Review for Eyes Ever To The Sky (The Sky Trilogy #1) by Katie French

Eyes Ever To The Sky by Katie French

TITLE: Eyes Ever To The Sky
SERIES: The Sky Trilogy #1
AUTHOR: Katie French
PUBLISHER: Katie French Books
PAGES: 198 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 2 bows

Hugh wakes up in the middle of a crater in a park completely naked. He has no memory. The only thing he knows for certain is that he’s name is Hugh. The longer he wanders around, the more he realizes that there is something off about him. He is stronger than he should be and heals incredibly fast. He crosses paths with 15 year old Cece and things really get interesting. He’s instincts tell him to trust no one, but she’s so kind and caring that he wants to let her help him. Cece has enough on her plate without an amnesiac homeless teenage boy following her around, but she can’t help the desire to aide him. How can you not want to help a boy who is literally sleeping in a dumpster and scavenging for food? Add to these twos needs, there is also a murderer on the loose, ripping peoples throats out. Can they help each other and find the killer? Or will Cece be the next victim?

That was kinda a crappy description, huh? I’m sorry about that, I just couldn’t find a good way to tie it altogether that doesn’t give everything away. This was another one of those novels that I requested right when I started reviewing books because it had an interesting cover and it sounded interesting enough. Now my screening process is much stricter. I read the entire description several times, I check Goodreads to see if anyone I follow has read/rated/reviewed it so I have something to go off. I really think and consider what I’m downloaded. In the beginning, though, that is never the case. I think every reviewer can tell you that in the beginning they downloaded nearly anything they could. You, person I don’t know, are going to give me access to a book free of charge? All I have to do is leave a review?
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As long as it sounded mildly good and was in a category I read (ie YA or NA or historical romance), I was all for it. I’m paying for that now because I’m making a point to read through all of them, in that better late than never spirit and get reviews up for them. What sucks is having to write negative reviews. I realize that negative ones help just as much as positive ones, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad about shooting down some indie authors baby. Speaking of….

Cece was a character that was fine, if somewhat annoying. I feel like her story was so cliched. Teen girl with only one parent with is so affected by a mental illness that she can’t bring herself to provide so said teen girl must support them. I think that is part of what irritates me. I don’t understand anyone who has a mental illness that doesn’t want help. My husband actually is bi-polar, like Cece’s mom, and there wasn’t a day when he wasn’t on medication that he didn’t want help. That whole “the side effects aren’t worth it” argument just angers me more. There are hundreds of different pills! There are many different choices and options and tons of generic versions for each of them! I know the first set you try isn’t going to be a magic set. But you keep fucking trying. Period. I don’t understand or sympathize with anyone with a different view than that. Especially someone with a child! LADY! Get off your ass and take care of your kid! Go to a free clinic and get yourself an appointment and work something out. Make it happen! So…maybe it wasn’t Cece who irritated me. But she kinda did too because she was so trusting of Hugh. I mean, the audience knows he didn’t kill those people, but she has no real proof of that besides the fact that he seems kind. You do realize that sociopaths are usually very charming, right?

Hugh wasn’t really any better. I actually am trying to think about how to describe him and I can’t. He’s a non-person. He is personality-less. He is scared because he doesn’t know who he is or where he’s from or anything and then he becomes fiercely protective of Cece (oh yes, the dreaded insta-love).

As far as writing, it was written well, but it was a little boring. It was slow and all over the place. I felt like it almost had too much going on. The crazy mom, the forcing Cece into work, the Hugh-alien thing, the conflict with the aliens….just too much for this bitty 200 page novel. And then, the ending just felt forced. Cece’s family thing working out the way it did had me screaming “THAT’S NOT HOW REAL LIFE WORKS!”

In a nutshell, this novel was disappointing. The premise was intriguing, but it had no follow through. It felt very unfinished. It also is supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, but there is no word on releasing the next books. That really sucks for anyone out there who genuinely liked the novel because it ends on a cliffhanger.

****Thank you to Katie French Books for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

2 bows
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Review for Deviant (Blood & Roses #1) by Callie Hart

Deviant by Callie Hart

TITLE: Deviant
SERIES: Blood & Roses #1
AUTHOR: Callie Hart
PUBLICATION DATE: February 20, 2014
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 116 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

Sloane is determined to do whatever necessary to find her sister. She is willing to do indecent things, make trades, do favors, whatever it takes. Zeth knows he can help her. He can get the information she needs, but what will be the cost of his assistance?

Here’s the dead, I don’t really know what to say here. I don’t review many erotica novels for this exact reason. The template for this review has been sitting in my drafts folder for months because I don’t really know what to say. How to you review erotica? There’s smut and smut and…oh yeah! More smut! I have no problem reading it, but what to say to all you waiting for my thoughts? Ummm…I like smut?

It is a dark little story with endless amounts of…wait…you guessed it, smut and an intriguing mystery. I want Sloane to find her sister and I’m not yet sure how I feel about Zeth. He seems to be the controlling alpha male type dominant (hehehe) in erotica and I’m not the biggest fan of that type. I am an adult and I am fully capable of making my own decisions and I don’t need some tough guy bossing me around. I don’t understand how women find that attractive.

The mystery is good, but you don’t really get enough to go on. This is a novella, so it’s tiny. It gives you just enough to make you want more and then it stops. It’s like that whole shtick drug dealers have. I give you a taste for free and then you’re hooked and begging for more!

What you really need to know is this: it’s a pretty decent novel. I still haven’t read the next one, but I’m curious enough now that I definitely want to. Be warned, however, that this is smut. This is intense smut. If you can’t handle the sex scenes in normal romance, then steer clear of this thing.

4 bows
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Review for Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

TITLE: Gorgeous
AUTHOR: Paul Rudnick
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 3 bows

Becky Randle is just an ordinary eighteen year old girl with no real goals in life. She just graduated from high school when her mother dies and she is tasked with going through all her mothers stuff. Within it she finds a mysterious phone number which leads her to meet Tom Kelly, world famous designer, who makes her an impossible offer. He will transform her into the most beautiful women in the world. Clearly, he’s off his rocker, but what else do she have to do? Go back to her job at the Sav-A-Lot? She says yes and is instantly drawn into a world of Hollywood superstars and worldwide celebrities. She doesn’t know how the magic works, all she knows is that is she is alone and looks in the mirror, she sees her normal self, but if anyone else is in the room, she sees Rebecca. Rebecca, the uber-pretty version of herself. The woman so pretty it almost hurts to look at her. Then she meets Prince Gregory and begins to fall for him. There’s only one problem. When the year is up and she goes back to being Becky, will the Prince accept her or will he throw her out because she is no longer the gorgeous woman he fell for?

I’m not sure exactly what to say here. I liked it? Sorta? Parts of it? Becky is an interesting character, someone I think we can all relate to. For once, the leading lady isn’t the prettiest woman on the planet, at least not initially. She’s just a normal girl with normal looks and a small town upbringing. And when opportunity knocks giving her a chance to get out of the small town, she jumps at it, after thinking it over. Gregory was also very interesting. The banter between him and Becky/Rebecca was hilarious and kept me giggling with amusement.

The issue? It was all a bit too over the top. Now before you go screaming “But Tabitha, it was a satire, it was supposed to be over the top!,” I get that. I do, really. It’s impossible to get 20 pages into this without realizing it’s a satire and that might be my point. I feel like it could have been a bit more awesome to me if it was sneakier with it. Everything he is meant to be making fun of is exaggerated beyond comprehension. I feel like the magic of satire is when it sneaks up on you but that wasn’t the case here. There were too many moments where the outlandish topics where pushing me out of the story. There were moments that had me shaking my head, pulling me out of the moment and away from the story and more towards my thoughts, which isn’t a good thing. A great story keeps in enthralled in the content, pushing me to continue, not stopping me with ludicrous plot points. The best example is there is a scene where Rebecca is acting for a movie and the director literally gets off on her just saying her lines really well, which had me rolling my eyes. ****SPOILER****Plus the whole plot idea is a little preposterous in general because not only is it never explained how Tom manages to transform Rebecca simply by having her wear these dresses, but Tom himself is a mystery. At the end, we learn that Tom is Becky’s father, which I think we all see coming. We also learn that he died before her birth. DIED. How the blazin’ hell is he here now? We never find out. It is never explained how Tom is mysteriously alive for an entire year. It seems to be implied that the great divine thought it necessary to grant him zombie status due to a promise he made Rebecca’s mother to make sure she has a good life, but ummm…about that. If people get to rise from the grave for life changing promises they made before their deaths, we’d have a bunch more dead people running around.****END SPOILER****

I did like the ending. Once Prince Gregory enters the picture, things pickup quite nicely, with the mystery of how we are going to get the whole mess with Becky/Rebecca/Gregory sorted out properly. Plus, I’m a sucker for a love story, so things are always that much interesting when romance is involved. I also liked that some of it was funny. As I said, the banter between Becky/Rebecca and Gregory was downright hilarious.

In the end, I’m glad I read it, but it’s not my favorite thing ever. A big reason I decided to request it was because of the Libba Bray blurb on the cover, and I just feel it didn’t live up to that. It had it’s funny moments and then it had it’s over the top crazy moments. The beginning is so dull and slow I had a hard time reading it. Then the rest, while interesting, is a just a bit too much. I think it was a nice effort but it just isn’t for me to love and praise…which sucks because I like the idea of satirizing the movie/model industry with it’s crazy life demands.

****Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

TITLE: Sweet Peril
SERIES: The Sweet Trilogy #2
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 371 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 bows

Anna Whitt once swore that she would never do the dirty work associated with her father’s sin and that was a very stupid claim to make. Since the end of her cross-country trip with Kaiden (where he broke her heart) she has become the new school party girl, living it up and tempting teens to drink to their hearts content and then some. Then a ghost shows up, giving Anna hope for the future and suddenly she’s off traveling the world trying to build herself an army to take on the Duke’s. The only problem, besides the obvious life and death stuff, is Kopano is the one with her, not Kaiden. Can she get over her epic love and move on or will she be so stuck over Kai that she is can’t do her job?

Anna was just as irritating here as she was in Sweet Evil. She’s too much of a goodie goodie and she is so naive. There were moments where I genuinely wanted to slap some sense into her. She does improve minutely as the novel progresses, but the it’s still not enough to make me like her. I sympathized with her at moments, that whole forbidden love bit gets me every time, but I wanted her to grow up a bit and break free from that mommy cord. I understand that teenage characters need to be flawed because no one is perfect during that time in their life, what with all the growing and brain development still to come, but that doesn’t mean they need to be so stupid.

Then there is Kai, the saving grace of this trilogy. Unfortunately for us, he is absent for the majority of this novel. We get a scant scene or two with in the first 250 or so pages and then he finally shows up for good in the last 100. Once he shows up, he really makes up for lost time. There are such steamy scenes between him and Anna that I was beginning to wonder if we had suddenly switched to New Adult. Kai is so hot and sexy and British. I have moments where I’m not completely convinced his a nice guy because he’s father’s sin makes him such a man-slut that it’s hard to see past it, but Anna never fails to see right through his bullshit, which is one of the few (very few) things I love about her.

The annoying third point in this triangle is Kopano and I’m not a fan. He’s a nice guy and that fits with Anna, so maybe they are perfect for each other, but he’s too nice and too restrained. He really is the male version of Anna and since we know I don’t particularly like her, is it any wonder he doesn’t appeal to me? I’m all for nice guys, hell, I am happily married to one, but I need a little rebellion. Give me something to go on!

This does suffer from middle book syndrome because there is nothing really new going on. It’s Anna on a quest to build an army and nothing major takes place plot-wise. There is no epic battle, just Anna and Kopano country hopping to get other Nephilim on their side. And we blow through quite a bit of time, skipping entire school semesters and seasons. There are parts that are endlessly dull and then there are parts that are I-can’t-put-it-down-because-it’s-so-good. Beyond Anna’s annoyingness, I only had one major issue that happens right at the end.****SPOILER****FLYNN DIES. Really? Was that necessary? I’m so sick of YA novels using character death to prove that this “fight” is really a war and war has casualties. FUCK. YOU. At least you could have killed a character I didn’t like, such as Kopano, but Flynn? Might as well have just shot Blake in the head.****END SPOILER****

After I finished Sweet Evil, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d continue reading the series. I have a hard time focusing on Anna’s problems, but I saw a audiobook copy at the library and thought I could give it a shot. Sweet Peril is as addictive as it’s predecessor. It has it’s flaws but it has that must-have-more quality to it that you can’t stop. It’s only after reading that you see it’s issues. Really, isn’t that the best kind of book, though? The kind that keeps you so enraptured that you can’t put it down and you don’t see any problems at all? The bottom line is if you enjoyed Sweet Evil, you’ll like this. If you like steamy romance that doesn’t quite cross the romance novel border (tehehe), then you’ll get that at the end. You have to wade through an entire novel of waiting, but I daresay it’s worth it.

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Review for Capturing Peace (Sharing You #0.5) by Molly McAdams

Capturing Peace by Molly McAdams

TITLE: Capturing Peace
SERIES: Sharing You #0.5
AUTHOR: Molly McAdams
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Impulse
PAGES: 192 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Reagan Hudson has more or less built the life she shares with her son from scratch. Her parents helped her in the beginning, but she was out supporting herself as soon as she was able. But she’s so weary of men that she can’t bring herself to even try dating. She never really got over her sons dad walking away when he found out she was pregnant. He gave her an ultimatum: him or the baby. She chose her child and never looked back. Coen Steele just got out of the army and he’s got his fair share of issues. He had a hard time during one of his tours and he’s haunted by the ghosts of his past. Despite her distrust of males, Reagan finds her self in front of Coen over and over and soon she’ll have to learn to trust him or risk losing the love between them.

Reagan is that character that is so easy to identify with and not, at the same time. I was never in her shoes. I’m 25 and no children yet, but I can sympathize with her plight because it could easily have been me. The difference? I don’t have well-off parents to help me. Wait…that came out harsher than I meant it. Okay, maybe it didn’t, but it gives the wrong impression. Let me try again. Reagan has been on her own since she graduated high school. She pays her mom to watch her son since they refused to let her put him in traditional daycare. She’s determined to always be in control of her situation because letting that control slip from her grasp means she could end up even more heartbroken than she was when her son’s dad walked away from her and she doesn’t know if she can take that.

Coen is the hot asian, in Reagan’s words. Tattooed and muscle-y, he’s a bad boy fantasy waiting to happen…except he isn’t a bad boy. Despite his appearance, he seems to be a standup guy. He’s one irredeemable quality was his refusal to get help for his obvious case of PTSD. I get that no one has been in your shoes and no one will truly understand what you saw, but you still need to try to get help. Sleep deprivation has serious consequences. That on top of the PTSD could be paralyzing. If nothing else, there has to be a medication to knock you out so you can sleep without dreams. Beyond that, though, he’s pretty perfect. Sweet, caring, and a whiz at handling the kid.

The romance between them is fast-paced, but believable. It’s quick without feeling insta-lovey, which is a real treat to read. Their attraction was heated, but at the same time, you could feel it was much deeper. I’d really like to get more from Reagan’s brother. I was hoping the next novel would be about him, but it’s not.

This is my first Molly McAdams book. Though I have heard amazing things about her work, I have avoided it. All her books contain some form of cheating, which is something I can’t tolerate. Either you love someone and want to work it out or you don’t. If you do, then suck it up and make it work. If you don’t, then leave. I realize the world is a bit more complicated than that, but that’s how I feel. Cheating isn’t justifiable to me. This has me wanting to reconsider my stance on Molly’s works though. I think I may try to read the next novel in this series, even though it does contain infidelity.

Wow, this review doesn’t sound like a 5 star rave fest, does it? Well, I truly loved it. It’s the perfect novella. I couldn’t put it down. I kept going for more of the story and for more steamy scenes that McAdams wrote flawlessly. It has great writing and is gloriously free of insta-love, love triangles, and cliffhangers. I absolutely adored every minute of it. I loved it enough that I’m willing to try to read an novel I know will piss be off because I think it just might be worth it. Doesn’t that say it all?

****Thank you to William Morrow Impluse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Real (Real #1) by Katy Evans

Real by Katy Evans

SERIES: Real #1
AUTHOR: Katy Evans
PUBLICATION DATE: September 3, 2013
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 1 star

Brooke’s life changed forever when she busted her knee. Her dreams of becoming an Olympic medalist went up in smoke. Now, six years later, she’s finished her degree to go into rehabilitation to help those who get hurt but can go back to the sport they love. One night she allows Melanie, her best friend, to drag her to an underground fighting match and when Remington Tate walks into the ring, her life has changed forever. Remington sets eyes on her and ultimately hires her to prevent him from injury during training and fighting. It’s obvious the two have chemistry, but it’s also clear that there is something Remy isn’t will to share with the class. Brooke wants him enough to look past whatever he’s hiding, but his secret is such a biggie that it’s keeping them apart. Can they beat the odds?

So I was browsing Edelweiss’s review copy catalogue one day and came across this. This gem was on the list of books you could download instantly, no waiting for approval, if you were willing to review it. Awesome!

I’ve heard amazing things about this book and couldn’t wait to dive in. A few days ago, I was really in the mood for a NA novel and instead of picking up Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover like I wanted, I compromised and chose to read this because it’s on my massive eARC list and it should satisfy the contemporary love drama craving for a while, right?

…About that.

I really did not enjoy this. This book is a classic example of why I seriously debate DNF-ing books sometimes and why I don’t actually stop reading them. I feel like if I DNF it, I don’t have a right to review it. After all, amazing things can happen after I stop (like in Days Of Blood And Starlight) and I did request to read this for review of my own free will, so I should at least see it to the end, right? Yeah, the more books I read like this, the ones that are like pulling teeth, the more I seriously think about creating a DNF shelf. Okay, let’s get on with it.

From page one, this is told in Brooke’s perspective, so it’s pretty important that we like the leading lady, but I didn’t. I didn’t hate her (initially), but she felt like a contradiction, claiming that sex wasn’t an important part of her life right now and then melting into a needy puddle the minute Remington walks into the ring. Then, when she goes to leave and he follows her and demands her name, she just gives it to him! What’s worse is then, he fucking kisses her and she just stands there stunned.

Look lady, an massively muscular guy you do not know walks up and assaults you with his mouth with no warning or permission, you get angry! You kick him in the nads and threaten to call the police or SOMETHING. You don’t just dissolve into fits of “Omigod, he’s ssssssoooo hot!” And if he invites you to watch him fight again or to go to his hotel room, you say “FUCK NO,” okay? Got it? Unless you want to end up bleeding to death in an alley after being violently raped, grow a brain or a little common sense. But I’ll buy it because the whole premise of the book would fall to pieces if I don’t, so let’s just assume that this is a good idea. Remington hires her and she’s jetted off in whirlwind fashion to the next city he is scheduled to fight in. Though she’s as a rehab specialist, her main job seems to be masseuse and stretcher because that’s all she does. She rubs out (tehehe) any knots in his muscles and helps him stretch before and/or after workouts. Is he not capable of stretching on his own?

Then there is Remington. An arrogant, selfish, asshat who gets off on beating the shit out of other men and having half a dozen prostitutes waiting for him when he’s done. Seriously ladies, did we read about the same guy, because I didn’t find him attractive, like at all. Maybe the one thing he does for Brooke at the end was swoon-worthy, but it doesn’t make up for everything else. He’s overbearing and obsessive, not to mention controlling. He gets jealous if Brooke so much as speaks to the male members of his staff!

I get that he’s got issues, but that’s not enough of an excuse. ****SPOILER****He basically blames all his problems on the fact that he is bipolar and doesn’t use medication because it zones him out. Here’s a thought: TRY A DIFFERENT MEDICATION. Try unorthodox methods. Do something. My husband is bipolar, so don’t you dare tell me it isn’t manageable. Maybe his real problem is that he is a 300 pound rage monkey? That couldn’t possibly be it, right?
****END SPOILER****The world is in a sad state if this is what women want. A controlling guy with uncontrollable fits of rage that literally needs to be tranquilized so that he doesn’t do any serious harm. THIS is what you find attractive?

Well, it’s no wonder I’ve always been to type to not follow the crowd. This is like a caricature of what I don’t want in my life.

Putting aside the characters I can’t stand, I still couldn’t love it. It reads like bad porn. I can honestly see why some book stores have started shelving New Adult in the Erotica section, even though the two terms aren’t synonymous. The first half of this novel is all about building a “relationship” between the two main characters, along with a good deal of sexual tension. But it’s so overly descriptive that instead of drawing me into the story, it pushes me further away because I’m left questioning the word choices. The majority of Brooke’s inner monologue (and the majority of the story is her inner monologue) is nothing but her describing how “male” and “manly” Remy is and how her vagina clenches every time she sees/smells/hears/touches/imagines Remy doing ANYTHING. The term “clenches” is used more than 50 times in this short novel and I cringed every time. I openly admit that there isn’t a single synonym or euphemism for vagina that I like, but I think Evans uses the worst of the choice here. Seriously Brooke? I get that you are apparently sex-starved and you find Remington to be lust worthy, but don’t you think you are taking it a bit too far? And all the things he does that she finds attractive, I find repulsive. She goes nuts when he sniffs her.

No, you read that right, when he “scents” her. Don’t get me started on the amount of clenching that happens then. Sniffing people is creepy. And she is OBSESSED with his smell. I’m sorry, but after he has been beating someone’s ass in a fighting ring and he’s all sweaty, there is no way that smells good. And there is no way in hell anyone in their right mind would truly want to lick the sweat off.

Then, when they finally do get it on, it’s so far from attractive that it was difficult to read. I’ve read erotica and I’ve read smutty fanfic, but this was by far the worst sex scene ever. They fuck like 5 times without stopping and somehow Remy stays hard through the whole thing even though he gets off…yeah, that’s realistic. Then after it’s over, Brooke is “sticky” with the evidence of their lovemaking and doesn’t want to shower or wash herself off so she can keep his scent on her a little longer.

I understand that everyone has different preferences, but really? You are covered in semen and you want to lay there an wallow in it? I don’t even think there are words to express my feelings about that, beyond go clean yourself up! I also found it disturbing that they don’t use any protection. She states at some point that she knows he gets tested regularly and, later, mentions that she’s on that birth control implant so there won’t be any babies, but still. You know he has slept with a copious amount of prostitutes on a regular basis. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole until I was positive that he was clean. Actually, I wouldn’t touch him anyway because I don’t find egotistical, controlling men who are as big as Dwayne Johnson attractive, but to each her own.

I really believe I missed something here. Can someone (anyone) explain to me why this novel has fuckloads of 5 star reviews consisting of nothing but fangirling about its awesomeness? I really didn’t see it at all. The plot was predictable and borderline offensive in the way they handled the mental disorders/addictions. The writing was sloppy, with a very unedited feel to it. The characters were so far off the mark that I couldn’t like or relate to a single one. Maybe I should just read NA from authors I know and trust like Jessica Sorensen or Colleen Hoover or Tammara Webber, because if this is what I get for trying new ones, I think I’m better off not attempting anymore.

****Thank you to Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing #1) by Heather L. Reid

Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid

TITLE: Pretty Dark Nothing
SERIES: Pretty Dark Nothing #1
AUTHOR: Heather L Reid
PUBLICATION DATE: April 23, 2012
PAGES: 321 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 2 stars

Quinn is being tortured by shadow demons. Normally they only invade her dreams, which is why she hasn’t slept in 23 days, but lately they are popping up when she is wide awake. She is failing in every aspect of her life, academically, romantically, and in health. When she pushes herself too far and collapses in the school hallway, Aaron swoops in just in time to save her. Aaron has always liked Quinn, but been too chicken to do anything about it. When he saves her from busting her head after the collapse, he accidentally enters her nightmare world and is left wondering what all this girl is hiding, and how he can possibly help.

I really wanted to like this novel. The premise was great, the cover was gorgeous, and, at least at the time I requested it, it was a stand-alone. Now, I see that there is a sequel planned. That’s a good fucking thing because this is another one of those novels where it just stops. It’s like the author is just like “Oh, my novel has 321 pages. That’s a good length for YA, so I’ll just stop here. What about the plot you ask? Well, that’s not important.”

Beyond the horrid non-ending, ****SPOILER****where we don’t even know if the main love interest is alive or dead****END SPOILER**** this novel still had umpteen problems. One of the biggest is the Mary Sue we get for a leading lady. Quinn is such a whiny pushover that I wasn’t actually overly upset when things fuckup. ****SPOILER****Your cheating ex, who you just got back together with and slept with after dumping the sweet guy who is pining after you, impregnated the slut he cheated on you with? ::pat:: poor you! Actually, bitch, you deserve it. What the hell did you expect?****END SPOILER**** She spends the entire first half of the book pining over Jeff, her ex-boyfriend. Jeff, a dick-headed jock who dumped her via text after cheating on her with her archnemesis. I get the whole “the heart wants what the heart wants” argument, but seriously lady, get some self-esteem. When we finally see her realize that there is better out there, it doesn’t last. Also, for the entire novel she is being tormented by demon creatures that no one else can see and she doesn’t mention it to any-fucking-one. Not the hot guy chasing her, not her best friend, not her oh so precious Jeff, no one. Look, either you’ve went off the deep end and are seeing things or these fuckers are really and out to get you. Regardless of which it turns out to be, you’re gonna needs some goddamn help.

Then there is Aaron. I’ll admit that his whole knight in shining armor role had me cheering for him, but really, I think he deserves better. Plus, he was a bit irritating, with the do I/don’t I actions towards Quinn. Every other page, he is changing his mind, just like her. I felt like the whole thing between was forced and fake. Unexplainable connection? Check. Need to “save” her? Check. It felt like I was seeing someone take what they thought were the best parts of paranormal YA (and what I think are the worst ones) and mash it together to see what happens. Not to mention the incredibly one dimensional side characters. Marcus? Can you say Emmett Cullen rip-off because that is exactly how he came off to me.

One thing is definite; this was not the book for me. I didn’t care for the characters, I didn’t fall for the writing style, and I found absolutely no humor in it. In a world where I feel obligated to finish any series I start, I can honestly say that I have very little intention of picking up the next book in this series. There are too many books out there than I am dying to read to force myself to suffer through another one of these, unless it’s a tremendous improvement.

****Thank you to Month9Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for This Girl (Slammed #3) by Colleen Hoover

This Girl by Collen Hoover

TITLE: This Girl
SERIES: Slammed #3
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Atria Books, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 304 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 5 stars

Will and Lake are finally happily married. But now Lake wants to know everything about Will, including past details that he’d rather keep to himself. So, reluctantly, he begins to finally reveal his thoughts and feelings since having met Lake. No thought is concealed and no stone is left unturned in this story where we finally get to hear Will’s side.

This is a hard review to write for me. I really enjoyed this story, as I imagine everyone who has read Slammed & Point Of Retreat will because hearing about everything from the beginning from Will’s perspective is something we all dreamed about from the first page of the first book. What is difficult for me to understand is that in book one I found myself getting irritated at Lake for not cutting Will more slack because it was obvious that he was trying his hardest to make things right and even though he managed to fail spectacularly, he still always tried to do the right thing. I felt like Lake was being immature for being less than completely understanding. Will has a kid brother to provide for which means he needs to keep a steady job and have money coming in at all times to ensure Caulder has what he needs. Now, in this novel, it felt like I jumped sides. Yes, Will is incredibly sympathetic towards Lake’s dilemma, but I still felt the need to defend her at certain points and scream at him that he was being so hypocritical. The best example of this is that in this book we learn that Will went on a date with someone else after his first date with Lake, something Gavin pushed him into, trying to help him get over Lake. When Will finally fesses up and tells Lake, he doesn’t seem to understand why this makes Lake so upset. But we all know that in Slammed, when he sees Lake kissing Javi, he goes nuts and beats the kid to a bloody pulp. Um, hi? You do see a problem here? I certainly do. How the fuck do you expect Lake to feel when she learns you willing kissed someone else while she was sitting at her house pining over you? In fact, the whole date thing really bugged me. I hated how the girl fawned over him and was all “keep my number in case it doesn’t work out.” I get that Will is a great catch, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Beyond that weird moment of side jumping, this book was amazing. It was nice that for once we don’t get just a straight retelling of what happened in book 1, but rather a nice mix of current events with the older story flawlessly weaved in. Yes, a big chunk of this book is seeing Slammed through Will’s eyes, but it never feels like we are just rehashing what already happened. In addition to adding present day scenes, Hoover also adds scenes from Slammed that we never see because it was solely in Lake’s perspective. Also, rather than going through the day to day of Slammed, we just tackle the big events, like the first date, the day we find out that Will is actually Lake’s teacher, and so on.

The characters are the same as before, though you get a bit more of Gavin than you have before. That’s both good and bad because you see him trying to help Will so much but yet it isn’t really that helpful. On the same note, you get a lot less of Eddie, which is a shame because she is definitely one of my favorite characters. In fact, I definitely wouldn’t mind a spinoff focused on her…(hint hint hint).

What this boils down to is simple. If you enjoyed Slammed and/or Point Of Retreat, than this is a no brainer. Colleen Hoover’s storyline and writing is exactly what you have been lead to expect and though this isn’t quite as good as Hopeless, it’s definitely up to her normal standards. If you haven’t read Slammed, but like contemporary YA or NA, what are you waiting for?

****Thank you to Atria Books, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for The Devil’s Heart (The Chattan Curse #3) by Cathy Maxwell

The Devil’s Heart by Cathy Maxwell

TITLE: The Devi’s Heart
SERIES: The Chattan Curse #3
AUTHOR: Cathy Maxwell
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 4 stars

Lady Margaret Chattan is her family’s last hope. Both her brothers are on the cusp of succumbing to the Chattan curse and the is determined to break the curse and save them before it is too late. With this goal in mind, she sets off for Loch Awe, the ancient home of Fenella, the witch that cursed their family. Heath Macnachtan believes Margaret to be crazy, but she offers a fair amount of money for him to assist her and with their dire straits, he cannot refuse. But the more he helps Margaret, the more he sees that maybe she isn’t crazy and there really is the spirit of a witch out to get her family. Are they strong enough to break the curse?

I think this has been the most disappointing historical romance series I have ever read. It isn’t terribly bad, it just isn’t amazing and since I know Cathy Maxwell can write epic love stories, I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly depressed. I guess I can applaud her for trying something new, but this series definitely proves to be that historical romance and paranormal romance just shouldn’t mix. I’m sure there is someone out there who can write amazing paranormal historical romances, but this just wasn’t it.

This novel (this whole series, really) has one shining moment and that is the characters. I genuinely liked all the main characters and despite the whole paranormal nonsense, I wished happy endings for them all. I especially loved Heath, which is why this one gets four stars. Strong and stubborn and trying his damnedest to keep his family feed and out of debtor’s prison, he knows that this farming life wasn’t meant for him but can’t bring himself to give up his birthright. Margaret was an interesting character who I didn’t love, but I liked her well enough and could definitely see why Heath fell for her so hard.

A big part of my issue was the plot. In this book especially, but the whole series in general, it just felt a bit ludicrous with the whole curse. Then end of this book particularly just felt lackluster, like she didn’t know how to end it, so she just wrote the first thing that came to mind and marked it as finished. I think people who enjoy paranormal romance may like this, but for all those Cathy Maxwell fans out there, just beware because this isn’t up to her normal standards.

****Thank you to Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

Review for The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott

The Collector by Victoria Scott

TITLE: The Collector
SERIES: Dante Walker #1
AUTHOR: Victoria Scott
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing, LLC
PAGES: 352 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Dante Walker is living the dream. He’s a soul collector with an unlimited Amex credit card. Life couldn’t be any better….unless he got that promotion he wants and could walk the Earth unhindered by this stupid cuff that tracks his whereabouts for Boss Man. All he has to do is collect one soul in ten days, the soul of Charlie Cooper. Why the boss wants this particular soul, he has no idea, but it’s his job to deliver and he’ll do whatever it takes to secure that promotion. But then he starts to fall for Charlie and learn that maybe she’s more important than his wants. This can’t possibly end well.

I started this book rather irritated. Over half of the blogs I follow (and that’s quite a few) have been raving about how amazing this book is and how badass Dante is. I was overly excited to read about another Daemon Black type character (and if you don’t know who Daemon Black is, you need to fix that, like NOW) and quickly realized that Dante is nothing like Daemon. They both have that jackass cocky vibe, but that’s where the similarities end. The more I read, the more irritated with Dante I became. He acts like his the shit, but I don’t ever really see him back it up (well until right at the end), he thinks he’s a bad motherfucker, but he never curses (again, until the end and even then, only a little), and he talks like a gangsta. He’s opinionated, judgmental, and all around just seems like an overconfident jerk. And then, miracle of miracles, he started to change. The more he was around Charlie, the more we see something good shift in him. He even loses a bit of that gangsta attitude which is great, because that’s just unattractive. Then he starts getting protective of Charlie and I finally start to see the swoon-worthiness of this guy. Granted, he’ll never be on my list of top ten male characters, but I genuinely started to like him. Basically, it was something like this:


But then I was:

And maybe just a little of this:

As for Charlie, I initially didn’t like her either. I’m not too big on goody-goody’s and she reminded me too much of Anna from Sweet Evil and I was none too pleased. I like a girl with a little spunk. Just like with Dante, though, she grows on you. Her ability to stay positive after all the bad shit that has happened to her was admirable and she actually does have a bit of spunk buried in there. The more of her I saw, the more I wanted her and Dante to end up together. I wasn’t in love with any of the side characters, either…except maybe Annabelle who had that kickass girl vibe.

The plot was both predictable and not. I knew a few key things were going to happen ****SPOILER****like that Dante was going to switch sides and become a Liberator before it was over with****END SPOILER****, but there were definitely some surprises mixed in there too. Victoria Scott manages to make me eventually like a character I initially hated and that alone requires a great deal of talent. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t play up the love triangle aspect and the fact that she actually ends this book with a solid ending (not a horrible cliffhanger) and well, you can imagine my reaction…and just in case you can’t, I’ll give you some visual aids.

…okay, so maybe the Casper gif wasn’t entirely on topic, but I just love it anyway. So basically what I ‘m saying is that love or hate Dante, this book is a pretty great read and I think most people would definitely enjoy it. I certainly did.

****Thank you to Entangled Publishing, LLC for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****