Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

After all the praising reviews I saw of this novel, I thought that I should read it too. But I can only say that I was disappointed very much. I was expecting a spectacular story, that would grab me from the very first page and would leave me aching for more. Instead, what I got was a poorly told story with no purpose, that left me wondering what was the idea of it at all.

To be honest, the quality of the story sort of improved after the first half was thru, but I do not think that a book could be called good if it's such only from the middle on. I mean, many people will stop reading before they reach the point where the story started to get interesting. I even have friends who gave up reading before they reached that point, and I completely understand them. After all, if a book doesn't grab us from the very beginning, we wouldn't want to waste our time reading on, unsure whether we'd end up liking it at all.

The fact that this book was proclaimed the YA "Song of Ice and Fire", I think is ridiculous. Throne of Glass has nothing on the epic world that many many authors have created and continue developing. This novel is merely a wanna be.

The story line was also sort of ridiculous. A Champion of the King had to be picked after a series of tests among the most notorious soldiers, assassins and thieves. Well, I had expected something lively, at least at the tests. But they were all so very dull - running, climbing... but no fighting until the very end. It was sort of boring. Even the court intrigues couldn't really interest me.

Let's talk about the characters a little now.

*Calaena was the lead female in this story. She was an assassin, but I honestly can't say she was even remotely close to that title. In the entire book she didn't kill a single person, though she had many many chances. She was more concerned about wearing pretty dresses and going to royal parties than exercising her profession. Also, her choices were way too obvious, and in the end I was extremely frustrated by her.

*Prince Dorian was such a crybaby. I honestly didn't like the guy. The only thing he seemed to do was wink at the ladies and whine that the world was unfair to him. He only seemed to get a bit manly after he met Calaena.

*Captain Chaol was perhaps the most likeable character of them all. He was tough to please, though his heart was meek and loveable. He knew his place and didn't try going any higher. He wasn't light hearted or quick to trust anyone.

*Nehemia, the Ellywe princess was quite an interesting character, though we only saw her in her real light at the very end.

In conclusion, I can only say that Throne of Glass could've been much more interesting, had it been written in an intriguing manner from the very first line. It wasn't, and that was it's very great problem. Still though, it has potential. You might like it if you persevere enough to get to the good part.

My rating is

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"God, Girls and Guys" by Robin Marsh and Lauren Nelson

NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley upon request.

Okay, so since this isn't a book of fiction, there isn't all that much to say about it. I mean, there's no story to discuss, or characters to praise. Basically, what I mean to say is that this review will be a rather short one.

I did like the concept of the book, and I liked the fact that it wasn't setting up rules. It was like a guide to girls ages 13-19 (and perhaps even older) on how to not compromise with their beliefs, on what guys like in a girl, and what God wants His girls to be like.

Also, the two authors shared lots of their personal stories, and that felt very good - knowing what they'd experienced and how they'd found repentance and forgiveness from God.

It was a nice guiding book, but there were some places when the contents weren't all that organized. At some points I felt like the authors were jumping back and forth between topics. Not that I minded too much, but it could've been better organized.

I would recommend this book to girls who want to remain faithful to God, while still not ignoring guys.

My rating is

"A Boy After God's Own Heart" by Jim George

NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley upon request.

Right, so I did request this book, but I had no idea it was intended only for boys. So it was a bit awkward that I was reading it. I mean, it was directed at boys, perhaps ages 12-17 or something. It dealt with problems like family, school, anger, attitude issues and such and how a boy is to find a way to manage them while staying faithful to God.

I think it would be nice for guys to read this book (or any book of this sort), so they'd learn what God wants from a guy, and how to accomplish it. Only then, after a guy learns how to respect the people around him, and how to treat everyone with honesty and truth, will he be able to say he's actually done something right.

Fathers of tween boys might also benefit from reading this book. They've been boys once, and this book would be like a quick reminder of what they'd experienced in their youth, so they could be better pillars and guides to their own sons.

My rating is

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Dark Side of Night" by Amanda Day

The Dark Side of NightI received this book from the author, in exchange for my honest review. So, here goes..

The first half of the book was very very slow paced. There were times when I thought that it just wasn't for me, because it felt like it wasn't moving at all. Even though there was plenty of action, I think that some of it was unnecessary.

Also, there was too much internal dialogue, flashbacks and information repetition. Some of that could've been edited out, because it wasn't relevant.

Lastly, the ending wasn't all that captivating. It was more weird than anything else.


The story was interesting and unique. It was written well, and if the above recommendations are taken in consideration, I believe that it would deserve 5 stars. It certainly has the potential.

Concerning the characters:

*Cyan was the lonely girl, who'd experienced so much pain in her life that she'd decided to never ever trust anyone. She had her skills though and her habits, which filled her nights with adventure. I loved how self-assured she was, and that no matter who she tried to appear on the outside, she was this amazing girl on the inside. And her eyes were something that I'd really love to see.

*Oscar was a funny guy, who had lots of friends. Until that one night when everything changed. I loved his perseverence, his honesty and decisiveness. If he hadn't continued to chase Cyan down, I don't think either of them would've turned out to be happy.

In conclusion:

I recommend you The Dark Side of Night if you're not into fast paced books, if you love dark paranormal novels and if you're into slow developing romance.

My rating is:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Beautiful Disaster" by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)
NOTE: I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVED "Beautiful Disaster" from cover to cover. It was a total emotional roller coaster that left me in a state of stupor for hours. I was a complete wreck, not knowing whether to cry or laugh in hysterics.

I only have one suggestion to make though.... "Beautiful Disaster" is in no way a YOUNG ADULT book. It's very much an ADULT book, even though the main character is a 19-year old girl. There were lots of expletives, there were several sex scenes... you get the idea. So no, I wouldn't recommend this book to a teenager.

But, nonetheless, it was amazing. It was one of the books that I truly enjoyed reading this year, and I'm even going to place it in a to re-read folder.

The story itself was pretty unique, though the bad boy-good girl concept still remains. Who doesn't love a bad boy though? And most importantly - who doesn't love a bad boy who learns his lesson? I sure do.

It's a fast paced story with a really strong character presence. I honestly felt like I was in there, right in Abby's head, living the whole episode with her. And believe me, it was an amazing experience that rocked my world! I couldn't put the book down, even dreaming about it. And no, not because I was in love or obsessed with Travis. It was because the story truly moved me.

So, what is the story about? It's about a girl who falls for the wrong guy, who falls for the right girl. I.e. they fall for each other, but their take on the situation is pretty different. Here's why: Abby has had a difficult past, where her father used her as a lucky charm in his gambling, until one day... snap! It was all over. And since then he hated her and abused her verbally. Her mom was a drunk, of whom nobody really wanted to talk about.

Abby's only way out of home was escape to college. Where, of course, she met Travis. And Travis was bad news. I mean REALLY REALLY bad news. The toe-curling, mind-boggling kind of bad news that throws you on your back and takes your breath away. Not only that, but Travis has his own demons to fight, and most of the time, he just gives in to them. That is, until Abby.

They are each other's weakness. They are each other's strength. Each can live without the other, but that isn't what I'd call life.

All the struggles they went through, the jealousy, the fighting, the total disaster that resulted in their broken hearts... all of that was the grand prelude to something so cheesy and beautiful, I can't even describe it. The developmental stages of their relationship brought me up and then pulled me back down until I was such an emotional wreck, I couldn't recognize myself.

And of course, it wasn't completely about Abby and Travis all the time. There were other characters that make appearance. Like Abby's best friend, America, who would kill anyone that threatens Abby's happiness and peace of mind. And Travis's cousin, Shepley, who endured all the mood swings with great patience. Travis's brothers and father, who really made me love them.

Which means that all the ingredients for an incredible story are there: nice plot, realistic characters and great story pacing.

So, what can I say in conclusion? If you enjoyed Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry, you'd definitely enjoy Beautiful Disaster.

My rating is

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Dead of Night" by Lynn Viehl

Dead of Night

NOTE: I received this title from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

When I requested Dead of Night, I had no idea that it was the second installment in a series. Then I started reading it, and was still in the dark up till page fifty something, when it finally clicked. I considered dropping the book, since I had no idea what happened in the previous one, but then decided to go on and see if it was finishable.

Turns out it was. I not only finished it with no difficulty understanding any previous events, but I also enjoyed it. The story was interesting, though a bit too slow paced to my liking, and I can say with a hand over my heart that it deserved my rating.

Sure, it had its moments that brought it down from the five stars. Like the fact that there was no action at all. None. Zero. And I don't know why that was since it was a vamp novel and all. The story evolved waaaay too slowly to reach the culmination point, and then when it did reach it, it wasn't all that captivating. And last, but not least, the romance held no passion.

Let me expand a little on that last part. Nobody expects teenagers in love to be cool and lacking passion. One or two brief kisses from time to time seem so unrealistic to me, that I can't even register the concept in my head. Seriously, there was nothing beyond "and he kissed my forehead", or "he gave me a breathless kiss". SHOW, DON'T TELL. I want to see and feel exactly how breathless that kiss was. I want to feel brainwashed by it, you know? The kisses are the sweet parts in any YA romance, and unfortunately this one lacked in this department.

Still though, I liked the story, so my rating stands.

About the characters:

Catlyn was the story teller. We were in her head, so we knew exactly what was going on inside of her. She was a likeable character, though when the grand moment came, her abilities weren't shown. I honestly expected to see some cat action, but alas!, there was none. What sort of bothered me about her was that she was constantly angry with her brothers. True, they had their reasons for being overprotective, but hey, with no parents in the picture and all the loose vamps, I think they were right to be so.

Jesse was the most dispassionate boy-in-love whom I've ever read about. I didn't witness one single loving look, didn't feel any vibe from him at all. Sure, he was nice and all, but that's as much as I can say about him.

Trick, Cat's oldest brother, was a real pain in the butt. He messed with people's minds however he saw convenient. And he was so overprotective, I honestly wanted to slap him. But he was also cute about it.

Same goes for Grayson, the other brother.

So, to sum it up, Dead of Night has great potential, but sadly it wasn't developed to reach it. The story was intriguing, but other parts were missing - like real passionate teenage love and some much-needed action.

I do recommend it, but I can't bet my head that you'd like it. Happy reading ya'll!

My rating is

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Inbetween" by Tara Fuller

Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1)

NOTE: I received the arc of this book from Netgalley.

I was very very excited about Inbetween because I'd heard some awesome things about it. And when I actually got it from Netgalley, I was super joyful!

The beginning was a bit slow to my taste, but once the story picked up pace, it became enthralling to the point where I couldn't put the book down until I was done with it. Unfortunately the end came way too fast. I breezed through Inbetween as if it were a 200 page book!!! Yes, it was really good! And boy, what a cliffhanger!

The story was well thought out, the world was well built with rules and regulations and restrictions that had unforgivable consequences if breached. It was pretty unique as a story, though the concept of impossible love was the same as most other YA books. The descriptions of Heaven, Hell and the Inbetween sounded quite realistic to me.

The characters:
*Emma was your average girl, who had no idea who she really was. Nor did she have any idea that her life was at stake because of a 17 year old feud. She didn't even suspect that she had a protector who's ready to give his very existence over to Hell to see her live her life. Yet, she suspects all those things, because she may be blind, but she's not stupid. And the loss of her father has scarred her heart forever. Now the wound is open again as her mom is trying to begin living again.

*Finn was one gorgeous reaper. He was devoted to Emma, and not even his own condemnation could stop him from watching over her. His love for her was so strong and pure, that it overshadowed everything else. Nothing and no one were important. Only Emma.

*Cash was Emma's best friend, who was also a playboy with a hurt soul. I would really love to see him turn from the hardcore player he was, into a lovesick boy. Besides all that, he was a caring, devoted friend.

*Anaya, Easton and Scout were Finn's reaper friends who'd get mad at him for his constant breaking of all sorts of rules in his desire to save Emma from yet another attack. In the end though, even they couldn't stand before love with closed eyes.

Inbetween was a very nice paranormal YA story that I recommend to lovers of this genre.

My review is

"Confessions of an Angry Girl" by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)

NOTE: I received the eARC of this book from Netgalley.

To be honest, I didn't expect this book to be the first one of a series. But now that I've actually read it, I think that a second book must come after it. The cliffhanger was so cute, and full of expectation. I can't wait for "Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend" to come out!

I really liked the writing style. It was light and fast paced. And another positive side of the book was that it was pretty short and I breezed through it quite fast. After a marathon of long books, I really needed a diversion, and got it with Angry Girl.

In the same time, the lightness had depth as well. Because you see, our girl Rose wasn't angry for nothing. She had a perfectly good reason for it, she just couldn't quite realize it. Not everyone, especially not a 14 year old girl could realize that her grief for her dead father was actually more anger than anything else.

There was a twister of emotions in Confessions of an Angry Girl. Starting with grief and anger we also see the first fruits of love, some early teenage passion, doubts, jealousy. You name it, Angry Girl has it.

Perhaps the only negativity that brought my rating down from a full 5 star one was the constant talk of sex. I'm sorry, but even if sex is a common topic of discussion among teens, I don't believe that it should be mentioned every other page or something. It was sort of irritating.

Now let me give you a bit of info on the characters:

Rose Zarelli is the protagonist, from whose point of view we are told this story. Starting with her father, Rose couldn't hold her anger inside her. She poured it out in great doses over anyone who'd stay long enough to listen to her brutally honest mouth. Whether it be her mom, her brother, her should-be-boyfriend (Jaime), her best friend, or her wants-to-be-boyfriend - no one is immune. Sometimes I even thought she was too rude, but let's not forget that Rose is just a teenager in her years of transition. What else could we expect of a character who is so realistic? What I loved about Rose the most was that even with all the peer pressure and constant sex discussions, she decided that it's way too early for her to jump in that sort of commitment.

The health class teacher - I loved her lesson on sex and its consequences. I really liked how the subject was brought down toward two key words ..... mutual respect.

Rose's Mom was way too absorbed in her own grief and anger that even though she was a shrink she never even realized Rose's anger management problem.

Jaime Forta... well he has a very sweet name, for starters. Of course he's gorgeous, but some sort of a loser. Still, he's dating a cheerleader. Of course, his life sucks ever since childhood - that's sort of normal for YA novels I gather. But he's a sweet boy, who cares about Rose in more than one way. I found him cute and swoon worthy, even if he isn't in the game all that much. When he does appear though, he could make your toes curl, so that should say something, right?

If you like light teen romance, this book is totally for you. I do recommend it.

My rating is

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits

NOTE: Thanks to Mira Ink (Harlequin UK) and Netgalley for providing me with the ARC of this book.

Oh My Goodness! Pushing the Limits was such an emotional roller coaster! There were highs and lows and passion and broken hearts! It was all that a reader would want from a great novel!

The writing style was perfectly constructed grammar and semantics wise. It was nicely edited, and even I (being the grammar error hound) couldn't find anything out of place. Which, believe me, says a lot. I loved that both POV's were unique. There are books where the POV's sound exactly the same - here they were different. We have two main characters, and they're more than happy to talk for themselves. And for each other.

Several scenes brought me close to tears, and believe me I would've cried, had I not read most of the book in the office. I felt the hurt, the passion, the LOVE, as if they were my own. Echo and Noah implanted themselves in my heart, and I believe they will remain one of my favorite fictional couples. Oh, let's not forget those other scenes that made me rock with laughter! I almost lost it in front of my boss, and had to increase the volume of my music just so he won't hear me cracking up!

Okay, so let's talk characters:

*Echo Emerson was the lost girl. She needed confidence, she needed strength, but most of all she needed her memory back. But, that could cost her her sanity. And still, she was brave enough to risk it, because what is a person with no memory? Especially when that memory holds the key to one's peaceful night sleep... I loved the way Echo changed, evolved and grew during the span of this novel. She started out as a shy, insecure, scared girl, who needed not only moral support. And then a certain boy's influence, along with her own fighting personality, lifted her up to an entirely new level. Her insecurities were forgotten, her selfishness and stubbornness were forgotten and she found a way to find the truth, to forgive and forget. I was completely blown away by Echo's mature way of thinking. She was one female I would never forget.

*Noah Hutchins was the bad boy with bad reputation and even worse habits. He drank, smoked pot and went from one girl to the next. Because his life wasn't easy. Being transferred from one foster home to another, after the tragic incident of his parents' death, had marked him forever. He used to be a basketball star in his early high school years. Now he was a failure. The only motivation for him were his two younger brothers, who lived in a different foster home. His only dream was to graduate, take custody, and raise them the best he could. Noble, but could a high school graduate handle such a burden? Thanks to the influence of two very caring people, Noah's life turned upside down and inside out in just a couple of weeks. He grew up, and finally there was progress for the better. I loved his personality and caring nature, even though he'd carefully wrapped it up in the usual bad boy facade. Totally swoon worthy is all I can say.

*Mrs. Collins was one annoyingly good therapist/social worker. She was so good understanding people's problems and helping them in unimaginable ways, that I couldn't help but love her. She went out of her way to help both Noah and his brothers, and Echo's troubled mind. I loved how she didn't buck under Echo's father's influence. She was totally hard core, and I loved her for it.

*Owen and Ashley Emerson, Echo's father and stepmom gave me the impression, initially, that they didn't really care about her. She thought so too. Until the truth was revealed. I truly felt sorry for them and then happy at the same time. I'm glad they didn't turn out to be the cold people I thought them to be.

*Carrie and Joe, Noah's brothers' foster parents, were perhaps the only characters my intuition was right about. I was glad things turned out the way they did for them. They deserved the outcome, every single bit of it.

There were other prominent characters, but if you want to learn more, you GOTTA READ THE BOOK! PUSHING THE LIMITS rocks, and you won't regret buying it! Have fun reading!

This awesome book receives