Tag «annoying heroine»

Series Review: Embassy Row by Ally Carter

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

All Fall Down by Ally Carter | Embassy Row Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for All Fall Down (from Goodreads):

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she’s come back to stay–in order to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: Embassy Row Trilogy
Author: Ally Carter
# of Books: 3 (All Fall Down, See How They Run, Take the Key and Lock Her Up)

There is a FREE bonus prequel scene available for Kindle called Before the Fall: Arrival

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–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.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I am a huge Ally Carter fan–she is probably IS the sole reason why I’ve picked up some of the YA novels that I do. I’m always a sucker for the marketing line “Fans of Ally Carter will love ___” even though time and time again I end up disappointed in these new finds.

My expectations for All Fall Down were simple: I was hoping this new series would be what I wanted Heist Society to be, which is a fast-paced adventure with a strong female lead, but with a great mystery instead of a heist. The Conspiracy of Us is probably the closest novel I have read that came close to meeting these expectations however it fell a little short when all is said and done.

The Concept/Plot:

I have a mixed reaction to All Fall Down. Do I think this is the best Ally Carter book ever written? The simple answer is no. But do I think it could be her best series yet? Absolutely! The potential is definitely there and this book proved it. It is an unfortunate but necessary fact that this book needed to be a bit on the slower side in order to set up the rest of the series. This book was all about building up the world Grace finds herself in and allowing the reader to get comfortable with it. Which I can appreciate from a critical sense but not completely enjoy as a reader.

The Characters:

I think a lot of readers will struggle to like Grace’s character–I know I did. She is very jaded and it is explained early on why she is the way she is. But even knowing that I just didn’t like her as much as a I wanted to. I think reading the short story, Before the Fall: Arrival, before I started the novel would have helped me come to grips with her character much earlier. She has a lot of potential for growth though, so I look forward to seeing her character develop in the next book.

updates

–February 7, 2016– Book #2: See How They Run

This one was a tough one for me to get into. I had high expectations, hoping that the somewhat dull first book did its job of setting up the world and story for some great twists and turns in its sequel. And while the last quarter of the book was definitely intriguing, the first 50% of it was very slow and uneventful.

Grace is her own worst enemy when it comes to her story. As I said before, her jaded personality is hard to get used to and it does her no favours here. Her depressing (albeit understandable) monologue makes her seem melodramatic and overly selfish and I had a hard time not rolling my eyes at her sometimes. What’s worse it that I totally understand why she is acting the way she is–it just didn’t garner any sympathy from me.

Also, this was totally me throughout the whole novel wanting to yell at Grace!

I definitely will be reading the 3rd book. This series is going in a direction I didn’t really expect (which is good, because I found this book to be a little predictable at times), so I’m curious to see how this story continues and wraps up in the last book.

–February 24, 2017– Book #3: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Should have called this one “Woe is Me”.

This was so boring! The plot, while interesting in concept, failed to entice me at all.

It doesn’t help that Gracie is one of the most annoying heroines I’ve ever had to endure. Everything is “me, me, me” and “me against the world”. I get it; she has had a rough go of things but I thought by book 3 we would have had some progression of her character past this point. It’s hard to read from the perspective of a character that is in such a negative headspace all the time.

A big miss for me.

My Rating: 3/5

All Fall Down 3.5/5 | See How They Run 3/5 | Take The Key and Lock Her Up 2/5

overall

This series reminds me a lot of the latter half of the Gallagher Girl Series: meaning it has a more mature and serious vibe to it. It takes a little while to build up, but once it does and the pieces fall together, it really doesn’t stop! I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Read if You Like: thrillers, political intrigue, mystery
Avoid if You: want more romance, can’t stand jaded heroines

similarreads

  • I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls Series #1)
  • Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglin (Cold Fury Trilogy #1)
  • Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer (Trust Me Series #1)

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Series Review: Real by Katy Evans

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

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Real (from Goodreads):
A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…
He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…
Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.
He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .
But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.
I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.
If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

breakdown

Series: Real
Author: Katy Evans
# of Books: 6 (Real, Mine, Remy, Rogue, Ripped, Book 6)
Book Order: Real and Mine are Chronological, Remy is the alternate POV sequel to Real the rest of the series is Connected
Complete?: No, Book 6, will be published Fall 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Drama
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single (Real, Mine, Remy); Alternate (Rogue, Ripped)Publication Dates: April 2013 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Real is one of those books that has been haunting me on my Kobo account’s recommendation list since it was published. And while I was intrigued by it and all the positive reviews my Goodreads’ friends had given it, I simply can’t afford to shell out $10 a book to read the series. So when my library got copies of the book, I immediately added my name to the hold list.

I knew that the males were going to be top alpha dogs before I even started and while that usually doesn’t appeal to me, I was going to keep an open mind. I also figured these books were going to be more erotica than contemporary romance so I didn’t expect thrilling, complex plot lines either.

How to Phrase this…

My feelings on Real (both as a book and as a series) are mixed and I can understand why some people might give it an extremely low rating after reading it while others love it. In all honesty, I was enjoying it until I started to write this review (because I was writing this as I was reading it) and after I creeped some of the reviews on Goodreads to see what others thought of it. Reading this book after I did that was like when you notice someone’s bad habit for the first time and then that is all you can notice in the future.

I found that all the books in this series were kinda like that: the more I thought about them, the more I disliked them. It was weird because when I started to read the book, I was really enjoying it. But when I returned to reading it later, I didn’t like it that much and the same can be said for the subsequent times I picked up these books. There are two reasons I think this happened to me: 1) is the development of the heroines; and 2) the repetitiveness of the writing. And they both go hand in hand at times.

The Plot:

So, the plot isn’t really anything stellar, especially in Real. They definitely improve in the subsequent novels where we get some more “suspense” romance plot lines but for the most part, these books are just the heroines describing the virility of their men.

Yup, you read that right: virility.

The entire first half of Real is literally Brooke describing how the primal instincts in her are attracted to the “virile” man Remy is (It’s the same situation in the other books as well, though the page count is a little less). Honestly: there is a paragraph describing how the “female” in her wants to “mate” with Remy because she wants his genetics for her babies–I kid you not. And while the scientist in me appreciates that fact that this is a true human reaction, it just seemed a little over the top to me.

Personally, I could have done without all the redundant descriptions of how Remy turns her on–I got it after the first two times thank you. Brooke uses the worst words possible to describe their sexual encounters and often repeats them numerous times within a paragraph. Some are just hilarious to me and even now I have a silly grin on my face because I can’t believe that anyone would refer to their private parts like that.

But it also seems to dampen the flow of the book because you will be getting narration about where they are and then suddenly, BAM–Brooke’s describing how hot Remy makes her for two pages before BAM–you get shoved back into the actual scene narration. This gets better in the sequel books but they definitely have the same vibe.

It’s a shame because Remy’s story is actually interesting and it kinda takes a backseat to Brooke’s descriptions of his eight-pack. Same in the other books with the other leads. And when we do get the drama, it is over the top and a tad ridiculous but I guess that is the consequence of fiction.

The Characters:

I really struggled with these heroines. Heroines really make or break a series for me. I think it’s because I am a female so I can easily put myself in their shoes as opposed to a male character. And I’ll be honest: the primal alpha male heroes we get in this series really do nothing for me but I came into this series knowing that I wouldn’t particularly love them so it didn’t necessarily bother me.

What bothered me was that Brooke has the maturity of a 16 year old fangirl–which means she has very little. Even when we switch narrators in the other books in the series, I found that the delivery was much the same. The heroines become those immature girls who don’t see their self-worth without a man in their lives. And as soon as they do find their partner, they get immediately clingy. Basically, it’s the grown woman’s condition of Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome and it is just plain annoying. (Though to be fair, Pandora’s story, Ripped, doesn’t completely fall into this scenario.)

The Romance:

As I said before, these are basically books about acting on your lust. Two of the three couples have an insta-connection type of romance; the exception is Ripped where it is a second chance romance. I appreciated that one a lot more than the other two in that respect.

What I did love was the chemistry and the sexual tension. That is definitely one nice thing about insta-love stories because there is always so much frustration and close encounters before the big consummation.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I really have no idea who the next story in the series is about though I have a pretty good guess. I’ll read it just for the sake of finishing this series but it’s not high on my “have to read it now!” list.

Fun Fact:

Before I read Real I never knew that “scent” could be used as a verb–and after reading it 10 times as a verb I understand why: it’s annoying and awkward!

My Rating: 3/5

overall

I’m not sure what everyone else was reading but I don’t think I read the same thing. If you don’t mind clingy heroines, alpha males and over the top dramatics with lots of sex scenes, this is a good series for you! It just didn’t live up to the expectations I had in place and I found that I felt more frustrated than happy when reading these books.

Read if You Like: alpha males, over dramatics, lots of sex
Avoid if You: can’t tolerate petty heroines, crude language

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Series Review: The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley 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:

book4 book5 book6

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Poison Princess (from Goodreads):
She could save the world—or destroy it.

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side.

breakdown

Series: Arcana Chronicles
Author: Kresley Cole
# of Books: 6 (Full Reading Order)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, The Dark Calling will be published in Spring 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Post Apocalyptic, Romance, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy
Heat Rating: really warm *spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: public library–hardcopies & eBook

thoughts

My Expectations:

In the same vein of bestselling adult romance author Gena Showalter writing a Young Adult Series (White Rabbit Chronicles), Kresley Cole has done the same thing with the Arcana Chronicles. And like Showalter, I had never read a book by Cole until I picked up this YA series.

The Concept:

I wanted to read Poison Princess because the premise really interested me. It sounded like it was going to be like the White Rabbit Chronicles meets The Scorch Trials–two of my favourite apocalyptic themed books–but with a Tarot Card theme (instead of zombies or science fiction) so I just had to read it! Once I started reading it though it also reminded me of a lot of other novels. Not in the sense that it is a carbon copy of these other books but that it incorporates elements that I have come across in other series. For example: Evie’s character reminds me a lot of Isobel from Nevermore; and the post-apocalyptic world and book delivery reminds me of The Blood of Eden Trilogy. (Endless Knight also had some Cruel Beauty vibes coming from it as well).

But the whole tarot card aspect is definitely a unique feature of this story and its best feature for sure.

The Plot:

Unfortunately, Poison Princess (to me) falls prey to the same issue The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) did: it’s boring until the very end. I didn’t mind the beginning so much (before the apocalypse) because it had some character development, but there is a solid 100 pages where nothing of importance happens. I’m not lying. I honestly don’t think anything happened to progress the plot forward other than days passing. The last 50 pages definitely improve with the addition of a few new characters and the actual progression of the supernatural plotline.

I could probably rant for a few days on why I didn’t like Poison Princess, but I’ll just keep it short here:

  • The supernatural elements really don’t come into play near the very end which sucks! I feel like Poison Princess simply served as a really long prequel novella because it didn’t do much to set up the Arcana Game in the slightest, rather it just introduced you to Evie and her life before the apocalypse.
  • The romance just fizzled for me! I really didn’t see the connection besides the physical lust. Jackson isn’t anything to write home about in my books so I was disappointed in that aspect as well.
  • Evie is just plain annoying! She is not the kick-ass heroine I wanted. She is a petty, immature girl who isn’t all that bright either. I get that she is 16 and all, but the world is ending! Being thankful that you don’t have to shave your legs because you had laser hair removal isn’t something I would worry about in an apocalypse! I really didn’t connect with her whatsoever and all I really wanted to do was slap some sense into her as I turned the pages!

Part of the problem is that I built up what the plot of this book was going to be in my head before I ever read it. I really thought the focus was going to be more on Evie finding other Arcana characters in this new world. Not her wandering boringly towards one destination for 200 pages.

Turns out that Endless Knight is the book that I thought I was getting with Poison Princess. This book managed to keep my attention the entire time and actually had some plot development to it. Evie was still annoying to me, but I felt like she had some great character development so she went from “extremely annoying” to “annoying”–which is quite the leap. I also liked the romance a touch more as well–I think this is the rare case where a love triangle actually helps the story progress. But what I really think helped with this book was the addition of more characters that I found to be much more interesting to me. Reading Endless Knight made me happy I continued on with the series despite the painful drag that was Poison Princess.

Dead of Winter is probably my favourite of the 3. I quickly motored through it because the plot is fast, the action is high and–dare I say it–I actually started to like Evie as a character. I know! CrAzY! Well, it’s partly true: I liked Evie the “let’s-get-down-to-fighting” Evie, not the “I-can’t-decide-between-the-two” Evie. Evie has a true case of Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome when it comes to “dealing” with her love triangle. Man-oh-man, I don’t know why she struggles so much with just saying the full truth to these boys who constantly fawn over her! It would solve a lot of problems other than assuming shit all the time! I also don’t know why there were 50 pages dedicated to each boy giving his case for why she should pick her–let’s just get on with the story please!

The Romance:

Speaking of the romance, I think I have to mention that it borders more on the “older” scale of young adult reads. If you are someone who doesn’t like sex being mentioned in their YA reads or having it described in more detail (I’m not talking full blown erotica, merely descriptions of how the body is reacting, etc) you might not like this series. The sexual situations aren’t really a huge focus of the books but it is definitely present. (For those who have read the White Rabbit Chronicles, the sex scenes here are the same as in it)

updates

–July 11, 2017– Book #4: Arcana Rising

This started very slowly for me and while it did pick up, I feel like it was just coasting along to get to the end. Bigger things are definitely in store for this series but this book was nothing more than a (necessary) bridge in the middle.

concSLOW

My Rating: 3.5/5

Poison Princess 2.5/5  |  Endless Knight 3.5/5  |  Dead of Winter 4/5  |  Arcana Rising 3.5/5 |  The Dark Calling TBR

overall

Poison Princess lived up to its name in my opinion: it truly poisoned my views for the other books because I really struggled to read it. The series definitely gets better as you go, especially when the Arcana aspect of the plot actually comes into fruition and more characters are introduced. But the love triangle and heroine are often hard to swallow, even in the later books. It’s definitely a series that you have to invest into to enjoy

Read if You Like: slow building stories, post-apocalyptic worlds, fights to the death
Avoid if You Dislike: petty heroines, love triangles (extreme), slow starts

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Series Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

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

Series:

There is a prequel series called the Nightshade Prequel Series.

There is also a prequel adult erotica series called Captive: the Forbidden Side of Nightshade

There is also a spin-off series called the Nightshade Legacy

Author: Andrea Cremer
# of Books: 3 (Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Bloodrose)

There are 3 novellas: #0.5 Shadow Days, #2.5 Treachery, and #3.5 Aftermath

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves, Magic, Romance
Heat Rating: warm (but pretty steamy for a Young Adult read)
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

I actually read Nightshade 3 years ago and Wolfsbane 2 years ago but decided to reread both before I finally read the grande finale, Bloodrose this fall. Part of the reason was that the year between reading the first two novels really caused me some hardships as I couldn’t remember some of the finer details of the plot which in turn altered my reading experience. So I knew the two years between Wolfbane and Bloodrose wouldn’t be any better and subsequently put in my holds at the library to get my hands on these books.

When I first read Nightshade, I really enjoyed it though I did have my negatives about it. Rereading reaffirmed my initial impression: I like this series and the concept of it but dislike the heroine. I really don’t enjoy werewolf novels; they just don’t do anything for me other than piss me off with overprotective alpha males and silly (often nonexistent in the adult genre) plot-lines. I know that that appeals to some people but it sure doesn’t to me. And while this series does have some of those moments, I find it’s a lot more toned down (in some things) and it has a more intricate plot that peaks my interest.

That’s the best way to describe this series: an adult werewolf read for young adults. Because the sexual tension is there (Calla is probably one, if not the, horniest young adult heroine I have ever come across) complete with the love triangle and the alpha males that are supposed to get your heart racing; it just isn’t as descriptive as an adult paranormal read would be (though you get a pretty good idea of what is going down if you catch my drift). I guess that’s why the Captive: Forbidden Side of Nightshade series was created because this trilogy often bordered on adult content so I could definitely see Cremer doing a more adult series like she has.

One of the negatives with this series is Calla. Man, I really want to like her because she has everything she needs to be a strong, independent heroine and for the most part I would say she is independent. But her ultimate flaw is her flare for over-dramatics. She just flips like a switch in her moods at times and it doesn’t help that she is torn between two love interests for the entire series. One minute she wants to smack Ren then the next she is shivering in lust to be with him; same with Shay. This love triangle is one of the sole reasons why I hate love triangles in novels. It also doesn’t help that I am totally Team Ren through and through so I really can’t stand anything Shay does and in turn, anything Calla does with Shay. Calla actually reminds me a lot of Zoey from the House of Night Series, and not in a good way. Although Calla doesn’t have multiple love interests per book (she thankfully just has the two) she still is extremely self-absorbed about her romantic relationships and is constantly making out with them then subsequently feeling quilt for doing so.

It gets tiring–this back and forth between Calla and the two boys and by Bloodrose it was driving me nuts! I found Wolfsbane didn’t have much of a plot: it was mostly just Calla worrying about who she would choose between Ren and Shay. That got even worse in Bloodrose. By the time I was 50 pages in I couldn’t handle it anymore and had to read the synopsis for the Aftermath novella in the hopes it would tell me who she picked. It didn’t but I accidentally read a spoiler so that made things go a little smoother.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending of Bloodrose. Having read the entire series in a week I honestly was getting kind of bored with it (mostly because of the love triangle thing) and I think I just wanted it to end. I understand why some people hate the ending given the two twists we get near the end, I do a little bit too. But it honestly ended how I thought it would so in the end, no biggie.

I didn’t read any of the other novellas in the series (Shadow Days and Treachery) with the exception of Aftermath. I didn’t read the first two because I really could care less about Shay and Treachery just didn’t interest me. I don’t feel like I lost any reading experience by not reading them. Aftermath is a good one to read if you are interested in reading the spin-off series, Nightshade Legacy. But it doesn’t really wrap up everything if you are expecting an epilogue type of novella.

Despite not totally loving this series, I think I am going to give Nightshade Legacy a shot because I really like one of the characters it focuses on and I’m interested to see where the plot will go next.

Conclusion:

This series really lost momentum for me after the first book. Cool concept, interesting plot and awesome secondary characters but Calla as a heroine really disappointed me. If you enjoy werewolf reads and/or love triangle obsessed novels, this is the series for you. However, if you are like me and wanted to tear your hair out reading Twilight because of Bella’s love triangle, this is NOT the series for you.

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No

Similar Reads: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight Saga #1); Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves Trilogy #1) and Marked by P.C. Cast (House of Night Series #1)

Synopsis for Nightshade (from Goodreads):
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Series Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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

Series: Everneath Trilogy
Author: Brodi Ashton
# of Books: 3 (Everneath, Everbound, Evertrue)

There is a novella that is listed after book one called Neverfall.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Underworld, Paranormal
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

Everneath was one of those series that I just never got fully into. If I really think about it there are probably two reasons why that is: 1) I didn’t like the heroine and 2) reading the books so far apart from each other.

I’ll start with the publication gap; it isn’t anything new really, books take forever to get released nowadays. But with this series I read each book as soon as they came out (the exception being the final book) so each book had at least a year between them. The Everneath world isn’t overly complicated but there is a way that the world operates and certain terms used and I would forget that between each book (or get them confused with a similar book). So I always felt a little lost when I started on the sequel books; but I eventually did get back into the swing of things once i got further into the novel. I recommend reading these books as close together as possible to make sure you keep everything straight.

The main reason I didn’t get into these books was because of Nikki, the heroine of the novel. She and I just didn’t connect and that caused her to irritate the crap out of me. She was slightly more tolerable once I got to Evertrue (book 3) but I still didn’t like her. She was unnecessarily angsty to me which always irritates me. Her romance with Jack is one of those overly sweet high-school first loves that really did nothing for me (and I’m a romantic at heart). I much preferred Cole over Jack (so I loved the novella Neverfall which focused on Cole). Cole was a much more complex character than Jack and a lot more fun to read about. And because I liked him so much I really didn’t want him to be stuck with Nikki in the Everneath for eternity (’cause I wouldn’t want her stuck with me for eternity); nevertheless, I was still rooting for him all the way.

As for the books themselves, they moved at a slower pace for me and were often singlular in their plots. I find that as I read more books, I tend to enjoy series that have multiple plot lines going on and as a result I can’t seem to put them down. Reading Evertrue was definitely a chore for me to get through. I would often zone out reading it because it just couldn’t keep my attention. I think Everbound (book 2) was the best for keeping my attention because it actually had some interesting, unpredictable plot twists.

Conclusion:

I’ve read better Young Adult underworld/immortal-focused series than this one. I think if the Revenants Trilogy and the Goddess Test Trilogy had a book offspring together, this would be the result. If you enjoy slower paranormal stories about true loves and immortality, this is probably a good one for you to read. It just didn’t do it for me, though I love the covers.

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No

Similar Reads: Die for Me by Amy Plum (Revenants Trilogy #1) and The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter (The Goddess Test Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Everneath (from Goodreads):
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.

DNF Review: Until I Met You by Jaimie Roberts

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Until I Met You (from Goodreads):
What happens when the worlds of two tortured souls collide?

Angelina Bradshaw has always believed that she does not need a man in her life. That’s what she has been telling herself her entire adult life. She feels worlds apart from her family’s dreams for her to meet a man, settle down, and have babies. She certainly can’t be doing that because love just gets in the way. She has a ‘go to’ guy and that’s enough for her.

Living in rural Cornwall, she is bored and in desperate need of adventure, so when a family friend offers her a job in London, there’s no hesitation. She expected adventure, she expected a new start, but what she didn’t expect was to meet a man who would turn her life upside-down. Seth Jacobs is hot, sexy, and can’t understand why Angelina doesn’t want him. No one has ever said no to Seth Jacobs—in fact—they all fall at his feet.

Seth pursues her relentlessly and Angelina fights him at every corner. He is the only man who has ever affected her, and the need to run from him is immense. However, Seth is not one to give up so easily. He soon finds himself on a mission, determined to win her heart.

Unfortunately for Angelina, all is not well when her past and present collide after receiving some unwelcoming and frightening news from home. She feels desperate and alone, but most of all, she feels she has to push Seth away before it’s too late.

To make matters worse, a catastrophic secret from the past is revealed, threatening to destroy the one thing, Angelina finally holds dear to her heart.

Review:

PLEASE NOTE: That I only read until the end of Chapter 6 (page 91) for this book and did not finish it prior to publishing this review. Find out why below…

I got this book as an Amazon Freebie one day and decided to read it right away because of the positive reviews on Goodreads and the synopsis captured my attention (also, I needed a standalone novel for my blog post this week). But once I was 50 pages in I started to wonder if I was reading the same thing as everyone else…

I can get past the slightly sloppy writing and editing errors when reading a book, especially ones that I get for free on Amazon because they are mostly self-published. And that was my plan going into this book after reading the reviews. However, I can’t get past slow plot lines and annoying heroines. I almost enacted my 50 page rule but decided to give the book the benefit of the doubt because we hadn’t met Seth yet (yes, that’s how slow the book is) and I had hoped he was going to save the book.

He didn’t…

And the reason is Angelina. Of course every man in the world is attracted to her and I have no idea why. For a 26 year old woman she acts like she’s 15 at times. Perhaps I expected her to be more mature considering “her secret from the past” but I was very disappointed in her as a character. I just didn’t like her at all and because the book is told solely from her POV it irritated me beyond belief. Lots of other reviews said she was “funny”–again, I fail to see how. I laugh at everything and I never laughed at anything she said/did. I just didn’t like her.

As I mentioned before, the book was slow. Certain plot points weren’t needed. For example the first chapter could have been greatly reduced to get the same message across and get into the thick of things. Because from what I’ve read from others’ reviews, there were some great twists along the way. I just wish we got that momentum earlier in the book because I probably would have stuck it out if we did.

Conclusion:

As of this moment, I don’t have any plans to finish this book. I was 1/3 of the way through when I stopped reading and I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything as I write this review. Just poor execution and nothing original (from what I read) in terms of contemporary romance. Pass.

Rating: 1/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Hell no.

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Contemporary, Romances, Drama, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Worst Reads 2014
Similar Reads: Reflect Me by K. B. Webb (Reflect Me Series #1) and Chosen Heart by Ann Stewart (Hart Series #1)

DNF Series Review: Hart by Ann Stewart and Stephanie Nash

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

The Hart Series

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Guilty Pleasure Read 2014
Series: The Hart Series
Author: Ann Stewart and Stephanie Nash
# of Books: 3 (Chosen Heart, Shattered Heart, Destined Heart)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Drama, Soap Opera, Workplace Romance
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts on Chosen Heart:

Disclaimer: I will not be picking up the sequel, Shattered Heart. Find out why below…

When I read the synopsis for this book when browsing Kindle’s Bestseller Freebie lists, I was really excited to read it. Never mind the other 100 books that I had previously acquired for my Kindle or the books I had out from the library–I had to read this one. The whole “you don’t marry your dirty little secret” line of the synopsis is what really drew me in. In my mind, that meant I was in for some good drama and a dash of mystery so I was there.

My initial impression of Chosen Heart was that is was very Fifty Shades of Grey-esque. A younger, just starting out in the real world (in this case a new job) girl meets a mysterious rich, slightly older man; has a best friend who is in love with her and features the classic “I’ll save you” at the bar scene. But to be fair to this book, it isn’t a regurgitation of Fifty Shades. Yes it has similar elements but I didn’t feel as though I was rereading Fifty Shades. Another key difference is that this book features an alpha male but one who isn’t super rich or into BDSM–so score there on that last point (unless you like that kind of thing)! So while this book starts as your typical contemporary, business setting romance it moves in a completely different direction.

The best way to describe this book is as a soap opera in a novel. There is a lot of back and forth between Alex and Elyssa in terms of their relationship and there are plenty of rivals for their affections at every turn. The last quarter of the book is the very definition of a soap opera to me when everything starts to come together and the drama unfolds. I felt like I was watching an episode of Dallas because it got very soapy near the end 😛

Truth be told, I probably would have stopped reading it because it felt like it was dragging at times. It’s weird to say that things were dragging considering everything really happens in a matter of days but it just seemed like it was the same regurgitation of things: he likes me, he ignores me, we reunite, we stop talking, ex-boyfriend shows up, etc. But this book kind-of became a guilty pleasure to me because I really wanted to know what all the secrets were. And I have to say that while I had my suspicions about what they would be and I was correct, there were a few good spins that I didn’t see coming that really added to the over-the-top drama.

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the characters of Alex and Elyssa. Sometimes I would like them and other times I just wanted to smack them on the head. I never really liked Elyssa to be honest though there were a few moments I thought I might get on her side. She just rubbed me the wrong way with how she handled things and I felt like she was expecting too much from something that happened so quickly. She makes a lot of assumptions about things and sometimes the assumptions seemed so out of left field. Though to be fair, Alex was just as bad with his assumptions as well.

Alex was a very alpha male character and I didn’t feel that it was totally warranted at times considering they just met. I also felt like he was just going through the motions of the stereotypical alpha male but was missing a few things along the way. I didn’t always get how he got from point A to B–I just felt like he was missing a piece to his character here and there. Most of the time I think it was used to create drama for the reader but all it did for me was irritate me because it seemed to be so senseless. But I did like him when he expressed his views about the “big freshman secret” because he was completely right in my opinion–even if I didn’t like his physical reaction to it.

As I was finishing this book, I sort-of came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be reading the sequel. I didn’t love Chosen Hart as much as I thought and I really didn’t see what could happen in a sequel–so I wasn’t about to subject myself to more “he loves me, he loves me not” chapters. But once I got to the final few chapters, I found myself curious to see what would happen next. I think if my reading list permits it, I will check out the sequel but as of this moment, I am going to leave the series as is and finish it at a later time.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a good soap opera book, this is it. I felt like I was watching an episode of the Bold and the Beautiful unfold before my eyes as I read. A definite guilty pleasure read!

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) and Wanted by Kelly Elliot (Wanted Series #1)

Synopsis for Chosen Heart (from Goodreads):
Elyssa Hart has tried to forget that frightful night during her freshman year of college. Since then it’s been hard to let anyone close, which is why she only has one friend near and dear to her heart. Forsaking all others, she lives a silent, lonely existence. That was until she jumped into the next chapter of her life; Sales Executive at the prestigious Salerno Health, Inc.

The moment she met the always calm and collected Alexander James, her life was set on a new path. One moment she’s slowly falling in love and the next she’s plummeting painfully to the ground with the realization that you don’t marry your dirty little secret; you keep her in the closet. That was, until she found out she was not his only kept secret.

Will the enigma of Mr. James be more than Elyssa can handle? Or will she choose him, like she promised she always would.

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Series Review: House of Night by P.C. Cast

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Series: House of Night
Author: P.C and Kristin Cast
# of Books: 12 (Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, Destined, Hidden, Revealed, Redeemed)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Redeemed will be published in October, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Romance, Drama, Action
Heat Rating: very warm (for a Young Adult Novel)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That as of May, 2014 I have only read up to Destined (Book 9) of the series.

I started this series as a recommendation from a co-worker. She absolutely loved this series and I had liked her previous suggestions so I decided to give this series a try.

I really did enjoy the first novel, Marked. It was a different spin on vampires and I liked that it was much darker than other Young Adult vampire reads. It was also a lot “spicier” than other books in the genre (definitely a result of PC Cast being an adult romance writer) as it mentions a lot more sexual content. Which was a bit of a shock to me because I hadn’t really come across that too much in other books but it isn’t full out descriptive by any means. Overall, it was your typical intro book to a longer running series.

One thing I knew from the start was that I didn’t like Zoey. Ugh–she is the definition of my most disliked heroine in a Young Adult series ever (though Bella Swan is a very close first). I just never connected well with her and Lead-Heroine Self-Sacrifice Syndrome. It is also no secret that I am NOT a fan of love triangles and this book has them in plenty. But wait…it gets better! Not only does Zoey find herself in one love triangle but she practically has 12 going on at the same time (no lie, she legit has 4 boys vying for her attention at any one time). I remember reading somewhere that this was done intentionally to have a female lead with polyamory because of something or other–but it’s just too over the top for me. It just drove me nuts because I never really liked any of the male romantic leads (except one really) and I just hated the flip-flopping back and forth.

When I started the series, there were only 6 books in the series–so I thought that was where it was going to end. Which would of been fine as I liked how the plot was progressing. But once I reached book 7, Tempted, I realized that wasn’t the case.

To me, this is one of those series that has suffered from its popularity and fandom in the case that the plot gets dragged out because readers want more. As is the case with a lot of other series **coughcoughCROSSFIREcoughcough** I think the series overall takes a hit. Do I necessarily remember how much I enjoyed the first set of books? No, but because I haven’t enjoyed the last 3 or so novels as much so it creates a bias to me that I didn’t enjoy the others that much either (though to be truthful this series never did too much for me anyways). I just feel like the plot has gone in a completely different direction and they keep doing stupid things just for the sake of dragging this series out.

As I said at the start of this post, I have only read up until book 9, Destined. Part of the problem was that I got tired of waiting a year to read each new book when I wasn’t totally in love with the series anymore. I’m probably going to finish the series just for the sake of finishing it, but I’m in no rush to do so. For anyone in the same boat or who doesn’t want to read it, Wikipedia has extensive plot overviews that will help you get back on track or finish the series for you.

According to the Wikipedia page for the series, 5 movies are planned for the series. Personally, I would have rather seen this a s a TV series more than anything with the way the series and its romances progress. The thought of it as a movie slightly scares me in that I fear it will do extremely well at the box office (though I don’t think that will be the case) and be a massive hit when other book-movie series like the Mortal Instruments, Vampire Academy and Beautiful Creatures have substantially better characters and plotlines yet flopped at the box office. I probably will watch the movie if it is made but I won’t be going opening weekend…

Conclusion:

If you like high drama, love triangles galore and sexier Young Adult reads, you will probably love this series. But if you hate love triangles, like your heroines with a little more backbone and don’t enjoy dragged out plots, AVOID this series.

Rating: 3/5 (The first half of the series deserves the 3, the last half deserves a 2.5)

Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #1) and Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods #1)

Synopsis for Marked (from Goodreads):
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire — that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Series Review: Heart of Stone by K.M. Scott

Series: Heart of Stone Trilogy
Author: K.M. Scott
# of Books: 3 (Crash Into Me, Fall Into Me, Give in to Me)

There is an epilogue novella called Ever After to be published

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes, though the novella is yet to be published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person (later books alternate POV)

Thoughts:

I was hesitant to buy Crash Into Me and read it but I hoped it would be like the Fixed Trilogy so I eventually caved and bought it.

The first chapter of Crash Into Me almost made me stop reading. It was one of the most frustrating opening to a book that I have ever had to endure. I encountered some stupid and naïve heroines but Nina is definitely in a league of her own. The best word I can think to classify her as is “delusional”.

warning

WARNING: this is a bit of a spoiler but seeing as it happens in the first chapter, I’m not going to hide it.

Of course like all cliché contemporary erotica romances, it all starts with a glance at a stranger across the room. I don’t fault the girl for being attracted to him–but what I can fault her for is her stupidity. She gets into his car and is simultaneously wondering if he is going to kiss her or kill her and chop her into tiny little pieces as he takes her outside the city. Um–what?! Why do you want this man who essentially kidnapped you to kiss you? I don’t care how good looking he is! Have some pride you stupid broad!

There are a few other prize winning Nina moments where she wonders if they are going to continue dating after meeting him for the second time; another is when she signs a contract without reading every page despite the fact that she knows something is up. Oh and keep in mind that up until this point she has probably only heard 20 words from him that weren’t a yes or no answer.

I tell you, the number of times I had to put down the book to take a big breath and pull my hair out is astounding–I’m surprised I still have hair.

Tristan isn’t any better. He is the stereotypical alpha male billionaire who sweeps her off her feet. I personally found it extremely creepy and I would be begging Nina to run if I was her friend Jordan–who, of course, thinks it is a brilliant idea to do all of this with a strange but rich man. Emphasis on the “rich” man part because his wanting to take care of her is all that her friend will need to be happy in life. *eye roll* I also found his character to be really unstable in the sense that he would appear one way and then another. His character and personality is never consistent throughout the book which is frustrating. I suppose it is attributed to his past but it really came out of nowhere at times.

*End Of Possible Spoilers*

Considering my rant, it is probably a surprise that I actually continued to read this book. I thought about giving up, but kind of like a train wreck, I just had to keep going. Eventually, it got better once some time passed in the plot. The relationship between Nina and Tristan got to be a lot healthier and I could sort of see their connection together. Near the end of Crash Into Me, we get more plot than their “intense” romance and it makes the story more interesting. I was still pulling my hair out and eye rolling as I read the last half of the book but I was “enjoying” the book I suppose.

Fall Into Me starts right after Crash Into Me but this time we are offered an alternating POV between Nina and Tristan. I welcomed this because it allowed for more insight into Tristan as a character. Even with the added perspective I still feel like I don’t know him too well but I suppose part of his appeal is the “mysterious” part of him. I felt like parts of Fall Into Me were added simply for the sake of making it “risqué” (just like a scene in Crash Into Me which was completely unnecessary). I could have done without them and I think the book would be better off without them. Overall,  the book was interesting and kept my attention though parts just felt like rehashes of the first book.

Give in to Me didn’t do much for me. There was only so much “I love you”‘s and sappy bits I could take before it started to take its toll. I just found it to be dull and even when the “suspense” part of the plot picked up, I just didn’t really care. Some good little twists at the end but not enough to wow me in any way.

I will be reading the novella, Ever After, when is comes out just for the sake of closure though I did like the way Give in to Me ended. I think the epilogue is just a bit of a treat for readers.

Conclusion:

While this series isn’t the worst contemporary series that I have read, it definitely isn’t the best. A promising plot just a poor execution and it really isn’t anything that I haven’t read before. I personally wouldn’t recommend this series to my friends because it irritated me at times; but it you want a story that is heavy on physical attraction and has a bit of a mystery to it, this series might be worth your time. Otherwise, pass.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Release Me by J. Kenner (Stark Trilogy #1); Down to You by M. Leighton (The Bad Boys #1) and Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige (Fixed on You Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Crash Into Me (from Goodreads):
What would you give up for everything?

Tristan Stone was powerful, commanding, sex incarnate. And he wore it all so well. From the moment his mesmerizing gaze met mine, I had no choice but surrender to everything he was. His power. His decadence. His passion. He was all I never knew I needed.

He wanted to possess me, and I wanted to be his everything. All I had to do was accept what he offered. But everything has a price.

The world he gave me fulfilled my wildest dreams, but would that be enough when the past crashed into the present?

Series Review: Rebel by Elle Casey

Series: Rebel Trilogy
Author: Elle Casey
# of Books: 3 (Rebel, Hellion, Trouble)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Humour?, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: I have not read book 2 (Hellion) or book 3 (Trouble) of this series before publishing this review!

Rebel was a book I bought using my mass amount of coupons from a recent Kobo contest and I was really excited to buy and read it. I’m not sure why looking back because the synopsis is pretty vague and doesn’t sound overly promising. I think it was the “humour” tag that was associated with the book and the high rating it has on Goodreads that  contributed to me wanting to read this book first from the pile I bought.

I fear that I may have lost my funny bone in the last few months because these “funny” books have been doing nothing for me. I find it weird because I am the first person to laugh at something and I really do laugh at everything–from the immature jokes to the witty ones. That isn’t to say that I didn’t chuckle to myself during parts of the book–because I did–but those moments were few and far between.

Part of the problem was Teagan. I really wanted to like her but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t like how immature she seemed to be (I’m the same age as her in the book and I felt like I was reading the mind of a teenager) and some of the things she says are just weird. I get quirky–I get the appeal, honestly–but there is a fine line between being adorkably quirky and just being plain weird and I fear Teagan is on the train to oddball station. She also isn’t the brightest person in the world and I really didn’t see too many other redeemable qualities about her either so I really had a hard time liking her.

Not liking Teagan put me at a big disadvantage too because the first half of the book is her trying to orient her new life and features very little romance or even flirting between her and Rebel. I didn’t feel any of the sexual tension between the two of them for the longest time and when there finally is some contact, I still didn’t really feel it and that really was disappointing to me. I wish part of the book was told from Rebel’s perspective because I would have gotten a better read on his character and simply had a break from being in Teagan’s mind. I also would want to see his perspective about why he even likes Teagan because it is truly beyond me.

As you can see by the warning at the top of this section, I haven’t read the next two books in the series. At the moment, I am undecided. As I was reading, I was looking forward to the next book because I liked the hero. However, once I finished Rebel, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to tolerate the heroine because she is Teagan’s BFF and shares a lot of the same traits. I am curious to learn more about the plot that was left hanging in Rebel regarding Teagan’s dad’s business but I really didn’t like the book enough for me to even care. Trouble looks a little more promising (or at least interesting to me) so I might suck it up and read Hellion one day but at this moment in time, I won’t be going out of my way to read it.

Conclusion:

If you want a book filled with great sexual chemistry–AVOID REBEL. I found Rebel to be more about Teagan learning to find her place in the world and she just happens to stumble along some man who likes her for some bizarre reason. I didn’t find it funny–but based on other reviews it seems like I am in a minority. My recommendation is to get the preview and see if you can tolerate Teagan’s mind before you buy this book.

Rating: 2/5

Similar Reads: Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage (Forbidden Men Series #1);  Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover (Welcome to the Point Trilogy #1) and Stardust by Mimi Strong(Peaches Monroe Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Rebel (from Goodreads):
Teagan Cross, college senior, rebel, and wiseass extraordinaire, goes from princess to pauper in a single phone call. Overnight, her life of privilege becomes one of survival, and no matter where she turns, it seems like the world is out to get her. She’s not going to fall apart, though. She’s a rebel and she’s strong … determined to live life on her own terms … and nothing’s going to stop her from getting things done and making things right. But when a twist of fate brings her to the doorstep of a different kind of Rebel, she’s forced to figure out when something’s worth fighting for and when something’s worth letting go.