Fantasy, new adult

Book Review: The Line by J.D. Horn

Title: The Line
Author: J.D. Horn
Publisher: 47North
Length: 298, Kindle Edition
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…
To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

Review:
I found this book on Kindle Unlimited. Actually the whole series is on there which is amazing since I happened to LOVE this book. It could be considered Young Adult but since the main character is 21 and a few of the themes seem a little too adult to be in YA I’m going to put it with NA.

Mercy is one interesting character. She’s loyal almost to a fault but also extremely curious. The book starts off with her giving a “Liar’s tour” and honestly I think it sets an amazing tone for the rest of the book.

I don’t want to get into any of the other characters for fear of spoiling anything, but I loved the way they were presented and the fact that we only had Mercy’s perspective on them. It means that the majority of the plot twists that happened I didn’t see coming at all which was extremely refreshing.

Going more into the plot twists, there are several and only one of them was semi predictable but by the time it happens you’re almost convinced it won’t happen because you thought it would be there sooner.

The only thing I could wish for from this book was more. I wanted more descriptions and explanations. I think certain parts could have been better explained. Basically I think 50 more pages would have been perfect to help flesh the plot, characters, and details out a little better.

dystopian, romance, young adult

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Length: 401, Kindle edition
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Rating: 2.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistakes.
But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Review:
I did not love this book. I thought and hoped I would. The first 100 or so pages flew by but after that point it go so incredibly slow that I was legitimately falling asleep at some parts. The book could have been about 150 pages shorter and I would have liked it better. I felt like absolutely nothing happened for at least 150 pages. I understand the need of some of it but for the most part it was just plain boring.

I didn’t hate Lena. I think she was a little indecisive and a tad bit annoying but I enjoyed that she tried thinking for herself and not taking everything at face value. However, I do think that she fell a little flat as a character. I also HATED that she only changed because of a boy. Hana, her best friend for years, had no part in the change and she almost stopped being friends with Hana when Hana did try to change her. I just I hate when a guy is the only reason a girl develops. It’s just not right and it shows girls they should be dependent on boys and I’m not about that life.

Speaking of Lena’s best friend, Hana is the only character in the book I absolutely loved. She understands her limits, is an amazing friend, and is trying to fight the system but knows that she really can’t. I just really enjoy her all around.

Alex was kind of eh for me. His lines were cheesy, and he also fell flat for me. Considering he was the main reason for Lena’s change, I would have hoped he’d be a bit more 3 dimensional.

I might read the next book in the series if I find it really cheap on kindle or see it in the library but I have no desire to go out of my way to read what happens next even though it did leave off on a pretty solid cliffhanger. I think this is another dystopian book that kind of coasted on the dystopian craze that was going on when it was published.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Girl
Author: Cindy Miles
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Length: 474, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Warning: Not for ye youngins under the ripe age of 18.
Trigger: Allusion to rape

Blurb:
Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston University, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Review:
This book had a lot of ups and downs for me. Some parts I absolutely loved. It was snappy and edgy. Other parts dragged and had me wondering when the book would end. Thankfully the ups were more frequent and longer lasting than the downs.

Olivia and Brax, though not entirely believable characters, were consistent in how they acted and really enjoyed that. I couldn’t see them as people in real life but you don’t always need that in a book. Their romance was cute and fiery and had me smiling and crying. Legitimate tears rolling down the face kind of crying (try explaining that to the person sitting next to me on the Metra). Miles is good at touching emotions in her writing.

I know I said the book had ups and downs, what I really means is that the book had a down spot right in the middle where everything was perfect for Olivia and Brax and I thought the author should just end the book there or get one with what might break them apart. I just think that the small period of perfection she wrote on and on about could have been a little shorter so the pacing of the book was better and I probably would have given this book 5 folded pages.

I also really loved the side characters. Each had their own personality (even if a few seemed to ride a stereotype a little too close for comfort) and I enjoyed that Miles put thought into the side characters.

I’m excited to read the sequel and hope it’s just as good or better than this one!

contemporary, romance, young adult

Book Review: Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London

Title: Aimee and the Heartthrob
Author: Ophelia London
Publisher: Macmillian
Length: 260, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance, contemporary, young adult
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister–and off-limits–but won’t even give him the time of day…

As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested.Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback.

But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

Review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts I really enjoyed and other parts had me rolling my eyes and skimming the pages until it got good again.

I really enjoyed the first 100 pages or so. It was cute and I enjoyed how true to character Aimee stayed. Even around Miles she tried her hardest not to let her old feelings resurface instead of succumbing to them like what happens in similar books.

However, I think this book switched from young adult to new adult and back. Sometimes it felt like they were early 20 year olds and not 16-17. I didn’t enjoy that. There’s a line there that shouldn’t be crossed sometimes and the parts that felt new adult were a bit too sexual.

I do think the romance was super cute. It was just the kind of swoony and cheesiness that I want and expect in YA romance contemporary novels. Even if it sometimes felt a little too mature for the ages of the characters.

I’ll probably pick up the rest of the books in this series just because I’m curious to see what happens to the other band members.

Fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Series Review: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Title(s): A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Publisher: Penguin books
Length: 592, 592, 576 all Kindle Edition
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical fiction
Rating: 5, 4.5, 4 folded pages respectively

Book 1 (A Discovery of Witches) Blurb:
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Review:
Originally I read books 1 and 2 of this about 4 or 5 years ago and I loved the first one but didn’t really like the second. In my defense I was still young, barely out of high school, and didn’t really like how sophisticated the novels felt. Now that probably what I love most about the series.

I absolutely loved marathoning this series. I was going to try and put space between each novel but after I reread the first one there was no way I was going to let myself hang on that cliff. Instead I read all three books in about a week which is no small feat let me assure you.

Deborah creates a very lively world with vampires, witches, and daemons and it’s entirely unique. I loved how she revealed the world to us through Diana who wasn’t really familiar with it even if she grew up in it.

The romance aspect of the book was a little eh if I’m to be honest. Matthew could be overbearing and over the top with cheesy things but for the most part I enjoyed it. And I definitely enjoyed watching them decide to be together. However, it was Diana and her character development that made me stay (along with the incredible world)

I definitely think the first book was the best of the three and the third book got really slow at some points. Still I loved the series and hope Deborah Harkness has something new in the works for us.

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book Review: About that Fling by Tawna Fenske

Title: About that Fling
Author: Tawna Fenske
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Length: 321, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
As the top PR person for the Belmont Health System, bright, beautiful Jenna McArthur knows how to spin bad news and make it sound good. But when her adorable Aunt Gertie—a secret romance writer—urges Jenna to embrace her wild side, Jenna tumbles into bed with Adam Thomas, a guy she’s just met, for a fun and fantastic one-night stand. Too bad Adam is the one guy who’s totally off-limits. There aren’t enough clever words in the world to spin the story in a way that won’t wreck Jenna’s closest friendship or destroy her job.
With the irresistible Adam always around her at work, wearing an aura of temptation like a fabulous cologne, Jenna has to hold tight to her senses to avoid falling for him. Will he take her to the heights of pleasure again—or will their attraction destroy everything she’s worked for?

Review:
I got this book as an Amazon Kindle First and I really enjoyed it. I finished it in about 6 hours so it was an awesome light read while I was marathoning the All Souls trilogy.

My favorite thing about this book is that it was laugh out loud funny. My family kept giving me weird looks because I would just crack up and not be able to stop for a minute or so. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh like that. Fenske’s writing is quick and witty and I enjoyed that.

Not onto the not so good. I couldn’t stand Jenna’s inability to tell to the truth. There was absolutely no reason for her to lie so much. I suppose the whole she covers things up for a living could help but seriously there was no reason to lie that much.

The other thing is the very abrupt ending. I won’t give anything away but I just didn’t like how fast it all drew to a close. I think the pacing was off for it. There needed to be just a little more build to the climax and definitely a lot more resolution. The way it wrapped up left a sour taste in my mouth.

Aside from that I think it was a cute, fun read. The characters (even Jenna) felt very real. I always like when books have characters that I feel could be a person in real life. This is definitely far from what I usually read but I’ve been in a romance mood lately. I’m assuming you will see more of this kind of genre soon on my blog. Apologies in advance if you don’t enjoy these kinds of books!

new adult, romance

Book Review: After Math by Denise Grover Swank

Title: After Math
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 251, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Warning: This book has mature scenes not suitable for those under 18. Ye hath been warned.

Blurb:
Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker Price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety disorder and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him. Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

Review:
As has been the norm recently with New Adult/Romance novels, I liked the first half of this novel but not so much the second half.

I loved how Swank depicts and deals with Scarlett’s anxiety. Mental illness is a difficult subject matter and should be dealt with more in novels. Grover does a great job of showing how Scarlett deals with anxiety, how it affects her and her life and how she overcomes it to hold a normal life.

I also thought the plot was interesting. Math tutor is forced to tutor the university star and partier and finds out there might be more to him than what he presents to people. This remained interesting until about halfway through when instead it became redundant and the two characters kind of melded together to where I couldn’t find two separate personalities.

As for why I didn’t like the second half of the book, although Swank handles anxiety well in the first half she doesn’t at all in the second. Scarlett’s anxiety is magically cured by Tucker in the second half. I don’t agree with the message that having a boyfriend or significant other can magically cure mental illness. I also don’t like the message that she needed a man in her life to make it complete. Still, despite the book’s downfalls, it was an enjoyable read. I just wish the messages sent out were a little different.

Fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Book Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Winter Sea
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Length: 544, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
History has all but forgotten…
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…

Review:
This was a reread for me and what a wonderful reread this was. I think I originally read this two years ago or so to take my mind off of finals and because of that I couldn’t really enjoy it to the fullest. I definitely loved it more than when I first read it.

Carrie is such an endearing character. I can’t tell if it’s because I also (attempt) to write novels or her love of history or how swept up she becomes in Cruden Bay but either way I loved her almost instantly. She’s consistent and thoughtful and questions what’s happening to her while still being able to deal with it.

I loved how Kearsley told the story of Slains as if Carrie was really writing it. Even leaving out scenes that Carrie saw but wouldn’t work well in a novel. It was enchanting and although I did feel sometimes feel impatient with both stories (wanting to be reading Carrie’s POV rather than the novel or vice versa) it wasn’t often enough that it made reading tedious.

I also liked how Carrie’s life somewhat reflected Sophia’s although not exactly and only from time to time. I think it made a bigger connection between Carrie and Sophia. This is actually the novel that made me want to read more historical fiction and I wish I had more time with Carrie and her unique ability. Kearsley kind of set up the ending to allow for another novel but I think her second novel in that world is built on a different character. Either way I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to read more from Kearsley.

ARC, romance

ARC Review: Arrhythmia by Johanna Danninger Translated by Christiane Galvani

Title: Arrhythmia
Author: Johanna Danniger
Translator: Christiane Galvani
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Length: 374, Kindle Book
Genre: Romance
Rating: 3 Folded Pages

Note: I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Warning: Attempted rape scene.

Blurb:
If Nurse Lena has learned one thing from her past, it’s that handsome, charismatic men are just no good.

So when she meets the exceedingly attractive resident Dr. Desiderio DiCastello—who, it seems, is willing to use every trick in the book to seduce her—Lena assumes he’s no different from the rest. But despite her efforts to stay away from him, with so few places to hide in the halls of the hospital, the two can’t help but cross paths. And to Lena’s chagrin, it turns out that she’s not completely immune to his charms. It doesn’t take long before his persistence starts to have a serious effect on her, and soon Lena is questioning herself: Is Desiderio just trying to get her out of her scrubs, or is he for real? And can she trust her fluttering heart?

Review:
I am a sucker for romances where a guy persistently pursues the girl despite her saying no. I know how unfeminist that sounds but as long as the main female doesn’t find it creepy I tend not to either and Arrhythmia delivers on the relentless and heartfelt pursuit.

I absolutely loved the first 150 pages or so. The banter between Desiderio and Lena was hilarious and had me grinning like a fool half the time. I enjoyed Lena trying her hardest to make herself as unlikable to Desiderio as possible and him being able to turn the tables on her. It was enjoyable and they make a good pair.

As much as I enjoyed them together, I tended to get annoyed with Lena when she wasn’t with Desiderio. She was extremely immature and at times almost too annoying to deal with. I also didn’t enjoy how her personality seemed to completely change as soon as she decided to admit that she fell for him. I wanted more of her strong, fierce personality but what I got was whiny, I can’t live without him personality.

I did really appreciate this book and the translation was really well done. I think the original was in German. I also thought that certain aspects of the book were really well handled for such sensitive topics. I just wish Lena didn’t read like she was 15 when she’s supposed to be somewhere in the 20s.

new adult, romance

Book Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Title: Getting Lucky Number Seven
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Macmillan
Length: 272, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

WARNING!!: This novel is not intended for audiences under 18.

Blurb:
What’s your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she’s played it “safe” quite enough, thank you. So she creates a “College Bucket List” with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex…

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla’s transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he’s not careful, he’ll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7…

Review:
Finally! A New Adult romance I really enjoyed. I didn’t have many problems with this one at all and I really enjoyed the characters. The plot was also super interesting.

I think the biggest factor in me liking this book is that Lyla is a lot like myself. Except when I realized I was kind of missing out on the college experience I shrugged and went back to what Korean Drama I was watching at the moment. Lyla decided to DO something and I kind of envy her for that.

My favorite part of the book honestly was all the lame chemistry jokes Lyla and Beck would make. They made me crack up and grin like crazy. I’m pretty sure the people at my office thought I was crazy.

Their romance also felt very real. All the ups and downs felt like they would happen in life. It didn’t feel staged or unrealistic like some novels I’ve been reading lately.

That being said, I do think some parts dragged a little more than need be and some of the sex scenes felt a little unnecessary like they were just there to fill space. Aside from that I really loved this one and I’m glad I happened upon it.