Review for Untouched (Denazen #1.5) by Jus Accardo

Untouched by Jus Accardo

TITLE: Untouched
SERIES: Denazen #1.5
AUTHOR: Jus Accardo
PUBLICATION DATE: March 27, 2012
PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing
PAGES: 82 pages
FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

Kale is going cross country with Dez to find and warn other Sixes about Denazen. He’s learning a lot about the outside world on this trip and he gets to spend more time with Dez, which is always a plus. But when contacting the last Six Kale is sure they are being watched and when Samsen shows up and Dez sacrifices herself to save Kale, he knows he must find away to get her back. The problem? Samsen is the most powerful Six he has ever met and he might just be powerful enough to overcome Kale. Can he find a way to save Dez? You’ll have to read to find out.

Holy shit. That’s pretty much my entire response to this book. In Touch, Kale was adorable and perfect and we all fell in love with him. Here, we get into his head and holy alien babies! I didn’t think it was possible to swoon anymore than I already had, but I was wrong. He reminds me a bit of Kyle XY, but deadly-er. He’s so smart and has the whole fight thing master, but at the same time, he’s got this worldly innocence. He doesn’t understand much of the slang and he doesn’t like how no one says what they really mean. Geez people, English is hard enough to master on it’s own, without adding crazy connotations to everything. But watching him misunderstand everything had me cracking up. I wanted to hug him…except that I’m not Dez and that impulse would probably get me killed. It might be worth it!

Dez is the same badass she was in Touch. It’s fun seeing her through Kale’s eyes instead of her own.

Samsen, the new baddie, is terrifying. Someone who can control you with the power of their voice? ::shudders:: Can we not? That is one scary ass power. We all know that Kale will defeat him, but it’s nerve-racking to read about.

This novella may be tiny, but it’s action-packed. The only thing it was missing was a good make-out scene from Kale’s perspective. It wouldn’t have hurt to add a few pages for that, right? Oh well, I’ll keep dreaming about that and hopefully we’ll get there one day. Regardless, if you enjoyed Touch, you’ll love this!

4 bows
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Mini Review for Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush: The Graphic Novel #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick & Jennyson Rosero

Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel #1 by Becca Fitzpatrick & Jennyson Rosero

TITLE: Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel
SERIES: Hush Hush: The Graphic Novel #1
AUTHOR: Becca Fitzpatrick (author) & Jennyson Rosero (Illustrator)
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
PUBLISHER: Sea-Lion Books
PAGES: 120 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Library
RATING: 3 stars

This is going to be more of a mini-review rather than a full one. I won’t review the storyline because I’ll assume all of you who want to read this have already read Hush Hush and are as captivated by Patch and I was and just want to see more of his sexy face, which was part of my problem. This gets three stars because I did not like the art style at all. I understand on some level that graphic novels are supposed to be a bit overdone and sexualized but that doesn’t mean that every drawing of Nora needs to be complete with hard nipples clearly visible through her clothing. Some how she was more annoying here than I remember her being in the actual story. And poor Vee looks so top heavy that she might topple over. And their portrayal of Patch wasn’t at like I imagined him. I can’t say exactly what they got wrong, just that it was wrong. It’s also incredibly short, not even getting through a forth of the original storyline. Basically if you are a fan of the series, this might upset you a bit, but the bonus scene at the back was worth the trouble.

Review for Elemental (Elemental #0.5) by Brigid Kemmerer

Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer

TITLE: Spark
SERIES: Elemental #0.5
AUTHOR: Brigid Kemmerer
PUBLICATION DATE: March 27, 2012
PUBLISHER: Kensington Teen, a division of Kensington Publishing Corp
PAGES: 50 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 stars

Well, now I see what all the fuss is about. This tiny novella just lays the groundwork for Storm. Michael is a very powerful Elemental and because of that, he must walk a very thin line. Emily’s family is terrified of Michael, but that fear manifests as anger and aggression and she’s always thought those feelings were well founded. Michael’s family, after all, must be as bad as everyone claims. But when Michael shows up at the sports center where she works to spend some time in the batting cages, she begins to learn that maybe they are all wrong.

This is every bit the star crossed lovers bit that it sounds like. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I see the parallels between this and Romeo and Juliet. Since it’s well known that I despise that story, that puts this on unstable ground ****SPOILER****especially once you start reading Storm and realize that Emily dies somewhere in between the two stories…which really upsets me.****END SPOILER**** Even knowing what’s to come, I can’t help but love this short tale because it hooked me and make me want to read Storm.

Review for Her Name Is Grace (Name Is #1) by Shidorr Myrick-Gayer

Her Name Is Grace by Shidorr Myrick-Gayer

TITLE: Her Name Is Grace
SERIES: Name Is #1
AUTHOR: Shidorr Myrick Gayer
PUBLICATION DATE: March 19, 2012
PUBLISHER: Orange Hat Publishing
PAGES: 259 pages
SOURCE: From Author
RATING: 4 stars

When Brooke finds out that she is pregnant, she tries to turn her life around. Unfortunately for her, things don’t work out as she had hoped and she dies before ever giving birth. It’s all part of the master plan though, because Grace, her unborn child, is taken to Mahlai to begin training to be an angel. Grace spends her life in angel training know that on her sixteenth birthday, she gets to choose whether she wants to become an angel or go on to spend her afterlife with God. But before she can even become old enough to give much thought into her choice, she stumbles across a well that changes her life, as well as the life of her best friend Max, forever.

In the beginning, this novel confused me more than a little. First you are in follow Grace and Sam as they look for his mom, then you follow Brooke as she discovers she is pregnant and is then murdered, then Aikim as he watches Brooke’s murder then retrieves her unborn child for Mahlai, then, finally, you are following Grace as she grows up. Once we get back to Grace, we stay with her and the story finally starts to come together. The different characters become connected and we are brought into the rich, gorgeous angel planet.

I’m still on the fence regarding how to feel about Grace. In the beginning she doesn’t seem so bad, but the further in life she progresses, the more I started to become a bit more irritated with her. In the very beginning, she says that she had one goal, besides the obvious stuff, and that was to prevent Lauren from leaving the house on a specified day to save her life and she fails at that. That fact in itself irks me. If you are assigned just a singular task, something as simple as preventing someone from leaving their home on a specific day, then I would have reminders everywhere and I would be sure to not forget about it entirely until it was too late, which is exactly what Grace does. She doesn’t realize that she has fucked up until it’s already too late. ****SPOILER****It also bugged me that she was willing to allow Aikim, her protector, to die in order for her to be on Earth with Sam for just a few scant years. It seemed very selfish. I get that love conquers all and that we are all willing to do crazy things for it, but I can’t say that I would sacrifice someone I love and cherish just for the chance to spend a handful of years with someone who may not even love me back.****END SPOILER**** She does some good things, but even more stupid things, so I guess I’m just in the middle about her. I don’t love her, but I don’t despise her.

Then there is Grace’s best friend, Max, who I adore. This boy marches to the beat of his own drum and I desperately wanted her to grow up to realize that she loved him and watch them ride off into the sunset happily ever after style. I won’t say whether or not that happens, but I will say that I loved the interactions between the two. He’s creative and imaginative and a little rebellious, just the right combination. When he and Grace discover the well together, their friendship was taken to an even deeper level because now they shared a secret that none of the other kids could understand. I am actually rather excited about reading book 2 because I think there will be more from his perspective. Sam is the other major male character and while I like him, I like Max more. Sam’s the steady, stay at home and protect my family type and while it’s honorable and great, it was also a bit boring.

Though I didn’t fall head over heels for most of the characters (except Max), I still found myself drawn into the story so completely that I just had to keep reading. It took me just a little longer to get into it because of the jumping perspectives in the beginning, but once I was in, there was no stopping me. The author does a beautiful job describing both the peace of the angel world and all the turmoil going on in the human realm as well. In the human world, a new form of slavery is on the rise where people are literally kidnapped on the streets and forced to work as slaves. Race no longer matters, nor does age, gender, sexual preference, or anything other than the fact that you were dumb enough to be caught alone in the streets.

It you are looking for an interesting new take on YA angels, this is for you.

****Thank you to Shidorr Myrick-Gayer for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor #2) by Lisa Kleypas

Rainbow Road by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Rainbow Road
SERIES: Friday Harber #2
AUTHOR: Lisa Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: February 28, 2012
PUBLISHER: St Martin’s Press
PAGES: 308 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 4 stars

I started this novel they way I always start contemporary romances, with trepidation. I’ve read several bad ones and generally try to stick to historical because I just enjoy them more. However, since I loved Lisa Kleypas’s historicals, I’m always willing to try her contemporaries. She doesn’t disappoint. I had read Christmas At Friday Harbor so I was generally aware of the basic characters that would be in this book. My only complaint on that novel was that it was too short. Seriously, this author’s books typically run almost 400 pages so that measly 200 didn’t seem like enough time to fully develop the characters or the plotline. This book definitely rectifies that problem being slightly over 300 pages.

This story follows Lucy Marinn and Sam Nolan in their journey to love and happiness. [cue sappy music now]

Yeah, I know, but it’s a ROMANCE novel, really what did you expect? Battle the Huns for control of a futuristic society? Anyway, Lucy is going through a tough time. Kevin, her boyfriend of 2 years dumps her to be with her self-absorbed younger sister (not to mention they have been sleeping together behind her back for months) and also kicks her out of their house to move said sister in. Lonely and depressed, she moves in with a few friends until she can sort things out. Sam Nolan is happy in his life just the way it is. He is a bachelor who never gets involved beyond the physical and spends way too much time looking after his vineyard and caring for his niece. So when Kevin shows up asking him to take Lucy out on a date to help her move on, he reluctantly agrees. What harm could starting a new relationship do?

The story obviously gets more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it. I instantly sympathized with Lucy because I’ve experienced several situations in my life where I work my damnedest to accomplish something and then it’s just handed out to people around me like fucking candy. So that feeling of resentment Lucy gets towards Alice (her sister) is something I can relate to completely. I was blown away by Alice’s sheer self-obsession and how she really didn’t see that what she did was truly wrong, saying simple “I did it to make myself happy and since you and Kevin were growing apart, I don’t see why it should bother you. I won’t apologize for working on my happiness.”

Seriously lady?!?!?!? You fucked your sister’s boyfriend and then basically kicked her out of her own house so you could move in! That’s wrong on more levels than I can comprehend. Then Sam shows up claiming her ex is pushing him to date her so she’ll move on and she is beyond enraged…but also charmed by Sam who just radiates charisma. I loved watching them interact and seeing their love spring up and grow despite their best efforts to stay out of an emotional relationship.

I only have one issue with this book. The first is that there are small bits of magic in the book which just felt out of place. Lucy can turn glass into animals when she is highly emotional and Sam can make plants grow and flourish simply by touching them. It’s not something they go into a ton of detail about or is ever really explained. It’s just kind of mentioned off hand and left at that. I felt like this is an adult book so unless we go into to witch and zombie territory, magic should stay out. It didn’t bother me a whole lot, I just felt it would have been better if that wasn’t present.

Anyway, this book is really good and if you like contemporaries or just love Lisa Kleypas’s work in general, this book is for you.

****Thank you to McMillan Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1) by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

TITLE: Embrace
SERIES: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
AUTHOR: Jessica Shirvington
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc
PAGES: 369 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 stars

My feelings for this novel are good overall, but somewhat mixed on a lower level. Let me get through the good first, then I’ll go into the mixed.

This novel follows Violet Eden as she discovers that she is an angel/human hybrid called Grigori who must either choose to “embrace” her gifts and help keep humanity safe or refuse her gifts and be left defenseless to those who can sense her kind. Unfortunately with this revelation also comes the knowledge that Lincoln, he closest friend, has been lying to her for as long as she has known him. He is actually her grigori partner and was forbidden to tell her until her seventeenth birthday. Hurt and betrayed, she does what she normally refuses to do and runs away from the situation. She refuses to see or speak to Lincoln and can’t let go of the sense of betrayal. Then she meets Phoenix, a handsome exiled angel who for whatever reason takes a liking to her and helps her through this difficult time.

This was one of those novels that I just couldn’t put down once I got into it. I thought it was a bit slow until the point when Lincoln kisses Violet and then it just takes off. The dynamic between Violet and Linc is great, the dynamic between Violet and Phoenix is even better and between the two, I was enraptured, wanting to know what she would choose, who she would choose, and how it would end. Throw in a few extra characters and this was a whole lot of crazy in a tiny package and I was addicted. The love triangle in this didn’t bother me too much ****SPOILER****well until the end when Violet chooses Lincoln because Phoenix was being stupid.****END SPOILER**** I think that one of this novels higher points was that what really kept me interested was Violet’s emotional journey over the angely action. Yes, there were several good action scenes where they battle the baddies and sent them packing and they were well written and highly entertaining, but what really kept me going was Violet in general. I actually really liked her and I wanted her to make the right choice. And the cliffhanger wasn’t bad. Actually, it wasn’t the ending itself that bothered me but rather the fact that I had reached the end and I desperately wanted more. If you like angels and love triangles, then you’ll love this.

Now for the parts that irritated me, or rather the part that irritated me. Unfortunately to really rant like I want to, I’m gonna give away minor spoilers, so proceed with caution. ****SPOILER****I hated the way Phoenix was handled. I hated he was manipulating her when he KNEW that would cause problems. I definitely liked Phoenix more and wanted her to end up with him even though they always end up with the “good” guy so I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but I still wanted to hold onto that hope. I hated that Violet only sleeps with him to get away from her fucked up feelings about Lincoln, blatantly using him. For the majority of the novel, Phoenix was a decent guy, pushing Violet and helping her and then it was like a switch flipped and I truly believe they only reason the author wrote it that way was to give Violet a legitimate reason to go back to trying to work things out with Lincoln. GRH. PHOENIX IS BETTER GODDAMNIT!****END SPOILER***

Review for Croak (Croak #1) by Gina Damico

Croak by Gina Damico

TITLE: Croak
SERIES: Croak #1
AUTHOR: Gina Damico
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
PAGES: 311 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
RATING: 4 stars

Croak is a dark, humorous, and exciting read. You follow Lex through her journey to become grim reaper. After acting out in school numerous times over the past year, Lex’s parents have finally had enough. They send her to her uncle’s “farm” for the summer in hopes that the fresh air and manual labor will knock some since into her, but little do they know that a farm isn’t where Lex is heading at all. Croak is a town of grim reapers and Lex is the newest recruit. Lex unexpectedly falls in love with this strange world and finds a place for herself there. Everything is working out great until a group of explained deaths start occurring implying that there is a grim gone bad out there who needs to be stopped. But the only people dying are bad guys (sex offenders, dirty cops, child abusers, and the like), so Lex isn’t quite sure whether they should stop the murder or join the bandwagon and help.

I really enjoyed this book. The first half had me laughing so hard I cried and the mystery of the second half kept me coming back for more. When I first saw the cover and read the synopsis, my first thought was “ooo, this will be like Dead Like Me (an old Showtime series)” and it didn’t disappoint. Though it differs greatly from that show, Lex did remind me quite a bit of Georgia. I liked Lex instantly. She is queen of the misfits and as such she has no friends (except for her loyal twin Cordy) and is on the brink of expulsion from school. I adored her violent reaction to almost every situation and the fact that her parents literally tied her to a chair to tell her about sending her away for the summer. As far as the other characters go, I liked most of them. Driggs, though not my favorite leading man, was a good character who made me smile a lot. I also really liked Uncle Mort and all the dead characters in the afterlife. Edgar Allan Poe makes several appearances as does several dead presidents. I wasn’t too crazy about the group of Junior Grims that Lex & Driggs hang out with. They were okay, but felt a bit one dimensional to me.

My major issue was the ending. Now admittedly, I saw part of it coming and I was pretty certain there would be a cliffhanger, but I was hoping to be proved wrong. I wasn’t. I didn’t feel like it was too bad of a cliffhanger (on a scale of 1 to 10, it’d probably be a 5 or 6), but I still have to rant about it on fucking principle. Seriously, why is this a damn necessity for YA authors? And yes I single them out because they seem to be the only ones writing that way. Is there a secret newsletter locked up somewhere out there from the publishers encouraging all YA authors to end all their novels badly in order to boost sales for the sequels? I have news, this tactic is cheap and underhanded and I despise it. It’s one thing when tv shows that are on every week gives us cliffhangers because the longest we have to wait for those is a scant few months, but some authors take YEARS between novels. It’s bullshit.


Back to the good bits. The writing style is very clever and amusing. I find humor to be a very important part of any novel I read and if I judged books on humor content alone, this would have gotten 5 stars. Between the witty banter and the hilarious names of the shops in Croak (example: the flower shop is called Pushing Daisies), I was in heaven. Another good point is there was no love triangle, just Lex trying to come to grips with the unbelievable conclusion that she might actually be a normal teenage girl in one way, she likes a boy. OOOOOOOO.

Generally, if cliffhangers don’t drive you over the edge like they do me and you are looking for a book that will keep you enthralled, this is the one for you. If cliffhangers piss you off, still read it, but wait a year or two so the rest of the books can be released.