Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Unchained

Unchained Unchained by J. Lynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have FINALLY read this book! This is JLA's second book she ever wrote, and it is basically the last book I haven't read from her yet - craziness. But, I have fixed this problem and have now read the novel and I LOVED IT!!! Not that I'm surprised because there isn't a JLA novel out there that I haven't absolutely loved yet.

Lily is a badass. I love that the first scene we saw of her was kicking some minion and deadhead butts, then the sexy swoony scene with Julian. That was probably the best intro to a book I've ever come across. Lily is a rare person because being a female Nephilim is very rare. I think in the novel there was talk or actually sightings of 4 female Nephilim? So this novel was very heavy on the male side.

Michael was a unique character that I wasn't quite sure where he fit in at. Now that I've read the novel, I definitely know where he fits now, but it was some getting used to when the viewpoints of the characters changed from one chapter to another.

The smexy scenes were fantastic. I wanted to be in Lily's place for sure and was definitely jealous of a fictional character.

The reveal of the traitor was a little anticlimactic because I had already figured out who it was beforehand. It was still an amazing reveal and all of the events that happened in that scene, so it was worth the suspense and mystery behind it.

As always, I would love to read more novels in a series from JLA, but I'm pretty sure she stated that this book is a standalone and no more novels will be following it, even though Goodreads has #1 behind the title. I'm content with the way this novel has ended, but I would be ecstatic if she wrote more. Either way, I'm a happy bee and am very glad that I finally got around to reading it! I definitely recommend this to all of my friends to read :)

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: After the Game

After the Game After the Game by Abbi Glines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I was a bit leery going into this book of the series after finding out who the characters were. Mainly about Brady because I really didn't like him in the second novel. He was so naive and whinny and annoying. It was all about him and no one else's problems seemed to matter to him. And the way he used and strung Ivy around because it was convienant and he didn't want to hurt her feelings was a pile of crap and I just wanted to bash his head in.

Suffice to say, I really didn't like Brady after "Under the Lights".

But I did like Riley. When she picked up Willa and took her home with no questions, no pressure, no nothing except to make sure she got home safe, I admired her for that. She seemed like a no nonsense type of girl and I respect that a lot - especially for a teenage girl.

So I was absolutely excited to read it because of Riley, and I do have to say that the book was actually really decent by the time it finished. Riley was still a bad ass as she was for those brief pages, but now I know how much of an amazing mother she is to her sweet little girl Bryony. I admire Riley so much because what she went through was a nightmare come to life. But for her to not only live past that pain and torture and be able to look at her daughter with only love and not hatred for what she represented? That is the strongest person I know - fictional or otherwise.

And Brady actually redeemed himself a lot in this novel. He stepped up and realized a lot of his mistakes that he made when he made rash decisions about Riley. And he finally had a glitch in his perfect life to make him understand what his close friends had gone through in the past months. Not that I'm saying everyone needs to have a bad event happen, but Brady wasn't able to fully understand and help his friends because he had never experienced anything like what they were going through. Being able to go through a bad time and come out of it with optimism and still find the rainbow in the sky is something that everyone should go through - otherwise they take a lot of things for granted.

Bryony was the best part of this novel and I loved her so much. Grandmamma was, on the one hand, pretty hysterical with her funny statements, but it is so sad seeing a loved one with Alzheimer's and forgetting everything about their life.

Abbi Glines was able to talk about a lot of tough subjects in this novel with grace and complete understand of what each character would go through as if the event was really happening. Rape is a subject that I do not read about - ever - period. It's the one subject I don't touch on, but I thought I would give this novel a try. I'm so glad I did because Abbi was able to talk about it in a way that didn't make me fear going outside and living my life. She actually inspires people to keep living after a brutal event like that and how to go about doing it, just by writing a story where Riley kept going. In my book, that is the best writing someone could ever do.

I'm so glad that I received a copy of this and I will definitely be remembering it for years to come. Can't wait to see with other masterpiece she comes up with next!

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: Under the Lights

Under the Lights Under the Lights by Abbi Glines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I loved the first book in this series so I was very excited to get my hands on the second and third book in the series!

This book was very different than the first novel. The biggest thing different was that the reader was able to get three different perspectives: Willa, Gunner and Brady. Instead of just the two that would end up together, Glines provided the thoughts of all of the impacted characters of this story. On the one hand I liked it, but it did little to help the immaturity be bearable.

Willa and Gunner have had a crappy life - and they are only 17. I felt for both of them because they have both been in a "family" that hates and resents their living in their house and being born really. It messes with someone's mind when they know that everyone who they live with, everyone that they call family, can't stand the sight of them.

Brady has a loving family with a loving home to go to after school and have a warm meal made with love from his family. He was the odd one out, but thought that he knew everything about his best friends when he was growing up. Sad to say that he was left out a lot in the secrets shared because he couldn't relate to Willa and Gunner and they didn't want to make him feel awkward or obligated to comfort either one of them without knowing what to say.

I loved how Willa was trying so hard for her Nonna. Nonna is the only one who loved her and treated her like she was welcome to stay in her home. Willa was going to do anything to make her Nonna proud, but the boys were hard pressed to win Willa to their side and be the one that she picked out of the two, even though they had all been best friends 6 years ago.

Overall, I liked this novel. There were some rough patches, but with a case of a love triangle there was bound to be in the end. I figured out who Willa would end up with pretty early on and felt bad for the other boy. I also feel embarrassed for him because he kept trying so hard to no avail.

I'm interested in the next novel because the pairing of the two characters seems very odd to me. It should be interesting to see how it all goes together!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review: By Your Side

By Your Side By Your Side by Kasie West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC copy in exchange from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I'm a huge fan of Kasie West's novels and "By Your Side" was definitely not a disappointment!! I love it so much. Granted, it could be because the main character, Autumn, gets locked inside a library for a whole weekend and I work in a library. Though I really don't envy her, because I wouldn't want to be locked inside a library for 3 days. I get cold at work during the day; I can only imagine how cold it would be for the whole weekend without being able to control the temperture.

But it's not only the library aspect that made me love this novel. I loved Dex. He is so down to earth and real. He reminds readers that not all of the characters are these perfect people that give us how that we can find a man just like him. No, Dex has a crappy life and he is just waiting for the day that he can be in control of his life to really make a difference.

And he gives Autumn another perspective of life and how she doesn't have to give in to peer pressure and do things that her friends want to do, but not necessarily what she wants to do. Autumn wants to impress and make her friends happy, but it is affect her health condition at the same time. Dex gives her the atmosphere of non-pressure and he is concerned about her health, making Autumn realize that she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do.

All of the other characters, especially Jeff and Dallin, are great friends to Autumn, but she is keeping a big secret from them that will come to bite her in the butt later on.

This is such a great book that all book loves will love (cause of the library aspect) but also good for dealing with peer pressure, making decisions about what one really wants in their life, and finding a way to come to terms with a health condition that needs to be acknowledged rather than hidden and ignored. There are so many great lessons in this book that I think a wide variety of readers will love it!

I'm so glad that I was able to get an eARC copy of this novel and it will definitely be a book that I will re-read again and may even have to buy a print copy when it's released in January! I will definitely be recommending this to other readers!

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Fire in You

Fire in You Fire in You by J. Lynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a bittersweet book because it means the end to the Wait for You series. And I've loved these books and characters since we met Avery and Cam. And honestly I thought those two would be my favorite couple of the bunch, but I think that Jillian and Brock have made it to my top couple of this series from JLA.

Jillian is me - she is seriously just like me with her personality and her love for books and her attitude toward life - both before when she was shy and later when she started getting fire inside of her and dishing the attitude back. The whole time I was reading about Jillian I was picturing myself instead because I've gone through what Jillian has - not relationship/love wise but just life wise. So being able to relate to her in such a deep way really made me love how much Jillian overcame throughout this novel and throughout her life.

And Brock is a big teddy bear. Well...not really, but he is when it comes to Jillian. He was a stupid boy when they met and he didn't really grow up until it was too late. When he realized what he missed out on and what he wished he should have done differently, he did what all the boys in this series do and went after what he wanted with a vengeance and left no survivors. He was on a mission and nothing was stopping him. And I love that about him. He is loyal to no end and always takes care of the ones he loves the most.

This was a spectacular ending to this series. I love seeing Katie happy with someone that she has been with for 8 years and I'm happy for her. She is the most entertaining part of the entire series so for her to be happy is amazing!

I'm so thankful that JLA loves her readers and keeps gifting us with these amazing stories that I get lost in immediately. As always, I'll be anxiously waiting for her next release!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: The Lovely Reckless

The Lovely Reckless The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I have been wanting to read this book for forever and was so happy that I not only got an eARC but also a print ARC from Baker and Taylor!

And I was very happy with this book. I loved Frankie - after everything she went through with Noah dying and her not remembering, she was lost. But she had been living a life that she didn't like, always having to pretend in front of others. When she was transferred to Monroe school, though, she started to do things that she actually liked and stopped pretending to people's faces. She became more real and started to live her life the way she wanted it instead of how her parents wanted her life to be controlled and lived out.

The reaction between Marco and Frankie seeing each other and having that connection was a bit much for the very first time seeing each other and not even talking to each other. Believe me, I know it happens but it was just a lot to believe the way Garcia wrote it.

I didn't really care for the whole defiance that Frankie was doing against both of her parents. Rather, I liked that she was doing stuff for herself and that she was figuring out what she was going to do with her life.

The racing was okay. I've read better Young Adult books about racing cars than this one and this was just mediocre. In fact, there wasn't too many scenes where it involved racing. But it was okay. I will just recommend that if anyone is thinking this is all about racing: it's not. Don't read it if that's the main part you are wanting to read about.

Overall, I really enjoyed it! There was mystery, murder, suspense, insta-love, friendships, and life - so it's a book that a wide variety of readers will like! Definitely glad I got my hands on this and look forward to more by this author!

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Review: A Beautiful Funeral

A Beautiful Funeral A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. Gawd.

This was an amazing, tearjerker, joyful book. I'm so glad that I finally got around to reading this. It took me awhile because I didn't want to finish the series. I didn't want to find out who the funeral was for, because I didn't want one single person in this series to die.

But I finally got around to reading it, and it was, in one word, "beautiful". It was insane and chaotic because, let's face it, it's about all of the Maddox's and they are a riled up bunch. But it was amazing to see all of the brothers back home with their dad and their families and Shepley's family all together again.

I was devastated by the end of this book. I was literally bawling my eyes out and I couldn't stop crying from the last 30 pages. It seriously ripped my heart to feel the devastation that this family was going through but being able to see the person's memories and having that person watch the family grieve was heart breaking.

I loved that we FINALLY got to read the guy's point of views for a few of the chapters. Besides Travis, we haven't been able to get inside of the brother's heads so it was amazing to get their perspectives on their family and jobs and life and everything.

Jamie McGuire created a great short novel to end this series. There is of course more to each character that can go on and on, but at some point she has to stop. This was a perfect ending to an amazing series and I know once I recover from this novel I will be re-reading it over and over again :)

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Review: Endlessly Beautiful

Endlessly Beautiful Endlessly Beautiful by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't seem to find this on Wattpad anymore, so I assume Jamie has taken it down for one reason or another. Either way, I read this when she was uploading it weekly/monthly, whenever she did and absolutely loved it! I've never kept it a secret that I love Travis the most, and being able to read more about their relationship always makes me happy! :)

I dearly hope this will be a paper copy soon to be added to my collection on my shelf, because I love looking at all of my pretties!

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Review: Beautiful Burn

Beautiful Burn Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have had this book for forever and have finally gotten around to read it. Like the majority of the Maddox Brother's novels, I definitely enjoyed it, but it is not my all time favorite. I was spoiled by Travis and apparently no other brother can defeat him in the series that McGuire writes. But that's okay, I love me some Travis and I certainly enjoyed all of the other novels. I own them!

Tyler's story was pretty good. We had seen him and Ellie throughout the other novels in the series, but seeing the story through Ellie's eyes was good to understand their personal demons. Even though we didn't get to read any of it through Tyler's perspective, I definitely loved the way he pursued Ellie and wasn't giving up - no matter what. He knew what he wanted and he was going after it - just like any other Maddox brother. I loved how he was there for Ellie and I especially adored his family with the fire crew!

The issues that I'm always having with the Maddox Brothers series is the female character. Ellie was especially one that I did not care for from beginning to end. She was a spoiled rich kid living a life where she could make any mistake that she wanted knowing there would be no consequences and that her parents would just pay someone to fix it. I hate people like that. Ellie said that it was her parents fault for letting her get away with it, but that's only part of it. She decided to make those decisions and as an adult or even a teenager, the decision is all theirs and they know what will happen. I was actually very disgusted with Ellie at the beginning of this book. And she did get better as a person and a character in the novel. But the damage was done at the beginning with her outlook of life and her attitude that I never really liked her during any of the novel.

Overall, this was a good book. I know Jamie has mentioned it before on how she writes the characters through the eyes of the female characters, but I think I would have given every book a 5 star rating had they all been through the brother's point of view. The readers are dedicated to this series because of the brothers because that is who the story is really about: the Maddox family. So going into all 4 brothers stories, only to have to read about the girl we don't know and finding out their story instead of Thomas, Trent, Taylor and Tyler's thoughts was a bit disappointing and let us down. Maybe one day Jamie will come back to this series and write the novels through the guys point of view like she did for "Walking Disaster" which would be amazing!

I think a dedicated fan of "Beautiful Disaster" will enjoy this novel and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it!

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Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ahh!!! A Comic Book about SQUIRRELS!!! I love squirrels. So much. So this comic book is amazing for me. I loved seeing all of Squirrel Girl's little squirrels and how awesome Doreen Green can kick some butt. She is very confident and always optimistic, which is amazing. No matter how down a situation can get, Squirrel Girl finds the 1 way to brighten it up and save the day.

I love how she talks to the enemies and has a conversation with them. As if talking to them will fix their mission to destroy human life! But if that doesn't work, she will do the necessary dirty work to save her planet!

I took my time with this and it actually lasted 3 or so days, even though it's a comic and only 130 pages! I can't wait for the other volumes to come out and one day I will own this series to add to my squirrel statue collection :)

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Review: Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here is my original review from Sept 22, 2012:

I re-read this again for my YA book club, and loved it just as much as I did 4 years ago. I dunno, the world that Melissa Marr created was fantastic. It had a hint of The Hunger Games but it was more mystical and magical than Suzanne Collin's world, making it it's own story. I loved how there were multiple viewpoints and the reader could gather more information because of that, even though we may still be a little lost overall about the story and where it will end up.

I can't believe that it's been 4 years and there is still no sequel... I want to find out what happens with everyone! Especially Mallory and Kaleb - when Mallory finds out what Kaleb did to ensure she was safe. Because Mallory is pretty strong willed and I doubt she will appreciate Kaleb's efforts to help her.

And I think Belias and Aya's story would get pretty heated as well. It's obvious they like each other, so Aya might have gone through the whole ordeal for no reason!

Evelyn and Adam's story would be very interesting to get more information on as they are very powerful characters and obviously have an important role to play out in the next novel. Oh, and another note, I want to know what happened to Mallory's mom.

Ahh!!!! So many questions, not enough answers! Hopefully sometime Melissa Marr will write the next novel and answer all of the unsolved answers!

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