Saturday, July 18, 2015


Rating: C-
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My thoughts on the book:
This novel had a lot of potential, and I really enjoyed the last 30% or so. The rest of the book was really slow-moving, and to be honest, this book could have been about 200+ pages shorter. The world building was thorough, that's for sure, and I felt like I got to know the characters pretty well. The pacing was just off, though. I guess I'll continue the series, but I may check out the sequel from the library before buying it. I feel like I wasted weeks of my life forcing myself through all of the sludge just to get to the cliffhanger at the end. Not the best way to earn readers, in my opinion.

The characters were interesting enough, and Lia was okay. She was a bit whiney to start with, but she got a decent personality as things carried on. She also became stronger as the story progressed (at a snail's pace), which I appreciated. I really liked that we didn't know who the assassin and prince were (which was which) until later in the book, and Pearson did a great job of giving her characters different voices, which is super important when the book is being told from multiple perspectives. I didn't really care much for Pauline, and I didn't really care at all about that chapter from her POV. Rafe was interesting, and so was Kaden. I can't wait to get to know both of them better. I think I like Rafe the best, though.

The pacing was so slow that it took me forever to read this book. It did not need to be 512 pages. It could have been 250 pages and the story would have been the same. The author really dragged things out with the multiple POVs, and she spent tons of time on everyday occurrences that really didn't need to be detailed, in my opinion. I made myself finish the novel, though, and I'm glad I did. The ending was good, even though it was a cliffhanger. Also, this book could have been 300-400 pages and encompassed part of the sequel and cut out a lot of the crap in the beginning and middle and not ended on a cliffhanger. I get really irritated when I read a slow-as-molasses book, just to have it get interesting at the end. Anyway, at least that part was intriguing.

If I were you, I'd check this one out from the library instead of buying. It may bore you enough and then anger you enough that you don't want to continue the series. I'm still on the fence as to whether I care what happens next or not.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Rating: A
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My thoughts on the book:
As a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, I was super excited to get my hands on A Court of Thorns and Roses. The synopsis makes this book sound like another tale of a leading lady having Stockholm Syndrome, but this book is nothing like that. I got the last copy at my local B&N, and I'm so glad that I did. Maas weaves a beautiful and terrifying world in this novel. Her new cast of characters is unique, and Feyre's story is very different from Celaena's. The romance is sweet and a bit steamy, and the writing is lovely. I absolutely adored this book and can't wait for the next installment.

19 year old Feyre is a strong, yet vulnerable character. She loves fiercely, and while she has a few emo moments, they're understandable. Feyre has had a tough life, but she somehow manages to hold onto her heart. She is compassionate and fierce. I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. I really liked Tamlin, too, and he's a great love interest. He's not nearly as awful as the synopsis makes him sound. I also really enjoyed Lucien and Rhysand. I am looking forward to learning more about Rhys, especially.

The plot is fairly fast-paced, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Poor Feyre just doesn't get a break. The faery world is really creepy and beautiful, and Maas does a terrific job of world-building. I felt like I fully understood the rules of the world, and the author paints some wonderful pictures of the contrasting landscapes. I hope we get to see some of the other courts in the next installment, though. The ending ties things up nicely, but leaves room for a sequel.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves high fantasy. I can promise you that you'll love Maas' new and unique addition to this genre.

Order A Court of Thorns and Roses today

Saturday, July 4, 2015

DAMAGE DONE by Amanda Panitch

Rating: A-
Release Date: 7/21/15
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . 

My thoughts on the book:
I read this entire novel in 4 hours. I could not put it down. That alone shows that Panitch is a brilliant YA author. This book shook me to my core. It messed with my head and freaked me out. It broke my heart and made me mad. Needless to say, I doubt I'll read another book this year that impacts me in such a way. However, novels like this also exhaust me, and I can't read them often. I haven't read a book that messed with me to this extent in over 10 years. This is a must read for anyone who loves psychological thrillers.

Lucy/Julia is an extremely interesting narrator. From the start, you want to trust her and sympathize with her, but you can't decide whether or not that's in your best interest. This kind of unease continues throughout the novel and really carries the story. The secondary characters are equally compelling and complete contrasts to Lucy/Julia. Michael really broke my heart. The MIA parents are a nice touch to illustrate how many kids go astray and stay that way due to lack of parental involvement, and I feel like the villain's need for approval stems from that. This book really brings to light a lot of problems facing our society.

The plot itself is intricately woven and captivating. It will suck you in whether you want it to or not. Panitch's ability to randomly drop clues is astounding, and I spent most of the book hoping I was wrong. The clues she drops are not complete giveaways, either, and they will confuse you and make you think that everything you knew up until that point is wrong. The romance is kind of lacking, but in books like this, I think it should be. That's not the focus. The ending is both satisfying and dissatisfying. It's satisfying in the fact that it tells you what happens to everyone, but it's dissatisfying because you feel like it's not fair. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers. If you're not one who likes to have your head messed with, then I'd say steer clear of this one. It will stick with you for a long time, and it will burrow in your mind and make you think about a lot of things you may or may not want to think about. I absolutely commend Panitch for this novel and for pointing out some of the many flaws in our society and showing how society and parents can fail children and/or make problems worse. She also raises an important question that isn't at all answered in her novel: is there a cure for sociopathy?

Pre-order Damage Done

Friday, July 3, 2015

VAMPIRES OF MANHATTAN by Melissa de la Cruz

Rating: D
Release Date: 7/7/14 
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.