Tag «love triangle»

Series Review: House of Night by P.C. Cast

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 Marked (from Goodreads):

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire — that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

breakdown

Series: House of Night
Author: P.C and Kristin Cast
# of Books: 12 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Romance, Drama, Action
Heat Rating: very warm (for a Young Adult Novel)
Point of View: First Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: April 2018 – August 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover

thoughts

PLEASE NOTE: That as of May, 2014 I have only read up to Destined (Book 9) of the series. I have decided not to continue with the series after this novel.

My Review:

I started this series as a recommendation from a co-worker. She absolutely loved this series and I had liked her previous suggestions so I decided to give this series a try.

I really did enjoy the first novel, Marked. It was a different spin on vampires and I liked that it was much darker than other Young Adult vampire reads. It was also a lot “spicier” than other books in the genre (definitely a result of PC Cast being an adult romance writer) as it mentions a lot more sexual content. Which was a bit of a shock to me because I hadn’t really come across that too much in other books but it isn’t full out descriptive by any means. Overall, it was your typical intro book to a longer running series.

One thing I knew from the start was that I didn’t like Zoey. Ugh–she is the definition of my most disliked heroine in a Young Adult series ever (though Bella Swan is a very close first). I just never connected well with her and Lead-Heroine Self-Sacrifice Syndrome. It is also no secret that I am NOT a fan of love triangles and this book has them in plenty. But wait…it gets better! Not only does Zoey find herself in one love triangle but she practically has 12 going on at the same time (no lie, she legit has 4 boys vying for her attention at any one time). I remember reading somewhere that this was done intentionally to have a female lead with polyamory because of something or other–but it’s just too over the top for me. It just drove me nuts because I never really liked any of the male romantic leads (except one really) and I just hated the flip-flopping back and forth.

Why I Didn’t Finish the Series:

When I started the series, there were only 6 books in the series–so I thought that was where it was going to end. Which would of been fine as I liked how the plot was progressing. But once I reached book 7, Tempted, I realised that wasn’t the case.

To me, this is one of those series that has suffered from its popularity and fandom in the case that the plot gets dragged out because readers want more. As is the case with a lot of other series **coughcoughCROSSFIREcoughcough** I think the series overall takes a hit.

Do I necessarily remember how much I enjoyed the first set of books? No, but because I haven’t enjoyed the last 3 or so novels as much so it creates a bias to me that I didn’t enjoy the others that much either (though to be truthful this series never did too much for me anyways). I just feel like the plot has gone in a completely different direction and they keep doing stupid things just for the sake of dragging this series out.

As I said at the start of this post, I have only read up until book 9, Destined. Part of the problem was that I got tired of waiting a year to read each new book when I wasn’t totally in love with the series anymore. I’m probably going to finish the series just for the sake of finishing it, but I’m in no rush to do so. For anyone in the same boat or who doesn’t want to read it, Wikipedia has extensive plot overviews that will help you get back on track or finish the series for you.

During its height of popularity, according to the Wikipedia page for the series, 5 movies were planned for the series. Personally, I would have rather seen this a s a TV series more than anything with the way the series and its romances progress. The thought of it as a movie slightly scares me in that I fear it will do extremely well at the box office (though I don’t think that will be the case) and be a massive hit when other book-movie series like the Mortal Instruments, Vampire Academy and Beautiful Creatures have substantially better characters and plotlines yet flopped at the box office. I probably will watch the movie if it is made but I won’t be going opening weekend…

Series Rating: DNF

overall

If you like high drama, love triangles galore and sexier Young Adult reads, you will probably love this series. But if you hate love triangles, like your heroines with a little more backbone and don’t enjoy dragged out plots, AVOID this series.

Read if You Like: vampires, love triangles, angst
Avoid if You: dislike noncontemporary

similarreads

  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #1)
  • Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods #1)

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Series Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

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

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

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

Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

Rating: 3/5

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

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

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

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

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

Single Sundays: He Belongs With Me by Sarah Darlington

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Two girls. One Leo. Identical twins, Maggie and Clara Ryder, both grew up with Leo Maddox, billionaire playboy, apparent alcoholic, and heir to his grandfather’s world-famous Maddox hotel empire. Their roles were cemented long ago: Maggie, as his best friend and Clara as his childhood nemesis. But when a simple twist of fate changes everything and both girls start to fall for the lean, mean, ridiculously sexy and seemingly spoiled Leo… which girl will win his heart? Throw in a little mischief, drama, and one smoking-hot bartender and lines are sure to blur. But one thing’s for certain, neither good-girl Maggie nor rebellious Clara will be satisfied until they each figure out where they belong.

Review:

I picked this book up for free one day from Amazon and just had to read it right away (Note: It is not longer free on Amazon but you can buy it for ~$1.50 CAD). It seemed like a lighthearted read and I really needed one at the time.

My one hesitation with the book was the insinuation of a love triangle between the two girls. I don’t really like love triangles (no secret there) but with a title like “He Belongs With Me” I wasn’t going to be surprised if there was some petty fighting between the girls–but if there was, I thought at the very least it might be entertaining. The good news (for me at least) is that this book isn’t really about a love triangle. I think it’s obvious to everyone as you read who is truly in love with who but I enjoyed watching everything unfold anyways. Basically, this isn’t a love triangle story to the extreme–it is an element that doesn’t come across as annoying or unrealistic as sometimes love triangles are. The story is mostly about each girl trying to figure out their love life and what to do about their relationship–though the emphasis is definitely on their love lives.

This book was easy to read and it came to a point where I couldn’t put it down. I just enjoyed reading it. It didn’t have over the top drama, it had great characters (though to be honest I’m not the biggest Maggie fan) and it had this element of realism to it. I could see this story unfolding in real life and I really enjoyed it. It also wasn’t particularly “sexy” if you catch my drift (and for those who didn’t, what I am saying is that there is very little sex in the story though it is mentioned and present). And that didn’t particularly bother me even though I enjoy “sexier” reads. For once it was nice to read a New Adult novel that wasn’t focused on all consuming love and dominate billionaires. I just enjoyed reading this book and I ended it with a smile on my face.

Conclusion:

I’m going to keep my eye on Sarah Darington’s future books. If you are looking for a light New Adult read that isn’t filled with tragedy, this is a great book to pick up!

Rating: 4/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Family, Chick Lit
Recommended for: 17+
Heat Rating: warmer
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Freebie Reads (Standalone) 2014
Similar Reads: Falling Into You by Lauren Abrams (Falling Into You Series #1)

DNF Series Review: The Raven Chronicles by Stephanie Thomas

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:

Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas | The Raven Chronicles


Other books in the series:

Series: The Raven Chronicles
Author: Stephanie Thomas
# of Books: 2 (Luminosity, Lucidity)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

***PLEASE NOTE: I did not finish this book (I got to chapter 6). I really tried to get into but it just wasn’t happening.

I decided to read this book because the concept sounded really interesting but I did go into it with some hesitations. I’m reaching that point in my life where young adult novels are truly hit or miss and this is one of those occasions where it is a miss.

I found it started off very slow and while I can appreciate the descriptions of what various terms mean, it just did not grasp my attention. Nothing felt overly fresh to me when I was reading so I felt bored.

One of the main reasons I find it hard to like young adult novels lately is the teenage heroines. Basically, it comes down to a question of whether or not I can tolerate them. Beatrice wasn’t anything overly annoying–she just didn’t interest me. She is your typical teenage heroine who has that special “something” and–of course–has (the seemingly required for any young adult novel lately) two love interests. Like I said before this was nothing refreshing to me: just another young adult formula novel.

Conclusion:

There are much more interesting books out there that I would rather be reading (and I readily did). I may give this book another chance at a later date. The concept is intriguing but I feel it is geared to a younger reader audience.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Trilogy #1) and Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Mystic City #1)

Synopsis for Luminosity (from Goodreads):

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win

Series Review: Revenants by Amy Plum

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

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Die for Me (from Goodreads):

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

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

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

breakdown

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

There is a novella, #2.5 Die For Her

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

thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series Rating: 4/5

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

overall

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

similarreads

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

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Series Review: The Bad Boys by M. Leighton

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

Series: The Bad Boys
Author: M. Leighton
# of Books: 3 (Down to You, Up to Me, Everything for Us)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: really warm (Down to You); hot (Up to Me & Everything for Us)

Thoughts:

It’s no secret I dislike love triangles so why I decided to read Down to You is a little bit of a mystery to me considering the lead is torn between two brothers’ affections. But I went into this book with a good idea of what I suspected was going on and I really wanted to see if I was right.

This series is nice change from the common New Adult plot of taming a bad boy player with love as it is mostly a suspense series, especially in Up to Me and Everything for Us. Down to You follows more of the New Adult formula of a girl meeting a handsome rich boy who tries to sweep her off her feet but by the end of the book we learn what is really going on and that’s when the plot shifts to one of suspense.

Turns out my hypothesis was wrong but I was happy to be wrong because I really like the plot twist that we get at the end. I was super excited to read Up to Me but by the time I got there, I was really disappointed.

Part of the problem was the way the plot unfolds. It wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as I expected and I just felt let down. There was so much potential at the end of Down to You that was lost in Up to Me. Disappointing and meh are the two words I would use to describe the plot in Up to Me.

The other part of the problem is Olivia. I found her tolerable in Down to You but by the time I started reading Up to Me I was ready to hurt her. Her immaturity about the whole situation really irritated me and was uncalled for. I’m all for female independence in a relationship but her actions were just plain idiotic and juvenile. I find it hard to read a book when the lead irritates me like that and that really caused me to dislike this book.

Which is why I was excited to read Everything for Us because it focuses on two different characters we have gotten a taste of in the previous two books and that taste was enough to make me want to finish this series despite my disappointment in Up to Me. Unfortunately, this was another disappointment–just not as much as Up to Me. While I enjoyed the little twists, I found it hard to like these two at times. I was satisfied with the way it ended but I didn’t like it as much as I had thought or hoped.

Conclusion:

After all is said and done, I think I could have avoid this series and still have been happy with my life. These books were nice ways to pass the time I suppose, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as the other books I put aside to read these three. They showed a lot of promise but just couldn’t deliver in the ways I expected.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Nothing comes to mind at the moment…

Synopsis for Down to You (from Goodreads):
The scorching tale of one girl, two brothers and a love triangle…that’s not. Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white. But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.

Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her. Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them. Both brothers make her heart tremble. Both brothers set her body on fire. She wants them both. And they want her. How will she ever choose between them?

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Series Review: Laurel by Aprilynne Pike

Series: Wings or Laurel Series
Author: Aprilynne Pike
# of Books: 4 (Wings, Spells, Illusions, Destined)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult/Teen, Faeries, Romance, Magic
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This was one of those series that just didn’t do it for me. Despite the high ratings and reviews, I just couldn’t get into this series. I’m not sure why I finished it, I think I just had to have some closure with the story and that made me read the rest. I also blame the covers for getting prettier and prettier as the series continued 😉

There are a few reasons why I didn’t enjoy these books as much as I hoped: 1) it was very high school; 2) the characters and 3) love triangle.

When I say “very high school” I mean that this book is definitely geared towards younger teens and not those entering university (which is when I started to read this series). I don’t think it helps that one of my all time faerie series is Wicked Lovely, which is just that touch more mature for a young adult book or that I started reading the Iron Fey series around the same time, which also has a more mature feel to it. The problems the characters face in these books, especially in their personal lives, seemed petty and juvenile so that turned me off of the story at times and more importantly, off of the characters.

That is perhaps the biggest problem with this series: I hated the characters. Laurel was fine for Wings with her perfect life and attitude. When she really started to piss me off was near the end of Spells and then in Illusions. She just becomes whiny and angsty and I just found her lack of maturity at times and her “do-gooder” attitude to be irritating. It also doesn’t help that she has a love triangle she can’t seem to figure out–love triangles are the WORST!

While I occasionally find myself in a situation where I don’t enjoy the main character (which makes it hard to continue reading any book), I often have another character that I like in the book and continue reading for them. At the start of the series, that character was Tamani. I really liked him in Wings and then that started to change by the time I read Illusions. He just became irritating and while I initially rooted for him to get Laurel, by the time I got to Destined, I didn’t particularly care if either him or David (who was also annoying throughout the series) was with Laurel–that is never a good sign.

Destined as a finale was an OK book. Nothing overly wowed me and I was just happy it was all over. I don’t think it helped that I read this book so far after the other ones–which I read within a two month span of each other–so I didn’t remember a lot other than that I didn’t like the characters and they had to save the world.

To end on a more positive note, I will mention what I liked about the series. I did like the Faerie world Pike created. It was a cool combination of the caste system, faeries and magic that isn’t overly common in this genre. It was fresh and interesting so kudos. Also, I really love the last two covers of the series–so pretty! Perhaps the thing I liked most about this series was the little extra Pike added to the end of Destined. It is a letter from one of the main characters and it was my favourite part of the book. It just had that little bit more insight into the series and characters. I wish this side of the writing was brought out more in the books because I think I would have enjoyed the series if it had more of this “real” aspect to it instead of a “happy-go-lucky” feel it has throughout.

Conclusion:

I think if I was 15 when I read these books, I would have liked them. Perhaps I would have connected more to the characters and enjoyed their stories a bit more. These books weren’t anything fantastic but they featured a cool concept lots of other faerie books lack. If you are looking for a good clean faerie series, this would be one for you to read!
Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: Need by Carrie Jones (Need, #1) and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker, #1)

Synopsis for Wings (from Goodreads):
Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Series Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

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

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booksynopsis

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

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

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

breakdown

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

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

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

thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will update my review once I read it.  

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

Series Rating: 2/5

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

overall

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

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

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Series Review: Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly Trilogy
Author: Cynthia Hand
# of Books: 3 (Unearthly, Hallowed, Boundless)

There is a also a novella that takes place between books 2 & 3 called Radiant

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

When I started reading Unearthly, it seemed that the trend for Young Adult books was now angels instead of vampires and it was a trend I had been enjoying immensely. But what drew me to this book was that the lead was the angel herself, not a human girl falling for a fallen angel. I also won’t lie and I will admit the cover also drew me in 😉

I really did enjoy Unearthly. It was different from other books of the genre and there were a few things I didn’t see coming so that was great. The little surprises along the way throughout the series made me really enjoy reading the books because it wasn’t predictable and I was interested to see what would happen next. Overall, Unearthly was a great start to a series and hit all the right marks (romance, suspense, little cliff-hangers, etc) so I was excited to read Hallowed when it was released.

Hallowed disappointed me. I think the best way to describe it is “depressing”–and by this I mean the storyline that Clara is put through is a really sad one. She deals with some pretty tough stuff and I do remember shedding a tear or two while I read it. I also started to get a little annoyed with Clara, Christian, Tucker, and pretty much every other character I think, in how they act in this book. I don’t think I ever really connected to the characters which made reading the third one extremely hard.

It took me a long time to get into Boundless. I think I took it out from the library 3 times before I actually managed to read past chapter 1. As I said before, I don’t think I really liked the characters all that much (plus, 1 year is a long time to wait for another book in a series so I think I lost a bit of my like for this series in that time). I was also expecting there to be more action in the book; especially with how the plot develops in Hallowed and what Clara keeps predicting is going to happen. But for the most part the book was slow and it often dragged. I think I read most of it by skimming through it though some parts captured my attention and made me want to continue reading.

I should note that I never read Radiant, book 2.5, in the series. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything that affected my reading by doing so. I will probably read it if my library gets a copy, but otherwise I think I am going to pass.

Conclusion:

I think if I had read all 3 books within a one week span, I would have enjoyed the series more. I didn’t hate the characters unlike some stories, I think I was just indifferent to them so that made it hard to get into the series. But, this series is unlike any of the other angel books I have read and there are always a few plot surprises hidden within that makes the books interesting to read. If you are looking for a slower paced, angel story, this is for you!

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire, #1); A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (A Beautiful Dark Trilogy #1) and Angel (Burn) by L.A. Weatherly (Angel Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Unearthly (from Goodreads):
In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart

Series Review: Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Series Review: Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

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 Twilight (from Goodreads):

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite,

breakdown

Series: Twilight Saga
Author: Stephanie Meyer
# of Books: 5 (Series Reading Order Here)

There are also novellas.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Teen, Romance, Vampires, Paranormal, Love Triangles
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: October 2005 – August 2020
Source & Format: Library & Own–Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was in the middle of Grade 10 when I picked up Twilight. This was just before the Twilight Saga got really big and I was just beginning to hear about it. My friend had bought a copy so I decided to give it a shot.

My Series Review:

I really enjoyed Twilight–I know, scary :O I actually reread it immediately after I finished it. I will admit that at this time, I wasn’t the reading junkie I am now, so I hadn’t read a “paranormal romance” book in a really long time. AND, I was in the target audience so of course it was going to appeal to me. I thought Edward was swoon-worthy, Bella was borderline irritating and the concept and plot was interesting. Sure, a glittery vampire is ridiculous but it is a fictional book and when it comes to paranormal fiction, I give a little more leeway to somewhat absurd concepts. The writing was nothing superb but it was easy to read and a quick read as well.

(FUN FACT: Many people “accuse” Vampire Diaries of being a rip-off of Twilight when in fact Vampire Diaries was published nearly 15 years earlier ;))

I have a theory about New Moon that I think most people who have read the series will agree with me on. Here it is: if you are Team Jacob, you love this book; if you are Team Edward, you can’t stand this book. Of course there are exceptions to this theory but for the most part, it remains valid. As an admitting Team Edward fan, I HATED New Moon. This is when Bella passes the border from irritating into the annoying-beyond. The simple way to sum up this book is as “depressing”. I don’t enjoy reading ~400 pages of mooning over a guy and that is all that we get. Oh, and let’s not forget the introduction of a love triangle–ugh.

I’m not sure if Eclipse if my favourite because it is significantly better than New Moon or because it has a plot and some action to it. Either way, this is probably my favourite of the saga (Twilight would be second). What I don’t like about this book is the character Edward becomes. The best way is to describe him is as a sissy–where did his backbone go?! I wish he would have fought a little harder for Bella instead of doing the “I love her so much that if it makes her happy to be with someone else, it makes me happy” routine he does here. It’s an ironic move on Edward’s part considering the effect this decision had on him in the previous, painful as the teeth-pulling work that is New Moon? Come’on Edward, we all suffered during that book and we know you are lying!

In my opinion, the series could have ended as a trilogy and I would have been satisfied. I get the distinct impression that Breaking Dawn is bonafide fan fiction. I seriously feel like every possible scenario fans discussed on a forum was thrown into this book and then published. It is basically just an extended (a very long extended) epilogue. It is also a whole lot of build-up to a massive action scene that doesn’t meet expectations. I think this was an attempt to have the series “grow” with its readers (like Harry Potter does I am told) but it just didn’t deliver. I was severely disappointed in this novel and it tarnishes my thoughts about the series as a whole.

The Novellas:

As for the novellas, they are alright. Midnight Sun was originally going to be a full length novel from Edwards POV but it was leaked before it was finished. It’s cool to read it after you have just finished Twilight but it would be better as a full novel or just as key scenes. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner didn’t blow my mind but it provided an interesting perspective to the events of Eclipse. Neither of these novellas are needed to read the rest of the series.

Series Rating: 3/5

Twilight 4/5 | New Moon 2/5 | Eclipse 4/5 | [The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner 2/5] | Breaking Dawn 2/5 | Midnight Sun N/A

overall

If you are a young teen girl (and perhaps some younger adults), you will enjoy this series but for the rest it’ll probably be a pass. There is nothing fabulous about this series BUT, I do credit Twilight for popularizing vampires again. I think without the attention it garnered, a few of my favourite book series (and TV shows!) wouldn’t be published or at least brought to my attention, so thanks!

Read if You Like: vampires, YA paranormal
Avoid if You: dislike love triangles

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See what I though of the movie here

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