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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 2015-04-24 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 2015-01-23 06:43
Magpie
Magpie - Waldorph Magpie - Waldorph

This story just completely sucked me in, to the point that I am really glad I didn't have much else to do today so I could just spend time reading it, as is necessary because it's - ugh, good. There are moments in this that are really very sad, but how can you have a ST fic involving Tarsus IV and Jim's resulting trauma and not have there be any sad? It's also quite beautiful. And it convinced me I really do need a shelf for bonding stories.


Spock felt almost bad that he could not explain Jim better, but he was aware that every time he attempted to explain he ended up making Jim sound bad. He had tried it in Standard, in English, and in Vulcan, but he could not find the correct words. Could not find the word they could accept—he had a feeling that his mother would be very displeased if he told her Jim was t'hy'la.

 

I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read more by the author.


Spock had lived all of Jim's trauma second-hand. He had found solace in the eye of the hurricane, taking advantage of the way Jim could keep everything at bay. I know you, he thought. I do not want to know who I am without you.

 

The writing isn't perfect and there are some typos but it's still great.

 

Edit: initally didn't add this quote cuz I typed this up just before bed and clearly I shouldn't do that since I come back and remember stuff I've forgotten, but - quote:



Sybok doesn't believe in the concept of t'hy'la, has never experienced it.

Not many do, but Sarek knows how to recognize it, and thinks that Spock is not the one they should be so very concerned about.

He can see the way Jim has angled his body towards Spock, the way he keeps contact, and the way he defers to Spock every time a doctor speaks. More often than not, it is Spock who replies, who knows allergies and medical histories while Jim lays back, tired and resigned and like the child he is. It is abruptly, starkly obvious that Jim Kirk has no one else in the world but Spock.

(spoiler show)
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-01-03 10:54
Consorting With Dragons
Consorting With Dragons - Sera Trevor

4.25 stars

The main character's name is a different variation of my favorite male name (Jason) and that alone gets it 5stars from me, because sometimes I'm easy like that.

On a more serious note: I enjoyed the fuck out of this story! And there isn't even any sex! I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did (I couldn't even put it down to go to bed), but this just made its way to my 'a thousand hearts' shelf of love. There were just so many things about it that I adored! The writing is great (very minor errors), the characters are all marvelous, I even smiled over the children and that is a very rare thing indeed, so points to Sera Trevor for that as well. There's some depth to the characters and the start of what seems to be some excellent world building, although if the story were longer there could be more development to both characters and their world. I even liked

Polina's character! I love me a bitch welldone ^~^ and the fact that she had moments of being likeable suggests that perhaps somewhere down the line there is hope for her to redeem herself, only at her own choosing of course.

(spoiler show)


My only complaint is that

the ending conflict of the story felt not only forced in to give the story a bit more "plot" and length, but also unnecessary. Yes, Jasen didn't want to tell Rilvor that he wasn't a virgin in the exact moment the first opportunity presented itself due to circumstances, but he had time to talk things out with Rilvor after that on many an occasion; and if Rilvor had had a problem with Jasen's lack of virginity (which he doesn't) then fuck him the marriage should be off anyway. Having Jasen keep the "secret" until Rilvor caught up with Jasen after the supposed scandal was "brought to light" (yay for rumors) served very little purpose. But besides that, what really irritates me is that the conflict felt resolved too easily and quickly. This irritated me so much that I skipped through the epilogue for basic information. I doubt reading the whole epilogue word for word would have made me feel any more complete, so no loss there.

(spoiler show)



Overall, this was cute and sweet, with moments that had me smiling (at children, of all things) and left me wanting more (and not just for the above spoiler). I would love to read something else by this author in the future.

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