Review for Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

TITLE: Some Quiet Place
SERIES: Some Quiet Place #1
AUTHOR: Kelsey Sutton
PAGES: 331 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions, she sees them. They have long given up on making her feel the effects of their touch. It doesn’t work and no one knows why. The only one who hasn’t given up is Fear, who spends too much time looking into her past and attempting to torment her with his touch. Elizabeth herself has come to depend on Fear’s company and chatter, but is he dependable as she needs? Can they unravel the mystery of her emotionless existence?

Elizabeth is an interesting character. She fakes her way through life, without experiencing any emotions, but she isn’t cruel. She tries to assimilate into high school culture and follows the social norms and rules, but is always just a little off. It’s hard to pretend to be ruled by emotions she doesn’t feel. She experiences nothing, not joy, not rage, not sorrow, not even lust. Pretty faced boys with oodles of muscles illicit no reaction. Fear, with his gorgeous face and obvious devotion to her, doesn’t bring anything to the table. And man, oh man, does she want to feel something for Fear.

Speaking of Fear….
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I love him. He’s diabolical and terrifying and absolutely amazing. He’s devotion to Elizabeth is swoon-inducing on it’s own because he’s so tenacious about it. He refuses to believe Elizabeth cannot feel any emotion. She feels, he knows she does, it’s just so very faint it’s hard to tell. Despite her insistence that she feels absolutely nothing, he manages to make her cry at a particular funeral. He is right about her on so many levels and I was rooting for him so hard it wasn’t funny.

I was rooting for him because this does have a dreaded love triangle.
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I know, I know, but they are unavoidable and this wasn’t even remotely alluded to in the description. I was a little miffed when I realized that was where this was heading.
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Okay, so maybe more than a little because I generally try to avoid love triangles because they are a source of rage for me. I hate the whole set up. I hate the two people fighting for one person and knowing that someone is going to end up unhappy. I want everyone to ride off into the sunset at the end, all shits and giggles. I know this is too much to ask, I’ve been told over and over again, but it’s still what I hope for, k?

ANYWAY, the other point in the love triangle is Joshua, a sweet, farm boy Elizabeth has known all her life who has finally worked up the guts to talk to her. I really liked him and had you put him up against any other male than Fear, he might have been who I rooted for, but Fear wins, hands down. He does nothing wrong and helps Elizabeth even when she’s particularly bitchy, but the connection with Fear was already established and that who I liked best. There isn’t really a logical reason behind this, I just liked one better. However, Joshua’s happiness is part of why it got 4 stars instead of 5. Joshua genuinely loves Elizabeth and that does not end well for him. I feel like he deserves to be happy and maybe he will be eventually, but not at this exact moment.

Another reason is the matter with Charles, Elizabeth’s brother, wasn’t finished well. They made up and started to work things out and she leaves without any resolution. I guess I just don’t understand why things had to end that particular way? I can’t say more with revealing spoilers, I don’t think, but after everything they went through, I hate that she leaves it the way she does. There is no logical reason to do so.

BUT, besides the two small issues, I loved this novel. It was impossible to put down and wholly entertaining. Within the first 20 or so pages, you get so much. I remember talking to Lauren about the two books I was reading last Saturday and saying that so far, The Brokenhearted was pretty good, but I was only 20 or so pages in. I said that this one was amazing so far and was talking about Fear and all the things that have happened so far and thinking, “Wow, I must have gotten further than I thought.” So I pulled it out of my purse to check and I was only on chapter 4. It’s an action packed ride that keeps you guess and begging for me. Fear stole my heart almost instantly and Elizabeth’s journey isn’t one I’ll soon forget.

All you really need to know is that the good far outweighs the bad. This has great writing, interesting characters, and a truly unique, well fleshed-out world. It will suck you in and won’t let you be until you have devoured every page!

4 bows
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Review for Torn True Love by K D Ferguson

Torn True Love by K D Ferguson

TITLE: Torn True Love
SERIES: Don’t know the title, but a sequel will be released in June 2014
AUTHOR: K D Ferguson
PUBLISHER: Rebel Ink Press
PAGES: 172 pages
SOURCE: From Author
RATING: 2 bows

Krissa Channing’s never had any problems abiding by the governments rules. Then she meets Braiden and things change some. He rebels against their governments pairing rules and the need to allow them to govern their positions in life. Suddenly she is pushed down a path she never thought she’d have to travel and her once bright future is looking dimmer by the minute.

I’ve kinda been avoiding reviewing this. I hate writing negative reviews for books that I got from the author. I know logically (and statistically) that I’m not going to love every book that I’m given the opportunity to read, but that doesn’t make writing the negative ones easier. I hate taking something I know the author worked hard on and writing less than positive things, even if the negative criticism helps them improve the novel. Who am I to say what is really bad? Who appointed me the knower of all great things literary? I guess I did since I’m the one who started reviewing books in my spare time, but I digress.

I had many issues with this short novel, this biggest one being it’s length. It’s very short, 150 pages, and it felt very rushed. Every interaction between the characters is quick and to the point, with very little dialogue or interaction. They meet for dinner, eat, say a handful of words to each other, and then leave. Bam, scene over. It’s really that way with everything. All of the scenes or situations we see Krissa in, she dwells on the problem for a minute or two and then pushes it to the back of her mind to focus on whatever is directly in front of her, but then we don’t really see that either. That’s my number one comment is that we need more. More interactions and more emotions, maybe smoothing things out that were a bit too choppy.

My other big issue is that I didn’t care for any of the characters. As much as Krissa is put into a situation I should be able to sympathize with, I just can’t. Braiden is an asshole, with a capital A, and all of her problems stem from that relationship. If she’d stop being an idiot and get away from him, her life would improve, but she doesn’t. She keeps trekking through, hoping he’ll get better. I hate (hate hate hate) relationships like that. Maybe it hits too close to home because my best friend is in the exact same position (well, add in a few years and a few kids) and it drives me fucking nuts. Why do you stay with this jackass? Why do you love him when he’s borderline abusive towards you? And the way he treats the unexpected surprise had me immediately wishing Krissa would come to her senses. She never does.

Another problem is the lack of world-building. This is presented as a dystopian, but really it’s contemporary. This is much more about Krissa’s relationship struggles than it is about the world it takes place in. And only a few minor things have really changed, with the government being involved in pairing (aka marriage) and where you live. I think it’s trying to straddle the line between the two and it doesn’t work well.

I hate that I didn’t love this, but it just didn’t work for me. Characters I couldn’t stand that don’t really grow or evolve, just dither about trying to make the same bad situation work even though it’s obvious it never will. It’s ending leaves something to be desired, simply leaving us with “To be continued” but none of the outlets show a sequel. If you are gonna leave us hanging, at least give us an idea of when we’ll get the sequel. (EDIT: Per the author the sequel will be released in June of this year, so we do know now when we can get the next installment, should we be so inclined.) Sadly, I don’t have the slightest desire to read any more of this series because it just didn’t work for me. I’m all about the characters and since I couldn’t stand either of the main two here, I just can’t recommend it.

****Thank you to K D Ferguson for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #2) by Jessica Sorensen

The Redemption Of Callie And Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: The Redemption Of Callie And Kayden
SERIES: The Coincidence #2
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLISHER: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 stars

Kayden’s life has gotten worse. His dirty little secret is now public knowledge and Caleb is threatening to press charges for the fight. Callie can’t stand watching Kayden struggle, but she has her own set of issues to work through and just hopes he doesn’t push her out of his life now that she knows his secret. The two both struggle to win back their lives in this installment of their story.

I loved it. I hated it. I’m a bit on the fence about parts of it. Kayden and Callie are the same great and interesting characters we loved in book 1. The side characters are the same, with a bit more of Callie’s brother thrown in, and they all felt well rounded and real. The story itself is enthralling and entertaining and leaves you wanting more.

My issue? Well, it almost felt like this should maybe have been just part of the first book instead of a new novel? The first third focuses on Kayden’s idiotic fucking decision that Callie deserves better and he must avoid her at all costs. Yeah, you can just imagine how I felt about that.

After we finally get over that, things improve quite quickly and all the expected things happen, plus a few unexpected ones. My issue is that if we take out the beginning stupidity, then this book would have been quite a bit shorter. Wouldn’t it have been easier for everyone if we just combine the last half of book 2 with book 1 and call it a day. Sure, that would bump book 1 to around five hundred pages, but it would certainly be better that that murderous rage-inducing cliffhanger at the end of book 1. This one ends with a minor cliffhanger and, though I’m dying to read the next one, it wasn’t nearly bad as the first one.

Bottom line? If you liked The Coincidence Of Callie And Kayden, then you’ll love The Redemption as well. Just be prepared for that “You deserve better than me” speech because I promise you it will happen, multiple times.

Review for Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) by Jennifer Estep

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

TITLE: Midnight Frost
SERIES: Mythos Academy #5
AUTHOR: Jennifer Estep
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2008
PUBLISHER: K-Teen, an imprint of Kensington Publishing Corp
PAGES: 372 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Gwen Frost’s life is never going to get better. After the recent events, with the reapers trying to put Loki’s soul in Logan’s body, and having Logan stab her through the chest before running away in shame wasn’t exactly the highlight of her life, but the reapers are still out to get her and as much as she’d like to just hide in her room and grieve over Logan’s leaving, life must go on. Nickademes has been poisoned and it’s up to Gwen and her posse (yes, I did just type “posse”) to get to a remote location in the mountains outside of Denver where one of the rarest ingredients grows for the antidote….even knowing that they are walking right into a trap.

Though I really enjoyed this, it is just more of the same. Gwen almost dies, Gwen fights reapers, Gwen talks to Nike, Gwen saves the day….It’s not a bad formula, but it’s gotten a bit monotonous. That was amplified in this one by the lack of Logan. The flirty wordplay between these two is a big part of why I read this series and Logan’s only in this one at the very end. Much of this felt incredibly predictable ****SPOILER****Covington being the bad guy, learning that Grandma Frost had more secrets, and the fact that the Gryphon’s come to her aide because she helped one of their offspring early on in their journey.****END SPOILER****

We do get something new in this, we get a new character, Rory. She seems almost like a carbon copy of Gwen herself, with similar personality traits and the same shunned vibe going on at school. I hope we get to see a bit more of her in the next book. Beyond her, it’s the same group of lovable quirky people that we’ve seen in the past few books, though we don’t get to see much of Nyx, who is quickly becoming my favorite character.

Honestly, I love this series, but I hope the next book wraps up this story because I’d much rather end when things are still at a high point that with the series drawn out and tarnished. Here’s hoping Gwen can knock Loki down off his thrown in the next novel and let this series go out with a bang.

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

Review for OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

TITLE: OCD Love Story
AUTHOR: Corey Ann Haydu
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 352 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 5 stars

Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes to take notes, and is a bit obsessive….with a tinsy history of stalking. She meets Beck and he just might be perfect for her, but she can’t stop obsessing over Austin and his perfect life and she just needs to check in on him to make sure he’s alright one last time and then she’ll move on!

I’m a bit speechless. I was expecting an interesting love story about a girl with minor OCD tendencies, like a need for everything to be in its proper place and maybe a obsession with keeping everything including herself extremely clean, you know kind of a “Out damn spot!” kind of thing. I was so far off. Bea’s compulsions have nothing to do with cleanliness and everything to do with obsessing over everyones safety. It was both fascinating and terrifying to watch her stalking manifest. It started as something so small and then grew so massive.

Watching her struggle to fight her compulsions and losing more often than not was heartbreaking especially because she is fully aware of how insane she acts and she is helpless to stop it. Once she and Beck start dating, watching them both use the other to help fight the compulsions and also to comfort one another when that fails was endearing. I love that Bea fully accepts Beck as he is, with his fitness obsessions and the number 8 fixation. She realizes that she is just as damaged and knows that on the list of compulsions, those aren’t nearly as bad as they could be. Not to mention the fact that he a very compelling reason for developing those obsessions.

The really disturbing thing about this was how fixated on Austin and Sylvia she becomes. Even after she starts a relationship with Beck, she can’t stop watching them and taking notes on the parts of their sessions she overhears. Her fear that something bad will happen to them if she doesn’t make sure they are okay is so vivid that she physically cannot stop herself from going to them.

This novel gets 5 stars for shock value alone. This is the only YA novel I have ever read that portrays OCD and stalking…well with the main character is a stalker because I’ve read several where the main character gets stalked. My point is more of this is the first one I’ve read where the stalker is portrayed in a semi-sympathetic light and the first one that seriously discusses OCD as more than just a vague reference to someone with an obsession with order. I do not have OCD, but I did take several different college psychology courses and I feel like Haydu did an excellent job portraying this condition. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something outside of your typical YA contemporary and for anyone interested in mental disorders.

****Thank you to Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

TITLE: Dirty Little Secret
AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols
PUBLISHER: MTV Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 273 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 5 stars

Bailey Mayfield has always been a good girl. She has been touring the music circuit playing her fiddle while her younger sister sings and plays guitar since she was old enough to play. But when her sister is offered a music career sans Bailey, she finds her family has not only deserted her, but demands that she stop playing music to keep from interfering in her sisters career. Hurt and pissed off, Bailey spirals out of control, becoming the wild child every parent fears. But she never can break the cardinal rule of no longer playing in public, until she meets Sam who begs her to join his band. Once burned, twice shy, she timidly agrees to play a single gig with them and discovers that giving up music for good will be much harder than she ever imagined.

For the most part, I thoroughly adored this novel. Bailey is easy to sympathize with. How could her family just push her off to the side like that? Though she is beyond furious with her parents, she never stops supporting her sister, which I found so endearing. Her love for her fiddle was also fascinating. She proclaims to know all the songs, or at least be able to fake her way through the ones she doesn’t and her talent alone left me in awe. Watching her seamlessly blend into the different groups made me wish my parents had shoved an instrument at me at a young age, demanding I master it. Alas, that isn’t the case, and beyond a brief few middle school years learning to play the flute, I’ve never been able to master an instrument and truly love it. This novel gave me a peak at a life when I couldn’t get enough of it.

I’m on the fence about the leading man in this novel, Sam. He’s talented, adorable, and oozes charm, but sometimes the interactions between him and Bailey had me so angry that I can’t believe she went back to him. His on again off again mentality had me wishing she would find someone else, someone better even if that someone didn’t have a band she meshed so well with. There were a few moments where he was so unbelievable cute that I wasn’t surprised at how she fell for him and in the end, he does apologize and try to make things right, but I’m not sure that would have been enough for me.

I only had one (well, MAYBE two) issue with this, besides being undecided about Sam, and it is really just a small blip that happens in a lot of novels. Bailey plays a lot of gigs, but they almost never say what songs they play, just vaguely mention artists like Alan Jackson, Ke$ha, Justin Timberlake, and so on. This just makes it harder for me to really get into the novel. I realize that authors do this in order to avoid upsetting people by choosing songs they hate and also to avoid dating the novel to a specific time period, but it really irritates me. It is much easier for me to get into a novel if I know what they are playing, you know? Take Alan Jacksons songs for instance. The tone of Drive is exceedingly different from Who’s Cheatin’ Who. It just irritates me. Just pick the song they are going to sing because really even if someone hates that song, that shouldn’t make them dislike the book. I’m not a huge country fan, and I really dislike the older country like Hank Williams or Willie Nelson, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this! The second issue was also on the insignificant level. Throughout the novel, Sam and Bailey makeout/kiss/fondle/whatever and that’s fine. But when they finally have sex, all the details are left out. I realize this isn’t erotica or even really romance as a new adult novel, but I just felt cheated. Besides the lack of tasteful description, Bailey also didn’t show much emotion about it. I know, it’s just me, but I feel like it could have been handled a little better.

Besides my very small issues, this novel really blew me away. I think it’s a must read new adult novel and I think anyone who likes that genre will love this. I plan on reading everything by Jennifer Echols that I can get my hands on.

****Thank you to MTV Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****