Review for The Moment We Began (Fairhope #2) by Sarra Cannon

The Moment We Began by Sarra Cannon

TITLE: The Moment We Began
SERIES: Fairhope #2
AUTHOR: Sarra Cannon
PUBLICATION DATE: September 15, 2013
PUBLISHER: All Night Reads
PAGES: 247 pages
FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 3 bows

Penny Wright has loved Mason Trent for years. He is her twin brothers best friend and, as a result, also a close friend of hers. When things between them shift to friends with benefits territory, she is sure she can handle it. Having part of him is better than none, right? Until she sees him with other women, which breaks her heart. Now, after too many months of torment, she is determined to win him over, to have him all to herself, no more sharing…and she is willing to do whatever necessary to make it happen.

Penny was a character that instantly got on my nerves and it doesn’t really improve throughout the novel. She has some growth, but I had a hard time believe anything she did that didn’t fit into my mental image of her. On page 1, she is a spoiled rich girl with little care for anything besides her brother and winning over Mason. After that point, we get to see various other talents and interests, but they just didn’t quite match my grasp of the character. My grasp could have been way off, but it is still how I felt. Every time she’d give a business suggestion or do something seemingly nice, I felt like it was the author trying to give us a reason to sympathize with Penny instead of hate her and it didn’t work for me. I have a hard time giving sympathy to…this is going to sound so bad, but to the poor little rich girl dramas. Money can’t buy everything, boohoohoo. As any bookworm can tell you, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy books and that’s really the same thing. I realize there are a lot of problems money can’t solve, but when this brat is given everything she could possibly want or need and she still has the need to complain about everything? She eventually gets a $100 spending limit and goes ballistic. Mommy and Daddy cover everything from the roof over her head to her food and college tuition and now she can only spend $100 a week on extra?!? Who could possibly get by on that paltry amount?
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After this point, I can’t sympathize any at all. Sorry chica, but you get nothing from me by irritation and anger. Then she finds out that she has done irresponsible things and now has to deal with a very big consequence and goes nuts. Beyond the irritation at the rich snob, I also have no sympathy for those people who put themselves in the situation she is in. Mason makes it perfectly clear that he doesn’t want a relationship with her and yet she sits pining away and allowing him to use her body. Have some goddamn self-respect woman!
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And she goes on and on about how she is an adult and should be treated as such but then acts so immature and irresponsible that it’s no wonder her parents want to control her. Sorry, but you’re an idiot who apparently doesn’t know any better.

Then we have Mason. This “dreamboat” is suppose to inspire me to swoon, but really, I don’t like him much more than Penny. Selfish and stupid and just plain cruel and I’m supposed to buy that he loved her all along?
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Sorry, but no. He’s been too much of a jackass to forgive. Either that or he is the retarded level of blind. Either way, it induces no love from me.

Plot and writing-wise, this was fine. Okay, writing-wise, it was fine. Because these two were morons that I couldn’t care much about I had a hard time to loving their story…it felt a bit too easy. Boy + Girl + Drama + Running away + More Drama = Happily Ever After?
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Yeah, I’m not sure I can get behind that.

This is one of those reviews I hate to write. I wholly enjoyed Sarra’s Beautiful Demons novel (yes, Kandice, I know I need to finish that series) and I really want to read the rest of that and her other works, but this just wasn’t the novel for me. It gets 3 stars because the writing was good and I think if the characters were different, I would have enjoyed it, but Penny just wasn’t someone I could love.

I’ve harped endlessly about the importance of characters for me. Good or bad characters maker or break novels for me. I can love a novel that has horrible writing if it has characters I can really get behind or hate a novel with amazing writing if it has characters I can’t stand. This falls pretty close to that. I wouldn’t say I hated Penny and Mason, but they did irritate me a great deal. That being said, I still want to go back and read the first novel in this series and I would be interested in trying the next one. I refuse to let this one dud tarnish my joy for Sarra’s other works.

****Thank you to All Night Reads for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

3 bows
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Review for Breaking Nova (Nova #1) by Jessica Sorensen

Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Breaking Nova
SERIES: Nova #1
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: September 3, 2013
PUBLISHER: Forever
PAGES: 224 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 bows

Nova’s life used to be full of joy and hope….until tragedy strikes. Now, she’s a shell of her former self, just trying to get by without falling apart again. Then Quinton enters the picture and she can’t help but be drawn to him, with his honey-brown eyes that remind her so much of someone she used to know. Quinton knows he isn’t worthy of Nova’s attention, but he can’t seem to resist her sweetness. She manages to make him smile, which is something he hasn’t done in longer than he can remember. Can these two live in the present for long enough to make it work or will the past catch up to them?

Nova is that sweet girl who has witnessed death a time too many. She doesn’t know how to move on after her boyfriend passes on. She loved him so much and she just can’t tolerate the idea that his beautiful face and artistic abilities no longer grace this world. And when Quinton walks in with nearly identical honey brown eyes containing the same sadness she always saw in Landon’s, she becomes a bit enraptured with this boy. She knows he isn’t Landon, but the pull to know him and erase that sadness is more than she can resist. Her journey into the drug world is a bit unsettling. Her pull to achieve that numbing inner silence both drew me in and horrified me. I’m not a fan of drugs, I can’t even tolerate cigarettes, so I don’t think I’ll ever understand Mary Jane’s call to Nova, but it fascinated me nonetheless.

Quinton is sweet and such a fucking idiot. He’s the epitome of grieving idiot. He’s desire to protect Nova from this dark and dirty world was admirable, but I just wanted to slap some sense into the boy. It’s obvious to everyone that the terrible car accident was not his fault. He was the only sober one in the the car wearing a seatbelt for fucks sake. But he’s determined to deny himself any of the joys of life and spend his time killing himself one drug filled hit at a time. There just aren’t words for that. I sympathize with him because I blame myself for everything, but this isn’t the answer!

Then there is the ghost of Landon. Don’t misread this, Landon does not appear here in ghost form, it’s just a metaphor for his memories haunting Nova. Landon is a character I’m not a fan of. If you have sensitive opinions about depression and suicide, please stop reading here because you won’t like my opinion. The last time I posted a review with negative opinions about depression, it got lots of bad comments, so I’m hesitant to do it again. But this is my blog, putting out my opinion, and I did warn you, right? WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE? You have a life full of people who love you and would bend over backwards to help you and instead of making the tinsy effort to tell them something is wrong so they can get you help, you just end it? Not. Fucking. Cool. I have been depressed, sometimes I think I still suffer from it a bit, so don’t tell me I don’t understand what he’s going through, though mine wasn’t nearly as severe. Giving up is never the goddamn answer. Did you even seriously consider for a moment what it would do to your family? Nova? How they will always blame themselves? You claim to love Nova ssssoooo much, but not enough to even try to stay with her? Not enough to even attempt anti-depressants and counselling all that nonsense? I mean, it’s one thing if you have exhausted all your resources to find something that makes it better and nothing works, but for you to not even try? I just….there aren’t any words or gifs adequate to describe my feelings about that.

There is also the idiotic character that is Delilah. Nova’s “best friend” who slowly pushes her into the world of drugs. The idiot who stays with her abusive drug-dealing boyfriend despite every sign she should run. And she should run. I’ve read the next book, things get infinitely worse for her. Grow a goddamn brain. I’m so sick of seeing this, both in literature and real life. What the fuck does he have that is so goddamn special that you just can’t live without him? Money? Nope, he’s always going broke because of the drugs? Good looks? Nope, druggies aren’t attractive. Charming personality? No, rage monkeys aren’t charming. I get that you apparently have no self-worth but, seriously? This is what you think you deserve? This is where you want your life to be? Once again, there just aren’t words for that. Grow a fucking backbone and step out on your own. Sure, it’ll be lonely, but that’s a fuckload better than the abuse your are receiving.

This is something different than we normally get from Sorensen. Instead of a tale about two people find each other and helping each other improve, it’s much more about Nova’s journey to improve herself. Sure, she spirals down into the drug world for a short while, but she eventually wakes up and realizes what she wants…and this isn’t it. Sure, there is the obvious attraction between her and Quinton and a handful of smutty scenes between the two, but this isn’t Quinton coming to his senses and rescuing Nova. It was a refreshing change, to see her realize she really is above all this drama and she deserves better.

This deserves five stars if for no other reason than it managed to elicit a full range of emotions from me. Sorensen has proven to be talented at not only creating twisted characters, but pulling you along for the ride. You feel everything they feel, whether you really want to or not. You rejoice when their happy and cry when their sad and ache when they hurt. It’s completely amazing, and maybe a tad annoying. I don’t read to get sad, I read to get happy, but the ride would have been more than a little just one sided if it was always happy and part of why I love Jessica is that she is brave enough to go into the darker side of things. It’s a dark and thrilling tale of a young girls journey back to the self she lost long ago. It’s so much more than I was expecting and I loved every second of it.

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Review for Wait For You (Wait For You #1) by J Lynn

Wait For You by J Lynn

TITLE: Wait For You
SERIES: Wait For You #1
AUTHOR: J Lynn (AKA Jennifer L Armentrout
PUBLICATION DATE: September 3, 2013
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
PAGES: 384 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook / ARC
SOURCE: Borrowed / Won from Krita’s Dust Jacket
RATING: 5 bows

Avery’s life changed at a Halloween party five years ago and she has ran clear across the country for college to get away from the aftermath. She’s determined to succeed in college and, hopefully, make a few friends along the way. But when she literally falls into Cam’s arms, her plans change. She knows avoiding him is the best thing she can do, but Cam makes her want things she never thought she’d want. Cam’s gorgeous face is everywhere and she quickly learns avoiding him isn’t possible. The two become so close that when Avery begins receiving threatening and insulting emails and texts, Cam demands to know what’s going on. Avery knows she can’t hide from her past forever, but she’s damn well going to try, even if it destroys her relationship with Cam. Can Cam get the truth from her?

Holy fucknuggets Batman! I am beginning to believe that Jennifer L Armentrout can’t write a bad book. Actually, I’m starting to believe that she can’t write anything that isn’t fucking epic and overly addictive. I started this on an audiobook, just planning on listening it to it some around the house….yeah, about that. I ended up spending an entire afternoon listening while I did other things (::coughs:: played Pokemon X) and then switching to a the ARC I won forever ago and staying up until 2 in the morning because I couldn’t stop. This book is just as good, if not better, than the Obsidian series. Cam and Daemon are equally hot and I can’t pick between the two. That alone is a massive compliment. Okay, enough fangirling.

Avery, oh Avery. I love her and I understand her situation, but she really should have told Cam about her past long before she did. Cam’s devotion to her is obvious and she should know that it won’t lower his opinion of her. She’s so damaged and fragile, but strong at the same time. She survived that horrible event and waited for the opportune moment to get the hell away from those assholes she has to call a family. Her family, by the way, left me speechless. I don’t understand how people can react that way.****SPOILER****You daughter was raped and instead of hiring a lawyer with the epic amount of money you have and suing the pants off the man responsible, you accept a bribe from his family and force said daughter to sign a nondisclosure agreement? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? When his parents showed up, you should have told them to fuck off and informed the police that they were attempting to bribe you. This is your only daughter and he hurt her in a way that is beyond unacceptable, but you don’t seem to fucking care. I don’t have kids, but I sure as hell know my reaction would have been completely different. I’d probably be in jail for murdering the fucker, no lawyer or justice system necessary.****END SPOILER****

Then there is our swoon-worthy Cam. Tall with piercing blue eyes and a body that would make a saint sin, he’s the man of every girls dreams, except our dear Avery. Watching him befriend her and ask her on a date, repeatedly, was thoroughly entertaining. Hell, watching Cam do anything would be thoroughly entertaining. Can I have him? Please? New book-boyfriend material here!
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Seriously, this guy goes out of his way to help Avery in anyway he can. He’s so fucking sweet to her, even though she’s a damn idiot and still pushes him away for the better part of this book. Come on people, he has a pet tortoise name Raphael! He’s hot! He’s smart! He’s not a flaming jackass like the majority of guys! What the fuck more could she want? I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, Jennifer L Armentrout really knows how to write a swoon-worthy male lead. They all seem to have that “I’m hot and I know it” attitude that comes off as cute instead of annoying.

The writing is amazing, but that was expected, right? It has everything I need, with the mystery of trying to discover exactly what happened to Avery (and if she’ll ever say yes to Cam), humor with lots of witty banter between the main two, and romance with so many smexy scenes, I probably couldn’t read it in public without blushing. It’s the first NA I’ve read with an unabashedly detailed masturbation scene, which was an interesting change. Being a NA, we get a good douse of swear words, which always puts a smile on my face, as well as the avoidance of the dreaded insta-love, love triangle, and cliffhanger. There is only one interest for Avery and Cam, each other, and their story wraps up relatively well.

I’m officially adding everything J Lynn to my TBR list and to my list of “good” NA authors. I never really questioned that it was going to be good, but I wasn’t quite it expecting the epicness that I got. If only all NA could be this good, then I’d constantly be in heaven…and also I’d never be able to make myself go to work. Who can work when so many amazing words wait ahead? There is no question here, if you like NA or are just a Jennifer L Armentrout fan, read this. Like now. It’s worth whatever you are not give up doing instead, trust me!

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Review for Evade (Ever #2) by Jessa Russo

Evade by Jessa Russo

TITLE: Evade
SERIES: Ever #2
AUTHOR: Jessa Russo
PUBLICATION DATE: September 29, 2013
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 264 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: From author
RATING: 4 stars

Ever has less than a year left to live and is trying to spend it with the people she loves most. Spending as much time as possible with Mom, Frankie, and Jessie is all that matters until she learns that there is much more to her countdown than she realizes. When Ariadne put that countdown on her soul, she inadvertently marked Ever soul, making it more valuable to collectors. So now Ever is on the run with the one person she’s trying so hard to avoid, Toby. Together, they try to find away to save Ever’s soul, while outwitting collectors and Seekers who are determined to claim the prize. Can they beat the clock or will salvation come too late?

I…um….what to say? Well, let’s start with the basics. Ever shows a great deal of growth here. She really steps out of that damsel in distress role and I really enjoyed seeing her stand up for herself. She also gains a much dirty mouth by the end and I LOVED that. It progresses slowly, but by the end we get to see her drop the f-bomb more than once. Is that a stupid reason to be excited? Probably, but I fucking loved it anyway. For me, it makes the character much more believable if they curse. I realize that everyone wasn’t like me, developing a potty mouth from hell the moment they hit high school, but I adamantly believe that there are very few people who don’t swear at all, especially in high stress situations. I’m sorry, but if the shit hits the fan “oh pooh” isn’t going to cut it. That really grounded Ever for me even more, making her feel more real.

Then there is Frankie….my dear sweet, amazing, epic Frankie.

What can I say about him, really? He’s the exact same sweet guy he was in Ever and I love him beyond words. Seriously, he so perfect, always supporting Ever, while being honest in his opinions at the same time. We don’t get nearly enough of him in this novel, but I’ve been assured that we haven’t seen the last of him. ****SPOILER****It makes me incredibly sad that Ever ends up choosing Toby over Frankie. It’s inevitably more complicated than that, but that’s what happens. I logically understand the reasons behind it and I can see why Toby might be a better match, but that’s doesn’t mean I have to be fucking happy about it. I get that Ever has sort of outgrown Frankie and that Frankie needs to get out of her house and live his life, especially now that’s he’s gotten a second chance, but DAMMIT THEY WERE PERFECT TOGETHER.


****END SPOILER****

Then there is Toby. I liked Toby and I sympathize with the boy, but in my mind, he just can’t compare to Frankie. He’s great and snarky and funny and protective, which is usually a winner, but Frankie was just better. I can see why some people are Team Toby, but I just can’t.

The plot of this one is just as much of a rollercoaster ride as the previous one, probably more so. There are multitudes of twists and turns and the ending is something I didn’t even come close to predicting. Russo does a great job of giving you just enough foreshadowing that you ****SPOILER****know something major is going to happen, you are just never sure of what. >Except that Ariadne is Ever’s sister. I called it, I called it, I CALLED IT.

****END SPOILER***

The only reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5 is because of the whole Frankie thing. It’s childish, I know, but I have to show my irritation somehow (and no, the spoilery rant above was not enough). If I can legitimately lower a great books star rating to 1 simply because of senseless animal deaths, I think I can drop a star because of the Frankie thing. Really, though, this is another amazing novel. It’s an addictive thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if and how Ever is going to get out of this mess. I can honestly say this book was well worth the wait (which is a high compliment indeed) and though everything doesn’t wrap up at the end, it’s definitely better than the massive cliffhanger at the end of book 1. I can’t wait to see what the final installment to this series brings (hopefully LOTS more Frankie).

****Thank you to Jessa Russo for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****