Tag «dnf review»

Book Review: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Macguire

NOTE: I feel it is important to clarify that this book is actually part of the “Wicked Years” series. However, I have never read, nor do I plan to read, the rest of the books in this series. As such, I have decided to review Wicked as a stand-alone novel.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
In Baum’s land of Oz, animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. Green-skinned Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, is smart, prickly and misunderstood; she challenges our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Review:

I have never watched the musical Wicked; however, it is on my bucket list and has been on my “MUST SEE” play list for YEARS. It just never fails that when it comes to my area that I can’t make it to the show and I won’t be going to Broadway anytime soon so I decided to read the book in the hopes it would satisfy my craving.

Yeah, that was my first mistake.

I really feel like I should have read the book reviews about this book before I decided to read this book. If I had, I probably would have saved myself the hours it took me to drag myself through this book :S

I just didn’t enjoy this book. It was boring, and just plain weird at times. I also feel like it didn’t answer any of my questions about why the Wicked Witch becomes “Wicked” in the first place. I can see why the events Elphaba has gone through in life would make her “wicked” but it wasn’t enough to convince me. I felt like I should finish the book and sympathize with her character but when I finished, I was indifferent to her. I think the recent Disney movie, Oz, does a WAY better job at explaining the pre-story to the Wizard of Oz than this does.

I only finished this book for the sake of my pride and in the hopes that it would get better. I think for the most part it got a little more interesting for Elphaba once she reaches university but it still wasn’t enough to make me happy that I continued to read the book. I really should have put it down.

From what I have learned, this book is nothing like the musical and thank goodness or else I would be very concerned and curious about how it is so successful!

Conclusion:

This book is definitely more for adults, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for anyone unless they enjoy reading bizarre stories. If you want an interesting prequel for the Wizard of Oz, I highly recommend watching Oz: The Great and Powerful recently released by Disney–much more enjoyable and makes much more sense!

Rating: 1/5
Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Adult, Prequel, Fantasy,
Recommended for: no one, but it is geared more for the 18+ crowd

Series Review: Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

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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Synopsis for Mila 2.0 (from Goodreads):

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

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Series: Mila 2.0 Trilogy
Author: Debra Driza
# of Books: 3 (Mila 2.0, Renegade, Redemption)

There is also a prequel eNovella, Origins: The Fire available for free on Kobo and Amazon/Kindle

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young adult, SciFi, Action, Suspense, Thriller
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: March 2013 – April 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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**This post was originally published 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.**

Why I Picked it Up:

I came across this series when I found the eBook prequel, Origins: Fire, for free on Kobo. The cover drew my attention so I decided to see what the series was about. The main summary for Mila 2.0, the first book of the series, didn’t immediately grab my attention. I feared it would be some attempt to find the meaning of life or life as a human and that just didn’t interest me too much. What ended up making my decision for me was the title dropping of the Borne Identity and I am Number Four, titles that I have enjoyed in the past for their blend of action and plot–so when a book is compared to these two titles, I can’t help but to check it out.

My Thoughts on the Prequel Novella:

I’ll start briefly with the prequel novella. You don’t need to read Origins: Fire before you start this book. It ends abruptly and it confused me a bit because of this abrupt ending but it does explain what happened and why Mila is where she is and why she feels as she does. If you have a Kobo or a Kindle, pick up the eBook for free. It also offers sample chapters of Mila 2.0 as well if you wanted to get a bit of a feel for the full-length book.

My Review of Mila 2.0:

Mila 2.0, the first full length novel of the series, started off really slow. It isn’t until Chapter 8 that Mila learns the truth about herself so for the first 8 chapters of the novel you read about her life as a high schooler and her friends. It is a little dull and I don’t care for her friends (they are everything I dislike about girls in high school) so that made it hard to get through. But once the discovery is made, it really picks up. This set up of an extraordinary protagonist living in a ordinary world reminded me a lot of I am Number Four because in that book, Four/John goes through a very similar situation and most of the action picks up after a few “everyday-life” chapters in that novel as well.

Once Mila learns the truth, the action begins. More about her features and abilities get revealed as she navigates her way through the situations she faces. How Mila thinks and processes is very much Borne Identity-esque so there are some great action sequences in the latter half of the book. The detail in these sequences is also amazing–I was easily able to picture and have the scene run through my head as I read it which always gives a book bonus points in my opinion.

The last 30 pages have a lot going on and I was devastated when my Kobo ran out of batteries in the middle of it 😛 The ending was a bit abrupt but I guess most cliff-hanger endings are 😉

Why I Won’t Be Continuing With the Series:

I’ve just been too far removed from it over the last few years.

Series Rating: DNF

Mila 2.0 3.5/5 | Renegade N/A | Redemption N/A

overall

Overall, it wasn’t as “what makes us human” as I initially feared though it does have that as a focus of the novel–my point is that it isn’t the ONLY thing that this novel focuses on. This was a very refreshing read in a genre that is usually filled with romance and high school drama. It was a nice change of pace to get a true action/suspense read that isn’t a paranormal SciFi read but a genuine SciFi read. For those who love SciFi and a novel that builds up the story as it goes, check this one out!

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Series Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

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

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booksynopsis

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

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

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

breakdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will update my review once I read it.  

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

Series Rating: 2/5

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

overall

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

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

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Series Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

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Synopsis for Dark Lover (from Goodreads):
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams

breakdown

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
# of Books: 18 (View a full list here)
Complete?: No
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Heat Rating: Hot

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NOTE: As of October 8, 2018, I have only read the first four books in the series (up to and including Lover Revealed). The following review is based on the trends and commonalities I had seen after reading the first two novels. I will not be continuing with the other sequels in the series.

Why I Picked It Up:

This was one of those series that appeared everywhere I looked for books. Every time I logged onto Kobo to find see what was new, the Lover at Last cover stared back at me. For about two weeks, I looked away until my curiosity got the better of me and I had to search the book on Goodreads. I then learned that Lover at Last was book 11 of a romance series and one that was consistently rated as 4 out of 5 by 80,000 readers. Typically, that means it’s a good read because so many people can’t be wrong, right? I was also intrigued that a few of the authors I follow on Goodreads had also rated the series with high reviews. So, I decided to put the book on hold from my local library and soon Dark Lover was in my grasp.

The Concept / The World:

I will admit that the glossary of terms that graced the first couple of pages of my Kobo freaked me out. I like when authors have a glossary of terms about the world they have created–it helps me to remember what things are and provides a reference point that is easy to find later on in the book. But I was expecting this to be a typical romantic vampire read–ie nothing complex and a light read (kind of like Lynsay Sands Argeneau vampire series)–yet that is not what we get here.

This is definitely a vampire book for adults and not just because of the sex scenes. The world is dark, the characters are older and mature and the vampires are how people expect vampires to be (no glitter here folks!), blood drinking (though not human blood but other vampire blood), incredibly strong and good-looking creatures who can’t walk in the sun. Also, the vampires of the brotherhood are all alpha males–and by alpha I mean ALPHA. They are typical I-protect-what-is-mine men that apparently women readers love. I personally, find it a little creepy and annoying to some degree but I guess it works for a majority of the target audience. It isn’t enough to turn me off of the books completely though, it just makes me raise an eyebrow or roll my eyes at times.

The Characters:

What does turn me off is how the heroines act sometimes because of the males’ personalities. I am a feminist–I am all for gender equality and the like–I’m just not a zealous feminist so don’t think I have some supreme biased about this or am approaching it from only a single viewpoint. I just find that the women start off strong and then become a little idiotic in their actions. Like they know they should be afraid of this random stranger who suddenly wants to jump their pants and is everywhere they go and they are–at first. Then they end up giving into the sexy stranger less than 48 hours later. From what I understand of the world (based on the two books I have read so far) is that the males exude a chemical that gets both parties “excited” so the scientist in me goes, “ok, it’s basically a hormone reaction” but I still find it a little worrisome that these strong females swoon within two days. But, I digress, this is fiction and NOT real so I shouldn’t get too hung up on it 😉

The Romance:

Though I will say, I like how the relationships progress once they get passed that initial lust. I like stories where love heals and that seems to be the trend in these books. The redeeming thing is that these relationships progress enough to be something more than just physically chemistry which I appreciate.

The Plot:

As for the plot, I both love and hate the setup. The POVs alter between the heroine, the hero, other characters and the Lessers (who are the “bad guys”). I like the alternating POVs though it can get annoying when a particular storyline is cut up into pieces by a random Lesser POV–but it forces me to read ahead and before I know it, it is an hour later and I am no closer to putting it down ;). The “hate” part of this setup is the Lesser POVs. While I do enjoy seeing how the “evil side” works, I find that the pieces are a little dry and too long to hold my interest at times; especially when something exciting is happening with the main characters. I mostly skim those sections just to get on with the story though in some books they are more interesting than others. Overall, with these alternating POV we get a lot of insight into the multiple plot lines that are occurring simultaneously so there is rarely a dull moment in these books which is great.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Another bonus of these alternating POV is when they focus on the “secondary” characters in the novels. Particularly with book 2, Lover Eternal we get a bit of interaction between the hero and heroine (as well as a few other matches that will happen in the later books) who are set to take centre stage in book 3, Lover Awakened. I am so excited to read this next book that I think it is safe to say I am addicted to this series 😛

Do you Have to Read them in Order?

I feel it is important to note that this series is one that you could probably get away reading the books in any order, but I recommend that you try to read them in order to get the full experience. I think it just adds to the characters’ stories and understanding and it makes you excited to read what is going to happen your favourite characters in the later books.

overall

Based on the first two books, this series is starting to get really addicting and showing a lot of promise. Those who enjoy romance; dark, sexy and often tormented heroes; and want a “real” vampire world will enjoy this series immensely.

Read if You Like: alpha males, paranormal romances, vampires
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, paranormal fiction

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A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau Series, #1)

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Series Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

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

Wait for You by J. Lynn | Wait for You Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Wait for You (from Goodreads):

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Must Read Author
Series: Wait for You
Author: J. Lynn (aka Jennifer L. Armentrout)
# of Books: 6 (Full List Here)

There are also novellas. Find the full reading order here.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Mature Subject Matter
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: Februrary 2013 – November 2016
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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**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:

Jennifer L. Armentrout is a must read author for me. I’ve loved her paranormal Young Adult reads so I was stoked when I learned she was writing a New Adult book.

My Thoughts on Wait for You:

I read Wait For You when I was in a New Adult genre obsession phase (ie, I was basically reading only New Adult books for a solid two weeks) and it came out as one of my favourite reads.

The relationship between Cameron and Avery was great. I really liked both of them as characters and I could see their connection. I liked that both had issues to work through but they did so in a healthy way. I can’t stress how important the “healthy” bit is to me because sometimes I feel like books give people the idea it is completely normal to have crazy-passion filled and often obsessive relationships–especially in a genre that is attempting to be “realistic”–I just think it is important to remember it is fiction and most relationships in real life are not like that. Luckily, that isn’t the case here so I digress 😉

But I do have to say this book does a great job handling the subject matter that it brings up. This part was handled in an extremely mature way and isn’t something that is discussed often in New Adult reads. I also felt like it was realistic in how the characters deal with it and feel so I really respect that about this book–so kudos!

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really excited to read the next book and even though it isn’t a direct sequel of Avery’s story, I have enough clues from this book to get me excited for the sequel!

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–July 15, 2018– Book #1.5: Trust In Me

Clearly it has been 5 years since I read the first book in the series and my thoughts on Armentrout’s work greatly differ now. I find her writing to be formulaic now but I did remember enjoying this book and how refreshing it was to her other works so I was optimistic going into this.

Considering this is an Alternate POV retelling of Wait for You, this was the perfect way to reorient myself with this series. Somewhere in my head I labelled this as a novella–it’s not, it’s a full blown novel. Which is fine, but it wasn’t the quicker read I was expecting.

Since it has been 5 years since I read the first book, I don’t know how much is repeat and rehashing vs how much is fresh material. But when I was halfway through, I found myself getting bored because I did know how it all ended. Perhaps, I would have gotten more out of this if I read it closer to Wait For You or even alternated chapters? Or maybe I just got bored of Cam? I think I liked him as a bit more of a mystery personally and spending that much time in his head didn’t do it for me.

–September 4, 2018– Book #2: Be With Me

**DNF’d at 30% (start of Chapter 10)**

This is just so boring! Nothing really new here. And I don’t feel the chemistry between these two at all–which is a shame because I felt it in the other book. Maybe if we had Jase’s POV I wouldn’t feel that way? Also, the lack of maturity (from both leads) is irking me. I do like the about violence against women aspect but I wish it was elaborated on more.

This is where I part ways with this series…

Series Rating: DNF

Wait for You 4/5 | [Trust in Me 3/5] | Be With Me DNF

overall

When I read the first novel 5 years ago, it was one of the first in the NA genre and I was a pretty loyal JLA fan. But I’ve grown tired of her formulaic writing over the years and I’ve frankly read a lot more impressive novels in this genre since so I’m not going out of my way to recommend this series to anyone except diehard JLA fans.

Read if You Like: mature subject matter, new adult romance
Avoid if You: a lighter read, dislike JLA’s writing style

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Series Review: My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

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

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron | My Favorite Mistake Series

 

Series: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
# of Books: 2 (My Favorite Mistake, My Sweetest Escape, Our Favorite Days)
Book Order: Connected + Direct Sequel (Our Favorite Days)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Tragedy, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That I have not read the second book in the series, The Sweetest Escape, and have no plans to do so in the near future.

I went into with this book with high hopes and came away a little disappointed. It was super cute but it was a little too much at times.

I didn’t really like Taylor. At first I thought I would like her because she takes no shit from anyone but I often found like it was a little over the top. Because you don’t know Taylor’s secret, you don’t know why she acts the way she does. When you find out, it makes more sense but I still feel like she was a little abrupt with her thoughts and actions. If it was toned down a touch, I would have liked her more.

Hunter was a little too good to be true. Instant-love connection, understanding bad-boy, jaded background and nearly every other stereotypical “hero” aspect. I liked him enough but sometimes I just wanted to roll my eyes a bit at things he did. I would have appreciated a little more character development from his end.

I think that was my main issue with the book–nothing was overly refreshing or new to me. I had read similar stories before that seemed to have a higher level of maturity so this book wasn’t up to that level which left me disappointed.

One thing about this book is that it is only told by Taylor’s POV. The summary gave me the impression that we would be getting to see Hunter’s POV but we don’t. It would have been nice to have had his POV but it was a nice change from the shifting POVs most New Adult reads have.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed the banter between the two of them and it was a super easy and quick read. It was nothing too exciting but it was a nice way to pass the time. Those just starting the genre and don’t want too heavy of a story will like this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Wait for You… by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait For You Series #1)

Synopsis for My Favorite Mistake (from Goodreads):
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn’t a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment–and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

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Series Review: Whitman University by Lyla Payne

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

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne | Whitman University

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booksynopsis

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

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

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

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

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

breakdown

Series: Whitman University
Author: Lyla Payne
# of Books: 5 (Full Series Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating & Single
Publication Dates: March 2013 – November 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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

My Thoughts on Broken at Love:

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

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

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

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

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

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

updates

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

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

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

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

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

Series Rating: DNF

Broken at Love 4/5 | By Referral Only DNF

overall

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

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

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Series Review: Young Love by Amanda Heath

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

This Beautiful Thing | Young Love Series

 book2 book2 book2

Series: Young Love
Author: Amanda Heath
# of Books: 4 (This Beautiful Thing, Fire in Her Eyes, Norma Jean, Wrong Kind of Love)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Romance, Forbidden Love
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts on This Beautiful Thing:

Disclaimer: I stopped reading this series after This Beautiful Thing. Find out why below…

I nearly put this book down after the first chapter (which is 3 pages on my Kobo) for three main reasons:

  1. the characters
  2. the story
  3. the writing itself.

Let’s start with the characters. The book alternates between Teagan and Delcan first person POV. When I read Teagan’s POV, I feel like I am killing brain cells. She is not what I enjoy in a leading lady and if she was a person in my real life, I would avoid her at all costs. I’m not even sure how to describe what it is that irks me about her. She is just one of those characters I can’t stand. I guess it’s because she seems to be a bit of a drama queen and lacks logic in her actions. She gets angry without hearing the full story and assumes something else and then goes, “you’re right I never thought of it like that, I’m sorry”. She flips sides like a coin and it’s not something I enjoy in my characters. Delcan’s POV is slightly better to read so I enjoy the break that happens when I read his story.

Which brings me to the story. It’s stereotypical and because the characters are very immature it comes across as juvenile. It felt like I was reading a story about high school seniors from 90210 and not about college students because all the issues were really petty. The best way I can think to describe the story is as a soap-opera–which I don’t mind watching on TV, but I don’t enjoy reading about it. It takes things to extreme levels–levels that don’t need to be reached in order to make this story enjoyable.

I think the reason this book came across as juvenile is due to the writing. It’s not the best writing I have had to read and (this sounds awful but) it seems to me like a teenager wrote this after watching too many soap-operas. And there were A TON of grammatical and spelling errors. When I read eBooks, I let the occasional typo slide by–I mean it happens–but these are obvious mistakes that everyone learns in grade school (“to” instead of “two”; “its” instead of “it’s”; no commas; using the completely wrong word; etc.). (Which is a problem I see with eBooks as anyone can self-publish books and sell them online without getting someone to edit it). I think part of the reason I only continued to read this book was to see how many errors I could find (FYI, I lost count). Needless to say, the constant errors really turned me off this book.

The next book in the series, Wrong Kind of Love features a new set of characters as the leads but are characters we are introduced to in This Beautiful Thing. I don’t think I am going to pick this one up because it seems to be about a love triangle. I already hate love triangles and I’m not a fan of the first book so it just seems like a no-brainer to avoid book 2 at all costs. Not even the many hints near the end of this book will tempt me to see what actually goes down in the sequel.

Conclusion:

This is one of the worst books I have read all year. I’m glad I only spent a dollar on it, otherwise, I would be getting a refund. It had an interesting concept but failed to deliver.

Rating: 1/5

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Synopsis for This Beautiful Thing (from Goodreads):
Teagan Harper doesn’t have much experience with guys. Her twin brothers have made sure of that. Until one night at a college party she gives them the slip, finding herself in the arms of the most amazing guy she has ever met. Now she’s on a mission to find him since she ran from his bed. And forgot to ask his name…

Declan Sage has had control over his entire life. But that is all about to change when the girl who ran out of his bed turns his life upside down. She is about to throw that control out the window. But he’s pretty sure that’s a good thing seeing as she stole his heart…

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Series Review: The Perfect Game by J. Sterling

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

Series: The Perfect Game
Author: J. Sterling
# of Books: 4 (The Perfect Game, The Game Changer, The Sweetest Game, The Other Game)
Book Order: Chronological; Connected (The Other Game)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2012 – October 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Disclaimer: I never picked up Book 2, The Game Changer. Find out why below…

I was excited to read this book when I bought it. I had just discovered the New Adult genre (thanks to Crash by Nicole Williams) and was greedy to get my hands on this one. But when I went to read it (months later I might add), it took be awhile to get into.

I think the main reason was that I didn’t particularly care for Cassie. She irked me to no ends actually. Compared to other “heroines” of new adult reads, she has nothing on them. Most have a tragic past that really grips you and explains why they have trust issues. But Cassie’s problem? Her dad failed to get a concert for a high school dance and she was embarrassed–um, what?! After reading such heavy stories prior to this (I had just read Wait for You by J. Lynn), I felt this book was very juvenile in it’s approach to Cassie’s “damaged, mistrust” issues.

Jack’s reasons were totally acceptable in my opinion so I didn’t mind him so much but Cassie really needed to get over her “daddy issues”.

As I said before, it took me a bit to get into but I eventually got there. It wasn’t until halfway through the book that a plot twist grabbed my attention. After that happened, I started to enjoy the book more but I wasn’t overly impressed with it.

Series Rating: DNF

The Perfect Game 3.5/5 | The Game Changer N/A | The Sweetest Game N/A | The Other Game N/A

overall

I’m not sure why there is a sequel. I would have been more than happy to have the series end as it did and have another set of characters in the next one. I will probably read it for curiosity’s sake but this wouldn’t be my first pick for a New Adult Series to read. But if you enjoy an athlete falling in love, then you might enjoy this one!

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Perfect Game (from Goodreads):
He’s a game she never intended to play.
And she’s the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind… like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.

They’re both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together.

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful…

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Series Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

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 A Beautiful Dark (from Goodreads):

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites–like fire and ice–Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move–only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine

breakdown

Series: A Beautiful Dark
Author: Jocelyn Davies
# of Books: 3 (A Beautiful Dark, A Fractured Light, A Radiant Sky)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: September 2011 – 2013
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

My Expectations / Why I Picked It Up:

I bought A Beautiful Dark when Kobo had it on sale one weekend. The plot sounded interesting to me and in general, I seem to enjoy angel-focused young adult reads so I decided to give it a shot.

My Thoughts on the Series:

I enjoyed the first book enough. I liked how Davies presented the angel clans being rivals in their magical powers and why they have the powers that they do in what is an otherwise obvious division between angels (ie. those in heaven vs those who have fallen).

What I didn’t enjoy was Skye or the love triangle.

Skye is annoying—-plain and simple. She was alright in the first book—I mean she has gone through a lot so I let her have a little angst but it becomes unbearable in the second book, A Fractured Light. I swear that sometimes the elevator doesn’t reach the top floor for her. She becomes whinny when she gets grounded (because she disappears for long periods of time without letting her aunt know) and can’t understand why she can’t leave the house. Well, that’s what being grounded means!

The other thing that irks me about this book is the love triangle. I don’t like love triangles but like any good reader, I push forward and pick what team I am going to be on. I think the problem here is that I don’t care for any of her love interests (and there are a few because she is one of those girls guys gravitate to all at once) and I don’t like how she gets angry at them for moving on when she has clearly made her choice.

The storyline is a little too predictable for me in both books. I could see most things coming and nothing really surprised me.

updates

–July 12, 2014– Book #3: A Radiant Sky

I picked this book up and then promptly DNF’d it at the 28% mark. I wasn’t feeling it and even knowing that the conclusion was near wasn’t enough for me.

Series Rating: DNF

A Beautiful Dark 3/5 | A Fractured Light 3/5 | A Radiant Sky DNF

overall

If you can tolerate angst-y, spoiled heroines who can’t make up their mind and like angel stories, check it out. Otherwise I would pass.

Read if You Like: angels, love triangles, angsty teens
Avoid if You: dislike YA paranormal

similarreads

  • Fallen by Lauren Kate (Fallen Series #1)
  • Darkness Before Dawn by J A London (Darkness Before Dawn Trilogy #1)

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