Tag «annoying heroine»

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.

Series Review: Infinity by Layne Harper

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

Infinity Series

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Most Annoying Couple 2014, Least Favourite Read (Falling into Infinity) 2014
Series: Infinity Series
Author: Layne Harper
# of Books: 4 (Falling into Infinity, From Now Until Infinity, Finding Infinity, Infinity.)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Drama, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts on Falling Into Infinity:

PLEASE NOTE: That I did not finish the 2nd book in the series, From Now Until Infinity. Read why below…

I was SUPER excited to see this book on Amazon for free one day. It had been on my to-buy list for a very long time and it wasn’t available on Kobo so that made my day when I saw it on the Top 100 Free Reads.

Having just finished the Crash Trilogy, I was looking for something to fill the hole in my New Adult loving heart. To me, the Crash Series is the standard I compare all other New Adult books that have a sports theme to because it was the first one I read and it is one of the best that I have read. So this series seemed to fit the bill perfectly–and even better was the fact that it started right when they were in college!

I thought this book would start from the beginning of their relationship. I thought I would get to see them fall in love and the first book would end the typical way these books do: with a cliff-hanger and them at an impasse in their relationship. But that is NOT what I got at all. What we actually get is alternating flashback chapters about how the two met and got to the current point in their relationship. It was an interesting way to do it and it made me want to keep reading the book to see what happens next; but, I would have liked to have read the book all in order of the sequence of events because I think it would have let me fall in love with the characters.

Charlie was not what I expected either. I thought I would like her; that she would be a strong lead but she was a hard person to like at times (i.e. practically always). She was annoying, selfish and very immature. I didn’t get her thought process and I had a hard time respecting some of her decisions and actions. She just didn’t do it for me and because the story is told from her POV it was hard to read at times; especially when I was rolling my eyes at her.

Colin…sigh…he was a disappointment too. He started so charming and likeable. I felt so sorry for him that he was stuck with a girl like Charlie and I was confused about what he saw in her. But eventually I came to dislike him too. He also turned a little too alpha-male–which turned me off. I actually felt a little disturbed reading this story at times because their relationship was very unhealthy to me. About halfway through I thought we were going to get a relationship-gone-bad type of story because it got a little intense and not in a good, romantic, happy fun-times type of way.

I actually managed to finish Falling Into Infinity despite wanting to give up on it a few times. And at the time I was glad because it seemed like the story was going to get a lot more interesting based on the way it ended. Believe it or not, I was a little excited to see where From Now Until Infinity was going to take us. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stomach Charlie and Colin for more than a few chapters. It was boring, I still didn’t like the characters and I had other books I wanted to read so I put it and the rest of the books at the bottom of my to-read list.

Conclusion:

Knowing that there is a FOURTH book in this series made me glad I stopped reading because I wouldn’t want to feel obligated to read a series I have no interest in but feel the need to finish. This series just didn’t do it for me and it’s a shame because it had all the great makings. But alas, the plot was under utilized making the book slow, the characters came across as self-centred teenagers and everything is slightly overdramatic. Some people might enjoy the slower overdramatic plot but others will not.

Rating: 2/5

Similar Reads: Crash by Nicole Williams (Crash Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Falling Into Infinity (from Goodreads):
Pre-med student Caroline “Charlie” Collins, a sophomore at Texas A&M, knows exactly what she wants in life and the order that it will happen: finish college, complete medical school, and then fall in love. A chance meeting with A&M’s star quarterback Colin McKinney changes everything. A friendship between the two grows over time and blossoms into a powerful love affair. Charlie and Colin must learn to cope with his transition to playing professional football, the crushing attention of the media, and constant demands of his fans. At the same time, she’s struggling with how her dream of attending medical school will fit into their already stressed relationship and Colin’s new life. Falling Into Infinity asks the question is just loving someone enough to make a relationship work?

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Series Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Series: Firelight Trilogy
Author: Sophie Jordan
# of Books: 3 (Firelight, Vanish, Hidden)

There is a spin-off novella that takes place after Hidden called Breathless

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Heat Rating: getting warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

It took me a really long time to finish the series. I actually contemplated not reading the last book (Hidden) when I had it in my hands (for the 5th time it seemed) but when I saw the size of it, I knew I could read it in 2 hours and 2 hours to finish a series I invested double the time into was “worth” it. And to an extent it was–but it is important to start this review from the start.

I started this series right when Firelight came out. This means I was still a teenager and my threshold level for idiotic heroines was a lot higher than it is now. If I were to read Firelight now, I probably would enact my 50-page rule and drop this series all because of Jacinda.

Jacinda is a very hard character to like. She’s vain, selfish, hypocritical and simply annoying. Perhaps the most redeeming quality to her is that she cares for her family–occasionally. I just did not like her and that really throws me off a series–especially when it’s that character telling the story from a first person POV so you have to spend time in their head.

But because I was younger when I read Firelight, I actually didn’t mind it. Part of the reason is the overall concept of the book. If you ignore the love-struck whinny heroine, the premise of the book is really neat. It isn’t everyday that a novel targeted for girls features dragons and as much as I dislike Jacinda, I liked that she was the paranormal creature for once and not her love interest. I don’t particularly like werewolf books so it was a nice change to read about dragons–and Ms. Jordan does this part of the book very well. So while the plot is nothing overtly original, when you strip it down to the basic premise the world it takes place in was interesting for me and that is what held my attention.

Just a note on Ms. Jordan’s writing: when you read her young adult novels it’s obvious that she writes adult romance novels. Her style reminds me a lot of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s (who also writes YA and adult romance novels) in that the romance details are a little more “spicy” than the typical YA novel. This doesn’t mean there are extensive love scenes but there is a lot more talk of sex and more heated kissing descriptions than the average YA novel.

Book 2, Vanish, is where I really started to dislike this series. I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened in this book–it came back to me a bit when I read the description of Hidden and a little more as I was reading Hidden (Jordan does a good job of refreshing details in the sequels). But I spent the vast majority of the book being mad at Jacinda because, low and behold, we get the another Book 2 Curse: the love triangle “climax” plot. UGH. And this love triangle is just as bad as Twilight‘s. Jacinda also suffers from Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome with both boys and to be honest I’m not sure why. Her “interaction” with Will in the first book isn’t enough to fall in love with him (in my opinion) and I’m not sure why she likes him (or him her) to be honest. I think it has something to do with biology (if you do read these books, you can probably see what I am talking about) and nothing else. They have nothing in common and because of that I just didn’t see the connection. So, I think it is obvious that I am team Cassian and I’ve been team Cassian since the get-go. I see them together more so than her and Will for a few reasons but I think it simply comes down to the fact that they are better suited for each other. The love triangle in this series is the prime example of why I can’t stand them in novels and it’s right beside Twilight for worst love triangle ever…but I digress.

I know you are probably thinking: this book probably has a lot of action considering Jacinda is a dragon and Will’s family hunts them. Well, that is a wrong assumption though I totally had the same thought. While there is some exciting “events” this isn’t an action series by any means. There is a lot more action in Hidden than the other 2 novels–which made it more enjoyable to read–but don’t think there are going to be some epic battles. The action is quite tame and isn’t a huge part of the plot lines.

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As I said, Hidden was a lot faster paced (might have been because I was skimming it as well…) but I still found it frustrating to read because Jacinda was in full hypocrite, I-love-him-but-I-love-him-too mode. I have to write about a spoiler here because it’s bursting to come out of me: ( you can’t feel guilty about nearly killing a man who was about to kill you and then feel no guilt–and SAY SO–when a guy who tormented you dies by the hand of someone else because he was attacking that someone. WTF!? Do you hear yourself when you think these ridiculous thoughts in your head! ) There was one really good twist near the end that I didn’t see coming but it’s not enough for me to sing this series’ praises anytime soon. Also, I just need to say this: it was weird reading about Jacinda making out with boys in her dragon form. I’m assuming the picture I have of dragons in my head does NOT match what they look like in the books (or I just missed a descriptive line about what form she was in) but it just gave me the creeps…bleh!

When I was reading reviews of Vanish in an attempt of trying to remember what happened in it, I read a review where the reader suggested that the story should have been told by Tamara because she was a lot more interesting. Listening to Tamara complain in Firelight would have frustrated me to no end; but I really did enjoy her character more in Vanish and Hidden than I did Jacinda’s. So I would have liked more from her and I actually was hoping Breathless, the novella that takes place after Hidden would be about her but it isn’t. It’s actually about Az, Jacinda’s friend who I couldn’t care less for. I’ll read it if we get it at the library but I’m not going to go out of my way.

Conclusion:

I think if I was 16 again, I would enjoy this series. That isn’t to knock or insult 16 year olds everywhere–it’s just that my reading tastes have changed immensely in the years since. I don’t care for love triangles; I can’t stand whinny teenage heroines and I like my novels to have a lot more substantial drama and action. Older YA fans probably won’t enjoy this series as much but if you want to read a mild, quick trilogy series that is also written well than it might be worth a shot.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (Nightshade Series #1)

Synopsis for Firelight (from Goodreads):
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away;if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

DNF Series Review: Peaches Monroe by Mimi Strong

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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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Worst Reads of 2014
Series: Peaches Monroe Trilogy
Author: Mimi Strong
# of Books: 3 (Stardust, Starlight, Starfire)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Humour (?), Romance
Heat Rating: pretty warm – almost hot (at least I think it gets hotter)
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts on Stardust:

Disclaimer: I stopped reading Stardust at Chapter 5. Find out why below…

Stardust was next on my to-buy list when it popped up for free on Kindle. I always love when books I want to buy pop up for free but it also worries me because why is it now free? That is the question I should have asked myself when I started to read this book.

What was I hoping for when I read this book: a Bridget Jones-esque novel. The synopsis hints that this book is going to be a lot of fun, star a hot male lead and a funny heroine. But instead we just get a weird concoction of everything–and not in a good way like Worst Week Ever was.

First, Peaches was about as mature as a child in grade school. I never want to listen to a grown woman call her body-parts what Peaches does in this book–in real life or in fiction. I didn’t find it quirky or funny–I found it disturbing and I am a girl who laughs at everything. Sure it’s a nice change from the often anatomy-driven descriptions we get in some erotica novels but I also like to keep my brain cells as I read a book–not subject them to apoptosis by reading immature drivel. It felt like a pre-teen girl wrote this and was trying to come up with 50 different ways to not say the word penis or vagina

Dalton isn’t any better. I felt indifferent to him and the lure of his big dark secret wasn’t enough to keep me reading. There romance is fast, superficial and based on absolutely nothing other than the fact that they were in each other’s personal spaces longer than 5 minutes.

This book is praised for its wittiness and quirkiness but I think people are using the wrong words for stupidity and juvenile. There isn’t really a plot, there is very little wit and the writing is confusing at times. It’s awkward and not in that good way either. It’s just plain weird and I’m going to have to stop because I am running out of adjectives to describe how bad this book was…

Series Rating: DNF

Stardust 1/5 | Starlight N/A | Starfire N/A

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I’m baffled by the “great” reviews this book has on Goodreads. I think I bowed out of this book around chapter 5–I didn’t even enact my 50 page rule so that should be a good sign of how much I disliked this book. I’m glad I didn’t pay the $1 that this book is usually worth because it is just that bad and stupid. It’s easily one of the worst books I have ever read–and I’ve read some stinkers. I won’t be picking up the sequels anytime soon (i.e.: NEVER!)

Read if You Like: odd heroines, celebrity love stories
Avoid if You: like good romance novels

similarreads
(and by this I mean actual good books that have a similar plot concept that are actually worth your time!):

  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’ Diary #1)
  • Rumour Has It by Elizabeth Grace (Limelight #1)

Synopsis for Stardust (from Goodreads):
There I was, minding my own business at Peachtree Books when this lunatic comes racing in the door and knocks me into his arms. I would have ripped him a new one, but he was kinda familiar, and hot. Like I-want-to-have-your-sexy-babies-now hot.

Turns out he looks familiar because I stare at his gorgeous face on TV every week. Yup, Dalton Deangelo. In the oh-so-firm flesh.

I let him hide out from the press for a while, then I thought he’d be on his way, and I could breathe normally again. But no. He found me interesting. He wanted to tag along to my cousin’s wedding with me. I couldn’t say no to that face … or THOSE EYES. Before the night was through, he was saying sweet things, then dirty things. Very dirty things.

I try to keep my eyes wide open. I’ve made terrible, stupid mistakes in the past. But Dalton Deangelo’s touch turns me to Jell-O.

I’m just a regular girl, and he’s rich and famous with no body fat. The guy has a butler! So, why is he chasing me? And why can’t I say no? And what is this sordid secret of his the reporters are trying to uncover?

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Series Review: Forbidden Men by Linda Kage

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage | Forbidden Men Series

Series: Forbidden Men
Author: Linda Kage
# of Books: 8 (View Full List Here)
Book Order:Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Witty (?)
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book. In theory, it had everything I like in a New Adult read: a past filled with drama; an interesting spin on the relationship–and, added bonus, humour. But in the end, I think that is what made this book a disappointment.

Part of the issue is Reese–she just wasn’t what I expected and because the story is only told from her perspective, it dampens the reading experience. If I had to use three words to describe her I would use: immature, hypocritical and odd.

Knowing what I knew about her past, I expected her to be timid and a little damaged from her past. Perhaps it is a stereotype from the genre, but most heroines who go through a past like hers aren’t very confident and suffer from their ordeal in some sort of way and that was what I was expecting with Reese. However, Reese is a little odd in that she makes light of the situation and seems to have no long-term problems from her situation. And while I can appreciate the fact that she doesn’t let her past get her down, it rubbed me the wrong way because, to me, it felt like they were making the situation seem less serious than it actually is. Not everyone will feel that way to be sure but it set a tone for me that I couldn’t shake off as I read the book.

I also felt like I was reading a book with characters set in high school. My word, if I have to listen to Reese refer to Mason as “Hotness” one more time I think I might scream. I assume that most of Reese’s thoughts were an attempt at humour but they just seemed petty to me. The lack of maturity of the characters again knocked this book down a notch for me. This also explains why I found Reese to be slightly hypocritical because she was heavily influenced by Eva yet would get angry when people were influenced by others. I just felt her character was a little all over the place at times and would have appreciated some consistency.

As for the plot, it felt a little prolonged. The book could have easily been 50 or so pages shorter and not have suffered. I liked watching Reese and Mason interact and I liked that not everything was physical between them and they got to know each other. I personally feel like Mason was too good for Reese but I did warm up to Reese slightly by the end.

Conclusion:

I won’t be going out of my way to read To Professor, with Love anytime soon. Maybe if I can find a cheap copy I’ll consider it but for now, this series is a pass for me. Some people might enjoy the “quirky” character that is Reese but others might find their patience tested by her and find this book a disappointment like me.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Nothing comes to mind immediately.

Synopsis for Price of a Kiss (from Goodreads):
I don’t care what my cousin says; I am not the queen of impossible relationships. I mean, just because my last boyfriend tried to kill me and left a bit of a scar on my neck, then forced me to move across the country and legally change my name to Reese Randall to escape him, does not mean—

Oh, who am I kidding? For a freshman in college, I have to have the worst dating track record ever.

It’s no wonder love is the last thing on my mind when Mason Lowe enters my life. But the chemistry between us is like bam! Our connection defies logic. And he’s just so freaking hot. Being around him makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. I even like bickering with him. He could be my soul mate…except for one teeny tiny glitch.

He’s a gigolo.

Boy, do I know how to pick them.

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Series Review: Keegan’s Chronicles by Julia Crane

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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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Biggest Disappointments 2014
Series: Keegan’s Chronicles
Author: Julia Crane
# of Books: 3 (Coexist, Conflicted, Consumed)

There are 4 spinoff series to read. Find the full list here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Teen, Fantasy, Elves, Romance, Action, Drama
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts on Coexist:

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

Coexist has been on my to-buy and read list for a good amount of time. The main reason is because it focuses on elves and I haven’t been able to find many stories about elves–most books deal with faeries so that intrigued me. I also hoped it would be what the Laurel series wasn’t to me. At a price of $0.99 (CAD) I had no problem picking it up BUT it was free on Amazon one day so I grabbed it for my Kindle.

In the end, I’m glad I didn’t pay for this book: it was such a huge disappointment for me.

I’ll start with the writing: it’s very choppy and almost mechanical in its execution. It just didn’t flow very well and seemed to be mostly dialogue and thoughts. The third person narration makes things very confusing. I found it hard to differentiate between who was thinking what and when because I thought we were following one character and then it would jump to another. Simple line breaks between a change in character focus would have helped a lot with this but the writing in general is nothing fantastic.

Keegan was another let down. I had hoped for a strong female lead that wouldn’t annoy me like Laurel from the Laurel Series did. Laurel was annoying, but I didn’t find her overly annoying until book 2; but with Keegan, I disliked her immediately. She is just so petty and immature that I had a hard time liking her. She is extremely spoiled and selfish and that just grated on my nerves. My biggest problem with her was how she handled her chosen mate situation and her thought process regarding her dating life. Too be fair, she is 16–but man, it was painful to roll my eyes by the end of it and painful to endure her thoughts.

As for the plot, it wasn’t overly excited. It does pick up and have some interesting elements to it but nothing I haven’t seen before or anything that made me want to keep reading nonstop.

Conclusion:

While I am intrigued by how the book ended, I won’t be picking up book 2 anytime soon–or ever. I have read a lot better–freebies or not–and I want to spend my limited time on something a little more exciting and at my age level (and to be fair I wouldn’t have enjoyed this at the age of 16 either).

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Wings by Aprilyne Pike (Laurel Series #1)

Synopsis for Keegan’s Chronicles (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends–she’s an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan’s brother Thaddeus told her Rourk’s name because his visions warned him she’d need Rourk’s protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan’s side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan’s family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle…without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?

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Series Review: Misjudged by Sarah Elizabeth

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

Misjudged Series

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Synopsis for Misjudged (from Goodreads):
It was one night.

One night of pure intimacy, with a guy she knew nothing about, that couldn’t have prepared her for the next chapter in her life.

But will it be for better, or for worse?

Eighteen year old Alexis Harper is a smart, attractive and ambitious young woman with great friends, a doting father and a scholarship at one of Washington State’s most prestigious Performing Arts Colleges.

When the mysterious stranger makes his arrival in her life, she’s captivated by him. She’s intrigued by his past and more so by what the future could possibly hold for them.

Meet Brandon Taylor.

A damaged and confused twenty year old who is grieving for the life he once had.

He didn’t think for one moment that he could ever find happiness, and he didn’t want to. He was happy living within the high walls he’d barricaded around himself. It felt safe.

When Alexis and Brandon’s worlds collide, nobody could have prepared them for the emotional rollercoaster they were about to board together.

With love, loss, deceit and betrayal abound, it’s pretty hard to trust even those closest to you, as both Brandon and Alexis are soon to find out.

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Series: Misjudged
Author: Sarah Elizabeth
# of Books: 3 (Misjudged, Misplaced Trust, Misguided Truths (Pt 1 & 2), Mistaken Hope)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: July 2013 – October 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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**This post was originally posted as a Toonie Tuesday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I grabbed this book for free on Amazon one day and I’m glad that I got it for free–not that $1 is a lot to spend on a book though (and I wouldn’t have been super upset if I had paid the $1)–I’m just glad I didn’t pay a lot of money for this book.

My Review:

This book had all the right makings to be an awesome book. A crazy one night stand, a mysterious bad boy and some danger thrown in for the fun of it: lots of potential that is just thrown away on an annoying heroine.

Boy, was Alexis whinny. I really couldn’t stand her and that just taints my impression of the book overall. I just didn’t connect with her and found her to be very immature. Frankly, Brandon deserves better.

I also didn’t know that this book had a sequel so I was completely thrown for a loop when it ended on a cliff-hanger. I will read the sequel because I really want to know what the hell is going on; I just don’t plan on reading it right away. And depending on how Misplaced Trust ends, I will probably grab Misguided Truths since I do like Brandon’s character and want to get his POV on things.

Update (February 13, 2017):

I honestly just don’t care to see what happens next. I’ve totally forgotten about this series!

Series Rating: DNF

Misguided 3/5

overall

If you can get past annoying heroines, then this book is worth a read if you grab it for free. It has a lot of potential, but fails to deliver. Hopefully Misplaced Trust takes the series in the direct it needs to go.

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Series Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

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 Taking Chances (from Goodreads):
Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.

breakdown

Series: Taking Chances
Author: Molly McAdams
# of Books: 3 (Taking Chances, Stealing Harper, Trusting Liam)
Book Order: Connected

Stealing Harper is an alternate retelling of Taking Chances. Trusting Liam is a sequel to Taking Chances with a different set of leads.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2012 – June 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: That I have decided not to continue on with the series. Read my rant why below…

I won’t lie, I went into reading Taking Chances with low expectations. As you may or may not know from reading my other posts, I seriously dislike love triangles in novels and because the entire premise of this book is based on a love triangle, I didn’t expect much. The only reason I was even convinced to read this book was because of the high Goodreads rating and some reviews I found on the site.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book overall–I guess “meh” is probably the best word. Harper annoys the bejesus out of me–that much I know. I can get past the innocent military brat routine–that makes sense to me because of how her family life is described in the novel–but otherwise I just don’t get her.

What I don’t get is how or why all the sudden men are trying to get with her?!

It’s like one instance she is some normal girl and then BAM! Total boy magnet! She’s in college for one week and suddenly she has two alpha males banging down her door to get with her. She doesn’t even have to speak to the one and he is at her feet! I tell you, if my college experience was anything like that, I wouldn’t be blogging or spending so much time reading my novels and watching TV…by myself! I’m not sure why this bothered me so much as it is a common occurrence in New Adult reads; but I think it is mostly because I just don’t get Harper’s appeal to the opposite sex.

My biggest peeve is with Chase–he literally talks (“talks” is being generous, more like they take jabs at each other) to her for two minutes and he falls instantly in love with her. And not just, “I have to sleep with you” love, like soul mate-your-my-one-and-only love. I will say though that they do develop an actual relationship after a little while so that helps a bit but not by much.

But wait! Let’s not forget the token male BFF who has always loved her and desperately wants to be with her! Yup, that is right, it isn’t just a love triangle but a love square–UGH! Completely unnecessary and predictable.

I just don’t get love triangles and how Harper deals with Chase, despite her feelings and relationship with Brandon baffles me–it’s like the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. I just didn’t see how the dots connected for her and how one minute she could be incredibly immature and then in the next be spewing mature lessons on life.

What isn’t predictable is the one plot twist we get about a halfway through the book. I was so shocked, I had to reread the last five pages to make sure I didn’t skip a chapter. I applaud McAdams for taking that turn, but what I didn’t like were all the actions that followed.

BUT, enough of my rant 😛 Overall, the book was slow and I think it could have lost about 50 pages and got the point across. There were a few grammatical errors (such as incorrect tenses) but nothing to rip your hair out over.

Stealing Harper is a retelling of Taking Chances, but told from Chase’s view. I will read it when my hold comes in from the library as I am curious and hoping for some more insight about what makes Harper this amazing girl, but I am not counting down the days until I get it.

I will update my review once I read it.  

Since posting this review, I have decided not to continue on with this series and will therefore not be reading the remaining novels in the series.

Series Rating: 2/5

Taking Chances 2/5 | [Stealing Harper] N/A | Trusting Liam N/A

overall

I wasn’t expecting to like this book, so I am not surprised that I didn’t. I can appreciate some of the twists McAdams throw out there, the book just didn’t do much for me. Avoid if you hate love triangles, but pick it up if you do!

Read if You Like: slower stories, world-building, alternate dimensions
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance

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Series Review: Whitman University by Lyla Payne

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

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne | Whitman University

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Broken at Love (from Goodreads):
When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

breakdown

Series: Whitman University
Author: Lyla Payne
# of Books: 5 (Full Series Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating & Single
Publication Dates: March 2013 – November 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.**

My Thoughts on Broken at Love:

I was really excited to read this book. I don’t know what it is, but I love stories about people falling “accidentally” in love and with this one, there seemed to be a darker element to it so that really drew me in.

Unfortunately, while I really liked this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it was going to be–I think I was hoping for a Cruel Intentions kind of book–so that was a little disappointing as that is NOT what we get. It focused more on them trying to become a couple and Emilie helping Quinn deal with his issues (though there is a bit about Emilie with hers) than their past or the twisted brother Sebastain.

Another thing that didn’t really do it for me was Emilie. I find Emilie is a character that confuses me as I think parts of her thought/action processes conflict with each other. She knows Quinn’s reputation and saw her roommate fall apart from a relationship with him but she still plays right into his hands. She even says at one point that the whole thing seemed planned yet still she flirts and kisses him, and then seems surprised when she learns the truth :S From how she acted in the first two chapters (leading up to meeting Quinn) I guess I just assumed she would be a different, smarter character than what we were given. Other than that, she was a nice girl who really cared about Quinn despite everything that happens.

I really liked Quinn’s character though. I understand where he was coming from and it was apparent to me why he liked Emilie as a person. I enjoyed his POV chapters. I think you see Quinn deal with his past more so than Emilie and I liked that aspect of the book. The hopeless romantic in me likes to read about stories where love heals 😛

To focus on the writing of the book, I really liked the delivery of the POVs. I find that when we have two POV characters we often get alternating chapters between the two, where one picks up where the other left off. Here, we got alternating chapters but you might have Quinn’s POV for chapter 5-7 and then Emilie’s for 7-10. I liked this change and I think it helped the story flow better. I also think the writing was pretty mature as well (ie. they didn’t sound like they were in high school) and the story wraps up nicely within this book.

The next book in the series, By Referral Only, we get to see Emilie’s best friend Ruby fall in love. From the little doses of Ruby we get in Broken at Love I’m looking forward to reading it and am hoping that the love triangle hinted at in the synopsis isn’t actually going to be a real one!

updates

–September 3, 2018– Book #2: By Referral Only

**I DNF’d this at 18% (start of Chapter 5)**

I actually liked Ruby when we met her in Broken at Love? Wow, I surprised myself by I immediately disliked her by the end of Chapter 1 in this instalment…

Ruby was just a little much for me as a narrator. Some of her thoughts are a little rude; she isn’t the most mature person and she has an overall negative energy about her. But perhaps her worst aspect is that she’s SUPER hypocritical: she judges people while not wanting to be judged (example: premise of the referral service); and for being upset that guys only want sex when that’s all she wants too. It hurt me a little to be stuck inside her brain because her logic isn’t always the most sound…

I’m all for embracing female sexuality and I love that Ruby isn’t afraid to get what she wants in that respect. The premise of the referral service is what kept this book on my TBR for years. It’s an interesting one and I love the double-standard aspect of it. That wouldn’t fly at all if it was girls that were the subject of critic. But not much is done with that (and from what I gather from other readers, it really doesn’t later on in the book) and I think that’s a shame because it would be a great conversation (especially with the #metoo movement).

Series Rating: DNF

Broken at Love 4/5 | By Referral Only DNF

overall

If you like melodramatics and wish-washy characters OR want a guilty pleasure read, this might be the series for you!

Read if You Like: drama, steamy romances
Avoid if You: need strong characters

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Series Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

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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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2 Annoying Heroine of all time (America)
Series: The Selection

The Selection, The Elite and The One are all America’s story. The Heir and The Crown are Eadlyn’s.

Author: Kiera Cass
# of Books: 5 (The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown)

There is also a prequel novella, The Prince and another called The Queen. There are also two novellas that takes place after book 2 called The Guard and The Favourite.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Drama, Dystopian,
Heat Rating: warm
POV: First Person, Single
Source: Borrowed–Paperback (The Selection); Public Library

thoughts

When I read The Selection, two of my friends who have similar reading tastes to me, had just finished reading it. My one friend really enjoyed it while the other didn’t care too much for it. This left me with mixed expectations so I tried to read the book as objectively as possible.

After reading the first book, I could understand why the views were so mixed. This book is clearly marketed for a younger teen audience. The writing is nothing fabulous (it’s like Twilight where it is not the best writing in the world) but as my friend who liked the story said to me, it’s the story’s concept that makes it interesting and enjoyable. It’s very Hunger Games meets The Bachelor which is cool in my opinion. (More emphasis on The Bachelor aspect though) I liked the idea of the competition and I feel like the concept is well conceived mostly because it is so simple.

America isn’t my favourite book heroine ever. I don’t understand her logic sometimes and I find that she is very strong in some convictions but not others (which seems contradictory to me). Everyone claims she is funny but I fail to see her comedic skills in either of the two books. While I was reading The Elite I reached the conclusion that she is very immature in her thoughts and actions.

Be warned, there is a love triangle in this series and it is a full blown “Who I love today isn’t who I love tomorrow or who I loved yesterday”. She flops like a fish in both books and then she gets angry when the prince spends time with other girls who he might have feelings for. I definitely have a “team” when it comes to the love triangle but to be honest, I’m not really “sold” on any of the choices yet either. The guy I was rooting for kind-of pissed me off in The Elite with his immaturity and actions but I’m hoping he can win me back in The One.

Besides the love triangle and the immature heroine, I feel like this book is missing that little something that makes it noteworthy. I wish more was done with the rebel attacks but so far they are just little blurbs here and there. The series in the first two books really only focuses on the Selection and America’s struggles with the competition and the possibility that she may be princess one day and not on the conflict against the monarchy.

updates

–July 19/14– Book Three: The One

My wish for my rebel fighting was finally granted with The One. The focus definitely shifts more to the rebellion but not enough for my tastes. There are a few unexpected twists that I felt were added to keep up with some of the “darker” young adult dystopian novels but it really has nothing on the Hunger Games in terms of grittiness. America is still a brat to me and I had to roll my eyes a few times at her. However, I felt like all the characters had a decent amount of growth to them. Bonus points for how everything at the end unfolded–I really had no clue what was going to happen which made me happy. Overall, The One was a good conclusion for the series.

On another note, I’m really excited to read The Queen novella. Queen Amberly is one of my favourite characters and I can’t wait to read her story!

–December 13/14– Novella: The Queen

 The Queen was finally published and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I almost wish we got a full story with Queen Amberly because she is a much more fascinating and tolerable heroine than America ever was. It is a nice tie in to the series and I was very happy with it. I’m not sure if I would read it before I read the series; I think it is almost best to read it after The One because it justifies some of the events you see.

I was shocked to discover that there are going to be at least two more books in this series! These books seem to be about the next generation so that boosts my spirits a bit. If I had to endure another two books of America as the lead I think I would pass for sure. But, my curiosity is peaked and I will probably pick up The Heir to see what is next in this world. Hopefully, it will improve upon its predecessor.

–June 21/15– Book Four: The Heir

I found The Heir to be surprisingly addicting! I got really absorbed into the story. I think it’s because Eadlyn is the one picking the boys this time around and not a competitor herself. There’s just an unpredictability to it that makes it exciting.

As for Eadlyn, I didn’t find her as annoying as America but she was definitely just as bratty if not worse sometimes. It was frustrating because I liked her desire to be independent and to be Queen without a man beside her; I just didn’t like how she treated people. She was rude, abrupt and just plain mean sometimes. Worst part was, when people called her out on it she would get upset and defensive and basically be all of the things she was called out on to that person while claiming she wasn’t. Hypocritical to say the least. She does have some self awareness near the end and I hope that continues in the sequel (the final novel).

–June 10/16– Book Five: The Heir

My rating might have more to do with the end result of who gets “selected” than anything else. I really didn’t like how everything wrapped up and that really disappointed me.

Eadlyn was all over the place in terms of her character. She seemed to grow a bit but man, she wasn’t winning me over in her attempts to win over her people. She comes across as selfish and conceited. Even when her mind was made up about the guys, she’d be upset that they weren’t in love with her and that just irritated me.

The romance was zilch for me. Perhaps if I had read [book:The Heir|22918050] closer to this one, I might have seen more or appreciated it more but this did nothing for me. I didn’t like how the relationships progressed at all and when it became apparent to me how this was all going to end, I really didn’t like it. That dampened my entire experience.

I did like the political aspect but it felt rushed at the end and a little too late for me to truly appreciate it.

Overall, a disappointing end to a series I considered to be a guilty pleasure read. Sigh.

My Rating: 3.5/5

The Selection 4/5 | The Elite 3.5/5 | The One 3/5 | The Heir 3.5/5 | The Crown 2.5/5

overall

Definitely recommended for a younger reader crowd (14+). It’s not the greatest dystopian young adult read and so far it mostly focuses on the romance: so if you want a romance story with a minimal dystopian background, check it out! This series is a guilty pleasure for me but I know that lots of people wouldn’t enjoy it.

Read if You Like: mostly romance novel, enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Avoid if You: don’t like love triangles, don’t like bratty heroines, want more dystiopian elements

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Synopsis for The Selection (from Goodreads):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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