and changes the focus some.

And while that is true for this book, I wasn’t disappointed in the end. There were definitely times where I was wondering why things seemed so easy, but I felt like the author did the trilogy justice in the end because the final showdown was exciting. I was on the edge of my seat; I waseagerly awaiting to see how things would turn out and I did have a lot of fun.

All these characters that we’ve come to love over the past couple books have come so far and I felt like the author did justice to them. I was happy with how things ended and for the first time in a while, I enjoyed the epilogue.

I can close this book with a smile and be happy for all the characters and all the endings they got, and while there are things I would most definitely change, I am satisfied.

I’d recommend this trilogy to anyone who loves books about nephilim and doesn’t mind cheese so long as they are having fun.

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