Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review: Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga
Pages: 371
Release date: 8th December 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.
 

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

JLA is an auto-buy author for me and Wicked has been high on my wish-list for a while now and despite enjoying it overall, it wasn’t my favourite JLA book unfortunately.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan is a fiery, snarky, kind-hearted member of the Order, located in New Orleans which is an organisation that protects humans from the Fae and other creatures from the Otherworld; her painful past and her losses has made her reluctant to get close to anyone so her sole focus now is on her studies and hunting the Fae.

Ren Owens (swoon) gives all of JLA’s book boys a run for their money and stole my heart with his charm, appeal and humour; Ivy was reluctant to let him past her closed off barriers but he worked his way slowly into her heart (and mine). He was a sweet love interest and was able to fight alongside Ivy in hunting the Fae but he too has a few secrets he is keeping.

The chemistry between Ivy and Ren was off the charts smexy! He was persistent and at times her stubbornness grated on my nerves, who wouldn’t want 6 foot 3 inches of hotness pursuing them but he eventually wore her down and the sweet, tender smexy moments that followed made it all worth it, you couldn’t help but hope for a HEA for them both.

Each of the side characters were great! Tink was hilarious, his sarcasm had me giggling and I think there’s more to this little Brownie than what we know for some reason, Val was loveable, JoAnn didn’t play a huge part but was great and Merle was interesting, I was intrigued by what had happened to her. The ‘bad’ guy and their betrayal was surprising. I would have liked more page time and information on the Ancients.

As a romance fan, I enjoyed that aspect and the interactions between them but their budding relationship seemed to be the focus and left the plot with holes that needed refining but overall for me it was still entertaining and Wicked was a nice start to the series.

The reason I didn’t rate this book 5 stars was because of its predictability not only with the characters but also the writing and the storyline, I was able to guess a few pretty big reveals early on in the book so the main element of surprise was missing for me, certain aspects were obvious but I am still quite keen to see how the outcome of these revelations will play out. The writing is trademark JLA but I’m finding the sayings are flowing over in each of her series as are the character similarities.

Overall, Wicked wasn’t my favourite JLA read but I still enjoyed it and I’m keen to read Torn.

  

Jennifer L. ArmentroutAbout the author: # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. 

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Review: Captive (Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)Captive

Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Blackcoat Rebellion
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: 25th November 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Captive is the second book in the Blackcoat Rebellion series and begins where Pawn left off.

Everything was certainly kicked up a notch in Captive – the intense action, betrayals and surprise plot twists had my mind spinning but I loved each and every moment.

Kitty’s reckless behaviour drove me crazy in the first book and it is probably worse in Captive unfortunately but in saying this she is a generous character who thinks of others before herself, especially when it came to Benjy who I have come to really like but for the first part of the book I still felt he was a bit of a mystery and we didn’t know enough about him, I also still feel they are suited more as friends and even though Knox could be a complete ass and was extremely frustrating, I preferred him as the love interest for some silly reason.

As we know, in the first book Kitty had been masked to become Lila Hart and the decisions she has had to make in order to survive have been extremely difficult with a lot of sacrifices needing to be made. Her world is now more hostile than what we knew it in Pawn and as a result she ends up where she was most afraid of – Elsewhere, which was brutal.  

The plot is fast-paced with some wonderful action sequences, the villain is written to perfection and we are introduced to a wonderful secondary cast who each play a pivotal role in the overall story. Captive started off slow for me but it soon picked up and delivered action and surprising plot twists, leaving me flipping the pages wanting to know what would happen. The world-building is original but I still feel there are certain aspects which are lacking when it comes to the details of how it all came about, it was hinted at and unless I have missed something I felt it was lacking.

Overall, Captive delivered an action-packed thrill ride that I was almost unwilling to let go of when it ended. I can’t wait to read the final book in the series Queen which has an anticipated 2015 release date.

Thank you to Harlequin Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Captive.


Aimee CarterAbout the author: 

Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. Her first novel for young adults, THE GODDESS TEST, will be published by Harlequin Teen on April 19th, 2011. The sequel, GODDESS INTERRUPTED, will follow in January 2012.

Find her on Twitter at @aimee_carter.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Sunday Post & Stacking the Shelves - Sunday 13th December

 

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Hi everyone!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews

It's a chance to share what has happened the past week, showcase books and other bookish things we have received and talk about what is coming up on our blog. 

I haven’t posted a TSP/STS in a little while now so these books are from the past few weeks.

Received for Review

Hear Me by Viv Daniels (Read - 3 stars)
Chase the Dark by Annette Marie
Twisted Dreams (The Dhampyre Chronicles #1) by Marissa Farrar
The Charlotte Chronicles (Jackson Boys #1) by Jen Frederick
The Winners Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
Rebellion (Extraction #2) by Stephanie Diaz

Hear Me Chase the Dark (Steel & Stone #1) Twisted Dreams (The Dhampyre Chronicles, #1) 
The Charlotte Chronicles (Jackson Boys, #1) The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2) Rebellion (Extraction, #2) 

Purchased

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
One Song Away by Molli Moran
Refuge (Relentless #2) by Karen Lynch
Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2) by C.C. Hunter (Audio)
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin (Audio)

Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1) One Song Away Refuge (Relentless #2)
 Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark, #2) The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)

What exciting bookish goodies did you receive this week?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Review: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Whatever Life Throws at YouAuthor: Julie Cross
Series: -
Pages: 320
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: 7th October 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas's life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she's living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals' super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn't just a game. It's life. And sometimes, it can break your heart…

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross first crossed my radar after I read Nick’s wonderful review and it came at the right time for me as I’ve been in the worst reading slump; it was sweet, light-hearted and without all the unnecessary angst and drama.

I was also a little hesitant about reading it because besides Catching Jordan I haven’t really read a sporting teen YA book that has appealed to me, I’m not a sporty person at all but this book was easy to follow and understand and I found it quite interesting.

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas moved to Missouri after her father Jim has been offered a job in the major leagues baseball as the new pitching coach, it’s a chance for her to start afresh at a new school, focus on her track and hopefully see the end of her mother which she thinks would also benefit her father. Annie was a wonderful character, sweet, full of spirit and with a great competitive streak, she’d make a great best friend.

The love interest is Nineteen-year-old Jason Brody, a smexy boy with a past and the Kansas City Royals newest and youngest pitcher, he is adapting to this new life and doesn’t need any distractions; he was a great guy; loyal and kind. One thing I adored about this book was the romance, it is a believable relationship that isn’t without its flaws but it was a welcomed relief to find no insta-love involved, it felt convincing and was really sweet and I really enjoyed the banter between them; I didn’t agree on the sneaking around aspect of it but for teens it came across as believable and their reasons were valid.

The side characters were all written well! Savannah was great, I loved the relationship Annie had with her father; the respect and support they showed for one another was truly wonderful, the snippets we saw of grandma with Alzheimer’s and the care they also showed for her melted my heart, it couldn’t have been easy for them. I’d love to see Lenny get her own book, I felt sorry for her and her family life but she was a good friend.

Whatever Life Throws at You
is written beautifully and gave us great blend of sports, familial bonds, loyal friendships and a swoon worthy romance, a highly recommended Contemporary YA.



Julie CrossAbout the author: I'm the author of the YA sci-fi trilogy, the Tempest series (St. Martin's Press). I'm also the author of the YA contemporary novel, Letters To Nowhere. 

But even more importantly than the above, I'm a fan of books and an avid reader/reviewer. Keep in mind, however, that a review is just one person's opinion, one perspective. My goal is to show as much bias in my reviews as possible because this makes it easier for you to decide if your perspective is similar to mine or different. Everyone's tastes are different. I like books with emotion and believability. I don't mind edgy and heavy themes. I also like humor and quirk. I like weird characters in odd situations. 

I have low tolerance for insta-love, flowery sex scenes, or mushy declarations of feelings. Not a fan of possessive/controlling male characters who get the girl in the end. When I recommend books, I always ask about favorite current reads and cater to each person's taste. 

I believe every book plays an important role whether I love it or hate, it's having an effect on society. It's changing, shaping, and molding the future of publishing. Regardless of my feelings about a book, I value the author's time and effort put into creating their work. I only rate books available for purchase (or soon-to-be available) and consider those books as published works and their creators as professionals in their field therefore I treat them as professionals, giving my honest opinion on the work itself and not the person producing it.

If I rate a book and don't provide any written review and you'd like to hear my thoughts, feel free to comment on the review and if I can, I'll explain my reasoning behind the rating. I don't mind authors commenting on any review I post - negative or positive. Also happy to email to discuss Juliecrossauthor (at) gmail (dot) com please alert me if I misled readers or given false information (accidentally of course) and I'll correct the situation as soon as possible. 

Check out my Facebook Fanpage 
https://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieC...

and my publisher's page for the TEMPEST SERIES

https://www.facebook.com/TempestSeries

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - The Leveller by Julia Durango and Crash by Eve Silver


Hi everyone!! thank-you so much for stopping by today.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW’s for this week are The Leveller by Julia Durango and Crash by Eve Silver.

The Leveller (The Leveller, #1)
Author: Julia Durango
Series: The Leveller #1
Genre: Young Adult
Amazon pre-order
Publisher: Harperteen
Release date: June 2015


Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them. 

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.

Crash (The Game, #3) 
Author: Eve Silver
Series: The Game #3
Genre: YA
Amazon pre-order
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: 9th June 2015


Synopsis. (Goodreads)


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.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales and The Devil You Know by Trish Doller


Hi everyone!! thank-you so much for stopping by today.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW’s for this week are Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales and The Devil You Know by Trish Doller.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours
Author: Leila Sales
Series: -
Genre: Contemporary YA
Amazon pre-order
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
Release date: 15th September 2015


Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Tonight the Streets Are Ours is a YA novel about a teen girl living in the suburbs who becomes obsessed with a blogger in New York City, and sets out to track him down in real life.

The Devil You Know
Author: Trish Doller
Series: -
Genre: YA
Amazon pre-order
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: 2nd June 2015


Synopsis. (Goodreads)

From critically-acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a powerful new psychological page-turner perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. 

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.