Monday, May 27, 2013

Grave Consequences by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Grave Consequences (Grand Tour Series, #2)

NOTE: The eARC was provided by Netgalley.

This was one absolutely spectacular story with amiable characters, marvelous sights to mind-see and great conflicts to work through. I'm happy that Grave Consequences not only met my expectations but very well exceeded them. As a follow up to Glamorous Illusions, I'd been afraid of how Mrs. Bergren will continue with the development of the story and characters, but now I know there was no need to worry.

I was up for the Grand Tour adventure as soon as I started reading Glamorous Illusions, and now that I've finished Grave Consequences, I can say that I'm thirsty for more. I hope there's a third book to end off the tour, because I'm really looking forward to reading about all those great castles, fancy palaces and gorgeous nature sights that Mrs. Bergren enticed me with!

Now, let me plunge a little deeper and say something more about the characters and the events that took place. I'll try to keep it as spoiler free as possible.

With all that said, I want to mention that there were lots of events that seemed foreshadowed, but I couldn't really figure them out until the right time came for them to occur. Like the appearance of Art Stapleton, Cora-and-Pierre and Cora-and-Will relationships, Nathan Hawke, etc. I mean, it was easy to guess when there was something fishy going on around a person, but you could never guess exactly what was happening until it happened. That was nice. On one side the reader isn't really kept in the dark, on the other - there isn't all that much revealed to drive to boredom.

So, let's say a little about Cora. Our dear miss Kensington, the newest one, is little by little growing into the family. She's getting to know and care for her siblings with their ups and downs. She's also getting to know herself as someone other than the Cora, the poor girl from the Montana dry field. She's getting to know herself as a wealthy man's daughter, as someone who can mingle into society. And she's grown into a woman who can love, a woman who can explore her heart, and a woman who trusts God one hundred percent of the time. I admire her for that.

William McCabe was a nice guy, whose heart betrayed him by falling in love with Cora. Of course, Cora is off limits for too many reasons. But as the tour went on, things progressed and became even more complicated. And Will had to develop a strong character and will in order to keep himself sane and out of trouble. Not that it worked in the end, but still.

If I'm to keep this review spoiler free, this would have to be the end of it. If I managed to intrigue you, then go ahead and grab a copy of Grave Consequences - I assure you, you won't be sorry. I definitely am not.

I rate this book with

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Dare You To" by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

NOTE: I received this eARC from Netgalley.

This is one fantastic book! I loved it from cover to cover, and will be sure to re-read it.

I can't think of a strong enough word to describe the story in this novel. Perhaps phenomenal, or brilliant? I don't know but it was both of those and so much more!

After reading Pushing the Limits, I was expecting something grand from Katie McGarry in this one, and Alas! I'm not disappointed at all.

There was supertastic passion, there was hot-bordering-on-mad romance, there was real friendship and true loyalty. There was also a terrifying drug addiction, domestic violence and problems that could make your head spin and your heart beat hard in your chest. No wonder I enjoyed every second of it.

I think it's safe to say that Dare You To was better and even more satisfying than Pushing the Limits. The characters were as realistic and believable, and sometimes even more so - I mean, I felt like they were the next door neighbors that I was secretly spying on!

The first chapter met me with a cocky dude (Ryan) who was ready to do anything when he was dared to. Including getting the goth chick (Beth)'s phone number. Well, let me tell you the truth - that made me dislike Ryan right then and there. A good smack on his face would've made me happy. So when Beth held her ground and put him in his place, I wanted to high-five her! Brave, brave girl!

However, when the next chapter rolled in (and pretty much all the rest of the book until the very end), I felt a bit disappointed in Beth. She's pretty, she's daring, she's bad-ass. And she's smart, really. Yet, even though a saving boat comes to her(in the face of her uncle) to grab her and pull her away from her miserable life, she decides that no, staying in the mud with all the violence, the drugs and the unknown dangers was better for her. How extremely stupid! Don't get me wrong, I get it - she loved her mom, and wanted to get through the problems with her. But goodness! There just HAS TO BE a reality check somewhere, right?

Good thing that no one actually left her to do things on her own. Which is why I got to love Ryan. He lost the cocky attitude, the know-it-all face, and all the things he had as a rich boy. And he just stretched his hand toward Beth and offered her himself. That was so especially romantic! I mean, he changed for her, he even put himself in danger for her. Now that is what I call a guy in love. May the earth be blessed with more guys like Ryan.

And, if any of that wasn't super awesome by itself, I also got a glimpse of Noah and Echo too! I just can't wait to read about Isaiah and his story next! Woot woot!

My rating?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"My Favorite Mistake" by Chelsea M. Cameron

My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1)
Many thanks to Elise from MIRA INK for giving me the egalley of this one.

This is by far one of the best New Adult novels I've read lately. It ranks right up there with Abbi Glines' Sea Breeze series. So, if you enjoyed those, you're sure gonna love this one too.

The plot is really nice and simple. There's a tough girl with a past she is running away from. There is also an awesome guy, who hasn't had it all bright and sunny either. There's also a bet. And a very, very sweet punch in the face, that sort of put the wheel spinning.

I can't say that the story is particularly original, but somehow that doesn't really matter. So what if it's boy meets girl and they fall hard for each other? There is no insta-love, so that certainly helps too. Besides, Hunter isn't some bizarre lunatic with a fantasy for male dominance (where most other fictional males are always so commanding, gah!). Actually Hunter is pretty sweet and I liked his love for music and his fierce protectiveness of those he loves. He has his loyalties figured out, and believe it or not, they're in the right place!

Taylor, too, is pretty down to earth. And what I liked the most about her is that she isn't some sex-crazed, boy-depraved idiot, who just can't wait to get laid with the first random guy she meets. Seriously, I've had enough of that scenario to last me a lifetime. In fact, Taylor had real brains in that head of hers, which felt rather refreshing. And so I liked her. I mean, who wouldn't like a girl with actual substance? A character with depth and realistic personality?

The friends on both sides were also super realistic and awesome. They had lives of their own and actually gave great advice when asked for it. Oh, and none of them acted like sex-depraved cats during mating season. Thank my Lord in the highest heavens!

So yeah. If you're into New Adult and still haven't checked this one out, I think it's about time you do. It's worth every single dime.(or penny)(or cent)(or whatever currency you use)Period

My rating is a clean

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Mila 2.0" by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)

NOTE: This is an eARC I got from Netgalley.

This is a nicely done piece of work, that takes the reader on an adventure packed with lots of action, sci-fi elements and of course, teen romance. Taking this book in your hands, you better be prepared for a journey of self-discovery, which may or may not take you where you intended to go.

Mila 2.0 started off just as any other book. Girl moves to new town because of some family tragedy. She meets, of course, a boy, a gets attracted to him. But that's where the similarities end. Because Mila really isn't just your average 16 year old girl. No, she's actually an android (an intelligent humanoid robot), who didn't turn out as machine-like as the military had planned. That piece of new information pushed the story into an unstoppable streak of action that continued until the very last chapter.

What impressed me very much was that the author did a very good job incorporating the machine with the human inside one body and mind.

However, there was a huge weakness that I can't just bypass. Every other page (or at least one out of three pages) had to do with Mila's inner struggles of how she wasn't truly a human. Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. At least I think I do since I don't have the actual experience. The girl had all the human traits you and I have. Then all of a sudden she finds out that all of that just doesn't matter in the least. She eats - so what? She cries - so what? She loves - whatever! None of that matters. All the emotions and bodily functions in the world won't take the machine out of her.
Surely, if I found out the same thing was true about me, I'd probably react the same way - denial, hurt, disbelief, yada, yada...

But, there's just a certain limit for all that, which a reader's mind can take. The constant repetition of how sad and angry Mila was that she wasn't an actual human; the continuous denial of her functionalities... it just nagged at me so much! Every time Mila went on a streak of self-loathing, self-wallowing etc., it irritated me to death. Because of all those countless repetitive paragraphs, I wanted this book to just end somewhere and release me from the torture.

In relation to that, I also want to say that this story could've very well been squeezed into less than 400 pages. It was just too long for a debut, series start and a teen book. I was ready to put it down about half-way through.

I won't say more, because it's hard to keep this review spoiler-free as it is.

In conclusion, Mila 2.0 isn't a bad book. It's actually a good one, if you have the patience to pass through all the repetitions. Enjoy!

My rating is