Tag «strong female lead»

Fresh Fridays: Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Fresh Fridays: Rule by Ellen Goodlett

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:

Rule Series

Other books planned to be in the series:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Rule (from Goodreads):

Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars in this sensational and striking new fantasy from debut author Ellen Goodlett.

Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in the first book of this sensational and striking fantasy duology.

breakdown

Series: Rule
Author: Ellen Goodlet
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Rise, to be released June 2019
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Magic, Politics
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: September 2018 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I won’t lie, it was the cover that drew me into this read. I was browsing my library’s new additions when I scrolled across this one. I actually checked out the hardcover from my library but never got around to it. But the premise was promising. I love the drama and secrets of Pretty Little Liars (well, the TV show at least; I never read the books) and Three Dark Crowns won me over with its sequel so I was optomistic I would enjoy this one.

What I Liked:

–Multiple POVs–

I love books that follow multiple characters. I find it gives the novel a 360-degree view of everything that is happening and keeps the story moving. Even if you don’t enjoy one POV, at least you have some others to look forward to.

–Diverse Cast–

When books mimic real life (especially by highlighting prejudices and the like) I’m always invested. This book has quite the group of characters. All the girls come from different family styles, races and castes (travelers, maids, etc). You’ve also got characters that are LGBTQ (in a very normalised, not token kind of way). So in that respect, I truly found this book to deliever on diversity without it feeling like it was simply checking all the marks off.

–The Magic–

I liked how straight-forward the tithe system seemed to be. Not only is everything magic-wise easily explained but it also has limitations. One of my biggest peeves about magic is the almost unlimited power it can have but the magic here makes sense.

–The Blackmail–

I think this is where the Pretty Little Liars comparisons come in because there is someone taunting these girls with their secrets. And the secrets are pretty juicy–and contribute to the plot in a rather strong way. These aren’t petty “I know about your secret relationship” type of secrets; they run much deeper (and more complex) than that.

What I Didn’t Like:

–It Seems Needlessly Drawn Out–

Perhaps starting this book the week I was working nights wasn’t the best idea–my concentration is pretty crappy. However, I found the chapters used a lot of words to deliver very little in the grand scheme of things. I would get lost in text at times. But I will say that each chapter ended in a way that had me eager for the next one so I was a fan of that.

–Blending of the Characters–

While I praised this book for its diversity earlier on, sometimes I couldn’t tell Zofi apart from Ren from Akeylah. The “problem” is the third person narration. It isn’t very personal as it lacks the depths a first person POV can provide (ie the inner character monologue). As a result, I often had to reread the synopsis just to remember that Zofi was from “A” and her secret was “B” so I wouldn’t get the girls mixed up.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I really started to enjoy how the various plots were starting to weave together so I am very curious to see how everything with wrap up (or unravel) in the finale.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Rule 3.5/5 | Rise TBP

overall

While nothing immediately stands out about this fantasy novel, fans of the genre will enjoy this solid and diverse story.

Read if You Like: multiple POV, wordy stories
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance

similarreads

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Series Review: Welcome to the Point by Jay Crownover

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

Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover | Welcome to the Point Series

 

Series: Welcome to the Point Series

The last 3 books to be published will be under the The Breaking Point series title.

Author: Jay Crownover
# of Books: 3 (Better When He’s Bad, Better When He’s Bold, Better When He’s Brave)
Book Order: Connected but chronological
Complete?: Yes — the next 3 books are with a different set of characters
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Bad Boys, Crime, Suspense
Heat Rating: Getting Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

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

So, I jumped on the Marked Men bandwagon a little late–and now that I have read them, I agree that they are not to be missed. From just that series alone, I have easily decided that Jay Crownover is an author to watch because I love her writing, her characters & their stories plus I absolutely love that she writes introductions where she explains why she wrote plots/characters/etc the way she did. That is something I truly appreciate in an author and something that not a lot of authors do–so kudos!

Take for example the author’s introduction to Better When He’s Bad: I love how she explains the “difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad.” When you see it written like that you go, “well duh,” but I think it is something that readers often overlook. I know I certainly do because I totally have the tag “bad boys” for my Marked Men review when they aren’t really “bad boys” other than the fact that they are a tad rebellious and have tattoos. Maybe I’m just blowing something out of proportion but I thought it was pretty insightful when all was said and done 😛

Better When He’s Bad is more of a light crime novel with a dash of romance than it is a romance novel with suspenseful elements. While the romance gets adequate screen time, the plot (especially the first third of the book) focuses on finding out the truth of the situation the two find themselves in. So if you are hoping for a steamy romance novel with little plot, I would look elsewhere; because there is lots of steam but it isn’t a book with only steam and a small plot line. The balance is really well done I think and it made the romance have more substance to it.

This series isn’t a super dark one like some crime/criminal focused novels are which is rather refreshing to me. If you want the really dark side of criminal activity I suggest the Gypsy Brother Serial instead. But if you like reading about boys who aren’t afraid to throw punches and get their knuckles a little dirty yet still have chivalry, this is looks like the series for you!

I’m really excited to read the next two books based on this one. I think we have an interesting set of characters at play and I can’t wait to see what trouble they get into next!

updates

–February 21, 2015– Book #2: Better When He’s Bold

Because I put my hold on Better When He’s Bold ASAP at my library, I got the brand new copy in my hands a few days after it’s release date–and I’m so glad I did!

It was a great sequel and was everything I thought it would be. I would say the romance happens a lot more quickly than in “Bad” because the characters have met before. However, I still felt like the romance balanced well with the suspenseful plot-lines.

I think I enjoyed the story more in the first book because it was more mysterious to me and had a few more twists. But this story was just as exciting and I really didn’t figure everything out until I was supposed to so I really didn’t mind. It set up everything perfectly for the next book and I can’t wait until I can read Better When He’s Brave!

–October 15, 2015– Book #3: Better When He’s Brave

I was really excited to read this one and it didn’t disappoint. I found myself absorbed in this story because I enjoyed these two leads as characters. They were a good match and I really wanted them to succeed. This book reminded me a lot of Sin City–in the sense that it’s a darker, true grit feel to it. I think Jay Crownover does a good job with her introduction to get you to understand what she wants you to get out of this book. It’s a bit of a fantasy in the sense that things are over the top but it is still highly entertaining and somewhat realistic. It works the stereotypes and expectations really well.

Overall, a great way to wrap up this triplet of stories. I’m SUPER excited for the next 3 books that will be published under The Breaking Point Trilogy title.

Series Rating: 4/5

Better When He’s Bad 3.5/5 | Better When He’s Bold 4/5 | Better When He’s Brave 4/5

overall

As I said before, if you like true bad boys that are chivalrous towards women, this is probably the series for you. A great blend of suspense, crime and romance. It’s darker and more “fantasy” based than the Marked Men series but it has all the aspects of a great Jay Crownover novel.

Read if You Like: bad boys, romantic suspense
Avoid if You: don’t like books with crime/drugs; don’t like books with killing

similarreads

Synopsis for Better When He’s Bad (from Goodreads):
Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

book

Series Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Dystopian Series
Series: Divergent Trilogy
Author: Veronica Roth
# of Books: 3 (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant)

There are a bunch of short stories told from Tobias’ perspective. See the list here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

After reading The Hunger Games, I discovered my love of dystopian fiction and like most people who enjoy a book, I look for similar books to read next. Divergent was one that was constantly recommended and it sounded really interesting so I picked it up. This was just when it started to get a lot of hype and I didn’t know anyone else who had read it, but it quickly became popular and after reading it, I understood why.

While Divergent starts fairly slow, it really picks up and keeps going for the duration of the book. I also slowly grew to like Tris. She wasn’t the best heroine I had ever read initially but watching her and reading her thoughts about things really made me love her. She is a very strong character and after reading the series, I would say she is one of my favourite characters in young adult fiction.

I also like how the romance is handled in this series. Like The Hunger Games, but without the love triangle (BONUS!), it’s subtle and slowly builds. So this isn’t a series you read solely for the romance–if you want a dystopian series that focuses mostly on the romance read Lauren Oliver’s Delirium –but the relationship Tris develops is very important later on in the series and takes a bit more of a central focus. I loved the tension between her and Four in Divergent and I have to say they are easily one of my favourite literary couples.

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of what happened in Insurgent –just the ending because it was fantastic! While it was a lot slower to me, I love what happens and what is revealed as you read so I didn’t find it particularly dull–it just lacks the action and fighting you get accustomed to in Divergent.

It took me a long time to get my hands on Allegiant and then actually get a chance to sit down and read it. I was eagerly anticipating where this series would go and I have to say it blew my mind where it went! I have to give Veronica Roth a lot of credit because she did a great job creating this world the books take place in and I totally saw all the dots connect as I read the last novel. Again, this book is a lot slower action-wise than Divergent as most of the plot development comes from talking and revealing the mystery of the world. I think this may disappoint a few people who enjoy this series for the action–but those who like the politics and the mystery of the world will like this book a lot.

When I look at Goodreads, I see that the rating for this book is a lot lower than the previous books in the series and after reading it, I totally know why. Roth took a lot of risks writing this book and taking it in the more Science Fiction direction that she did and I personally think they paid off. I can appreciate what she did even if the book fan in me doesn’t particularly enjoy it. I think that is why a lot of people rate Allegiant lower than the rest because they don’t like the direction it takes and the movement away from dystopian to science fiction. But after reading it, I am totally satisfied with how it ended and content with it.

I’ve never read the short stories about Tobias and I will eventually get around to reading them but not at this particular moment in time.

Conclusion:

This series constantly surprised me and in that great way I love as a book reader. When you read as much as I do, you get bored with the same cut and paste storylines that seem to appear when Young Adult trends start. But every once in a while, you find a book that is a result of that trend that stands out from the rest and for the Dystopian Trend: Divergent is that series for me (though I still love The Hunger Games). I recommend this series to practically anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games and they have all enjoyed it as well.

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy #1); Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky Trilogy #1); Matched by Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy #1) and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Divergent (from Goodreads):
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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.

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Bookstr Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Adult Read of 2014
Series: Keep me Still
Author: Caisey Quinn
# of Books: 3 (Let You Leave, Keep me Still, Hold us Close)

Technically, Let You leave and Hold Us Close are novellas, but they are essential to the story of Keep me Still

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: warm, then hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

WOW…simply WOW! These books blew my socks away. I devoured them in a matter of hours because I couldn’t put them down!

I’ll start with If You Leave. I didn’t go into this book with high expectations. I figure it would just be another prequel novella that gives us a little insight into a character we get in the main event–boy was I wrong! It can get a little confusing with how this series works because the novellas (Let You Leave and Hold Us Close) play a HUGE role in the series. I would say that they are practically novels in themselves to make this series a trilogy and it is absolutely required that you read Let You Leave before Keep Me Still! If I had read Keep Me Still and then Let You Leave, I would have been very disappointed in Keep Me Still because so much of what happens in Keep Me Still requires the knowledge of what happens in Let You Leave–without Let You Leave, you only get half of the story and the missing half is totally worth it!

When I read the synopsis for Keep Me Still, it gave me the impression that Landon and Layla meet in college when in actually fact they meet first in high school, which is where Let You Leave starts. All I can say is that Let You Leave tugged on my heart-strings and I shed a few tears–it was a beautiful story and made me so excited to read Keep Me Still.

Keep me Still was great, but as I said before, I really only felt that way because I had been exposed to the story beforehand and didn’t feel like I was missing pieces. Keep Me Still felt really short because I truly did devour it. I just love Landon and Layla and their entire relationship so I loved getting to see more of that. Again, I shed a few tears and I always take that as a sign of great a book is. While the ending is a bit abrupt, I didn’t mind it so much and I loved that we essentially get an extended epilogue with Hold Us Close.

Hold Us Close was a great way to end the series. I loved the maturity of the characters and the plot development. I always enjoy books that focus on character development–a good plot doesn’t always have to have very dramatic events: sometimes it can have strong characters that we see grow before our eyes and that is enough to keep the reader interested. I loved watching the journey between Layla and Landon in this novella and the little plot twists we get along the way. Just a fantastic way to end a series!

I also have to write a bit of a plea to Ms Quinn in the hopes that she will publish Skylar and Corin’s novella–I would love to read it and I’m sure that I am not alone!

Conclusion:

You’ll see that I said the word “loved” about a gazillion times in this review: but there is simply no other way to express how much I enjoyed reading this series. It’s everything I love in a New Adult read: strong characters, great supporting characters, fantastic character development and a heart-melting romance. It doesn’t feature petty dramatic events but instead focuses on the growth of two people and the love that they share–cheesy but what I’m trying to say is that the maturity of this series is what really impressed me and I love that that is the focus of these books. A must read for fans of this genre! I will definitely be looking at more books from this author in the near future!

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You #1)

Synopsis for Let You Leave (from Goodreads):
Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bind them together or tear them apart.

Series Review: Sweet by Wendy Higgins

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 Sweet Evil (from Goodreads):

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Best Reads of 2013, Sad to See Go Series 2014
Series: Sweet Trilogy
Author: Wendy Higgins
# of Books: 3 (Sweet Evil, Sweet Peril, Sweet Reckoning)

There is a Book #4: Sweet Temptation. It is an Alternate POV Novel to the series

Book Order: Chronological (Alternate POV: Sweet Temptation)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance, Paranormal
Heat Rating: really warm *spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: May 2012 – September 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations:

When my library finally got these books in, I jumped for joy! Being a student, I can’t afford to buy every book that I desperately want to read (which is a lot if you could see the list I have) so I wait and wait until the library gets it. Thankfully, with eBook collections, the libraries my way seem to be getting more and more books at a faster rate and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Despite being really excited to read Sweet Evil, I was also really hesitant. Normally, I enjoy angel-themed young adult books but lately, I have read a few “duds” that seem to be rehashes of other books I have already read. However, after reading the summary for Sweet Evil, I was intrigued by the plot but I wasn’t sure what else to expect.

The Concept:

I have to say, Sweet Evil kind of blew me away! I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did and I literally devoured it in a day. Overall, the book was refreshing when it could have been very stale. The concept of Nephilim who have to do bad things was really neat and it kept me interested in what was happening. The world of guardian angels, demons and Nephilim was straightforward so it was easy to understand but had enough to it that kept me reading.

The Plot:

Each book starts a little slow but it isn’t long before you find yourself enraptured with the characters, plot and world. New twists and secrets are revealed as you go and help add to the story. By the time I was halfway through, I couldn’t put these books down!

I will say that the finale wasn’t as action packed as I had anticipated but it does a great job of bringing the series to a close so I can’t complain all that much!

The Characters:

I also genuinely liked Anna. It could have been really iffy because totally “virtuous” characters can get very annoying, very fast but I liked seeing her struggle with her true nature and feelings. I really admired and respected her when all was said and done which was great.  I went into Sweet Peril (#2) with the worry that I would end up hating Anna by the end of it due to her “good-girl” character but I find she has enough relateable flaws that I only ended up loving her character more

The Romance:

And I really liked the relationship between Anna and Kaiden and how it develops throughout the story. To be truthful, I really love that relationship and it is a major reason why I loved these books so much.

updates

–March 3, 2018– Book #4: Sweet Temptation **DNF’d at 35%**

Unfortunately, due to time constraints I had to DNF this book. I was enjoying getting Kaidan’s POV a lot. He’s one of my favourite male characters in YA ever. So it was cool to reminisce with him and see his perspective on the events of the previous novels.

That being said, I would have enjoyed this novel a lot more if I read it right after reading the original trilogy. It doesn’t get overly descriptive in terms of events and therefore it relies on the readers ability to remember what happened in the original novels. It’s been so long for me that I’m a little foggy on all the details (though I could have read this recap before) so I probably didn’t enjoy it (or appreciate it) as much as I could have. So I highly recommend reading Sweet Temptation right after finishing Sweet Reckoning.

Series Rating: 4/5

Sweet Evil 5/5 | Sweet Peril 4/5| Sweet Reckoning 4/5 | Sweet Temptation DNF

overall

One of the best Young Adult series I have read in a long time. It isn’t a fluffy, teen soap-opera read. It’s a touch darker, a touch steamier and much more mature than most Young Adult reads out there. While it isn’t a fighting action-packed story, it has enough action and events at a great pace that entice you to keep reading. Filled with a great romance, awesome characters and a unique plotline, this is a must-read series for fans of paranormal YA reads! Be prepared to spend all day reading these!

Read if You Like: older YA stories, angels, romance
Avoid if You: dislike YA paranormal

similarreads

readingchallenges

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Single Sundays: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures

Review:

I absolutely love Steampunk and I also love strong female characters so this book seemed like a no-brainer to me. After over a year, I finally got my hands on it!

I think it is fair to say that is book wasn’t what I was totally expecting–and that is OK. I still really liked it but not in the way I thought I would before I picked up it up.

I found this book to be really refreshing. The wit in it (all you really have to do is read some of the chapter titles and you will get what I am saying) is unlike any book I have read in recent memory. It was just a lot of fun and I did chuckle a few times at the characters and what they say/do. That being said, this type of humour and writing might not appeal to everyone so just be forewarned.

The characters were great. I think as a girl you can relate to some part of the three of the ladies in some way. I will say I was a little disappointed in Michiko’s character and I would have liked to have seen her character develop a bit more than what we get but I still liked her a lot. But overall, I really liked the strong ladies we get!

The book started a little slow and it didn’t help that I was thrown off by what I was actually reading. It isn’t very steampunk–and by that I mean that the steampunk element isn’t the driving force of the story like some other books. This book chooses to focus instead on how the girls live in a society that limits what girls in what they can do in polite society and the solving of a murder. But, the book really does pick up once you are a few chapters in and between the 3 girls, there is always something to grab your attention. The last 50 or so pages were really addicting.

Conclusion:

A very fun and witty read! I really hope that there is a sequel because I would love to see what else these girls get themselves into!

Rating: 3.5/5
Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Teen, Young Adult, Steampunk, Mystery, Action
Recommended for: 15+
Similar Reads: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

Though it isn’t a book, I highly recommend that you watch the TV show, Avatar: Legend of Korra is you like this genre and type of story!

Series Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

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

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence | Mystic City Series

book3

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite read of 2012 (Mystic City)
Series: Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
# of Books: 3 (Mystic City, Toxic Heart, Body Electric)
Complete?: No, Body Electric will be published TBA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Romance, Action
Heat Rating: cool

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 won’t lie, the only reason I picked this book up or at least considered reading it was because of the “fans of X-men” line–I can’t help but be a little curious about a book when a publisher uses that line. So I went in with weary expectations, only to come out of it all with my mind blown and me counting down the endless number of days until the sequel.

This book was FANTASTIC! One of my favourite reads this year for sure!

It just had everything I want in a book: A rich, twisting plot full of drama that wasn’t very predictable (there are clues along that way that you pick up on but there were some things that I happened that surprised me!); a dash of romance; a strong female lead; mystery and a whole lot of suspense and action. I had a very hard time putting this down at the end!

It can be worrisome when a book is compared or suggested to fans of another series. I often find the new books are carbon copies of the “fans of BLANK” books so it can be disheartening when you actually read it and it doesn’t meet your high expectations. I can happily say that this book was unlike anything I have read–sure it takes similar plot concepts from other stories but the way that they are weaved all together makes this book totally original and a joy to read.

UPDATED (July 24/14): I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of Toxic Heart after a very length wait (only know I will have to wait for the third book :P). While the plot isn’t as intricately woven as it was Mystic City, I found it managed to keep my attention right from the get go. It does suffer a bit from the “book-two-of-a-trilogy-slump” but there were still some mystery elements and good plot developments. Aria started to irritate me just a smidgen at the start of the novel but I quickly got over that once I was a few chapters in. Overall, it was a good followup to its predecessor and sets the stage for some awesome plotlines in the next installment!

Conclusion:

I know that this book gets mixed reviews on Goodreads but I think for those who want to try something a little different, this one is worth a shot! It is hard to say anything else without giving too much away but fans of dystopian who love a good mystery plot will LOVE this! If you get a chance pick it up so you can join me in the misery that is waiting for the sequel 😛

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Mystic City (from Goodreads):
For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Connect: Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Single Sundays: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.

But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?

Review:

I read this book a long time ago after a co-worker recommended it to me. I got my hands on a local library copy and I ended up loving the book so much that I went out and bought it for my own personal collection.

As you may or may not know, I am a huge Shakespeare nut. Any fiction involving Shakespeare and I am there! I recently went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada (if you ever get the chance to attend, do! They put on amazing productions ever year!). Amazing play and this production was awesome! So awesome it made me think about this book and I hope to reread it very soon!

But, back to the book 😉

This book is basically two stories in one. One follows the present day Juliet while the other follows the “original” Juliet. You can tell Ms. Fortier has done her research because the story that takes place in 1340 is rich in detail about the time and about the play Romeo and Juliet. My mom–who I made read this book–made the comment after the play about a gold statue saying she forgot it was in the play when she read about it in the book. Fortier does a fabulous job with tying the two worlds together and this makes the book super enjoyable to read.

Another bonus was the mystery and suspense. I find with some books that have regular “flashbacks” to the past, I tend to enjoy one story more than the other so I dread the respective POV. That was not the case here. I was equally addicted to both and that made this book super hard to put down. While I had suspicions about how the book was going to play–no pun intended–out (I mean, we all know how Romeo and Juliet ends, right?) I found it wasn’t predictable which always makes me happy. The plot was a little DaVinci Code-esque in its delivery but with Shakespeare which I thought was cool.

I really liked the characters and Juliet–either of them–didn’t annoy me (unlike the Juliet in Shakespeare’s play) so win!

Conclusion:

You don’t have to like Shakespeare to like this book. If you enjoy mysteries, books with suspense and a dash of romance, you will enjoy this one! I highly recommend it!

Rating: 5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Mystery, History, Romance
Recommended for: 17+
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2
Similar Reads: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly and Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Series Review: Spindle Cove by Tessa Dare

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

book5

booksynopsis

Synopsis for A Night to Surrender (from Goodreads):
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are… nowhere to be found. Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters… and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle… but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #1 Regency Read; Must Read Author; Favourite Author
Series: Spindle Cove
Author: Tessa Dare
# of Books: 5 (Full Series Order Here)

There are also 3 ebook novellas: #1.5 Once Upon a Winter’s Eve; #3.5 Beauty and the Blacksmith; #4.5 Lord Dashwood Missed Out

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Regency, Romance, Strong Heroines, Humour
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: August 2011 – September 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBooks & Paperbacks; Audiobook (#5)

thoughts

My Expectations / Why I Picked It Up:

I can remember picking up A Night to Surrender and going into it with so-so expectations. This was during my Regency phase so basically I was reading whatever my library had in eBooks and I came across this series and decided to give it a try.

I’m I sure glad that I did!

My Review:

These books have everything I enjoy in a book. Strong females (in droves I might add!), swoon-worthy males, hot romance and the best part of all is they have a dash of humour. I find that in Regency reads, it is really hard to find one where the leads have a witty sense of humour. Most of the time, the books of this genre only focus on the romance but with these ones, you get the whole package and this is something I think is unique to Tessa Dare’s writing and why she has quickly become one of my favourite authors.

A Night to Surrender was a great start to the series. It sets the tone for the rest of the books and introduces us in the perfect way to Spindle Cove and its characters. Spindle Cove is a place filled with unique, independently strong women so you can only imagine the stories that ensue. I find that this book, as well as the others never have a dull moment so it is extremely hard to put them down once you have started.

A Week to be Wicked (book 2) picks up right where book 1 ends and we get enough of a taste in A Night to Surrender that I was dying to get my hands on book 2. I finished this book in a day–it was that good and addicting (and at the time I was studying for exams so not so good!). It was just a lot of fun to read and I laughed throughout the novel. It is by-far my favourite of the series though book 4 is a very close second.

A Lady by Midnight (book 3) is probably my least favourite of the series. It is still a fantastic read, but it just didn’t get me the way A Week to be Wicked did–though to be fair, whatever followed A Week to be Wicked was going to have a tough act to follow. I really enjoyed it though and it still was a great addition to the series 🙂

Any Duchess will Do (book 4) reminded me of a cross between Pretty Woman and the Princess Diaries. The whole plot premise was a lot of fun and the characters were a hoot. Again, I devoured this book in a day and it definitely one of my favourites of the series. It was a great way to end the series though I wish there were more coming. I read on Dare’s blog that she has no immediate plans for more books in the series though she imagines she will return to Spindle Cove someday–all I have to say is that I sure hope so!

Review of Novellas:

As for the novellas, they are cute reads that have what would normally happen in the full-sized novels but in a quicker, shorter read. You don’t need to read them after/before the respective books as they don’t totally tie in to the stories of the following novel, but they (particularly Beauty and the Blacksmith) feature a character’s story that you will probably be dying to read after the first few books. I highly recommend you read them if you are looking for quick reads between books.

updates

–March 3, 2016– Book #4.5: Lord Dashwood Missed Out

I was really, really excited when I heard Tessa Dare was returning to Spindle Cove. While I was satisfied with the way the series “ended”, I will never deny the chance to return to see some favourite characters.

This novella was a lot of fun yet touching at the same time. It was great to see all the characters again a few years later and I loved the two new leads we get. The flow is great, the romance is sweet with just a dash of spice and the whole situation is just a lot of fun and typical Spindle Cove shenanigans. I wish the story was longer though. I wanted to tease out the relationship a bit more but it was a great, quick read.

I am so excited to the 5th full length book!

–October 1, 2019– Book #4: Do You Want to Start a Scandal

It should have been a no brainer to me that I would absolutely love an audiobook production of a Tessa Dare novel but it took me until now to give it a try.

OMG — I loved every minute of this book. It was the perfect blend of two fantastic series (Castles Ever After and Spindle Cove) and wraps up both series perfectly. I had been dying to read this book I wasn’t disappointed in any way by the plot, chemistry, romance or characters. FABULOUS!

Series Rating: 5/5

A Night to Surrender 4/5 | [Once Upon a Winter’s Eve] 4/5 | A Week to be Wicked 5/5 | A Lady by Midnight 4/5 | [Beauty and the Blacksmith 5/5 | Any Duchess Will Do 5/5 | [Lord Dashwood Missed Out] 4/5 | Do You Want to Start a Scandal 5/5

overall

One of my all-time favourite series. Just a great blend of story, characters and wit. If you want a regency read that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a dash of humour to it, PICK THESE UP! They are great light reads and highly addicting.

Read if You Like: fun regency reads, light-hearted, head-strong women
Avoid if You: want a more serious regency read

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact