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review 2017-03-31 10:31
Review: "Carry the Ocean" (The Roosevelt, #1) by Heidi Cullinan
Carry the Ocean - Heidi Cullinan

"I am normal. I belong. I have a friend who can kick ass from a wheelchair. I live independently and get good grades. I’m an excellent lover.

Like I said. I’m awesome. I’m Emmet David Washington. Train Man. The best autistic Blues Brother on the block."

I love this book more and more with every reread.

 

********************************************

First read: April 15th, 2015

1st reread: May 19th, 2016

2nd reread: March 31st, 2017

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review 2017-02-11 19:54
Review: "Lending Light" (Gives Light, #5) by Rose Christo
Lending Light - Rose Christo

"I'd lived my whole life in the dark until I met the boy who blanketed the earth in his name."

 

This is the fifth book in the Gives Light series and a re-telling of the first one, only this time from Rafael's POV.

 

Now if you've been following my reviews, you already know that I've been DYING to read Rafael's story and to finally see Skylar through his eyes. And I wasn't disappointed. (Ok, maybe a little bit, but more about that later.)

 

It was so wonderful to see how Rafael's self-loathing at the beginning changed at the very moment that Skylar stepped into his life. How Rafael's view of the world, a world that for him only consisted of darkness, gloom and misery, turned bright and colorful, step by step, thanks to Skylar and his "light". Rafael's journey of self-acceptance, and his will to become a better person because he desperately wanted to be a better person, a person who's worth of Skylar's friendship and love, was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be and more.

 

 

And while this book covers the same storyline as the first one in the series, there are more than enough differences to keep this from just being a re-narration. Nothing here felt repetitive or redundant; it was a whole new story with a completely different feel to it.

 

HOWEVER (I always seem to have an "however" issue with this series), even after I finished the book, I'm still conflicted on how to feel about the inclusion of the paranormal element that was introduced here all of a sudden and out of the blue.

 

 

While I was reading the first 4 books, I just LOVED the idea that Rafael was able to understand and communicate with Skylar only by paying attention to his body language and his facial expressions. But now in this 5th book, the story unexpectedly shifts to supernatural territory. It turns out that Rafael actually CAN see people’s auras and literally feel their feelings just by touching them. He hears Skylar's thoughts clearly in his mind and the two of them actually have these full-on conversations, even without looking at each other. It was like Rafael suddenly became some sort of mind reader or something.

 

 

I have to be honest, Rafael's sudden psychic ability threw me off. And as strange as it sounds, but the inclusion of "magic" actually made the romance anticlimactically less magical for me. I still don't know if this series benefited from this paranormal component or not; but as for myself, I would have preferred to keep this universe realistic, without any paranormal or mystical component to it. I never really got over that shift during the course of the whole book.

 

 

But Rose Christo's prose was just as beautiful as always, and even though I always seem to find fault with every book in this series that prevents me from giving them a full 5 star-rating, I think a constant 4.5 star-rating is nothing to sneeze at.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-11-09 20:12
Review: "1/27: An ICoS Anthology" (In the Company of Shadows, #5) by Santino & Ais
1/27: An ICoS Anthology - Ais,Santino Hassell

 

"1/27 answers the important question: What happens next?"

 

Well, wasn't this just a huge fucking disappointment.

 

 

I thought this anthology would explain some of the questions that remained after "Fade". Maybe give me some answers or even some closure.

 

But instead, this was just a set-up for a possible sequel that - according to the authors in the author's note at the end of the book - "is now about 85% more likely than it ever had been before". Um, fuck you very much?

 

Everything that went down with the Agency in "Fade" was nullified by the fact that a new and even more dangerous Agency was arising, and everyone who managed to escape in the last book was now just miserable and in a bad place.

 

I cannot BELIEVE that Boyd and Sin's very last scene ended with them being in a jail cell. Or that my beloved Ryan ended up as an addict.

 

I've spent weeks MONTHS with these characters. I've read thousands and thousands of pages and this is how it ends? With a 85% chance of a sequel?

 

Sorry, but this is NOT how a long-ass series like this should bow out.

 

 

 

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review 2016-06-26 11:04
Review: "Red Dirt Christmas" (Red Dirt Heart, #3.5) by N.R. Walker
Red Dirt Christmas - N.R. Walker

“Why do you have to go saying stuff like that?” he whispered, before he nudged his nose to mine. “Being all sweet and shit.”

“Same reason you do your nose nudgin’ thing,” I whispered back, givin’ him an almost-kiss. “But I don’t need it to be Christmas Day to remind me how lucky I am. I wake up every day with you in my bed, so I KNOW how lucky I am.”

 

 

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

 

One of my biggest pet peeves in my books are fucked-up timelines. And as cute and fluffy as Travis's first (?) Christmas on Sutton Station was, Charlie's present to Travis at the end of the book makes no sense!

 

 

This book is supposed to take place between books #3 and #4 of the Red Dirt Heart series and it's allegedly Travis’s first Christmas at Sutton Station. I just finished reading Red Dirt Heart 4 before I read this one, and there was a HUGE storyline where Charlie and Travis were visiting Travis's parents in Texas and Charlie was totally nervous about meeting them for the first time. Yet here, he flew Travis's parents out to Australia as a Christmas present for Travis?!

 

 

So if he already met them before their trip to Texas, why was he so nervous in book #4? Or does #3.5 take place after that visit? If so, then it wasn't Travis's first Christmas in Australia, because they've been together for 2 years in book #4 and technically, that would make this book #4.5. No matter how I look at it, the timeline doesn't add up.

 

 

Inconsistencies like this bug the ever-living shit out of me, because I can't stop thinking about if I just missed something or if the storylines really don't add up.

 

I can't believe that Walker - or any of her beta readers for that matter - could miss this tremendous plot hole, because it involves two big plot lines from two books. Therefore, I subtract half a star for that.

 

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review 2016-06-25 16:11
Review: "Red Dirt Heart 4" (Red Dirt Heart, #4) by N.R. Walker
Red Dirt Heart 4 - N.R. Walker

"I couldn't get enough of him. Not close enough, not deep enough, it was never going to be enough. The more Charlie I had, the more I wanted."

 

 

I liked this book better on my reread, but it's still the weakest one in this otherwise outstanding series for me.

 

My biggest problem was that I felt like I was reading a compilation of "Charlie & Travis" short stories.

 

And my problem with short stories in general is that they either bore me because I can't really connect neither to the characters nor to the storyline enough in such a small couple of pages (Amos & Bianca), or they leave me unsatisfied because I wanted/expected more (Charlie's and Travis's visit in America or 

THEIR WEDDING!

(spoiler show)

 

The only storyline that I absolutely loved and that reminded me of the first three books was Harriet's, Charlie's new horse.

 

I know there's a reason why I'm not very fond of books about established couples. But it's Charlie and Travis, and I would still give the overall series 5 stars and call it a must-read M/M classic.

 

 

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