Category Archives: Trilogies

Review: The Bachelor Auction

30094879

Title: The Bachelor Auction [The Bachelors of Arizona #1]
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Genres: New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy

Sometimes, I just want to write a review like, “This book. It was good. Good book.” But that’s not very helpful to you or me (well, it would save me some time…).

When I think back to reading this book, I think light, fluffy, funny, great read. Then the rest of the story comes floating back into my head like a train wreck. Not that the book itself was a train wreck, but there was some heavy emotional healing in here. I loved the development of the characters as a whole, but I think the Brock’s brothers stole the show for me. I looked forward to their scenes and their entertaining quips. They helped lighten the mood and gave readers a well needed break from the brooding mains. Also, he ending was pretty great, and it really got me excited for the next books.

Side note: I’m crazy excited for the sequel coming out in August: The Playboy Bachelor! The MC is Bentley and I loved his character in this book!

The being said, Jane and Brock fit well together. I really liked how their character grew into themselves. I loved the memories they had of their families especially – there were some cute memories/flashbacks.

Oh. My. Goodness. Jane’s sisters made me want to tear my hair out. I know they were supposed to drive me bananas, but how did they manage to become so freaking spoiled??? I just don’t get it.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book, but I can’t say it wowed me. It was well written and well executed, but I think I’m just a little tired of the Cinderella story.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Pacing: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.9/5

eARC obtained via Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Series, Trilogies

Review: Frozen

22633620Title: Frozen [Heart of Dread #1]
Author: Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
Publication Date: October 31, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
GoodReads

Synopsis:

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows. At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light. But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

I was not impressed by this book. Why? Let me count the reasons…

1. World Building

Yes, yes the world is covered in snow. It’s cold. There was a flood at some point. Everyone lives in Vegas and gambles even though they don’t have enough money to eat. Okay. Sure. But why? There’s little to no explanation as to how this world came to be. Was it global warming? An atomic war? The moon disappearing or getting to close? LIKE. I need something. Throw me a bone here. We are simply introduced to a world full of trash with these magical people who suddenly popped out of nowhere with powers and indomitable strength. We get no history, and I find myself unable to really fall straight into this world and travel with the characters. There’s also very little description of buildings or environment and when there was, it felt disjointed.

2. Plot Lines

Remember in 2nd grade when you had to do those little mountain drawings for plot lines, where you’d start off with the introduction, then move to a conflict, then the climax, and then the resolution? Yeah, this story was like that, but for every single chapter. It would be calm at the beginning, something would be seen, or something would jump out of nowhere, everyone would freak out and the story would suddenly start speeding along for all of two pages, and then the thing would be dead or they’d realize their mistake, and everything would just fix itself in second, and tada, end of chapter. Due to this, the story had very little fluidity and felt like a jerky car ride.

3. Character Development

There was a little bit of this, but the story never explains the intricacies of all the characters’ stories, they just have snapshots here and there that don’t really explain how the sixteen year old became a general, or how the powerful girl gets a job in a casino, or what one earth brought all the people together, prior to Nat. I also feel like that characters showed little connection to each other and little growth in general. People would often just pop out with new skills, powers, stories, etc. There was no practice, no honing of skills and it just didn’t flow.

4. Lack of Explanation

There was no explanation for a lot of things: the world building, the character’s abilities and origins. It made it hard for me to follow and it really gave little to no connection to characters and the whole dystopian scene. Honestly, it was like the authors thought, let’s make it dystopian -sticks in winter scene with trashbergs- okay, okay, now we’ll give the MC powers -throws the randomest powers to Nat- I don’t know what the difference between any of the powerful people were because there was so little information on any of them. And that last part. My goodness. Just when I thought the book couldn’t get more incredulously idiotic they came up with THAT. THAT is, simply, the most random insertion of something ever in any novel I’ve ever read. I just. NOPE.

Overall, this series just didn’t agree with me. As with most books that aren’t that great, this had some potential, but it fell so short of expectations that I can’t even say I want to read the sequel. Getting through this book was like a chore and I really don’t think reading should ever be this much of a struggle.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
World Building: 1/5
Writing:1.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads: 3.61

eBook obtained via Hachette Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

2 Comments

Filed under Trilogies

Review: The Forever Song

17883441

Title: The Forever Song [Blood of Eden #3]
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Dystopian Fantasy Romance

Synopsis:

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions – her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost – the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

I am extremely conflicted with this novel. I absolutely loved this series. I loved the moral conflict and the balance between good and evil, as the characters tried to define each word and justify their actions. I loved the humour, the violence, individuality of each character. This book had all of those things, but it just didn’t work as well this time.

Note: Before we go on, I warn you that this review may contain spoilers, though I will try to keep it spoiler free. It will mention things that one can gain from the synopsis though (i.e. spoilers to The Eternity Cure).

Let’s start with the synopsis. Yes, I have a slight complaint about the synopsis: It deceived me. I expected a good chunk of the book to be all about the senses – she was a monster, no? So everything should be heightened, seen through the eyes of a vampire out for blood. While I got a lot of description, none of which regarding a crazy vamp with its emotions off, I got a lot of what the last two books had (i.e. an excessive amount of good or evil, peace or murder, etc.). I was fairly disappointed that I didn’t get to see a little bit of psycho, especially on her end (though I guess that would’ve resulted in more angst, which would have made the book even more lengthy).

Next, Allie. Jeezus. Her narrative ran around in so many circles, I got dizzy. One second, it was all, “I AM A MONSTER HERE ME ROAR,” and then five minutes later she was like, “ZEKE THO. I CAN’T -sobs-“. She is really bad with this whole grief thing. Also, even though I appreciated the whole moral battle in the last two books, this time, it was just too much. It was borderline excessive and it really didn’t hold my attention. I flew through the first two books, taking a day to read each one. This one took me three days just to swim through all the moral dilemmas.

The surprise honestly wasn’t a surprise. I suspected it at the end of The Eternity Cure. And I was right. What I wasn’t expecting was the doubled up angst that came later on. The whole monster, demon, thing versus good, pure, and human basically drowned me. It was book one amplified. I was very much done with this conflict by the second half of this book (as was Jackal it seemed). And the romance between Allie and another vampire was painful and excessive. It would surface at the most inappropriate times too. Oh, we’re in the middle of a battle, kay, cool, let’s stare into each other’s eyes as Rabids eat away at our companions. ‘Cause that’s a sure way of surviving. Also, the fact that the romance almost overpowered the whole gotta-save-the-world concept, I was really disappointed. This was a series in which the romance has been pretty tame, but then BAM we get hit by an 18-wheeler full of it. Truth be told, I wish there was less romance and less… everything (except for Jackal, I think I needed more of him).

Zeke. Well, he’s dead, so there’s not much happening there.

I would like to take a moment to bless Jackal. He was the shining star in this novel, providing the comic relief that was very much necessary in order to get through most of the book. His character development was also impeccable. Let’s start from the beginning though. Jackal’s one liners have always made smile, even when he was being a total pain (those times were also entertaining). In this book, his comments basically conveyed everything I wanted to scream at the two love birds. The best line being, “This isn’t rocket science. If you don’t want to be a monster, don’t be a bloody monster! Be an uptight stick in the mud like Kanin. Be a self-righteous bleeding heart like Allison. Or you can stop agonizing about it and be a fucking monster.” LIKE THANK YOU. BLESS YOU ETERNALLY DAMNED SOUL. JFC. THANK YOU. Jackal was the voice of reason (crazy, I know) throughout this installment, next to Kanin, and his character is, most definitely, one of my favourite in YA.

Jackal’s character development was subtle and absolutely perfect. I loved that he didn’t need to war with himself to change a little, he found a perfect balance between his two different worlds: his family and his vampiric urge to be a murdering asshat. Throughout the novel, it was great seeing him transform, little by little into the best YA character ever. If anything, his story was more interesting than Allie’s…

Now, Kanin. Freaking, saintly Kanin. He’s right up there with Jackal, he points out all the garbage in this book, questioning them and being the papa of the lot of them. I’ve respected his character since the beginning of this series. He manages to cut through all the crap and gets right to the crux of things, no matter how ugly the truth is, he’ll give it to Allie and the readers. His character gained my respect and will also remain as one of my favourite YA characters.

On another note, what I love about Julie Kagawa is that she doesn’t shy away from the gore, the blood, and the pain. She jumps right into it, giving us all the details of the fight, the setting, and even the overwhelming romance. I always enjoy reading her books because I always feel like I’m shedding my own reality and donning her fictitious one. It makes her books and characters real, and all that much better (most of the time).

All in all, this was not close to my favourite book in this series. It went in circles a fair amount, and I was pretty much done with all the idle threats and sobbing by the end of the book. That being said, I’d still say read it. Kanin and Jackal help cut through all the garbage and make the book better than it would’ve been without them. This series as a whole brings a new look to the vampire/paranormal series. My only wish would have been for the book to end more with a bang than a whimper.

Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 4.5/5
Cover: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5
GoodReads: 4.31/5

Leave a comment

Filed under Trilogies

Review: Wicked Little Secrets

17905353Title: Wicked Little Secrets [Prep School Confidential #2]
Author: Kara Taylor
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Mystery Thriller Romance

Synopsis:

Anne Dowling becomes entangled in a web of secrets involving a missing student and a conspiracy at Wheatley Prep in this fast-paced, juicy follow-up to Prep School Confidential

Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.

When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

Kara Taylor one of my favourite 2013 debut authors. I loved Prep School Confidential and now I love Wicked Little Secrets,as well!

I’m going to get right into it. The book started off with a quick little reference to what happened in the first installment of this series, but it skimmed over it. While I always appreciate the lack of an in depth excessive summary, this time, it took me an extra beat to get back into the story. With a series like this, I feel like I needed to get a little longer overview of what happened a few weeks back in Anne’s world, just to re-familiarize myself with all the names.

That being said, I still found myself sucked into the book from the beginning. Sure, I sat there for a moment every now and then trying to remember Harrow and Upton, but seeing as those characters weren’t really important in this installment, remembering them would only clear up your memory of book one, not enlighten you on the clues that are dropped throughout this one.

As I mentioned previously, I really love the character development in this series. They change in such small and subtle ways, but it makes a big difference in the long run. I loved how Anne accepts her crazy, while those who once accepted it are wondering whether she might actually be crazy instead of an extremely clever teen detective. The only issue I have is the lying. I really wish book characters would just stop lying about everything. It’s really vexing. Aside from that, I can’t give away much without spoiling the book, so I’ll just leave it at this: no matter how much each character changed, I loved the way the story flowed and ran with the plot. No change was inconsequential and I appreciated that every little thing had meaning later on, if not in the moment.

The plot and mystery was extremely well done. This book had my heart pounding throughout; the suspense was killer. While there was one scene that I felt lacked some realism, the plot was, overall, believable and captivating. I really enjoy the way that Taylor can just spin readers and her characters around in circles, planting clues and making dead ends. I really like the dead ends. Though they make the book longer, I feel like every dead end helps make the whole mystery more realistic, and makes the story itself more interesting and shows Anne’s determination. And the end. THE FREAKING END. All the pieces just fell into place and it was perfect. It was dramatic, action packed, and slightly heart-breaking. The very end though clawed at my heart. I have to now wait for the third book. It’s inhumane really, leaving me with such an ending only to cut me off from the knowledge of what’s to come. Gah.

I am in love with this series and am now anticipating the finale to this trilogy, supposedly out in August. Amazing writing, great plot lines and ideas, and a fairly tolerable romance between characters. Kara Taylor is officially one of my favourite authors.

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World Building: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.14/5

ARC obtained via St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Trilogies

Review: Faking It

16172634

Title: Faking It [Losing It #2]
Author: Cora Carmack

Synopsis:

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

This book was exponentially better than Losing It. Maybe it’s ’cause Cade was the main character here, or maybe ’cause Max is awesome. I don’t know but I loved it!

Cade and Max meet by chance – Cade is still in his post-crush-on-Bliss-the-boring-stick slump and Max is dating Mace, a tattooed and not very gentlemanly drummer. Panicked by her parents’ sudden arrival in town, Mace dips, and Max needs a temporary boyfriend and Cade looks just right for the role. What they don’t expect from all of this is that they may just be a little bit attracted to each other.

I loved that these two characters let each other (and readers) see into their past and into their backgrounds. We got to see a lot of Max’s dysfunctional family, and even got a peek into Cade’s relationship with his grandmother. I liked that these two characters had genuine problems (unlike some princesses we know -ahemBlissahem-). Cade worried about money, student loans, what on earth he was going to do after he graduated. On the other hand, Max worries that her parents will never accept her, her lifestyle, or her life choices. They complimented each other on many aspects, where Max was confident in her work and her art, Cade worried that he’d never be good enough. Where Cade was down with letting his emotions show, Max was scared to death, and worried that she wasn’t worth loving. There was a lot more depth to these characters than there was in Losing It and I think that sold me on this installment.

Plot wise, I found it significantly MORE than Losing It, but I feel like there was still something missing from it. I liked that there was a lot of focus on the characters and that there were some things that didn’t come to light for a while. However, I didn’t get the emotional punch in the stomach with this book like I have with numerous other books. So while that was a little lacking, I have to say that the whole fake it ’til you make it kind of relationship was new for me, and I think that’s where most of the story’s allure came from.

I really enjoyed this book. If you hated Losing It, it wasn’t the end. Try out Faking It, better story line, better characters, better… everything.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads: 4.05/5

Leave a comment

Filed under Trilogies

Cover Reveal: Raging Star

ERMAGAWD. The cover for Raging Star, the final book in Moira Young’s Dust Land Trilogy, looks AMAZING. I am so stoked for this book (even though I STILL haven’t read the second book… (whoops)) just ’cause the cover looks INTENSE. Haven’t see the cover yet? Check it out:

ragingstarfull

BEAUTIFUL, no? I will say though, the two things that bothered me about the first paper back cover STILL bothers me: WHY IS THE SERIES NAME LARGER THAN THE ACTUAL TITLE?!? I DON’T UNDERSTAND, and can they get a new quote for the cover? Please? I’m pretty much done with everyone feeling the need to compare one book against another, especially when they’re almost NOTHING alike. Also, putting quotes like that set up expectations, and while that may help with sales, sometimes it works against the book, where people take the book at face value, realize it wasn’t what they were expecting, and then drop it like it’s hot. Which sucks, ’cause this series was pretty darn good when I left it.

ANYWHOOO~

Title: Raging Star [Dust Lands #3]
Author: Moira Young
Release Date: April 15, 2014

Synopsis:

Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton…until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few. The few who can pay.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

goodreads

Leave a comment

Filed under Cover Reveal, Trilogies

Review: Losing It

16034964

Title: Losing It [Losing It #1]
Author: Cora Carmack

Synopsis:

Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible – a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.

I tried guys. I TRIED -flails- I started this book with high hopes, and by the end of the novel, I wanted to just chuck it out a window.

What did I like about it? CADE. He was the only character that I liked due to his loyalty, his rationality, and the fact that he reacted to everything realistically and I never had the urge to throttle him.

What I didn’t like about the book:

1. Character Development… There wasn’t any. The character’s were very superficially done, to me. These characters, thinking of one night stands, end up falling for each other. That’s great and all, but sexual tension isn’t enough to base a relationship on, sorry. By the time I finished this 200 or so paged book, all I knew was that this girl didn’t like talking to her mother because of a very stupid reason and that Garrick was from Philly or something. That’s great, ANNNDDDDD ???

2. The writing. It was very cliche and over dramatic for such a superficial relationship. I don’t know, maybe I’m just tired of the insta-love but authors have got to stop doing this. Like her heart starts beating all fast and stuff ‘cause he’s looking at her, and her world’s spinning and falling into place perfectly from this one look. OKAY.

3. There’s a fair amount of drinking in this book. While that isn’t totally unexpected from a university student, even a high school student, Bliss barely ever changed when she was drunk. Based on the amount she kept knocking back, she should’ve been wobbling on her feet by the time she talks to Garrick the first time, but she’s perfect poised, maybe a little less nervous, but c’mon. She has only one scene where’s she REALLY drunk and like flopping around like a jellyfish. That’s drunk, but then she instantly becomes sober again when she sees Garrick, ‘cause that’s legit.

4. They’re actors/actresses and I understand that she had to draw on some experience to make her acting seem real, but simply drawing from some feelings about Garrick really didn’t help the whole lack of character development thing, just saying.

I can honestly say though, the acting and mind space that Bliss created was probably the best part of the book because people in the theatre actually do that and it was cool to look into it from a different point of view. Even though I didn’t really approve of the contents of that mind space, I did like seeing that.

While I REALLY didn’t enjoy this book, and felt like I had to DRAG myself through it, it wasn’t THAT bad of a book. Just not suited for my taste at all… I know a lot of people really enjoyed Cormack’s novels and I’m not saying they shouldn’t because it wasn’t toss out of your window worthy at least. But gawsh it took so much effort to get myself through it and I hate that I didn’t like this book…

Despite all that, I WILL be reading Faking It, the next book in the trilogy, because CADE. At least I enjoyed one character’s existence…

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall: 2/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.83/5

Leave a comment

Filed under Trilogies