Books, Reviews

Sweet Reckoning ~ A Review (or maybe just fangirling…)

Ok, let’s get the book info out of the way before I unleash my inner fangirl. Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3) Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom. Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble FIrst of all, I’m going to mention that this is the third in a trilogy, and if you’ve made this far, you didn’t need that synopsis to know you’d be reading this.  I mean… Kaidan Rowe is in it.  To those who haven’t heard of this series before, the first installment is called Sweet Evil, and you should read it because it’s adorable. I have to admit, I got started on this series because the cover of the first book was to die for.  I know, I do judge books by their cover, but I’m so happy I do; it led me to this masterpiece.  I have loved these books, as have all of my friends, and I was so sad to see it end but happy to find the characters at long last getting what they deserve. Now, onto the actual review (if you can call it that.)   I decided that for this book, instead of letting my brain pick apart every faulty scene and annoying quirk, I’d let my heart do the talking because man, did this book give me the Feels.   So… AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  KAI AND ANNA!!!!! OHMYGOSH!!!  CAN I JUST JUMP IN THIS BOOK AND HUG THEM?!?!??!?!??!!?!?  JUST… JUST… SOOOOOO SWEEEEEEEET!!!! … … … Maybe my brain needs to be involved a little bit. I’ll admit this book had its faults.  It was somewhat slow and could use a touch more action at times.  There was a certain… event that I didn’t like and didn’t see the reasoning behind; it really seemed rather unnecessary and frustrating and super unlikely.  I mean come on, everything would have to go wrong for that to happen, and wouldn’t Jay want to, like, take precautions?  You’ll understand if you read the book. Maybe I’m a little more annoyed at that thing than I thought I was, but I’m willing to let it go because, well, the ending of this book is perhaps the best ending I have ever read.  The last line especially was absolute perfection. Trust me on this. I am a reader who believes a crappy last line can ruin a book.  Just to restate, I am not talking about an ending.  I am referring to the very last sentence of a book. I have gotten to that very last line before, thinking “oh, this is pretty good,” then that last sentence is something cheesy or ridiculous or totally un-profound that doesn’t do its job of placing a little bow right on top of the present that is the story, and my “oh” turns to more of an “eeeeehhhmmmffffssch.”  Let me tell you, that is not a good sound.  Even if it does look a bit ridiculous when I try to type it out. Anyway, Sweet Reckoning had the PERFECT last line.  And a FLAWLESS ending, for that matter. I promise you, every flaw of this book (and there aren’t many) is made up for in the ending.  It was so sweet and wonderful and touching and… and… and I cried, alright! It brought me to tears. That’s all I have to say.  It was an amazing book and a perfect conclusion to a fantastic series that I would absolutely recommend. Be ready with some smelling salts; you are going to swoon. Smiles! P.S. Wendy Higgins, if you read this, I hope you know I expect some of this book from Kaidan’s point of view; I’d love to see that epilogue from his eyes or say, chapters 12 and 13. *wink wink* 😉 P.P.S. Was that review good?  Or was it a slew of poorly constructed jokes and awkward fangirling?

Books, Reviews

The Distance Between Us~ Review

Sorry, I’ve been absent from here, but I’m going to try to make up for it by making this blog awesome.  I’m not going to waste your time with excuses, so without further ado…

It’s very clear that I’m not great at reviews; they aren’t my forte.  But, then, I figured out how I could make sound less like a garbled heap of burbling, and to have more of a good vs. bad system.  I’m going to share the BEST thing about the book, and the WORST thing about the book.  They’re going to battle it out in my head like Superman and whoever the villain is.  (I might be listening to that Daughtry song, Superman, right now… I definitely am…  I really like it.)

Then, I will probably give you another analogy, because I really like those, and whichever one wins wins.  So, let’s see how this works. *rubs hands together, smiling maniacally*

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Isn’t this cover gorgeous? I got it in paperback just so I could stare at it.

 

 

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (who also wrote the totally awesome book, Pivot Point)

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble

 

THE GOOD

Caymen was hilarious.  She just was.  The romance was really adorable too, but if I had to pick one thing and name it Awesomest Thing In The Book, it would be her humor.  In her first meeting with Xander she already had me cracking up, especially with this part of the exchange, in which Xander has some questions about the doll he’s about to buy:

“How come the dog isn’t named?” He reads aloud the title on the box. “‘Peggy and dog.‘” 

“Because people tend to want to name animals after their beloved pets.”

“Really?”

“No.  I have no idea.  I can give you the number of Peggy’s creator if you want to ask.”

“You have the phone number of this doll’s creator?”

“No.”

Soon, he has another question, and she has another delightful answer:

He picks up a business card from the holder by the register and studies it for a moment.  ” ‘And more’?”

The name of the store is Dolls and More.  He’s asking what others have before him once they come into the store and only see dolls.  I nod. “Dolls and more dolls.” 

He tilts his head.

“We used to carry charm bracelets and stuffed animals and such, but the dolls got jealous.”

This continued throughout the book, Xander even started participating.  They’re adorable.

THE BAD

It was really good until the end, and then it sort of slacked off.  After what I guess you could call the climax, where everything fell apart, everything was quickly put back into place and even made better too quickly for my tastes.  It all seemed kind of rushed to me, and there was one big reveal that seemed to solve all the problems Caymen had been dealing with.  Well, and naturally, a totally swoon worthy speech from Xander.  … I guess the ending wasn’t all bad.

Ding Ding Ding

The wit wins.  It’s like Aubrey Plaza vs. John or Hank Green (I thought, what’s rushed?, and their speech patterns came to mind).  She could totally melt them into a puddle with her stare.  And that’s that.  Sorry, Nerdfighters; I like them too, but she’s got that in the bag.

That was interesting…  I feel like it was more structured, and made more sense, and I really love making analogies, however bad.. weird… no, just bad, they may be.

So, what do you think of this review strategy?  Is it good?  I’ll even settle for mediocre, because I’m pretty sure my other reviews landed somewhere near the toilet…  By near, of course I mean, in, then flushed, then in the sewer, with rats, and sewer gators…

Smiles!

(P.S. I’ve been writing a post called Wattpad and Abortion, and I looked up some anti-abortion arguments to address in the post, and I found one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.  The devil is destroying society’s basic foundation which is the family. Feminism was a tool that helped make this so.”  So it would seem feminism is the devil’s work, and along those lines, women’s voting rights are evil, as is equal pay for women.  Basically, if you are a self supporting woman, you are the devil’s work.)

Books, Reviews

The Fault in Our Stars~ Review

(If you don’t know what this book is, you probably live under a rock, especially considering it’s becoming a movie (EEEEEP!!!), but here’s the info anyway.)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Goodreads Amazon Barnes&Noble

I’ve been struggling with this review.  I want to be honest, but I don’t really know exactly what my thoughts are about this…   Since I finished it, I’ve been looking at other stuff relating to it and trying to get my thoughts together, probably because it’s one of the only books I’ve read that has any real meaning.  (My books are made for escapin’, and that’s just what I’ll do, one of these days these books will give their fun and humor to you)… (that got carried away…)… (and it really didn’t make my point…) …(my point being that I read books mainly for enjoyment, not lesson learning…)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure it out, and then the final piece was glued in by reading a few other reviews on Goodreads, both from people who did not particularly like the book.  One because she found the characters pretentious and the story unrealistic (and was kind of really bashing John Green, which I’ll get to), and the other because she didn’t feel like anyone other than who had gone through the experience of having cancer or knowing someone closely with cancer had a right to joke about it.  Both of them had had experience with family or friends with cancer; they were perfectly entitled to their viewpoints.

Mine was different though, naturally; I haven’t had the same experiences.    But I did agree with some things.  So, here’s the deal.

First of all, it made me cry.  I’m just gonna throw that out there.  I was attached enough to these characters that when… oops, no spoilers… when you-know-what happened, I cried.  Actually, to be perfectly honest, I cried for the last eighty pages of the book… plus at another moment…  I’m a softie. Sue me.

Secondly, the characters were pretentious and unrealistic and talked exactly the same (all points made by one of the aforementioned reviewers), and several times when they went rambling into a dramatic speech or some long thought stream, I’d hear it in 36 year old man, John Green’s voice, instead of 16 year old girl Hazel Grace’s or swoony teen hottie Augustus Waters’s, which just… it just… ruined some of the book.

For example, this part: “His voice was low, smoky, and dead sexy.”  (pg. 11)  At which point I thought, Man, John Green, this must’ve been soooo much fun for you to write.  You definitely know how to reel in teenage girls.

But, that doesn’t actually relate to the beginning of that sentence, which was actually leading to the fact that if these characters didn’t have cancer, I don’t know that I would have liked them.  Well, probably Hazel, because she was sweet and fairly real, and I liked her outlook on life, mildly depressing though it was.  But Augustus would have been frustrating with all his metaphorical resonances and goals of heroism.  I guess he wasn’t that bad, but… Okay, I’m just going to quit now.  Let’s be honest, he’s adorable.  If he were real, I’d be laughing in his face, but he’s fictional, so I think he’s amazballs.  It’s the natural way of The Feels.

So, past these characters, who despite being slightly obnoxious, still stole my heart, I have to talk about the annoyances of this story being crammed into a book, which now that I read that back, doesn’t make much sense; let me explain.  ***BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD***  So, Gus died.  It made me mad because he really only died for the sake of story progression.  If their story was going to be resolved in 313 pages, he kind of had to die.  Their story had to be resolved, and both sides of Gus (Augustus and Gus) had to be shown, as well as the whole Peter Van Houten thing, and the falling in love thing, and the dying thing, so it didn’t feel like they got enough time together to truly bask in love.  I mean, first, she’s pushing him off, then they’re both in love in Amsterdam, then he’s dying. It’s good to show the sad, hard part of dying and cancer, but come on, couldn’t they have had a little more of that perfectness, without having death lurking around the corner.

Anyway, I could rant about that all day.  But I have to get to my last point.

I’m not going to go too far in this, because I think you should look this up for yourself if you haven’t already.  John Green wrote this book to cope with the death of Esther Earl.  I’m going to tell you to go to the This Star Won’t Go Out website here, and click around and read Esther’s story and visit her youtube and instagram pages.  She really seems like she was a sweet girl, deserving of a book in her honor.  I don’t think I should say anything else though, because I think you have to form your own beliefs.

Anyway, thanks if you made it through that garbled wreck of a review.  I doubt it helped any of you considering reading this book, but oh well, I shared.

Smiles!

Books, Reviews

Racing Savannah~ Review

Racing Savannah

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Goodreads

Ok, so, I’m going to feel awful after I write this review, but I believe that anyone who reads this deserves my honest opinion, even if what I’m going to say isn’t exactly the nicest thing ever.  To ease my conscience a little bit, I’m going to apologize to the author real quick, in case she ever finds this.  Sorry Miranda Kenneally!  I feel really awful trashing your work; you seem like a wonderful person, but I just wasn’t a huge fan.

I’ve read all of Miranda Kenneally’s books thus far, and I’ll admit, if I hadn’t read Catching Jordan first, I probably wouldn’t have read the rest of them.  In my opinion, they’ve just gotten… I don’t want to say worse, so I’ll say less good.

I loved Catching Jordan; that girl was awesome and Henry was so sweet.  I would 100% recommend it to anyone.  Stealing Parker was pretty good too.  I might have read more of her books if I’d read this first, as well.  But, Parker was no Jordan.  Now, Things I Can’t Forget was hard to read.  I barely got through that.  I was not a fan of the main character, whose name I can forget.

Basically, I don’t think she has yet to match Catching Jordan, and Racing Savannah did not manage it.  It rose about Things I Can’t Forget (though that wasn’t hard in my opinion).  However, it did fit the trend I’ve noticed that with each book, Miranda Kenneally includes more sex scenes.  Which is okay, but it seems that these scenes free her up to include less real connection, cutesy moments, which I love.  I’m a teenage girl; I want to see mushy crap, not just the omg-let’s-get-it-on part.

So, here goes the second part of my rant, where I talk about the actual book.

First off, I liked it in the beginning; Savannah was a girl determined to be jockey and wanting to raise above her situation.  That’s very nice, and it was a good setup for a good lesson.  Then there was the pretty rich boy who came along and thought she was gorgeous.  He literally rode up on a horse.  How is that not a good start?  So, yeah, it began well and had the makings of a good book.  But, then… it failed.

It was pretty good until Jack and Savannah really got together.  For the first fifty percent, I liked it quite a bit.  I mean, there were the usual slight annoyances that can come with a romance book.  Just some slightly silly stuff that makes you want to melodramatically palm your forehead, you know.  But, then came the getting busy and lesson learning parts of the book, and its rating with me plummeted.

*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD* On the getting busy side, Jack became a jackass (excuse the language, but I couldn’t pass that coincidence up).  They made out, he hid her in a closet, they made out again, he’s all sweet, she tells her family, they hook up again, then he freaks out, says he wants to hide her, and only have a “friends with benefits” thing.  Then, he keeps trying to get back with her, but doesn’t actually offer her a real relationship.  Total douche move.

Then, when they finally get together, it’s just because he beats up some guy that was trying to maul her.  Then he’s like, if you go after my girlfriend again, I’ll kill you.  And she’s like girlfriend? oh, cool.  Meanwhile, I’m thinking, what the heck?!  That’s it?  He calls you his girlfriend, and you’re just done with the matter.  He has been treating you like crap!  But one word and it’s all good?  NO!!  It’s like if a friend screamed at you, then ended with a nickname and asked if you wanted to hang out.  Would that make their screaming ok?  No. Would you automatically go out with them?  Still no.  Would it eventually get better, specifically after you demanded an apology?  Yes, most likely.

But, nope.  Savannah is totally fine with just one word: girlfriend.  Boooooo

Second issue, the lesson learning.  It was incredibly obvious.  The lesson was outright stated. Over and over and over.  It was a nice lesson and all.  Respect yourself.  Believe in yourself.  Don’t let yourself be stuck in a bad situation or taken advantage of.  It was nice.  However, I don’t want to be told that.  I want to learn it from this fake person’s fake experiences.  Sure, you can include some inner turmoil, some epiphany moments, but when it’s said so clearly, so many times, it just sounds like a preachy old lady or maybe even a life coach or a shrink.  It made Savannah into a puppet, a soulless puppet who I suddenly couldn’t stand.

So, there you have it.  I was not a fan of this book.

I’m still going to say, you should try it.  Mainly because I think Miranda Kenneally seems like a nice person, and she really did try to write something meaningful with this; the execution was just off.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll like it more.

Smiles!

 

Books, Reviews

Such a Rush~A review

Disclaimer: I won Such A Rush through a giveaway.

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Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business–until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers–and the consequences could be deadly.

Goodreads~Amazon~Barnes&Noble

Such a Rush was such a wonderful book.  (Gosh, I’m not very good at these reviews yet, if I’m leading with that.  Anyway…)

I was propelled (haha, propelled, like by propellers, like on an airplane)  through this book by the strong main character, Leah.  She was badass, and I swear sparingly.  This girl wore aviator shades, for god’s sake.  Just that says it all.  But if you need more proof of her awesomnity, she is so determined to be a pilot, to be successful at the thing she loves-flying- that she puts up with being thought of as the “airport whore”, with being blackmailed by a guy who’s sure she’s a tramp, and with having to date the guy’s brother because the jerk’s blackmailing her.  She has the stunning love for flying that, to me, seems like something that everyone searches for- a love for what you do.

“I could see.  For the first time, I could see what most people never saw.  I could see the whole town, and how I fit into it, and how far I would have to go to get out of it.  I got such a rush, seeing that.  And until that plane ride, I hadn’t realized how low I’d felt for years, because I didn’t have a high too compare it with.”

Of course, what’s a leading lady without her hot love interest?  Grayson Hall.  Hot-tempered, judgmental blackmailer.  Swoonworthy, adorable cowboy.  Plus, he wears aviator shades.  Again, that is a sign of pure badassery.  (Pardon my language.)  Grayson is a guy juggling several responsibilities after his father’s death, taking over the banner plane business and dealing with some issue with his brother.  Despite his “adrenaline junkie” status.  Sure, he didn’t deal with Leah well; his blackmailing was rash, at best.  But come on, he’s a pilot who dresses like a cowboy, who just wants to carry on his dad’s legacy and care for his brother.  How is that not the best?

I would recommend this book to everyone!

Sorry my review isn’t better/longer, I read this awhile ago and I was struggling with this, but I really liked this book and wanted to share it.  Plus I won it in a giveaway, so I’d feel bad not talking about it…

Smiles!

Books, Reviews

Romance Splurge- Four Brief Reviews

Okay, so my reading habits tend to show a pattern.  Most of the time, I’ll read a book or two, maybe three in a week.  I know; I read quite a bit.  It’s usually some YA romancy supernatural story with some mystery and action.  However, every once in awhile, I’ll overdose on seriously plotted books.  For example, last month I read Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas, then quickly followed that by reading the majority of three other books.

At this point, my reading tastes take a quick turn, and I immediately have to cleanse my palate with some simple romance.  Just the most easily accessed book possible that I know will satisfy my lovey-dovey girly emotions, but not really provoke much thought. (These often are found on my library’s online ebook website thing, so I can get them quickly and read them for free.)  As I said, I overdosed on thought-provoking stories last month, so, predictably, I found four romance books and read them as quickly as possible to detox.

Anyway, these are my reviews of the books in my romance splurge: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik, Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, Dare You To by Katie McGarry, and Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett.  (The links are to the author’s sites; yes, I know this isn’t exactly necessary, but I’m one of those people who forms opinions of not only books, but also their authors… So sue me!)

Before I review these, though, I would like to state that I don’t quite remember everything these books, so if I do have my wires crossed, I apologize now.  Also, they’re going to be rather brief due to this as well.

Confessions of an Angry Girl

Goodreads~Amazon~Barnes&Noble

This was my least favorite of the four books.  From the description, I expected the main character, Rose Zarelli, to be a sassy firecracker.  She was far from it.  In fact, she was rather meek.  She rarely spoke her mind , which just made me want to shake her and say “WHY AREN’T YOU COOLER?!?!’  Also, she said she was a word nerd, but her vocabulary seemed fairly ordinary to me.

My other main problem with this book was that I found it hard to draw comparisons to my own life.  This may be because I’m sheltered or a goody two shoes or slightly antisocial, but I have never been to a big raucous party with alcohol, nor have I noticed a particular hierarchy in my school, nor are any of my friends contemplating sex or even dating, and because of this, it was difficult for me to connect to this girl who was experiencing these things.

Also, I was stuck with one question throughout the whole book; Is there anyone who isn’t Italian in this imaginary town?  I swear, everyone had an Italian surname: Forta, Zarelli, Delato, etc.  It really bothered me.

Epic Fail

Goodreads~Amazon~Barnes&Noble

This book was stereotypical romance.  The girl, Elise, is resisting falling for popular boy, Derek, and naturally doesn’t manage this.  Elise was a sweet character; she didn’t worry about her own image and cared very deeply for her sisters.  It was a short, fun, cute read, but that’s about all I can say about it.

 

 

 

Dare You To

Goodreads~Amazon~Barnes&Noble

Once again, this was a book that I had trouble connecting with because it included a lot of drugs and partying.  It was another book in which a loner girl fell for an incredibly popular guy with family issues.  To cut this short, because I’m really having difficulty conjuring up any details from this book, it was a good book; I like Katie McGarry. I read Pushing the Limits; I liked it.  Her books just aren’t something that particularly stick with me.  I would recommend reading them, though.

 

 

Something Like Normal

Goodreads~Amazon~Barnes&Noble

Something Like Normal was written from  a guy, Ryan’s, point of view, and it pulled this off perfectly.  It made him vulnerable, relatable, and lovable without making him any less masculine.

Other than this though, there wasn’t much that was stunning about this book.

Harper, the girl, was too forgiving at times, especially considering that in their first meeting, she went ballistic, then the next, she was fine. She was there, but she didn’t have a huge effect on the story.

I also was disappointed in the end because I don’t think Ryan got the conclusion he needed.  It felt like he was getting there and he was making progress, then suddenly the epilogue popped up when I turned the page, leaving me to think, “Huh, I had no idea that was the end.”

Basically, I liked it as I was reading it, but now, I can’t recall why.

 

My goodness, reading over my reviews, I realize they aren’t very good, but… I don’t have a thing to add to them… I’ll get better at this.  Promise.  In the mean time, Smiles!