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Winter

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer
on November 10th 2015
Pages: 824

13206900

Reaction Upon Reading: Could you not have told that story in less words?


“If this emperor thing doesn’t work out, you might have a future career in espionage.”


Winter…Finally I have decided to pick this beast up!

I have been meaning to finish this series for a while, but hadn’t managed to pluck up the courage to start it. Partly because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to my beloved characters and mostly because of the sheer size of the book.

I had to dedicate a lot of time to complete this and I am going to be honest…towards the middle I began skim reading most of it. I am somewhat happy with where the story left me and enjoyed a lot of the banter between the characters, but I am not as excited by this book as I was about the rest of them. I had high hopes for you Winter! 

Sidenote: This may be the longest YA book I have ever read. I think I want to keep it that way. 


“She definitely has a crush on you. It’s about the size of Jupiter.”


Likes:

  • There are so many pairings and couples
    • Jacin and Winter
    • Cinder and Kai
    • Cress and Thorne
    • Scarlett and Wolfe
  • I love finding the clues that link into the fairytales. Sometimes it is not always obvious. It can be a few chapters later that everything clicks in place for me.
    • Maybe I am just slow, but I didn’t click that the suspended animation tank was the glass coffin until a few chapters later. 
    • I love the amount of traditional fairytales mixed with new and exciting aspects/concepts. Meyer mixes the two together seamlessly.
  • The series is over. I can now read both the novellas sitting on my shelf.
    • I have this weird thing where I have to finish an entire series before beginning on them. 
  • Thorne and Cress – #finally 
  • Time to read Fairest
    • Levana has a lot going on that I want to know about, she was absolutely awful, but I am ready to sympathise with her…maybe 
  • Friendships developed a lot
    • I wanted more of this, it was so nice. 
  • The Banter between Cinder and Thorne often has me cracking me up.
  • Iko
    • She is so sassy in this book, but above that she is extremely helpful and integral to the plot. She played a very important role and it was nice to see her utilised a lot more. 

Dislikes:

  • There is always someone in immediate danger. Which means I can never relax and enjoy where the story is going.
  • This book was far too big for what actually happened. I felt myself losing the motivation to read on numerous occasions.
    • I think this is due to the fact that it felt like the 8 main characters didn’t mesh well together at times. It was like some stories were running side by side and there was minimal character development. I got sick of the chopping and changing and there were parts I just felt like skipping altogether. 
  • Why is this not available on Audible in New Zealand
    • I listened to all three others books and just adored them. This book fell flat for me, but I am wondering if it is because I didn’t listen to it. When I listen to a book, I full immerse myself into the world.
  • There was an unnessary amount of deaths and no one cared! Not even me!
  • I came so close to putting this book down a multitude of times
    • I never DNF…but I was soooooo damn close. 
  • Waaaaaaay to much emphasis put on Levana being ugly. Not on her absolutely poor decisions as a leader and how damn right awful she was to everyone and everything….over and over again! What the?!
  • The ending
    • I am not really sure how to explain this, it felt a bit rushed and I just wasn’t feeling it. It was all about off and wrong for me. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that. 

“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.”


Reactions, Ramblings and Questions:

  • Queen Levana is going to get what is coming to her!
  • I love all the parings. Everyone has a buddy. 
    • Jacin and Winter are super cute.
    • Jacin comes across as being in his mid to late twenties, not as young as he is meant to be 
  • I feel like Cinder and Kai are going to crash and burn soon.
  • That broadcast of Cinder’s video felt very Hunger Games. Cinder meet Katniss…Oh you guys have already met and write your speeches together? Yeah I can tell.
  • Winter is funny with her crazy nonsense babble
  • CRESS YOU BETTER BE OKAY 
  • This is the Kai I have been waiting to see. He finally stood up for himself.
  • View Spoiler »

“Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”


Favourite Character:

Scarlet and Wolf

I can’t separate these two, they go hand in hand. I like that their ‘love story’ is one that wasn’t meant to succeed. It is two people who come from different worlds. They can put aside their differences and accept each other for who they are. Wolf is her protector but she is always willing to go into battle for him. Scarlet is such a strong heroine in every aspect of her being and Wolf absolutely adores her. Plus I am sucker for Red Riding Hood!

Everybody needs a little love.

Least Favourite Character:

Winter

This seems terrible since this book is all about her…well at least it was meant to be. All the other characters were far more overpowering. She seemed like a sub character in her own story. She was to far along the continuum of crazy. I got frustrated with her complete lack of independence. She was always having to be rescued or looked after. I am just not interested in reading about a ‘heroine’ with so little positive qualities. If Meyer had spent more time developing her as a character, I could have seen myself loving her.


“One should never save cake for later when it can be eaten now.”


The Series is Over:

I love being able to say “Yes! I read that whole series from start to finish”. There are not many series I can say this for. I currently have 44 series I need to finish on my GoodReads shelf. Talk about the Queen of new and shiny.

The book I loved the most in the whole series was Cress. It was full of action and just the right amount of characters, drama, romance and banter. The story was written exceptionally and I loved how it all came together in the end.


“And they all lived happily to the end of their days.”


Overall Thoughts:

This book fell flat. I only gave it 4 stars because I adore the series and don’t want this rating to reflect the ending of the series. There was just too much, it was too messy and I got frustrated with the characters tag teaming for who could have the most drama surrounding them.

The pacing felt like it took forever to get into the guts of the story and by the time this had happened I was over it. I set myself a deadline of reading 100 words a day in order to get this book done. It has been driving my crazy that I had an unfinished series sitting on my bookshelf. I skim read at least 60% of the book.

I don’t hate it (although I am sure it sounds like I do). I just wanted expected more. Hopefully the novellas reinstate me love and adoration for this series.

See you later Lunar. Bring on Heartless!

Marissa’s Meyer new retelling


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What did you think of this book?

What was your favourite book of the series?

Leave a comment below

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

Carry On

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
on October 6th 2015
Genres: Magical Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 522
Format: Paperback

23734628

 

Reaction upon Reading: I need more!


“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.”


Synopsis:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.


“Just when you think you’re having a scene without Simon, he drops in to remind you that everyone else is a supporting character in his catastrophe.”


Likes:

  • Rowell doesn’t treat you as if you are a dumb reader
    • There is no back and forth between what we need to know about Watford, it is straight into the guts of the story! 
    • We don’t need to recap the previous seven years to get an understanding of these characters
  • I can see how you some readers may initially think this is merely a spin off of Harry Potter
    • I thought this for the first 20% of the book
    • Simon Snow is a much darker and snarkier ‘chosen one’  
  • Multiple Perspectives
    • How do I feel about them?
    • ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
    • Seriously one of my favourite elements of writing 
  • The element of suspense and mystery Rowell is able to maintain throughout the whole book
    • Having read Fangirl we already know that “Simon and Baz” are a “thing”…but who is going to initiate this “thing” and when is it going to happen?!
  • Simon is the ultimate anti-hero
    • You can’t help but root for him.
  • Each character becomes more complex as the novel progresses
    • Which is refreshing to read a multiple perspective where every character is crucial to the plot line
  • The pacing was perfect
    • I was never bored or frustrated once – I almost devoured the book in one sitting – the only reason I didn’t was because it was 5am when I put it down and I thought I should maybe have a little bit of sleep.
  • I loved the similarities this has with Harry Potter, but I would say it runs parallel to it and is not a direct copy (like many believe)
    • The spells are silly and at times downright hilarious 
    • The chosen one is ‘broken and damaged’ 
    • Where there vampires in Harry Potter? Nope and I just love Baz! 

Dislikes:

  • That the Simon Snow series is not real
  • Agatha was kind of annoying – Who wants to run away from Simon Snow and the world of magic? Silly girl.

“It’s like being a fairy named Mary,” he goes on. “Or a vampire named Gampire,” I say. “Gampire isn’t even a proper name, Snow. You’re terrible at this game.”


Overall feelings:

This is my third Rainbow Rowell book and it is hands down my favourite! I was so nervous to read this because so many people love it and I always find books fall short of the hype. This did not!

It was so refreshing, I felt an immediate connection with these magical characters. I just loved everything. My overall feelings are happiness and glee. 

If I could draw then this book would be the inspiration for all my bookish drawings. I want to draw the characters, the settings, the events, the quotes…Oh I want to be able to draw so badly. I spent a few hours on Tumblr and Pinterest looking at peoples amazing artwork inspired by the book. Jealousy was high during those few hours.

This is a book I am going to recommend to all my friends. Thank you Rainbow Rowell you are fast becoming one of my favourite authors.


Do you need to read Fangirl first, in order to understand Carry On? No absolutely not!

Should you read Fangirl first before reading Carry On? Yes…You should be going to do that now!


“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.”


cvf


What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below.

Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Pages: 640

17927395

Reaction Upon Reading: This book gets all the stars in the Night Court…oh and Tamlin is literally the worst!


“My mate. Death incarnate. Night triumphant.”


This is my most anticipated release for 2016. I was absolutely obsessed with ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ all of last year and I have been just dying to get my hands on this book. I am still waiting for it to arrive in the post, but I couldn’t resist grabbing the e-book to read in the mean time.

My goal is to savour this book. I want to take my time and pull it apart layer by layer. Lets be real though I am probably going to devour it in one sitting. 

In between reading ACOTAR and ACOMAF, I read the entire ‘Throne of Glass’ series. I am coming into reading this book aware of many things Sarah J. Maas does as a writer. To say am I nervous is an understatement. Maas has a way of making you feel one way and then punching you in the gut with all the feels and flipping everything upside down and inside out.


“He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.”


Likes:

  • The pacing of this story was perfect
    • We start with watching Feyre struggle to have some semblance of normalcy after the events that transpired under the mountain. We see her struggle to find who she is and the door that Rhysand opens up for her to be more than she already is. 
  • The book had more heartache, love, conflict, villains and explicit scenes.
    • The explicit scenes threw me through a loop, I was not expecting such detail. But hey…I ain’t complaining! 
  • I was super worried this book was going to be a love triangle, which is one of my most hated book tropes. Thankfully this isn’t even close to that. Tamlin is out and Rhysand is in. 
  •  Rhysand
    • A man from the Northern most part of Prythian desribe as – Mountain, darkness, stars and death
    • Wings – Can I touch them?
    • His banter with Feyre and the outright flirting
    • He values Feyre for more than just her power. He allows her to be strong and powerful. I love that he isn’t threatened by her at all.
  • The members of the Night Court are all characters I found myself rooting for
    • I could happily read trilogies and series that follow their lives and pathways once this adventure is over
    • Maas has developed them all to complex characters that I am sure we will still be learning more about in the next book. I personally loved Azriel. 
  • FEYRE HAS ALL THE POWERS 

Dislikes:

  • I am currently in a book depression
    • I have picked up 3 different books and tried to read the first chapter *sighs deeply*
  • How am I expected to wait an entire year for the next book!?!
  • Sarah J. Maas is evil…she makes you love a character and then hate them more than you could have ever imagined. She sends you on a roller-coaster of pain and feels. I didn’t want to hate Tamlin, but I really do.

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.” Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”


Reactions, Ramblings and Questions:

  • I just need it to be known that at the start of this book I am rooting for Tamlin. I have a prediction that by about 2/3 of the way through I will be begging for my Rhysand.
    • Maas has this way of making you feel for these characters and then just flips it all upside down and the wrong way around. I mean…I was team Chaol and then hellllooooo Rowan! *sigh* 
  • I don’t entirely trust Ianthe. Something is off and I don’t like it.
  • Lucien’s story he shared with Feyre about seeing his family butchered is horrific.
    • He is the right amount of friend and enforcer. He doesn’t tell her what she wants to hear, he lets his silence do a lot of the communicating and always steers her onto the right path. I hope he finds a new mate. 
  • If Tamlin and Feyre are not mates then someone is going to take his place. I hate this uncertainty that Maas makes you feel.
  • Feyre is clearly miserable!
    • Does Tamlin even care?
    • Is she just his prize?
    • When will Rhysand come and claim his time with her?
    • Will she owe him the month of time she has not yet given?
  • I just knew Rhysand was going to show up as she walked down the aisle
    • I want to say predictable but I think I am more excited 
  • Feyre might not want to show curiosity about the bond, but I want to bloody well know!
  • I am already in love with Feyre’s and Rhysand’s banter #perfection
  • She got him with the shoe! I am actually laughing out loud.
  • WAR IS COMING
  • I knew Ianthe was shady!
  • I miss Lucien
    • I don’t miss Tamlin though, I can now see why he and Feyre were never going to work 
  • I am just over waiting patiently for the undeniable chemistry between Rhysand and Feyre to erupt
  • I love the Night Court…it is waaaaaaay cooler than the Spring Court
  • Is she going to paint again?
  • I need this to be a movie
  • What is Tamlin up to at home that Lucien needs Feyre to return for?
  • Lucien you have let me down in this book. I thought you were a friend.
  • Part Three is life!
  • I KNEW THEY WERE MATES
    • Totally called that in book 1! 
  • Feyre really needs to get out of this pity party, it’s getting exhausted to read how broken she thinks she is
  • The Suriel is a creature I struggle to picture
  • This book is so much more explicit than the first
  • Where is Miss Ianthe now?
  • What about the whole blood ruby situation? I know that is coming back to bite someone!
  • Will Lucien help Feyre?
    • He better, I need his character to have some redemption 

“When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”


Favourite Character:

Rhysand

The character you thought was bad turned out to be so deep and layered in pain, compassion and love. How can you not be team Rhysand?! Even when he made dumb decisions…and yes he made them! You couldn’t help but sympathise with his cause. He wants to eradicate the hierarchy and set everyone on an even playing field. He wants relationships between human and fae to be peaceful. He cares deeply for his inner circle and people. He will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about and his love for Feyre is just *explodes on the spot*.

Everything about him makes me excited for where this series is going. The most powerful lord…wings…Feyre’s mate…his wing span…the list is endless.

Least Favourite Character:

Tamlin and Lucien

I honestly can’t pick which one I despise more. Tamlin viewed Feyre like a prized pet and in turn locked her in a ‘cage’. I believe he loves her but his love is blinded with a need to overpower and protect what he thinks of as his. He refused to listen when she sent the letter explaining she left of her own free will. He has opened up the floodgates for the war between humans and fae. He got very ugly on the inside for me in this book.

Lucien on the other hand was meant to be Feyre’s friend, she begged him for help and support but he allowed and aided Tamlin in his quest for ‘protecting’ her. Lucien was ruled by his fear of Tamlin and not by any kind of moral compass. He knew it was wrong and he did it anyway. I have no time for you Lucien…unless you help Feyre in book 3. Then maybe I can rethink this.


“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”


Overall Thoughts:

It is so nice to go from reading ‘Winter’, where I was skimming and just trying to get through the book to this. I just want to savour every word, sentence, quote and action. I put off reading it numerous nights because I knew I didn’t want it to end. I would think about it all day and then spend all night trying to busy myself so I could only read a small amount. I can tell you, it was a serious struggle to not have this book ruined for me because of status updates on posts on social media. *shakes head*

I am in love with this book, even more than the first one. It is very…very rare the sequel makes me hum with excitement they way this book has done. The overall development and complexity of this book supersedes a 5 star rating. In the first book Feyre is weak and she leans on Tamlin a lot for reassurance and support. In this book she is strong, we see her become a warrior and take control and charge of her own destiny. I felt such a broad range of emotions reading this book. I would do bad things to get my hands on the next book…even for just a glimpse at the title.

I can’t say I am surprised by the ending of this book. I did get a bit panicky because I could see I didn’t have much to go and it was all very tense and full of action. I am excited that they ending is what it was. It is a mixture of nerves and pure evil for what is to come. I seriously look forward to where the next book is heading.


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What did you think of this book?

Leave a comment below

Rating Report
Plot
five-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

by Mariana Zapata
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Romance
Format: E-Book

28318522

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t even find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?


“I don’t know,” I stuttered, “Do you love me?”
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”

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What did I think:

This is a slow burn romance story. If you are wanting immediate gratification and a love connection, then this is not the book for you. 

I wouldn’t normally pick up a slow burn love story, because I am impatient and want a happy ending from the get go! This story had the perfect pacing from “oh I am giving up on these two” to “Yaaaaaaaay they are making progress”.

The romance didn’t really start until about 63% through the book. That was when the first ‘moment‘ happened. Then it was all on from there! I loved the banter and dialogue Aiden and Vanessa had with each other. It was funny, witty and snarky all at the same time.

I was cheering for them as they each grew as people and started to become more than friends. It was quite a large sized book for a romance, but I read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

The writing style is very thorough. The author has an amazing attention to detail, any questions I had while reading were quickly answered. She leaves nothing to the imagination, which was quite refreshing.


Likes:

  • The book is downright funny!
  • The molesting fan scene was hilarious
  • Aiden is extremely over protective and overbearing from the get go
    • I love this because you know he is going to turn into a softy at some stage
  • I picture Aiden as a hotter Gronk 
  • The way Aiden tells the receptionist that Vanessa is his wife was amazing!
    • But MUFFIN…nobody likes to be called muffin…ever
  • The halloween scene was sooooooooo cute.
    • I am not a Dragon Ball Z girl, I am a Pokemon girl
  • That thunder scene
    • OMG! This was about 63% into the book and is the first real moment that sets the rest of their relationship in motion. More of these scenes please.
  • Zac is the perfect best friend and room-mate. He is funny, good looking, supportive, loyal and everything a girl could ask for. He is like an older brother figure to Vanessa.
    • If there was a sequel, I would want it to be all about Zac. 
  • The moment when Aiden finally admits how much he knows about Vanessa was a moment I had been waiting for from the beginning. We get hints that he is really attentive and since he doesn’t talk much…ever, then we know he is surely observant. He didn’t me down.
  • Goofy smile is permanently plastered on my face when Aiden and Vanessa talk to each other
  • The kneading of her muscles…lord help me! 
  • HE HAS A NIGHTLIGHT FOR HER IN HIS ROOM *CUDDLES THE BOOK WITH HAPPINESS*
  • Aiden is always there when it counts
  • Silly questions for the win!

Dislikes:

  • Why is he such a dickhead in the beginning?
    • He was so damn hard to like 
  • Those child abuse scenes are so hard to read. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake some sense into Vanessa’s mother and sisters. The writing being so thorough meant that those scenes were written with such raw emotion and detail. The scene that hit me the hardest was the closet scene.
  • Cain – not sure about him, he is to interested and creepy
  • It was so obvious he was thinking past 5 years. Vanessa kept putting her foot in it and after awhile this was getting really annoying
  • TREVOR 
  • I felt like there was no need for kids to be introduced. I get that it is nice to see that their relationship progressed but you wrote this beautifully slow burning romance only to rush it at the finish. It was far too cliche and I would have preferred it to be taken back a step and hinted at a baby bump or buying a crib.

“I need a friend—I need you.”

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Football:

This is centered around Aiden Graves being this amazing football player. Although he is a football player and the book talks about games, training’s, teams and the process of being drafted it didn’t seem as authentic as I had hoped. Obviously the book is ultimately about love story between Vanessa and Aiden, I would have loved if they did include more of the football.

This year I really got into watching Football and I was excited that I would know all the terminology and references, but they were so surface. I wanted a bit more!


“It was right then, in that instant, that I realized I might be a little in love with Aiden. Not in a way that was anything like the easy crush I had on him in the past, but different. So, so different.”

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Ramblings:

What would your price be to marry someone that in turns means your committing a felony? I would totally marry for student loan debts and a house, hell I would marry for the student loan debts! 

I am a real fan of this book troupe. I love the boss/worker type romance. Especially because they Boss is usually quite dominating and then has to let his guard down.

Why in these books do they always make the woman so afraid to use the male love interests money. They would tell you no or not let you have access if they were worried. Drives me nuts!

I wanted more football.


Dream Casting:

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Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

Lassoing the Virgin Mail Order Bride

Lassoing the Virgin Mail Order Bride by Alexa Riley
Genres: Chick Lit, Romance
Format: E-Book

29494600


Synopsis:

When Clare Stevens walked onto the McCallister ranch, she expected her life to be a certain way. She was the mail-order bride of the owner, and she was to fulfill her duties. Clean the house, cook for his men, and warm his bed at night. What she didn’t expect was the beefy cowboy who walked in and literally swept her off her feet.

Cash McCallister didn’t have time to date and find a wife. So a mail-order bride seemed the easiest way to find a partner. He thought he’d made a mistake until he laid eyes on the little piece of sunshine that lit up his life. He never imagined a true love like this. He never knew an obsession could take hold so tightly.


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Initial Thoughts:

This is a quick read that is heavy on the smut. I mean HEAVY on the smut. Think of ‘The Longest Ride’ if it was R-rated.

A cowboy and his damsel in distress. Sold! 

My favourite romance book troupe is cowboys followed closely by Motorcycle clubs. The fact that this book was short intrigued me. I wanted a quick read in between some of the larger books I am currently reading. I often just need a mindless brain break..


“You’re a big old brute, you know that, Cash? You can’t just manhandle something when it doesn’t do what you want,” Clare huffs out, and crosses her arms over her chest. “When it’s mine, I do.”


Likes:

  • Clare

    • She is small and feisty – I love her quick wit and banter 
    • She can cook – What I wouldn’t give to sit around that table and have dinner with all those cowboys and farm hands 
  • Cash

    • He is jealous and possesive – caveman tendencies 
  • The pacing was extremely quick, there was no time for boredom
    • This was brilliant because I just wanted a really quick read 
  • The book was funny. I always love a story where I am actually laughing out loud
  • Dual perspective
    • This is my favourite writing format for romance novels. I love seeing both sides of the story and getting into the inner thoughts and feelings of each character 

Dislikes:

  • This book was too darn short
    • I actually really enjoyed this couple, I wanted to read more
  • I thought there had to be more of a backstory with June. I found it hard to believe she was so emotional and mean spirited for something as simple as unrequited love…I wanted there to be a big reveal of a past incident or moment

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Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book. It was quick, easy to read, funny and left me feeling happy. It is an insta-love heavy on the cliches and cheese (this would normally turn me away) but when it with a cowboy I just can’t get enough.

This is a great afternoon/evening read.

I am off now to find a hot cowboy and live on a ranch. If anyone has this mail order braid service website, it would be greatly appreciated.


“I get lost when you kiss me,” she whispers. Running my hands up and down her back, I smile against her skin. “Good thing I’m right here to find you when it’s over. Now”

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
three-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: three-stars

I’ll Meet You There

I’ll Meet You ThereI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on February 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 388
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
four-half-stars

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

I love a stand alone book! Sometimes I just want to read a book and close the door on the characters and hopefully feel happy and satisfied with the ending. I picked this book up because the cover stood out and I had seen it photographed on tons of bookstagram accounts.

I love picking up a book without really knowing what it is about. I am super glad I hadn’t read the blurb because everything that happened was unexpected and exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It wasn’t by any means a bubblegum pop romance novel (I am always expecting this generic turned out formula). It was gritty, raw and emotionally charged. It dealt with death, grief, alcoholism, PTSD, life after war and growing up in a small town with bigger aspirations.

The two main characters  Skylar Evans & Josh Mitchell are the most amazing ‘real’ characters you could ask for. I loved them together and also loved them apart. I could have followed both their story lines happily even without the end result. They both dealt with real life issues in ways that made you think, feel, wonder and admire.

There were definitely parts throughout the book where I was losing interest, however something would always happen to lure me back in. Even though some might feel certain aspects of the book were far fetched, I would beg to differ. Coming for a family riddled with mental illness and alcoholism, this book was a brilliant read.

There weren’t any plot twists or moments that shocked me, it was just a real contemporary romance from start to finish. I look forward to more to come from this author.


“He was the parts of the day where I smiled.”


Likes:

  • I love POV novels where each character has a chapter. I really enjoying hearing each characters perspective
  • The story was realistic – Yay!
    • There is nothing worse than a book claiming to be contemporary and then having themes, characters and plot lines that seem too far fetched
  • Dylan
    • She is such a good friend. Even though her two best friends find the small town life stifling and uninspiring, she does the best she can for her child and supports her friends in their endeavors
  • I loved that Sky was into creating collages
    • I couldn’t visualise any of the work she described
  • Sky was just good and pure! 
  • The money in the letter box, the dedication to Josh, the no drinking (not giving into peer pressure), working her butt off and wanting more for her life and for her Mum. She was such a role model. 
  • Marge
    • Her story about her son was heartbreaking and eye opening! 
  • Josh
    • He does so many dumb boy things! Yet he is real, honest and I mean come on, hes a Marine. He is selfless and I just couldn’t get enough of him.

Dislikes:

  • When the characters make really stupid decisions…Josh I am talking about you!
  • Blake really annoyed me for roughly the first two thirds of the book
  • Skye’s mum was so insanely frustrating – You don’t deserve the title Mum
    • On the plus side, I enjoyed the real world view/situation on what it would be like to live with an alcoholic mother
  • Billy was made out to be a bad guy and I actively despised him, yet we didn’t get a lot of insight into why we hate him
  • I got over them both putting up barriers, by the end I was getting to the point where I didn’t care if they didn’t end up together.
  • Chris
    • I could have just erased all of this characters interactions and been happy. He was whiny and annoying. I just couldn’t connect with his unrequited love and behaviour. I also kept thinking his character came across as gay and it was all just a mess really.

“If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?” I opened my mouth to say San Francisco or maybe Madrid—somewhere exotic. But what came out was, “Here. Right here.”


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3

 

four-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Overall: four-stars

With This Heart

With This HeartWith This Heart by R.S. Grey
Published by Createspace on April 6th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 318
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
three-half-stars

If someone had told me a year ago that I was about to fall in love, go on an epic road trip, ride a Triceratops, sing on a bar, and lose my virginity, I would have assumed they were on drugs.
Well, that is, until I met Beckham.
Beck was mostly to blame for my recklessness. Gorgeous, clever, undeniably charming Beck barreled into my life as if it were his mission to make sure I never took living for granted. He showed me that there were no boundaries, rules were for the spineless, and a kiss was supposed to happen when I least expected.
Beck was the plot twist that took me by surprise. Two months before I met him, death was knocking at my door. I'd all but given up my last scrap of hope when suddenly, I was given a second chance at life. This time around, I wasn't going to let it slip through my fingers.
We set out on a road trip with nothing to lose and no guarantees of tomorrow.
Our road trip was about young, reckless love.
The kind of love that burns bright.
The kind of love that no road-map could bring me back from.
**Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.**

Sick girl + Mysterious boy = Steamy road trip

This book was not at all what I was expecting. I read the blurb (well the first few sentences…I should have read the entire thing) and thought I was going to get some ‘Fault in Our Stars’ contemporary romance. This book is definitely not that, it is a steamy new adult story, full of explicit scenes!

The cover is beautiful, this is originally what drew me to the book – plus I had read ‘Scoring Wilder’ which I absolutely loved. 

Beck is this quirky, non conforming, sweetheart with a desire to break out of the mold he has built from himself. Abbey is this young, naive, sheltered smart ass that wants to explore the world and live up to the heart she has been given. Together they have this smart-ass, sweet, hormone charged relationship.

“He was a handsome guy in a baseball cap and I was a cynical girl picking out an urn.”


“So you’re a stalker?” I asked with a hard stare.

He smirked, a knees-turning-to jelly kind of smirk. “I prefer gravitationally linked to your presence.”

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Loves:

  • It is funny
  • The story for the most part felt realistic
  • I liked the character development. You saw Abbey grow in confidence and character throughut the story
  • I really enjoyed Beck’s character. He had this carefree personality and confidence – He didn’t care what others thought about him!
  • I loved the beginning of the book the most. There was element of mystery that each character had more story to tell but they weren’t ready to open up yet. The story didn’t feel rushed and I was just enjoying learning more as the plot unfolded – normally in situations like that, I would want to speed read to get the answers
  • Love the title and the cover!
  • That grand gesture at the end – corny and beautiful 

Dislikes:

  • Originally I had written a note in my phone to say I was impressed that there wasn’t any overplayed cliches and then towards the end of the book it got cheesy and way to predictable. It felt like any other story I had read about a sick girl
  • Abbey’s self consciousness got annoying. Her banter was brilliant, I just kept getting frustrated in her lack of belief in herself
  • I am all for swearing in a book if it adds to the plot or depth of characters, but dropping the ‘C bomb’ is just never going to be acceptable in my books. It is an ugly word that makes me shudder when I hear or read it

I can’t give this book higher than a 3.5 because it just didn’t stand out from any other New Adult story I have read. It’s such a shame because I was loving the first third of the book. I thought it was going to be cool and quirky with something unexpected, but alas, I was wrong. I don’t really know where I envisioned the story going but for once I was really hoping to be surprised. I did enjoy the grand gesture at the end and I was proud of the growth both characters made, but to get a 4 or even a 5 for me you need to leave me feeling something…anything.

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“Love will make you reckless. It can drag out parts of you that common sense and fear usually keep hidden away. Because love is selfless and selfish.”

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
three-half-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

Confess

ConfessConfess by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on March 10th 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 306
Format: E-Book
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

A quick and easy read. You can never go wrong with Colleen Hoover…except for this one book – I don’t love this book. Dammit! I have read almost all of Colleen Hoover’s books and have sincerely loved every one of them. This one was just not up to her usual standard.

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There is so much hype circling this book. I am seeing it pop on Goodreads every other day. So many people are sharing pictures of it on Instagram, saying how much they love it. Stop reading here if you haven’t read the book. This post is riddled with spoilers because I need to just air out my thoughts and opinions.

The formula was pretty stock standard. 2 people, with somewhat of a difficult background that they are keeping from one another, throw in some plot twists, some characters that aggravate you as the reader and top it off with an ending we are all happy with.

That ending…did he ever share Adam’s confession with her? I don’t even know what happened here. This book was all over the place. I think the book felt slow in getting to the truth, but rushed in the development of themselves as characters and in their relationship. What makes it worse is I didn’t even really like the characters. Owen seemed okay at first but got way to intense to soon and Auburn was just whiny and like a lost puppy doing whatever people told her.


Loves:

  • Confession Art – I thought it was originally going to be some pop culture reference to PostSecret, but I was pleasantly surprised by the spin. What an amazing idea, if someone in the world is doing this then I want to check it out
  • Love how she said about buying the paintings anonymously, because if you are buying it then you are most likely identifying with the confession. This was spot on, I thought I would buy a painting that spoke to me, but I probably would feel a bit judged depending on what the confession was
  • I loved the art – it was absolutely gorgeous
    • I wish there was more of it, but I understand that any more and it probably would have been less effective and felt overused
  • I love Emory’s bluntness and complete lack of social norms
    • I don’t even know if it was a lack or if she just didn’t care – I kinda hope she just didn’t care
  • Harrison
    • I wish there was more of him, he seemed like a character I could have really liked and rooted for – even though he was peddling pills
  • Owen
    • He was so quirky and odd (in a good way)
    • He was wasted on Auburn! – I think he would have been less needy and annoying without her – he needs a strong independent woman 

 

Dislikes:

  • The name Auburn
    • It just didn’t suit the character for me
  • I got a bit annoyed by Auburn and Owen keeping secrets from one another and all the drama that followed. Just get over it and talk to each other! 
  • Lydia, oh there is a special place for people like you in the world. I already didn’t like her for what she said at the hospital, but keeping someones son from them. Selfish cow of a woman
  • Trey is a slimy weasel
    • I could swear up a storm about how pathetic his jealousy was
    • Does he have no respect for his deceased brother?
    • The way he treated Auburn was actually a struggle to read – the physical attack followed the mental and emotional abuse that followed
    • I can’t believe he slut shammed her! Especially because she got pregnant by her boyfriend…who died! 
    • I hate dirty cops!
    • What I hate most is that there are people like this in the world that get away with the same behaviours – I was very angry reading his parts
  • Auburn dating Trey to get closer to her son
    • Some people would see this as strong and powerful, a woman doing anything to see her son – which I am sure is what the author was going for
    • I saw it as weak and showed she had such a low self esteem – she didn’t deem herself worthy of better, she didn’t fight for better – even though she was able to redeem herself in the end, it felt a little to late. By then I was already over her as a character

 

“I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”

 


Capture

Photo Credit: Auburn // Owen

three-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-half-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
three-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: three-half-stars

The 5th Wave: Book Vs. Movie

by Rick Yancey
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Format: Film

16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.

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What I loved about the book:

  • It was perfectly creepy!
    • You didn’t know who to trust
    • The plot kept you guessing
    • The suspense building was a great hook in
  • There was this deep loneliness and sadness that allowed you to connect with the main character Cassie.
    • It was easy to think about how you would act in her situation, I was able to assimilate with the bold choices she made
  • I liked the dark snarky humour of the book – it made it more real and appealing
  • Although this idea of an alien invasion is not an original one, the way it was told and written was well crafted!

What I loved about the movie:

  • Casting
    • I truely thought the casting was brilliant. The only one I wasn’t sure about when I originally saw the casting was Chloe Grace Moretz for Cassie, however she nailed it!
  • Camera Angles
    • There were some unique choices that I thought helped this film stand apart from others in the dystopian/sci-fi YA franchise
  • Soundtrack
  • When Ben sings to Sammy
    • Melted my heart, seriously! 
  • This movie made me cry in a few scenes
    • This is strange because I knew what was coming. Which means it was really brilliant acting to make me sad about something I was mentally prepared for
  • Overall, it felt true to the book
  • EVAN WALKER 
    • That scene were Cassie is peeping on him was to die for!
    • Those abs!
    • That back!!
    • The water!!!
  • This movie made me want to go and read ‘The Infinite Sea’ which the book didn’t. I finished reading ‘The 5th Wave’ and for about 5 minutes I was excited for the next one and then a bright new shiny book series must have come along. This movie has opened up the door for me to get back into the series. I have added it to my ‘Read Next’ shelf…which is growing way to fast!

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What was missing?

There were only 2 big flaws that bothered me in the film:

  • The depth to Cassie’s and Evan’s relationship. It went from do I trust him…to kissing him very quickly. In the book this is played out a lot longer. She really struggles with this notion of trusting Evan, versus having a major ally with the skill set he has.
  • The whole reasons Ben takes to Sammy is because he has just lost his whole family, and more importantly his sister. Their whole relationship is built on the loss of Ben’s sister. The movie doesn’t even delve into this connection, it makes the relationship seem like it was just by default. I felt like the film missed a major component of Ben’s character, his sincerity and kindness.

The Winner is…Movie!

I know some people will be reading this and thinking I am crazy. It is extremely rare, that I find the movie version of a novel better than the book itself. The reason I find it better is because I felt the pacing of the movie effectively portrayed the story, while leaving out all the overdrawn parts that bored me in the book.

As I said above, I now want to read the next book because of the movie!


“But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”


1st Wave: Blackout

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Photo Credit: All images found here


What did you think of the film?

Share your thoughts below.

The Illuminae Files Spoilers

The Illuminae Files SpoilersThe Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 20th 2015
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 599
Format: Paperback
Goodreads

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

 

Wow, wow, wow. It scares me to read a book so brilliant, so early into the year. How is anything supposed to top this?! This book absolutely blindsided me and has earned a place in the ‘BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ’ category of life.

The beginning of this book starts with a tragedy. Kady and Ezra break up (not the tragedy… although the way these two carry on you would think so) followed by an all out massacre, deadly plague and fight for survival.

Kady and Ezra are downright hilarious. The initial interviewing transcripts give us subtle hints into the type of people these two characters are. Kady comes across as this sarcastic know-it-all, with no respect for authority. Ezra is the athlete, popular kid, who is angry in all the right ways and he is head of heels for Kady. Ezra is conscripted as a priority 1, he learns to fly and the military believe they can use his anger to target those responsible for his father’s death. While Kady with her issues with authority, hacking skills and downright difficulty is considered a ‘no conscription’ – too much work and not enough pay off.

We follow these two characters through the a range of different challenges that they each need to overcome while being on separate ships. Which gave me heart palpitations that entire time I was reading. All I could think is ‘What if they never see each again and this is their last form of communicating’ – Alas this was not true – YAAAAAAAY!

The countdowns had my heart racing. There were a few times I had to get up and busy myself for 5-10 minutes before I started to read again. I found myself pacing, cleaning, checking Facebook – anything to hold off the tension that was building.

AIDAN is sooooooo creepy! (Initial thoughts on creepy artificial intelligence system) Anytime AIDAN was mentioned or popped up I started to feel extremely panicked. Obviously towards the end I started to change my tune about him. I am a little nervous for his state of well being, he might derail the entire next book with his decision making! – Also pretending to be Ezra, AIDEN! Not cool at all! You gave me a heart attack, I was so sad for length of however long it took me to finish the book. Well played…

This book has a brilliant way of blending the serious with the humorous. I was initially worried that by having the story centered around the evolving relationship of Kady and Ezra, the book was going to end up corny and cheesy. I have to say this was not the case. The author’s Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have a brilliant way of developing characters. These two were funny, serious, supportive, sincere and honest. It was so refreshing!

Can you tell how much I loved the book??! 

This review is so disjointed, I just can’t function. I need to get all my feelings out, before I hit a book depression of waiting for the next one =(

I will say this, that ending has me sharpening my claws!

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Things I love about Illuminae:

  • The email to Kady from Ezra – He is drunk typing and the part where he lays his face on the keyboard followed by gibberish was hilarious
  • I like the name Kady – it made her sound strong yet beautiful before I knew anything about her
  • The unique layout of the book – This is what sold me in the first place. I picked it up in the booktore and just knew I needed to resd this book
  • I loved the swearing – I know that sounds really bad, but in that situation they were in and the type of characters Ezra and Kady are, I find the swearing to fit perfectly. It almost brings more to the story for me, it makes the whole sitation seem more real
  • The suspense and tension throughout the whole book! It is absolutely gripping. At one stage I kept telling myself ‘I will only read 20 more pages’ – Next thing I knew it was 2am and I had read 150 pages
  • This book had me eating out of the palm of its hand, it was my master! I read it in a 24 hour period. It is very rare I find a book that utterly captivates me
  • I am dying for the sequel. I would do bad things to get my hand on book 2!

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Quotes

“You don’t F*** the Alexander, the Alexander F*** you”

“Am I not merciful?” 

“The universe owes you nothing, Kady. It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is to do something worth remembrance.”

“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.” 


Dream Casting

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Photo Credit: Ezra // Kady