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text 2015-04-01 13:28
Blood Lies - Daniel Kalla

It took a long time to get into this book as I did not like the main character at all. Once you get past Dr. Dafoe's personality issues, the story itself is a good one and it definitely keeps your interest.  It's twisty turny with just enough red herrings to keep you guessing all the way to the end.  I figured out one connection but totally missed the other one.  I would read more by this author.

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review 2014-10-23 14:51
Can guys and girls ever really be just friends?
Better off Friends - Elizabeth Eulberg

It’s not a secret that books about friends who fall in love, is one of the topics that make me instantly buy the book. And, as you can conclude based on the title alone, Better off Friends is just that kind of book.

 

Better off Friends is a cute contemporary novel. Chapters alternate between Macallan and Levi who talk about how they met, their friendship and all weird situations they got into, because people thought they were more than friends. If you ever had a very good friend of the opposite sex, you can totally relate to their problems.

 

Each chapter is preceded by a small dialog between Levi and Macallan. They comment, in friendly banter, on the events so far and what is going to happen next. These were my favorite parts of the book. I felt like I was sitting in a coffee shop with them while they were retelling their life story to me.

Um, yeah. Friends lie to make each other feel better. You didn’t know that? Have I told you that you look really cute today?
Thanks, I — Wait a second.

And that’s not the only banter in Better off Friends. The book is full of it! Not only between Levi and Macallan, but also between Macallan and her girlfriends.

“Hey!” I slapped my hand against the table. “Speak for yourself, but I’m a very fun time.”
“Yeah,” Danielle agreed, “read the stalls in the guy’s bathroom.”
“Ha, ha.” I shot her a dirty look.

Point of view for a chapter is represented by his or hers silhouette on a swing (from the cover). This little detail was super cute. I love it when books have something like that. It’s completely unrelated to the quality of the story, but makes it more unique. And I feel that publisher really put an effort to make me like the book.

 

The biggest flaw of Better off Friends is that, at around half of the book, Levi and Macallan start to realize that they feel more than friendship for each other. From that point, there will be a lot of misunderstandings and missed opportunities to delay the ending. I was bored at times and felt like the end, the final resolution, was dragging on. It could have been much better if their pure friendship continued longer, so we had more wonderful banter and less drama.

 

In The End…

Better of Friends is about all the problems you will encounter if you have a male best friend. From the annoying questions‘Why don’t you two just go out already?’ to the real danger of losing your heart. If you are looking for some literary depths you might be disappointed. But for a light, fluffy love story with a bit of banter and drama, Better off Friends is a perfect choice.

 

Recommended to fans of young adult contemporary romance novels about best friends who fall in love, good banter, high school setting, …

Source: www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-better-off-friends-by-elizabeth-eulberg
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review 2014-06-10 16:25
That time when sequel is better than book#1...
The Immortal Crown - Richelle Mead

After reading Gameboard of the Gods you could say I was looking for a way off an Age of X series ship. But before jumping overboard I decided to give it another chance and read the sequel The Immortal Crown.

 

The Story

 

Religious sect inspector Dr. Justin March and his bodyguard super-soldier Mae Koskinen are now working well as a team. But RUNA has new challenges for them - an assignment to be part of diplomatic mission to Arcadia, super-religious neighboring country, which is described with words: “Sit back, get comfortable, and forget everything you know about civility.”

Meanwhile, back home in RUNA, Tessa is trying to adapt to school and find an internship in some newspaper…

 

My Thoughts

 

First question that anyone will ask you when you read a sequel to a series, maybe even before did you like it, is: Was it better? Worse? I’ll divide my comments into section similar to those in my review of Gameboard of the Gods.

 

The Characters: The situation is the same. There are “surprising streaks of nobility in Justin that popped out in what was otherwise a sea of selfishness”, but despite the facts that he was sober and surprisingly chaste I still didn’t like him. Good new is that ravens Horatio and Magnus are still there and full of ‘helpful’ statements.Mae and I still do not click. And chapters from Tessa‘s POV, as always, just add to the chunk-ability of  this book. I guess it’s all going to tie together in the end but for now events that happen to Tessa do not influence Justin or Mae. Hey, at least this time it was interesting and I was intrigued to find out how her internship is going to pan out.

 

The Romance: Going two steps backward and one step forward. There was little progress. And big plus is that finally Justin and Mae stopped sleeping with other people and are really trying to understand their feelings.

 

The World Building: While some facts about history of RUNA are still unclear to me, new elements of the future Earth Richelle Mead imagined are introduced to us much better in The Immortal Crown. Maybe I didn’t like nothing about Arcadia, but I understood what happened there and how the society turned up that way.

 

Mythology: Something is cooking, but there are no more obvious paranormal events here than inGameboard of the Gods. But I didn’t expect much, so I was not disappointed (it’s easier for a book to satisfy us when our expectations are low lol).

So, in the end, I definitely enjoyed The Immortal Crown more than Gameboard of the Gods. Imagine my surprise. :)

 

What did I like?

  • Mae and Justin working as a team.

They were few and far between, but in moments like these, there was no animosity. A fierce solidarity burned between them, one that united them in a single purpose and understanding.

  • The suspense. You know that great feeling when book keeps you on the edge of your seat because you don’t know what will happen next? The Immortal Crown is full of tension. Even chapters about Tessa, which were boring in Gameboard of the Gods, now were full of anxiety - I kept waiting for her mentor Daphne to do something heinous.
  • Justins’ banter with ravens. Comments made by Horatio and Magnus always make me smile:

Lucian gave him a long, scrutinizing look. “How do you do that? How can you talk people into anything? Do you think of this stuff in advance, or does it happen on the spot?”

“Are you impressed?” asked Justin.

“Kind of terrified, actually. But glad you’re not in politics.”

Perhaps now would be a good time to ask if he’d like to learn about Odin, said Horatio. You’re on a roll.

What rubbed me the wrong way?

  • Why RUNA denounced religion is still not obvious to me. I need good explanation!
  • There is a rumor going around about war not only between gods but between elects (“humans marked as special who had the potential to be strong servants for the gods”) also. The Immortal Crown might be about this, but it’s hidden deep down in the core of all events. On the first glance it’s only political fight for power. So my hopes about action and epic god battles were let down.
  • Similarity of Arcadian society to many Islamic countries (oppressed role of women, women covered with cloth in public, religion as big influence, blind worship of leaders). So I had a feeling that this book was big political propaganda – USA good, Muslims bad. I’m not saying that’s even remotely true, but nevertheless.

 

 In The End..

Gameboard of the Gods was cybersome start to a new series by Richelle Mead. There was hope that it will be better but… Should you waste your precious time and read The Immortal Crown? My answer is yes. If you were on a fence like me, there is a big chance that you will join Age of X team. The Immortal Crown is full of suspense & human drama and with shocking ending – it will leave you yearning for a sequel.

Source: www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-the-immortal-crown-by-richelle-mead
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