Category «Series Reviews»

Series Review: Evernight Series by Claudia Gray

Series: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
# of Books: 4 (Evernight, Stargazer, Hourglass, Afterlife)

There is a spin-off novel, Balthazar (sometimes it is classified as Evernight #5)

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Boarding School
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

I highly recommend to anyone who wants to read Evernight to avoid doing too much research; to not read spoiler reviews and to avoid looking at the sequel books because there is a MAJOR twist that is often reveled during said ways and it will ruin Evernight. I had accidently read the synopsis for Stargazer before I read Evernight and it ruined the twist for me because if I hadn’t known the twist, I probably wouldn’t have seen it coming.

That being said, this review is going to be very brief just so that I don’t give too much away 😉

Evernight started off slow, but really picks up about midway through (read: plot twist revealed). The rest of the books in the series follow this faster pace which makes things more enjoyable. The twist, if I had not read it before hand, would have been AMAZING and I think I would have enjoyed the book a touch more if I had left it as a surprise.

The rest of the books in the series were a little hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, they were enjoyable but the romance was a little too sappy-feel-good for me at times and I think that turned me off a bit. Again, this was a Young Adult series I was probably a little too old to read when I did. I will say that Hourglass was probably my favourite because of the plot twists we had and the massive cliff-hanger that ends the novel.

The rest of the series also has twists (besides the BIG one) that make the story interesting. The series blends a lot of things together and for the most part I think it pulls it off. I haven’t come across anything exactly like it but I have found bits and pieces in other books. So if you want to try something new, grab this series!

As for the characters, I liked them enough. Nothing too memorable though I do like Balthazar a lot 😛 Bianca wasn’t particularly annoying and neither was Lucas.

Note: I have not read Balthazar as of June 28, 2013.

Conclusion:

Overall, this series just lacked that little something to make me love it. While I definitely enjoyed the series and admire the creativity, I think I needed a little more action in it (which it had the potential to do). As I said before, don’t read any spoiler reviews, look at genre classifications on Goodreads or at the synopsises of the other books if you plan on reading this series. I also recommend that you grab as many of the books as possible as the next book always takes place immediately after the ending of the previous one–and you have the pleasure of getting your hands on all the copies at once instead of waiting a year for the next one like I had too 😉

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade, #1); Angel (Burn) by L.A. Weatherly (Angel Trilogy, #1) and Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles, #3)

Synopsis for Evernight (from Goodreads):
Bianca wants to escape.

She’s been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He’s not the “Evernight type” either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

“I couldn’t stand it if they took it out on you,” he tells Bianca, “and eventually they would.”

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can’t be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed

Series Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Hooked by Liz Fichera | Hooked Series


Other books in the series:

Series: Hooked
Author: Liz Fichera
# of Books: 2 (Hooked, Played)
Complete?: For now yes, but a 3rd book may be in the works
Genre: Young Adult, Sports, Romance
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

I liked this book more than I thought I would. I think that this book could have been really stereotypical (and often at times it is in its delivery) but I feel like it touches upon other important issues like gender and race which are often missed or not as well expanded in other novels. It really opens your eyes to how people treat others in high school and after reading I was thankful that I never had those issues in my high school (though I’m sure they do happen). This is probably a good point to mention that the plot mostly focuses on Ryan and Fred’s character development and not so much on their romance–so if you are looking for a hot romance novel like the cover might suggest, you won’t really get that here 😉

I was reading other reviews of this book to help jog my memory because I did read it a month or so ago. I found it interesting that some people really admired Fred’s ability to preserver while others critiqued her for not sticking up for herself. I personally liked Fred. Sometimes I wanted to give her a smack to set her straight but I think that she is someone to respect as she does carry herself extremely well despite everything thrown at her. When it comes to liking or disliking characters it is a completely subjective review so to each their own I say!

Ryan was a tough one to like though. He was a bit of a D-bag but I appreciate that his character grows throughout the novel.

The only character I really had a problem with was Seth–talk about over the top! I think if he was toned down a bit, I would have given this book a solid 4 instead of a 3.5. Also, I would have appreciated an epilogue.

UPDATED (July 8/14): When I finished Hooked, I was super excited to read Played. The two leads seemed like an unlikely pair based on my impressions of them in Hooked so I was interested in seeing where the sequel would go. Overall, Played follows a similar formula as its predecessor. It mostly focuses on the individual growth of each character and the romance takes a bit of a back seat–and I found that the romance here really took a back seat.

With the exception of a few plot points, I found Played to be very realistic for teens. I think a lot of the everyday scenarios are occurances that teenagers find themselves in–like house parties, disagreements with parents, and academic pressures. While readers might not identify completely with a character they will probably relate to one aspect of their life in some way. So I applaud Fichera for that focus in her novels.

Conclusion:

Overall, this book was refreshing in the sense that it isn’t just a story about a popular boy falling in love with a social outcast. There are other issues brought up that add a little something to this book that others in this genre often lack. I’m actually more excited to read the sequel than I think I was to read this book. I think it is going to be super cute! The sequel is definitely a great follow-up to the first book; again don’t expect a full on romance novel though.

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks Series, #1)

Synopsis for Hooked (from Goodreads):
When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

Series Review: Immortals by Alyson Noël

Series: The Immortals

Author: Alyson Noël

# of Books: 6 (Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, Night Star, Everlasting)

There is also a prequel ebook, Eternal Flame and a spin-off series, Riley Bloom (details here)

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Soul Mates, Paranormal
Heat Rating: cool, lukewarm in later books

Thoughts:

My friend recommended that I read Evermore shortly after it came out. She told me it was better than Twilight (not a hard feat mind you, but at the time Twilight was the BIG thing) and after reading the plot synopsis I was intrigued.

Evermore was a great book. It had a little bit of everything I like in my books: romance, suspense, mystery and a heroine I actually liked. This was also the first book I read (and I would go on to read a few others) about “reincarnated soul-mates” so it was something new and exciting for me.

But I think it is important to note that I was in HIGH SCHOOL when I read this, therefore I was in the target audience range and I was expected to like it. If I read it now as someone in their 20s I’m not sure if I would enjoy it as much as I did, but I think I would still enjoy it.

The second book, Blue Moon was disappointing. I read it soon after Evermore and it followed the typical “lovers split” storyline that plagues series sequels with the same romantic leads. I guess it was just that I wanted more romance between the two and I didn’t really get it. It was interesting to read, but this was the book where I started to want to slap Ever instead of sympathize with her.

I think Shadowlands was the book where I started to lose faith in the series as a whole. Ever becomes increasingly annoying as does Damen and the best part *rolls eyes* is the introduction of a love triangle. I HATE love triangles and I think this book is part of the reason why I don’t like them. They are irritating and in this one I felt it was a little unnecessary to the story. In fact, Shadowlands turned me off the series so much that I didn’t pick up the last three books until two years later.

And even then, I finished the series more for the fact that I had bought them all and I felt compelled to read them so I could finish the series one summer. I can’t remember much from Dark Flame or Night Star other than the plot didn’t float my boat too much and the characters drove me up the wall. I pretty much sped through them.

Everlasting, the final book in the series, somewhat redeemed the series in my opinion. You finally learn why everything has been happening and the history of Ever and Damen’s story. Also, the rest of the storylines get their closure. The ending satisfied me but I think I was just happy to see the series come to a close 😛

Conclusion:

After such a promising start, the series just fell apart. Perhaps I grew up too fast to enjoy the books at the age they are meant to be read at, but this series just didn’t end up doing it for me. I wish that it was a trilogy instead or focused on one or two main plots instead of the endless number that seem to go on throughout the series (which is a hard thing for me to say because I normally like a lot happening in my books). In the end, not my favourite series but the book covers look very pretty on my book shelf 😉

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller (Eternal Ones, #1) and Fallen by Lauren Kate

Synopsis for Evermore (from Goodreads): After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people’s auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone’s entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste. Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He’s the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head – wielding a magic so intense, it’s as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she’s left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is – or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she’s falling deeply and helplessly in love with him

Series Review: Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

Series: Devil’s Kiss
Author: Sarwat Chadda
# of Books: 2 (Devil’s Kiss, Dark Goddess)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Supernatural, Fighting
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

I was really excited to read Devil’s Kiss–in fact I went to the library with the expressed purpose of getting the book. There were a few things that intrigued me about this book:

  1. The Knights of Templar — I had yet to read a book about this fascinating group
  2. Billi herself — she seemed like a kick-ass and strong female lead
  3. The apocalyptic plot — need I say more?
  4. The cover looked pretty sweet

Unfortunately, Devil’s Kiss didn’t do much for me. Overall, I felt like the book was depressing. Billi wasn’t as awesome as I had hoped she would be personality wise–she too was depressing–but she was just as kick-ass I thought she would be. That was one thing the book did well–the action. The plot was suspenseful (albeit predictable at times) but I found I didn’t care for the other characters enough to get really into it. The romance options for Billi didn’t make me sway to one side or another and the other knights were gruff but not in a real loveable way. I didn’t end this book saying “that was AMAZING” more like “it was alright”.

After reading Devil’s Kiss I was hesitant to pick up Dark Goddess. The only reason I did was because they were going to Russia and for some reason, I LOVE novels set in Russia (probably because I am desperate to travel there) so I decided to give it a chance.

I enjoyed Dark Goddess more than I thought I would and a hell of a lot more than Devil’s Kiss. The plot was better, faster paced and overall less depressing. I also loved Ivan and I think the introduction of his character really saved the series for me. I had a hard time putting this one down and I have to say if this was the first book in the series, I would have a better impression of the series and enjoyed it more.

I know that Chadda had started to write a third novel in the series but due to sales, it was cancelled. One of the great things about Dark Goddess is that its plot starts and ends within that book (same with Devil’s Kiss) so you won’t be left hanging on for a conclusion to some cliffhanger. I really appreciate that on his blog he writes about how second books in a trilogy often build up to something that will happen in another book and how he didn’t want this to be the case with his own novels–so I give you props Mr. Chadda for understanding the dilemma of book series readers everywhere and making sure we get an action packed sequel that satisfies the reader. Kudos.

Conclusion:

I think there are better novels out there that have the kick-ass heroines but the blend of the Knights of Templar and a female knight make this series unique. I definitely enjoyed the second novel a lot more and I think it could be read as a stand-alone (I probably would have preferred it). While I am disappointed there won’t be a third novel, I am glad at the same time because I would feel obligated to read it and wouldn’t really know what to expect from it.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Grave Mercy by R.L. Lafevers (His Fair Assassin Series, #1) and Crusade by Nancy Holder (Crusade Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Devil’s Kiss (from Goodreads):
As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn’t normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order’s ancient battle against the Unholy.
One of the order’s ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years — a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London’s firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Series Review: My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron | My Favorite Mistake Series

 

Series: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
# of Books: 2 (My Favorite Mistake, My Sweetest Escape, Our Favorite Days)
Book Order: Connected + Direct Sequel (Our Favorite Days)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Tragedy, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That I have not read the second book in the series, The Sweetest Escape, and have no plans to do so in the near future.

I went into with this book with high hopes and came away a little disappointed. It was super cute but it was a little too much at times.

I didn’t really like Taylor. At first I thought I would like her because she takes no shit from anyone but I often found like it was a little over the top. Because you don’t know Taylor’s secret, you don’t know why she acts the way she does. When you find out, it makes more sense but I still feel like she was a little abrupt with her thoughts and actions. If it was toned down a touch, I would have liked her more.

Hunter was a little too good to be true. Instant-love connection, understanding bad-boy, jaded background and nearly every other stereotypical “hero” aspect. I liked him enough but sometimes I just wanted to roll my eyes a bit at things he did. I would have appreciated a little more character development from his end.

I think that was my main issue with the book–nothing was overly refreshing or new to me. I had read similar stories before that seemed to have a higher level of maturity so this book wasn’t up to that level which left me disappointed.

One thing about this book is that it is only told by Taylor’s POV. The summary gave me the impression that we would be getting to see Hunter’s POV but we don’t. It would have been nice to have had his POV but it was a nice change from the shifting POVs most New Adult reads have.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed the banter between the two of them and it was a super easy and quick read. It was nothing too exciting but it was a nice way to pass the time. Those just starting the genre and don’t want too heavy of a story will like this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Wait for You… by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait For You Series #1)

Synopsis for My Favorite Mistake (from Goodreads):
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn’t a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment–and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

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Series Review: Wanted by Kelly Elliot

Series: Wanted
Author: Kelly Elliot
# of Books: 3 4 (Wanted, Saved, Faithful, Cherished)

There is a novella that takes place between Faithful and Cherished called Believe

Complete?: No, Faithful will be released in August 2013 Yes, but spin-off series are in the works
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Abuse
Heat Rating: hot

Thoughts:

This is one of those series that has a extremely high rating on Goodreads and I have no idea why. I bought Wanted and Saved because the rating on Goodreads was so high and the plot of Wanted intrigued me–I haven’t really read any books where the heroine falls in love with her older brother’s best friend so I wanted (no pun intended) to see what it was like. I also like reading as many books in the series as close together as I possibly can so I decided to buy Saved as well. It also didn’t hurt that the books were under $3 with my coupons from Kobo.

The first book in the series Wanted reminded me a lot of This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series #1) I had read just a few weeks ago and did not enjoy all that much. Basically, I didn’t like This Beautiful Thing because of the lack of maturity in the characters and it is the same case here. Based on the synopsis I was expecting a much more mature story in Wanted seeing as Ellie has been abused by her mother. By no means did I expect her to be confident but I didn’t expect her to be so juvenile in her thoughts and action. I had hoped Gunner would be a tad more mature as he is 3 years older but he is just as bad, if not worse. Even her older brother, Jefferson needed a good smack on the head at times. As I said in the review of This Beautiful Love it is as if someone wrote this book after watching too many teen drama series on TV and thinking “this is what teenagers are like!” and unless I come from another planet, that isn’t what most teenagers are like.

I hate insta-love connection stories and that is what we get here. I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed this book from the library but seeing as I did buy it, I decided to finish it. I believe I developed a tolerance to the writing after a while so I did manage to finish. I didn’t particularly care for Ellie or Gunner at all throughout the story. I actually feel like their story is a side-story and most of the plot focuses on Jeff and Ari–even though they have their own book, Saved which is the next in the series. I think I would have enjoyed Wanted more in theory if we lost the Jeff and Ari saga and had a more solid (actually, ANY) plot for Ellie and Gunner.

Saved follows a similar path as Wanted in that Ari and Jeff are the main focus, but we also get side-stories about Gunner & Eli and Josh & Heather. Again, I would have appreciated separate books dedicated to each couple instead of little hints here and there. As they currently stand, it makes the books really long and I feel like I am reading two different books as the same time.

As for the book itself, I enjoyed Saved a touch more. Once I got past the occasional grammar mistake and lack of quotation marks, I thought the story overall was better handled. While it still was a little over the top, there were parts that I thought were more realistic to the story that made it more interesting.

UPDATED (Jan 27/14): After having Faithful on my Kobo for months I finally got around to reading it (part of my goal for the month of January to finish 5 series I had previously started).

I actually really enjoyed this book — way more than I expected. I think part of the reason was that this book seemed a touch more mature than the others considering the events these two characters go through. I also think that splitting up the story amongst the various couples we have been introduced to at this point and not having just one main plot really helped: I didn’t become overwhelmed with the stupidity and naivety of these characters. (Which is ironic because I had complained about the multiple plot lines before in the previous novels in this review :P).

When I bought Faithful, I didn’t realize that there were actually 4 books to this series. When I finished Faithful, I was glad there were 4 because I was excited to see and learn more about the next set of characters. Unfortunately, Cherished dropped the ball for me. I just felt like it was filled with double-standards, over the top drama and an annoying heroine which I didn’t like too much. It was just meh but again, I am somehow roped into seeing where the next two spin-off series go–damn!

Conclusion:

I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed these book from the library but seeing as I did buy them, I decided to finish. Definitely not my favourite books that I have read this year but somehow I got a little attached to the last two characters that will be in book 3 and I will probably end up reading the 3rd one just to have some closure. Otherwise, it is not my cup of tea that I would pass on if I could do it again. *UPDATED* I still would probably pass on this series–there is nothing really outstanding about this series other than the naivety of the characters and the crazy amount of ways to say “I love you”.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series, #1)

Synopsis for Wanted (from Goodreads):
Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.
The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brothers best friend.
Gunner only had two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.
Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?
What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?

Series Review: Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Series: Twilight Saga
Author: Stephanie Meyer
# of Books: 4 (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

There are also two novellas, Midnight Sun (#1.5) & The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (#3.5)

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Teen, Romance, Vampires, Paranormal, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: cool
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

I was in the middle of Grade 10 when I picked up Twilight. This was just before the Twilight Saga got really big and I was just beginning to hear about it. My friend had bought a copy so I decided to give it a shot.

I really enjoyed Twilight–I know, scary :O I actually reread it immediately after I finished it. I will admit that at this time, I wasn’t the reading junkie I am now, so I hadn’t read a “paranormal romance” book in a really long time. AND, I was in the target audience so of course it was going to appeal to me. I thought Edward was swoon-worthy, Bella was borderline irritating and the concept and plot was interesting. Sure, a glittery vampire is ridiculous but it is a fictional book and when it comes to paranormal fiction, I give a little more leeway to somewhat absurd concepts. The writing was nothing superb but it was easy to read and a quick read as well.

(FUN FACT: Many people “accuse” Vampire Diaries of being a rip-off of Twilight when in fact Vampire Diaries was published nearly 15 years earlier ;))

I have a theory about New Moon that I think most people who have read the series will agree with me on. Here it is: if you are Team Jacob, you love this book; if you are Team Edward, you can’t stand this book. Of course there are exceptions to this theory but for the most part, it remains valid. As an admitting Team Edward fan, I HATED New Moon. This is when Bella passes the border from irritating into the annoying-beyond. The simple way to sum up this book is as “depressing”. I don’t enjoy reading ~400 pages of mooning over a guy and that is all that we get. Oh, and let’s not forget the introduction of a love triangle–ugh.

I’m not sure if Eclipse if my favourite because it is significantly better than New Moon or because it has a plot and some action to it. Either way, this is probably my favourite of the saga (Twilight would be second). What I don’t like about this book is the character Edward becomes. The best way is to describe him is as a sissy–where did his backbone go?! I wish he would have fought a little harder for Bella instead of doing the “I love her so much that if it makes her happy to be with someone else, it makes me happy” routine he does here. It’s an ironic move on Edward’s part considering the effect this decision had on him in the previous, painful as the teeth-pulling work that is New Moon? Come’on Edward, we all suffered during that book and we know you are lying!

In my opinion, the series could have ended as a trilogy and I would have been satisfied. I get the distinct impression that Breaking Dawn is bonafide fan fiction. I seriously feel like every possible scenario fans discussed on a forum was thrown into this book and then published. It is basically just an extended (a very long extended) epilogue. It is also a whole lot of build-up to a massive action scene that doesn’t meet expectations. I think this was an attempt to have the series “grow” with its readers (like Harry Potter does I am told) but it just didn’t deliver. I was severely disappointed in this novel and it tarnishes my thoughts about the series as a whole.

As for the novellas, they are alright. Midnight Sun was originally going to be a full length novel from Edwards POV but it was leaked before it was finished. It’s cool to read it after you have just finished Twilight but it would be better as a full novel or just as key scenes. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner didn’t blow my mind but it provided an interesting perspective to the events of Eclipse. Neither of these novellas are needed to read the rest of the series.

Conclusion:

If you are a young teen girl (and perhaps some younger adults), you will enjoy this series but for the rest it’ll probably be a pass. There is nothing fabulous about this series BUT, I do credit Twilight for popularizing vampires again. I think without the attention it garnered, a few of my favourite book series (and TV shows!) wouldn’t be published or at least brought to my attention, so thanks!

Rating: 3/5

See what I though of the movie here

Similar Reads: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey (Jessica Series, #1) and My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey (Drake Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis for Twilight (from Goodreads):
Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite

Series Review: Beautifully Broken by Courtney Cole

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:


Other books in the series:
book book

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author, Favourite New Adult Series
Series: Beautifully Broken
Author: Courtney Cole
# of Books: 4 (If You Stay, If You Leave, Before We Fall, Until We Fly)

There is a novella: #2.5 Until We Burn

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drugs, Abuse, Tragedy
Heat Rating: hot (Kink: mild [Before We Fall])
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2013 – July 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

Thoughts:

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Wow, I LOVED this book! It was everything I wanted in a New Adult read and it was such a great read!

I will admit, I was skeptical before reading this. I find with New Adult reads, some hit the mark perfectly by blending tragedy+romance+drama+maturity all into one. That is why I enjoy New Adult reads because they are more mature than most young adult books that have characters in high school. I’m in university myself so I find I relate better to characters my own age & their problems than the often petty high school drama. However, not all books hit the maturity level quite so well and I got worried this one wouldn’t.

I’m happy to say I was proven wrong. This book was extremely mature and handled the issues within it perfectly. The characters didn’t run from their past or just jump into bed together. They actively worked on their issues (and did so in the right way) and I found that extremely refreshing. (FYI, I had just finished the first book in Kelly Elliot’s Wanted Series which I found to be an extremely immature series so I might be a little skewed in my opinion when it comes to this one ;))

For some reason, I love the jerk/player character in romance novels. I guess it’s the hopeless romantic in me that likes to think love can heal people. Regardless, I really liked Pax as a character. He is charming, sweet and troubled but willing to make the right changes. Mila is also fantastic. She is strong and mature and I really respect her as a character.

The book is a really quick read–or maybe you just get sucked into it and lose all sense of time. There isn’t too much else to the plot other than their relationship and dealing with their personal problems (score for no unnecessary drama!) but there is enough to keep you interested.

I’m really looking forward to book 2, If You Stay and I refused to read the little 1 chapter preview in my book because I don’t want to get hung up on it 😛

updates

–January 28, 2016– Book #2: If You Leave

It is just a TAD ridiculous that it took me nearly 3 years to read a book I was super excited to read–and I want to be clear that it in no way reflects my opinion on the series. I was faithful and continued to buy each book as they were released–I just never got around to them thanks to the countless other books that fell into my hands.

But let’s just start by saying that this book was worth the wait! I loved this story for so many different reasons! I thought the relationship and characters were extremely realistic, even if things between them happened fast or some of the events were more dramatic than necessary. I felt so many emotions when reading this book–from joy to sadness to anger to frightfulness–you name an emotion and this book probably has it. It was just plain addicting to read and I easily became absorbed in the story.

–February, 2016– BOOK #3: Before WE Fall

I was really curious to see where this book was going to go given the heroine–but it went in a direction I wasn’t expecting nor one that I loved.

I really didn’t enjoy the relationship between these two at the start and even contemplated not finishing the novel. But I really wanted to find out the backstory of our hero and so I stuck around. I do feel like the story and relationship improved as the story progressed but it could have simply been me  becoming accustomed to these characters and their story.

While the tragedy of the past novels is here, the dynamic of this story is so different from the previous books I think. I didn’t love the heroine’s progression, especially given the events of the past book and I felt like the focus was more on our hero. Which is fine, just not what I really expected. I also felt like their romantic relationship was very unhealthy and I didn’t immediately see why they would like each other besides physical attraction. I supposed I just wanted–and expected more from these characters.

Loads of sexual tension (though it did make me uncomfortable at times) and buckets of drama, this book combines elements I’ve read in other books in a way that is unique but I think will be really hit of miss with its readers.

Series Rating: 5/5

If You Stay 5/5 | If You Leave 4.5/5 | Before We Fall 3/5 | Until We Fly TBD

overall

One of the best new adult reads I have read this year. Great story, great characters and it is mature in its delivery. You can’t go wrong!

Read if You Like: mature stories, passionate romance, tragedy filled stories
Avoid if You: dislike tragedy

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Synopsis for If You Stay (from Goodreads):
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
Seriously.

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.

But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
Wrong.

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

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Series Review: Falling Into You by Lauren Abrams

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Adult Series
Series: Falling Into You
Author: Lauren Abrams
# of Books: 2 (Falling Into You, Falling Into Forever)
Complete?: Yes (at least from what I can see!)
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Movie Stars
Heat Rating: lukewarm

Thoughts:

I came across this book series randomly when I was looking at other books to read and decided to pick it up as well. I then decided to read Falling Into You after I had started one book that just didn’t do it for me. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed this series.

I thought Falling Into You was a really refreshing New Adult read. I went into it thinking: normal girl falls in love with rich playboy actor, cue the generic storyline. But that wasn’t the case at all with this first book. For one, Chris isn’t some asshat playboy–he is a kind, self-conscious boy who is on the cusp of stardom. One thing I really liked about him was that he is genuine–sure he starts off a little rough at the party scene but you really get to see the true side of him throughout the book. Hallie was also fantastic–another genuine character that I think most girls can relate to. You really see their connection develop and why they fall for each other.

When I read the book description I thought their pasts might be a little more involved in the plot, but that doesn’t really come into play out until the end of the book. I thought I would miss that part in the novel but it was so cute watching them falling in love, I really didn’t mind 😛 That being said though, I think the ending was a little rushed but I was satisfied with the way it ended.

Based on the ending of Falling Into You I had a few directions where this book might go and I will say that none of them were how Falling Into Forever plays out. It was more of what I expected the first book to be–dealing with the fame and fortune and how that strains a relationship. Again, I though it was a refreshing take on a romance novel sequel. There is just something about this series that seems realistic to me despite the fact that not every normal girl falls in love with a budding movie star. I totally shed a few tears during this last book and I’m A-OK with that and I had a hard time putting it down.

Conclusion:

These were two books I picked up on a whim and wasn’t too sure about. I’m glad I found these little gems and I hope that more people discover their charm. Overall, a refreshing take on the New Adult genre that fans of the genre should pick up 🙂 I know I have found a new “must-read” author here!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Fallen too Far by Abbi Glines (Too Far Series, #1) and Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre (The Sullivans Series, #7)

Synopsis for Falling Into You (from Goodreads):
When Hallie Caldwell, normal girl extraordinaire, perpetual wingwoman, and queen of the friend zone, accepts her college roommate’s invitation to spend winter break in New York, she figures it’s a chance to live out her childhood fantasies of a life in the big city. Instead, thrust into a world of glittering parties and oversized bank accounts, she immediately feels like an outsider.

Chris Jensen’s Hollywood agent keeps telling him that he’ll be the next big star, just as long as he gets the lead role in the reboot of a classic action franchise. When he returns to New York after a two-year absence, he has other things on his mind—his dying father, an irate sister, and the beautiful, seductive, infuriating, and ruthless Sophia Pearce. He’s not exactly thrilled when she asks him to be her roommate’s tour guide, but he reluctantly agrees.

When Hallie and Chris meet, they’re irresistibly drawn to each other. However, Chris’s meteoric rise to stardom and long-suppressed secrets from Hallie’s past threaten to destroy their tenuous connection, and each is forced to examine whether happy endings are nothing but a Hollywood fantasy

Series Review: Neighbors from Hell by R.L. Mathewson

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

book4

Series: A Neighbor from Hell Series
Author: R.L. Mathewson
# of Books: 10 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: No, Book 9, will be published in 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: April 2011 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: Please note the following review only includes the first three novels in the series. 

This series was a lot of fun to read. Sometimes you just need a light romance read that doesn’t focus on tragedy or soap-opera like drama and that is what you get here. While I didn’t find it as funny as some people rave, I did laugh at various points in these novels.

Playing for Keeps was really enjoyable. I liked Haley as a character because she was realistic and a down-to-earth girl. Jason was really funny with his eating habits and the like. I enjoyed the banter between the two of them throughout the book (that goes for all the leads in the other two books as well). It’s a super quick read that entertained me for an afternoon.

Perfection was actually my favourite of the three. I liked the opposites attract story between Zoe and Trevor. I liked that they weren’t each other’s ideal date initially and that they were able to find love in the characteristics of each other. I think sometimes we have the ideal person we want to be with in our heads and then we only focus on that ideal and not on the real world. It was refreshing to see that sometimes love isn’t what or where we thought it was. I also liked the continuing Bradford charm in this one.

I read Checkmate a little while after the first two. It didn’t really connect as the first two did to the Bradford Family as the leads are not directly from the family, but I liked it all the same. I enjoy enemies to lovers stories so I thought this book was really cute. The pranks that Connor and Rory pull on each other throughout the years are funny and entertaining so it was nice to see how their story progresses. I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would when I started reading it.

I actually didn’t know that there was a 4th book in this series until I wrote this review so I’m interested in what it coming next though I probably won’t get around to them for some time given my ever-growing to-read list.

I don’t have the rest of this series on my immediate TBR but if the need arises for a light-hearted romance, I’ll probably grab one. I just lose interest in series that are loosely connected and go over 5 books…

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

They are not writing masterpieces by any means, but they a light romantic reads with a dash of humour that is refreshing in the contemporary genre where most stories feature darker elements and jaded leads (*cough cough* Fifty Shades…).

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Playing for Keeps (from Goodreads):
Done with being the world’s biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn’t expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won’t let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of.

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can’t help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

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