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Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

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

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for I am Number Four (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding.

The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Science Fiction Series, Top Series #17
Series: Lorien Legacies or I am Number Four Series

There is a spin-off series: Lorien Legacies Reborn

Author: Pittacus Lore (Fun Fact: This is actually the name of a character in the book!)
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There is an entire set of novellas that provide background info and other stories. The complete list can be found here Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Aliens, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person (I am Number Four); Multiple (Power of Six onwards)
Publication Dates: August 2010 – June 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

Like most people, I only read I am Number Four because it was about to be released as a movie. I tried my best to finish before the movie but I wasn’t able to read it fast enough before it was out of the theatres. I still haven’t seen the movie but once I find a copy of it, you’ll be the first to read my review on it!

I know the movie bombed at the box office and this book isn’t particularly a hit with readers either. And that’s a damn shame because the rest of the series is far superior and so fantastic that lots of people who probably would enjoy reading it probably dropped it after reading I am Number Four.

I am Number Four isn’t anything special. It’s actually pretty mediocre and follows the typical Young Adult Science Fiction plot line: boy is in hiding, discovers his special powers and falls in love with a human girl. It’s very formulaic. It also doesn’t help that Four/John isn’t the easiest person to like. He’s kinda whinny and has a bit of righteous attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. But I loved Sam (his sidekick) and I loved the concept of the story. And by the end of the book, we get a bigger and better plotline that makes reading the next book so awesome.

The Power of Six was absolutely fantastic! After I finished reading the book, I even said so to myself. I really really enjoyed it. There is a lot more action and more about the purpose of John & company is revealed. I think it helps that we get a few more characters to read about so you don’t get John-overload. It was just a lot of fun to read about and had everything I love in a good series novel.

The Rise of Nine picks up right where The Power of Six leaves us (and thank goodness for that!) and it keeps going with the faster-pace action and has lots of twists and turns. It was hard to put this one down as well.

The Fall of Five is much slower than The Rise of Nine action wise in the middle of the book but I also devoured it. This was more a book about plot development but I never found it dull because of the multiple perspectives and the twists always had me thinking. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see where the next two books go in the series because the building up of the story has been fantastic in the last two novels. The wait until August is probably going to kill me 😛

As for the novellas, I’ve only read one or two. You don’t really need them to appreciate the world and I find that Pittacus Lore is good at reiterating the little facts about each character as you go between the books so things are always fresh on your mind. But they do make for a good way to pass the time while waiting for the next novel 😉

updates

–October 9, 2014– Book 5: Revenge of Seven

Words cannot describe how excited I was to read to read the Revenge of Seven. August has become synonymous with the release of these novels to me so I was absolutely dying to get my copy from the library. While Revenge of Seven wasn’t what I was entirely expected (I thought we were going to get a certain character’s perspective but we didn’t) I loved every minute of it. This book was really about building up to the final climax so I found it wasn’t focused on the physical action so much, though don’t get me wrong there was plenty of action just not as much as previous books. I really loved how everything is coming together and I can’t wait to read the final novel!

–November 19, 2015– Book 6: Fate of Ten

I was probably halfway through Fate of Ten when I realized that it was NOT the final book of the series. That irked me a little because I had opted to pay a late fine at the library in order to finish it thinking I was getting the grande finale.

Despite that, this book was good. Again, not as action packed as the previous novels though it does increase as you reach the end. It helps link up all of your questions and has some interesting developments that have me on edge to see how everything is going to wrap up. Solid book overall.

–August 22, 2016– Book 7: United as One

I loved and hated every moment of this book. Loved it because it was everything I wanted the ending to be but hated it because I am seriously going to miss this cast of characters!

I thought this book started slow–then again, it’s been so long since I read the previous novel. Everything started to come back to me the further I got and I found myself once again drawn into the struggles of these characters.

I really, really liked this ending! The journey is finally at a close and what a wild adventure it has been!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

I am Number Four 3/5 | The Power of Six 4/5 | The Rise of Nine 5/5  |  The Fall of Five 5/5  |  The Revenge of Seven 4/5  |  The Fate of Ten 4/5  |  United as One 5/5

overall

Don’t judge the series by I am Number Four. I like to think of I am Number Four as one big prequel novella for the rest of the series. Those who love science fiction and stories with lots of kickass action, you will enjoy the rest of the faster paced books in the series! So while it is important to read I am Number Four, don’t let it dissuade you from reading The Power of Six. But if you don’t enjoy The Power of Six, then you won’t like the rest of the series because that is what the rest of the series is like.

Read if You Like: slower starts, world-building, aliens, YA Science Fiction
Avoid if You: want more romance, dislike science fiction

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Series Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

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

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Beautiful Bastard (from Goodreads):

An ambitious intern.
A perfectionist executive.
And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release

breakdown

Series: Beautiful Bastard

This series crosses over with the Wild Seasons Series in book 4, Beautiful Secret.

Author: Christina Lauren
# of Books: 5 (Full Reading Order Here)

There are 5 novellas.

Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica, Drama
Heat Rating: Smokin’ (Kink: mild, BSDM: light in Book #2)
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: February 2013 – October 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Audiobook

thoughts

**This post was originally published as a Series Review of the first few of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked Up This Series / It’s FanFiction Origins:

This series peaked my interest for three reasons: 1) the title (it isn’t every day you see “bastard” in a title); 2) the enemy to lovers plotline (I’m a sucker for this type of romance plotline) and 3) the fact that it was fan-fiction before being republished.

Now, the fact that it was fanfiction, specifically Twilight fanfiction, would rightfully deter people away from picking up Beautiful Bastard. I mean, Twilight fanfiction brought us Fifty Shades of Grey and I think that correlation creates a bias for all other fanfiction that orignated from Twilight. So, needless to say I was a bit skeptical about this book, but I did like Fifty Shades when all is said and done so I decided to give this a shot.

I have to say, this book wasn’t very “Twilight-y” in its delivery. Unlike Fifty Shades where you can pick up the obvious parallels between its story and Twilight, I really didn’t get that here. After I finished the book and read the authors’ biographies, I realized that this published version was different than the original fanfiction they created. So if you are worried that this is just a reworking of Twilight, it isn’t so go into it with a fresh mind.

My Review of Beautiful Bastard (#1):

As for the book, Beautiful Bastard, it was a quick and cute read. Nothing wholly original but I was entertained nonetheless. I wish there was a bit more tension between the characters before they started sleeping together. I kind-of wanted more of a buildup to the eventual “moment” but they do give some flashback and insight to their past relationship so that helps. But I still don’t really understand why they are drawn to each other besides the sex (which happens a LOT, nearly every chapter). I suppose it is expanded upon a bit later on but I could have used a little more details.

The book also ends rather abruptly I think. I like a nice little epilogue or wrap-up at the end of my books; especially when the next full length novel in the series doesn’t deal directly with those two characters. So the way it ended was a bit of a disappointment but the nice thing is the Beautiful Bitch novella picks up from the end of Beautiful Bastard and closes up some of those gaps. However, it also ended abruptly (it is a novella after all) but I did feel like I got some closure. I was lucky to borrow a copy but if I had paid the $6 to buy the book from Kobo, I would have been severely disappointed in this novella. But when all is said and done, I enjoyed it and it did get me excited to read Beautiful Stranger.

My Review of Beautiful Strangers (#2):

Unfortunately, Beautiful Stranger was a bit of a disappointment. It is really a shame because I really did like the characters and wanted to really like this book. There were two issues that caused me not to enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. One was the same problem I have with Beautiful Bastard: I don’t understand why these characters fall in love with each other. Sure, they have amazing sexually chemistry but again, I would have appreciate an expansion on the things they have in common and their connection because I do think it was there, it was just tucked behind the scenes. The other issue would be the “kink” factor these two share. By no means is it as kinky as some erotica novels out there but I really don’t understand the fascination with taking photos of yourself–especially when you know the risks involved. Just doesn’t float my boat and it took me a long time to get over that. Overall, I liked Beautiful Stranger, but not as much Beautiful Bastard and I wish there was an epilogue!

updates

–January 9, 2015– Book #2.5: Beautiful Bombshell

I won’t lie–this series slipped to the back of my mind in 2014 and that only reason I remember I read it was because of my library adding the last few works to the online catalogue in December. So I put my holds on them and waited.

I actually read Beautiful Player before I read Beautiful Bombshell just because of how my holds at the library worked out. I don’t feel like I missed out on much because it really had nothing to do with the leads in Beautiful Player (maybe two little facts about the hero) and everything to do with the leads in the previous two books. Beautiful Bombshell is basically just reading sex scenes involving the last two couples in various places in Vegas. I actually skimmed a lot of it because it was almost a sex overload — though I thought the last chapter was really cute.

–January 9, 2015– Book #3: Beautiful Player

As for Beautiful Player–hands down my favourite book in the series! I loved loved the two leads, loved their relationship and loved the plot line. Hanna reminded me so much of myself in her everyday life and she had my laughing throughout the book. Of course she had her little dumb moments but nothing that stopped me from loving her. And Will was just plain swoon-worthy. I never had to question why these two liked each other because their chemistry and connection was apparent from the start. They didn’t jump into bed together but actually had a relationship before all the sexual stuff came into the equation. But the sexual tension was there from the start and it made that moment when they actually crossed that line that much sweeter. I just thought it was really well done even if there wasn’t much else going on plot-wise other than their relationship growing.

–March 28, 2015– Book #3.6: Beautiful Beloved

Updated (March 28/15): I read Beautiful Beloved and really enjoyed it. Unlike Beautiful Bombshell, I didn’t feel like I was reading extended sex scenes of all the characters–it actually had a plot and an intriguing one at that! It raises good questions for the modern woman: how do you balance your work life with your obligations as a mother? And while I may not necessarily be in that place in my life at the moment, I think a lot of older women (and guys too!) will relate in some capacity to the couple here.

But perhaps the best part of Beautiful Beloved was the brief introduction to the hero in Beautiful Secret! I cannot wait for this book–I already have my name on the hold list at my library and am counting down the days!

–April 1, 2015– Book #3.5: Beautiful Beginning

I will admit that I didn’t give Beautiful Beginning the time it deserved because I had to return it to the library and read another book before it expired on me too. Like Beautiful Beloved, I thought it was a great way to wrap up these characters’ stories and it would have been a great way to end the series had they not decided to write Beautiful Secret (the crossover with their other series). It’s not sex scenes every two pages and it made me appreciate these two characters and their relationship a lot more. It was fun, touching and overall a great novella!

–May 6, 2015– Book #4: Beautiful Secret

Despite getting Beautiful Secret on its release day, I didn’t get a chance to read it until now. While this book didn’t blow my away like Beautiful Player, I simply adored it! I was worried it was going to be a British regurgitation of Beautiful Bastard (the premise is slightly similar with a young intern as the female lead) but they are drastically different. It was fun and sweet and sexy–everything I want (and have come to expect) in a Christina Lauren novel! I loved that instead of a naive young girl, we get a male lead who isn’t too sure of his sexual prowess and who hasn’t been sleeping his way through London. It made their connection more realistic to me than this “magical” connection that makes him change his ways after a mind-blowing “shag” (you know the stories I’m talking about?).

–July 6, 2020– Book #4.5: Beautiful Boss

These two are my favourite couple from this universe so I was excited to spend some extra time with them. This was a cute story and I think it answered some of those lingering questions I had about their future. Plus, it serves as a great segway to the finale!

–July 6, 2020– Book #5: Beautiful

I would have been happy ending the series at Book #4 but I’m so glad they wrote Beautiful. With a new couple to fall for and extended epilogues with everyone in the series: this is how you should wrap up an interconnected series like this!

Series Rating: 4/5

This series has come a long way since its humble beginnings as fanfiction. As they released more books, Christina Lauren’s writing vastly improved to show why they are a formidable romance writing duo!

Read if You Like: contemporary romances, quick reads
Avoid if You: dislike sex scenes

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Series Review: Games by Nyrae Dawn

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

Charade by Nyrae Dawn | Games Series

 

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Games
Author: Nyrae Dawn
# of Books: 3 (Charade, Façade, Masquerade)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Really Warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2012 – January 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.**

I was really excited to read this book. Despite my hate of predictable books, I really enjoy romance books where people accidentally fall in love while “playing a game.” Weird, I know, but I think in the New Adult genre when this happens you really see the connection between the two people (in most cases!). It’s not just the sex or physical attraction between them because they actually talk to and get to know each other and from there, love develops. It makes the relationship that touch more realistic to me and let’s me enjoy the story that much more.

This book started off on shaky ground initially for me because it seemed to me that it was going to be a little “high school-y”. The drama between Cheyenne and her ex-boyfriend could have been really juvenile–and to a degree it was–but once you get past that (just a few chapters in) it starts to get deeper into the characters and their past and becomes much more mature. (Also, no love triangle!)

The story with Colt’s mom broke my heart. I did cry because it was very well done and made you feel what Colt was feeling. I really liked Colt because he was relatable and understandable. You could clearly see why he was struggling. Same with Cheyenne’s story. She started off a little weak in her convictions but she really grows into a strong, independent woman. Everything was well connected and I really enjoyed that.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book only that I didn’t like how quickly they switched from a fake relationship of holding hands to “friends-with-benefits”. It just seemed a little out of character for Cheyenne given her background story but it’s not an absolute deal breaker for me–and given the circumstances they find themselves in, I let it slide.

To end on a positive note: one thing I really liked about this book is that Colt and Cheyenne’s story ends in Charade. The next book is about Colt’s friend Adrian who appears throughout the book enough that I am excited to see what his story is.

updates

–May 24, 2014– Book #2: Façade

This was such a refreshing read for me!

I really liked the story and I loved the characters! I simply devoured it and I really didn’t know how everything was going to go down. I loved the moments we get with characters of the past and I really fell in love with the new set as well.

I’m super excited for Masquerade and can’t wait to finally read it!

–November 19, 2016– Book #3: Masquerade

Gah! Nyrae Dawn has made me believe in soulmates with these two!

This is what I want to see in a romance: two people who compliment each other so well that is is simply a blast to watch them fall for each other!

Yes, they had great physical chemistry; the sexual tension was off the charts from the start. But at the same time, it was a slow burn type of romance. One that took its time and made it 100% believable.

And the character development! Perfection! Watching these two come to terms with their pasts was a beautiful thing to see. You don’t get any unnecessary drama in this plot at all. It sticks to the story of two people finding love when they never thought they could.

This book was just awesome! Exactly what I wanted and what I needed to read.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

Charade 4/5 | Facade 4/5 | Masquerade 5/5

overall

This is one of those character centered series that you will fall in love with. It’s amazing how quickly you get attached to them. I definitely shed some tears in each of these novels! It’s a great series for anyone who doesn’t want all the unnecessary, soap-opera-esque drama New Adult stories often have.

Read if You Like: character development, new adult romances
Avoid if You: want lots of drama

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Charade (from Goodreads):
Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

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Series Review: The Sullivans by Bella Andre

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 The Look of Love (from Goodreads):
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

breakdown
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Top Family Series
Series: The Sullivans; The San Francisco Sullivans

There are spin-off series: Seattle Sullivans & New York Sullivans & Summer Lake

Author: Bella Andre
# of Books: 10 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Families, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating

thoughts

Please Note: This is an ongoing series review as I have not read all the books in the series.

I decided to read this series after I got the 3rd one, Can’t Help Falling in Love for free from a Kobo promotion last year. Because it was the 3rd one, I decided to read the first two in order to not lose out on the history (though you can totally read these books in any order without it taking anything away from the current story).

I nearly stopped reading The Look of Love because it was everything I hate in a romance: instant love-at-first-sight romance and that irks me to no end. I love fiction because it isn’t real life but I don’t like love at first sight–to me it’s just lust and physical attraction and I like my romances to be slightly realistic. It also didn’t help that I didn’t care for Chase or Chloe so it was a battle to read. The only reason I finished was because it was extremely short so it wasn’t a huge waste of my time.

Within the last few chapters of book 1, I decided I wasn’t going to continue with the series. I had the free book 3 but it was just going to sit on my Kobo at no loss to me. But then, I finished the 1st book and guess what? It ends in a pretty steep cliff-hanger about a character I actually enjoyed so I decided to pick up From This Moment On because I really wanted to see where it went. Damn.

Luckily, From This Moment On was significantly better in my opinion than The Look of Love. I liked the relationship that develops between Marcus and his lady. Unlike Chloe and Chase, they realise that their relationship was more physical initially but I feel like they actually got to know each other on a deeper level than just sex. It was a cute, quick read and you meet more of the Sullivan family so I decided to stick with it.

From then on, the rest of the books get better! I think part of it has to do with the fact that you are slowly introduced to the rest of the Sullivan clan as you read along and you get attached to the secondary characters and want to see what happens to them. The other reason is that the next book picks up directly where the previous book left off so it’s like you are reading one long, continuous story.

My favourites of the series so far have been Book 2 (From This Moment On); Book 3 (Can’t Help Falling in Love); Book 4 (I Only Have Eyes for You); and Book 6 (Let me be the One).

One thing I find with Bella Andre’s writing is that she tends to have subplots (by this I mean storylines that aren’t the romantic relationship) that build throughout the story and then end suddenly (conclude within 5 pages). I find it can be a bit of a let down because as I am reading I think more is going to happen with this plot and then it doesn’t. Not all the books in the series have this but some do.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I still have to read the last 3 in the series. From what I have read, The Way you Look Tonight is about a Sullivan cousin and not any of the siblings we see throughout the first 7 books. The last book is about the sibling’s parents so I am really excited to read that this fall!

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

If you want a super quick romantic read that is heavy on the romance and not much on anything else, pick these books up. If you didn’t enjoy The Look of Love give From This Moment On a chance because the rest of the series is much better in its delivery.

Read if You Like: quick reads, family stories
Avoid if You: dislike insta-love, want more depth

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