Friday, March 23, 2018

Review: Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Cracked Kingdom Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a brutal car accident, Easton finds his life in shambles. His girlfriend has amnesia and can't remember the last 3 years of her life - including the last few months with Easton - and his younger brother is in a coma and doesn't seem to be waking up soon. He is torn between wanting to be with Hartley to help her remember who she is and how much they care about each other, and having to be the adult and older brother taking care of his twin brothers.

Hartley is so confused. Everyone is telling her one thing or another, and she doesn't know what to believe. She is just trying to survive living at home and at school, but it seems that everyone has a vendetta against her, and she doesn't know why. But the more she learns about herself, the more she realizes that things are worse than she thought. The only person who really seems like they know her is Easton Royal, but she can't believe that she would be associated with Easton - with his reputation and all.

After finding out that both of their families are in danger, Hartley and Easton decide to take matters in their own hands to fix the situation. But it becomes more dangerous than they thought, and their lives could be at risk.

I feel like a terrible person... I gave this book THREE STARS!!!! :( I haven't given a 3 star rating to a book in this series because I love it so much, but I just didn't feel it as much as the other books...

Easton had to grow up fast and hard in this book, which I totally get, but it also changed his personality in the end, which is what I love about him the most. So losing that was losing a part of Easton for me.

And Hartley. Man, amnesia is terrible, but the way she let everyone walk all over her was terrible and broke my heart. She is such a strong character, and to see her put down by the snobby people in her life was just wrong. Thankfully she had a couple of moments where she put people back into place and shame them for being a bully, but it just wasn't the same.

I dunno, this book wasn't as much as I hoped it would be. It was rushed, it was full of information, it had too much going on with multiple characters and the reader didn't really get a book "this is the conclusion of the Royal family". Too many loose ends, to many questions at the end. I really want another book to talk about the issues that happened in this book and give me a warm fuzzy ending where everyone is happy with their lives. Because I can tell you this - the twins aren't happy. And we don't get to find out what happens with them, which makes me mad.

Overall, it was a good story, but it could have been better. I'm hoping that Erin Watt lied and will eventually give us more Royal books in the future - I'm willing to wait as long as necessary to get my happily ever after - for good.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Crossing the Line by Simone Elkeles

Crossing the Line Crossing the Line by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this eARC book from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.
Release date: June 12, 2018

Life for Ryan has not been kind throughout his 17 years. With no father around, and a drunk mother, growing up in Chicago was very rough, especially being bullied and beat up all of the time. But Ryan had enough and decided to learn how to fend for himself by learning how to fight - how to box.

Now his mom moved them to Texas when she remarried, and Ryan hates it there even more. He hates his stepfather, and his two stepbrothers. They are the epiphany of bullies, and his stepfather hates that Ryan won't conform to his ways and rules.

After being threatened one too many times, Ryan decides to go across the border to Mexico and find a famous boxer to train with. He is taking control of his life and needs to be better at boxing to survive on his own.

Dalila has grown up pretty privileged when it comes to families in Mexico. Her father is a well-known lawyer and has a great business that has provided her family with the funds they need to be able to have a great house and even security to walk their perimeter. And Dalila has gotten an amazing education, but only so she can become a heart surgeon like her older brother was going to do before he passed away from heart conditions. So now she has to live her brother's dreams because her parents are really pushing her to do so.

Even though Dalila looks like the perfect daughter, following all of the rules, she's actually a rule breaker through and through. In fact, she decides to go to Texas to a music concert with her two friends, Demi and Soona. And at this concert, she meets Ryan, who "saved" her from a mosh pit...

That's not the last time Dalila and Ryan meet, though. In fact, their lives become so intertwined with one another, and they find themselves drawn to each other. But their lives get incredible dangerous when shady cops, persistent detectives, and 2 cartels are out looking for these two for two very different reasons. With so much against them, their happily ever after may be in danger.

*Sad face*. I really, really, really wanted to like this book. I really did!!! I love Simone Elkeles and the fact that I just gave her book 2 stars is killing me inside a little bit right now. I thought that this book would be the opposite of Perfect Chemistry to the fact that the boy was white and the girl was Mexican, but there are so many things that are different, it can't even be compared to each other.

So, Ryan and Delila. I like them individually just fine, but when they are together, it just doesn't work for me. They are so awkward around each other and act like badasses and independent, but then all of a sudden they are confessing their love for each other. It went from 0 to 100 in a matter of pages, and that wasn't a gradual attraction to each other, but "the world is going to crap and you're here, so let's do this" type of thing. At least for me, anyway.

Then all of the different parties involved. There was SO MUCH GOING ON!!!! It was a bit hard to keep track of it, and then you throw in the Spanish language, where sometimes it wasn't translated that well for non-Spanish speaking readers, and I was confused. I don't tend to be confused that often because I am so engrossed into the novel that I follow everything to a T, but alas, I was.

And, lastly, the ending... I get it. I really, really do. But I just wish it didn't happen. I needed something more, because even though I didn't connect to the characters, I was still hoping for something more to happen at the end. It was a devastating ending that ended abruptly, and I was not pleased with it at all.

I feel like this could have been an amazing novel, but there were too many things I was struggling with. It breaks my heart that I couldn't get lost in this novel like I usually do, and the fact that I wasn't as emotional about the ending really showed me that I wasn't as invested in this book as I should have been.

I am totally a fan of Simone Elkeles, still, and hopefully this is the only dud for me out of her books. I may have to go re-read the Perfect Chemistry series to get this bad feeling out of me and keep her books as a fond memory for me.

I hope I am the only one that feels this way and that all of the other readers who get their hands on this book love it so much. It just wasn't meant to be for me, unfortunately :(

I am very grateful that I was able to receive an eARC novel of this book and look forward to seeing other readers get lost in the story when it is released!

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cooper, Bronwyn, Nate, Addy and Simon have nothing in common. Except that they all had detention together one afternoon after school for the same exact reason: there was a cellphone in their bag that wasn't their's, and their teacher, Mr. Avery, has a zero tolerance for cell phones in his class.

So they all showed up, and were finding out that they were all played by someone. And then Simon collapsed, choking and not being able to breathe.

Turns out that Simon was poisoned and killed by someone. And that someone was in the room during the murder. All four teens have a secret to hide, and Simon was known for his app About That, where all of the students secrets at school were revealed, but they hadn't been featured on his app yet.

Now Cooper, Bronwyn, Nate and Addy are the prime subjects in this murder. They are being bombarded by the news, by classmates, and by their family as to what happened. When all of their secrets come out on the internet, the four of them are even bigger suspects in Simon's murder. Because each of their secrets are a major incentive on why they would want to kill Simon.

Pretty soon, it's just the four of them backing each other up, because they all know that no one in that room could have killed Simon. But trying to prove it before they are pinned by "new, anonymous" tips that keep showing up at the police's steps. No one seems to be able to help them, so now it's up to them to prove their innocence before it's too late.

This was great! I loved it! There was a bit of everything in this book - great romance, an amazing mystery, and a real-life story that anyone could relate to on some level.

Seriously, there was the murder aspect, then when all of the secrets came out, there was cheating on a class to pass, being secretly gay, being controlled in a relationship, feeling lost, insecure in life, and having to live in a household with no one to take care of you and love you. This book covered so many different, hard, real topics that I think any reader can find something to relate to and see how each of these characters came to overcome their problems.

And I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't completely guess who the culprit was until it was revealed to me. I had my suspicions, but I wasn't able to get all of the details down before the big reveal.

I'm so glad that I got around to reading this book finally and I think it will be a great book to discuss at my book clubs :)

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Review: Losing the Field by Abbi Glines

Losing the Field Losing the Field by Abbi Glines
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.
Release date: August 21, 2018

Tallulah has always been called the fat girl at school. She gets made fun of, laughed at, and is the focus of many jokes among her classmates. Through it all, she just ignores it and does her own thing. But when her crush, Nash - who has always backed her up and been really nice to her, even though his friends are making fun of her - laughs at a joke about her on the last day of school of junior year, it really crushed Tallulah.

That was the day she decided to walk for 5 miles, in the scorching heat, and she did that every day during the summer. She also stopped eating sweets and started eating more healthier. By the time she got back to school senior year, she had lost so much weight that she had to buy a whole new wardrobe to wear clothes that fit her. And all during summer, she was planning her revenge on how she was going to ignore everyone who made fun of her - especially Nash since he was the one that hurt the most.

Nash changed a lot over the summer as well - but in a different way. While playing football for fun, like he does every year, he messed up his leg with permanent damage. He can never play football again and he will have a limp for the rest of his life. Now, instead of being the easy going, fun guy, Nash is mad. He lashes out, he doesn't hangout with anyone, and he doesn't have any ambition for anything.

So when the two see each other again first day of senior year, they are both confused. Nash because he can't figure out why Tallulah is so mad at him - and how much she has changed in just a few months - and Tallulah because Nash is not the guy that she once knew.

And then there is a new teacher - the new football coach - and a new classmate, who is beyond popular on the internet. One will be a little too attentive to Tallulah, and the other will put Nash in a terrible situation.

At the same time, Tallulah and Nash are searching each other out, wanting to hangout with each other. But both still have their deep dark secrets, and once they come out, they may decide that they never knew each other that well in the end.

Okay, I am a huge Abbi Glines fan, but I'm finding that her new books/series that she has been writing is not really for me, which breaks my heart :(

This book was beyond annoying for me. I love that Tallulah decided to lose the weight, but I wish that she did it for herself and not because Nash hurt her, when he definitely didn't mean to. She was doing it all for the wrong reasons, and she should be doing it for herself, so that made me sad. Then she was going to get revenge on Nash for the way he hurt her, but none of that happened because she was still crushing on him and wanted his attention more than making him miserable. I mean, if you are determined to do something, don't back out of it because now you are getting attention from him.

Nash is somewhat of a jerk. I get that "his life is ruined" because he can't play football anymore, and that was his life, but he is still alive and well and he has all the time in the world to figure out what he is meant to do. And then when he sees Tallulah, he is suddenly attracted to her because she is skinny and pretty. It just blows my mind how self-absorbed these kids are. And the kicker is, they even think that themselves! But it doesn't change how they act, even when they know they are acting that way...

There are too many new characters, or characters who seem very important at the beginning and then fade away into nothing. Asa was all over Tallulah, but the second Nash decided that he wanted Tallulah, Asa was just gone, with no explanation until the very end of the book. I mean, really?

And then Tallulah. She is so ... aggravating. She plays the "I'm not naive" card and then she acts naive. She is used to being in the shadows where no one pays attention to her, and now that she is pretty, she is wondering why everyone is suddenly staring at her and wanting to hangout with her. She needs to decide what she wants and sticks with it. And then she gets cornered and "doesn't know what to do because maybe it's not as it seems" which is completely dumb and stupid to me. I would never have taken the crap that she went through. She was very mixed signals and it got on my nerves a lot.

Then a new kid shows up, is all over the place and everyone is freaking out, and then it suddenly comes to a stop with him.

I mean, can we stick with one storyline and not jump every which way? There was way too much in here, with not enough to keep it interesting, and then it suddenly slams shut on that storyline. I wish it was just about the two main characters and how they communicate to one another, because these two jumped to so many terrible conclusions, accused the other one, and then they miraculously forgave each other because they love each other... I'm all for a sappy romance, but this is too much for me.

I hope I am the only reader who feels this way, because I adore Abbi Glines and hope that other readers will find a different outcome of this book when they read it. I'm still going to snatch up as many Abbi Glines books I can afford, but I think I might be done with The Field Party series, if anymore are released in the future, because I just haven't been feeling these characters the entire time I've read this series.

I am very glad I got a chance to read this eARC, and I'm looking forward to see what else Abbi Glines will write!

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Review: Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando

Ace of Hearts Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.

Erin stumbled upon her birth certificate and, to her surprise, the name of her biological father is not the man that she has been calling dad her whole life. After confronting her mom, she found out where to find her real father and made it her mission to meet this man and get to know her father.

She knows that he is part of a motorcycle group, but Erin couldn't have possibly prepared herself for the party she walked into. Nor for the many crude proposals, or the intense feeling she gets toward one of the men who can't keep his eyes of her. And when she mentions the president's full name - something not a lot of people know - she finds herself being suspect of infiltrating their group.

But once she meets her dad, she is then treated like royalty. The unknown Princess of the Cursed Ravens MC has shown up, and she is not to need for anything. Her father is so happy to find out about her, and the guys are trying to make amends for how they acted toward her on the first night they met her.

And then there is Ace, the man who she kept watching, and who also kept watching her, that first night. Even though Erin heard her father say that no one is to go near Erin, she isn't keeping her own feelings quiet when it comes to how she feels toward him.

Erin has her own life and future goals to achieve, and will eventually need to leave to fulfill them, but she is realizing that she doesn't want to leave this new family she found. After finding out some information about what they have been hiding from her, though, Erin realizes that she may not know who these people really are. With her heart breaking, she is going to have to figure out what is best for her in the long run.

This was a great novel. I'm a sucker for motorcycle groups and bad boys who go after what they want - especially the girl they are falling for. There was enough mystery, romance, and suspense in this book that I was rushing through the story and finished it within hours!

I loved how feisty and dedicated Erin was. She wanted to know something? She came right out and asked it. She wanted to get something done? She damn well did it herself and made sure it got done. A motorcycle group didn't scare her - or at least she didn't let them know that they scared her - and she was so tough that it made sense that she was the president's daughter.

And Ace is just so swoonworthy. He was trying to avoid his attraction toward Erin because his Prez said to stay away and he must listen to all orders from him. But Erin was making it hella difficult to follow orders, and Ace was slowly caving into the connection and attraction they had for one another.

All of the characters were so fun and likable, so I think I may have to look for books 2 and 3 when they come out, because I absolutely love those guys who the book is about!

So glad I got a chance to read this and I am definitely going to keep this author on my radar! :)

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review: Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

Broken Beautiful Hearts Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this eARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Peyton's life is on track. She got accepted to the college she wants to play soccer at, her best friend and boyfriend are amazing, and everything is just falling into place. The only wrinkle in her life is that her dad died a year ago, and it's still really hard to think about him.

But all good things must come to an end, and when Peyton finds out there her boyfriend, Reed, is doping and taking steroids to help himself win in his fighting matches, she knows that she can't be with him. When he loses his temper with her, and pushes her down a flight of steps, and injures her knee, Peyton become terrified of what he is capable of.

No one believes Peyton when she says that Reed pushed her, not even her best friend, Tess, who is also Reed's sister. When she gets bullied and cornered too much at home, her mom decided that Peyton is going to stay with her uncles and twin cousins. She feels like she is running away scared, but she needs to be able to focus to rehab her knee in order to get back to 100% and play for her college in the fall.

Peyton has already been bullied at her old school, so when she gets attention from the nasty head cheerleader, she is not having any of it and fights back, which is very surprising since no one goes against her. It doesn't help that she WAS dating one of her cousins, Christian, and is sour about the breakup.

Christian and Cameron are always following her and making sure that she is okay - kind of like bodyguards. And while brooding boy Owen has caught her attention, Peyton is adamant that she is not going to date again after what she went through with Reed. And then when she found out that he also fights, that was another strike against him.

But it seems that they are meant to be around each other over and over again, from being partners in English class and then Owen is also helping her rehab at the training facility. The more she is around him, the harder it is to ignore her attraction toward him.

As much as Peyton thinks she is far enough away from home, she is finding that her past is coming back to haunt her. And just when she thinks that things might be okay for her, she stumbles upon a lot of truths that may threaten not only her career in soccer, but also her heart.

This was such a great novel! I am so glad that I got a chance to read this and experience the amazing novel that Kami Garcia created!

Peyton is such a strong character, and it broke my heart to see her get taken down one notch at at time from the people that she trusted the most. She was so strong willed and empowered and determined, but after everything she went through, she crumbled and became so scared in the end. I felt terrible for her, and just wanted to put her under my wing and keep her safe.

Reed and Tess and all of her other friends were such a disappointment. They shouldn't have done what they did and Peyton should have had some people in her corner to back her up. I'm so glad that she got that security when she moved in with her uncle and cousins.

And the tension between Owen and Peyton was amazing. I know she was having issues with trust, but it was obvious that Owen was completely different than Reed - just from the first time meeting him.

This was an amazing book with a ton of feelings that is sure to make any reader feel everything that Peyton goes through. It is an emotional roller coaster that everyone will fall in love with!

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Review: The Prophecy by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Prophecy The Prophecy by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this eARC novel from the author. This is my honest review.
Release date: March 20, 2018

Josie has been through a roller coaster of a life since she met Seth. She went from being a normal human to now a demi-god and having to save the world. That's a lot of responsibility to put on one person's shoulders. Thankfully, there are other demi-god's in the world and they will have to work together to entomb the Titans that have been let loose.

But after being captured and tortured by the Titans, Josie is very hesitant to go anywhere near them again. Which is bad for her, since she has to defeat them, so she is slowly working up her courage again.

And after Seth set destruction in motion after doing a no-no (typical Seth), he has to re-evaluate on what is he going to do moving forward. Because it's not just him he has to worry about anymore. Millions of humans are being affected by his actions, and so is Josie. He has never had this decision where he must make the right decision for a person that he loves with all of his being. Usually, it was just him, and he didn't care if he lived or died.

After devastating news from Apollo and the other gods, it comes down to one decision to make in order to defeat the Titans. But Josie and Seth will have to make a sacrifice - and this sacrifice is too much to ask for either one of them. Will they be able to go through with it and save the world, or will it be too much for them and they will be fighting for their lives because of their decision?

Wow. I This book has me so full of emotions and so confused as to how I feel.

There was some intense things in this book! This series has progressively gotten darker and darker and this book just topped it all off. You will go through an emotional rollercoaster throughout this novel, and when you hit 45% of it, you are going to realize that things are not going to end well. Then you get to 75% and you are crying because you can't help but feel the things that Josie and Seth are feeling with such intensity, it feels completely real. And then at the end, your heart is going to stop and you are going to curse the day you picked up the Covenent series because you are being gut wrenched with this last and final book. But then you are going to love it so much by the very last page.

Whew, it's a lot to go through, so be prepared, okay?

There are so many funny parts in this book, too. Usually with the group of them: Seth, Alex, Aiden, Deacon and Luke particularly. It was good to have the whole gang back and see them still banter with one another like nothing had changed.

I am so glad about this book, but I am also sad because it's the last one of this world. I'm going to have to do a re-read and read all of the books again soon just to relive it again!

Everyone is going to love this book so much! I can't wait for everyone to experience this novel, and I love JLA so much for making it an amazing novel to end this great series with! Thank you, Jennifer L. Armentrout!

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