It’s Finally Over! Review of The Iron Knight

review

Some spoilers.  This turned it a bit of a rant.  Sorry in advance.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 6.12.35 PM.png

The Iron Knight

The Iron Fey #4

Julie Kagawa

2.5stars


My name – my True Name – is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase – a half human, half fey slip of a girl – smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end – a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Divider

A lot of people LOVE this series.  I am not one of them.  While I actually really enjoy the plot line of the first 3 books and was totally invested in figuring out what happens, I found them all relatively slow and boring and I hate, Hate, HATE Meghan Chase.  She beats Bella Swan for my least favorite female character of all time (as of now).  I don’t know what it is about her that makes me want to bang my head against the wall for hours on end, but she does.  I probably would have been able to share some more concrete reasons for my hate if I hadn’t  completely forgotten to write a review after I finished The Iron Queen back in the beginning of February.

And let’s just say I was extremely happy to finally be done with the first three books and Meghan’s narration.  I’m not sure if I would have really continued with the series if I hadn’t stupidly bought the audiobooks awhile back.  But I did, so I had to get my moneys worth.  And that’s what led us here today.  I have finally finished all four books of The Iron Fey series.

Right off the bat I have to say that this book was 1000% times better simply because Meghan is not in it for like 95% of the book. I thank all the gods of the world for this fact.  The story, instead, is told from Ash’s POV, which when it comes down to it, isn’t all that better.

But really, why I couldn’t find it in myself to give this book more than 2.5 stars is that it’s BORING.  Ash is on an epic quest to find a soul because for some reason I will NEVER understand, he wants to spend the rest of his life with Meghan.  Excuse me while I go throw up.

I’m back.  So epic quest.  Fun times.  NOT.  This entire book is just Ash whining, with a few dull fight scenes.  The only redemption is Puck.  And that just makes me angry because it reminds me how these books royally fucked over Puck.

And then, there are, of course, the last few chapters which basically live out Ash’s life and Meghan is there in all her annoyingness and….

Also, Ariella (I think that’s her name.  I don’t really care.) is somehow back and then we have Ash contemplating ignoring his promise to be Meghan so he can be with Ariella, but he can’t because he’s a fairy and then I felt bad for Meghan.  And I HATE feeling bad for characters I don’t like.  But Ash wasn’t winning any points with me when he made it seem like he was just going back to Meghan because of the promise.   “I’m only here because I’m a dumbass and I make a lot of unbreakable oaths in the heat of the moment, but I really wish I could be back with my ex who I thought was dead.”   Way to make a girl feel special, Winter Prince.  He sorts that out eventually, but still.

And I’m done ranting.  There is a spin off series featuring Meghan’s little brother Ethan, but as that seems to mean I will have more Meghan to deal with, I will probably not be reading that.  We’ll see.  I might feel masochistic one day.

 

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

review

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.44.40 PM

 

The Mistake

Off Campus #2

Elle Kennedy

2.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Divider

The Deal didn’t blow me away like I was hoping it would, but I still went into this book expecting to enjoy it.  And again, I was disappointed.  I read the majority of this on the plane and train on my way back from Florida to Baltimore, but I left the last few chapters for the next day.  And I’m not exaggerating when I say that when I went back to it, I had almost completely forgotten what had happened.

I had all the same problems with this book that I did with The Deal.  The Deal at least had a trope that I actually enjoy to fall back on.  The Mistake’s whole plotline was pretty lame.  And again, there was Too. Much. Plot.  Again they get together way before the ending.  I’m not here for that. I mean, getting there was adorable and again, the sex scenes were pretty hot, but it felt like there was even more of the novel left after they got together.

Grace had her weird friend drama which I felt was barely even touched on and I didn’t care about at all and Logan had all the shit with his brother and his dad, which I felt like wrapped up WAY too easily.  And it would be one thing if the drama was effortlessly woven into the plot, but it’s not.  It always seems so forced.  And that epilogue?? There are still 2 more books. I don’t get why she would go that forward when we will probably be seeing these characters again in future books.

I don’t think I mentioned it in my review for The Deal, but I really do love the hockey aspect of these books.  I’m not a big sports fan, but I do really love going to hockey games (Go Capitals!).  I kind of wish that there was more of a focus on hockey.  There seemed to be in The Deal, but in this book it was basically just added on.

I totally see why this book gets so many 5 stars, but it just didn’t do it for me.

A Lacking Space Adventure: Review of Starflight

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.25.16 PM.png

 

Starflight

Starflight #1

Melissa Landers

February 2, 2016

Source: Netgalley, e-ARC

2.5stars

Goodreads

I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world–and each other–the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 5.42.09 PM

I was wavering on how to rate this book.  Ultimately I settled on a 2.5 because I just couldn’t give it 3 stars.

The Good

Entertaining

It was a pretty fast read. I basically read it in one sitting and I wasn’t really ever bored while reading.  There was plenty of action to keep me engaged and interested.  Terraformed planets, space pirates, runaway princesses, intergalactic hit men.  There was a lot going on, and even though it wasn’t perfectly executed, I didn’t hate it.

Likeable Characters

I enjoyed both the Main and secondary characters.  In fact, the secondary characters were pretty great.  Renny the kleptomaniac was interesting and Kane and Cassia were adorable (I might actually check out the sequel because apparently it will be focused on them).

Solara and Doran, our MCs, were fine characters.  Nothing particularly annoyed me about them (beyond the obvious fact that Doran starts off the book as a complete jackass).  I wasn’t too attached to them, but I didn’t want one of them to be kidnapped by a bunch of space pirates.  Plus, Doran when through some nice character development, even if Solara didn’t.

The Romance

I’m a sucker for a nice slowburn romance, especially one that evolves from hate to love.  And that’s exactly what happened in Starflight.  Even though I was a uncomfortable because Doran was SO horrible to Solara at the beginning,  the romance was one of the better aspects of this novel, in my opinion.

The Bad

World Building  

While I get the overall gist of this world, I’m a bit confused.  I have no idea when in the future this takes place, as the Earth is still around and populated, but there are many different solar systems involved.  I have no idea what this Solar…something…is.  I even forget what they were called, but basically I think they are like the government but I’m not even sure.  I like knowing how shit works, especially in books that take place in the future.  I don’t need the entire history of how things came to be, but it’s nice if at least the basics of how the future is ruled is laid out for me.

The Ending

It kind of just ends.  Nothing is really resolved and we don’t really find out what the hell has been going on.  What about the fact that Doran is a fugitive?  What about the fact that his father is in jail?  And his mother?  I mean, we really are just left hanging and I’m a bit confused as to whether this story is over or not.  And with that little twist at the end it just feels entirely unfinished. The author says that it is a standalone novel and that there will be a companion novel that focuses on other characters but there is still so much more of this story I wanted to know about.     I’m not positive if I will be continuing on to read the companion novel, but If  I do I really hope it resolves all these issues.

 

Also, it was an odd book for trying to pinpoint an age group.  For the most part It was more geared toward the younger YA set, but there was kind of a lot of, not sex exactly, but allusions to sex.  I have no problem with younger YA reading that, but it does seem a bit strange.
All in all, it was entertaining, but nothing really special.

Recent Reads

I’ve been on a reading spree lately where I finish one book and dive right into another.  This is wonderful of course, but it also means I haven’t been stopping to write reviews after I read each book.  Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, but for me I need to write the review soon after finishing otherwise I forget what I want to say.  So here are some mini-reviews of recent reads that I never wrote actual reviews for.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 3.48.39 PM

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

*no rating*


Well. I read it.

The End.

JK

I don’t review Classics and I rarely rate them because I don’t really have anything meaningful to add to a book that has been critiqued and evaluated for 100s of years. Also,   how am I supposed to rate this?? Obviously it’s an extremely important work of literature to have such lasting power but honestly?  I was bored. As I usually am when I read classics.  I mostly listened to it because every time I tried to slog through 19th century text I felt my eyes closing. But I did finish it and that is all that matters. I have officially read my first Austen novel and finished the first month of the Classics challenge. So that is all that really matter. Also, I didn’t hate it.  It wasn’t Ethan Frome  bad and I will probably read more Jane Austen, but not for a few months.

*this book goes towards the 2016 Classics Challenge*

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 5.42.09 PM.png

theroguenottaken

The Rogue Not Taken 

Scandal & Scoundrel, #1

Sarah MacLean

2015

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


The 4 star rating is a bit arbitrary because this is my first ever Adult Historical Romance, so I have nothing to compare it to!  I really enjoyed the book, so I defineitly plan on exploring more of the genre, so who knows, this could end up becoming  a 5 or a 2 star book!

It’s been about a week since I read the book and unfortunately, I did not take any notes while reading. (I find it often distracts me from the novel and lowers my level of enjoyment).  So while I remember the plot and the general demeanor of the characters a lot has already faded.

I do know that I thought Sophie was a wonderful character.  From the first page when she defended her sister I knew I would like her.  She was funny, smart, and ready to take care of herself even if she did often end up being rescued.

For the most part, I did also enjoy King.  However, he might have been a bit too broody for my taste.  Give me sarcasm all day long but you need to stop whining about your dead love.  Plus he became a huge dick towards Sophie at the end.  And he refused to believe she was being honest throughout the entire book.  He did have his moments, which saves him from going on my “WTF Love Interest” shelf.

The romance, when King wasn’t being a brooding little bitch, was wonderful. I’m glad my first foray into historical romance was a success and I will definitely be checking out Sarah MacLean’s other work. If you guys have any suggestions of other authors or favorite novels let me know! I’m ready to get sucked into this genre!

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 5.42.09 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 3.49.46 PM

The Iron Daughter

The Iron Fey #2

Julie Kagawa

2.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


That 2.5 rating is all due to Meghan and how ridiculously annoying and stupid she was in this book.  This review comes off a bit like a rant, but I really did enjoy the plot of this book.  I just HAVE to complain about Meghan.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Meghan in the first book BUT OH MY GOD. She was so annoying in this one. So obsessed with Ash and so stupid. He literally tells her that he will not be able to talk to her and treat her the same way because he can not betray his queen (um DOUCHE ALERT).  I also remember them talking in the 1st book and both of them acknowledging that it is HIGHLY illegal for them to be together and they could both be killed or banished because of it.  But what does  Meghan do the first time she sees him? Gets SUPER upset and complains for what felt like 5 hours about how she can’t believe he would betray her and believes that he never cared about her.  I HATE HATE HATE when characters are this stupid.  YOU TALKED ABOUT THIS.   HE LITERALLY TOLD YOU ALL THIS.

And don’t get me started on that weak attempt at a love triangle. “Oh Ash is leaving me. How about I try it with Puck because he’s here and he loves me  and I realize out of no where, with no prior indication, that I love him too”. Nope. Get out of here.  First of all Puck is 500x better than broody Ash and he doesn’t deserve for you to do that to him.

But, as I said,  I do actually really enjoy the plot of this series so I will continue to put up with dumbass Meghan and hope she gets better in the last book (or last 2 books I’m still confused about the Iron Knight).

*this book goes to the 2016 Audiobook challenge

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

I’m trying to find a balance between reading and reviewing ARCs and new releases, and older books, especially ones I already own.  So I decided to pick up Monstrous Beauty, which has been sitting on my shelf for far too long.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 3.07.07 PM

Monstrous Beauty

Elizabeth Fama

2012

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.23.52 AM

Goodreads |Amazon | The Book Depository


Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.


Mermaids. Ghosts. Murder. Curses. Sounds great right? And it was.

For awhile.

You know what annoys me more than not liking a book? Is loving a book and then having it go down hill. There’s nothing worse then thinking “Wow. I’ve found an amazing book and I can’t wait to rave about it” only to have your hopes dashed. It certainly wasn’t a bad book, but it could have been so much more.

When I started reading Monstrous Beauty I loved it. It was quiet and a bit slow, but with the right amount of mystery to have be flying through the pages. It was dark and haunting and my heart broke a little as it slid down into something slightly higher than a paranormal romance. I really thought this was going to be a 4 star book.

At first, I loved that half the story was told in the present day and the other half in the past. It was wonderful learning the truth as it unfolded and watching as Hester figured it out for herself. And then the whole truth unraveled for the reader and Hester is still in the dark and that’s where the book lost me. Since I knew the truth, I lost patience with Hester for being such an idiot and not understanding. Plus, I wasn’t really as interested in the present once I had figured out the mystery aspect of it. I think the historical setting should have been presented a bit more slowly. That way, as a reader, I could have continued to figure things out with Hester instead of wanting to yell “IT’S SO OBVIOUS!”

It’s 3rd person POV which definitely kept me at a distance from connecting with Hester. Skilled writers can pull it off, but I just don’t think it worked in this case. She was so…blah. I know next to nothing about her besides the fact that she lost her mother as a baby and loves history. And she’s pretty rude to her best friend and former crush, who she stops liking as soon as she meets Ezra. And it didn’t help that the romance was dull and reminded me of Twilight. I mean after reading I understand, but MAJOR instalove. And it doesn’t even make sense because there didn’t seem to be anything remarkable about him.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a mermaid book before. I’ve read plenty of vampires, some werewolves, fairies and even a dragon. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a book about a mermaid. And I was so sad. They are dark creatures and it should have been exciting learning about them, but the mythology isn’t explained properly. When it became a bigger focus it took away from the story because I didn’t have a firm understanding. They have magic? They can become human? Humans can become mermaids? I’m told some of it, but there is very little explanation. And then towards the end there is some “big bad” that was barely mentioned throughout the previous 220 pages so I had no connection to it. It was just like, “Oh here is the real evil” and nothing. It was a bit disjointed.

The ending was satisfying, but everything was explained to the reader through dumbass Hester FINALLY understanding what I understood 150 pages earlier. I was majorly disappointed in this. I wanted to love it so much, and the beginning had SO much promise. This was just another example of poor execution.

 

 

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

First I’d like to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all who celebrate.  I’m writing this post ahead of time because hopefully I will be too busy watching football, hanging out with family and stuffing my face to actually post today.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.58.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 6.00.55 PM.png

The Trouble With Destiny

Lauren Morrill

Publication: 12/8/15

Source: Netgalley, e-ARC

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.23.52 AM

*I was provided with this ARC by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.*


 

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.


 

Overall, this book is cute. It definitely wasn’t the worst realistic YA I’ve ever read, I just think it seemed a little young. Even with the mention of drinking and drugs, I had a hard time picturing Liza as a 17 year old. She came off more like a middle schooler.

Like I said, this book was cute and I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more if there hadn’t been so much drama. Not just between people, but just in general. Everything was too dramatic. Maybe it was Liza’s character, who was very neurotic. It was almost painful being in her head. I am a pretty anxious person and she was driving me nuts with her constant worrying. And the worst part is she did it too herself. If she had just been honest with the band then she wouldn’t have had to carry the weight all by herself.

The romance aspect was ok. It was some sort of love square thing between Liza, Demi, Russ and Lenny. It was totally predictable, which of course I don’t always have a problem with, but it was just annoying to watch all the drama unfold when I know how it is going to end.

And this is just totally a side track because it’s not that I really think band kids are nerds. I actually don’t think anything about them because I’m almost 26 years old but when I was in high school I don’t think I thought about them at all either. But I feel like Morrill was trying really, really hard to disprove the stereotype that band kids are nerds. Band kids are cool. They drink. They get high. They have tattoos. THEY ARE JUST LIKE US. It went a tad far.

Ok, back to the review. The secondary characters besides Demi and Huck were pretty flat. Even both the male counterparts of the love square were somewhat bland. Huck might have been my favorite part of the book.

It probably seems like I hated the book, but I didn’t. It was a fast, easy read. It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had while reading a book, but it was certainly better then the last ARC I read. I’m not quite sure if I would recommend this because I know there is better quality easy reads out there, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it.

I’ve never read anything by Lauren Morrill, but both Meant To Be and Being Sloane Jacobs are on my TBR list. While I don’t think this book was for me, I am still totally going to check out her other work.