Another Win: Review of The Dream Thieves

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The Dream Thieves

The Raven Cycle # 2

Maggie Stiefvater

4.5stars


If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

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This is not a proper review.  I don’t really have much to say about this book. Words fail me.  If books 3 & 4 stay on the same level this will probably go down as one of my all time favorite series.

The writing was just as beautiful, the plot just as gripping, the characters just as wonderful (although I might dislike Adam a little more now).  Again, my love for Ronan is way above my love for the others, but what can I say? Mickey goddamn Milkovich in book form.  I am totally here for that.

I only have 2 minor issues with this fantastic second book:

  1. Within the first few chapters, The Gray Man beats up Declan and tells him to find the Greywaren.  Declan agrees and then  I don’t think we see him again until the last few chapters of the book. I feel like Declan has a much larger roll to play in this series (I might be wrong), but I just kept wondering where Declan was throughout this entire book.  Also, why was he still living in the dorm during the summer when he had already graduated?
  2. The Gray Man and everyone’s reaction to him.  Ok so within the realm of this world I find it totally plausible that the characters do not blink at the supernatural elements of their world.  There is a magical Welsh king that has been asleep for six centuries in the mountains of Virginia? Ok cool, that’s fine.  But for the characters to barely blink an eye at a self confessed hit man?  And it’s not like they think he’s joking either.  They know he is telling the truth. Do better, favorite characters.  Do Better.

These are really the only minor annoyances I had.  This is such a wonderful series and I am so glad I am finally reading it.

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.

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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*

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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!

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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

A Pleasant Surprise: Review of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy #1

Richelle Mead

2007

3.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever.


 

I’m not exactly sure why I had Vampire Academy on my “Nope” shelf. Maybe it had something to do with reviews, or the fact that people say the series goes downhill, but I had resolved not to read it. That is, until now. I meant to read one “Nope” selection each month, but as soon as I finished Beautiful Creatures, I knew I had to give another one a chance. I wasn’t a fan of BC, but I’m happy to say that this challenge hasn’t been a complete failure yet. I really did enjoy Vampire Academy.

For the most part, I really did love Rose. Besides her hang up on being labeled a slut and how she treated Mia, she was a pretty awesome character. I guess when it comes down to it I like really sassy characters, but also some pretty rude ones. Maybe it’s just after a sea of Mary Sue’s who are super sweet, it’s refreshing to find female who isn’t afraid to be a bitch some times. And I say that with complete and total respect. Bitches really do get shit done.

Lissa, on the other hand, wasn’t my favorite. For the majority of the book she was pretty boring and way too safe. Towards the end I started to enjoy her more, but then again it just goes to show that I enjoy characters that have a bit of darkness inside of them. Hell, while watching the Vampire Diaries I completely hated Stefan until he went ripper on everyone. Team Damon all the way (also, case where the TV show is about 5000x better than the books). Anyway, back to Vampire Academy.

For the first time in awhile I actually liked both the love interests (for Rose and Lissa; no love triangle in sight…yet). Well, if you could really call Dmitri a love interest. I mean, I was a bit weirded out by the age difference between Dmitri and Rose, but probably more so with myself because I was totally behind it.

This was definitely one of the better vampire books I’ve read. I loved the world Mead created, even if I think the Moroi are a bit lame with their “only use magic for good” and “no compulsion” rules. I definitely think that the rest of the series will be testing that so I’m excited to move on the second book eventually. But I loved the different classes of vampires and the vampire royalty aspect. It reminded me a lot of The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood) that I really enjoyed for the first few books (and seasons).

I totally guessed the ending, but it doesn’t bother me that much. Overall, I was extremely pleased with how this book turned out.

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Why I didn’t want to read it:      I don’t remember. Probably reviews.

Why I changed my mind:    General interest in the series

Do I regret reading it?:    Not at all!

Will I continue the series?:    Definitely

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

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Bad Girls Don’t Die

Bad Girls Don’t Die #1

Katie Alender

2009

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Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?


From August 2014-August 2015, I lived in Michigan because my boyfriend was going to law school (he’s since transferred to Baltimore–THANK GOD.  No offense to Michigan, but I’ve grown to love the DMV–well not so much the V–in the past decade).  But anyway.  I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know anyone outside of the people he met through school, so I was constantly home with only the cats to keep me company.  Because of that I used to go to the bookstore like three times a week.

Every time I was there I would pick up this book read the back and then put it back down.  I am so mad at myself!  I wish I had read this months ago!

I did not expect to like this as much as I did  And I definitely did not expect to be scared. It is very rare that a book actually creeps me out.  I don’t think I’ve ever really read any Adult horror but I’ve tried my hand at quite a few YA “horror” stories  and none of them have ever really successfully clicked.  But this one did. It really did.

It was so good. And so freaking creepy. Leave it to demonic children and dolls to really scare me.

I literally had to put this book down at one point because I was home alone and was so freaked out.  I had to talk myself into picking it up a few minutes later because I just had to finish it. I moved out of my bedroom into my brightly lit living room  and proceeded to freak out at every single little noise my apartment made.

So on top of this book scaring me much more than I thought possible it was also really funny.

Alexis is the MC of Bad Girls Don’t Die.  She is your typical YA outcast: brooding, pink hair, into photography, has no friends, hates the cheerleaders, and is a trouble maker. You know, the norm.   Basically, no one understands her.  She can also be pretty rude and sarcastic. But WHATEVER. I loved her. Everything that should have annoyed me about her just didn’t.  I don’t know what it is that allows me to look past normally frustrating stereotypical characters and fall in love.  Maybe it was the humor.

Another thing I really enjoyed was that it was so atmospheric. My childhood home was built in 1899 and I know what it is to sleep under an attic that creaks and to grow up half convinced that there are people walking above you.  So a creepy old house is a perfect setting for me.  Add dolls and demonic children into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for success.

There was no instalove.  In fact I might have enjoyed a little more romance.  Chapters would go by without Alexis even mentioned Carter…which of course IS A GOOD THING. This is not a paranormal romance.  I probably would have been annoyed if instead of Alexis worrying about the fact that her house is haunted and her sister is possibly possessed she were focused on her relationship.  But he was just so adorable that I wanted more of him.

There were of course some flaws. It’s not really brimming with character development  and the characters  are pretty stereotypical, and there is a cheesy, perfect ending.  But with this book, the good definitely outweighed the bad.  It wrapped up really neatly so I’m interested to see where the next 2 books of the series go.

If you are looking for a quick, addicting, SCARY YA book totally check this one out.

A Somewhat Disappointing Finale: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Unmade

The Lynburn Legacy #3

Sarah Rees Brennan

2014

3stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility – and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Set against a centuries-old legacy of blood, power, and vengeance, the truth does not seem like much of a weapon. But it is all Kami has.


This isn’t going to be a very long review. Mainly because it took me so long to read that I don’t really remember that much of what happened in the beginning. And that probably isn’t a good sign.

I am sad to say that this series went downhill from where it started. Not so much that I didn’t like the books, I just didn’t love them the way I did the first. Kami was still amazing (as the majoirty of the characters still were. I especially enjoyed the banter between Lillian Lynburn and Jon Glass), and I really did enjoy the ending, but the middle really forced my opinion. I was much more aware of the failures of Brennan’s writing, and the pace was a bit too slow and the relationship drama was over the top. JUST BE HONEST WHEN YOU TALK TO EACH OTHER. STOP BEING SO GOD DAMN MOPEY.

At the same time, a lot of what happened was a too convenient for me.  There were multiple times where the characters were pretty much about to die and then miraculously they were saved! Once would have been fine, but it happened 3 or 4 times.

Plus, I’m kind of really angry over a certain aspect of the plot. I get it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

In the end I’m going to give it 3 stars, even thought it took me over a week to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy the majority of this book. I just can’t bring myself to give a series that started off so well anything less than 3 stars. I just wished it had remained at the same level of awesomeness that was Unspoken.

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My first “Nope” Review: Beautiful Creatures

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Before I even started my blog, I knew I wanted to set a few challenges for myself in 2016.  There were a bunch of series I wanted to start and a bunch to finish.  I also wanted to actually take a second look at books that I had previously labeled “Nope” for some reason or another.  Usually due to others reviews I decided not to read certain books, and I decided that simply wasn’t fair and I wanted to give the books a try, because maybe I would find a book that I actually really enjoyed.  You can check out the original post here.

My first book in this “Nope Challenge” was Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

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Beautiful Creatures

Caster Chronicles #1

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2009

2stars

Goodreads


Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


 

Obviously since this was on my “Nope” shelf, reviews had warned me against it.  But I really just had to see it for myself.  So where should I start?

The writing is really bad. Honestly, I recognized this on the second page. I can sometimes look past bad writing if I’m invested in the plot.  Hell, I’m not winning any awards for my writing.  But, it was really, really bad in this. And, on top of bad writing, the pacing of the plot is too slow, yet oddly jumbled and confusing at many points.  I mean, I enjoyed the overall plot.  I thought the world Garcia and Stohl created was interesting and deep, if only a bit confusing, but this book did not have to be 500 pages.  There are some books that do.  There are some books that NEED to be 800 pages long and every single word is important.  This is not one of them.  Again, take 200 pages off, speed up the plot and it probably would have gotten a better rating, bad writing and all.

I liked the setting.  I haven’t read too many “Southern Gothics” and this book really made me interested in them, mainly because it didn’t do that great of a job creating the South for me. I mean, I know the South can still be pretty backwards (well America can just be pretty backwards sometimes, so it’s wrong to just point to the South), but I have a real hard time believing that this book is supposed to take place in the present day with how they treat Lena.  Totally not believable.  But I am totally interested in reading more Southern Gothic stories.

I did like that it was a male POV, except for the fact that it was so hard to remember that Ethan was a dude.  He didn’t sound like any 16 year old boy I ever met.  I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t manly enough, I just think that the authors don’t know how to write from the male perspective.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethan, but he wasn’t half as bad as Lena.

Lena, hmm I don’t even know what I can really say about her except I hated her. Like if there is nothing you can do about possibly going dark, then get the fuck over it.  She was so god damn melodramatic I wanted to rip my hair out.  Honestly, Ridley was the best character and it made me realize that I am sick of reading about the “good” side.  The dark side might be a nice place to set a story.

Both Ethan and Lena are extremely stupid. I mean they have this whole conversation over what the clue “Claim Yourself” means.  That’s when I lost it.  I would have thrown the book across the room if I hadn’t been reading on the computer or if I hadn’t been at work. Their romance was so disgustingly gag-worthy.  It’s insta-love of epic proportions, even if they don’t admit it right away.  The way Ethan thinks about Lena makes me want to throw up.  Not even my high school boyfriend was that cheesy.

The ending was entirely too convenient and it made me pretty angry.

This would have been a great book. If not for the characters.  Or the pacing.  Or the writing.  Obviously I finished it. I read 567 pages, so it gets 2 stars because I just need to prove to myself that I didn’t waste my time.

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Why I didn’t want to read it:      Reviews

Why I changed my mind:    Popularity

Do I regret reading it?:    Not exactly

Will I continue the series?:    Probably not

Reviewing the Sequel: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Untold

The Lynburn Legacy #2

Sarah Rees Brennan

2013

3.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


It’s time to choose sides….

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Some spoilers for the first book.

So since the last book, Kami and Jared have broken the link between them, Jared hates her and Kami has no power. Rob is raising a Sorcerer army, and Lillian wants nothing to do with Kami, Ash, or Jared.

This was another reread for me.

This was my original review:

not as good as the first one, but I have hope for the third. I don’t really consider Kami Jared Ash to be a love triangle because it’s obvious at this point that she really doesn’t care for Ash the way she does Jared. There is no competition at this point. Also, where the fuck is Kami’s mom and why does she suck so much?

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but I think I will change my original 3 star rating to 3.5. I still really enjoyed the book, it’s just not much really happened. It was kind of a filler book, with a weak battle scene at the end. There was a lot of relationship drama and SO MUCH could have been avoided if Kami and Jared had just had a conversation where neither jumped to conclusions about what the other one wanted/meant.

Again, the characters make this book, and again Kami comes out as the true winner.

She cried quietly, hands pressed to her eyes, and as she cried she was almost relieved. Here she was, lonely and miserable, and she was still going to go into the gym and do what needed to be done. She had wondered who she was without Jared, stripped of all her supports and forced to stand on her own. She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn’t broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost.

NOW THIS IS HOW YOU HANDLED A BREAK UP.   Honestly, I don’t think I can think of another book, especially a paranormal romance book where a character so maturely handles a break up. Honestly, for all it’s faults, this one paragraph alone makes up for a lot of the bullshit drama. Kami NEVER lets the fact that she is upset over a break up stand in her way. I mean, that is seriously bad ass. At her age, I would have taken a day or two off from trying to fight evil. But NOPE. Not Kami. And that is why she is possibly one of my favorite heroines ever.

Oh, and lets not forget about the fact that throughout this book, Kami is literally powerless. Yes she was a source in the first book, and was at some points able to control the magic, but she has lost that link. All she has is her brains and her mouth and she kicks serious ass. I mean, not exactly in the fight scene that comes at the end, but just in general. She doesn’t need special magic powers to be awesome. And I love that.

The other characters were just as awesome, with the exception of Jared. He was funny again, but way too melodramatic. And I really hate Kami’s mom. She is completely useless as a human being. Jon Glass for the win. Rusty Montgomery was another winner in this book. I just love him so much. I really want Kami to forget the Lynburns and be with him, but you know…platonic friendships are cool…I guess.

Ooh, just something else, the book actually mentions bisexuals!! An actual mention, which is almost unheard of in, ANY form of entertainment.

All in all, I enjoy these books mostly for the characters. Untold read almost a bit too much like a filler book and the drama was a bit much, but I would still totally recommend it.  I am super excited to FINALLY read the last book and find out once and for all how this all ends!

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Just as Good the Second Time: Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Unspoken

The Lynburn Legacy #1

Sarah Rees Brennan

2012

4stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


 

I originally read Unspoken in March of 2015.  I read the second book in the series as well, but never made it to the final book.  That’s why I wanted to add it to my my Series to Finish challenge  for 2016.  It also works towards the Reread Challenge I am participating in, so that is always a plus!

Here is my original review from March of 2015:

I bought this book used a few months ago and it has been sitting on my shelf and I just never felt like reading it. So yesterday I finally decided to see what it was all about and I’m mad at myself for waiting so long. I loved this book.

I had some issues with the writing where sometimes I was completely lost as to what was going on and it sort of dragged for a minute there towards the end, and i’m not exactly sure how i feel about the love triangle/romance aspect…but still. I loved this book. Mainly because I loved the characters. I loved Kami, i loved Jared (most of the time) I loved Kami’s dad and most of all I loved Angela. Maybe it’s because my best friend’s name is Angela, or because she was basically me, but I loved her most of all. Honestly I could have read an entire book with just Kami and Angela, or Angela just shitting on people.

The mystery/supernatural aspect I feel could have been handled a bit better, but i was interested throughout and I have already ordered the second and third book off amazon. They won’t be here till Wednesday and I want to cry. I need them now!

After rereading, my original review still holds up pretty well.  The best part about this book are the characters.  Kami is so sassy and I LOVE sassy characters.  She has no problem speaking her mind and she rarely ever puts up with shit from other characters.  And she can take care of herself.

“You did an awesome job out there in the woods,” he said. “And with the article.”

Kami beamed.  “Thank you.”

“But I think you and Angela should leave this to the police from now on.”

“What an interesting thought,” Kami said.  “Thank you for sharing it with me.  Let me share a thought with you: Actually, I can walk myself to class. And I can also handle myself, so I’ll be doing what I want.”

Honestly, I could just copy every amazing thing she said and make that my review because she is freaking awesome.

And Angela and Rusty were also amazing.  Angela’s disdain for other humans spoke to me on a spiritual level and Rusty’s laziness is akin to my own.  They are by far my favorite secondary characters.

I even really enjoyed Jared and the connection that he and Kami shared, although they were bothy pretty back and forth on whether or not they enjoyed the link between them.

Again, the writing is what threw me a bit because I did have a hard time following along sometimes.  It was easier to understand with the second reading.  I no longer think the end dragged and I was actually very happy with this reread.  I’m glad I ended up liking it just as much as the first time.

I’m really glad that I decided to pick this for one of my first books of 2016.  It’s just such a fun book and I still can’t wait to continue, and hopefully finish, the series!

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A Charmed Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

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Born At Midnight

Shadow Falls #1

C.C. Hunter

2011

2stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs.


Ok first, there is no reason for this book to be 400 pages. NOTHING happens. The first half is basically just her meeting the campers and falling in instalove with 2 dudes.  Also, shitty love triangle.  Derek seems like the “nice” guy.  You know, the guy who is totally fine with waiting until you’re ready for a relationship and then one day snaps.  That’s just how he seems to me.  And Lucas. Well he wasn’t too bad.  I actually liked him a bit.

There is the presence friendship between Kylie and two other supernatural girls, whose names I forget. Positive representations of female friendship are always good,  but we don’t really get to see the development. We are told that all of a sudden they are all best friends. And they didn’t exactly stand out that much if I can’t remember their names without going back to check.  One was a vampire and the other was a witch.

The “mystery” isn’t introduced until like more than halfway and what a shitty mystery it is.  Who’s eating the wild animals (wait is that it? I don’t even really know).  And then it’s solved like 20 pages later without much effort. And the book doesn’t answer the more pressing mystery of “what the hell is Kylie?”.  Nope.  That would have been too simple.  They probably keep that a mystery until book 3 or something.  All we know is that she can see ghosts and likes the taste of blood, both of which are pretty rare in the supernatural world (Well it’s not rare for  Vamps to enjoy blood, but other creatures).

Beyond the fact that nothing really happens and this book could have been reduced to a few chapters as an introduction of another book, it’s an interesting concept for a book.  A supernatural camp where all the different creatures intermingle. Basically, you’ve got witches, vamps, werewolves, shifters, and fae at a camp together (I think that’s it).  Oh and Kylie, who doesn’t know what she is because she’s speshul.

And even though she can be super judgy, Kylie wasn’t the worst character in the world. The one thing that really, really annoyed me (beyond what I mention below) is how Kylie thought of Fredricka and Lucas.  Just because Lucas left, and Fredricka followed him a few days later, doesn’t mean they ran off together.  Lucas admitted that he didn’t like her…so STOP complaining about it.   It’s a childish book, but I’ve definitely read worse.

But what really annoyed me, and actually probably took off half a star, is that there is definitely an underlying theme of SEX IS BAD.  I mean, her best friend starts off the book with a pregnancy scare (and then promptly disappears because she has served her purpose) and almost every single character admits to regretting sex.  And the one  I mean, Kylie doesn’t want to have sex.  She isn’t ready.  That’s totally fine.  But you don’t need to project your own feelings onto everyone else.

If there hadn’t been such a focus on “SEX IS BAD” I would have given this 2.5 stars, maybe even 3 if I was feeling generous.  I did speed through it, and as I’ve said it wasn’t the worst supernatural book I’ve come across.  (And it did inspire a project I’m super excited about! But more on that later). I already have the 2nd book, because it came as a 2 in 1 special edition, so I guess I’ll be reading that eventually.

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.

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Monstrous Beauty

Elizabeth Fama

2012

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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.