Review for Where Silence Gathers (Some Quiet Place #2) by Kelsey Sutton

Where Silences Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

TITLE: Where Silence Gathers
SERIES: Some Quiet Place #2
AUTHOR: Kelsey Sutton
PAGES: 360 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / ARC / Audiobook
SOURCE: Blog tour via NetGalley / Freebie shelf at Malaprops / Gifted from Kelsey Sutton
RATING: 3 bows

Nate Foster ruined Alex’s life. He is responsible for the car crash that killed her parents and her baby brother, leaving her orphaned to live with her uncle. Alex’s life was already complicated before that. She sees emotions. Love, joy, anger, sadness, and every other feeling you can think of. Revenge has been her best friend ever since her parents were killed and now that Nate has been released from prison, her path is clear. Kill the man who killed her parents and take her revenge. And when she is just about ready to make it happen, Forgiveness shows up and completely confuses her. She cannot forgive this man, he took her family from her, but yet, she doesn’t know if she can bring herself to end his life either. Given the choice, will she stick with Revenge or cave to Forgiveness?

Alex wasn’t a character I enjoyed. Right off the bat, I wavered between finding her dull and being annoyed with her. Her life sucks, understood, but I still didn’t get her attitude. Her aunt and uncle do everything they can for her, they offer psychiatric help, and she just brushes it off. I guess I just can’t understand that near-suicidal thought process. I was diagnosed with depression in middle school, but I don’t know if that was the right diagnosis for me. I don’t understand someone who feels so hopeless. I don’t understand her down-spiraling mindset. I have never understood how suicide could ever be the answer. I get that changing things is difficult, sometimes impossible, but once you pull that trigger (or down those pills or take the hairdryer into the tub), it’s all over. Any shot you had at happiness is gone. I don’t believe in any form of life after death, so I don’t ever see how that would help. I’m not criticizing or anything, it’s just not a mindset I can understand or like to read about. Even though I have taken psychology and I know all about depression and it’s effects, I still find the characters with it highly annoying. I just want to shake them out of their trance. I know this is not an acceptable response and I know that they can’t help it, but that’s is the response it generates in me.

As for the guys, let’s just say I didn’t care for either of them. Part of what I loved about Some Quiet Place was Fear and how amazing he was. I fell in love with his character. We get small glimpses of him here, but nothing to satisfy that craving I had for him. Compared to him, both Revenge and Forgiveness fall flat. Revenge is a jackass who is only trying to get Alex to make the choice his way, prepping her for that decision. Forgiveness is better, but he just comes off as a bit….um…I don’t know? I want to say religious, but that is so far from the right word that it’s not funny. I can’t put my finger on the right word, but I just didn’t particularly like him.

That was a big problem for me, I didn’t like any of the cast…except for the scant glimpses of Fear we get. I’m very character driven. I was also a little bored by the whole story. I read the first 50 or so pages in a book and then listened to the rest on audio and there was never a moment when I felt like I had to continue listening, despite any other interruptions. I just wasn’t very enthralled by the story or where it was going. I also wasn’t crazy about the ending. I like happy endings. I like the girl getting the boy she wants (or, better yet, the one she needs) and knowing that they are going to make it work. That’s not how this ends.

Despite my issues, this gets three stars because I think my problems were just that, my problems. I have a hard time relating to a depressed character like Alex, I didn’t care for the love interests, and the plot was just mehish to me. Then again, it’s hard to care where the plot goes when I don’t care how the characters end up. The ending wasn’t what I wanted, but it does end on a happy(ish) note, with hope for the future.

Bottom line? If you are reading this looking for something similar to it’s predecessor, you won’t get it. Alex’s story and Elizabeth’s is that they can both see emotions. That’s it. Starting this, I was so excited and overjoyed because I truly loved Elizabeth’s story and I was looking for something else along those lines. This story is completely different. I won’t say it’s bad, because it’s not, I just don’t think it was the right story for me. I like that nearly perfect HEA and this isn’t that type of story.

****Thank you to Flux for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****Also thank you to Kelsey for gifting me an audible copy****

3 bows
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Review for Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1) by Cecilia Gray

Fall For You by Cecilia Gray

TITLE: Fall For You
SERIES: The Jane Austen Academy Series #1
AUTHOR: Cecilia Gray
PUBLICATION DATE: February 10, 2012
PAGES: 144 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 3 bows

Lizzie is astounded to learn that this year, things at her precious school are changing. Not only are they doubling the population by adding boys to the formerly girls only school, but she has learned they also plan to change the name. The Jane Austen Academy is near and dear to her heart and she’ll fight tooth and nail with every journalistic bone in her body to prevent such a disastrous change. She’d stay focused a little better if snooty Dante would quit distracting her. The fact that he is attractive as sin goes out the window every time he opens his arrogant mouth. Can she ignore him long enough to accomplish her goals or is she doomed to fall under his spell?

Lizzie is a pretty relatable character. She’s struggling to hold onto tradition while the world around her moves on without really caring. Lizzie is determined to make them care. This year was supposed to be an easy year, rooming with Ellie, her BFF, but no such luck. Not only is she not roomie with Ellie, she is stuck with her nemesis, Anne and the headmistress blackmails her into staying there. Things look bleak at best, but she will make it work and she won’t let her friendship with Ellie fade just because they can’t room together or because Ellie’s new roommate becomes fast friends with her.

Anne isn’t as bad as Lizzie made her out to be. She’s not really uppity or snobby at all, just quiet and diligent and completely in love with the Academy. I really like Anne quite a bit more and I’m ready for her story.

Dante is everything he is supposed to be in a Darcy reincarnation. He’s snooty and quiet and kinda mean, but not really, just untrusting and unforgiving. Those are two traits I can relate to all too well, so I’m in no position to judge. I do think he is quite a bit overbearing with Georgiana, especially in this modern setting.

This is a Pride & Prejudice retelling. I love almost any incarnation of that story. I especially love the BBC mini series Lost In Austen, so it’s clear I’m okay with changing the rules up a bit, as long as we remain faithful to the original tale in spirit. In that regard, this succeeds. I love the idea of taking the main characters from Austen’s six novels and placing them in one story. Bravo Gray for a wonderful idea. Really, it’s a promising start. My problem is it wasn’t extremely well fleshed out. This novel is short, like less than 200 pages, and I feel like that isn’t room enough to do a P&P retelling, much less add in characters from the other works and do it properly. Lizzie and Dante’s story felt very rushed and a bit instalove-y, though the word love was never uttered.

But, despite my issues, the writing is good and the plot is interesting and it’s very readable (a term I seem to use a lot lately). It feels like the first or second draft to a story that will be epic if we just add and edit a bit more. Get it to 300 pages and I’ll probably fall in love with all the extras you’ve added. I do plan on reading the sequels because I feel this series has great potential and I want to see if it grows into more than what this one showed me.

****Thank you to Gray Life LLC for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

3 bows
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Review for Impostor (Variants #1) by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

TITLE: Impostor
SERIES: Variants #1
AUTHOR: Susanne Winnacker
PUBLISHER: Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Books
PAGES: 320 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / Audiobook
SOURCE: NetGalley / Borrowed
RATING: 3 bows

Tessa has a variant ability that is deemed top-notch, the ability to shift physical forms. She can shapeshift into anyone whos DNA she has been ability to absorb. She’s spent her life training with the FEA, a secret division of the FBI that uses variants abilities to help solve crimes, and now they say she’s ready for her first mission: impersonate high school student Madison to assist in finding a small town serial killer. But once she assumes the role, she becomes way too content to play through Madison’s life as a normal teenager. This role has afforded her things she has never had before: caring parents, friends, and a overprotective brother. With everything riding on her role, can she pull herself out of the fantasy long enough to find the killer?

Okay, so when I saw this up on NetGalley, I got all grabby hands. I really enjoyed Susanne Winnacker’s previous dystopian, The Other Life, and this promises X-Men like epic-ness, so I was all for it. I was overjoyed to get approved and started it rather quickly, but it really failed to captivate my full attention. I make no secret of the fact that I read multiple books at once, usually the most interesting one is what I pick up most and this kept falling by the wayside. I kept ignoring it for anything else I was reading. It took me over a month to get through it, which doesn’t bode well. I cannot pinpoint exactly what was wrong except that it was a bit boring. The tag line on NetGalley promises X-Men meets Veronica Mars, which is probably too much pressure to live up to.

For once, the heroine wasn’t my problem. Tessa is strong and brave, if a little scared and entirely too easy to sympathize with, with that unrequited love and terrible parents aspect going. Her mother doesn’t really give a shit about her and she has never met her father. After she moved in with Madison’s family, she has a difficult time separating herself from the job and comes to genuinely care for all of them, making her job that much more difficult. Her obsession with fellow Variant Alec was both endearing and annoying.

Alec, well, I’m on the fence about him. It’s obvious he has feelings for Tessa, but he hides behind a bitchy girlfriend and claims he can never be more than friends with Tessa, but the protectiveness and sidelong glances speak volumes. I hate the cheating thing. I hate the “justified” cheating thing even more. They don’t do more than kiss, but he is still with his girlfriend the first time they kiss and I can’t stand that. I understand destiny or fate or whatever you wish to label it as, but seriously, dude, if you like her that much, treat her with some fucking respect.

The entire murder mystery was interesting, but I couldn’t bring myself to really care too deeply about it. I will say that the true killer was an entire surprise to me, so kudos for that. This novel almost felt like the author was trying to fit a bit too much into a measly 300 or so pages. You’ve got the killer to find, the lovefest with Alec to ponder, the idea that maybe the FEA is hiding something, the realization of imminent danger, Tessa’s interactions (or lack thereof) with her family, Tessa’s (and Alec’s) history, and so much more. Maybe if it had been a bit longer and spent more on each segment, things would have worked out better. Also, I hated how it skirted love triangle territory. ****SPOILER****Though Tessa will never admit it outright, she is attracted to Devon, Madison’s brother. Nothing happens between the two here, obviously since she’s impersonating his sister, but you can feel the love triangle coming, especially since it turns out Devon is a variant and he joins the FEA. Alec had better enjoy his time with Tess while he can because soon, she’ll be falling all over herself to be closer to Devon.****END SPOILER****

Though the concept for this is great, the reality is mediocre. The characters are interesting, but none of them really connected with me. The writing is great, if a bit dull. The plot was completely twist-y and I didn’t see most of the twists coming, but somehow that doesn’t raise my opinion any. Bottom line? It’s an interesting read that has room for improvement.

****Thank you to Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Books, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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