Friday, July 3, 2015

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN by Melissa de la Cruz

Rating: D
Release Date: 7/7/14 
Synopsis:
The Vampires of Manhattan is "hipster horror"--the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build "Millennial" lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan's only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven's annual Four Hundred Ball--a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay--Oliver is devastated.

Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he's the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer--and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.


My thoughts on the book:
I was pretty excited for this new series, even though I'm not a huge fan of Oliver's. I really enjoyed most of the Blue Bloods books, though, and I was looking forward to returning to that world. I didn't really like the Hellhounds' books, but I was really hoping that de la Cruz wouldn't let me down again. Unfortunately, she did let me down. I had to force myself to finish this novel. It seemed to drag on forever.

In the Blue Bloods series, I always thought Oliver was whiny and needy. Well that hasn't really changed in this series. Only now, he's whiny, needy, and conceited. He's just annoying, and I couldn't make myself root for him. Finn also sucks and she is very weak and 2 dimensional. I really couldn't stand her. Ara is just gross. I didn't like her, either. She is also obnoxious and just boring. She likes to think she is kick-ass, but she's not. 

The plot isn't really that intriguing. It's the same plot as a billion other books have. People get killed. Lead characters must find villain before the world as we know it ends. I think I would have been more concerned if I had actually liked some of the inhabitants of said world. As it stood, I just didn't really care what happened. The romance is lukewarm to cold, and a bit of a snoozefest. The ending is whatever. I really didn't care by that point, so it didn't stand out to me.

Overall, I'd say skip this book unless you are completely obsessed with Oliver and the Blue Bloods series. He isn't quite the same character as he was in the first series, but if you love him, then you should like this series okay. 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

LIFE UPDATE: In the middle of moving

Hey guys, my life has been in complete upheaval for the past couple of weeks. My job moved office locations, and I recently moved into a new place. I'm still trying to find stuff, so as soon as I get my books and Kindle unpacked, I'll be back to reading and reviewing. I miss it and hope to be back within the next week. I hope you're all doing well!

Monday, May 25, 2015

THE DARK WORLD by Cara Lynn Shultz

Rating: B
Synopsis:
Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.

My thoughts on the book:
I really enjoyed Cara Lynn Shultz's previous duology, so I figured I should give this novel a try. I was pleasantly surprised as I'd heard mixed reviews for it. I really liked Paige and the world that Shultz created. I was easily able to achieve a willing suspension of disbelief, and while the info dumps were a little annoying, the amusing and interesting characters and their fun interactions more than made up for that. The plot itself was pretty fast paced, and I was hooked from page one. This was a cute light read, and I am looking forward to the sequel. 

I really liked Paige and enjoyed reading from her perspective. I could relate to being the outcast and trying like hell to protect yourself. I also understood pushing away the people who actually mattered in an effort to do just that. I didn't like her grouping all demons into the "awful and must die" category, but I understood it. She was scared. However, she was also a strong female lead, and I admired her tenacity. I really adored Logan, too. He was just adorable. We all need a guy like that in our lives. He was a little dramatic and almost girly at times with it, but overall, he was a great male lead. I would have liked to learned more about Ajax, but maybe in the next novel. He was intriguing. Dottie was a cute BFF for Paige go have, and their interactions were a lot of fun. 

The plot was pretty fast paced and there was quite a bit of action for a first novel. There were info dumps, which took me out of the story for a bit because I'd just skim them - I feel like there must have been some way to disperse the information more evenly - but the world Shultz created was complicated, and for the most part, she did a great job describing it. Everything made sense as much as it could for a first novel. The romance was just adorable and cute and sweet. I really loved Logan and Paige together. Nothing felt forced. They had a great, yet awkward chemistry. The ending was a really overly dramatic cliffhanger, and I wasn't fond of it, but I'm still looking forward to the next installment. 

Overall, I'd say give this book a try. This isn't your typical angels and demons fare. It's something unique and really fun. 

Order The Dark World

Friday, May 22, 2015

DESCENT by Tara Fuller

Rating: A
Release Date: 6/3/15
Synopsis:
Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper—even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing—how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge.

When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?


My thoughts on the book:
Descent is by far the best book in this trilogy. I absolutely loved getting to know Easton and Gwen. They developed organically throughout the story. The plot was full of suspense, and the pacing was spot on. Fuller's descriptions and world building were fantastic, and her writing was top notch. I'd recommend this book to just about anyone. 

Gwen was a really cute character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. There was much more to her than one would expect. Easton was also incredibly complex, and I was glad we finally got to know him better. He was such a tortured guy, but still good, somehow. Scout wasn't my favorite secondary character, but he was okay. The rest of the characters weren't incredibly developed, but they didn't really need to be. They each had their own personality, we just didn't get to hear much about them. 

The plot was fast paced and full of adventure. I was on the edge of my seat most of this novel, and Fuller did an excellent job of painting the horrors of hell. Her descriptions made it to where I could clearly picture how horrifying that place was. Also, her world building was top notch. Everything made sense, and I was easily able to achieve willing suspension of disbelief. The ending tied things up nicely and was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys angel and demon stories. It's a little bit different, and you can read it as a stand alone or as part of the trilogy.

Pre-order Descent by Tara Fuller

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CRASH by Eve Silver

Rating: A-
Release Date: 6/9/15
Synopsis:
A thrilling action/suspense novel for fans of The Fifth Wave about contemporary teens pulled in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death.

Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her. 

Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Crash is the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Game trilogy fans won’t want to miss.


My thoughts on the book:
Crash is a fantastic ending to this trilogy. It's fast paced and full of action and adventure. The characters grow even more, and the ending itself is satisfying. The romance is sweet, and there are a lot of plot twists. I've been a fan of this trilogy from the beginning because of its unique premise, and Silver finishes the series as strongly as she started it. 

Miki is a great narrator and a completely relatable character. She is flawed and battles with depression and anxiety, which I love. She shows her strength differently than characters who don't have these problems, but she is still very strong. I think it's so important for people to know you can be strong, even if you do have to fight a mental illness. Sometimes you're stronger because of that than you would be if you didn't have the illness. Jackson opens up some in this book, and I really enjoyed getting to know more about him. Lizzie is an intriguing character, and she added some mystery to the last two novels. 

The plot itself is full of twist, turns, and action. There is a lot going on in this book, and Silver does a good job keeping the mystery alive. The big reveal didn't surprise me that much, but it wasn't completely obvious either. It made perfect sense. One part bothered me, and that was when Jackson changes his mind suddenly. I don't want to say more than that to spoil it for anyone, but that part doesn't seem very realistic. Other than that, the plot was solid and the ending was satisfying. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who is looking for a fun, exciting, and unique sci-fi read. 

Pre-order Crash

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NOWHERE BUT HERE by Katie McGarry

Rating: C
Release Date: 5/26/15
Synopsis:
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


My thoughts on the book:
As you guys know, I'm not a huge fan of contemporary lit. Reading is my form of escapism, and when I escape, I want to visit worlds that don't really exist. However, Katie McGarry is one of the few contemporary authors I really like. Her characters always have fantastic chemistry, and her stories tug at your heart strings. Nowhere but Here didn't stand out to me like the Pushing the Limits series did, though. The characters aren't quite as likable, and the world they reside in isn't as captivating. That being said, the chemistry and wonderful writing make up for the things this story lacks, and I did enjoy this novel. 

I wasn't a huge fan of Emily, and that was part of why I didn't like this book as much as the others by McGarry. I just felt like Emily was too much of a goody-goody, and Oz was too much of a bad boy. It was just too much of a clash. However, there were tons of sparks between the two, and even though I couldn't stand their personalities that much, the chemistry between them really did make up for their annoying habits/personality traits.

The plot was pretty run of the mill for teen romance. Good girl meets bad boy. They fall in love. No one wants them to be together. They "rebel" against society and do what they want. Happy endings for all. Regardless of that, it's still sweet to read stories like that some times. They do tug at one's heart strings and let's face it, there are a lot worse things out there people could be reading and watching. 

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn't what I'd come to expect from McGarry, but it wasn't a complete disappointment, either. 

Pre-order Nowhere but Here

Monday, May 18, 2015

THE MEMORY HIT by Carla Spradbery

Rating: D
Release Date: 6/4/15
Synopsis:
On New Year's Eve, Jess's life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.

Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they've ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says 'it's like life, only better.' What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.

Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn't make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?

On New Year's Day, Jess and Cooper's worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year's Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie ...

'A pleasingly dark teen thriller with fun, fresh characters. Spradbery is a debut author to watch.' James Dawson


My thoughts on the book:
I feel like The Memory Hit tried to be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and failed miserably. That's not to say there was nothing good about this book. It just wasn't captivating enough. It jumped around so much, it was hard to keep up with what was happening and what character we were supposed to be following, and the characters felt a little like stereotypes. The ending was a shocker, though, and I did read it all the way through because I wanted to see what happened, so at least I was able to get invested in it, even if the story's potential wasn't fully realized. 

Jess and Cooper were okay characters. I didn't feel much for them either way. They weren't as defined as they could have been. The rest of the cast (Leon, Luke, Scarlett, etc.) all just felt like stereotypes to me. Leon the drug dealer whose dad was in jail was the biggest cliche. I just couldn't take any of the characters seriously because of their pasts. I did feel some sympathy for Scarlett, even though she had cheated with her best friend's boyfriend. That doesn't mean she deserved to be in the hospital severely injured like she was. 

The plot was disjointed and jumped around too much. There was no flow to it at all, and that made the story seem longer than it was. I lost interest a few times and had to put the book down and come back to it later because of the ADD-style writing. The ending shocked me, but it made sense, at least. I didn't feel much emotion other than shock at the big reveal due to the fact that I couldn't get invested in the characters.

Overall, I didn't really enjoy this book. That doesn't mean that other people won't, though. The jumpy plot just really ruined it for me. If you try it, I hope you like it more than I did.