Tag «Rating: 3/5»

Series Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Biggest Disappointments 2014
Series: The Maze Runner Trilogy
Author: James Dashner
# of Books: 3 (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure)

There is a prequel novel called The Kill Order and novella that is listed between books 2 and 3 called Thomas’s First Memory of the Flare.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Suspense, Apocalyptic, Mystery
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: Third Person
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

I had heard about the Maze Runner series before I heard about the plans for the movie and had put it on my to-read list. But with the movie approaching, I decided to read it before the movie was released in September.

The first book in the series, The Maze Runner, was very slow and dry. I was expecting the action to happen right away and I found that the plot really didn’t pick up until the last third of the book–which is quite far into the novel as it is a longer novel. I just felt like the little pieces of the mystery took too long to be revealed; because once more pieces were revealed, it got really interesting. But until you know more it is quite dull. Part of the issue is that it is very descriptive–which isn’t bad because I have a good idea of what the world looks like–when it doesn’t really need to be.

I could see why a lot of people didn’t enjoy the novel as it isn’t as intense or action packed as, say, the Hunger Games were. I think the movie will do well though because they will speed through the exposition quicker and focus more on the few action scenes we do get in the first half of the book and expand upon them.

Up until the halfway point or so of The Maze Runner I wasn’t entirely sure if I would be reading the second novel, The Scorch Trials. I didn’t want to have to put myself through another round of dry, overly descriptive chapters.But when everything is finally revealed, I really got into the story and was excited to read book 2.

The Scorch Trials does what I wish The Maze Runner did, and that’s hitting the ground and running (no pun intended). There isn’t an inflated exposition to sift your way through. Instead we dive right into the next scene and watch the mystery unravel around us. I did find that some chapters were slower than others but overall, The Scorch Trials is a vast improvement over its predecessor and I understand why people love these/this books/series because it is quite the ride when it wants to be. It makes the task of reading The Maze Runner almost worth it.

Unfortunately though, The Death Cure, the third and final book of the series, drops the ball. It was more “death” than “cure”. Like the inaugural book of the series, it was super slow. It got to a point where I was just skimming the text because I really didn’t need to read every detail to get an idea of what was happening–because there wasn’t really anything happening! That was why it was more like “death” because it was a chore to read it–though the last 40 pages really picked up. However, I missed the “cure” part. I really didn’t feel like any of my questions about the entire series were answered and the ending leaves a little to be desired. As a concluding book in a series, it was a fail.

I’m undecided about reading the prequel novel (it is a full fledged novel, not a novella), The Kill Order. It is very important that you don’t read this novel until after you read the trilogy because it will have spoilers about the world that is unveiled as you progress through the trilogy. However, the characters in the Maze Runner do not appear in the Kill Order (from what I understand). I might read it in the future, but after finishing the Death Cure, I need a bit of a break from this series.

Conclusion:

A cool concept for a series but not the best execution. It’s a slower series that does have its higher points but overall drags out throughout the novels and the entire series. I was very disappointed but I am looking forward to the movie–I think if it is executed well, it will be what I expected the series to be. If you like slower, longer stories told from the third person, this is a young adult series for you!

Rating: 3/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No – unless I know that they love overly descriptive books. I would actually recommend that they watch the movie instead…find out why here!

Similar Reads: Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Across the Universe Trilogy #1) and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for The Maze Runner (from Goodreads):
“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Series Review: All that Glows by Ryan Graudin

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for All that Glows (from Goodreads):

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

breakdown

Series: All that Glows
Author: Ryan Graudin
# of Books: 2 (All that Glows, All that Burns)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Faeries, Magic
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: February 2014 – 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Single Sunday standalone review of the first book of the series. I have opted not to pick up the sequel.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was really excited to read this novel because it has been a long time since I read a faery based novel and this one had a very interesting premise that hooked me in.

The Plot:

I think if you are expecting this book to be an action-packed young adult novel–you will be disappointed. While Emrys is powerful in the Guard, she isn’t a hands-on fighter as she mostly uses magic to disarm her enemies: so there are no big action scenes. I also found that the scenes where she confronts enemies are few and far between so that was disappointing though the end of the novel has a bit more action.

The Romance:

This book mostly focuses on the romance between Emrys and the prince (Richard) which was really fine by me because I wasn’t expecting a high action novel (though I would have enjoyed it!). I wish there was more interaction between the two (though it does improve later in the book) so that their relationship with each other isn’t simply based on the “connection” they have. Because this is a world of magic, I understand that something more is happening between them and it did improve as the novel progressed so that made me happy. I just wish that Richard was a few years older than 17 because I felt like he was older based on the events that unfold.

As for the plot of the “ancient force” I enjoyed the premise and how it unfolded. I wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to end so I enjoyed that aspect of it. I just wish it was a little more suspenseful along the way because it felt a little dull at times: I think it was a little bit too long and could have been a few pages shorter as a result.

updates

–January 31, 2015– Book #2: All That Burns

I coincidentally found out that this book now has a sequel when I was browsing my “New February Books” list on Goodreads today. I’m undecided about whether or not I will read this sequel. At this time, I have opted not to read it but if becomes available at my library, I might randomly grab a copy on day just to see what happens next–but I’m not dying to do so.

Series Rating: 3/5

overall

Nothing really wowed me about this book. I liked it but I wish it just had that little umph to it to make it that touch more memorable. If you want a slower paced faery-magic novel with a dash of romance, you will probably enjoy this!

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Series Review: Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Tantalize (from Goodreads):

Are you predator or prey?
CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS
SANGUINI’S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY.
APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM.
Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

breakdownSeries: Tantalize
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
# of Books: 4 (Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed, Diabolical)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Dark
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: I have not read the fourth and final book in the series, Diabolical, and I don’t plan to.

I was really excited to read Tantalize and when I saw my library had it, I dashed to go get it. It sounded unlike anything I had ever read before and I was interested to see where it was going to go.

And it was unlike anything I read before. It was darker but also slightly disturbing in terms of a certain relationship Quincie develops with an older man. It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be and not in a good way. It was cliché and not at the same time–which is hard to describe but it you ever read it you would understand. It was like a mash of teen stereotypes in one book topped with some teenage angst. It wasn’t as much fun as I hoped it would be.

I probably wouldn’t have read the next book, Eternal, if it wasn’t for the sample we got at the end of the book. Somehow it sucked me in and I wanted to read it. I enjoyed it more than Tantalize but I also didn’t love it. It was dark and if I recall correctly I didn’t love the direction it ended up going. But, it was different from other books out there so I enjoyed it in that respect.

I honestly don’t remember what happened in Blessed but I know that it left me with no desire to see what happens in the fourth book, Diabolical.

Series Rating: 3/5

Tantalize 3/5 | Eternal 3/5 | Blessed 3/5 | Diabolic N/A

overall

I think some people will like the unconventional aspects of this series. In theory, it’s a cool mashup of paranormal trends but poorly executed. Although it’s a different spin on the young adult paranormal genre, it still has a lot of what people expect of the genre and what they probably don’t like about young adult series (aka teenage angst). But it definitely isn’t for everyone and I think most people will not enjoy it as a series.

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Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (Paranormalcy Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

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

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan | Uninvited Series

 

Series: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
# of Books: 2 (Uninvited, Unleashed)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopian
Heat Rating: luke warm
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

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

I’ve read a few books by Sophie Jordan in the past (Firelight Series and Foreplay) but I haven’t totally loved her work. I often find it dull and not as action packed as I anticipated; so I was hoping Uninvited would change that.

The concept of the book is really cool and I love her author’s note at the end of the book. The message Ms. Jordan is trying to convey is a good one and I really respect that. And with the way it is written, it’s easy to see how our world could become the book’s one day. (I study some molecular diagnostics like genetics testing so I really do see how this could all happen). I especially like the little info blurbs we get before each chapter–it reminded me of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium which had a similar idea before each chapter. It helps add context to the story without adding additional, dry dialogue to the characters.

This book was a little slower and doesn’t have a lot of action to it, though it picks up near the end. I think the paced worked well in hindsight but I felt like parts dragged on a bit. There isn’t a huge focus on the romance of the novel which I think it probably for the best but I would have liked some more sexual tension between the two of them.

Unlike previous Sophie Jordan novels, I didn’t totally hate Davy as a lead. She grew on me a bit as the story progressed because she becomes a stronger character as the story goes on. She definitely isn’t my favourite character ever but I didn’t mind her and I can justify her angst based on her situation.

I’m glad this series is only two books long because I don’t know how it could drag on for three books. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story concludes in the next book but I’m not going to count down the days in excitement.

UPDATED (April 18/15): Unleashed was a huge disappointment! Given the ending of Uninvited, I was expecting a faster paced novel with more action and the emergence of Davy as a heroine with a mission. Yeah…that never happened. Actually, nothing really happened in this book! It was a lot of Davy sitting around moaning about how she missed her “normal” life. She did absolutely nothing to resolve the world she lives in which was super disappointing. I guess I can appreciate the idea that it takes more than just on person to elicit change (not everyone can be Tris Prior and I get that) but at least with those novels something happens! Honestly, NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS NOVEL! Throw in a too-fast and out of nowhere romance, a silly love triangle and you have the boring novel that is Uninvited. Very disappointed.

Conclusion:

People who enjoy slower, not high action science fiction novels will like this one. Fans of Sophie Jordan’s work and the Delirium series will also enjoy this. But if you want a faster plot, I would read Divergent. A good read that isn’t a waste of time for those who like Young Adult Science Fiction. Uninvited it worth a read but Unleashed was a huge let down.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads:

Synopsis for Uninvited (from Goodreads):
When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

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Series Review: Into the Deep by Samantha Young

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

Into the Deep by Samantha Young | Into the Deep Series

Series: Into the Deep
Author: Samantha Young
# of Books: 2 (Into the Deep, Out of the Shallows)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: August 2013 – April 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 reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

While On Dublin Street (the series Samantha Young is most well known for) has been on my reading list forever , I decided to buy Into the Deep mostly because it was significantly cheaper than the Dublin series and I could use my coupon 😛 Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in reading it, but I wasn’t overly excited to read it.

And I wasn’t overly excited when I was reading it either. Everything in this book is a little blah when I compare it to the other New Adult reads that I have read in the past year.

Jake isn’t really a “bad boy”–yes, he’s a bit of a player but there are “badder” boys out there, that’s for sure! And Charley is just pain boring. Of course she is the typical “not overly pretty” heroine that every boy is in love with and they only bother trying to make a move on her once she is with someone else. I don’t know why they like her other than her looks–she doesn’t exactly have a winning personality to me.

As for the plot, I found it predictable and–not surprisingly–dull given my impression of the two main characters. While I liked trying to figure of the mystery of the “incident” by having the flashbacks to the past, it just wasn’t enough for me to be overly impressed with this book. The plot is also slow which I found frustrating considering I knew where it was going to go the whole time–at times I just wished it would get to the point already. I enjoy drama in my novels (not over the top soap opera drama but drama nonetheless) and this didn’t have a lot going on–I felt like the book never really climaxed. I think if we had an alternating perspective between Jake and Charley I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

One highlight of the novel is Charley’s BFF Claudia. Now Claudia is an interesting character that I would love to read more about! Her story often overshadowed Charley’s and I often wished I was reading about Claudia instead.

I will read Out of the Shallows just for the sake of getting some closure but I won’t be pushing it to the top of my To-Read list ASAP.

It’s been a couple of years now and I’ve already forgotten this story, so DNF it gets.

Series Rating: DNF

Into the Deep 3/5 | Uut of the Shallows N/A

overall

This book is slow in my opinion but if you enjoy reading about reunited loves who are trying to find themselves as they navigate their relationship, this is probably one for you. A nice jump into the New Adult genre without the (often) over the top drama usually found in the genre and not as sexy-time focused either. So if you enjoy high drama, bad boys or characters touched by tragedy–avoid this series and pick something else up!

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Into the Deep (from Goodreads):
Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

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Series Review: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan

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

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan | The Ivy Chronicles


Other books in the series:

Series: The Ivy Chronicles
Author: Sophie Jordan
# of Books: 3 (Foreplay, Teased, Wild)

There is a short story about Hunter from Foreplay in the Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: First Person, Single

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 exposure to Ms. Jordan’s work before Foreplay has been her Young Adult series, Firelight which I have mixed feelings about but I always knew she wrote romance novels first and foremost so I decided to give this one a shot.

I enjoyed it, but simply put, I have read better New Adult reads in recent times. I just felt like something was missing from this book and that disappointed me slightly because I felt like it started off strong. But by the halfway point, I was getting a little bored with it.

I think part of the problem was Pepper. I just didn’t like her all that much. It’s not because I found her to be annoying–I just found her to be boring. Which is a shame because she could have been a very interesting character given the stuff we learn about her later in the book. Reese was the same for me too. He just seemed very generic but I did find him swoon-worthy at times.

I’m not sure how I feel about the love triangle either. Usually, they irritate me to no end but this one didn’t bother me that much. I’m not sure if it is because I always knew how it was going to end or if I just was indifferent to Pepper–I think it’s the latter though.

As I said, I had a pretty solid idea about how this book was going to end going into it so nothing really surprised me as I read it. Though I will give credit to two particular “twists”/events that got me to perk up in my seat as I read them–they made things a little more exciting but not enough for me to proclaim that I loved this book.

Although Goodreads lists only two books in the series, the description of the series gives me the impression that there will be a total of 3 books. Despite this lackluster start, I plan on reading Tease because I really liked Emerson’s character and I think there is a lot of potential with her book.

UPDATED (November 22/14): I finally got my hands on Tease (just in time for Wild to come out so maybe there was a method to by madness!) and finished it in a little over a day. I suppose that I like Tease more than I liked Foreplay, but again, there was just that something missing for me. I think the main thing was I just didn’t see the initial connection between Emerson and her lead. Yes, I saw why they worked well together later in the book but it just seemed so abrupt that I never fully comprehended it. Like the previous book, there were a few interesting plot twists that stopped it from being overly predictable and it is written well. It just didn’t wow me.

I’m still hoping Wild will be the standout book in the series for me. It looks like it will have an aspect to it that most New Adult reads don’t have so I’m curious to see where that will go.

UPDATED (December 3/14): I managed to get a copy of Wild and read it very quickly (they are rather short, easy books to read when all is said and done)–though using it to procrastinate from studying might have driven me to read it as quickly as I did 😛 Wild is probably my favourite of the series but it still didn’t overly impress me. The first half was great and I could see the connection between the two leads forming and loved watching all that sexual tension unfold. But then, it just fell apart for me like Foreplay did and just like the inaugural book in the series I slightly blame the heroine for this because I just didn’t get that connection to her. I think if these books had the male POV it would add that depth to the books that was missing and would take them from “ok” to “really good” because everything is all there, it just needs to be brought up a level.

Conclusion:

All and all, this book (and series) was alright. When I finished it, I gave it a 4/5 but when I thought about it more, it’s more of a 3.5 that’s closer to a 3. It wasn’t anything overly exciting (drama wise) but I enjoyed reading it. I think it’s a great book to read if you are looking at getting into the New Adult genre, but I think those who have read a good number of New Adult reads will find this a little dull. Though, it should be said that the writing caliber of this book is SIGNIFICANTLY better than a lot of New Adult reads out there.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Games #1); Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You Series #1); Keep Me by Faith Andrews (Grayson Siblings #1)  and Saved by Kelly Elliot (Wanted Series #2)

Synopsis for Foreplay (from Goodreads):
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

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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booksynopsis

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.

breakdown

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

thoughts

**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: Fall Away Penelope Douglas

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

 book2 book2 book3 book3

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Bully (from Goodreads):
My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down

breakdown

Series: Fall Away Trilogy
Author: Penelope Douglas
# of Books: 5 (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, Aflame)

Until You is Jared’s POV companion to Bully.

There are some novellas in between the novels. Full list here

Book Order: Connected but Chronological

Bully, Until You and Aflame follow Jared and Tate’s story; Rival and Falling Away focus on different characters. However, they all follow a chronological order of events.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Dark
Heat Rating: getting Hot
Point of View: First Person (Single POV for Bully & Until You; but Alternate for RivalFalling Away & Aflame)
Publication Dates: February 2014 – April 2015
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.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I read the synopsis for Bully, I flashed back to my memories of elementary school. The whole idea that boys show that they like you by teasing you. Casual “teasing” is one thing but bullying is another–so while I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen in this book, I was curious to see what else was at play.

The Plot:

While I found the romance of the book to be predictable, I did enjoy the ride we take getting there. I didn’t find it boring to read because there are some interesting events that happen and make the book more entertaining. I also found it to be pretty mature considering I went into the book thinking about elementary school romances. There isn’t really anything “elementary” about Tate and Jared’s relationship.

The Characters:

Tate is a strong female character and I’m glad that she develops some backbone as the story progresses. However, I often found that she was trying a little too hard to be tough, so it came across as a little over the top. I also didn’t like how easily she was falling in love with Jared. Given their past, I understood where the feelings were coming from but if I was in her shoes, let me tell you that he would have had to work a lot harder to get back into my good graces.

I think what would have helped me get a better grasp on their relationship is getting Jared’s POV as the events unfold. I’m so used to New Adult readings alternating POV between characters that I almost get disappointed when I don’t get both. Fortunately, Until You is Jared’s POV. I haven’t read it yet, but I am really excited to because I’m hoping to get some more insight into this mysterious character.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really excited to read Rival. It seems like it is going to be really refreshing and Madoc seems like a really interesting character to me. Falling Away also seems really interesting so I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the rest of the series.

updates

–October 25, 2014– Book #1.5: Until You

I finally managed to read Until You and it was everything I wanted to know about Jared. It was the perfect companion novel for Bully. I loved that it wasn’t just a retelling of Bully. It started a little before and ended a little after Bully but the events weren’t just regurgitated for the sake of creating another novel. It was extremely well done and fans of Bully will love reading Until You. I highly recommend that you read it after Bully but before Rival in order to get a fuller reading experience with all the characters.

–October 25, 2014– Book #2: Rival

Rival though, is my favourite of the series! I read it in one sitting and got so sucked into the story. It was packed full of drama and I loved Madoc and Fallon as characters. I enjoyed their relationship a lot more than Jared and Tate’s in Bully (but reading Until You warmed me up to them more). However, I was a little worried at the start of Rival given their past relationship. But as the book progressed, I was rooting for them all the way. I think it helped that we got both characters POV throughout the novel so you got a better grasp on each of them.

I am super excited for Falling Away and have been since I read Until You and figured out which characters were next.

–February 21, 2015– Book #3: Falling Away

Have you ever finished a book where you can’t determine how you actually feel about it? I’m not talking about indifference or the “meh” factor (as I like to call it) where it was just so-so and nothing all that exciting. I’m talking about a book that had its great moments but had not-so-great moments in between–leaving you happy but disappointed all at once? I give those books the “mixed feelings” tag on Goodreads and I create that tag for this book specifically.

I went into this book with high anticipation because I’ve been waiting for this couple since the first book. So I was a little disappointed that this book takes place a few years later but I let it slide because it probably was for the best.

But when I actually saw them together I had to double check I wasn’t rereading Bully because parts felt like a regurgitation of the first book. The heroine seemed super immature despite being 20 and the hero gave me the creeps a bit because he was a little too alpha. Which often made me feel like the relationship bordered on the unhealthy side of things. It was just that the intensity of their relationship, especially when they really had limited interaction before this book, was a little too extreme for me and it made me uncomfortable to read about. Which is why I had mixed feelings: sometimes I loved the couple together (they did have great chemistry) but other times the angst was just too much for me to take.

I also felt like there were too many things going on with these characters lives. Now, I like a lot of things happening in books and I understand that people lead complicated lives but this just seemed a little excessive to me. It kinda felt like the author decided to pile as much tragedy/drama into these character’s lives as possible and it was overwhelming. I really felt like this book was 50 (ebook) pages too long and I would have enjoyed it more without the super packed character pasts.

I’m not sure how I feel about Aflame. I really don’t think it is necessary but I will read it just to finish off the series.

–June 14, 2015– Book #4: Aflame

I was adequately warned about Aflame going into it thanks to the comments below. not that I had high expectations for it before I was told, but I think it helped me be prepared for what I was going to read.

I have mixed feelings about Aflame because I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey (young people make rash decisions). But I felt like Tate and Jared were thrown into a situations that would cause the most drama even if it wasn’t the most logical; and I found that to be frustrating because there really was no reason for the plotline we get. It also made me realize how immature and reckless these two are and how unhealthy their relationship is. I really hope young people reading this series realize this isn’t what a healthy relationship looks like.

Series Rating: 3/5

Bully 4/5 | [Until You] 4/5 | Rival 5/5 | Falling Away 3/5 | Aflame 3/5

overall

This series takes your classic romance story and puts a darker spin on it. I’ve read a lot of New Adult novels but this series standouts because of the relationship between the characters. The classic “dark secret past” isn’t some random event that happened before the characters met their partner–it happened with their partner so the relationship dynamic is completely different. So if you enjoy darker high school/new adult romances, this is a great read to pick up! But it does lose its lustre as the series progresses and the relationships border on the unhealthy.

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Series Review: Revenants by Amy Plum

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Die for Me (from Goodreads):

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

breakdown

Series: Revenants Trilogy
Author: Amy Plum
# of Books: 3 (Die for Me, Until I Die, If I Should Die)

There is a novella, #2.5 Die For Her

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Hardcover

thoughts

I first read Die for Me in the autumn of 2011. It was one of the first eBooks I read and I decided to read it because I thought the cover was really pretty (props to the cover designer on all the books!). While the cover did draw me to the book, I decided to read it because the concept sounded very interesting–quite the spin on an immortal lover I thought.

Die for Me overall didn’t really impress me all that much. Kate irritated me to pieces–while I can understand why she is depressed and a little down about life, I really didn’t see the draw Vincent had to her at all. Actually, Die to Me was so unmemorable to me that I decided to reread it before I started Until I Die. The only thing rereading it did was reaffirm my annoyance with Kate and give me a refresher of what happened–which isn’t a whole lot. These books do get more intricate plots as you continue in the series but overall, Die for Me was the dullest of them all. Not a great start to a series.

I’m a sucker for punishment and it takes a lot for me to stop reading a book. Most of the time I stop a book because of bad grammar, offensive content or just plain stupidity–and because I didn’t run into any of these issues, I picked up Until I Die.

Until I Die was a much better read than Die for Me. The plot begins to pick up, Kate becomes a little less annoying and there’s some more action. There were quite a few twists along the away and I did enjoy learning more about the Revenant world Ms. Plum creates. Easily my favourite book of the series.

I read the novella, Die For Her, before I read If I Should Die. I thought it was a great review of the events that had happened in the books and I enjoyed getting Jule’s perspective. Overall, it helped me understand a bit more about the events in the first book but not enough to make me appreciate or like Die for Me any more than I already did. It also helps explain an event that happens in the last book, but reading it isn’t complete necessary as anyone reading the books can easily put two and two together to understand what happened and why.

Despite the ending of Until I Die, it took me three times to get into this book. If someone from the library looked at my loan history, they would probably think that this was my favourite book of all time based on the amount of times I took it out and extended my loan. And that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think my biggest problem starting this book was my busy schedule and higher interest in other series. It is a long novel (~300 kobo pages which takes me 6 or so hours to read) as well so that doesn’t help its case either. Regardless, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I found it predictable and cliché and I quickly began to dislike Vincent and Kate. I can forgive Vincent for his old fashioned dialect–though no boy in his teens, regardless of how many years he has been “alive,” should call a girl “my love” at the end of every sentence–but Kate talks like she is 10 years older than she actually is and that irritated me. I also thought the ending was a little lackluster–I was falling asleep reading it and then before I knew it I was reading the Acknowledgement page–and truthfully I was expecting more at the end. Also an epilogue would have been awesome.

Series Rating: 4/5

Die For Me 3/5 | Until I Die 4/5 | If I Should Die 3/5

overall

Overall, it was an OK series. If you like books set in Paris, feature “immortal loves” and move at a slower pace, you would probably enjoy this book. But if you are like me and enjoy books with lots of twists, action and swoon-worthy romance, skip this series!

similarreads

  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson (Hereafter Trilogy #1)
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday (The Hollow Trilogy #1)
  • A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (A Touch Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: Pretty by M. Leighton

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

Pretty Series

book3

booksynopsis

Synopsis for All the Pretty Lies (from Goodreads):
“Live, no regrets”

Her…
Sloane Locke has led a sheltered life. However, with a history like hers, she can understand why her brothers and her father want so much to protect her. She has gone along with it for twenty long years, but those days are over. For the girl who never makes promises, Sloane has made a pact with herself that things will change on her twenty-first birthday. So when the clock strikes midnight, Sloane strikes out to spread her wings and break a few rules.

Him…
In addition to inking skin, Hemi Spencer possesses many talents. Controlling himself has never been one of them. It’s never had to be. He’s lived a life of indulgence for as long as he can remember. Right up until tragedy struck. Now, he’s nothing but controlled. He’s a man on a mission, one who will let nothing and no one stand in his way.

Them…
Nothing in their lives could’ve prepared Sloane and Hemi for what they’d find in each other—distraction and obsession, love and possession. But the one thing they can’t find is a future. Neither one has been totally honest. And they’ll soon learn that the devil is in the details. In the details and in the lies.
How far will two people go to live in the now when the now is all they’ve got?

breakdown

Series: Pretty Trilogy
Author: M. Leighton
# of Books: 3 (All the Pretty Lies, All the Pretty Poses, All Things Pretty)

All Things Pretty was published in two parts but can be found as a full novel.

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Second Chances (book 2), Suspense (book 3)
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: November 2013 – September 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 Expectations/Why I Picked it Up:

I’ve read M. Leighton’s Bad Boy Series and while I found that series to be a disappointment overall, I really liked the first book in the series. I felt that it had a lot of potential and I truly did enjoy reading it–I just felt like the series fell apart. So I decided to give this new series a try as it promised to be enjoyable and seemed right up my alley.

The Plot:

Even though I’ve only read one series by Ms. Leighton, I can definitely see that she has a formula when it comes to her New Adult reads. Cue a bad-boy with a heart of gold, an innocent heroine and the heroine’s BFF who is more “experienced” than her in every way. As I read All the Pretty Lies, I definitely saw the parallels to Down to You (Bad Boys #1) but overall, the plots are very different so I didn’t feel like I was reading a complete regurgitation of another book.

When it comes to the plot, I thought it was very predictable. I was hoping for some great twists but I found the book was pretty linear in its progression (no pun intended). Which was fine because I did find it enjoyable despite knowing what would happen next.

The Characters:

Unlike the Bad Boy Series, I liked Sloane as a character (unlike Olivia who would irritate me with her need to rebel for really no reason). It was easy to get a handle on Sloane’s character so I understood why she did what she did throughout the book. Hemi is sweet but he’s nothing new to write home about. I found them to be super cute together and that they had a connection emotionally–which I think is sometimes lacking in this genre–as well as physically.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I find it interesting that the next book is about Reese and not one of Sloane’s brothers. I think I would have preferred that path instead but I’m interested to see what is going to happen next. What I am happy about it is the conclusion of Hemi and Sloane’s story within this novel and not seeing it dragged out in another book.

updates

–June 22/15– Book 2: All the Pretty Poses

It’s been a year since I read the first book so I didn’t remember much about Reese’s character when I picked this one up. Not that he is a complicated character by any means–he’s your typical rich boy under daddy’s thumb–so I got into the groove of things quickly.

These two characters have a mysterious past and that’s what kept me reading. Because most of this book is just about how much these two want each other, Reese verbalizing how much he wants her and both of them trying not to be the first to fall. It got a little tiring to be honest. And when the drama was introduced, it was much too rushed (and tied up much too neatly) for my personal tastes. Some things surprised me but I felt like they were out of nowhere sometimes; I wish more was done with them.

–June 28/15– Book 3: All Things Pretty Parts 1&2

I was excited to read this hero’s story after being introduced to him the in the first two novels but this one just didn’t WOW me. It is more of a suspense romance novel (which I don’t usually read) similar to Leighton’s Bad Boy Series and it just hit that over the top mark for me. I liked uncovering what the secretive past of the heroine was, and I did like the twists, I just couldn’t get into this story.

I think it was far too long for one thing. Too much exposition and not enough climax…well climax of the plot that is 😉 Leighton split up the final book because the publisher wouldn’t approve the length she really wanted for this story and I kinda see why the publisher wanted a shorter novel. So in the end, not my cup of tea but it wraps up the series nicely.

My Rating: 3/5

overall

These books are great if you want a cute, passionate romance story to pass a couple of hours. They are high in dramatics and have your stereotypical romance characters. However, they are enjoyable reads–they just aren’t overly memorable.

Read if You Like: soap-opera like drama, erotica
Avoid if You: want more twists (at least in the first two novels), want more focus on the drama

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